translated by G. S. R. Mead
How the disciples shall make proclamation.When then the disciples had said this, the Saviour continued again and said unto his disciples: "If ye go into cities or kingdoms or countries, proclaim first unto them, saying:
Search ever and cease not, until ye find the mysteries of the Light which will lead you into the Light-kingdom. Say unto them: Beware of the doctrines of error. For many will come in my name and say: It is I. And it is not I, and they will lead many astray.
What mysteries they shall give."Now, therefore, unto all men who come unto you and have faith in you and hearken unto your words and do what is worthy of the mysteries of the Light, give the mysteries of the Light and hide them not from them. And unto him who is worthy of the higher mysteries, give them, and to him who is worthy of the lower mysteries, give them, and hide not anything from any one.
The mystery of the raising of the dead not to be given to any."The mystery of the raising of the dead and of the healing of the sick, on the other hand, give unto no one nor give instruction in it, for that mystery belongeth to the rulers, it and all its namings. For this cause, therefore, give it |281. unto no one, nor give instruction in it until ye establish the faith in the whole world, in order that, if ye come into cities or into countries, and they do not receive you unto themselves, and do not have faith, and do not hearken unto your words, ye may raise the dead in those regions and heal the lame and the blind and manifold of sicknesses in those regions. And through all such they will have faith in you, that ye herald the God of the universe, and will have faith in all the words of you. For this cause, therefore, have I given unto you that mystery, until ye establish the faith in the whole world."
When then the Saviour had said this, he continued again in the discourse and said unto Mary: "Now, therefore, hearken, Mary, concerning the
word on which thou hast questioned me: Who constraineth the man until he sinneth? Now, therefore, hearken:
Of the constitution of man."Is the babe born, the power is feeble in it, and the soul is feeble in it, and also the counterfeiting spirit is feeble in it; in a word, the three together are feeble, without any one of them sensing anything, whether good or evil, because of the load of forgetfulness which is very heavy. Moreover the body also is feeble. And the babe eateth of the delights of the world of the rulers; and the power draweth into itself from the portion of the power which |282. is in the delights; and the soul draweth into itself from the portion of the soul which is in the delights; and the counterfeiting spirit draweth into itself from the portion of the evil which is in the delights and in its lusts. And on the other hand the body draweth into itself the matter which senseth not, which is in the delights. The destiny on the contrary taketh nothing from the delights, because it is not mingled with them, but it departeth again in the condition in which it cometh into the world.
"And little by little the power and the soul and the counterfeiting spirit grow, and every one of them senseth according to its nature: the power senseth to seek after the light of the height; the soul on the other hand senseth to seek after the region of righteousness which is mixed, which is the region of the commixture; the counterfeiting spirit on the other hand seeketh after all evils and lusts and all sins; the body on the contrary senseth nothing unless it taketh up force out of the matter.
"And straightway the three develop sense, every one according to its nature. And the retributive receivers assign the servitors to follow them and be witnesses of all the sins which they commit, with a view to the manner and method how they will chastize them in the judgments.
Of the counterfeiting spirit."And after this the counterfeiting spirit |283. contriveth and senseth all sins and the evil which the rulers of the great Fate have commanded for the soul, and it maketh them for the soul.
"And the inner power stirreth the soul to seek after the region of the Light and the whole god-head; and the counterfeiting spirit leadeth away the soul and compelleth it continually to do all its lawless deeds, all its mischiefs and all its sin, and is persistently allotted to the soul and is hostile to it, and making it do all this evil and all these sins.
"And it goadeth on the retributive servitors, so that they are witnesses in all the sins which it will make it do. Moreover also if it will rest in the night [or] by day, it stirreth it in dreams or in lusts of the world, and maketh it to lust after all the things of the world. In a word, it driveth [?] it into all the things which the rulers have commanded for it and it is hostile to the soul, making it do what pleaseth it not.
"Now, therefore, Mary, this is in fact the foe of the soul, and this compelleth it until it doeth all sins.
The state of the sinful soul after death."Now, therefore, if |284. the time of that man is completed, first cometh forth the destiny and leadeth the man unto death through the rulers and their bonds with which they are bound through the Fate.
"And thereafter the retributive receivers come and lead that soul out of the body. And thereafter the. retributive receivers spend three days circling round with that soul in all the regions and dispatch it to all the æons of the world. And the counterfeiting spirit and the destiny follow that soul; and the power returneth to the Virgin of Light.
"And after three days the retributive receivers lead down that soul to the Amente of the chaos; and when they bring it down to the chaos, they hand it over to those who chastize. And the retributive receivers return unto their own regions according to the economy of the works of the rulers concerning the coming-forth of the souls.
"And the counterfeiting spirit becometh the receiver of the soul, being assigned unto it and transferring it according to the chastisement because of the sins which it hath made it commit, and is in great enmity to the soul.
"And when the soul hath finished the chastisements in the chaos according to the sins |285. which it hath committed, the counterfeiting spirit leadeth it forth out of the chaos, being assigned unto it and transferring it to every region because of the sins which it hath committed; and it leadeth it forth on the way of the rulers of the midst. And when it reacheth them, [the rulers] question it on the mysteries of the destiny; and if it hath not found them, they question their destiny. And those rulers chastize that soul according to the sins of which it is guilty. I will tell you the type of their chastisements at the expansion of the universe.
How a sinful soul is brought back to birth."When, therefore, the time of the chastisements of that soul in the judgments of the rulers of the midst shall be completed, the counterfeiting spirit leadeth the soul up out of all the regions of the rulers of the midst and bringeth it before the light of the sun according to the commandment of the First Man, Yew, and bringeth it before the judge, the Virgin of Light. And she proveth that soul and findeth that it is a sinning soul, and ceaseth her light-power into it for its standing-upright and because of the body and the community of sense,--the type of which I will tell you at the expansion of the universe. And the Virgin of Light sealeth that soul and handeth it over to one of her receivers |286. and will have it cast into a body which is suitable to the sins which it hath committed.
"And amēn, I say unto you: They will not discharge that soul from the changes of the body until it hath yielded its last circuit according to its merit. Of all these then will I tell you their type and the type of the bodies into which it will be cast according to the sins of each soul. All this will I tell you when I shall have told you the expansion of the universe."
Return to the Gnostic Society Library