translated by G. S. R. Mead
And Mary answered and said: "My Lord, in what type then do |298. the baptisms forgive sins? I heard thee say: 'The retributive servitors follow the soul, being witnesses to it for all the sins which it committeth, that they may convict it in the judgments.' Now, therefore, my Lord, do the mysteries of the baptisms wipe out the sins which are in the hands of the retributive servitors, so that they forget them? Now, therefore, my Lord, tell unto us the type, how they forgive sins; nay, we desire to know it with sureness."
Of the retributive servitors.And the Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "Finely hast thou spoken. The servitors indeed are they who bear witness to all sins; but they abide in the judgments, seizing the souls and convicting all the souls of sinners who have received no mysteries; and they keep them fast in the chaos, chastizing them. And those retributive receivers cannot overstep the chaos to reach to the orders which are above the chaos, and convict the souls which come forth out of those regions. Now then it is not lawful to use force on the souls which receive mysteries, and lead them into
the chaos, so that the retributive servitors may convict them. But the retributive servitors convict the |299. souls of the sinners and they keep fast those who have received no mysteries which may lead them out of the chaos. The souls on the other hand which receive mysteries,--they have no power of convicting them, because they do not come forth out of their regions, and also, if they come forth into their regions, they are not able to obstruct them; nay, they cannot lead them into that chaos.
How the soul of the sinner is stamped with his sins."Hearken moreover that I may tell you the word in truth, in what type the mystery of baptism forgiveth sins. Now, therefore, if the souls sin when they are still in the world, the retributive servitors indeed come and are witnesses of all the sins which the soul committeth, lest in sooth they should come forth out of the regions of the chaos, in order that they may convict them in the judgments which are outside the chaos. And the counterfeiting spirit becometh witness of all the sins which the soul shall commit, in order that it may convict it in the judgments which are outside the chaos, not only that it may bear witness of them, but--all the sins of the souls--it sealeth the sins and maketh them fast on to the soul, in order that all the rulers of the chastisements of the sinners may recognize it, that it is a sinning soul, and that they may know of the number of sins which it hath committed, by the seals which the counterfeiting spirit hath made fast on to it, so that it shall be chastized according to |300. the number of sins which it hath committed. This do they with all sinning souls.
"Now, therefore, he who shall receive the
How the baptisms purify sins.mysteries of the baptisms, then the mystery of them becometh a great, exceedingly violent, wise fire and it burneth up the sins and entereth into the soul secretly and consumeth all the sins which the counterfeiting spirit hath made fast on to it. And when it hath finished purifying all the sinsThe separation of the portions by the mystery of baptism. which the counterfeiting spirit hath made fast on to the soul, it entereth into the body secretly and pursueth all the pursuers secretly and separateth them off on the side of the portion of the body. For it pursueth the counterfeiting spirit and the destiny and separateth them off from the power and from the soul and putteth them on the side of the body, so that it separateth off the counterfeiting spirit and the destiny and the body into one portion; the soul and power on the other hand it separateth into another. The mystery of baptism on the contrary remaineth in the midst of the two, continually separating them from one another, so that it maketh them clean and purifieth them, in order that they may not be stained by matter.
"Now, therefore, Mary, this is the way in which the mysteries of the baptisms forgive sins and all iniquities."
Return to the Gnostic Society Library