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proper for the building of the tower. But I saw the other stones casi afar off from the tower, and falling into ihe high way, and yet not continuing in the way, but were rolled from the way into a desert place. Others I saw falling into the fire and burning ; others fell near the water, yet could noi roll themselves into it, though very desirous to fall into the water.
3. And when she had shewed me these things, she would have departed But I said unto her, lady, what does it profit me to see these things, and not understand what they mean? She answered and said unto me, you are very cunning, in that you are desirous to know those things which relate to the tower. Yea, said I, lady, that I may declare them unto the brethren; and they may rejoice, and hearing these things may glorify God with great glory. Then she said, many indeed shall hear them, and when they shall have heard them, some shall rejoice and others weep. And yet even these, if they shall repent, shall rejoice too. Hear therefore what I shall say concerning the parable of the tower, and after this be no longer importunate with me about the revelation. For these revelations have an end, seeing they are fulfilled. But thou dost not leave off to desire revelations; for thou art very urgent. As for the tower which thou seest built, it is I myself, namely, the Church, which have appeared to thee both now, and heretofore. Wherefore ask what thou wilt concerning the tower, and I will reveal it unto thee, that thou mayest rejoice with the saints. I said unto her, lady, because thou hast thought me once worthy to receive from thee the revelation of all these things, declare them unto me. She answered me, whatsoever is fit to be revealed un. to thee, shall be revealed': only let thy heart be with the Lord, (a) and doubt not, whatsoever thou shalt see. I asked her, lady, why is the tower built upon the water? She replied, I said before to thee that thou
(a) Clem. Alex. Strom. xii.
wert very wise, to inquire diligently concerning the building, therefore thou shalt find the truth. Hear therefore why the tower is built upon the water : because your life is and shall be saved by water For it is founded by the word of the Almighty an honourable name ; and is supported by the invisible power and virtúe of God.
4. And I answeringsaid unto her, these things are very admirable : but lady, who are those six young men that build? They are, said she, the angels of God, which were first appointed, and to whom the Lord has delivered all his creatures, to frame and build them up, and rule over them. For by these the building of the tower shall be finished. “And who are the rest who bring them stones; they also are the holy angels of the Lord; but the other are more excellent than these. Wherefore when the whole building of the tower shall be finished, they shall all feast together beside the tower, and shall glorify God, because the structure of the tower is finished. I asked her, saying, I would know the condition of the stones, and meaning of them, what it is? She answering said unto me, art thou better than all others, that this should be revealed unto thee? For others are both before thee, and better than thou art, to whom these vi. sions should be made manifest; nevertheless that the name of God may be glorified, it has been, and shall be revealed unto thee, for the sake of those who are doubtful, and think in their hearts whether these things are so or not? Tell them that all these things are true ; and that there is nothing in them that is not true ; but all are firm, and truly established.
5. Hear now then concerning the stones that are in the building. The square and white stones, which agree exactly in their joints, are the apostles, and bishops, and doctors, and ministers, who through the merey of God have come in, and governed, and taught, and ministéréd holily and modestly to the elect
of God, both that are fallen asleep, and which yet remain ; and have always agreed with them, and have had peace within themselves and have heard each other. For which cause their joints exactly meet together in the building of the tower. They which are drawn out of the deep and put into the building and whose joints agree with the other stones which are already built, are those which are already fallen asleep, and have suffered for the sake of the Lord's name. And what are the other stones, lady, that are brought from the earth; I would know what they are ? She answered, they which lie upon the ground and are not polished, are those which God has approved, because they have walked in the law of the Lord,(u) and directed their ways in his command. ments. They which are brought and put in the building of the tower, are the young in faith, and the faithful. And these are admonished by the angels to do well, because that iniquity is not found in them. But who are those whom they rejected, and laid beside the tower ? They are such as have sinned, and are willing to repent; for which cause they are not cast far from the tower, because they will be useful for the building, if they shall repent. They therefore that are yet to repent, if they shall repent shall become strong in the faith ; that is, if they repent now, whilst the tower is building. For if the building shall be finished there will then be no place for them to be put in, but they shall be rejected : for he only has this privilege, who shall now be put into the tower.
6. But would you know who they are that were cut out, and cast afar off from the tower ? Lady, said I, I desire it. They are the children of iniquity, who believed only in hypocrisy, but departed not from their evil ways: for this cause they shall not be saved, because they are not of any use in the building by
ku) In Æquitatem Domini Lat.
season of their sins. Wherefore they are cut out, and cast afar off, because of the anger of the Lord, and because they have provoked him to anger against them. As for the great number of other stones which thou hast seen placed about the tower, but not put into the building ; those which are rugged are they who have known the truth, but have not continued in it, nor been joined to the saints; and therefore are unprofit.. able. Those that have clefts in them, are they who keep up discord in their hearts against each other, and live not in peace; 'that are friendly when present with their brethren, but as soon as they are departed from one another, their wickedness still continues in their hearts: these are the clefts which are seen in those stones. Those that are maimed and short, are they who have believed indeed; but still are in great measure full of wickedness; for this cause are they maimed and not whole. But what are the white and round stones, lady, and which are not proper for the building of the tower? She answering said unto me; how long wilt thou continue foolish and without understanding ; asking everything and discerning no. thing? They are such as have faith indeed, but have withal the riches of this present world. When therefore any troubles arise, for the sake of their riches and traffic, they deny the Lord. I answering, said unto her, when therefore will they be profitable to the Lord? when their riches shall be cut away, says she, in which they take delight, then they will be profitable unto the Lord for his building. For as a round stone, unless it be cut away, and cast somewhat off of its bulk, cannot be made square; so they who are rich in this world, unless their riches be pared off, cannot be made profitable unto the Lord. Learn this from thy own experience: when thou wert rich, thou wast unprofitable ; but now thou art profitable, and fit for the life which thou hast undertaken; for thoa also once wast one of those stones.
7. As for the rest of the stones which thou sa west cast afar off from the tower, and running in the way; and tumbled out of the way into desert places; they are such as have believed indeed, but through their doubting have forsaken the true way, thinking that they could find a better. But they wander and are miserable, going into desolate ways. Then for those stones which fell into the fire, and were burnt ; they are those who have for ever departed from the living God; nor doth it ever come into their hearts to repent, by reason of the affection which they bear to their lusts and wickednesses, which they commit. And what are the rest which fell by the water, and could not roll into the water ? they are such as have heard the word, and were willing to be baptized in the name of the Lord; but considering the great holiness which the truth requires, have withdrawn themselves, and walked again after their wicked lusts. Thus she finished the explication of the tower. But I being still urgent, asked her: is there repentance allowed to all those stones which are thus cast away, and were not suitable to the building of the tower; and shall they find place in this tower? They may repent, said she, but they cannot come into this tower; but they shall be placed in a much lower rank; and this after that they shall have been afflicted, and fulfilled the days of their sins. And for this cause they shall be removed, because they have received the word of righteousness : and then they shall be translated from their afflictions, if they shall have a true sense in their hearts of what they have done amiss. But if they shall not have this sense in their hearts, they shall not be saved, ly reason of the hardness of their hearts.
8. When therefore I had done asking her concerning all these things, she said unto me : wilt thou see somewhat else ? and being desirous of seeing it, I became very cheerful of countenance. She therefore looking back upon me, and smiling a little, said unto me : seest thou seven women about the tower ? Lady: