Sunday, 20 July 2014
The greatness of God - Hermas
Hermas, one of the Seventy
Who was Hermas?
Hermas is mentioned in the Epistles of St Paul (Romans 16:14). He served as a bishop in the first-century Church, and died a martyr. His book, The Shepherd, is one of the earliest Christian writings outside of the New Testament, and was held in such esteem by the early Church that it is sometimes found in ancient collections of the Holy Scriptures.
Hermas had been a wealthy man, but had fallen into poverty through his sins. A man, clad all in white and holding a staff, appeared to St Hermas and, telling him that he was an angel of repentance, gave St Hermas twelve commandments:
•To believe in God
•To live in simplicity and innocence
•To love truth and flee from falsehood
•To guard his thoughts in chastity
•To learn patience and magnanimity of soul
•To know that a good and an evil spirit attend every man
•To fear God, but not the devil
•To perform every good deed and to restrain himself from every evil one
•To pray to God in faith from the depths of his heart, so that his prayer might be heard
•To preserve himself from melancholy, the daughter of doubt, and from anger
•To try true and false prophecies
•To preserve himself from every evil desire.
See the text of the Shepherd of Hermas here.