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THE LETTER OF BARNABAS Chapter 1 (IJREETINGS, sons and daughters, in the name of the . Lord who loves us, in peace. 2 Since the ordinances of God in your regard are great and rich, I rejoice very greatly and exceedingly at your blessed and glorious spirits; so deeply engrafted is the grace of the spiritual gift you have received. 3 For this, also, I congratulate myself in the hope of salvation, because I truly see in you the Spirit poured out upon you from the fount of the bounteous Lord. So greatly on your account has the long-desired sight of you astonished me. 4 With this conviction , then, and the consciousness that, while speaking much among you, I understand the Lord was my fellow traveler on the road of righteousness, I am completely bound to this: to love you more than my life, because great faith and charity dwell in you due to the hope of His life. 5 Considering this, then, that, if I take care to share something with YOu of what I have received, it will be [turned to] a reward for having ministered to such spirits, I hasten to send you a brief message , in order that with your faith you may have perfect knowledge. 6 The doctrines of the Lord are three: hope of life, the beginning and end of our faith; righteous life, the beginning and end of judgment; love [that comes] from joy and gladness , the witness of the words of a righteous life. 7 For the Lord by His prophets made known to us things past and things present, and gives us the foretaste of things to come; 191 192 THE LETTER OF BARNABAS and, as we see these things coming to pass one by one, as He foretold, we are bound to make a more generous and higher offering to reverence Him. 8 Now, not as a teacher, but as one of yourselves, I will point out a few things by which you shall be made happy in the present circumstances. Chapter 2 1 Since the times are evil and the Worker of evil himself holds sway, we must give heed to ourselves and search out the commandments of the Lord. 2 The helpers of our faith are fear and patience; our allies are long-suffering and self-control . 3 While these [virtues], then, persist in their purity in matters relating to the Lord, Wisdom, Prudence, Understanding and Knowledge rejoice with them. 4 For He has made known to us through all the Prophets that He does not need holocausts or oblations, saying at one time: 1 5 'What is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?' Says the Lord, 'I am sated with holocausts and desire neither fat of lambs nor blood of bulls and goats, not even when you come to appear before Me. For who has demanded these things from your hands? You shall no longer tread My court. If you bring flour, it is in vain. Incense is an abomination to Me. I cannot suffer your new moons and Sabbaths.' 6 This He accordingly did away with, so that the new law of our Lord Jesus Christ might be without restraining yoke and without man-made offering. 7 Again he says to them: 2 'Did I command your fathers when they came out of the land of Egypt to offer Me holocausts and sacrifices? 8 Rather I did command them lIsa. 1.1l-13 . 2 A loose quotation, keeping the substance. however. of Jer. 7.22-23. Barnabas apparently quotes from memory. THE LETTER OF BARNABAS 193 this: 3 Let none of you cherish evil in his heart against his neighbor, and love not a false oath.' 9 We ought therefore to understand, if we are not senseless, the kindly intention of our Father, for he speaks to us, desiring us not to err like them, but to seek how to make our offering to Him. 10 To us He accordingly speaks thus: 4 'A contrite heart is a sacrifice to the Lord; an odor of sweetness to the Lord is a heart which glorifies its Maker.' We ought, therefore, to watch carefully after our salvation, brethren, lest the evil one, sneaking in among us deceitfully, push us away from our life. Chapter 3 1 So; again He says to them concerning these matters: 1 'Why do you fast for Me, says the Lord, so that your voice is heard today crying? This is not the...


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