THE MAGNIFICAT:

THE SONG OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN
AS GIVEN IN THE SACRED SCRIPTURES

PART THREE

THE PROPHECY OF ST. SIMEON TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN

INSTRUCTION FROM THE ANCIENT WRITINGS TO THE VIRGIN

St. Simeon, a prophet of God, entered the Temple in Jerusalem as the infant Jesus was being dedicated.

Under the inspiration of God, St. Simeon took the infant Christ in His arms and uttered a remarkable prediction, part of which applied to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Here is the entire passage, as quoted in the Rheims- Douai:

"And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was in him.

"And he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.

"And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law,

"He also took him into his arms, and blessed God, and said:

"Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, 0 Lord, according to Thy word in peace;

"Because my eyes have seen Thy salvation,

"Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples:

"A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.

"And his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him.

"And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother: Behold this Child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted;

"And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed."-St. Luke 2:25-35 (Rheims-Douai).

For the sake of greater clarity, we will repeat the actual prophecy in another Church-approved version: "And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against. "(and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed."-St. Luke 2:34-35 (Revised Standard Version).

 Let us consider this important prophecy more closely. Scripture quotations in the following comment will be from the Church-approved Revised Standard: Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. In the temple, the Son of God was dedicated to the work He had come to do. The priest looked upon Him as he would upon any other child. But though he neither saw nor felt anything unusual, God's act in giving His Son to the world was acknowledged. This occasion did not pass without some recognition of Christ.

"Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ."-St. Luke 22:25-26.

As Simeon enters the Temple, he sees a family presenting their first-born Son before the priest. Their appearance bespeaks poverty; but Simeon understands the warnings of the Spirit, and he is deeply impressed that the infant being presented to the Lord is the Consolation of Israel, the One he has longed to see. To the astonished priest, Simeon appears like a man enraptured. The child has been returned to Mary, and he takes it in his arms and presents it to God, while a joy that he has never before felt enters his soul. As he lifts the infant Saviour toward heaven, he says:

"Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy Word; for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and, for glory to Thy people Israel."-St. Luke 2:29-32.

The spirit of prophecy was upon this man of God; and, while Joseph and Mary stood by, wondering at his words, he blessed them, and said unto Mary:

"Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts maybe revealed." St. Luke 2:33-34.

Anna also, a prophetess, came in and confirmed Simeon's testimony concerning Christ. As Simeon spoke, her face lighted up with the glory of God, and she poured out her heartfelt thanks that she had been permitted to behold Christ the Lord.

These humble worshipers had not studied the prophecies in vain. But those who held positions as rulers and priests in Israel, though they too had before them the precious utterances of prophecy, were not walking in the way of the Lord and their eyes were not open to behold the Light of life.

So it is still. Events upon which the attention of all heaven is centered are undiscerned; their very occurrence is unnoticed by religious leaders and worshipers in the house of God. Men acknowledge Christ in history while they turn away from the living Christ. Christ in His Word calling to self-sacrifice, in the poor and suffering who plead for relief, in the righteous cause that involves poverty and toil and reproach, is not more readily received today than He was eighteen hundred years ago.

Mary pondered the broad and far-reaching prophecy of Simeon. As she looked upon the child in her arms and recalled the words spoken by the shepherds of Bethlehem, she was full of grateful joy and bright hope. Simeon's words called to her mind the prophetic utterances of Isaias:

"There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of His roots. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. . Righteousness shall be the girdle of His waist. . . The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. . For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder, and His name will be called "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."- Isaias 11:1-5; 9:2-6.

Yet Mary did not understand Christ's mission. Simeon had prophesied of Him as a light to lighten the Gentiles, as well as a glory to Israel. Thus the angels had announced the Saviour's birth as tidings of joy to all peoples. God was seeking to correct the narrow Jewish conception of the Messiah's work. He desired men to behold Him, not merely as the deliverer of Israel, but as the Redeemer of the world. Many years must pass before even the mother of Jesus would understand His mission.

Mary looked forward to the Messiah's reign on David's throne, but she saw not the baptism of suffering by which it must be won. Through Simeon it is revealed that the Messiah is to have no unobstructed passage through the world. The words are then spoken to Mary,

"A sword will pierce through your own soul also." St. Luke 2:35.

In those words, God in His tender mercy gives to the mother of Jesus an intimation of the anguish that already for His sake she had begun to bear. "Behold, Simeon had said, 'this Child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against."-St. Luke 2:34.

We must fall upon the Rock and be broken before we can be uplifted in Christ. Self must be dethroned, pride must be humbled, if we would know the glory of the spiritual kingdom. The Jews would not accept the honor that is reached through humiliation. Therefore they would not receive their Redeemer. He was a sign that was spoken against.

"That thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed."-St. Luke 2:35.

In the light of the Saviour's life, the hearts of all, even from the Creator to the prince of darkness, are revealed. Satan has represented God as selfish and oppressive, as claiming all and giving nothing, as requiring the service of His creatures for His own glory and making no sacrifice for their good. But the gift of Christ reveals the Father's heart. It testifies that the thoughts of God toward us are "thoughts of peace, and not of affliction." Jeremias 29: 11. It declares that while God's hatred of sin is as strong as death, His love for the sinner is stronger than death. Having undertaken our redemption, He will spare nothing, however dear, which is necessary to the completion of His work. No truth essential to our salvation is withheld, no miracle of mercy is neglected, no divine agency is left unemployed. Favor is heaped upon favor, gift upon gift.

The whole treasury of heaven is open to those He seeks to save. Having collected the riches of the universe, and laid open the resources of infinite power, He gives them all into the hands of Christ, and says, All these are for man. Use these gifts to convince him them there is no love greater than Mine in earth or heaven. His greatest happiness will be found in loving Me.

At the cross of Calvary, love and selfishness stood face to face. Here was their crowning manifestation. Christ had lived only to comfort and bless; and, in putting Him to death, Satan manifested the malignity of his hatred against God. He made it evident that the real purpose of his rebellion was to dethrone God and to destroy Him through whom the love of God was shown.

By the life and the death of Christ, the thoughts of men also are brought to view. From the manger to the cross, the life of Jesus was a call to self-surrender and to fellowship in suffering. It unveiled the purposes of men. Jesus came with the truth of heaven, and all who were listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit were drawn to Him. The worshipers of self belonged to Satan's kingdom. In their attitude toward Christ, all would show on which side they stood. And thus everyone passes judgment on himself (adapted from Desire of Ages, 55-57).

"Take up My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, because I am meek, arid humble In heart: and you shall find rest to your souls, " - St Matthew 11:29

"Being confident of this very thing, that He, who hath begun a good work in you, will perfect it unto the day of Christ Jesus. " - Philippians 1:6

PART FOUR

THE LETTERS OF ST. PETER TO THE CHURCH

THE ONLY WRITINGS OF ST. PETER- WHICH EXIST

St. Peter, acknowledged by the faithful as one of the most important leaders of the early Church, sent by special courier two very important messages to the churches. These letters were sent not only to the leaders but also to the members. They contain valuable counsel for us today. After all these centuries, this is all that Peter wrote that we have today; nothing else!

Should we listen to and heed the words of St. Peter? Yes, we should.

INTRODUCTION

St. Peter was born Simon, the son of Jona (also called Jonah). His home was in Bethsaida, a town on the Sea of Galilee. The Apostle Andrew was St. Peter's brother. It is believed that he may have been living closer to Capernaum when Jesus called him to the ministry.

In later years, it is thought that St. Peter went to Rome where, at his own request, he was crucified with his head downward. It is likely that he was killed, between A.D. 64 and 68, during the persecutions of the Emperor Nero.

During his ministry, St. Peter wrote two important letters to the people of God. The Church considers these documents of extreme importance, and you will want to read them carefully. They are filled with deep spiritual insights into the love of God, the sacrifice of our Lord, and how to go to our Lord for forgiveness of sin, how to trust and obey His Word.

Commenting on the two letters of St. Peter, we are told: "They assuredly contain the doctrine of St. Peter, Their content gives a doctrinal background to our supernatural knowledge of Christ and the promises He gave." The Catholic Encyclopedia, p. 474.

Here are these two very important letters, penned by St. Peter himself:

They are the only written materials by St. Peter which exist, so they are considered extremely important.

CHAPTER ONE

OF THE FIRST LETTER OF ST. PETER

1. Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers dispersed through Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect,

2. According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, unto the sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you and peace be multiplied.

3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy hath regenerated us unto a lively hope, by the ressurection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

4. Unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that can not fade, reserved in heaven for you,

5. Who, by the power of God, are kept by faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.

6. Wherein you shall greatly rejoice, if now you must be for a little time made sorrowful in divers temptation:

7. That the trial of your faith (much more precious than gold which is tried by the fire) may be found unto praise and glory and honour at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

8. Whom having not seen, you love: in whom also now, though you see Him not, you believe: and believing shall rejoice with joy unspeakable and glorified;

9. Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

10. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and diligently searched, who prophesied of the grace to come in you.

11. Searching what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ in them did signify: when it foretold those sufferings that are in Christ, and the glories that should follow.

12. To whom it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to you they ministered those things which are now declared to you by them that have preached the gospel to you, the Holy Ghost being sent down from heaven, on whom the angels desire to look.

13. Wherefore having the loins of your mind girt up, being sober, trust perfectly in the grace which is offered you in the revelation of Jesus Christ,

14. As children of obedience, not fashioned according to the former desires of your ignorance:

15. But according to Him that hath called you, who is holy, be you also in all manner of conversation holy:

16. Because it is written: You shall be holy, for I am holy.

17, And if you invoke as Father Him who, without respect of persons, judgeth according to every one's work: converse in fear during the time of your sojourning here.

18. Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things as gold or silver, from your vain conversation of the tradition of your fathers:

19. But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled,

20. Foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but manifested in the last times for you,

21. Who through Him are faithful in God, who raised Him up from the dead, and hath given Him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God.'

22. Purifying your souls in the obedience of charity, with a brotherly love, from a sincere heart love one another earnestly:

23. Being born again not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the Word of God who liveth and remaineth for ever.

24. For all flesh is as grass: and all the glory thereof as the flower of grass. The grass is withered, and the flower thereof is fallen away.

25. But the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the Word which by the gospel has been preached unto you.

CHAPTER TWO

OF THE FIRST LETTER OF ST. PETER

1. Wherefore laying away all malice, and all guile, and dissimulations, and envies, and all detractions,

2. As newborn babes, desire the rational milk without guile, that thereby you may grow unto salvation:

3. If so be you have tasted that the Lord is sweet.

4. Unto whom coming, as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen and made honourable by God.

5. Be you also as living stones built up, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

6. Wherefore it is said in the Scripture: Behold, I lay in Sion a chief comer stone, elect, precious. And he that shall believe in Him, shall not be confounded.

7. To you therefore that believe, He is honour: but to them that believe not, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is made the head of the comer:

8. And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of scandal, to them who stumble at the Word, neither do believe, whereunto also they are set.

9. But you are a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people: that you may declare His virtues, who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light

10. Who in time past were not a people: but are now the people of God. Who had not obtained mercy; but now have obtained mercy.

11. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, to refrain yourselves from carnal desires which war against the soul,

12. Having your conversation good among the Gentiles: that whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may, by the good works, which they shall behold in you, glory God in the day of visitation.

13. Be ye subject therefore to every human creature for God's sake: whether it be to the king as excelling;

14. Or to governors as sent by Him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of the good.

15. For so is the will of God, that by doing well you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:

16. As free, and not as making liberty a cloak for malice, but as the servants of God.

17. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the King.

18. Servants, be subject to your master with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.

19. For this is thankworthy, if for conscience towards God, a man endure sorrows, suffering wrongfully.

20. For what glory is it, if committing sin, and being buffeted for it, you endure: But if doing well you suffer patiently; this is praiseworthy before God.

21. For unto this are you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow His steps.

22. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.

23. Who, when He was reviled, did not revile: when He suffered, He threated not: but delivered Himself to him that judged Him unjustly.

24. Who His own self bore our sins in His body upon the tree: that we, being dead to sins, should live to justice: by whose stripes you were healed.

25. For you were as sheep going astray; but you are now converted to the shepherd and bishop of your souls.

CHAPTER THREE

OF THE FIRST LETTER OF ST. PETER

1. In like manner also let wives be subject to their husbands: that if any believe not the Word, they may be won without the Word, by the conversation of the wives.

2. Considering your chaste conversation with fear.

3. Whose adorning let it not be the outward plaiting of the hair, or the wearing of gold, or the putting on of apparel:

4. But the hidden man of the heart in the incorruptibility of a quiet and a meek spirit, which is rich in the sight of God.

5. For after this manner heretofore the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands:

6. As Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughter you are, doing well, and not fearing any disturbance.

7. Ye husbands, likewise dwelling with them according to knowledge, giving honour to the female as to the weaker vessel, and as to the co-heirs of the grace of life: that your prayers be not hindered.

8. And in fine, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, being lovers of the brotherhood, merciful, modest, and humble.

9. Not rendering evil for evil, nor railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing: for unto this are you called, that you may inherit a blessing.

10. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.

11. Let him decline from evil, and do good: let him seek after peace and pursue it:

12. Because the eyes of the Lord are upon the just, and His ears unto their prayers: but the countenance of the Lord is upon them that do evil things.

13. And who is he that can hurt you, if you be zealous of good?

14. But if also you suffer any thing for justice' sake, blessed are ye. And be not afraid of their fear, and be not troubled.

15. But santify the Lord Christ in you hearts, being ready always to satisfy every one that asketh you a reason of the hope which is in you.

16. But with modesty and fear, having a good conscience: that whereas they speak evil of you, they may be ashamed who Falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

17. For it is better doing well (if such be the will of God) to suffer, than doing ill.

18. Because Christ also died once for our sins, the just, for the unjust: that He might offer us to God, being put to death indeed in the flesh, but enlivened in the spirit,

19. In which also coming He preached to those spirits that were in prison:

20. Which had been some time incredulous, when they waited for the patience of God in the days of Noe, when the ark was in building: wherein a few, that is eight souls, were saved by water.

21. Whereunto baptism being of the like form, now saveth you also: not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the examination of a good conscience towards God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

22. Who is on the right hand of God, swallowing down death, that We might be made heirs of life everlasting: being gone into heaven, the angels and powers and virtues being made subject to Him.

CHAPTER FOUR-

OF THE FIRST LETTER Of ST. PETER

I. Christ therefore having suffered in the flesh, be you also armed with the same thought: for he that hath suffered in the flesh, hath ceased from sins.

2. That now, he may live the rest of his time in the flesh, not after the desires of men, but according to the will of God.

3. For the time past is sufficient to have fulfilled the will of the Gentiles for them who have walked in riotousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and unlawful worshipping of idols.

4. Wherein they think it strange, that you run not with them into the same confusion of riotousness, speaking evil of you.

5. Who shall render account to Him, who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

6. For, for this cause was the gospel preached also to the dead: that they might be judged indeed according to men, in the flesh; but may live according to God, in the Spirit.

7. But the end of all is at hand. Be prudent therefore, and watch in prayers.

8. But before all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves: for charity covereth a multitude of sins.

9. Using hospitality one towards another, without murmuring,

10. As every man hath received grace, ministering the same one to another: as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

11. If any man speak, let him speak, as the words of God. If any man minister, let him do it, as of the power, which God administereth: that in all things God may be honoured through Jesus Christ: to whom is glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen.

12. Dearly beloved, think not strange the burning heat which is to try you, as if some new thing happened to you;

13. But if you partake of the sufferings of Christ, rejoice that when His glory shall be revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

14. If you be reproached for the name of Christ, you shall be blessed: for that which is of the honour, glory, and power of God, and that which His Spirit, resteth upon you.

I5. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or a railer, or a coveter of other men's things.

16; But if as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.

17. For the time is, that judgment should begin at the house of God. And if first at us, what shall be the end of them that believe not the gospel of God?

18. And if the just man shall scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

19. Wherefore let them also that suffer according to the will of God, commend their souls in good deeds to the faithful Creator.

CHAPTER FIVE

OF THE LETTER Of ST. PETER

1. The ancients therefore that are among you, I beseech, who am myself also an ancient, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ: as also a partaker of that glory which is to be revealed in time to come.

2. Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking care of it, not by constraint, but willingly, according to God: not for filthy lucre sake, but voluntarily:

3. Neither as lording it over the clergy, but being made a pattern of the flock from the heart.

4. And when the prince of pastors shall appear, you shall receive a never fading crown of glory.

5. In like manner, ye young men, be subject to the ancients. And do you all insinuate humility one to another, for God resisteth the proud, but to the humble He giveth grace.

6. Be you humbled therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in the time of visitation:

7. Casting all your care upon Him, for He hath care of you.

8. Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.

9. Whom resist ye, strong in faith: knowing that the same affliction befalls your brethren who are in the world.

10. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will Himself perfect you, and confirm you, and establish you.

11. To Him be glory and empire forever and ever. Amen.

12. By Sylvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as l think, I have written briefly: beseeching and testifying that this is the true grace of God, wherein you stand.

13. The church that is in Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you: for so doth my son Mark.

14. Salute one another with a holy kiss. Grace be to all you, who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

CHAPTER ONE

OF THE SECOND LETTER OF ST. PETER

1. Simon Peter, servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained equal faith with us in the justice of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

2. Grace to you and peace be accomplished in the knowledge of God and of Christ Jesus our Lord:

3. As all things of His divine power which appertain to life and godliness, are given us, through the knowledge of Him who hath called us by His own proper glory and virtue.

4. By whom He hath given us most great and precious promises: that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature: flying the corruption of that concupiscence which is in the world.

5. And you, employing all care, minister in your faith, virtue; and in Virtue, knowledge;

6. And in knowledge, abstinence; and in abstinence, patience; and in patience, godliness;

7. And in godliness, love of brotherhood; and in love of brotherhood, charity.

8. For if these things be with you and abound, they will make you to be neither empty nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9. For he that hath not these things with him, is blind, and groping, having forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

10. Wherefore, brethren, labour the more, that by good works you may make sure your calling and election. For doing these things, you shall not sin at any time.

11. For so an entrance shall be ministered to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

12. For which cause I will begin to put you always in remembrance of these things: though indeed you know them, and are confirmed in the present truth.

13. But I think it meet as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance.

14. Being assured that the laying away of this my tabernacle is at hand, according as our Lord Jesus Christ also hath signified to me.

15. And I will endeavour, that you frequently have after my decease, whereby you may keep a memory of these things.

16. For we have not by following artificial fables, made known to you the power, and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ; but we were eyewitnesses of His greatness.

17. For He received from God the Father, honour and glory: this voice coming down to Him from the excellent glory: This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.

18. And this voice we heard brought from heaven, when we were with Him in the holy mount.

19. And we have the more firm prophetical Word: whereunto you do well to attend, as to a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

20. Understanding this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is made by private interpretation.

21. For prophecy came not by the will of man at any time: but the holy men of God spoke, inspired by the Holy Spirit.

CHAPTER TWO

OF THE SECOND LETTER Of ST. PETER

1. But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there shall be among you lying teachers, who shall bring in sects of perdition, and deny the Lord who brought them: bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

2. And many shall follow their riotousnesses, through whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

3. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you. Whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their perdition slumbereth not.

4. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but delivered them, drawn down by infernal ropes to the lower hell, unto torments, to be reserved unto judgment:

5. And spared not the original world, but preserved Noe, the eighth person, the preacher of justice, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.

6. And reducing the cities of the Sodomites, and of the Gomorrhites, unto ashes, condemned them to be overthrown, making them an example to those that should after act wickedly.

7. And delivered just Lot, oppressed by the injustice and lewd conversation of the wicked.

8. For in sight and hearing he was just: dwelling among them, who from day to day vexed the just soul with unjust works.

9. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly from temptation, but to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be tormented.

10. And especially them who walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government, audacious, self willed, they fear not to bring in sects, blaspheming.

11. Whereas angels who are greater in strength and power, bring not against themselves a railing judgment.

12. But these men, as irrational beasts, naturally tending to the snare and to destruction, blaspheming those things which they know not, shall perish in their corruption,

13. Receiving the reward of their injustice, counting for pleasure the delights of a day:' stains and spots, sporting themselves to excess, rioting in their feasts with you:

14. Having eyes full of adultery and of sin that ceaseth not: alluring unstable souls, having their heart exercised with covetousness, children of malediction:

15. Leaving the right way they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam of Bosor, who loved the wages of iniquity,

16. But had a check of his madness, the dumb beast used to the yoke, which speaking with man's voice, forbade the folly of the prophet.

17. These are fountains without water and clouds tossed with whirlwinds, to whom the mist of darkness is reserved.

18. For, speaking proud words of vanity, they allure by the desires of fleshly riotousness, those who for a little while escape, such as converse in error:

19. Promising them liberty, whereas they themselves are the slaves of corruption. For by whom a man is overcome, of the same also he is the slave.

20. For if, flying from the pollutions of the world, through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they be again entangled in them and overcome: their latter state is become unto them worse than the former.

21. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of justice, than after they have known it, to turn back from the commandment which was delivered onto

22. For, that of the true proverb has happened to them: 'The dog is returned to his vomit: and, The sow that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire.

CHAPTER THREE

OF THE SECOND LETTER OF ST. PETER

1. Behold this second epistle I write to you, my dearly beloved, in which I stir up by way of admonition your sincere mind:

2. That you may be mindful of those words which I told you before from the holy prophets, and of your apostles, of the precepts of the Lord and Saviour.

3. Knowing this first, that in the last days there shall come deceitful scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

4. Saying: Where is His promise or His coming? for since the time that the fathers slept, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

5. For this they are willfully ignorant of, that the heavens were before, and the earth out of water, and through water, consisting by the Word of God.

6. Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.

7. But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same Word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the Day of Judgment and perdition of the ungodly men.

8. But of this one thing be not ignorant, my beloved, that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

9. The Lord delayeth not His promise as some imagine, but dealeth patiently for your sake, not willing that any should perish, but that all should return to penance.

10. But the day of the Lord shall come as a thief, in which the heavens shall pass away with great violence, and the elements shall be melted with heat, and the earth and the works which are in it, shall be burnt up.

11. Seeing then that all these things are to be dissolved, what manner-of people ought you to be in holy conversation and godliness?

12. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of the Lord, by which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with the burning heat?

13. But we look for new heavens and a new earth according to His promises, in which justice dwelleth.

14. Wherefore, dearly beloved, waiting for these things, be diligent that you may be found before Him unspotted and blameless in peace.

15. And account the longsuffering of our Lord, salvation; as also our most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, hath written to you:

16. As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

17. You therefore, brethren, knowing these things before, take heed, lest being led aside by the error of the unwise, you fall from your own steadfastness.

18. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and unto the day of eternity. Amen.  

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