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6 - The idolatrous pagans, or, And we will also reveal something else

from Part II - Shenoute as Pastor and Preacher

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2015

David Brakke
Affiliation:
Ohio State University
Andrew Crislip
Affiliation:
Virginia Commonwealth University
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Summary

[The beginning of the work, no more than four manuscript pages, is wanting.]

[…] he is a hospitable, righteous person. But these dwell in their cities themselves, and they are called the people of God. They do the deeds of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Do the scriptures speak of matters relating to that time only? Do they not prophesy about everyone in every time? On the one hand, we are far from Sodom and Gomorrah, but on the other, we are full of their sins, especially the violence with which robberies are joined. Of these I have spoken in this way because we all sin, and we are filled with shame at the great goods that the Lord God does with us at all times. And we ourselves see the magnitude of our evils that we do.

God's merciful chastisement

But listen and I will tell you about the mercies of the almighty. For since God is good, and his Christ (is good), he loves the works of his hands, but he hates sin. He does not want to destroy any human soul, but again he also sees that we do not desist from sin. He destroyed these two cities and all who lived in them so that all the other cities and people across the whole world would be afraid, as it is written, because he left them as signs for those who would commit iniquity. But we do not perceive through all the things by which God teaches us, and we do not understand that, even if we escape the fire of those (cities) here and now, we will not be saved where we are going. And thus, in his goodness now he teaches a place in the country through sufferings, again he disciplines a city, so that the others might then repent. Pay attention to the scriptures and you will understand everything that God looks after on our behalf. He wants us to go to him in peace. But we prepare ourselves in enmity for the hour of our standing at his tribunal.

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Chapter
Information
Selected Discourses of Shenoute the Great
Community, Theology, and Social Conflict in Late Antique Egypt
, pp. 118 - 124
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

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