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Chapter 7 55 And that the faces of them which have used abstinence shall shine above the stars, whereas our faces shall be blacker than darkness?56 For while we lived and committed iniquity, we considered not that we should begin to suffer for it after death.57 Then answered he me, and said, This is the condition of the battle, which man that is born upon the earth shall fight;58 That, if he be overcome, he shall suffer as thou hast said: but if he get the victory, he shall receive the thing that I say.59 For this is the life whereof Moses spake unto the people while he lived, saying, Choose thee life, that thou mayest live.60 Nevertheless they believed not him, nor yet the prophets after him, no nor me which have spoken unto them,61 That there should not be such heaviness in their destruction, as shall be joy over them that are persuaded to salvation.62 I answered then, and said, I know, Lord, that the most High is called merciful, in that he hath mercy upon them which are not yet come into the world,63 And upon those also that turn to his law;64 And that he is patient, and long suffereth those that have sinned, as his creatures;65 And that he is bountiful, for he is ready to give where it needeth;66 And that he is of great mercy, for he multiplieth more and more mercies to them that are present, and that are past, and also to them which are to come.67 For if he shall not multiply his mercies, the world would not continue with them that inherit therein.68 And he pardoneth; for if he did not so of his goodness, that they which have committed iniquities might be eased of them, the ten thousandth part of men should not remain living.69 And being judge, if he should not forgive them that are cured with his word, and put out the multitude of contentions,70 There should be very few left peradventure in an innumerable multitude.

Chapter 8 1 And he answered me, saying, The most High hath made this world for many, but the world to come for few.2 I will tell thee a similitude, Esdras; As when thou askest the earth, it shall say unto thee, that it giveth much mould whereof earthen vessels are made, but little dust that gold cometh of: even so is the course of this present world.3 There be many created, but few shall be saved.4 So answered I and said, Swallow then down, O my soul, understanding, and devour wisdom.5 For thou hast agreed to give ear, and art willing to prophesy: for thou hast no longer space than only to live.6 O Lord, if thou suffer not thy servant, that we may pray before thee, and thou give us seed unto our heart, and culture to our understanding, that there may come fruit of it; how shall each man live that is corrupt, who beareth the place of a man?7 For thou art alone, and we all one workmanship of thine hands, like as thou hast said.