7 Comp. Rev. xi. 7, xii. 3,4, xiii. 1, xvii. 8, xxii. 2. [The beast was "like a whale" in size and proportion. It was not a sea-monster. This whole passage is Dantesque. See Inferno, canto xxxi., and, for the colours, canto xvii. 15.]
15 Thegri. [Perhaps compounded from qh\r and a1greu/w.] The name of this angel is variously written, Hegrin [Query. Quasi e,grhgorei=n, or corrupted from (Sept.) ei@r kai\ a@gioj; Hir in Daniel's Chaldee], Tegri. Some have supposed the word to be for a!grion, the wild; some have taken it to mean "the watchful," as in Dan. iv. 10, 23: and some take it to be the name of a fabulous lion. [See, also, Dan. vi. 22.]
3 ["The Shepherd," then, is the "angel of repentance," here represented as a guardian angel. This gives the work its character, as enforcing primarily the anti-Montanist principle of the value of true repentance in the sight of God.]
1 [These first words are quoted by Irenaeus, vol. i. p. 488, this series. Note that this book begins with the fundamental principle of faith, which is everywhere identified by Hermas (as in Vision ii. cap. 2) with faith in the Son of God. The Holy Spirit is also everywhere exhibited in this work. But the careful student will discover a very deep plan in the treatment of this subject. Repentance and faith are the great themes, and the long-suffering of God, against the Montanists. But he begins by indicating the divine character and the law of God. He treats of sin in its relations to the law and the gospel: little by little, opening the way, he reaches a point, in the Eighth Similitude, where he introduces the New Law, identifying it, indeed, with the old, but magnifying the gospel of the Son of God. Hermas takes for Granted the "Son of man;" but everywhere he avoids the names of His humanity, and brings out "the Son of God" with emphasis, in the spirit of St. John's Gospel (cap. I.) and of the Epistle to the Hebrews (cap. I.), as if he feared the familiarities even of believers in speaking of Jesus or of Christ, without recognising His eternal power and Godhead.]
2 Contained.-Vat. and Pal. add: and who cannoy be defined in words, nor conceived by the mind. [Here we have the "Imcomprehensible," so familiar in the liturgic formula improperly called the Athanasian Creed. In the Latin immensus, in the Greek a!peiroj; i.e., "non mensurabilis, quia inlocalis, incircumscriptus, ubique totus, ubique proesens, ubique potens." Not intelligible is too frequently supposed to be the sense, but this is feeble and ambiguous. See Waterland, Works, iv. p. 320 London, 1823.]
1 If...brother. [Jas. iv. 11.] And if you believe the slanderer, you will also be guilty of sin, in that you have belived one who speaks evil of your brother.-Vat. For if you give your assent to the detractor, and believe what is said of one in his absence, you also will be like to him, and acting ruinously towards your brother, and you are guilty of the same sin as the person who slanders.-Pal.
2 Questions. "I charge you," said he, "to guard your chastity, and let no thought enter your heart of another man's marriage (i.e., wife), or of fornication, for this produces a great transgression. But be always mindful of the Lord at all hours, and you will never sin. For if this very wicked thought enter your heart, you commit a great sin, and they who practise such deeds follow the way of death. Take heed, therefore, and refrain from this thought. For where chastity remains in the heart of a righteous man, never ought there to arise any evil thought." I said to him, "Sir, permit me to say a few words to you." "Say on,"said he.-Vat.
4 [Not frequently ... one repentance. True penitence is a habit of life. An apparent safe-guard against the reproaches of Montanism, and a caution not to turn forgiveness into a momentary sponge without avoiding renewed transgression.]
7 There ... cure. God, who has power to heal, will provide a remedy.-Vat. [This whole passage seems to refer to the separation of penitents under canonical discipline. Tertullian, Pudicit., capp. 5, 13, and De Penitent., cap. 9. 2 Thess. iii. 14.]
9 Repentance ... wisdom. For he who repents obtains great intelligence. For he feels that he has sinned and acted wickedly.-Vat. ["Wisdom and understanding;" spiritual gifts here instanced as requisite to true penitence and spiritual life.]
12 For ... them. Since God knows the thoughts of all hearts, and the weakness of men, and the manifold wickedness of the devil which he practises in plotting against the servants of God, and in malignant designs against them.-Vat.
13 In ... life. These words occur only in Pal. [Can the following words be genuine? They reflect the very Montanism here so strictly opposed. Wake has followed a very different text. The Scriptures, it is true, use very awful language of the same kind: Heb. x. 26,27, xii, 16,17; 1 John iii. 9.