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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:
Apocrypha of the New Testament.: Chapter 7

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 7 (23).

Then Hades, receiving Prince Satan, said to him, with vehement revilings:  O prince of perdition, and leader of extermination, Beelzebub, derision of angels, to be spit upon by the just, why didst thou wish to do this?  Didst thou wish to crucify the King of glory, in whose death thou didst promise us so great spoils?  Like a fool, thou didst not know what thou wast doing.  For, behold, that Jesus by the splendour of His divinity is putting to flight all the darkness of death, and He has broken into the strong lowest depths of our dungeons, and has brought out the captives, and released those who were bound.  And all who used to groan under our torments insult us, and by their prayers our dominions are taken by storm, and our realms conquered, and no race of men has now any respect for us.  Moreover, also, we are grievously threatened by the dead, who have never been haughty to us, and who have not at any time been joyful as captives.  O Prince Satan, father of all impious wretches and renegades, why didst thou wish to do this?  Of those who from the beginning, even until now, have despaired of salvation and life, no bellowing after the usual fashion is now heard here; and no groaning of theirs resounds, nor in any of their faces is a trace of tears found.  O Prince Satan, possessor of the keys of the lower regions, all thy riches which thou hadst acquired by the tree of transgression and the loss of paradise, thou hast now lost by the tree of the cross, and all thy joy has perished.  When thou didst hang up that Christ Jesus the King of glory, thou wast acting against thyself and against me.  Henceforth thou shalt know what eternal torments and infinite punishments thou art to endure in my everlasting keeping.  O Prince Satan, author of death, and source of all pride, thou oughtest first to have inquired into the bad cause of that Jesus.  Him in whom thou perceivedst no fault, why, without reason, didst thou dare unjustly to crucify? and why hast thou brought to our regions one innocent and just, and lost the guilty, the impious, and the unjust of the whole world?

And when Hades had thus spoken to Prince Satan, then the King of glory said to Hades:  Satan the prince will be in thy power for ever, in place of Adam and his sons, my just ones.

Next: Chapter 8

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