The Sermon on the Mount
One day Jesus called together his disciples and went up on to the mountain, and when he had sat down there his disciples came near unto him; and he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
‘Great are the benefits which God bath bestowed on us wherefore it is necessary that we should serve him with truth of heart. And forasmuch as new wine is put into new vessels, even so ought ye to become new men, if ye will contain the new doctrine that shall come out of my mouth. Verily I say unto you, that even as a man cannot see with his eyes the heaven and the earth at one and the same time, so it is impossible to love God and the world. ‘No man can in any wise serve two masters that are at enmity one with the other: for if the one shall love you, the other will hate you. Even so I tell you in truth that ye cannot serve God and the world for the world lieth in falsehood, covetousness, and malignity. Ye cannot therefore find rest in the world, but rather persecution and loss. Wherefore serve God and despise the world, for from me ye shall find rest for your souls, Hear my words for I speak unto you in truth. ‘Verily, blessed are they that mourn this earthly life, for they shall be comforted. ‘Blessed are the poor who truly hate the delights of the world, for they shall abound in the delights of the kingdom of God. ‘Verily, blessed are they that eat at the table of God, for the angels shall minister unto them. ‘Ye are journeying as pilgrims. Doth the pilgrim encumber himself with palaces and fields and other earthly matters upon the way? Assuredly not: but he beareth things light and prized for their usefulness and convenience upon the road. This now should be an example unto you; and if ye desire another example I will give it you, in order that ye may do all that I tell you. ‘Weigh not down your hearts with earthly desires, saying: “Who shall clothe us?” or “Who shall give us to eat?” But behold the flowers and the trees, with the birds, which God our Lord clotheth and nourisheth with greater glory than all the glory of Solomon. And he is able to nourish you, even God who created you and called you to his service; who for forty years caused the manna to fall from heaven for his people Israel in the wilderness, and did not suffer their clothing to wax old or perish, they being six hundred and forty thousand men, besides women and children. Verily I say unto you, that heaven and earth shall fail, yet shall not fail his mercy unto them that fear him. But the rich of the world in their prosperity are hungry and perish. There was a rich man whose incomings increased, and he said, “What shall I do, O my soul? I will pull down my barns because they are small, and I will build new and greater ones: therefore thou shalt triumph my soul!” Oh, wretched ban! for that night he died. He ought to have been mindful of the poor, and to have made himself friends with the alms of unrighteous riches of this world; for they bring treasures in the kingdom of heaven. ‘Tell me, I pray you, if ye should give your money into the bank to a publican, and he should give unto you tenfold and twentyfold, would ye not give to such a man everything that ye had? But I say unto you, verily, that whatsoever ye shall give and shall forsake for love of God, ye receive it back an hundred-fold, and life everlasting. See then how much ye ought to be content to serve God.
Render Good for Evil.
If ye shall see your words scorned by the world lay it not to heart, but consider how that God is greater than you; who is in such wise scorned by the world that his wisdom is counted madness If God endureth the world with patience, wherefore will ye lay it to heart, O dust and clay of the earth? In your patience ye shall possess your soul. Therefore if one shall give you a blow on one side of the face, offer him the other that he may smite it. Render not evil for evil, for so do all the worst animals; but render good for evil, and pray God for them that hate you. Fire is not extinguished with fire, but rather with water; even so I say unto you that ye shall not overcome evil with evil, but rather with good. Behold God, who causeth the sun to come upon the good and evil, and likewise the rain. So ought ye to do good to all; for it is written in the law: “Be ye holy, for I your God am holy; be ye pure, for I am pure; and be ye perfect, for I am perfect.” Verily I say unto you that the servant studieth to please his master, and so he putteth not on any garment that is displeasing to his master. Your garments are your will and your love. Beware, then, not to will or to love a thing that is displeasing to God, our Lord. Be ye sure that God hateth the pomps and lusts of the world, and therefore hate ye the world.’