Chapter VIII.—The Necessity of Repentance While We are on Earth.
As long, therefore, as we are upon earth, let us practise repentance, for we are as clay in the hand of the artificer. For as the potter, if he make a vessel, and it be distorted or broken in his hands, fashions it over again; but if he have before this cast it into the furnace of fire, can no longer find any help for it: so let us also, while we are in this world, repent with our whole heart of the evil deeds we have done in the flesh, that we may be saved by the Lord, while we have yet an opportunity of repentance. For after we have gone out of the world, no further power of confessing or repenting will there belong to us. Wherefore, brethren, by doing the will of the Father, and keeping the flesh holy, and observing the commandments of the Lord, we shall obtain eternal life. For the Lord saith in the Gospel, “If ye have not kept that which was small, who will commit to you the great? For I say unto you, that he that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much.” 4375 This, then, is what He means: “Keep the flesh holy and the seal undefiled, that 4376 ye may receive eternal life.” 4377
Comp. Luke xvi. 10-12.253:4376
ms. has “we,” which is corrected by all editors as above. I. ἀπολάβητε.253:4377
Some have thought this a quotation from an unknown apocryphal book, but it seems rather an explanation of the preceding words.