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creatures without reason, born mere animals to be taken and destroyed, reviling in things of which they are ignorant, will surely be destroyed, suffering wrong as the wages of wrong-doing : counting luxury for a moment a pleasure, spots and blemishes, luxuriating in their love feasts, while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery which cannot cease from sin ; enticing unstedfast souls; having a heart trained in covetousness; children of cursing; forsaking the right way, they went astray, having followed the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of wrong-doing ; but he was rebuked for his own wrong-doing: a dumb ass spoke with man's voice and stayed the madness of the prophet.

These are springs without water, and mists driven by a storm. And for them the blackness of darkness has been reserved. For, uttering great swelling words of vanity, they entice in the desires of the flesh, by lasciviousness, those who are just escaping from those who live in error; promising them liberty, while they themselves are slaves of corruption. For by what any one is overcome, by that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world, through the full knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again

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entangled in it and overcome, the last state has become worse with them than the first. For it would have been better for them not to have fully known the way of right-doing, than, after fully knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.

It has happened to them according to the true proverb:

The dog turning to its own vomit again,
The sow which had washed to wallowing in the mire.

This is now, dear brothers, the second letter which I am writing to you. And in both of them I stir up your sincere mind by reminding you that you should remember the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Saviour through your apostles: knowing this first, that in the last days mockers will come with mockery, following their own desires, and saying :

• Where is the promise of his coming ? For from the day the fathers fell asleep everything continues as it was from the beginning the creation.”

For this they wilfully ignore, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth formed out of water and by means of water, by the word of God. And by this means the world which then


was, being overflowed with water, perished. But the heavens which now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of irreverent men.

But do not forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to a change of mind and purpose of heart.

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief. And then the heavens will pass away with a great noise, the elements will be dissolved with glowing heat, the earth and the works in it will be burnt up.

Seeing that these things are in this way all to be dissolved, what kind of persons ought you to be in holy living and piety, looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, by reason of which the heavens being on fire will be dissolved and the elements will melt with glowing heat? But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth in which right thought and doing dwells.

So, dear brothers, since you are looking for this, go to work earnestly to be found in place, with

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out spot and blameless in his sight. And consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; just as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things. And in them are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unsteadfast wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

So you, dear brothers, knowing these things beforehand, beware lest, being carried away with the error of the wicked, you fall from your own steadfastness.

But grow in the favor and knowledge
Of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

To him be the glory
Both now and forever



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