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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

I've lost it.

 I had, and probably still have but misfiled, a newspaper article that told how A. D. Jones accumulated his wealth. I need it desperately and  can't find it online either, but I'm not focusing well - an effect of my current medication.

Can you find it?

ALSO, in the Jones v. Jones divorce papers, W. H. Conley noted a meeting between Thomas Benton Riter, his partner in Riter and Conley, a Eugene F. Smith of New York and himself. There are several Eugene F. Smiths, or there appear to be. Can you help identify the E. F. Smith who was a business associate of Conley and Riter? Perhaps a broker or a lawyer?

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Update and an Interesting Video

 I've been mostly confined to my comfy chair. Sick and dizzy and feeling like the antique I am. So no writing the last week or so, but it doesn't matter much because my computer is sick, and I've been without it. Apparently, it will take about 200 US dollars to repair it completely, and I just do not have it right now. So, if you do not see many blog posts from me, you now know why.

Brother F. sent me this interesting video. Click on the title to see it at its best on youtube. Enjoy..

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

A. D. Jones Again

 I need a firm identity and basic biography for William Sultzer, a partner with Jones in the purchase of property in New York State about 1888-1889.

From a court transcript:

Confusion in an Obituary

 From The [Pittsburgh] Index, August 22, 1908.

WILLIAMS- Mrs . Birda Evaline Williams, aged 44 years, wife of Edward A. Williams and president of the Pittsburgh Sunshine Children's Home, died on Wednesday at the Homeopathic Hospital, following operation. Mrs. Williams was born at Bruceton, W. Va ., and was a daughter of Delmont and Martha Jones. She came to Pittsburgh with her parents when a child. 

December 27, 1880, she was married to Mr. Williams and since has resided in North Lang Avenue. She leaves her husband, one son, Sidney F.; a daughter, Mrs. W. E. Jones; one grandchild, two brothers, Delmont Jones, of Pittsburgh, and Albert Jones, of Cincinnati, and a sister, Mrs. Fielding Frasher, Washington, Pa.

Friday, May 10, 2024

J B Kepner of Waynoka


     The circumstances surrounding the death of Charles Taze Russell have attracted much comment over the years. This writer can remember one source that mixed weird conspiracy theories with the claim that his body was taken to a “quack embalmer.” Another account sometimes circulated is that CTR’s body was embalmed three times. The recent discovery of a document from an undertaker in Waynoka, Oklahoma, has prompted this article. We are grateful to a friend of this blog for making it available and it will be featured later in this piece. We will use the various accounts in the Watch Tower magazine and newspapers like the St Paul Enterprise to explain what actually happened at that time and why. The story is obviously a sad one for those holding CTR in high esteem, but ultimately is quite straightforward.

     CTR had been seriously ill when undertaking a series of visits to congregations in the far West and South West of America in the second half of October 1916. As his health deteriorated, he, along with traveling companion Menta Sturgeon, tried to get home to New York by train. He died on that return journey near Pampa, Texas, around 2 o’clock in the afternoon of Tuesday, October 31.

     As CTR’s traveling companion, Menta Sturgeon tried to deal with the immediate aftermath of the death but found he could not travel on the railroads out of State without the body being embalmed. He wanted to reach Kansas City, but had no alternative but to stop at Waynoka for a death certificate and a brief inquest. And here, as the below advertisement shows, Kepner was the only choice in town.

From the Woods County Enterprise, April 2, 1915.


Kepner was the only one in Waynoka who was licensed to perform the task. We note from his advertisement that he was involved in several other ventures under the one roof. In the Enterprise for November 14, 1916, a Mrs Norah Voyles Keith wrote that “there in the back of a furniture store was all that remained of our beloved Pastor.” This was very common. Undertakers only had full-time work in the larger cities.  Otherwise, many involved in furniture production simply branched out into making coffins. The only extra skill an undertaker needed to learn was embalming. Kepner perhaps had a head start because back in the 1880s he had also been involved in pharmaceuticals. From the Nemaha County Republican for October 9, 1884:


     Josiah Bushy Kepner (1852-1944) was the same age as Pastor Russell.  He had been in the undertaking business for nearly thirty years by the time he attended  CTR, first in Sabetha, Kansas, and then in Waynoka, Oklahoma. He had been mayor twice in Sabetha, and was well respected in Waynoka, where he was to serve as president of a local bank.

     His work was well spoken of in the St Paul Enterprise. From the Enterprise for November 21, 1916:


Kepner finally retired in 1929, but his second wife kept on the business at least until the 1940s. The advertisement below is from 1943.


It was eventually taken over by the Marshall Funeral Home (now in nearby Alva, Oklahoma) and it is from their inherited records that the copy of his bill to Menta Sturgeon was retrieved.


There are three charges. $5.00 for washing and dressing the body – the washing with disinfectant was normally done twice, both before and after the embalming process. Then there was $20 for the actual embalming, although Kepner doesn’t specify on the bill what fluid was used, and then $35 for the coffin for transportation on the railways.

     The process for embalming that Kepner would have used really came into its own during the American Civil War. Those who could afford it wanted their loved ones who died on the battlefield to be returned to them for a family funeral with – if possible – an open coffin or casket. The procedure was not just to preserve the body but to make it appear as loved ones would want to remember. There was a goulish trade of embalmers following armies around offering soldiers about to go into combat a pre-paid plan. At one point these outfits were banned because of the bad effect on morale. Then, as noted above, the railways objected to unembalmed bodies being transported for health reasons, so it became common practice. Finally there were laws in each State stipulating that the procedure was necessary if the body had to be transported over a certain distance or out of State. The custom really took off after Abraham Lincoln was embalmed. His body went on tour and over a million people saw him lying in State over a 20 day period before his funeral. If it was good enough for Abraham Lincoln then it was good enough for the general population - if they could afford it.

     The actual procedure involved using the circulatory system, discovered by William Harvey, to replace blood with a preservative solution. Originally this was arsenic based, but that wan’t too good for the living.  By Kepner’s day it was generally formaldehyde, and this is still the case today. The procedure took between 2 and 4 hours. CTR’s body was taken off the train around 7 pm on the Tuesday evening, and returned to the train at 3 am the following Wednesday morning.

     So this is the background as to why Menta Sturgeon could not just take CTR’s body back to New York. After the death, Sturgeon was forced to stop at the first place the embalming service could be provided.

     What about the thought that CTR may have been embalmed more than once, up to three times?

     When you think of bodies being embalmed multiple times you think of highly complicated procedures for figures like Lenin, but not for your average citizen.

     But from Waynoka, CTR’s coffin was loaded on and off trains and motor vehicles and in and out of various buildings – the Bethel home, the New York City Temple, Carnegie Hall in Pittsburgh, etc. – and his remains were also transferred to a more substantial casket In New York for the funeral services.  It was no doubt necessary to make what the November 21, 1916 St Paul Enterprise simply called “such little touches as the long trip would call for.” These would simply be cosmetic, so that each time CTR lay in State, the mourners could see him as they remembered him, as best as was possible in the circumstances.

     Nearly a week after he passed away, mourners saw him for the last time, on Monday, November 6, at Carnegie Hall in Pittsburgh. There exists a photograph taken of the platform and the Carnegie Hall audience on the day reproduced below.


You will notice a blur across the photograph in front of the platform. This was actually a queue of mourners filing past the open casket, which the long exposure can only show as a smudge across the picture.

     After this final service in Pittsburgh the body was taken for burial at dusk on the 6th at the Society’s own plot in United Cemeteries. The casket would be interred inside its packing case and the whole encased in concrete.


In the interests of being as complete and accurate as possible, I have now been made aware of where the account of three embalments comes from. It is from William Wisdom’s book Memoirs of Pastor Russell published in 1923. The book was reviewed – critically – in The Watch Tower for September 15, 1923. Wisdom states: “Through some more bungling the body was removed from the train at the first small town, where it was very improperly cared for in the way of embalming.”

There are no references given, and this account is in conflict with the contemporary accounts which praised Kepner’s work, but stated that – because of the length of the journey, some small adjustments were made (quote) “such little touches as the long trip would call for.” Kepner’s task was to preserve the body to meet the requirements of the law – extra touches might be applied to allow for extended viewing at several locations, but these would be cosmetic. An undertaker might use cosmetics and fillers to render a more lifelike appearance, but this was not a second or third embalming.

Kepner had been in practice for nearly thirty years and was well respected. His business survived him. And the basic procedure was straightforward and successful. As the above article covers, Abraham Lincoln was embalmed over 50 years before and lay in State at various locations for 20 days before the funeral. His coffin was opened several times after his death, the last time being in 1901 and the body was immediately recognisable – the hair, the wart on his right cheek, all still in place.

I stick to my original analysis.

1958 Convention

 This video is longer than most. To view it best, click on the video title and view it on youtube. Here it will cut off part of the video and you will miss a large amount on the right margin. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

As long as I'm ...

 Off topic, we may as well stay there for now.

1953 - Mitcham Stadium

Tuesday, May 7, 2024



1953 New York City International Convention

 Another outside the era we normally consider here. I'm a little dot in this photo. Were you here too?

Friday, May 3, 2024

District Assembly. Identify?

 A photo found on ebay. Judging by the cars, this is early in 1950s. Can you add to this?

Annie S. asked people who might know. And received an answer. This is the Santa Anita Race Track.

Small Regional Convention - Early 1930s

 Way past the era we research on this blog, but interesting. A note on the back says: "Jehovah's Witness Convention, Charles Parker Farm, Boy River, Minn[esota] 

Charles A. Parker was born about 1885 according to the 1920 Federal Census. He was married to Jennie L. Carlson, daughter of a French Canadian immigrant. In 1920 they had two children, a girl six and a boy 9. That's all I know. The photo is for sale on ebay for a very high amount. It is listed as "Original Undated Jehovahs Witnesses Convention RPPC Photo Postcard."

Friday, April 19, 2024

email problems

 If you use my AOL mail and have had your communication returned to you as undeliverable, please leave a comment here. That will help me resolve this problem

In other matters, I've been prescribed a very potent medicine that has left me non-functioning. So all my projects are in 'slow motion.' But I'm still forging ahead as I can. 

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Uncle Daniel's Bible Class Book


  The Edgars, brothers John and Morton, are well-known to collectors of Watch Tower history. They were responsible for the volumes of Great Pyramid Passages, as well as a series of small booklets that were widely circulated. One of them, Where are the Dead (not to be confused with the Watch Tower Society’s official publication of that name) was instrumental in Fred Franz becoming a Bible Student. He later served as a Watch Tower Society president.

     One book bearing the Edgars’ names that is available for internet download is called Uncle Daniels Bible Class Book, and dates from 1890.

     The book was published by Bone and Hulley, a company that later handled the pyramid books. A close up of the title page clearly shows the Edgars as authors.


And yet, this is not actually true.

     Research has shown that this book was originally published back in 1850. Then it was simply called The Bible Class Book. The author and compiler was Charles Baker.  Below is the title page of the second edition which dates from 1860.


The book covers the whole of the OT with articles, maps, and notes, using the Ussher chronology.

     Charles Baker (1803-1874) was a prolific author. His Wikipedia entry lists around seventy-five works on a variety of subjects, including the Bible. Although he wrote on the NT as well, there does not appear to be a companion volume to The Bible Class Book, which concentrates on the OT. One of his nephews became the Archbishop of Canterbury. His main focus in life was producing school textbooks for the teaching of children who were deaf and dumb.

     When he died The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent for May 30, 1874, gave a brief obituary:


Yet 20 years after the last publication of Baker’s work, the Edgar brothers claimed it as their own.

     How could this happen? Modern sensibilities might question the ethics of giving no acknowledgement to Baker, but it was all perfectly legal. The British Copyright Act of 1842 granted copyright to an author for his lifetime and then for seven years after his death. As noted above, Baker conveniently died in 1874, so by 1890 his work was in the public domain and the Edgars – or anyone else for that matter - could do what they liked with it.

     The British 1842 Copyright Act was eventually replaced by one of 1911, which extended copyright to a more realistic fifty years after an author’s death.

     Since the Edgars weren’t going to give Baker any credit, they took out his introduction, which he had revised for the second edition. In its place they inserted a Watch Tower advertisement.


This Watch Tower material only took up one page whereas Baker’s introduction in both editions took up two, so the Edgar volume simply has an extra blank page following the Watch Tower advertisement. One assumes this is so that the remainder of the plates would not need their pagination adjusted.

     We are on firmer ground with the Edgars’ pyramid volumes and the series of small booklets which were original and reflected the Bible Student theology of that time. But as far as “Uncle Daniel’s” work, all was not as it appeared. It may still be viewed as collectable, but perhaps not as much as might be hoped.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

"Photo Sheet"

 The following is for sale on ebay as "Photo Sheet WATCHTOWER C T RUSSELL UNIQUE RARE IBSA." I need a good scan of this, but in better condition. Can you help?

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Speakers at the 1919 Convention

  <>A photograph was taken of 46 Bible Students who were speakers at the 1919 Cedar Point Ohio convention. Some were directors of the Society and others were Pilgrims. This picture (below) was used in the Governing Body update number 8 for 2023 to show how many Bible Students were now choosing to be clean shaven. With grateful thanks to Bernhard, here is the photograph, then a key to the personnel in the photograph. Only a very few are unnamed.

     You may need to click on the image in some devices to see the photograph in full.

Key to personnel            

01                Salter, Walter Frederick

02                Robinson, Frederick Homer

03                Van Amburgh, William Edwin

04                Rutherford, Joseph Franklin

05                Wise, Charles Augustus

06                Sexton, Ernest David

07                Fisher, George Herbert

08                Woodworth, Clayton James Sr.

09                DeCecca, Giovanni

10                Baker, William Arthur

11                Hersee, William Matson

12                Boyd, (unknown)

13                Bowin, Martin Otto

14                Thorn, Walter John

15                Barker, Thomas E.

16                Robie, Rodney Lyman

17                Herr, Maurice L.

18                Thornton, T. H.

19                Sullivan, Ora Lee

20                Boyd, Benjamin H.

21                (unknown).

22                Graham, Alexander M.

23                Adam, Donald

24                Spring, W. H.

25                (unknown)

26                Rice, Vincent C.

27                Gillespie, John A.

28                Toole, Daniel

29                Pottie, P. D.

30                Barber, Richard Harvey

31                Zink, Louie F.

32                (unknown)

33                (unknown)

34                (unknown)

35                Pickering, W. H.

36                Kendall, George Samuel

37                Howlett, Matthew Arnold

38                Bauerlein, John Adam

39                Morton, H. Sydney

40                Edwardes, James Campbell

41                Coward, Evander Joel

42                (unknwn)

43                Riemer, Hugo Henry

44                Whelpton, Ernest

45                (unknown)

46                Eshleman, Jacob A.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Translation Help

 I cannot decipher the old script on this. Can you read the name?


Thursday, March 7, 2024

Watchtower Museums.


Just a reminder. Never presume the Society has something, and never think, "Why would they want that?" Always ask, either through your congregation secretary or directly to Watchtower Society, 1 Kings Drive, Tuxedo Park, NY 10987. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

A. D. Jones and the Knickerbocker Bank

 I need some help with this. I'm pressed for time, but I need a good, clear image of this banknote. It's signed by Jones, and I want to use it as an illustration on volume three. Likely places are the Smithsonian. They have a huge money collection. The American Numismatic Society might have it. The Library of Congress, perhaps. Any of the New York City and State historical societies. So, can you help?

Some browsers will require you to click the image to see it entire. 

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Martin of Braga c. 520–580 CE

 Your thoughtful comments welcome.

bishop of Saint Martin

to the polemic bishop

on the correction of the peasants


To the most blessed and most desirous of my brothers in Christ, Bishop Polemius, Bishop Martinus.


I have received the letter of your holy charity, in which you write to me that for the chastisement of the peasants, who are still held back by the ancient superstition of the pagans and pay more reverence to demons than to God, I should direct to you some of the origin of idols and their crimes, or a few of the many things written to you. But since it is necessary from the beginning of the world to extend to them even a little knowledge of reason, as if for a taste, it was necessary for me to touch upon the vast forest of past times and their actions in the language of abbreviated, thin accounts, and to prepare food for the peasants in the language of the peasants. Thus, then, with the help of God, will be the beginning of your preaching:


We desire, dearest children, to announce to you in the name of the Lord what you have either not heard at all, or, having heard, perhaps you have forgotten. We therefore ask your charity to listen more attentively to what is said for your salvation. It is indeed a long order directed by the divine scriptures, but in order that you may retain even a little of it in memory, we recommend to you a few of the several.


When God had made heaven and earth in the beginning, in that heavenly abode he made spiritual creatures, that is, angels, who stood before him and praised him. One of whom, who had become the first archangel of all, seeing himself shining in such glory, did not give honor to God his creator, but said he was like him; and for this pride he was thrown down with the other numerous angels who agreed with him from that heavenly seat in that air which is under heaven. and he who had previously been an archangel, having lost the light of his glory, became a dark and terrible devil. In the same way, those other angels who had agreed with him were cast out of heaven with him and, having lost their splendor, became demons. But the rest of the angels who were subject to God continue in the glory of their brightness in the presence of the Lord; and they themselves are called holy angels. For those who, with their prince Satan, were cast down because of their pride, are called fugitive angels and demons.


After this angelic fall it pleased God to form man from the clay of the earth, whom he placed in paradise; and he told him that if he had kept the commandment of the Lord, he would succeed without death in that heavenly place, whence those fugitive angels had fallen; but if he had transgressed the commandment of God, he would die death Seeing therefore that the devil had therefore become man, that he might succeed in the kingdom of God in his place, from whence he fell, he was led by envy to urge man to transgress the commandments of God. For this offense man was thrown from paradise into exile in this world, where he suffered many hardships and pains.


Now the first man was called Adam, and his woman whom God created from his own flesh was called Eve. From these two men sprang every race of men. Those who, forgetting their creator, the god, committed many crimes and provoked the god to anger. For this reason God sent a flood and destroyed them all, except one righteous man, named Noah, whom he reserved with his sons for the restoration of the human race. From the first man, Adam, until the flood, two thousand two hundred and forty-two years passed.


After the flood, the human race was again recovered by the three sons of Noah, who were saved with their wives. And when the growing population began to fill the world, men again forgetting God, the creator of the world, began to worship the creatures, forsaking the creator. Some worshiped the sun, others the moon or the stars, others fire, others deep water or fountains of water, believing that all these things were not made by God for the use of men, but that they themselves arose from God.


Then the devil, or his servants, the demons, who were cast down from heaven, seeing ignorant men, released by God their creator, wandering among the creatures, began to show themselves to them in different forms, and to speak with them, and to expect from them, as on high mountains and in leafy forests they offered sacrifices to him and worshiped him as a god, imposing on him the names of wicked men who had spent their lives in all crimes and crimes, so that another would say that he was Jupiter, who had been a sorcerer and incestuous in so many adulteries that he married his sister, who was called Juno , he corrupted his daughters Minerva and Venus, and disgraced his nieces and all his relatives. But another demon called himself Mars, who was the author of quarrels and discord. Then another demon chose to call himself Mercury, who was the cunning inventor of all theft and fraud; to whom men, eager as if to the god of gain, pass by at the cross-roads, throw stones and heaps of rocks as a sacrifice. Another demon also ascribed to himself the name of Saturn, who, living in all cruelty, even devoured his own children at birth. Another demon also confided herself to be Venus, who was a harlot. She was not only a prostitute with innumerable adulterers, but also with her father Jupiter and her brother Mars.


Behold, what were these lost men like at that time, whom the ignorant countrymen honored most wretchedly by their inventions, whose names the devils therefore attributed to themselves, that they might worship them as if they were gods, and offer sacrifices to them, and imitate their deeds, whose names they invoked. The demons also persuaded them to make temples for them and to place there images or statues of wicked men and to set up altars for them, on which they would pour out for them the blood not only of animals but also of men. In addition to these, many demons from among those who have been expelled from heaven preside over the sea, or rivers, or springs, or forests, whom likewise men, ignorant of God, worship as if they were gods, and sacrifice to them. And indeed they call Neptune in the sea, Lamias in the rivers, Nymphs in the fountains, Dianas in the woods, all of which are evil demons and wicked spirits, who harm and harass unbelieving men, who do not know how to defend themselves with the sign of the cross. However, they do not harm without God's permission, because God is angry with them and do not believe with all their heart in the faith of Christ, but they are so doubtful that they name the very names of demons every day, and call the day Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday and Friday and Saturn, which have no they made the day, but they were the worst and most wicked men in the Greek nation.


But God Almighty, when He made the heavens and the earth, He then created light, which, through the distinction of God's works, has been turned seven times. For first God made light, which was called day; secondly, the firmament of heaven was made; thirdly, the land is divided by the sea; in the fourth, the sun, the moon, and the stars were made; on the fifth quadrupeds and birds and birds; the sixth man was fashioned; and on the seventh day, when he had completed all his world and his ornaments, the god called rest. The one light, therefore, which was first made in the works of God, by the distinction of the works of God, having passed seven times, is called a week. What kind of madness is it, then, that a man baptized in the faith of Christ, does not worship the Sunday on which Christ rose, and says that he worships Jupiter, and Mercury, and Friday, and Saturn, which have no day, but were adulterers, and magicians, and wicked men, and who died evilly in the province his own! But, as we have said, under the guise of these names veneration and honor are offered to demons by foolish men.


In the same way, this error creeps in on the ignorant and rustic, so that they think that January is the beginning of the year, which is absolutely false. For, as the Holy Scripture says, 8 Cal. The beginning of the first year was made in April at the very equinox. For it is read thus: And God divided between light and darkness . But every right division has equality, as in 8 Cal. April has as many hours in the day as in the night. And therefore it is false that the calendar of January is the beginning of the year.


Now, what is to be said about that most foolish mistake with pain, because they observe the days of moths and mice, and if it is true that a Christian man worships mice and moths instead of God? If, by way of protection, a cup or an ark is not brought to them, or bread or cloth, they will by no means spare what they have found for the holidays presented to them. But without reason the miserable man himself makes these prefigurations, so that, as if at the beginning of the year he is satisfied and happy with everything, so it may happen to him throughout the whole year. All these observations of the pagans are elaborated by the inventions of demons. But woe to that man who has not had the mercy of God and has not been given by him the fullness of bread and the security of life! Behold, you make these vain superstitions either secretly or openly, and never cease from these sacrifices to demons. And why do they not guarantee you that you are always satisfied and secure and happy? Why, when the god is angry, do not vain sacrifices protect you from locusts, mice, and many other tribulations, which an angry god sends you?


Do you not clearly understand that the demons are lying to you in these observations of yours which you hold in vain, and in the omens which you attend to, they often play tricks on you? For as the wisest Solomon says: divination and omens are vain ; and the more a man fears them, the more his heart is deceived. Do not give your heart to them, because they have offended many . Behold, the Holy Scripture says this, and it is most certainly so, because for so long unhappy men persuade demons with the voices of birds, until they lose the faith of Christ through frivolous and vain things, and they themselves fall unexpectedly into the destruction of their own death. God did not command man to know the future, but that, always living in fear of him, he should seek from him the guidance and help of his life. It is only for God to know before anything happens, but men play with vain demons with different arguments, until they lead them to offend God and drag their souls with them into hell, as they did from the beginning through their envy, lest man should enter the kingdom of heaven, from which they were cast out.


For which reason also, when God saw the wretched men so deceived by the devil and his evil angels that, forgetting their creator, they worshiped demons instead of God, he sent his son, that is, wisdom and his word, to bring them back to the worship of the true God from the error of the devil . And because the divinity of the Son of God could not be seen by men, he took human flesh from the womb of the virgin Mary, conceived not by the marriage of a man, but by the Holy Spirit. Born therefore in human flesh, the Son of God, an invisible God hidden within, but a visible man outside, preached to men: he taught them, leaving idols and evil works, to get out of the power of the devil and to return to the worship of their Creator. After teaching, he wanted to die for the human race. He suffered death willingly, not unwillingly; He was crucified by the Jews under the judge Pilate Pontius, who was born in the province of Pontus and presided over the province of Syria at that time. He was taken down from the cross and placed in the tomb. on the third day he rose alive from the dead, and for forty days he conversed with his twelve disciples, and, in order to show that his true flesh had risen, he ate after the resurrection in front of his disciples. After forty days had passed, he commanded his disciples to announce to all the nations the resurrection of the Son of God, and to baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit for the remission of sins, and to teach those who had been baptized to depart from evil works, that is, from idols, from murders. from theft, from perjury, from fornication, and what they would not do to others they would not do to themselves. And after he had commanded these things, in the sight of the disciples himself, he ascended into heaven, and there sits at the right hand of the Father, and from there he will come at the end of this world with the very flesh which he took up with him into the heavens.


But when the end of that world comes, all the nations and every man who traces his origin from those first men, that is, from Adam and Eve, will all rise again, both good and evil; and all will come before the judgment of Christ, and then those who have been faithful and good in their lives will be separated from the bad and will enter the kingdom of God with the holy angels, and their souls will be with their flesh in eternal rest, never to die again, where there will no longer be anyone for them neither toil nor pain, neither sadness, nor hunger nor thirst, neither heat nor cold, neither darkness nor night, but always happy, full, in light, in glory, they will be like the angels of God, because they have already deserved to enter into that place from where the devil came. He fell with the angels who agreed with him. All those who have been faithful to God will remain there for eternity. For those who have been unbelieving, or have not been baptized, or certainly, if they have been baptized, after their baptism have returned again to idols and murders or adulteries, or to perjury and other evils, and have died without repentance, all who are found to be such are damned with the devil and together with all the demons whom they worshiped and whose works they did, and are sent into eternal fire with their flesh in hell, where that unquenchable fire lives forever, and that flesh, now recovered from the resurrection, is tormented eternally. He longs to die again, that he may not feel the punishments, but he is not permitted to die, that he may endure eternal torments. Behold, the law speaks this, the prophets speak this, the gospel of Christ says this, the apostle says this, all holy scripture testifies to this; which we have simply told you, or a few of the many. It is yours from now on, dearest children, to remember what has been said by us, and either by doing well to hope for a future rest in the kingdom of God, or (which is far from it!) to wait for a future eternal fire in hell by doing evil. For both eternal life and eternal death are placed at the discretion of man. Each one will have what he chose for himself.


You therefore, the faithful, who in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit have come to Christ's baptism, consider what kind of covenant you have made with God in baptism itself. For when each of you gave your name to the fountains, for example, Peter or John or any other name, you were asked by the priest: "How are you called?" Either you answered, if you were already able to answer, or at least he who made faith for you, who received you from the fountain, and said, for example: "It is called John." And the priest asked: "John, do you deny the devil and his angels, his cults and idols, his thefts and frauds, his fornications and drunkenness, and all his evil works?" And you answered: "Abandonment." After this renunciation of the devil, you were asked again by the priest: "Do you believe in God the Father Almighty?" You answered: "I believe." "And in Jesus Christ, his only son, our God and Lord, who was born of the Holy Spirit from the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified and buried, descended into hell, rose alive from the dead on the third day, ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, from thence shall He come to judge the living and the dead? Do you believe?" And you answered: "I believe." And you were asked again: "Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the forgiveness of all sins, the resurrection of the flesh, and eternal life?" And you answered: "I believe." Behold, then, consider what kind of covenant you made with God in baptism. You have promised to renounce the devil and his angels and all his evil works, and you have confessed that you believe in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit and that you hope for the resurrection of the flesh and eternal life at the end of the world.


Behold, what kind of warning and confession is held by God! And how come some of you, who renounced the devil and his angels and his cultures and his evil works, just return to the devil's cultures again? For to set fire to rocks and to trees and to fountains and by paths, what is else but the culture of the devil? To observe divinations and auguries and the days of idols, what else is it but the culture of the devil? To observe the Vulcans and the Kalends, to decorate the tables, and lay the laurels, and to observe the feet, and to pour grain and wine in the hearth upon the trunk, and to cast bread into the spring, what else but the culture of the devil? For women to name Minerva in their cloths, and to observe Friday as the day of marriage, and to attend to the day on which she goes out on the road, is this anything else but the culture of the devil? Enchanting herbs to do evil and invoking the names of demons by incantation, what else is the culture of the devil? And many other things that take a long time to say. Behold, you do all these things after renouncing the devil, after baptism, and, returning to the culture of demons and the evil works of idols, you have crossed your faith and broken the covenant you made with God. You have given up the sign of the cross, which you received in baptism, and other signs of the devil, by birds and sneezes, and by many other things attended to you. Why does the augury not harm me or any righteous Christian? For where the sign of the cross has preceded, there is no sign of the devil. Why does it hurt you? Because you despise the sign of the cross, and fear that which you set as a sign for yourselves. Similarly, you let go of the holy incantation, that is the symbol that you received in baptism, which is I believe in God the Father Almighty , and the Sunday prayer, that is our Father who art in heaven , and you hold diabolical incantations and songs. Whoever, therefore, despising the sign of the cross of Christ, looks at other signs, has lost the sign of the cross which he received in baptism. Similarly, he who holds other charms found by magicians and evildoers, has lost the charm of the holy symbol and of the Lord's prayer, which he received in faith in Christ, and has inculcated faith in Christ, because God and the devil cannot be worshiped at the same time.


If, therefore, my beloved children, you have recognized all these things that we have said, if anyone realizes that after receiving baptism he has done these things and broken the faith of Christ, he will not despair of himself, nor say in his heart: "Because I have done so many evils after baptism, perhaps God will not forgive my sins my." Do not doubt the mercy of God. Only make a covenant with God in your heart, that you will no longer worship the cults of demons, nor worship anything other than the God of heaven, nor commit murder, nor commit adultery or fornication, nor commit theft, nor destroy. And when you have promised God this with all your heart, and you will not commit these sins any more, trust in God's forgiveness, because thus says God through the prophetic scripture: On whatever day the unjust has forgotten his iniquities and done justice, and I will forget all his iniquities . God therefore waits for the repentance of the sinner. But this repentance is true, so that a man no longer does the evils he has done, but asks for forgiveness for past sins, and for the future he is careful not to return to them again, but rather, on the contrary, performs good works, so as to give alms to the hungry poor, to refresh the weary guest. and whatever he wishes to be done to him by another, he must do to another, and what he does not wish to be done to him, he must not do to another, because in this word the commandments of God are fulfilled.


We beseech you therefore, dearest brothers and children, that these precepts, which God deigns to give you through us humble and little ones, keep in memory and think how you can save your souls, so that you do not only deal with this present life and the transitory benefits of this world, but remember that which in the symbol you promised to believe, that is, the resurrection of the flesh and eternal life. If, therefore, you have believed and continue to believe that there will be a resurrection of the flesh and eternal life in the kingdom of heaven among the angels of God, as we have already told you above, then think as much as you can about this, and not always about the miseries of this world. Prepare your way in good works. Frequent to pray to God in the church or through the holy places. Do not despise Sunday, which is therefore called Sunday, because the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, rose from the dead in him, but worship it with reverence. Do not do servile work, that is, field, meadow, vineyard, or any other heavy work, on Sunday, except so much as it pertains to the necessity of restoring the body for cooling food and the necessity of a long journey. And in nearby places it is permissible to make a way on Sunday, not for bad occasions, but rather for good ones, that is, either to walk to holy places, or to visit a brother or friend, or to console the sick, or to bring advice or help to someone in trouble for a good cause. In this way, then, it is proper for a Christian man to honor Sunday. For it is quite unjust and disgraceful that those who are pagans and do not know the Christian faith, worshiping the idols of demons, worship the day of Jupiter or any other demon and abstain from work, when certainly no day was created or possessed by demons. And we, who worship the true God and believe that the Son of God rose from the dead, the day of his resurrection, that is Sunday, we have not come at all! Do not, therefore, do wrong to the resurrection of the Lord, but honor it and worship it with reverence because of our hope which we have in it. For just as our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is our head, rose from the dead on the third day, so we, who are his members, hope to rise again in our flesh at the end of the age, so that each one may either have eternal rest or eternal punishment. as he did in his body in this world, so let him receive.


Behold, we, under the testimony of God and the holy angels who hear us, just speaking, we discharge our debt to your charity, and we have lent you the Lord's money, as we have commanded. It is your duty to think carefully and take care how each one will represent what he has received to the coming lord with interest on the day of judgment. And we pray for the mercy of the Lord himself, that he may keep you from all evil, and make you worthy companions of his holy angels in his kingdom, by the excellency of him who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.