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'But beware that thou hold not thyself for better; rather shalt thou say thus: "Peter, Peter, if God helped thee not with his grace thou wouldst be worse than he."'
Peter answered: 'How must I correct him?'
Jesus answered: 'In the way that thou thyself wouldst fain be corrected. And as thou wouldst fain be borne with, so bear with others. Believe me, Peter, for verily I say unto thee that every time thou shalt correct thy brother with mercy thou shalt receive mercy of God, and thy words shall bear some fruit; but if thou shalt do it with rigour, thou shalt be rigorously punished by the justice of God, and shalt bear no fruit. Tell me, Peter: Those earthen pots wherein the poor cook their food—do they wash them, perchance, with stones and iron hammers? Nay, assuredly; but rather with hot water. Vessels are broken in pieces with iron, things of wood are burned with fire; but man is amended with mercy. Wherefore, when thou shalt correct thy brother thou shalt say to thyself: "If God help me not, I shall do to-morrow worse than all that he hath done today."'
Peter answered: 'How many times must I forgive my brother, O master?'
Jesus answered: 'As many times as thou wouldst fain be forgiven by him.'
Said Peter: 'Seven times a day?'
Jesus answered: 'Not only seven, but seventy times seven thou shalt forgive him every day; for he that forgiveth, to him shall it be forgiven, and he that condemneth shall be condemned.'
Then said he who writeth this: 'Woe unto princes! for they shall go to hell.'
Jesus reproved him, saying: 'Thou art become foolish, O Barnabas, in that thou hast spoken thus. Verily I say unto thee, that the bath is not so necessary for the body, the bit for the horse, and the tiller for the ship, as the prince is necessary for the state. And for what cause did God give Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, and Solomon, and so many others who passed judgement? To such hath God given the sword for the extirpation of iniquity.'
Then said he who writeth this: 'Now, how ought judgement to be given, condemning and pardoning?'
Jesus answered: 'Not every one is ajudge: for to the judge alone it appertaineth to condemn others, O Barnabas. And the judge ought to condemn the guilty, even as the father commandeth a putrified member to be cut off from his son in order that the whole body may not become putrified.'