Christ's mortal nature, then, has been crucified, and you must arm yourselves with the same intention; he whose mortal nature has been crucified is quit, now, of sin. The rest of your mortal life must be ordered by God's will, not by human appetites. Time enough has been spent already in doing what the heathen would have you do, following a course of incontinence, passion, drunkenness, revelling, carousal, and shameful idolatry. They are surprised that you do not rush headlong into the same welter of debauch, and call you ill names accordingly; they will have to answer for it before him who is all in readiness to pass sentence on the living and the dead. That is why dead men, too, had the gospel message brought to them; though their mortal natures had paid the penalty in men's eyes, in the sight of God their spirits were to live on. The end of all things is close at hand; live wisely, and keep your senses awake to greet the hours of prayer. Above all things, preserve constant charity among yourselves; charity draws the veil over a multitude of sins. Make one another free of what is yours ungrudgingly, sharing with all whatever gift each of you has received, as befits the stewards of a God so rich in graces. One of you preaches, let him remember that it is God's message he is uttering; another distributes relief, let him remember that it is God who supplies him the opportunity; that so, in all you do. God may be glorified through Jesus Christ; to him be the glory and the power through endless ages, Amen. Do not be surprised, beloved, that this fiery ordeal should have befallen you, to test your quality; there is nothing strange in what is happening to you. Rather rejoice, when you share in some measure the sufferings of Christ; so joy will be yours, and triumph, when his glory is revealed. Your lot will be a blessed one, if you are reproached for the name of Christ; it means that the virtue of God's honour and glory and power, it means that his own Spirit, is resting upon you. Let it not be said that any of you underwent punishment for murder, or theft, or slander, or infringing other men's rights; but, if a man is punished for being a Christian, he has no need to be ashamed of it; let him bear that name, and give glory to God. The time is ripe for judgement to begin, and to begin with God's own household; and if our turn comes first, what will be its issue for those who refuse credence to God's message? If the just man wins salvation only with difficulty, what will be the plight of the godless, of the sinner? Why then, let those who suffer in fulfilment of God's will commend their souls, all innocent, into his hands; he created them, and he will not fail them.