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EPHRAIM THE SYRIAN
FOR THE FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY.
(Translated by Rev. A. Edward Johnston, B.A.)
RESP.--To Thee be praise from Thy flock in the day of Thy Epiphany!
1. The heavens He has renewed, for that fools worshipped all the
luminaries:--He has renewed the earth, for that in Adam it was wasted.(1)--
That which He fashioned has become new by His spittle:--and the All-
Sufficing has restored bodies with souls.
2. Gather yourselves again ye--sheep and without labour receive
cleansing!--for one needs not as Elisha--to bathe seven times in the river,
nor again to be wearied as the priests are wearied with sprinklings.
3. Seven times Elisha purified himself in a mystery of the seven
spirits;--and the hyssop and blood are a mighty symbol.--There is no room
for division;--He is not divided from the Lord of all Who is Son of the
Lord of all.
4. Moses sweetened in Marah the waters that were bitter,--because the
People complained and murmured:--Thus he gave a sign of baptism,--wherein
the Lord of life makes sweet them that were bitter.
5. The cloud overshadowed and kept off the burning heat from the camp;-
-it showed a symbol of the Holy Spirit, which overshadows you in baptism--
tempering the flaming fire that it harm not your bodies.
6. Through the sea the People then passed, and showed a symbol--of the
baptism wherein ye were washed. The People passed through that and believed
not:--the Gentiles were baptized in this and believed and received the Holy
7. The Word sent the Voice to proclaim before His Coming,--to prepare
for Him the way by which He came,--and to betroth the Bride till He should
come,--that she might be ready when He should come and take her from the
8. The voice of prophecy stirred the son of the barren woman,--and he
went forth wandering in the desert and crying,--"Lo! the Son of the Kingdom
comes!--prepare ye the way that He may enter and abide in your dwellings!"
9. John cried, "Who comes after me, He is before me:--I am the Voice
but not the Word;--I am the torch but not the Light;--the Star that rises
before the Sun of Righteousness."
10. In the wilderness this John had cried and had said,--"Repent ye
sinners of your evils,--and offer the fruits of repentance;--for lo! He
comes that winnows the wheat from the tares."
11. The Lightgiver has prevailed and marked a mystery, by the degrees
he ascended:--Lo! there are twelve days since he ascended,--and to-day this
is the thirteenth:--a perfect mystery of Him, the Son, and His twelve!
12. Darkness was overcome to make it manifest that Satan was overcome;-
-and the Light prevailed that he should proclaim--that the Firstborn
triumphs: darkness was overcome--with the Dark Spirit, and our Light
prevailed with the Lightgiver.
13. In the Height and the Depth the Son had two heralds.--The star of
light proclaimed Him from above;--John likewise preached Him from beneath:-
-two heralds, the earthly and the heavenly.
14. The star of light, contrary to nature, shone forth of a sudden;--
less than the sun yet greater than the sun.--Less was it than he in
manifest light;--and greater than he in secret might because of its
15. The star of light shed its rays among them that were in darkness,--
and guided them as though they were blind;--so that they came and met the
great Light:--they gave offerings and received life and adored and
16. The herald from above showed His Nature to be from the Most High;--
likewise he that was from beneath showed His Body to be from humankind,
mighty marvel!-that His Godhead and His Manhood by them were proclaimed!
17. Thus whoso reckons Him as of earth, the star of light--will
convince him that He is of Heaven: and whoso reckons Him as of spirit,--
this John will convince him that He is also bodily.
18. John drew near with his parents and worshipped the Sun,--and
brightness rested on His Face.--He was not moved as when in the womb.--
Mighty marvel! that here he worships and there he leaped!
19. The whole creation became for Him as one mouth and cried out
concerning Him.--The Magi cry out in their gifts;--the barren cry out with
their children;--the star of light, lo! it cries out in the air, "Behold
the Son of the King!"
20. The heavens are opened, the waters break forth, the dove is in
glory!--The voice of the Father is stronger than thunder,--as it utters the
word, "This is My Beloved";--the Watchers brought the tidings, the children
acclaimed Him in their Hosannas.
(Nearly identical with Hymn XIII. On the Nativity.)
(RESP.--To Thee be praise Who in this feast makest all to exult!)
1. In the time of the King whom they called by the name Semha(1)--our
Lord was manifested among the Hebrews.--Thus Semha and Denha(2) reigned
together,--the King on earth and the Son on high--blessed be His power!
2. In the days of the King who wrote down men in the taxing,--our
Saviour came down and wrote down men in the Book of Life; He wrote and was
written;--on high He wrote us, on earth He was written; glory to His Name!
3. His Birth was in the days of the King whose name was Semha.--Symbol
and truth met one another;--King and King, Semha and Denha.--That kingdom
bore His Cross; blessed be He Who took it up!
4. Thirty years abode He on earth in poverty.--Voices of praise in all
measures,--let us weave my brethren for our Lord's years;--thirty crowns
for thirty years; Blessed be His number!
5. In the first year, mistress of treasure and filled with blessings,--
let the Cherubin give thanks with us, they who bear--the Son in glory Who
gave up His glorious state,--and toiled and found the sheep that was lost;-
-to Him be thanksgiving!
6. In the second year let the Seraphin multiply thanksgiving with us;--
they who cried "Holy" to the Son, and turned and saw Him--among unbelievers
put to shame.--He endured scorn and taught us glory; to Him be glory given!
7. In the third year let Michael and his hosts give thanks with us;--
they who were wont to serve the Son on high,--and saw Him on earth doing
service.--He washed men's feet and cleansed men's souls; blessed be His
8. In the fourth year let all the heavens give thanks with us! Too
narrow for the Son it shall burst to see--how He lay on the couch of
despised Zaccheus.--He filled the couch and had filled the heavens;--to Him
9. In the fifth year let the Sun that burns the carth with its heat--
give thanks to our Sun that He straitened His largeness,--and tempered His
force that the eye might endure to see Him;--the inward eye of a pure soul;
blessed be His radiance!
10. In the sixth year again let all the air give thanks with us,--in
the vastness whereof all things exult.--It saw its great Lord that He
became--a little babe in a lowly bosom; blessed be His honour!
11. In the seventh year let the clouds and winds sound the trumpet with
us,--they whose dew sprinkles the faces of the flowers,--yet saw they the
Son that He subdued His brightness,--and endured scorn and shameful
spitting;--blessed be His salvation!
12. Yet again in the eighth year let Creation give glory,--from whose
fountain the fruits draw nurture.--She adored when she saw the Son at the
breast,--pure babe nurtured by pure milk; blessed be His good pleasure!
13. In the ninth year let the earth give glory, which when her lap is
watered then brings forth the root.--She saw Mary an unwatered soil--whose
fruit that she yielded is a mighty sea; to Him be exultation! R., To
Thee be glory, Son of the Lord of all, Who givest life to all!
14. In the tenth year let Mount Sinai give glory, which melted--before
its Lord! It saw against its Lord--stones taken up: but He took stones--to
build the Church upon the Rock; blessed be His building!
15. In the eleventh year let the great sea give thanks--to the hand of
the Son Who measured it! And it wondered to see how He came down and was
washed--in humble waters, He that cleanses Creation; blessed be His
16. In the twelfth year let the holy Temple give thanks--which beheld
the Child as He sat--among the elders: the doctors were silenced--as the
Lamb of the feast bleated in the feast; blessed be His atonement!
17. In the thirteenth year let diadems with us give thanks--to the King
Who triumphed and was crowned--with a crown of thorns: He wove for man--a
mighty diadem at His right hand; blessed be He That sent Him!
18. In the fourteenth year let the Passover of Egypt give thanks--to
the Passover that came and made passover for all,--and instead of Pharaoh
overwhelmed Legion,-and instead of horsemen drowned demons; blessed be His
19. In the fifteenth year let the lamb of the flock give thanks,--that
our Lord slew it not as did Moses,--but redeemed by His Blood mankind.--He
the Shepherd of all died for all; blessed be He That begat Him!
20. In the sixteenth year let the seed-corn in mystery give thanks--to
that Husbandman Who gave His Body for seed--in a barren soil that corrupts
all things.--It proved fertile and yielded new bread; blessed be He that is
21. In the seventeenth year let the Vine give thanks to our Lord,--the
Vineyard of truth, wherein souls were--as the scions. He gave peace to this
vineyard, but laid waste that vineyard which bare wild grapes; blessed be
22. In the eighteenth year let our leaven give thanks--to the leaven of
truth that penetrates and draws--all minds and makes them to become--one
mind in one doctrine; blessed be His doctrine!
23. In the nineteenth year let the Salt give thanks for Thy Body.--O
blessed Babe it is the soul--that is the salt of the Body, and Faith--the
salt of the soul whereby it is preserved; blessed be Thy preservation!
R., Glory to Thy Epiphany, 0 God and Man.!
24. In the twentieth year let temporal wealth with us give thanks,--
which men that are perfect have cast off and abandoned--because of the
"Woe"; and have gone and loved--poverty because of its beatitude; blessed
be He Who desired it!
25. In the one-and-twentieth year let the waters give thanks that were
sweetened--in a mystery of the Son. In the honey of Samson--the nations
tasted bitterness therein that destroyed them:--they had life in the Cross
that redeemed them; blessed be its pleasantness!
26. In the two-and-twentieth year let arms and the sword give thanks,--
for they could not slay our Adversary.--Thou art He Who slew him as Thou
art He Who restored--the ear that Simon's sword cut off; blessed be Thy
27. In the three-and-twentieth year let the ass likewise give thanks,--
that gave the colt whereon He should ride;--He opens likewise the mouth of
wild asses,--the offspring gave Him praise; blessed be the praise of Thee!
28. In the font-and-twentieth year let wealth give thanks to the Son!--
Treasures were amazed at the Lord of treasures,--how He grew up among the
poor.--He made Himself poor that He might make all rich; blessed be His
29. In the five-and-twentieth year let Isaac give thanks to the Son--
Who in the mount saved him from the knife,--and became in his stead the
lamb to be slain.--The mortal escaped, and He died Who gives life to all;
blessed be His offering!
30. In the six-and-twentieth year let Moses with us give thanks,--who
feared and fled from the slayers;--let him give thanks to the Son, for He
it was Who on His feet--entered Sheol and spoiled it and came forth;
blessed be His Resurrection!
[31. In the seven-and-twentieth year let the eloquent Orators--give
thanks to the Son, for they could not find--means whereby we should prevail
in our judgment:--He was silent in judgment and made our judgment prevail;
to Him be applause!]
32. In the seven and twentieth year let all Judges give thanks,--who as
being just have put to death illdoers;--let them give thanks to the Son Who
instead of the evil --died as being good, though He was Son of the Just
One; blessed be His mercies!
33. In the eight-and-twentieth year let them give thanks to the Son,--
all the mighty men who saved us not--from the captors. One is to be
worshipped,--Who was slain and laid hold and saved us; blessed be His
34. In the nine-and-twentieth year let Job with us give thanks,--who
bare sufferings in his own behalf:--but our Lord bare on our behalf--the
spitting and the stripes, the thorns and the nails; blessed is His
35. In the year that is the thirtieth let them give thanks with us;--
the dead that have lived through His dying,--the living that were converted
in His Crucifixion,--and the height and the depth that have been reconciled
in Him! Blessed be He and His Father!
(Resp.--Christ with chrism, lo! He is sealing the newborn lambs in His
1. Christ and chrism are conjoined; the secret with the visible is
mingled: the chrism anoints visibly,--Christ seals secretly, the lambs
newborn and spiritual, the prize of His twofold victory; for He engendered
it of the chrism, and He gave it birth of the water.
2. How exalted are your Orders! For she that was a sinner anointed, as
a handmaid, the feet of her Lord. But for you, as though His minister,
Christ by the hand of His servants, seals and anoints your bodies. It
befits Him the Lord of the flock, that in His own person He seal His sheep.
3. Since then she, that sinner, stood in need of forgiveness, the
anointing was for her an offering, and by it her love reconciled her Lord.
But you who are the flock, among the profane and unbelievers, the Truth by
the chrism is your seal, to separate you from the strayed.
4. From the peoples he separated the People, by the former seal of
circumcision; but by the seal of anointing, the peoples He separates from
the People. When the peoples were in error, the People He separated from
the peoples; now when the People has erred from Him, He separates the
peoples from thence.
5. Of the dust of the pure soil, Naaman bore away and returned to his
place; that he by this holy dust, might be separated and known from the
unclean. The chrism of Christ separates, the sons of the mystery from
strangers: and by it they that are within are separated, and known from
them that are without.
6. The oil which Elijah multiplied, might be tasted with the mouth; for
the cruse was that of the widow, it was not that of the chrism. The oil of
our Lord that is in the cruse, it is not food for the mouth: the sinner
that was a wolf without, it makes him a lamb in the flock.
7. The chrism of the meek and lowly One, changes the stubborn to be
like its Lord. The Gentiles were wolves and feared, the severe rod of
Moses. Lo! the chrism seals them and makes, a flock of sheep out of the
wolves! And the wolves that had fled from the rod, lo! they have taken
refuge in the Cross!
8. The leaf of olive arrived, brought as a figure of the anointing; the
sons of the Ark rejoiced to greet it, for it bore good tidings of
deliverance. Thus also ye rejoiced to greet it, even this holy anointing.
The bodies of sinners were glad in it, for it brought good tidings of
9. The oil again that Jacob poured, upon the stone when he sealed it,
that it should be between him and God, and that he might offer there his
tithes; lo! in it is a symbol of your bodies, how by chrism they are sealed
as holy, and become temples for God, where He shall be served by your
10. When Moses had sealed and anointed, the sons of Aaron the Levite,
the fire consumed their bodies; the fire spared their vestments. But ye my
brethren blessed are ye, for the fire of grace has come down, has consumed
utterly your offences, and cleansed and hallowed your bodies!
11. As for the anointing of Aaron my brethren, it was the vile blood of
beasts, that it sprinkled in the horns of the altar. The anointing of truth
is this; wherein the living and all-lifegiving Blood, is sprinkled inwardly
in your bodies. is mingled in your understandings, is infused through your
12. The anointed priests used to offer, the slain bodies of beasts; Ye,
O anointed and excelling, your offerings are your own bodies. The anointed
Levites offered, the inward parts taken, from beasts: ye have excelled the
Levites, for your hearts ye have Consecrated.
13. The anointing of the People was--a foreshadowing of Christ; their
rod a mystery of the Cross; their lamb a type of the Only begotten; their
tabernacle a mystery of your Churches; their circumcision a sign of your
sealing. Under the shadow of your goodly thing, sat the People of old.
14. Thus the truth is likened, to a great shadowing tree: it cast its
shade on the People; it struck its root among the peoples. The People abode
under its shadows, whose shadows were its mysteries; but the Gentiles
lodged on its bough, and plucked and ate of its fruits.
15. As for the anointing of Saul to be king; the sweeter was its
savour, so much fouler was the savour of his heart. The Spirit struck him
and fled. Your anointing which ye have is greater; for your minds are
censers, in your temples the Spirit exults, a chamber forever shall ye be
16. As for the anointing of David my brethren; the Spirit came down and
made sweet savour, in the heart of the man wherein He delighted; the savour
of his heart was as the savour of his action. The Spirit dwelt in him and
made song in him. Your anointing which ye have is greater, for Father and
Son and Holy Ghost, have moved and come down to dwell in you.
17. When the leper of old was cleansed, the priest used to seal him
with oil, and to lead him to the waterspring. The type has passed and the
truth is come; lo! with chrism have ye been sealed, in baptism ye are
perfected, in the flock ye are intermixed, from the Body ye are nourished.
18. What leper when he has been cleansed, turns again and desires his
leprosy? Ye have put off transgressions--forsake it! None puts on the
leprosy he had put off. It has fallen and sunk--let it not be drawn out! It
is wasted and worn--let it not be renewed! Let not corruption come out upon
you, whom the chrism of Christ has anointed!
19. The vessel moulded of clay, gains beauty from the water, receives
strength from the fire; but if it slips it is ruined, it cannot be afresh
renewed. Ye are vessels of grace; be ye ware of it, even of justice, for it
grants not two renewals.
20. How like are ye in comparison, with the Prophet whom the fish
yielded up! The Devourer has given you back for he was constrained, by the
Power Which constrained the fish. Jonah was for you as a mirror, since not
again did the fish swallow him, let not again the Devourer swallow you:
being yielded up be ye like Jonah!
21. Goodly ointment on the head of our Lord did Mary pour; its savour
was fragrant through all the house. Likewise the savour of your anointing,
has been fragrant and perfumed the heavens, to the Watchers on high; doing
pleasure to Satan its savour is overpowering; to God its odour is sweet.
22. The crowds in the desert were like unto sheep that have no
shepherd. The Merciful became their shepherd, and multiplied to them the
pasture of bread. Yea, blessed are ye that are perfect, that are sealed as
lambs of Christ, that of His Body and Blood are made worthy; the Pastor
Himself is become pasture for you!
23. Out of water He made the wine, He gave it for drink to the youths
in the feast. For you who are keeping the fast, better is the unction than
drink. In His wine the betrothed are wedded, by His oil the wedded are
sanctified. By His wine is union; by His oil sanctification.
24. The sheep of Christ leaped for joy, to receive the seal of life,
that ensign of kings which has ever put sin to flight. The Wicked by Thy
ensign is routed, iniquities by Thy sign are scattered. Come, ye sheep,
receive your seal, which puts to flight them that devour you!
25. Come, ye lambs, receive your seal, for it is truth that is your
seal! This is the seal that separates, them of the household from
strangers. The steel circumcised alike, the gainsayers and the sons of
Hagar. If circumcision be the sign of the sheep, lo! by it the goats are
26. But ye, who are the new flock, have put off the doings of wolves,
and as lambs are made like to the Lamb. One by changing has changed all;
the Lamb to the wolves gave Himself to be slain; the wolves rushed and
devoured Him and became lambs; for the Shepherd was changed into a Lamb;
likewise the wolf forgot his nature.
27. Look on me also in Thy mercy! be not branded on me the seal, of the
goats the sons of the left hand! let not Thy sheep become a goat! For
though to justify myself I sufficed not, yet to be a sinner I willed not.
Turn thine eyes, 0 my Lord, from what I have done, and seek not only what I
28. From them that write and them that preach, from them that hear and
them that are sealed, let glory go up to Christ, and through Him to His
Father be exaltation! He Who gives words to them that speak, and gives
voice to them that preach, has given understanding to them that hear, and
consecrates chrism for him that is sealed.
(Resp.--Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without
1. Descend my sealed brethren, put ye on our Lord,--and be rejoined to
His lineage, for He is son of a great lineage, was He has said in His Word.
2. From on high is His Nature, and from beneath His Vesture.--Each that
puts off his vesture, commingled is that vesture, with His Vesture forever.
3. Ye too in the water, receive from him the vesture,--that wastes not
or is lost for it is the vesture that vests--them that are vested in it
4. But the blessed Priest, is daysman between two:--the covenant shall
be made before Him, He is daysman of his Lord,--and surety on our part.
5. The Godhead in the water, lo! has mingled His leaven;--for the
creatures of dust, that leaven raises up,--and the Godhead joins them.
6. For it is the leaven of the Lord, that can glide lute the bondman,--
and raise him to freedom; it has joined the bondman to the lineage,--of Him
the Lord of all.
7. For the bondman who has put on Him, Who makes all free in the
waters,-though bondman he be on earth, is son of the free on high,--for
freedom he has put on.
8. The freeman who has put on, that Angel in the waters,--is as the
fellow of servants, that he may be made like to the Lord,--Who became
bondman unto bondmen.
9. He Who enriches all came down, and put on poverty,--that He might
divide to the poor, the stores that were hidden,--out of the treasure-house
of the water.
10. The lowly one again that has put on, the Giver of all greatness, in
the water,--even though he be base in the sight of fools, yet is great in
the sight of the Watchers,--for that he is clad in greatness.
11. For like as He Who is great, Who became lowly in His love,--by the
unbelievers was persecuted, and by the Watchers was worshipped,--was made
lowly and makes the lowly great.
12. Thus let him be lowly who is great, that in him the lowly may be
great:--Let us be like to Him Who is greater than all, Who became less than
all:--He was made lowly, and makes all men great.
13. The meek man who has put on Him Who is great, in the water,--though
humble be his countenance, very great is his discernment,--for He Who is
exalted above all dwells in him.
14. For who could be found to despise the bush of thorn,--the despised
and humble, wherein the Majesty in fire,--made its dwelling within?
15. Who again could be found, to despise Moses,--the meek and slow of
speech,--when that excelling glory--dwelt upon his meekness?
16. They that despised him despised his Lord; the wicked that despised
him--the earth swallowed up in anger; the Levites who scorned Him,--the
fire devoured in fury.
17. Of Him Christ commanded, "Thou shalt not call him Raca," who is
baptized and has put Him on; for whoso despises the despised, despises with
him the Mighty.
18. In Eden and in the world, are parables of our Lord;--and what
tongue can gather, the similitudes of His mysteries?--for He is figured all
of Him in all things.
19. In the Scriptures He is written of; on Nature He is impressed;--His
crown is figured in kings, in prophets His truth, His atonement in priests.
20. In the rod was He of Moses, and in the hyssops of Aaron,--and in
the crown of David: to the prophets pertains His similitude, to the
Apostles His Gospel.
21. Revelations beheld Thee, proverbs looked for Thee,--mysteries
expected Thee, similitudes saluted Thee, parables showed types of Thee.
22. The Covenant of Moses looked forward to the Gospel:--all things of
old time, flew on and alighted thereon, in the new Covenant.
23. Lo! the prophets have poured out on Him, their glorious mysteries;-
-the priests and kings have poured out upon Him, their wonderful types:--
they all have poured them out on all of Him.
24. Christ overcame and surpassed, by His teachings the mysteries,--by
His interpretations the parables; as the sea into its midst--receives all
25. For Christ is the sea, and He can receive--the fountains and
brooks, the rivers and streams, that flow from the midst of the Scriptures.
(Resp.--Blessed be He that ordained baptism, for the atonement of the
sons of Adam!)
1. Descend, my brethren, put on from the waters of baptism the Holy
Spirit;--be joined with the spirits that minister to the Godhead!
2. For lo! He is the fire that secretly, seals also His flock,--by the
Three spiritual Names, wherein the Evil One is put to flight.
3. John when he cried and said "This is the Lamb of God, "--thereby
showed concerning the Gentiles that they are Abraham's children.
4. This is he that testified of our Saviour, that with fire and the
Spirit He should baptize.--Lo! the fire and the Spirit, my brethren, in the
baptism of truth.
5. For greater is Baptism than Jordan that little river;--for that in
streams of water and oil, the misdeeds of all men are washed out.
6. Elisha by seven times washing, cleansed Naaman's leprosy:--in
Baptism are cleansed the secret misdeeds in the soul.
7. Moses baptized the People the midst of the sea, yet availed not--to
wash their heart within, that was full of the defilements of misdeeds.
8. Lo! the priest in the likeness of Moses purges the defilements of
the soul;--and with oil of anointing, lo! he seals new lambs for the
9. Samuel anointed David to be king among the People:--but lo! the
priest anoints you to be heirs in the Kingdom.
10. For with the armour that David put on, after the anointing he
fought--and laid low the giant who sought to subdue Israel.
11. Lo! again in the chrism of Christ, and in the armour that is from
the water--the haughtiness of the Evil One is humbled, who sought to subdue
12. By the water that flowed from the rock, the thirst of the People
was quenched. Lo! in the fountain of Christ, the thirst of the peoples is
13. The rod of Moses opened the rock, and the streams flowed forth; and
they were refreshed by its draught, who had grown faint with thirst.
14. Lo! from the side of Christ flowed the stream that bestowed life.--
The Gentiles drank that were weary, and in it forgot their pains.
15. With Thy dew besprinkle my vileness, and my crimes in Thy blood
shall be atoned!--And I shall be, O my Lord, at Thy right hand, and with
Thy Saints I shall be joined!
(RESP.--Blessed be He Who was baptized that He might baptize you, that
ye should be absolved from your offences.)
1. The Spirit came down from on high,--and hallowed the waters by His
brooding.--In the baptism of John,--He passed by the rest and abode on
One:--but now He has descended and abode,--on all that are born of the
2. Out of all that John baptized,--on One it was that the Spirit
dwelt:--but now He has flown and come down,--that He may dwell on the
many;--and as each after each comes up,--He loves him and abides on him.
3. A marvel it is that surpasses all!--To the water He went down and
was baptized.--The seas declared it blessed,--that river wherein Thou wast
baptized:--even the waters that were in heaven envied,--because they were
not worthy to be Thy bath.
4. A marvel it is, O my Lord, now also,--that while the fountains are
full of water,--it is the water of baptism,--that alone is able to atone.--
Mighty is the water in the seas,--yet is it too weak for atonement.
5. Thy might, O my Lord, if it abides,--within the humble it exalts
him;--like as royalty if it abide--within the desert gives it peace.--Water
by Thy might has triumphed--over sin, for Life has encompassed it.
6. The sheep exulted when they saw--the hand draw nigh to baptize
them.-Receive, O ye sheep, your sealing; enter and be mingled in the
flock!--for more than over all the flock,--over you rejoice the Watchers
7. The Angels and the Watchers rejoice--over that which is born of the
Spirit and of water:--they rejoice that by fire and by the Spirit,--the
corporeal have become spiritual.--The Seraphins who sing "Holy" rejoice,--
that they who are made holy have been increased.
8. For lo! the Angels rejoice--over one sinner if he repent:--how much
more do they now rejoice--that in all churches and congregations,--lo!
Baptism is bringing forth--the heavenly from the earthly!
9. The baptized when they come up are sanctified;--the sealed when they
go down are pardoned.--They who come up have put on glory;--they who go
down have cast off sin.--Adam put off his glory in a moment;--ye have been
clothed with glory in a moment.
10. A house that is of dust when it has fallen,--by means of water can
be renewed:--the body of Adam that was of dust,--which had fallen by water
has been renewed.--Lo! the priests as builders--afresh renew your bodies.
11. A great marvel is this of the wool,--that it can take every dye,--
as the mind takes every discourse.--By the name of its dye it is called;--
as ye who were--baptized when "Hearers,"--have gained the name of
12. The common waters he sanctified--even Elisha through the Name that
is secret.--In them washed the leper openly,--and was cleansed by the Power
that is secret:-the leprosy was done away in the water, as transgressions
13. To-day, lo! your offences are blotted out,--and your names are
written down.--The priest blots out in the water;--and Christ writes down
in Heaven.--By the blotting out and the writing down--lo! doubled is your
14. Lo! mercy has dawned to-day;--and from bound to bound it
stretches:--the sun has sunk and mercy has dawned.--Justice has drawn in
her wrath; Grace has spread forth her love,--lo! she pardons and quickens
15. The sheep that beforetime were in the fold--lo! they hasten forth
to greet--the new lambs that have been added to it.--They are white and are
clad in white;-within and without white are your bodies as your vestments.
16. From every mouth "Blessed are ye,"--on every side "Blessed are
ye."--Sin from you is driven out,--and the Holy Spirit on you is dwelling.-
-The Evil One is become sad of countenance;--the Good God makes glad your
17. The gift that ye have received freely,--cease not from watching
over it:-this pearl if it shall be lost--cannot again be sought out,--for
it is like to virginity--which if it be lost is not to be found.
18. May ye from all defilement--be kept by the power of your white
robes!--and he whose freedom has defiled itself--may it be able to wash
itself clean by his weeping! --For me who am servant of the community--may
the supplication of the community win pardon!
19. To the author who has toiled in words,--be reconciliation in rest!-
-to the teacher who has toiled with voice,--be forgiveness through grace!--
to the priest who has toiled in baptizing,--let there come the crown of
20. From every mouth with one consent,--of those beneath and those
above,-Watchers, Cherubin, and Seraphin,--the baptized, the sealed, and the
hearers,--let each of us cry aloud and say,--" Glory to the Lord of our
(RESP.--Blessed is He Who atoned your sins, that ye might receive His
1. The flock of Jacob came down--and stood round the well of water.--In
the water they put on the similitude of the wood that was covered by it.--
Mysteries these and types of the Cross,--wherein the parables are
2. There are shown in these rods similitudes,--and in the sheep,
parables.--The Cross in the rods is figured, and in the sheep the souls of
men.--His wood was a mystery of our Wood;--likewise his sheep a mystery of
3. The sheep of Christ rejoice,--and stand round the layer of baptism;-
-in the water they put on the likeness--of the living and goodly Cross--
whereon gaze all things created,--and all of it is stamped on them all.
4. At the well Rebecca received--in her ears and hands the jewels.--The
Spouse of Christ has put on--precious things that are from the water:--on
her hand the living Body,--and in her ears the promises.
5. Moses drew water and watered the sheep--of Jethro the priest(1) of
sin.--But our Shepherd has baptized His sheep--Who is the high priest of
truth.--At the well the flocks were dumb,--but here the sheep have speech.
6. The People passed through the water and were baptized:--the People
came up on dry land and became as heathen.--The Commandment was savourless
in their ears;-the manna corrupted in their vessels.--Eat ye the living
Body,--the medicine of life that gives life to all!
7. To the sons of Lot Moses said,--" Give us water for money,--let us
only pass by through your border."--They refused the way, and the temporal
water.--Lo! the living water freely(2) given,--and the path that leads to
8. From the water Gideon chose for himself--the men who were victorious
in the battle.--Ye have gone down to the victorious waters:--come ye up and
triumph in the fight!--receive from the water atonement,--and from the
fight the crowning!
9. Ye baptized, receive your lamps,--like the lamps of the house of
Gideon;--conquer the darkness by your lamps,--and the silence by your
hosannas!--Gideon likewise in the battle--triumphed by the shout and the
10. David the King longed after--the water of the well, and they
brought it him;-but he drank it not, for he saw that with blood of men it
was bought.--In the midst of the water ye have revelled--that was bought
with the blood of God.
11. Out of Edom the prophet saw--God coming as one that presses the
grapes.--He made ready the winepress of wrath,--He trod down the peoples
and delivered the People.--He has turned and ordained Baptism;--the peoples
live, the People is come to nought.
12. In the river Jeremiah buried--the linen girdle that was marred;--
and [the People] waxed old and decayed.--...--The peoples that were decayed
and marred,--by the waters have been clad in newness.
13. In Siloam,(2) the blessed stream--the priests anointed Solomon.--
His youth was had in honour;--his old age was despised.--Through the pure
waters ye have been clad--in the purity of Heaven.
14. The fleece that was dry from the dew,--Jerusalem was figured in
it:--the bason that was filled with water,--Baptism was figured in it.--
That was dry after the manner of its type;--this was full after the manner
of its symbol.
15. The wearied body in water--washes and is refreshed from its toil.--
Lo! the layer in which are hidden--refreshing and life and delights.--In it
wearied Adam had rest--who brought labour into the creation.
16. The fountain of sweat in the body--is set to protect against
fever:--the fountain of Baptism--is set to protect against the Flame.--This
is the water that avails--for the quenching of Gehenna.
17. He who journeys through the desert,--as armour takes to himself
water--against all-conquering thirst.--Go ye down to the fountain of
Christ,--receive life in your members,--as armour against death.
18. Again, the diver brings up--out of the sea the pearl.--Be baptized
and bring up from the water--purity that therein is hidden,--the pearl that
is set as a jewel--in the crown of the Godhead.
19. Sweet water in his vessel--the seaman lays up as a store;--in the
midst of the sea he lays up and keeps it, the sweet in the midst of the
bitter.--So amidst the floods of sin,--keep ye the water of Baptism.
20. The woman of Samaria said to our Lord,--"Lo! verily the well is
deep."--Baptism though it be high,--in its mercy has stooped down with us:-
-for the atonement is from above--that has come down unto sinners.
21. "He that drinks the water that I shall give him,--verily never
again shall he thirst."--For this holy Baptism,--for it be ye athirst, my
beloved;--never again shall ye be athirst,--so that ye should come to
22. In the baptism of Siloam--the blind man washed, and his eyeballs--
were opened and enlightened by the water;--he cast off the darkness that
was on them.--The hidden darkness ye have cast off;--from the water ye have
been clad in light.
23. His hands Pilate washed--that he might not be of them that slew.--
Ye have bathed your bodies,--your hands together with your mouths.--Go in
and be of them that eat,--for this medicine of life gives life to all.
24. "Come after Me and verily I will make you--fishers of men."--For
instead of a draught of that which perishes,--they fished for the draught
that is forever.--They who had taken fishes for death,--baptized and gave
life to them that were to die.
25. An hundred and fifty fishes were taken--by Simon's net from the
water;--but there were taken by his preaching,--out of the bosom of
Baptism,--ten thousands and thousands of men,--a draught of the sons of the
26. Lo! our priest as a fisher--over the scanty water is standing;--he
has taken thence a great draught--of every shape and of every kind;--he has
drawn up the draught to bring it near--to the King of kings, most high.
27. Simon took the fishes and drew them up,--and they were brought near
before our Lord:--Our priest has taken from out of the water,--by the Hand
which he received from Simon,--virgins and chaste men who are brought near-
-in the festival of the Lord of feasts.
28. In Thy mercy I adjure Thee pardon me,--for in mercy Thou too hast
sworn,--Rabboni, "In the death of him that dieth,--I have no pleasure, but
in his life."--Thou hast sworn and I have adjured:--O Thou Who hast sworn,
pardon him who has adjured!
(RESP.--Happy are ye whose bodies have been made to shine!)
1. God in His mercy stooped and came down,--to mingle His compassion
with the water,--and to blend the nature of His majesty--with the wretched
bodies of men.-He made occasion by the water--to come down and to dwell in
us:--like to the occasion of mercy--when He came down and dwelt in the
womb:--O the mercies of God--Who seeks for Himself all occasions to dwell
2. To the cave in Horeb He stooped and came down,--and on Moses He
caused His majesty to dwell ;--He imparted His glorious splendour to
mortals.--There was therein a figure of Baptism:--He Who came down and
dwelt in it,--tempers within the water--the might of His majesty,--that He
may dwell in the feeble.--On Moses dwelt the Breath,--and on you the
Perfecting of Christ.
3. That might then none could endure;--not Moses chief of deliverers,--
nor Elijah chief of zealots;--and the Seraphin too vail their faces,--for
it is the might that subdues all.--His mercy mingled gentleness--in the
water and by the oil;--that mankind in its weakness--might be able to stand
before Him--when covered by the water and the oil.
4. The captive priests again in the well--hid and concealed the fire of
the sanctuary,(3)--a mystery of that glorified fire--which the Highpriest
mingles in Baptism.-The priests took up of the mire,--and on the altar they
sprinkled it;--for its fire, the fire of that well,--with the mire had been
mingled;--a mystery of our bodies which in the water--with the fire of the
Holy Spirit have been mingled.
5. The famous Three in Babylon--in the furnace of fire were baptized,
and came forth;--they went in and bathed in the flood of flame, they were
buffeted by the blazing billows.--There was sprinkled on them there--the
dew that fell from heaven;--it loosed from off them there--the bonds of the
earthly king.--Lo! the famous Three went in and found a fourth in the
6. That visible fire that triumphed outwardly,--pointed to the fire of
the Holy Ghost,--which is mingled, lo! and hidden in the water.--In the
flame Baptism is figured,--in that blaze of the furnace.--Come, enter, be
baptized, my brethren,--for lo! it looses the bonds;--for in it there
dwells and is hidden--the Daysman of God,--Who in the furnace was the
7. Two words again our Lord spake--which in one voice agree in unison:-
-He said, "I am come to send fire,"--and again, "I have a baptism to be
baptized with."-By the fire of Baptism is quenched the fire,--that which
the Evil One had kindled:-and the water of Baptism has overcome--those
waters of contention--by which he had made trial--of Joseph who conquered
and was crowned.
8. Lo! the pure fire of our Redeemer--which he kindled in mankind of
His mercy!--Through His fire He quenched that fire--which had been kindled
in the defiled and sinful.--This is the fire wherein the thorns--are burnt
up and the tares.--But happy are your bodies--that have been baptized in
the fire--which has consumed your thickets,--and by it your seeds have
sprung up to heaven!
9. Jeremiah in the womb He sanctified and taught.--But if the lowly
bosom of wedlock--was sanctified in conceiving and bringing him forth,--how
much more shall Baptism sanctify--its conception and its bringing forth--of
them that are pure and spiritual!--For there, within the womb--is the
conception of all men;--but here, out of the water,--is the birth whereof
the spiritual are worthy.
10. For Jeremiah though sanctified in the womb,--they took up nails and
cast him into the pit.--Holy was the prophet in his befoulment,--for clean
was his heart though he was in the mire.--Be ye afraid, my brethren--for
lo! to-day is washed away--your secret befoulment,--and the abomination of
your sins.--Turn not again to uncleanness,--for there is but one cleansing
of your bodies!
11. The presumptuous who is baptized and again sins,--is as the serpent
that casts its slough and again puts it on, that is renewed and made young,
and turns again----putting on anew its skin of old;--for the serpent does
not--cast off its nature.--Cast ye off the tempter--the corrupter of
souls,--even the old man;--let it not make old--the newness ye have put on!
12. Elisha cast the wood into the water, and made the heavy float and
the light sink:--their natures were exchanged in the water.--There a new
thing came to pass not according to nature.--How much easier then, O Lord,-
-is this for Thy grace; that in the water should sink--transgression which
is heavy,--but that the soul which is light--should be drawn forth and
raised up on high!
13. Joshua, son of Nun, on Jericho--laid a curse on its walls and a
doom on its fountains.--They whom Joshua cursed to their destruction,--
again in the mystery of Jesus have been blessed.--There was cast into them
salt,--and they were healed and sweetened:--a mystery of this salt,--the
sweet salt that came from Mary,--that was mingled in the water,--whereby
was healed the noisomeness of our plagues.
14. Lo! quiet waters are before you,--holy and tranquil and pleasant;--
for they are not the waters of contention--that cast Joseph into the
dungeon;--nor yet are they the waters,--those waters of strife,--beside
which the people strove,--and gainsaid in the wilderness.--There are waters
whereby--there is reconciliation made with Heaven.
15. Hagar saw the spring of water,--and from it she gave drink to her
forward son, him who became as a wild ass in the wilderness.--Instead of
that fountain of water is Baptism.--In it are baptized the sons of Hagar,--
and are become gentle and peaceful. Who has seen rams(1) like these,--that
are yoked, lo! and labour--along with tame bullocks,--and the seed of their
tillage is reaped an hundredfold!
16. In the beginning the Spirit that brooded--moved on the waters; they
conceived and gave birth--to serpents and fishes and birds.--The Holy
Spirit has brooded in Baptism,--and in mystery has given birth to eagles,--
Virgins and Prelates;--and in mystery has given birth to fishes,--celibates
and intercessors; and in mystery of serpents,--lo! the subtle have become
simple as doves!
17. Lo! the sword of our Lord in the waters!--that which divides sons
and fathers:--for it is the living sword that makes--division, lo! of the
living from the dying.--Lo! they are baptized and they become--Virgins and
saints,--who have gone down, been baptized, and put on--the One Only
begotten.--Lo! many have come boldly to Him!
18. For whoso have been baptized and put on Him--the Only begotten the
Lord of the many,--has filled thereby the place of many,--for to him Christ
has become a great treasure:--for He became in the wilderness--a table of
good meats,--and He became at the marriage feast--a fountain of choice
wines.--He has become such to all in all things,--by helps and healings and
19. Elisha was the equal of the Watchers--in his doings, glorious and
holy.--The camp of the Watchers was round about him;--thus let Baptism be
unto you,--a camp of guardians,--for by means of it there dwells in the
heart--the hope of them that are below--and the Lord of them that are
above.--Sanctify for Him your bodies,--for where He abides, corruption
comes not near.
20. They are no more, the waters of that sea--which by its billows
preserved the People,--and by its billows laid low the peoples.--Of
contrary effect are the waters in Baptism.--In them, lo! the people have
life;--in them, lo! the People perishes:--for all that are not baptized,--
in the waters that give life to all,--they are dead invisibly.
21. They are no more, the waters of that sea--which were tempestuous,
and boiled against Jonah,--and plunged into the depths the Son of Amittai.-
-Though he fled he was bound in the prison-house;--God cast him in and
bound him--in dungeon within dungeon;--for he bound him in the sea.--and He
bound him in the fish.--For him Grace stood surety,--and she opened the
prison and brought forth the preacher.
22. The Prophets have called the Most High a fire,--" a devouring
fire," and "who can dwell with it?"(2)--The People were not able to dwell
in it;--its might crushed the peoples and they were confounded.--In it,
with the unction ye have been anointed;--ye have put Him on in the water;--
in the bread ye have eaten Him;--in the wine ye have drunk Him;--in the
voice ye have heard Him;--and in the eye of the mind ye have seen Him!
(RESP., Blessed is He Who came down, and sanctified water for the
remission of the sins of the children of Adam!)
1. O John, who sawest the Spirit,--that abode on the head of the Son,--
to show how the Head of the Highest--went down and was baptized--and came
up to be Head on earth!--Children of the Spirit ye have thus become,--and
Christ has become for you the Head:--ye also have become His members.
2. Consider and see how exalted ye are;--how instead of the river
Jordan--ye have glorious Baptism, wherein is peace;--spreading her wings to
shade your bodies.--In the wilderness John baptized:--in Her pure flood of
Baptism,--purely are ye baptized therein.
3. Infants think when they see its glory,--that by its pomp its might
is enhanced.--But it is the same, and within itself--is not divided.--But
the might which never waxes less or greater--in us is little or again
great;--and he in whom is great understanding,--great in him is Baptism.
4. A man's knowledge, if it be exalted,--exalted also is his degree
above his brethren;--and he whose faith is great,--so also is his promise;-
-and as is his wisdom, so also his crowning.--As is the light, which though
it be all goodly--and equal all of it with itself,--yet goodlier is one eye
5. Jesus mingled His might in the water:--put ye Him on my brethren as
discerning men!--For there are that in the water merely--perceive that they
are washed. With our body be our soul washed!--The manifest water let the
body perceive,--and the soul the secret might;--that both to the manifest
and to the secret ye may be made like!
6. How beautiful is Baptism--in the eye of the heart; come, let us gaze
on it!--Like as by a seal ye have been moulded;--receive ye its image,--
that nought may be lacking to us of our image!--For the sheep that are
white of heart--gaze on the glory that is in the water:--in your souls
reflect ye it!
7. Water is by nature as a mirror,--for one who in it examines
himself.--Stir up thy soul, thou that discernest,--and be like unto it!--
For it in its midst reflects thy image;--from it, on it, find an example;--
gaze in it on Baptism,--and put on the beauty that is hidden therein!
8. What profits it him that hears--a voice and knows not its
significance?--Whoso hears a voice and is devoid--of the understanding
thereof,--his ear is filled but his soul is empty.--Lo! since the gift is
abundant,--with discernment receive ye it.
9. Baptism that is with understanding--is the conjunction of two
lights,--and rich are the fountains of its rays.-- ......--And the darkness
that is on the mind departs,--and the soul beholds Him in beauty,--the
hidden Christ of glory,--and grieves when the glory fails.
10. Baptism without understanding--is a treasure full yet empty;--since
he that receives it is poor in it,--for he understands not--how great are
its riches into which he enters and dwells.--For great is the gift within
it,--though the mean man perceives not--that he is exalted even as it.
11. Open wide your minds and see, my brethren,--the secret column in
the air,whose base is fixed from the midst of the water--unto the door of
the Highest Place,like the ladder that Jacob saw.--Lo! by it came down the
light unto Baptism,--and by it the soul goes up to Heaven,--that in one
love we may be mingled.
12. Our Lord when he was baptized by John--sent forth twelve
fountains;--and they issued forth and cleansed by their streams--the
defilement of the peoples.--His worshippers are made white like His
garments,--the garments in Tabor and the body in the water.--Instead of the
garments the peoples are made white,--and have become for Him a clothing of
13. From your garments learn, my brethren,--how your members should be
kept.--For if the garment, which ever so many times--may be made clean,--is
duly kept for the sake of its comeliness,--the body which has but one
baptism--manifold more exceeding is the care of its keeping,--for manifold
are its dangers.
14. Again the sun in a house that is strait,--is straitened therein
though he be great: --but in a house that is goodly and large,--when he
rises thereon--far and wide in it he spreads his rays;--and though the sun
is one and the same in his nature,--in drivers houses he undergoes
changes:--Even so our Lord in drivers men.
(RESP.--Glory to Him Who came and restored it!)
1. Adam sinned and earned all sorrows;--likewise the world after His
example, all guilt.--And instead of considering how it should be restored,-
-considered how its fall should be pleasant for it.--Glory to Him Who came
and restored it!
2. This cause summoned Him that is pure,--that He should come and be
baptized, even He with the defiled,--Heaven for His glory was rent
asunder.--That the purifier of all might be baptized with all,--He came
down and sanctified the water for our baptism.
3. For that cause for which He entered into the womb,--for the same
cause He went down into the river.--For that cause for which He entered
into the grave,--for the same cause He makes us enter into His chamber.--He
perfected mankind for every cause.
4. His Conception is the store of our blessings;--His Birth is the
treasury of our joys;--His Baptism is the cause of our pardon;--His Death
is the cause of our life.-Death He alone has overcome in His Resurrection.
5. At His Birth a star of light shone in the air;--when He was baptized
light flashed from the water;--at His Death the sun was darkened in the
firmament;--at His Passion the luminaries set along with Him;--at His
Epiphany the luminaries arose with Him.
6. Revealed was His Glory because of His Majesty;--revealed was His
Passion because of His Manhood;--revealed was His Love because of His
Graciousness;--revealed was His Judgment because of His Justice.--He has
poured forth His attributes, on them that were His.
7. That whoso has looked on His Glory and despised Him,--may look again
on His Glory and worship Him;--and whoso has scorned to taste of His
Graciousness,--may fear lest he be made to feel His justice;--He has poured
forth His helps on His worshippers.
8. Lo! the East in the morning was made light!--lo! the South at
noonday was made dark!--The West again in turn at eventide was made light.-
-The three quarters represent the one Birth;--His Death and His Life they
9. His Birth flowed on and was joined to His Baptism;--and His Baptism
again flowed on even to His Death;--His Death led and reached to His
Resurrection,--a fourfold bridge unto His Kingdom; and lo! His sheep pass
over in His footsteps.
10. And like as, save by the door of birth,--none can enter into
creation;--so, save by the door of resurrection,--none can enter into the
Kingdom,--and whoso has cut off his bridge, has brought to nought his hope.
11. He put on His armour and conquered and was crowned;--He left His
armour on earth and ascended,--that if any man desires the crown,--he may
resort to the armour and win by it--the crown of victory which he yearns
12. He fulfilled righteousness on earth, and ascended.--But if He, the
All-cleanser, was baptized,--What man is there that shall not be baptized?-
-for grace has come to baptism--to wash away the foulness of our wound.
13. The compulsion of God is an all-prevailing force;--[but that is not
pleasing to Him which is of compulsion,] (1)--as that which is of
discerning will.--Therefore in our fruits He calls us--who live not as
under compulsion, by persuasion.
14. Good is He, for lo! He labours in these two things;--He wills not
to constrain our freedom--nor again does He suffer us to abuse it.--For had
he constrained it, He had taken away its power;--and had He let it go, He
had deprived it of help.
15. He knows that if He constrains He deprives us;--He knows that if He
casts off He destroys us;--He knows that if He teaches He wins us.--He has
not constrained and He has not cast off, as the Evil One does:--He has
taught, chastened, and won us, as being the good God.
16. He knows that His treasuries abound:--the keys of His treasuries He
has put into our hands.--He has made the Cross our treasurer--to open for
us the gates of Paradise,--as Adam opened the gate of Gehenna.
(RESP.--Let the bodies rejoice which the Evil One had made naked, that
in the water they have put on their glory!)
1. Give thanks, O daughter, that thy crownings have been doubled;--for
lo! thy temples and thy sons rejoice.--The dedication of thy temples is in
the ministration;-The dedication of thy sons is in the anointing.--Blessed
art thou that at once ......--...... the tabernacle for them that dwell in
thee,--and the Spirit has abode upon thy sons!
2. Our Lord opened up Baptism--in the midst of Jordan the blessed
river.--The height and the depth rejoiced in Him;--He brings forth the
first fruits of His peace from the water,--for they are first fruits, the
fruits of Baptism.--The good God in His compassion will bring to pass--that
His peace shall be first fruits on earth.
3. Moses stretched out the temporal Tabernacle;--the priests bathed
themselves in water,--and went in and ministered; and were stricken and
punished,--because their heart within was not cleansed.--Blessed art thou
that in the Passover of the great Passion,--the priests by the savour of
their oblations,--lo! are cleansing souls in thee!
4. Great was the mystery that the Prophet saw,--the torrent that was
mighty.--Into its depths he gazed and beheld--thy beauty instead of
himself; thee it was he saw,for thy faith passes not away,--thou whose
flood unseen shall overwhelm--the subtle-ties of idolatry.
5. Though John was great among them that are born of women,--yet he
that is little is greater than he,--in this that his baptized were again
baptized,--in the baptism that was of the Apostles.--Blessed art thou that
thy priest is greater than he--in this alone that forever--abides his
6. The baptism that was of Siloam--did not bring mercy to the man that
was laid there--who for thirty and eight years awaited it,--for he was a
respecter of the persons of the Levites.--Blessed art thou that thy healing
is in thee for all men,--and thy priests are devoted and ready--for all
that are in need of thy help.
7. The Prophet healed the waters that were unwholesome,--and cured the
disease of the land that was barren,--so that its death was done away and
its region resounded, for its offspring increased and its bosom was
filled.--Greater is Thy grace, Lord, than Elisha's!--Multiply my lambs and
my flocks--at the great stream of my fountain! (1)
8. Great is the marvel that is within thy abode;--the flocks together
with the Shepherds,--those at the stream of the waters,--two unseen with
one manifest who baptizes.--Blessed is he who is baptized in their
fountains!--for three arms have upheld him,--and three Names have preserved
(RESP.--Blessed is He Who went down and was baptized in Jordan, and
turned back the People from error!)
1. In Baptism Adam found again--that glory that was among the trees of
Eden.-He went down, and received it out of the water;--he put it on, and
went up and was adorned therein.--Blessed be He that has mercy on all!
2. Man fell in the midst of Paradise,--and in baptism compassion
restored him:-he lost his comeliness through Satan's envy,--and found it
again by God's grace.-Blessed be He that has mercy on all!
3. The wedded pair were adorned in Eden;--but the serpent stole their
crowns:-yet mercy crushed down the accursed one,--and made the wedded pair
goodly in their raiment.--Blessed be He that has mercy on all!
4. They clothed themselves with leaves of necessity;--but the Merciful
had pity on their beauty,--and instead of leaves of trees,--He clothed them
with glory in the water.--Blessed be He that has mercy on all!
5. Baptism is the well-spring of life,--which the Son of God opened by
His Life;-and from His Side it has brought forth streams.--Come, all that
thirst, come, rejoice!--Blessed be He that has mercy on all!
6. The Father has sealed Baptism, to exalt it;--and the Son has
espoused it to glorify it;--and the Spirit with threefold seal--has stamped
it, and it has shone in holiness.--Blessed be He that has mercy on all!
7. The Trinity that is unsearchable--has laid up treasures in baptism.-
-Descend, ye poor, to its fountain!--and be enriched from it, ye needy!--
Blessed be He that has mercy on all!
HYMN OF THE BAPTIZED.
(RESP.--Brethren, sing praises, to the Son of the Lord of all; Who has
bound for you crowns, such as king's long for!)
1. Your garments glisten, my brethren, as snow;--and fair is your
shining in the likeness of Angels!
2. In the likeness of Angels, ye have come up, beloved,--from Jordan's
river, in the armour of the Holy Ghost.
3. The bridal chamber that fails not, my brethren, ye have received:--
and the glory of Adam's house to-day ye have put on.
4. The judgment that came of the fruit, was Adam's condemnation:--but
for you victory, has arisen this day.
5. Your vesture is shining, and goodly your crowns:--which the
Firstborn has bound for you, by the priest's hand this day.
6. Woe in Paradise, did Adam receive:--but you have received, glory
7. The armour of victory, ye put on, my beloved:--in the hour when the
priest, invoked the Holy Ghost.
8. The Angels rejoice, men here below exult:--in your feast, my
brethren, wherein is no foulness.
9. The good things of Heaven, my brethren, ye have received:--beware of
the Evil One, lest he despoil you.
10. The day when He dawned, the Heavenly King:--opens for you His door,
and bids you enter Eden.
11. Crowns that fade not away, are set on your heads:--hymns of praise
hourly, let your mouths sing.
12. Adam by means of the fruit, God cast forth in sorrow:--but you He
makes glad, in the bride-chamber of joy.
13. Who would not rejoice, in your bridechamber, my brethren?--for the
Father with His Son, and the Spirit rejoice in you.
14. Unto you shall the Father, be a wall of strength:--and the Son a
Redeemer, and the Spirit a guard.
15. Martyrs by their blood, glorify their crowns:--but you our
Redeemer, by His Blood glorifies.
16. Watchers and Angels, joy over the repentant:--they shall joy over
you my brethren, that unto them ye are made like.
17. The fruit which Adam, tasted not in Paradise:--this day in your
mouths, has been placed with joy.
18. Our Redeemer figured, His Body by the tree:--whereof Adam tasted
not, because he had sinned.
19. The Evil One made war, and subdued Adam's house:--through your
baptism, my brethren, lo! he is subdued this day.
20. Great is the victory, but to-day you have won:--if so be ye neglect
not, you shall not perish, my brethren.
21. Glory to them that are robed, glory to Adam's house!--in the birth
that is from the water, let them rejoice and be blessed!
22. Praise to Him Who has robed, His Churches in glory!--glory to Him
Who has magnified, the race of Adam's house.
HYMN CONCERNING OUR LORD AND JOHN.
(RESP.--Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Thee--with joy Heaven and earth
1. My thought bore me to Jordan,--and I saw a marvel when there was
revealed--the glorious Bridegroom who to the Bride--shall bring freedom and
2. I saw John filled with wonder,--and the multitudes standing about
him,--and the glorious Bridegroom bowed down--to the Son of the barren that
he might baptize Him.
3. At the Word and the Voice my thought marvelled:--for lo! John was
the Voice;--our Lord was manifested as the Word, that what was hidden
should become revealed.
4. The Bride was espoused but knew not--who was the Bridegroom on whom
she gazed:--the guests were assembled, the desert was filled,--and our Lord
was hidden among them.
5. Then the Bridegroom revealed Himself;--and to John at the voice He
drew near:--and the Forerunner was moved and said of Him--"This is the
Bridegroom Whom I proclaimed."
6. He came to baptism Who baptizes all,--and He showed Himself at
Jordan.-John saw Him and drew back,--deprecating, and thus he spake:--
7. "How, my Lord, willest Thou to be baptized,--Thou Who in Thy baptism
atonest all?--Baptism looks unto Thee;--shed Thou on it holiness and
8. Our Lord said "I will it so;--draw near, baptize Me that My Will may
be done.--Resist My Will thou canst not:--I shall be baptized of thee, for
thus I will it."
9. "I entreat, my Lord, that I be not compelled,--for this is hard that
Thou hast said to me,--'I have need that thou shouldst baptize Me;'--for it
is Thou that with Thy hyssop purifiest all."
10. "I have asked it, and it pleases Me that thus it should be;--and
thou, John, why gainsayest thou?--Suffer righteousness to be fulfilled,--
and come, baptize Me; why standest Thou?"
11. "How can one openly grasp--in his hands the fire that burns?--O
Thou that art fire have mercy on me,--and bid me not come near Thee, for it
is hard for me!"
12. "I have revealed to Thee My Will; what questionest thou?--Draw
near, baptize Me, and thou shalt not be burned.--The bridechamber is ready;
keep Me not back--from the wedding-feast that has been made ready."
13. "The Watchers fear and dare not--gaze on Thee lest they be
blinded;--and I, how, O my Lord, shall I baptize Thee?--I am too weak to
draw near; blame me not!"
14. "Thou fearest; therefore gainsay not--against My Will in what I
desire:--and Baptism has respect unto Me.--Accomplish the work to which
thou hast been called!"
15. "Lo! I proclaimed Thee at Jordan--in the ears of the people that
believed not and if they shall see Thee baptized of me,--they will doubt
that Thou art the Lord."
16. "Lo! I am to be baptized in their sight,--and the Father Who sent
Me bears witness of Me--that I am His Son and in Me He is well pleased,--to
reconcile Adam who was under His wrath."
17. "It becomes, me. O my Lord, to know my nature--that I am moulded
out of the ground,--and Thou the moulder Who formest all things:--I, then,
why should I baptize Thee in water?"
18. "It becomes thee to know wherefore I am come,--and for what cause I
have desired that thou shouldst baptize Me.--It is the middle of the way
wherein I have walked;--withhold thou not Baptism."
19. "Small is the river whereto Thou art come,--that Thou shouldst
lodge therein and it should cleanse Thee.--The heavens suffice not for Thy
mightiness;--how much less shall Baptism contain Thee!"
20. "The womb is smaller than Jordan;--yet was I willing to lodge in
the Virgin:--and as I was born from woman,--so too am I to be baptized in
21. "Lo! the hosts are standing !--the ranks of Watchers, lo! they
worship And if I draw near, my Lord, to baptize Thee,--I tremble for myself
22. "The hosts and multitudes call thee happy,--all of them, for that
thou baptizest Me.--For this I have chosen thee from the womb:--fear thou
not, for I have willed it
23. "I have prepared the way as I was sent:--I have betrothed the Bride
as I was commanded.--May Thy Epiphany be spread over the world--now that
Thou art come, and let me not baptize Thee!"
24. "This is My preparation, for so have I willed;--I will go down and
be baptized in Jordan,--and make bright the armour for them that are
baptized,--that they may be white in Me and I not be conquered."
25. "Son of the Father, why should I baptize Thee?--for lo! Thou art in
Thy Father and Thy Father in Thee.--Holiness unto the priests Thou givest;-
-water that is common wherefore askest Thou?"
26. "The children of Adam look unto Me,--that I should work for them
the new birth.--A way in the waters I will search out for them,--and if I
be not baptized cannot be."
27. "Pontiffs of Thee are consecrated,--priests by Thy hyssop are
purified;--the anointed and the kings Thou makest.--Baptism, how shall it
28. "The Bride thou betrothedst to Me awaits Me,--that I should go
down, be baptized, and sanctify her.--Friend of the Bridegroom withhold Me
not--from the washing that awaits Me."
29. "I am not able, for I am weak,--Thy blaze in my hands to grasp.--
Lo! Thy legions are as flame;--bid one of the Watchers baptize Thee!"
30. "Not from the Watchers was My Body assumed,--that I should summon a
Watcher to baptize Me.--The body of Adam, lo! I have put on,--and thou, son
of Adam, art to baptize Me."
31. "The waters saw Thee, and greatly feared ;--the waters saw Thee,
and lo! they tremble!--The river foams in its terror;--and I that am weak,
how shall I baptize Thee?"
32. "The waters in My Baptism are sanctified,--and fire and the Spirit
from Me shall they receive;--and if I be not baptized they are not made
perfect--to be fruitful of children that shall not die."
33. "Fire, if to Thy fire it draw near,--shall be burnt up of it as
stubble.--The mountains of Sinai endured Thee not,--and I that am weak,
wherein shall I baptize Thee?"
34. "I am the flaming fire;--yet for man's sake I became a babe--in the
virgin womb of the maiden.--And now I am to be baptized in Jordan."
35. "It is very meet that Thou shouldst baptize me,--for Thou hast
holiness to purify all.--In Thee it is that the defiled are made holy; but
Thou that art holy, why art Thou to be baptized?"
36. "It is very right that thou shouldst baptize Me,--as I bid, and
shouldst not gainsay.--Lo! I baptized thee within the womb;--baptize thou
me in Jordan!"
37. "I am a bondman and I am weak.--Thou that freest all have mercy on
me!Thy latchets to unloose I am not able;--Thy exalted head who will make
me worthy to touch?"
38. "Bondmen in My Baptism are set free;--handwritings in My washing
are blotted out ;--manumissions in the water are sealed ;--and if I be not
baptized all these come to nought."
39. "A mantle of fire the air wears,--and waits for Thee, above
Jordan;--and if Thou consentest to it and willest to be baptized,--Thou
shall baptize Thyself and fulfil all."
40. "This is meet, that thou shouldst baptize Me,--that none may err
and say concerning Me,--'Had He not been alien from the Father's house,--
why feared the Levite to baptize Him?' "
41. "The prayer, then, when Thou art baptized,--how shall I complete
over Jordan?--When the Father and the Spirit are seen over Thee,--Whom
shall I call on, as priest?"
42. "The prayer in silence is to be completed:--come, thy hand alone
lay thou on Me.--and the Father shall utter in the priest's stead--that
which is meet concerning His Son."
43. "They that are bidden, lo! all of them stand;--the Bridegroom's
guests, lo! they bear witness--that day by day I said among them,--'I am
the Voice and not the Word.' "
44. "Voice of him that cries in the wilderness,--fulfil thou the work
for which thou camest,--that the desert whereunto thou wentest out may
resound--with the mighty peace thou preachedst therein."
45. "The shout of the Watchers has come to my ears;--lo! I hear from
the Father's house--the hosts that sound forth the cry,--'In Thy Epiphany,
O Bridegroom, the worlds have life.'"
46. "The time hastes on, and the marriage guests--look to Me to see
what is doing.--Come, baptize Me, that they may give praise--to the Voice
of the Father when it is heard!"
47. "I hearken, my Lord, according to Thy Word:--come to Baptism as Thy
love constrains Thee!--The dust worships that whereunto he has attained,--
that on Him Who fashioned him he should lay his hand."
48. The heavenly ranks were silent as they stood,--and the Bridegroom
went down into Jordan;--the Holy One was baptized and straightway went up,-
-and His Light shone forth on the world.
49. The doors of the highest were opened above,--and the voice of the
Father was heard,--" This is my Beloved in Whom I am well pleased."--All ye
peoples, come and worship Him.
50. They that saw were amazed as they stood, at the Spirit Who came
down and bare witness to Him.--Praise to Thy Epiphany that gladdens all,--
Thou in Whose revelation the worlds are lightened!
1. In the Birth of the Son light dawned,--and darkness fled from the
world,--and the earth was enlightened; then let it give glory--to the
brightness of the Father Who has enlightened it!
2. He dawned from the womb of the Virgin,--and the shadows passed away
when He was seen,--and the darkness of error was strangled by Him,--and the
ends of the earth were enlightened that they should give glory.
3. Among the peoples there was great tumult,--and in the darkness the
light dawned,--and the nations rejoiced to give glory--to Him in Whose
Birth they all were enlightened.
4. His light shone out over the east;--Persia was enlightened by the
star:--His Epiphany gave good tidings to her and invited her,--" He is come
for the sacrifice that brings joy to all."
5. The star of light hasted and came and dawned--through the darkness,
and summoned them--that the peoples should come and exult--in the great
Light that has come down to earth.
6. One envoy from among the stars--the firmament sent to proclaim to
them,--to the sons of Persia, that they might make ready--to meet the King
and to worship Him.
7. Great Assyria when she perceived it--called to the Magi and said to
them,-"Take gifts and go, honour Him--the great King Who in Judea has
8. The princes of Persia, exulting,--carried gifts from their region;--
and they brought to the Son of the Virgin--gold and myrrh and frankincense.
9. They entered and found Him as a child--as He dwelt in the house of
the lowly woman;--and they drew near and worshipped with gladness,--and
brought near before Him their treasures.
10. Mary said, "For whom are these?--and for what purpose? and what is
the cause--that has called you to come from your country--to the Child with
11. They said, "Thy Son is a King,--and He binds crowns and is King of
all;-and great is His power over the world,--and to His Kingdom shall all
12. "At what time did this come to pass,--that a lowly woman should
bring forth a King? I who am in need and in want,--how then could a king
come forth from me?"
13. "In thee alone has this come to pass--that a mighty King from thee
should appear;--thee in whom poverty shall be magnified,--and to thy Son
shall crowns be made subject."
14. "Treasures of Kings I have not;--riches have never fallen to my
lot.--My house is lowly and my dwelling needy;--why then proclaim ye that
my Son is King?"
15. "Great treasure is in thy Son,--and wealth that suffices to make
all rich;--for the treasures of kings are impoverished,--but He fails not
nor can be measured."
16. "Whether haply some other be for your--the King that is born,
enquire ye concerning Him.--This is the son of a lowly woman,--of one who
is not meet to look on a King."
17. "Can it be that light should ever miss--the way whereon it has been
sent?It was not darkness that summoned and led us;--in light we walked, and
thy Son is King."
18. "Lo! ye see a babe without speech,--and the house of His mother
empty and needy,--and of that which pertains to a king nought is in it:--
how then in it is a king to be seen?"
19. "Lo! we see that without speech and at rest--is the King, and lowly
as thou hast said:--but again we see that the stars--in the highest He bids
haste to proclaim Him."
20. "It were meet, O men, that ye should enquire--who is the King, and
then adore him;--lest haply your way has been mistaken,--and another is the
King that is born."
21. "It were meet, O maiden, that thou shouldst receive it,--that we
have learned that thy Son is King,--from the star of light that errs not,--
and plain is the way, and he has led us."
22 "The Child is a little one, and lo! he has not--the diadem of a king
and of a throne;--and what have ye seen that ye should pay honour to Him,--
as to a king, with your treasures?"
23. "A little one, because He willed it for quietness' sake,--and meek
now until He be revealed.--A time shall be for Him when all diadems--shall
bow down and worship Him."
24. "Armies he has none;--nor has my Son legions and troops:--in the
poverty of His mother He dwells;--why then King is He called by you?"
25. "The armies of thy Son are above;--they ride on high, and they
flame,--and one of them it was that came and summoned us,--and all our
country was dismayed."
26. "The Child is a babe, and how is it possible--He should be King,
unknown to the world?--And they that are mighty and of renown,--how can a
babe be their ruler?"
27. "Thy babe is aged, O Virgin,--and Ancient of Days and exalted above
all and Adam beside Him is very babe,--and in Him all created things are
28. "It is very seemly that ye should expound--all the mystery and
explain who it is that reveals to you the mystery of my Son,--that He is a
King in your region."
29. "It is likewise seemly for thee to accept this,--that unless the
truth had led us we had not wandered hither from the ends of the earth,--
nor come for the sake of thy Son."
30. "All the mystery as it was wrought--among you there in your
country,--reveal ye to me now as friends.--Who was He that called you to
come to me?"
31. "A mighty Star appeared to us--that was glorious exceedingly above
the stars,--and our land by its fire was kindled;--that this King had
appeared it bore tidings to us."
32. "Do not, I beseech you, speak of---these things in our land lest
they rage,-and the kings of the earth join together--against the Child in
33. "Be not thou dismayed, O Virgin!--Thy Son shall bring to nought all
diadems, and set them underneath his heel;--and they shall not subdue Him
Whom they envy."
34. "Because of Herod I am afraid,--that unclean wolf, lest he assail
me,--and draw his sword and with it cut off--the sweet cluster before it be
35. "Because of Herod fear thou not;--for in the hands of thy Son is
his throne placed:--and as soon as He shall reign it shall be laid low,--
and his diadem shall fall on the earth beneath."
36. "A torrent of blood is Jerusalem,--wherein the excellent ones are
slain;--and if she perceives Him she will assail Him.--In mystery speak ye,
and noise it not abroad."
37. "All torrents, and likewise swords,--by the hands of thy Son shall
be appeased;--and the sword of Jerusalem shall be blunted,--and shall not
desire at all to kill."
38. "The scribes of the priests of Jerusalem--pour forth blood and heed
not.-They will arouse murderous strife--against me and against the Child; O
Magi, be silent!"
39. "The scribes and the priests will be unable--to hurt thy son in
their envy;--for by Him their priesthood shall be dissolved,--and their
festivals brought to nought."
40. "A Watcher revealed to me, when I received--conception of the Babe,
that my Son is a King;--that His diadem is from on high and is not
dissolved,--he declared to me even as ye do."
41. "The Watcher, therefore, of whom thou hast spoken--is he who came
as a star,--and was shown to us and brought us good tidings--that He is
great and glorious above the stars."
42. "That Angel declared to me--in his good tidings, when he appeared
to me,-that to His Kingdom no end shall be--and the mystery is kept and
shall not be revealed."
43. "The Star also declared again to us--that thy Son is He that shall
keep the diadem.--His aspect was something changed,--and he was the Angel
and made it not known to us."
44. "Before me when the Watcher showed himself,--he called Him his Lord
before He was conceived;--and as the Son of the Highest announced Him to
me:--but where His Father is he made not known to me."
45. "Before us he proclaimed in the form of a star--that the Lord of
the Highest is He Who is born;--and over the stars of light thy Son is
ruler,--and unless He commands they rise not."
46. "In your presence, lo! there are revealed--other mysteries, that ye
may learn the truth;--how in virginity I bare my Son,--and He is Son of
God; go ye, proclaim Him!"
47. "In our presence the Star taught us--that His Birth is exalted
above the world and above all beings is thy Son,--and is Son of God
according to thy saying."
48. "The world on high and the world below bear witness to Him,--all
the Watchers and the stars,--that He is Son of God and Lord.--Bear ye His
fame to your lands!"
49. "All the world on high, in one star,--has stirred up Persia and she
has learnt the truth,--that thy Son is Son of God,--and to Him shall all
peoples be subject."
50. "Peace bear ye to your lands:--peace be multiplied in your borders
apostles of truth may ye be believed--in all the way that ye shall pass
51. "The peace of thy Son, it shall bear us--in tranquillity to our
land, as it has led us hither;--and when His power shall have grasped the
worlds,--may He visit our land and bless it!
52. "May Persia rejoice in your glad tidings!--may Assyria exult in
your coming--And when my Son's Kingdom shall arise,--may He plant His
standard in your country!"
53. Let the Church sing with rejoicing,--" Glory in the Birth of the
Highest,--by Whom the world above and the world below are illumined!"--
Blessed be He in Whose Birth all are made glad!
Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published
by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in
1867. (LNPF II/XIII, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The
Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.