Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIII:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Selections from the Hymns and Homilies of Ephraim the Syrian and from the Demonstrations of Aphrahat the Persian Sage.: Hymn LX.
1. O what amazement befel the Evil One, of a sudden, my brethren: when the sinful woman was corrected, and gained Wisdom!—2. R., Glory to the One Who alone, conquered the Evil One; and to Him yea Him be also confession, Who vanquished Death!—3. p. 213 The Evil One marvelled “Where is her laughter? where her perfumes? where her dancing and outward ornament, and inward wickedness?”—4. Instead of that light laughter, she is given up to tears: She has cut off her hair to wipe the dust, off the feet of Jesus.—5. Naught lasts in her of any doctrine, nor abides in her: from our instruction she has escaped and cast away, all that I taught her.—6. She has denied us and our acquaintance, and even as though: she had never seen me she has blotted my image, out of her mind.—7. The living leaven of Jesus flew to her, Jesus was silent: but she made bold to press and enter, though none called her.—8. She forgot our love of many years, and in the twinkling of an eye: from between me and her she removed it, and set Death there.—9. For instead of laughter weeping delights her, and instead of paint: a shower of tears, and instead of ornament, a sad countenance.—10. Zaccheus I made chief of extortioners, and her I made: chief of wantons; my two wings, Jesus has broken.—11. If so be Zaccheus becomes his disciple, and if so be she: becomes his hearer, henceforth they fetter, my craftiness.—12. Carved images henceforth are a mockery and the carvers: a derision, and the worshippers a laughing-stock.—13. I shut mens eyes that they might not perceive, that they are carved images: Jesus opens their eyes to see that they are the works of mens hands.—14. If Jesus has chosen for Himself preachers, then our preaching: whereof the whole world is full, is put to silence.—15. For lo! the Chaldeans with the soothsayers, and lo! the wizards: with the diviners they are smitten and the priests, with all evil ones!—16. Ye priests are ended and have given up the Ghost from henceforth, depart ye diviners! become husbandmen, the Chaldeans likewise, shall close their books.—17. If the Hebrews have become His disciples, who by all miracles: were not subdued, who of the nations, shall not obey him?—18. If he begins to set straight the reverse, He brings to naught our speech: henceforth He will not hesitate against us, He who rebukes all men.—19. In that I was worshipped in all temples, our disgrace is greater: than our honour was, for all men spit, upon our altars.—20. Flesh of sacrifice becomes abhorred, into fragments: idols are broken, and carven images burn, under their pots.—21. All our work becomes a laughing-stock, and a ruin: all that we have built, and a mockery, all that we have taught.—22. The secret mysteries that I taught them, laboriously: are about to be spread abroad, on the housetops.—23. Of the Egyptians I was more proud, than of any nation: for they used to worship even, the onions and garlic.—24. Lo! I fear lest even here, where delusion was so great: truth shall prevail that there exceedingly, Jesus may reign.—25. And if when He was an infant, and fled and went down, Egypt marvelled: yea lulled him—this strangler of babes, loved their Babe.—26. Was it a pledge He went down to give her, as a betrother: giving assurance that when of full age, He will also take her to wife?—27. Pharaoh cannot set his foot firm, for this is no stammerer: that he should deceive Him, and no bondman, that he should lie unto Him.—28. Moses smote and the Egyptians rebelled, and he chastised the people: and the Hebrews rebelled—Jesus is smitten, and gives life to all.—29. This is hard to understand that not by force; lays He His yoke: on the rebellious: He was rebuked, and He instructs others.—30. The spittle of His mouth, wiped off and took away, the shame of Adam: by the smiting of His cheeks, He rooted out our wrathfulness, from His disciples.—31. By the nails which he received, He made me to suffer. I rejoiced when I crucified Him: and I knew not that He was crucifying me, in His crucifixion.
Next: Hymn LXI.
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