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 LXIV.
1. O feeble ones, why weep ye, over your dead: who in death are at rest from sorrows and sins?—2. R., Glory to Him Who endured all, for the sake of all men: yea tasted death for the sake of all, to bring all to life—3. I reveal unto you, that even Satan, though much content: at your weeping, yet laughs much, at your mourning.—4. In mockery he winks at me and nods to me, as a jester: “Come let us laugh at sinners, for lo! they are mad.”—5. Truly they have given up remembrance of that fire, which I have hidden for them: and lo! the fools are drunken with weeping, for their departed.—6. Instead of weeping as though, without provision: I had plundered and sent forth their dead, lo! they are mad.—7. The souls of the evil are to be afflicted, till the judgment day: and these weep over the graves, like to madmen.—8. They care not for their own sins, that haply to-morrow: they must go in shame of face, to join their dead.—9. And thus shall all be put to shame alike, family by family: in Sheol the wretches shall repent without avail.—10. Leave the drunken and the madman, until that day: wherein each shall shake off his wine wherewith he was maddened.—11. I will go to gather them, like children: that they may play the wanton and the madman, until they perish.—12. Lo! I have revealed to you the mystery, the secret of my comrade: go forth therefore, depart, amend, in repentance.—13. Leave me, I too will depart, I will see to my affairs: that with open face I may give my account to my Lord.—14. I know that the wind as it blew, has borne away my words: for ye are the same whom I, ofttimes have proved.—15. I remember Jeremiah how he, compared boldness: to the Indian who changes not his skin, though it is of freedom.—16. For this too belongs to it, even to freedom: that it binds itself by the will, as though by nature.—17. For so powerful is the will, in them that are free: that it may be likened to nature, through its workings. 354
I.e. though boldness is matter of free will, it becomes a second nature.
Next: Hymn LXV.
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