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 LXV.
1. Man, O Death, despise thou it not, that image of Adam: which like a seed is committed to earth, till the Resurrection.—2. R., To thee be glory Who didst descend and plunge, after Adam: and draw him out from the depths of Sheol, and bring him into Eden!—3. Death, I marvel at this seed, and at your words: for lo! after five thousand years, it springs not yet.—4. M., Its present state passes away, as winter does: and as a handful of corn it comes in the resurrection, to the garner of life.—5. D., That there is vintage-time, lo! I know, but I have not seen: the dead at any time sown, or yet reaped.—6. M., There is coming a reaping, p. 217 O Death, that will leave thee bare: and the Watchers shall go forth as reapers, and make thee desolate.—7. D., When did I become husbandman, instead of vine-dresser? who has turned Sheol the wine-press, into a tilled field?—8. M., Does not the seed then teach thee, which decays and dies: and is cut off from hope, yet from the rain, recovers hope?—9. D., A dream have ye seen ye feeble ones, of life from the dead: for in waking time the resurrection, ye do not see.—10. M., Thy drowsiness hinders thee, that thou seest not: the multitudes of mysteries which cry aloud, of the resurrection.—11. D., I know that seeds come to life, but I have not seen: bones that grew in Sheol, and sprang and came up.—12. M., All thy discourse is like thyself, for lo! Ezekiel: has taught thee how in the valley, the dead come to life.—13. D., Trees have I seen how in summer, they put on their garments: but bones in their nakedness, are cast into Sheol.—14. M., Moses broke by his splendour, thy heart, O Death: the son of Adam has regained and put on, the glory of Adam.—15. D., Our law in Sheol is this, to keep silence: for you are words and for me deeds, O feeble ones.—16. M., How are the aged passed over if thou be vinedresser? He Who hindered thee from taking their lives, the same quickens all.—17. The babe in the womb confutes thee, which is as buried there: to me it proclaims life from the dead, but to thee despoiling.—18. The despised flower despises thee, for it is shut up and passed over: yet though lost it is not lost, but blossoms again.—19. The chick cries out from the egg, wherein it is buried: and the graves are rent by a Voice, and the body arises.—20. For a body too is the chick, that is in the egg: lo! its body to our body proclaims, the life from the dead.—21. With the locust thy plea is overthrown, and ended, O Death: for in coming forth from the dust it teaches, the life from the dead.—22. D., I had been content if already, the resurrection had been: for the day of resurrection had disturbed me less, than your judgments.—23. Merciful is the Son of the Highest, yea good and just: and will not harshly avenge on me, the death of Adam.—24. Have ye then no understanding, to perceive this: that your father laid on you, this retribution?
Next: Hymn LXVI.
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