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 VII.
(Resp.—Blessed is He Who atoned your sins, that ye might receive His Body worthily!)
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 interpreted.
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 our flock.
3. The sheep of Christ rejoice,—and stand round the laver 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.
p. 275 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 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 512 given,—and the path that leads to Eden!
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 flame.
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, 513 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 laver 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.
p. 276 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 another baptism.
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 Simons 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 Kingdom.
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!
Rev. 21:6, Rev. 22:17.275:513
So in Peshitto, 1 Kin. i. 38; but Gihon in the Hebrew.
Next: Hymn VIII.
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