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 LVI.
1. With Freedom is thy struggle, O Evil One: it can cast on thee a muzzle, if it so please.—2. R., To Thee be glory in whose p. 210 victory we have gained strength: and in whose resurrection we defy even Death itself!—3. Lo! again these two exposed each other, how weak both are: Death reminded the Evil One of thy mightiness (O Freedom).—4. Thy fire is in thy nest, O Death, and thou perceivest not: the fate of the departed, to thee is overthrow.—5. Lo! Death and the Evil One proclaim thy mightiness (O Freedom): yea, the Evil One calls to mind thy faith.—6. If then these that were against thee are on thy side: this is a great thing that thy persecutors have become thy heralds,—7. D., I confess, O Evil One, that as usury: I lay up the Kings treasures, till His Coming.—8. S., I, O Death, rather deny that this belongs to God: this treasure of subtlety, which I have stored.—9. D., Thy coinage is fraudulent, then, O Satan: that into the treasuries of God, is not received.—10. S., A new coinage do I coin, in kingly wise: lo! my merchantmen bring loss, into the world.—11. God created everything out of nothing: and I created great sin out of nothing—12. D., Closed and bound be thy mouth, Evil One, who art thus bold: to set thyself, lo! in comparison with the Creator.—13. S., To me, O Death, it is lawful to dare and speak: thy tongue, even thine, is a slave, and under fear.—14. D., A gulf is henceforth between us, O Satan: for madly against thy Lord, lo! thou assailest.—15. S., Wherefore doubtest thou, O Death, of our concord? Be to us comrade and member: and lo! we reign.—16. Come, draw we our pair of swords, against mankind: I secretly, thou openly, and lo! we end them.—17. Sin and Sheol they too gave counsel to those two: saying “If ye be divided, ye are undone.”—18. See the waters how if dispersed, they run low: but if gathered they gain strength, and thus ye likewise.—19. If divided ye perish, as the feeble: but yoked together ye reign, as the mighty.—20. Love melts down many, as in a furnace: and makes one powerful mass, that overcomes all.—21. In it are wisdom and cunning, and force and power: it is greater far than an image of sixty cubits.—22. Be reconciled, let us assemble and go, against that party: which if it be at one can never be defeated.—23. These things the troublers discoursed, and gathered and came: Thy day, Lord, will gather them, into Gehenna.—24. Through Thy mercy, Lord, will I worship Thee, when I have risen: at Thy trumpet I will praise Thy Son, when I am purged.
Next: Hymn LVII.
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