(Resp., Blessed is He Who came down, and sanctified water for the remission of the sins of the children of Adam!)
1. O John, who sawest the Spirit, -- that abode on the head of the Son, -- to show how the Head of the Highest -- went down and was baptized -- and came up to be Head on earth! -- Children of the Spirit ye have thus become, -- and Christ has become for you the Head: -- ye also have become His members.
2. Consider and see how exalted ye are; -- how instead of the river Jordan -- ye have glorious Baptism, wherein is peace; -- spreading her wings to shade your bodies. -- In the wilderness John baptized: -- in Her pure flood of Baptism, -- purely are ye baptized therein.
3. Infants think when they see its glory, -- that by its pomp its might is enhanced. -- But it is the same, and within itself -- is not divided. -- But the might which never waxes less or greater -- in us is little or again great; -- and he in whom is great understanding, -- great in him is Baptism.
4. A man's knowledge, if it be exalted, -- exalted also is his degree above his brethren; -- and he whose faith is great, -- so also is his promise; -- and as is his wisdom, so also his crowning. -- As is the light, which though it be all goodly -- and equal all of it with itself, -- yet goodlier is one eye than another.
5. Jesus mingled His might in the water: -- put ye Him on my brethren as discerning men! -- For there are that in the water merely -- perceive that they are washed. With our body be our soul washed! -- The manifest water let the body perceive, -- and the soul the secret might; -- that both to the manifest and to the secret ye may be made like!
6. How beautiful is Baptism -- in the eye of the heart; come, let us gaze on it! -- Like as by a seal ye have been moulded; -- receive ye its image, -- that nought may be lacking to us of our image! -- For the sheep that are white of heart -- gaze on the glory that is in the water: -- in your souls reflect ye it!
7. Water is by nature as a mirror, -- for one who in it examines himself. -- Stir up thy soul, thou that discernest, -- and be like unto it! -- For it in its midst reflects thy image; -- from it, on it, find an example; -- gaze in it on Baptism, -- and put on the beauty that is hidden therein!
8. What profits it him that hears -- a voice and knows not its significance? -- Whoso hears a voice and is devoid -- of the understanding thereof, -- his ear is filled but his soul is empty. -- Lo! since the gift is abundant, -- with discernment receive ye it.
9. Baptism that is with understanding -- is the conjunction of two lights, -- and rich are the fountains of its rays. -- ...... -- And the darkness that is on the mind departs, -- and the soul beholds Him in beauty, -- the hidden Christ of glory, -- and grieves when the glory fails.
10. Baptism without understanding -- is a treasure full yet empty; -- since he that receives it is poor in it, -- for he understands not -- how great are its riches into which he enters and dwells. -- For great is the gift within it, -- though the mean man perceives not -- that he is exalted even as it.
11. Open wide your minds and see, my brethren, -- the secret column in the air, whose base is fixed from the midst of the water -- unto the door of the Highest Place, like the ladder that Jacob saw. -- Lo! by it came down the light unto Baptism, -- and by it the soul goes up to Heaven, -- that in one love we may be mingled.
12. Our Lord when he was baptized by John -- sent forth twelve fountains; -- and they issued forth and cleansed by their streams -- the defilement of the peoples. -- His worshippers are made white like His garments, -- the garments in Tabor and the body in the water. -- Instead of the garments the peoples are made white, -- and have become for Him a clothing of glory.
13. From your garments learn, my brethren, -- how your members should be kept. -- For if the garment, which ever so many times -- may be made clean, -- is duly kept for the sake of its comeliness, -- the body which has but one baptism -- manifold more exceeding is the care of its keeping, -- for manifold are its dangers.
14. Again the sun in a house that is strait, -- is straitened therein though he be great: -- but in a house that is goodly and large, -- when he rises thereon -- far and wide in it he spreads his rays; -- and though the sun is one and the same in his nature, -- in divers houses he undergoes changes: -- Even so our Lord in divers men.