Hymn concerning our Lord and John.
(Resp. -- Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Thee -- with joy Heaven and earth worship!)
1. My thought bore me to Jordan, -- and I saw a marvel when there was revealed -- the glorious Bridegroom who to the Bride -- shall bring freedom and holiness.
2. I saw John filled with wonder, -- and the multitudes standing about him, -- and the glorious Bridegroom bowed down -- to the Son of the barren that he might baptize Him.
3. At the Word and the Voice my thought marvelled: -- for lo! John was the Voice; -- our Lord was manifested as the Word, that what was hidden should become revealed.
4. The Bride was espoused but knew not -- who was the Bridegroom on whom she gazed: -- the guests were assembled, the desert was filled, -- and our Lord was hidden among them.
5. Then the Bridegroom revealed Himself; -- and to John at the voice He drew near: -- and the Forerunner was moved and said of Him -- |This is the Bridegroom Whom I proclaimed.|
6. He came to baptism Who baptizes all, -- and He showed Himself at Jordan. -- John saw Him and drew back, -- deprecating, and thus he spake: --
7. |How, my Lord, willest Thou to be baptized, -- Thou Who in Thy baptism atonest all? -- Baptism looks unto Thee; -- shed Thou on it holiness and perfection?|
8. Our Lord said |I will it so; -- draw near, baptize Me that My Will may be done. -- Resist My Will thou canst not: -- I shall be baptized of thee, for thus I will it.|
9. |I entreat, my Lord, that I be not compelled, -- for this is hard that Thou hast said to me, -- I have need that thou shouldst baptize Me;' -- for it is Thou that with Thy hyssop purifiest all.|
10. |I have asked it, and it pleases Me that thus it should be; -- and thou, John, why gainsayest thou? -- Suffer righteousness to be fulfilled, -- and come, baptize Me; why standest Thou?|
11. |How can one openly grasp -- in his hands the fire that burns? -- O Thou that art fire have mercy on me, -- and bid me not come near Thee, for it is hard for me!|
12. |I have revealed to Thee My Will; what questionest thou? -- Draw near, baptize Me, and thou shalt not be burned. -- The bridechamber is ready; keep Me not back -- from the wedding-feast that has been made ready.|
13. |The Watchers fear and dare not -- gaze on Thee lest they be blinded; -- and I, how, O my Lord, shall I baptize Thee? -- I am too weak to draw near; blame me not!|
14. |Thou fearest; therefore gainsay not -- against My Will in what I desire: -- and Baptism has respect unto Me. -- Accomplish the work to which thou hast been called!|
15. |Lo! I proclaimed Thee at Jordan -- in the ears of the people that believed not and if they shall see Thee baptized of me, -- they will doubt that Thou art the Lord.|
16. |Lo! I am to be baptized in their sight, -- and the Father Who sent Me bears witness of Me -- that I am His Son and in Me He is well pleased, -- to reconcile Adam who was under His wrath.|
17. |It becomes, me, O my Lord, to know my nature -- that I am moulded out of the ground, -- and Thou the moulder Who formest all things: -- I, then, why should I baptize Thee in water?|
18. |It becomes thee to know wherefore I am come, -- and for what cause I have desired that thou shouldst baptize Me. -- It is the middle of the way wherein I have walked; -- withhold thou not Baptism.|
19. |Small is the river whereto Thou art come, -- that Thou shouldst lodge therein and it should cleanse Thee. -- The heavens suffice not for Thy mightiness; -- how much less shall Baptism contain Thee!|
20. |The womb is smaller than Jordan; -- yet was I willing to lodge in the Virgin: -- and as I was born from woman, -- so too am I to be baptized in Jordan.|
21. |Lo! the hosts are standing! -- the ranks of Watchers, lo! they worship! -- And if I draw near, my Lord, to baptize Thee, -- I tremble for myself with quaking.|
22. |The hosts and multitudes call thee happy, -- all of them, for that thou baptizest Me. -- For this I have chosen thee from the womb: -- fear thou not, for I have willed it.
23. |I have prepared the way as I was sent: -- I have betrothed the Bride as I was commanded. -- May Thy Epiphany be spread over the world -- now that Thou art come, and let me not baptize Thee!|
24. |This is My preparation, for so have I willed; -- I will go down and be baptized in Jordan, -- and make bright the armour for them that are baptized, -- that they may be white in Me and I not be conquered.|
25. |Son of the Father, why should I baptize Thee? -- for lo! Thou art in Thy Father and Thy Father in Thee. -- Holiness unto the priests Thou givest; -- water that is common wherefore askest Thou?|
26. |The children of Adam look unto Me, -- that I should work for them the new birth. -- A way in the waters I will search out for them, -- and if I be not baptized this cannot be.|
27. |Pontiffs of Thee are consecrated, -- priests by Thy hyssop are purified; -- the anointed and the kings Thou makest. -- Baptism, how shall it profit Thee?|
28. |The Bride thou betrothedst to Me awaits Me, -- that I should go down, be baptized, and sanctify her. -- Friend of the Bridegroom withhold Me not -- from the washing that awaits Me.|
29. |I am not able, for I am weak, -- Thy blaze in my hands to grasp. -- Lo! Thy legions are as flame; -- bid one of the Watchers baptize Thee!|
30. |Not from the Watchers was My Body assumed, -- that I should summon a Watcher to baptize Me. -- The body of Adam, lo! I have put on, -- and thou, son of Adam, art to baptize Me.|
31. |The waters saw Thee, and greatly feared; -- the waters saw Thee, and lo! they tremble! -- The river foams in its terror; -- and I that am weak, how shall I baptize Thee?|
32. |The waters in My Baptism are sanctified, -- and fire and the Spirit from Me shall they receive; -- and if I be not baptized they are not made perfect -- to be fruitful of children that shall not die.|
33. |Fire, if to Thy fire it draw near, -- shall be burnt up of it as stubble. -- The mountains of Sinai endured Thee not, -- and I that am weak, wherein shall I baptize Thee?|
34. |I am the flaming fire; -- yet for man's sake I became a babe -- in the virgin womb of the maiden. -- And now I am to be baptized in Jordan.|
35. |It is very meet that Thou shouldst baptize me, -- for Thou hast holiness to purify all. -- In Thee it is that the defiled are made holy; but Thou that art holy, why art Thou to be baptized?|
36. |It is very right that thou shouldst baptize Me, -- as I bid, and shouldst not gainsay. -- Lo! I baptized thee within the womb; -- baptize thou me in Jordan!|
37. |I am a bondman and I am weak. -- Thou that freest all have mercy on me! Thy latchets to unloose I am not able; -- Thy exalted head who will make me worthy to touch?|
38. |Bondmen in My Baptism are set free; -- handwritings in My washing are blotted out; -- manumissions in the water are sealed ; -- and if I be not baptized all these come to nought.|
39. |A mantle of fire the air wears, -- and waits for Thee, above Jordan; -- and if Thou consentest to it and willest to be baptized, -- Thou shalt baptize Thyself and fulfil all.|
40. |This is meet, that thou shouldst baptize Me, -- that none may err and say concerning Me, -- Had He not been alien from the Father's house, -- why feared the Levite to baptize Him?'|
41. |The prayer, then, when Thou art baptized, -- how shall I complete over Jordan? -- When the Father and the Spirit are seen over Thee, -- Whom shall I call on, as priest?|
42. |The prayer in silence is to be completed: -- come, thy hand alone lay thou on Me. -- and the Father shall utter in the priest's stead -- that which is meet concerning His Son.|
43. |They that are bidden, lo! all of them stand; -- the Bridegroom's guests, lo! they bear witness -- that day by day I said among them, -- I am the Voice and not the Word.'|
44. |Voice of him that cries in the wilderness, -- fulfil thou the work for which thou camest, -- that the desert whereunto thou wentest out may resound -- with the mighty peace thou preachedst therein.|
45. |The shout of the Watchers has come to my ears; -- lo! I hear from the Father's house -- the hosts that sound forth the cry, -- In Thy Epiphany, O Bridegroom, the worlds have life.'|
46. |The time hastes on, and the marriage guests -- look to Me to see what is doing. -- Come, baptize Me, that they may give praise -- to the Voice of the Father when it is heard!|
47. |I hearken, my Lord, according to Thy Word: -- come to Baptism as Thy love constrains Thee! -- The dust worships that whereunto he has attained, -- that on Him Who fashioned him he should lay his hand.|
48. The heavenly ranks were silent as they stood, -- and the Bridegroom went down into Jordan; -- the Holy One was baptized and straightway went up, -- and His Light shone forth on the world.
49. The doors of the highest were opened above, -- and the voice of the Father was heard, -- |This is my Beloved in Whom I am well pleased.| -- All ye peoples, come and worship Him.
50. They that saw were amazed as they stood, at the Spirit Who came down and bare witness to Him. -- Praise to Thy Epiphany that gladdens all, -- Thou in Whose revelation the worlds are lightened!