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Hymns And Homilies Of Ephraim The Syrian - Ephraim the Syrian

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Selections Translated into English from the HYMNS AND HOMILIES of Ephraim the Syrian,


Introductory Dissertation.

First Part Ephraim the Syrian. I.--Summary of the Authenticated Facts of His Life.

II.--Materials for His Biography.

III.--The Life, as Amplified by Mediaeval Biographers.

IV.--Recapitulation of Authentic Facts of Life.

V.--Historical Criticism of Mediæval Amplifications.

VI.--Rectification of the Vatican Text of the Life.

VII.--Chronology of the Life of Ephraim.

VIII.--His Writings: Their Characteristics.

IX.--The Selections Included in the Present Collection.

X.--Probable Dates of His Works.

Second Part

Ephraim Syrus The Nisibene Hymns.

Nisibene Hymns. Hymn I. O God of mercies Who didst refresh Noah, he too refreshed Thy mercies

Hymn II. This day are opened, our mouths to give thanks

Hymn III. Fix thou our hearing, that it be not loosed and wander!

Hymn IV. My God, without ceasing, I will tread the threshold of Thy house

Hymn V. Cause to be heard in Thy grace, the tidings of Thy salvation: for an hearing has been made, a path of passage

Hymn VI. I will run in my affections, to Him who heals freely

Hymn VII. Wrath came to rebuke, the greedy who in the midst of peace, bargained, defrauded and plundered

Hymn IX.

Hymn X. My children have been slain

Hymn XI. Thy chastening is, as a mother of our infancy:--her rebuke is merciful, in that Thou hast restrained,--the children from folly, and they have been made wise!

Hymn XII. I will call in my affliction, on the Power that subdues all

Hymn XIII. Concerning Mar Jacob and his Companions

Hymn XIV. Under the three pastors,--there were manifold shepherds

Hymn XV. If the head had not been right,--haply the members had murmured:--for when because of a perverse head--the course of the members is put astray,--they are wont to lay the blame on the head

Hymn XVI. Herein is a mirror to be blamed,--if its clearness is darkened--because there are spots on its substance

Hymn XVII. Concerning Abraham, Bishop of Nisibis

Hymn XVIII. O thou who art made priest after thy master, the illustrious after the excellent, the chaste after the grave, the watchful after the abstinent, thy master from thee has not departed

Hymn XIX. Thou who answerest to the name of Abraham, in that Thou art made father of many

Hymn XX. O virgin-youth that art become bridegroom, move to a little jealousy thy mind, towards her who is the wife of thy youth: cut off the attachments which she had, in her girlhood with many others

Hymn XXI. John who was a torch, laid bare and rebuked the wanton ones: they made haste and quenched the torch, that they might let loose the desire of their lust

Hymn XXXV. Concerning Our Lord, and Concerning Death and Satan

Hymn XXXVI. Our Lord subdued His might and constrained it, that His living death might give life to Adam

Hymn XXXVII. Death was weeping for her, even for Sheol, when he saw her treasury that it was emptied

Hymn XXXVIII. My throne was set for me in Sheol: and one arose that was dead, and hurled me from it

Hymn XXXIX. There have come to me ransomers from among the saints, but none has plundered me like the Son of Mary

Hymn XL. The Evil One perceived his great humiliation, and boasted himself in the presence of his servants: he spoke great words to persuade them and said: |The knowledge which I possess, little of it is by nature

Hymn XLI. The Evil One said, |I fear Him, even Jesus, lest He destroy my arts

Hymn XLII. The Evil One wailed |Where now, is there a place for me to flee to from the righteous? I stirred up Death to slay the Apostles, that I might be safe from their blows

Hymn LII. Concerning Satan and Death

Hymn LIII. Come, let us hear how they contend for victory: the guilty ones who never have conquered, nor will conquer

Hymn LIV. Hear, O Freedom, the dispute of two servants: how they are convicted by each other, that they are powerless

Hymn LV. Lo! the Evil One reproached Death

Hymn LVI. With Freedom is thy struggle, O Evil One: it can cast on thee a muzzle, if it so please

Hymn LVII. Listen, my brethren, to Death, mocking the Evil One: that caused the head of our race to sin, and its mother

Hymn LVIII. Lo! Death was prompt beforehand, to mock Satan

Hymn LIX. Lo! Death for us on Satan, inflicts vengeance

Hymn LX. O what amazement befel the Evil One, of a sudden, my brethren: when the sinful woman was corrected, and gained Wisdom!

Hymn LXI. In wisdom let us hearken to Death, O my beloved: how he accuses us for our weeping, and for our mourning

Hymn LXII. Lo! Death, the King of silence, complains, my brethren

Hymn LXIII. Who shall weigh the recompense of Abraham? whom I marvelled at when he bound, his only son

Hymn LXIV. O feeble ones, why weep ye, over your dead: who in death are at rest from sorrows and sins?--2

Hymn LXV. Man, O Death, despise thou it not, that image of Adam: which like a seed is committed to earth, till the Resurrection

Hymn LXVI. Hold your peace, O mortals said Death), a little while: and be like me who am so silent, in the midst of Sheol

Hymn LXVII. Come ye, let us hear how Death convicts the People: that harsher than Death was their sword, against the just

Hymn LXVIII. O, Death, be not thou boastful, over the just

Nineteen Hymns on the Nativity of Christ in the Flesh.

Hymns on the Nativity. Hymn I. This is the day that gladdened them, the Prophets, Kings, and Priests, for in it were their words fulfilled, and thus were the whole of them indeed performed!

Hymn II. Blessed be that Child, Who gladdened Bethlehem to-day!

Hymn III. Blessed be that first day of thine, Lord, wherewith this day of Thy Feast is stamped!

Hymn IV. This is the month which brings all manner of joy

Hymn V. At the birth of the Son, there was a great shouting in Bethlehem

Hymn VI. Blessed be the Messenger that was laden, and came

Hymn VII. The Son of the Maker is like unto His Father as Maker!

Hymn VIII. That Thy Resurrection might be believed among the gainsayers, they sealed Thee up within the sepulchre, and set guards

Hymn IX. Come rest, and be still in the bosom of Thy Mother, Son of the Glorious

Hymn X. In Thee will I begin to speak, Thou Head that didst begin all created things

Hymn XI. The Virgin Mother to Her Child

Hymn XII. The Babe that I carry carries me, saith Mary, and He has lowered His wings, and taken and placed me between His pinions, and mounted into the air

Hymn XIII. For the Epiphany

Hymn XIV. Blessed be he who became beyond measure low, that he might make us beyond measure great)

Hymn XV. Blessed is He above all in His Birth!

Hymn XVI. Glory to all of Thee from all of us!

Hymn XVII. Praise to Thee from every mouth on this Day of Thy Birth!

Hymn XVIII. Praise be to Him Who sent Him!

Hymn XIX. Blessed be thy Birth that gladdens all creatures!

Fifteen Hymns For the Feast of the Epiphany.

Hymns for the Feast of the Epiphany. Hymn I. To Thee be praise from Thy flock in the day of Thy Epiphany!

Hymn II. Nearly identical with Hymn XIII

Hymn III. Christ with chrism, lo!

Hymn IV. Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

Hymn V. Blessed be He that ordained baptism, for the atonement of the sons of Adam!

Hymn VI. Blessed be He Who was baptized that He might baptize you, that ye should be absolved from your offences

Hymn VII. Blessed is He Who atoned your sins, that ye might receive His Body worthily!

Hymn VIII. Happy are ye whose bodies have been made to shine!

Hymn IX. Blessed is He Who came down

Hymn X. Glory to Him Who came and restored it!

Hymn XI. Let the bodies rejoice which the Evil One had made naked, that in the water they have put on their glory!

Hymn XII. Blessed is He Who went down and was baptized in Jordan, and turned back the People from error!

Hymn XIII. Hymn of the Baptized

Hymn XIV. Hymn concerning our Lord and John

Hymn XV. In the Birth of the Son light dawned,--and darkness fled from the world,--and the earth was enlightened

The Pearl. Seven Hymns on the Faith.

The Pearl, Seven Hymns on the Faith. Hymn I. On a certain day a pearl did I take up, my brethren

Hymn II. Whereunto art thou like? Let thy stillness speak to one that hears

Hymn III. Thou dost not hide thyself in thy bareness, O pearl!

Hymn IV. The thief gained the faith which gained him, and brought him up and placed him in paradise

Hymn V. O gift that camest up without price with the diver!

Hymn VI. Would that the memory of the fathers would exhale from the tombs

Hymn VII. As in a race saw I the disputers, the children of strife, [trying] to taste fire, to see the air, to handle the light: they were troubled at the gleaming, and struggled to make divisions

Three Homilies

Three Homilies. On Our Lord.

On Admonition and Repentance.

On the Sinful Woman.

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