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Hymns And Homilies Of Ephraim The Syrian by Ephraim the Syrian

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!

1. 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! R., Glory be to thy justice!

2. Let us search out Thy justice; for who is sufficient -- to measure its help? since by it the wanton -- are oftentimes made chaste. --

3. Oftentimes Thy hand, O my Lord, has made the sick whole, -- for it is the healer in secret of their diseases, -- and the fount of their life.

4. Exceeding gently, the finger of Thy justice, -- in love and compassion, touches the wounds -- of him that is to be healed.

5. Exceeding mild and merciful, is her cutting to him that is wise: -- her sharp remedy, in its mighty love, -- consumes the corrupt part.

6. Exceeding welcome her wrath, to him that is discerning; -- but her remedies are hated, of the fool who has delight -- in the trouble of his limbs.

7. Exceeding eager is she, to bind the cut she has made; -- when she has smitten she pities, that from between these two -- she may breed healing.

8. Exceeding welcome her wrath, and her anger pleasant, -- and sweet her bitterness, sweetening bitter things -- that they may be made pleasant.

9. A cause of negligence is Thy indulgence to the careless; -- a cause of profit, is Thy rod among the slothful -- so that they become as traffickers.

10. The cause of our affliction, it is Thy justice; -- the cause of our carelessness, it is Thy graciousness, -- for our understanding has turned foolish.

11. Pharaoh hardened himself, because of Thy graciousness; -- for when the plagues were stayed, his cruelties waxed strong, -- and he lied to his promises.

12. Justice requited him, because he lied greatly against her, -- even Grace her freeborn sister; yea she restrained him again -- that he should not again provoke.

13. Rebuke, O my Lord, my guide, for it has been false as Egypt -- my prayers testify, that I am not as she, -- for Thy door have I not forsaken.

14. Let Thy cross, O my Lord, which stands, in my breaches that are open, -- repair again the breaches that are hidden; for instead of those without, -- those within have cleft me asunder!

15. A sea has broken through, and cast down, the watch tower wherein I had triumphed. -- Iniquity has dared to set up, a temple wherein I am shamed: its drink-offering chokes me.

16. My prayers on my walls, my persecutors have heard: -- the sun and his worshippers, are ashamed of their magicians, -- for I have triumphed by Thy cross.

17. All creatures cried out, when they saw the struggle, -- while Truth with falsehood, on my battered walls, fought and was crowned conqueror.

18. The force of Truth, chastised falsehood: -- in its chastisement it felt Truth, and through its own sins, it earned her victory.

19. I have great alarm; for since my deliverance, -- the honourable and mighty, who were devoted to my altar, have built in me high places.

20. My seven senses, O my Lord, even though they had been as fountains of tears, yet my tears were too little -- to lament our ruin.

21. The streets that were in sackcloth, and ashes cried out, -- disturbed by the play, akin to that which was, -- in the wilderness before the calf.

22. Poison seeks and wears, the beauty of lilies; -- and though their buds may conceal, and hidden disguise it, -- it blossoms in their bitter flowers.

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