(Resp. -- Happy are ye whose bodies have been made to shine!)
1. God in His mercy stooped and came down, -- to mingle His compassion with the water, -- and to blend the nature of His majesty -- with the wretched bodies of men. -- He made occasion by the water -- to come down and to dwell in us: -- like to the occasion of mercy -- when He came down and dwelt in the womb: -- O the mercies of God -- Who seeks for Himself all occasions to dwell in us!
2. To the cave in Horeb He stooped and came down, -- and on Moses He caused His majesty to dwell; -- He imparted His glorious splendour to mortals. -- There was therein a figure of Baptism: -- He Who came down and dwelt in it, -- tempers within the water -- the might of His majesty, -- that He may dwell in the feeble. -- On Moses dwelt the Breath, -- and on you the Perfecting of Christ.
3. That might then none could endure; -- not Moses chief of deliverers, -- nor Elijah chief of zealots; -- and the Seraphin too vail their faces, -- for it is the might that subdues all. -- His mercy mingled gentleness -- in the water and by the oil; -- that mankind in its weakness -- might be able to stand before Him -- when covered by the water and the oil.
4. The captive priests again in the well -- hid and concealed the fire of the sanctuary, -- a mystery of that glorified fire -- which the Highpriest mingles in Baptism. -- The priests took up of the mire, -- and on the altar they sprinkled it; -- for its fire, the fire of that well, -- with the mire had been mingled; -- a mystery of our bodies which in the water -- with the fire of the Holy Spirit have been mingled.
5. The famous Three in Babylon -- in the furnace of fire were baptized, and came forth; -- they went in and bathed in the flood of flame, they were buffeted by the blazing billows. -- There was sprinkled on them there -- the dew that fell from heaven; -- it loosed from off them there -- the bonds of the earthly king. -- Lo! the famous Three went in and found a fourth in the furnace.
6. That visible fire that triumphed outwardly, -- pointed to the fire of the Holy Ghost, -- which is mingled, lo! and hidden in the water. -- In the flame Baptism is figured, -- in that blaze of the furnace. -- Come, enter, be baptized, my brethren, -- for lo! it looses the bonds; -- for in it there dwells and is hidden -- the Daysman of God, -- Who in the furnace was the fourth.
7. Two words again our Lord spake -- which in one voice agree in unison: -- He said, |I am come to send fire,| -- and again, |I have a baptism to be baptized with.| -- By the fire of Baptism is quenched the fire, -- that which the Evil One had kindled: -- and the water of Baptism has overcome -- those waters of contention -- by which he had made trial -- of Joseph who conquered and was crowned.
8. Lo! the pure fire of our Redeemer -- which he kindled in mankind of His mercy! -- Through His fire He quenched that fire -- which had been kindled in the defiled and sinful. -- This is the fire wherein the thorns -- are burnt up and the tares. -- But happy are your bodies -- that have been baptized in the fire -- which has consumed your thickets, -- and by it your seeds have sprung up to heaven!
9. Jeremiah in the womb He sanctified and taught. -- But if the lowly bosom of wedlock -- was sanctified in conceiving and bringing him forth, -- how much more shall Baptism sanctify -- its conception and its bringing forth -- of them that are pure and spiritual! -- For there, within the womb -- is the conception of all men; -- but here, out of the water, -- is the birth whereof the spiritual are worthy.
10. For Jeremiah though sanctified in the womb, -- they took up nails and cast him into the pit. -- Holy was the prophet in his befoulment, -- for clean was his heart though he was in the mire. -- Be ye afraid, my brethren -- for lo! to-day is washed away -- your secret befoulment, -- and the abomination of your sins. -- Turn not again to uncleanness, -- for there is but one cleansing of your bodies!
11. The presumptuous who is baptized and again sins, -- is as the serpent that casts its slough and again puts it on, that is renewed and made young, and turns again -- -- putting on anew its skin of old; -- for the serpent does not -- cast off its nature. -- Cast ye off the tempter -- the corrupter of souls, -- even the old man; -- let it not make old -- the newness ye have put on!
12. Elisha cast the wood into the water, and made the heavy float and the light sink: -- their natures were exchanged in the water. -- There a new thing came to pass not according to nature. -- How much easier then, O Lord, -- is this for Thy grace; that in the water should sink -- transgression which is heavy, -- but that the soul which is light -- should be drawn forth and raised up on high!
13. Joshua, son of Nun, on Jericho -- laid a curse on its walls and a doom on its fountains. -- They whom Joshua cursed to their destruction, -- again in the mystery of Jesus have been blessed. -- There was cast into them salt, -- and they were healed and sweetened: -- a mystery of this salt, -- the sweet salt that came from Mary, -- that was mingled in the water, -- whereby was healed the noisomeness of our plagues.
14. Lo! quiet waters are before you, -- holy and tranquil and pleasant; -- for they are not the waters of contention -- that cast Joseph into the dungeon; -- nor yet are they the waters, -- those waters of strife, -- beside which the people strove, -- and gainsaid in the wilderness. -- There are waters whereby -- there is reconciliation made with Heaven.
15. Hagar saw the spring of water, -- and from it she gave drink to her forward son, him who became as a wild ass in the wilderness. -- Instead of that fountain of water is Baptism. -- In it are baptized the sons of Hagar, -- and are become gentle and peaceful. Who has seen rams like these, -- that are yoked, lo! and labour -- along with tame bullocks, -- and the seed of their tillage is reaped an hundredfold!
16. In the beginning the Spirit that brooded -- moved on the waters; they conceived and gave birth -- to serpents and fishes and birds. -- The Holy Spirit has brooded in Baptism, -- and in mystery has given birth to eagles, -- Virgins and Prelates; -- and in mystery has given birth to fishes, -- celibates and intercessors; and in mystery of serpents, -- lo! the subtle have become simple as doves!
17. Lo! the sword of our Lord in the waters! -- that which divides sons and fathers: -- for it is the living sword that makes -- division, lo! of the living from the dying. -- Lo! they are baptized and they become -- Virgins and saints, -- who have gone down, been baptized, and put on -- the One Only begotten. -- Lo! many have come boldly to Him!
18. For whoso have been baptized and put on Him -- the Only begotten the Lord of the many, -- has filled thereby the place of many, -- for to him Christ has become a great treasure: -- for He became in the wilderness -- a table of good meats, -- and He became at the marriage feast -- a fountain of choice wines. -- He has become such to all in all things, -- by helps and healings and promises.
19. Elisha was the equal of the Watchers -- in his doings, glorious and holy. -- The camp of the Watchers was round about him; -- thus let Baptism be unto you, -- a camp of guardians, -- for by means of it there dwells in the heart -- the hope of them that are below -- and the Lord of them that are above. -- Sanctify for Him your bodies, -- for where He abides, corruption comes not near.
20. They are no more, the waters of that sea -- which by its billows preserved the People, -- and by its billows laid low the peoples. -- Of contrary effect are the waters in Baptism. -- In them, lo! the people have life; -- in them, lo! the People perishes: -- for all that are not baptized, -- in the waters that give life to all, -- they are dead invisibly.
21. They are no more, the waters of that sea -- which were tempestuous, and boiled against Jonah, -- and plunged into the depths the Son of Amittai. -- Though he fled he was bound in the prison-house; -- God cast him in and bound him -- in dungeon within dungeon; -- for he bound him in the sea. -- and He bound him in the fish. -- For him Grace stood surety, -- and she opened the prison and brought forth the preacher.
22. The Prophets have called the Most High a fire, -- |a devouring fire,| and |who can dwell with it?| -- The People were not able to dwell in it; -- its might crushed the peoples and they were confounded. -- In it, with the unction ye have been anointed; -- ye have put Him on in the water; -- in the bread ye have eaten Him; -- in the wine ye have drunk Him; -- in the voice ye have heard Him; -- and in the eye of the mind ye have seen Him!