I put it, my brethren, upon the palm of my hand,
That I might examine it:
I went to look at it on one side,
And it proved faces on all sides.
I found out that the Son was incomprehensible,
Since He is wholly Light.
In its brightness I beheld the Bright One Who cannot be clouded,
And in its pureness a great mystery,
Even the Body of Our Lord which is well-refined:
In its undivideness I saw the Truth
Which is undivided.
It was so that I saw there its pure conception,
The Church, and the Son within her.
The cloud was the likeness of her that bare Him,
And her type the heaven,
Since there shone forth from her His gracious Shining.
I saw therein his Trophies, and His victories, and His crowns.
I saw His helpful and overflowing graces,
And His hidden things with His revealed things.
The trumpet falters and the thunder mutters;
Be not thou daring then;
Leave things hidden, take things revealed.
Thou hast seen in the clear sky a second shower;
The clefts of thine ears,
As from the clouds,
They are filled with interpretations.
And as that manna which alone filled the people,
In the place of pleasant meats,
With its pleasantnesses,
So does this pearl fill me in the place of books,
And the reading thereof,
And the explanations thereof.
And when I asked if there were yet other mysteries,
It had no mouth for me that I might hear from,
Neither any ears wherewith it might hear me.
O Thou thing without senses, whence I have gained new senses!
"I have seen the divers who came down after me, when astonied,
So that from the midst of the sea they returned to the dry ground;
For a few moments they sustained it not.
Who would linger and be searching on into the depths of the Godhead?
"The waves of the Son are full of blessing,
And with mischiefs too.
Have ye not seen, then, the waves of the sea,
Which if a ship should struggle with them would break her to pieces,
And if she yield herself to them, and rebel not against them,
Then she is preserved?
In the sea all the Egyptians were choked, though they scrutinised it not,
And, without prying, the Hebrews too were overcome upon the dry land,
And how shall ye be kept alive?
And the men of Sodom were licked up by the fire,
And how shall ye prevail?
"At these uproars the fish in the sea were moved,
And Leviathan also.
Have ye then a heart of stone
That ye read these things and run into these errors?
O great fear that justice also should be so long silent!"
"For three days was Jonah a neighbour in the sea:
The living things that were in the sea were affrighted,
Saying, 'Who shall flee from God?
And ye are obstinate at your scrutiny of Him!'"
Thy mother is a virgin of the sea, though he took her not:
She fell into his bosom, though he knew her not;
She conceived thee near him, though he did not know her.
Do thou, that art a type, reporach the Jewish women
That have thee hung upon them.
Thou art the only progeny of all forms
Which art like to the Word on High,
Whom singly the Most High begot.
The engraven forms seem to be the type of created things above.
This visible offspring of the invisible womb
Is a type of great things.
Thy goodly conception was without seed,
And without wedlock was thy pure generation,
And without brethren was thy single birth.
Our Lord had brethren and yet not brethren,
Since He was an Only-Begotten.
O solitary one, thou type exact of the Only-Begotten!
There is a type of thine in the crown of kings,
Wherein thou hast brothers and sisters.
Goodly gems are thy brethren,
With beryls and unions as thy companions:
May gold be as it were thy kinsman,
May there be unto the King of kings
A crown from thy well-beloved ones!
When thou camest up from the sea, that living tomb,
Thou didst cry out,
Let me have a goodly assmblage of brethren, relatives and kinsmen.
As the wheat is in the stalk,
So thou art in the crown with princes:
And it is a just restoration to thee, as if of a pledge,
That from the depth thou shouldest be exalted to a goodly eminence.
Wheat the stalk bears in the field;
Thee the head of the king upon his chariot carries about.
O daughter of the water,
Who hast left the sea, wherein thou wert born,
And art gone up to the dry land, wherein thou art beloved:
For men have loved and seized and adorned themselves with thee,
Like as they did that Offspring Whom the Gentiles loved
And crowned themselves withal.
It is by the mystery of truth that Leviathan is trodden down of
The divers put him off, and put on Christ.
In the sacrament of oil did the Apostles steal Thee away, and came up.
They snatched their souls from his mouth, bitter as it was.
Thy Nature is like a silent lamb in its sweetness,
Of which if a man is to lay hold,
He lifts it in a crucial form by its ears, as it was on Golgotha.
He cast out abundantly all His gleams upon them that looked upon Him.
And if they showed no pity upon thee,
Neither did they love thee:
Still suffer as thou mightest,
Thou has come to reign! Simon Peter showed pity on the Rock;
Whoso hath smitten it, is himself thereby overcome;
It is by reason of Its suffering
That Its beauty hath adorned the height and the depth.
Thou art like Eve who was clothed with nakedness.
Cursed be he that deceived her and stripped her and left her.
The serpent cannot strip off thy glory.
In the mysteries whose type thou art,
Women are clothed with Light in Eden.
The eunuch of Ethiopia upon his chariot saw Philip:
The Lamb of Light met the dark man from out of the water.
While he was reading, the Ethiopian was baptised
And shone with joy, and journeyed on!
He made disciples and taught,
And out of black men he made men white.
And the dark Ethiopic women became pearls for the Son;
He offered them up to the Father, as a glistening crown from the
The bright spark which went down home with that blessed [Queen],
Held on its shining amid the darkness,
Till the new Day-spring came.
The bright spark met with this shining,
And illumined the place.
For the head is thy crown intended:
For the eye thy beauty,
For the ear thy goodliness.
Come up from the sea, thou neighbour to the dry land,
And come and sojourn by the [seat of] hearing.
Let the ear love the word of life as it loveth thee!
In the ear is the word,
And without it is the pearl.
Let it as being warned by thee,
By thee get wisdom, and be warned by the word of truth.
Be thou its mirror:
The beauty of the Word in thine own beauty shall it see:
In thee it shall learn how precious is the Word on High!
The ear is the leaf:
The flesh is the tree,
And thou in the midst of it are a fruit of light,
And to the womb that brings forth Light,
Thou art a type that points.
Thee He used as a parable of that kingdom, O pearl!
As He did the virgins that entered into it, five in number,
Clothed with the light of their lamps!
To thee are those bright ones like, thou that art clad in light!
It were a great disgrace
If thou shouldst throw thy pearl away into the mire for nought!
In the pearl of time
Let us behold that of eternity;
For it is in the purse, or in the seal, or in the treasury.
Within the gate there are other gates with their locks and keys.
Thy pearl hath the High One sealed up as taking account of all.
The fool, who goes astray,
Grazes the faith, as it were an eye,
By all manner of questions.
The probing of the finger blinds the eye,
And much more doth that prying blind the faith.
For even the diver pries not into his pearl.
In it do all merchants rejoice
Without prying into whence it came ;
Even the king who is crowned therewith
Does not explore it.
The people that had a heart of stone,
By a Stone He set at nought,
For lo, a stone hears words.
Witness its work that has reproved them ;
And you, ye deaf ones,
Let the pearl reprove to-day.
With the swallow and the crow did He put men to shame ;
With the ox, yea with the ass, did He put them to shame ;
Let the pearl reprove now,
O ye birds and things on earth and things below.
The pearl itself is full,
for its light is full ;
Neither is there any cunning worker who can steal from it ;
For its wall is its own beauty,
Yea, its guard also!
It lacks not,
since it is entirely perfect.
And if a man would break thee
To take a part from thee,
Thou art like the faith which with the heretics perishes,
Seeing they have broken it in pieces and spoiled it :
For is it any better than this
To have the faith scrutinized?
The faith is an entire nature
That may not be corrupted.
The spoiler gets himself mischief by it:
The heretic brings ruin on himself thereby.
He that chases the light from his pupils
Fire and air are divided when sundered.
Light alone, of all creatures,
As its Creator, is not divided;
It is not barren, for that it also begets
Without losing thereby.
Thy stone flees
From a comparison with the Stone [which is] the Son.
For thy own generation is from the midst of the deep,
That of the Son of thy Creator is from the highest height;
He is not like thee,
In that He is like His Father.
And as they tell,
Two wombs bare thee also.
Thou camest down from on high a fluid nature;
Thou camest up from the sea a solid body.
By means of thy second birth
Thou didst show thy loveliness to the children of men.
Hands fixed thee, when thou wast embodied,
Into thy receptacles ;
For thou art in the crown as upon the cross,
And in a coronet as in a victory ;
Thou art upon the ears, as if to fill up what was lacking ;
Thou extendest over all.
And the painter too paints a likeness of thee with colours.
Yet by thee is faith painted in types and emblems for colours,
And in the place of the image
By thee and thy colours is thy Creator painted.
O thou frankincense without smell,
Who breathest types from out of thee!
Though art not to be eaten,
Yet thou givest a sweet smell unto them that hear thee!
Though art not to be drunk,
Yet by thy story, a fountain of types art thou made unto the ears!
And Who hath not percieved of thy littleness, how great it is;
If one despises thee and throws thee away,
He would blame himself for his clownishness,
For when he saw thee in a king's crown he would be attracted to thee.
For clothed bodies were not able to come to thee;
They came that were stript as children;
They plunged their bodies and came down to thee;
And thou didst much desire them,
And thou didst aid them who thus loved thee.
Glad tidings did they give for thee:
Their tongues before their bosoms did the poor [fishers] open,
And produced and showed the new riches among the merchants:
Upon the wrists of men they put thee as a medicine for life.
The diver came up from the sea and put on his clothing;
And from the lake too Simon Peter came up swimming on his coat;
Clad as with coats, with the love of both of you, were these two.
This crown is all spiritual pearls,
Which instead of gold are set in love,
And instead of ouches in faith;
And instead of hands, let praise offer it up to the highest!
He gave the law;
The mountains melted away;
Fools broke through it.
By unclean ravens He fed Elijah at the desert stream;
And moreover gave from the skelton honey unto Samson.
They judged not, nor inquired why it was unclean,
He blamed the righteous,
And He held up and lifted up their delinquencies:
He pitied sinners,
And restored them without cost:
And made low the mountains of their sins:
He proved God is not to be arraigned by men,
And as Lord of Truth.
That His servants were His shadow;
And whatsoever way His will looked,
They directed also their own wills;
And because Light was in Him,
Their shadows were enlightened.
By Thee did they get themselves estranged,
Who wished to estrange Thee.
By Thee the tribes were cut off,
And scattered abroad from out of Sion,
And also the teachings of the seceders.
Bring Thyself within the compass of our littleness,
O Thou Gift of ours.
For if love cannot find Thee out on all sides,
It cannot be still and at rest.
Make Thyself small,
Thou Who art too great for all,
Who comest unto all!
Thou didst show thy beauty among the abjects
To show whereto thou are like,
Thou Pearl that art all faces.
The beholders were astonied and perplexed at thee.
The separatists separated thee in two,
And were separated in two by thee,
Thou are of one substance throughout.
They saw not thy beauty,
Because there was not in them the eye of truth.
For the veil of prophecy,
Full as it was of the mysteries,
To them was a covering of thy glistering faces:
They thought that thou wast other [than thou art],
O thou mirror of ours!
And therefore these blind schismatics defiled thy fair beauty.
Let our Lord be set between God and men!
Let the Prophets be as it were His heralds!
Let the Just One, as being His Father, rejoice!
That Word it is which conquered both Jews and Heathen!
In the covenant of Moses is Thy brightness shadowed forth:
In the new covenant Thou dartest forth:
From those first Thy light shineth forth unto those last.
Blessed be He that gave us Thy gleam
As well as Thy bright rays.
Who is too subtle for the mind,
Did they seek to feel:
And the Holy Ghost
Who cannot be explored,
They sought to explore with their questionings.
Who never at any time was searched out,
Have they explained and disputed of.
The sound form of our faith is from Abraham,
And our repentance is from Nineveh and the house of Rahab,
And ours are the expectations of the Prophets,
Ours of the Apostles.
The bitter one read and saw orthodox teachings,
And subverted them;
He saw hateful things,
And sowed them;
He saw hope,
And he turned it upside down and cut it off.
The disputation that he planted,
Lo! it has yielded a fruit bitter to the tooth.
They made contests for the throne,
To see which should first obtain it.
There was that meditated in secret and kept it close:
There was that openly combated for it:
And there was that with a bribe crept up to it:
And there was that with fraud dealt wisely to obtain it.
The paths differed,
Ths scope was one,
And they were alike.
Him that was young, and could not even think of it,
Because it was not time for him;
And him that was hoary and shaped out dreams
For time beyond;
All of them by his craftiness did the wicked one persuade and subdue.
Old men, youths, and even striplings, aim at rank!
He saw the crucifiers who were rejected and cast forth as strangers:
He made of those of the household, pryers;
And of worshippers, they became disputants.
From that garment
The moth gendered
And wound it up and deposited it.
The worm gendered in the storehouse of wheat,
And sat and looked on:
And lo! the pure wheat was mildewed,
And devoured were the garments of glory!
He made a mockery of us,
And we of ourselves, since we were besotted!
He sowed tares,
And the bramble shot up in the pure vinyard!
He infected the flock,
And the leprosy broke out,
And the sheep became hired servants of his!
He began in the People,
And came unto the Gentiles, that he might finish.
And as he plaited for Him by silent men speechless thorns that cry out,
Thorns from the mind has he plaited [now] by the voice, as hymns;
And concealed the spikes amid melodies
That they might not be perceived.
Instead of the blow with the hand, by which our Lord was overcome,
He brought in distractions;
And instead of the spitting,
Cavilling entered in;
And instead of garments,
And instead of the reed,
Came in strife to smite us on the face.
Haughtiness called for rage its sister,
And there answered and came envy,
And wrath, and pride, and fraud.
They have taken counsel against our Redeemer
As on that day when they took counsels at His Passion.
And instead of the cross,
A hidden wood hath strife become;
And instead of the nails,
Questionings have come in;
And instead of hell, apostasy:
The pattern of both Satan would renew again.
Instead of the sponge which was cankered with vinegar and wormwood,
He gave prying, the whole of which is cankered with death.
The gall which they gave Him did our Lord put away from Him;
The subtle questionings, which the rebellious one hath given,
To fools is sweet.
Instead of the priesthood praying for royalty
That wars may cease from among men,
They teach wars of overthrow,
Which set kings to combat with those round about.
O Lord, make the priests and kings peaceful;
That in one Church priests may pray for their kings,
And kings spare those round about them;
And may the peace which is within Thee become ours, Lord,
Thou that art within and without all things!
O Lord, remember Thy servants Rev. Morris and Rev. Gwynn, the
and have mercy upon us the scribes Maurice, Jeff, Mark, William, the Reader
Herman, Steven, Clay-Edward, Christopher, Lawrence, and Norman.