Ephraim, Apapphrat


A SELECT LIBRARY

OF

NICENE AND

POST-NICENE FATHERS

OF

THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH

SECOND SERIES

TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH WITH PROLEGOMENA AND EXPLANATORY NOTES,

VOLUMES I.-VII.

UNDERTHE EDITORIAL SUPERVISION OF

PHILIP SCHAFF, D.D.,

AND

HENRY WACE, D.D,

Pro

Pri

IN COT&T CLARK

EDINBURGH

WM. B. EERDMANS PUBLISHING COMPANY

G RA ND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN

VOLUME XIII

EPHRAIM SYRUS

APRAPHAT




Ephraim the Syrian

Edited, with an Introductory Dissertation, by


(Jn Gwynn, D.D., D.C.L., Regius Professor of Divinity in the University of Dublin).

Preface

1
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In the following selection from the voluminous writings of Ephraim, the great light of the Syrian Church of the fourth century, I have endeavored to give adequate specimens of his Hymns and of his Homilies; but have not included any part of his Commentaries on Holy Scripture. These last contain much that is worthy of study, but would not be found attractive to the general reader ; nor could they be fairly represented by a series of extracts such as the limits of the present volume would admit of.

The Hymns (with small exceptions, presently to be specified), and the Homilies, which I have selected, appear now for the first time in an English version ; and are translated from Syriac texts which have come to light within the last fifty years, in the great collection of manuscripts acquired by the British Museum by the purchase of the library of the monastery of the Theotokos in the Nitrian Desert, in Egypt.

To these I have added eight chosen from the twenty-three Demonstrations, or Epistles, of Ephraim痴 contemporary Aphrahat. These also appear for the first time in English, and are translated from a Syriac text, long lost, and lately recovered from the same famous collection.

Of the Hymns of Ephraim, I have placed the Nisibene series first, including forty-six of the total number (originally seventy-seven ; but a few are lost). The first twenty-one, relating to the history of Nisibis and of its Bishops, I have given in full, because of their special interest and historic value. The translation of these is the work of the Rev. Joseph T. Sarsfield Stopford, B. A. (Dublin), Rector of Castle Combe in the Diocese of Gloucester. It follows the text edited by Dr. Bickell (Leipzig, i866), from Nitrian mss.

Of the Hymns On the Nativity, which stand next in order, the first thirteen have already appeared in the Oxford 鏑ibrary of the Fathers (1847), translated by the Rev. J. B. Morris, M. A., from the text printed in the great Roman edition, S. Ephraemi Syri Opera Syriaca (Rome, 1743). These were all of the series known when that edition was published ; but since then six complete hymns, and some fragments of the same have been recovered from Nitrian mss. I have reprinted Mr. Morris痴 version of the thirteen, with some modifications, and have subjoined the Nitrian six, rendered from the text published by Professor Lamy, of Louvain, in Tom. II of his edition of Ephraim (Mechlin, 1889). These last, and the series of fifteen Hymns For the Epiphany which follow them, have been translated by the Rev. Albert Edward Johnston, B. D. (Dublin), formerly Assistant-Lecturer in Divinity in the University of Dublin, and now Principal of the Church Missionary Society痴 College, Benares. The remaining series, of seven Hymns On the Faith, also called The Pearl is borrowed, like the thirteen On the Nativity, from Mr. Morris痴 version.

I have carefully revised and in parts rewritten all these translations of the Hymns, chiefly with a view to bringing into some approach to uniformity the style and method of rendering of a collection which thus includes the work of three independent translators. While very sensible of the high merit of Mr. Morris痴 work, and conscious that by retouching and altering it I may incur the blame of presumptuousness, I have thought it expedient to tone down somewhat of the exceeding severity of his faithfulness to his original, and to remove some of the harsh expressions and harsher inversions which make his version, valuable as it is to the student, almost repulsive, and often barely intelligible, to the English reader. Of his learned Notes, I have retained a few, some of them in a curtailed form, of those which seemed most useful for the illustration of the text.

The three Homilies of Ephraim, which follow the Hymns, have been translated by Mr. Johnston from Professor Lamy痴 text (as above, Tom. I., 1889).

The selections from the Demonstrations of Aphrahat are the work of the same translator, and follow the text of Dom Parisot痴 edition, forming Tom. I of the Patrologia Syriaca (Paris, 1894).

The versions of the Homlies and of the Demonstrations, being all the work of one and the same hand, have called for but few and trivial alterations from the editor. I have, however, revised them throughout; and am responsible for the general accuracy of the rendering of the originals in these, and in the whole of the selections now presented to the public.

In the Introductory Dissertation prefixed to the work, I have drawn largely on the materials supplied by the Prolegomena of Dr. Bickell痴 Carmina Nisibena, and of Professor Lamy痴 S. Ephraemi Hymniet Sermones, Tom. I. and Tom. II.; and by Dr. Forget痴 Treatise De Vita Aphraati痴, and the Preface of Dom Parisot to Tom. I. of the Patrologia Syriaca.

(Jn Gwynn.

Trinity College, Dublin, 31st March, 1898).

Introductory Dissertation

Ephraim the Syrian and Aphrahat the Persian Sage

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Preliminary

2 The two Fathers of the Syrian Church, from whose writings the present Volume presents a selection, are from more than one point of view filly associated as examples of the leaders of Syriac theological thought and literature. They are the earliest Syriac authors of whom any considerable remains survive; and they both represent the religious mind of the Syrian Church, but little affected by influences from without, other than the all-pervading influence of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures.

Syriac Literature is, on the whole, of derivative growth. It consists largely of versions or adaptations from the Greek. The Syriac language, in the hands of those to whom the Syriac Church owes the admirable version of the Scriptures known as the 撤eshitto, proved itself capable of reproducing adequately, not only the sublime conceptions of God and of man痴 relations to God which belong to the cognate Hebrew of the Old Testament, but also葉he wider, subtler, and more complex religious ideas for which the writers of the New Testament found their fit vehicle in the Greek. But the Peshitto, great as its value must have been to the religious life of Syriac-speaking Christians, never became to them what Luther痴 Bible has been to Germany, and the 鄭uthorized Bible of King James痴 translators to England預n inspiring force in literature, not merely to elevate and enrich its language, but to quicken it in every branch. Syriac literature was indeed deeply penetrated by the Syriac Bible, but its level was never raised above mediocrity. For the most part it is imitative not original;溶ay, it rarely succeeds in assimilating so as to make its own what it has borrowed. The Syriac translator, if he worked on the writings of a Greek divine, would often paraphrase or even interpolate; if of a Greek historian, would subjoin a continuation; but he would seldom venture farther. Those who essayed independent authorship were few. A home-grown Syriac literature began with Ephraim and Aphrahat; but [setting aside a very small number of the writers who followed] it may almost be said to have ended with them. These two, and these alone, in place of being imitators or translators, were translated and imitated by the writers of foreign nations. Aphrahat痴 literary lot was the singular one, that his work survived in an alien tongue for alien readers. when the original had wellnigh perished out of the memory of his own people. To Ephraim pertains the high and unique distinction of having originated熔r at least given its living impulse to預 new departure in sacred literature; and that, not for his own country merely, but for Christendom. From him came, if not the first idea, at all events the first successful example, of making song an essential constituent of public worship, and an exponent of theological teaching; and from him it spread and prevailed through the Eastern Churches, and affected even those of the West. To the Hymns, on which chiefly his fame rests, the Syriac ritual in all its forms owes much of its strength and richness; and to them is largely due the place which Hymnody holds throughout the Church everywhere. And hence it has come to pass that, in the Church everywhere, he stands as the representative Syrian Father, as the fixed epithet appended to his name attests濫 Ephraim the Syrian,迫the one Syrian known and reverenced in all Christendom.

Of the two, it has been usual of late to reckon Aphrahat as the elder. Further on, it will be shown in this Dissertation that the reasons for so reckoning him are inadequate. For the present it suffices to note that they were contemporaries傭oth living and writing about the middle of the fourth century, and that priority of treatment cannot with confidence be claimed for either. On grounds of convenience, therefore, we may properly proceed to deal first with Ephraim, as being indisputably far the first in order of importance, of copiousness, and of celebrity.

First Part勇phraim the Syrian.

I.祐ummary of the Authenticated Facts of His Life.

21 All that is known, on early and trustworthy evidence, of the person and life of Ephraim may be briefly summed up. He was born within the Roman pale, in the ancient and famous city of Nisibis in Mesopotamia, in, or before, the earliest days of the reign (a.d. 306337) of Constantine the Great: he was a disciple of St. Jacob, Bishop of that city, who died a.d. 338: and he lived in it, under Jacob and the three Bishops who successively followed him, through three unsuccessful sieges laid to it by Sapor, King of Persia, down to its final surrender under the terms of the ignominious peace concluded with Sapor by the Emperor Jovian after the defeat and death of his predecessor Julian (a.d. 363). Nisibis was then abandoned by its Christian inhabitants; and Ephraim finally settled at Edessa, and took up his abode as a 鉄olitary in a cell on the 溺ount of Edessa迫a rocky hill close to the city, where many anchorites sought retreat. Here he rose into repute as a teacher, and a champion against heresy; and no less as an ascetic and saint. The fame of St. Basil, metropolitan of Caesarea in Cappadocia (370379), drew him from his solitude to visit that great prelate and doctor, and from him he received the diaconate; but (though some affirm that he was advanced to the priesthood) it is agreed that he never became a Bishop. He died at an advanced age, in his retreat, in the year 373 according to most authorities, but some suppose him to have lived to 378. He was a most copious writer, and left an immense quantity of writings of which a large part is extant,祐ermons, Commentaries, and Hymns. These constitute such a body of instruction in the substance of Scripture and the faith of the church, that they have justly earned for him the title of malpono, or teacher.And not only have his Hymns done much to shape the ritual of the Syrian Churches, in which large portions of them are embodied, but to his Sermons this singular honour is paid, that lessons selected from them were appointed, and are still read, in the regular course of public worship.

II.柚aterials for His Biography.

22 Fuller details, of more or less authentic character, are forthcoming in many quarters. In Syriac, we have two Lives, a longer and a shorter; but whether the latter is an abridgment of the former, or is rather the nucleus from which the other has been expanded, is questionable. Of both alike, the date and tile authorship are undetermined. The longer of the two is entitled, the History [tash itha] of the holy Mar Ephraim. It varies not a little in the two copies of it [the Vatican and the Parisian] which have been edited;1 and contains many things that are not easily credible, and some things that are irreconcilable with one another, or with established facts. In the main facts, however, this History is borne out by the Greek authorities葉he narrations of three fifth-century historians, Socrates, Sozomen and Theodoret, the brief notices of Jerome, De Viris Illustribus (392), and of Palladius, in his Lausiac History (circ. 420) ci., and (what is of most weight) the almost contemporary biographical particulars contained in the Encomium pronounced on Ephraim by Gregory of Nyssa. Other Greek Lives are extant;熔ne which bears the name of a writer coeval with Gregory, Amphilochius of Iconium, but is certainly by a later hand; one anonymous, and one ascribed to Simeon the Metaphrast, a writer of the tenth century.2

We proceed to give an outline of the contents of the Syriac History, adding to it here and there such further noteworthy details or incidents as have reached us from the other sources indicated. Further on, it will be our business to examine this narrative and ascertain how far its statements are in themselves credible, or attested by other and earlier evidence.

III.裕he Life, as Amplified by Mediaeval Biographers.

23
1). His Early Years.


Ephraim, according to this biography, was a Syrian of Mesopotamia, by birth, and by parentage on both sides. His mother was of Amid (now Diarbekr) a central city of that region; his father belonged to the older and more famous City of Nisibis, not far from Amid but near the Persian frontier, where he was priest of an idol named Abnil (or Abizal) in the days of Constantine the Great (306337). This idol was afterwards destroyed by Jovian (who became Emperor in 363 after the extinction of the Flavian dynasty by the death of Julian). In Nisibis, then included within the Roman Empire, Ephraim was born. The date of his birth is not stated, but it cannot have been later than the earliest years of Constantine痴 reign. Though the son of such a father, he was from his childhood preserved, by Divine grace which 田hose him like Jeremiah from his mother痴 womb, from all taint of idolatrous worship and its attendant impurities, to be, like St. Paul, a 田hosen vessel to spread the light of truth and to quench heresy. The biographer records farther on, but without fixing its time, an intimation of his future work which Ephraim himself relates in his 典estament as belonging to the days 努hen his mother carried him on her bosom. He saw in dream or vision a vine springing from his mouth, which grew so high as to fill all that was under the heavens, and produced clusters whereon the fowls of the air fed, and which multiplied the more, the more they were fed on. These clusters (the Testament explains) were his Sermons; the leaves of the vine, his Hymns.

But his entrance into the Christian fold was not to be without hindrance and suffering. His father, finding the youth one day in converse with some Christians, was filled with anger, chastised him with cruel and almost fatal severity, and repaired to the shrine of his god to seek pardon for his son by sacrifice and prayer. A voice issuing from the idol rejected his intercession, warned him that his son was destined to be the persecutor of his father痴 gods, and commanded his expulsion from home. The father obeyed: the son received the sentence with joy, and went out from his father痴 house, carrying nothing with him and not knowing whither he went. His way was divinely directed to the famous and saintly Bishop, Jacob of Nisibis, to whom he told his story and by whom he was affectionately welcomed and admitted into the number of Hearers,迫that is, Catechumens in the first stage of preparatory instruction. From the first he showed himself a diligent disciple, in fasting and prayer, and in daily attendance on the teaching of the Scriptures. He frequented the Bishop痴 abode, imitated his virtues, attracted his special notice, and acquired a high place in his love as well as in that of all the Church.

A slanderous charge, however, was laid against him in his youthful manhood, which, but for supernatural interposition granted to his prayer, would have ruined his good name. A damsel of noble birth had been seduced by an official (Paramonarius, i.e., sacristan, or perhaps rather, steward) of the church, named likewise Ephraim. When pregnancy ensued and her frailty was detected, she at the instance of her paramour charged Ephraim the pious Catechumen as being the author of her shame. Her father laid the matter before the Bishop, who in much grief and consternation summoned his disciple to answer the accusation. The youth received it at first in amazed silence; but finally made answer, 添ea, I have sinned; but I entreat thy Holiness to pardon me. Even after this seeming acknowledgment of guilt, however, the Bishop was unconvinced, and prayed earnestly that the truth might be revealed to him: but in vain,預 more signal clearing was in store for the humble and blameless youth. When the child of shame was born, and the father of the frail damsel required him to undertake the charge of it, he repeated his seeming confession of guilt to the Bishop; he received the infant into his arms: he openly entered the church carrying it; and he besought the congregation with tears, saying, 摘ntreat for me, my brethen, that this sin be pardoned to me. After thus bearing for some days the burden of unmerited reproach, he perceived the great scandal caused to the people, and began to reflect that his meek acceptance of calumny was doing harm. On the following Sunday, therefore, after the Eucharist had been administered, he approached the Bishop in church in presence of the people, carrying the infant under his mantle, and obtained his permission to enter the bema (not the pulpit, but the raised sanctuary where the altar stood). Before the eyes of the astonished congregation, he produced the babe, held it up in his right hand, facing the altar, and cried aloud, 鼎hild, I call on thee and adjure thee by the living God, who made heaven and earth and all that therein is, that thou confess and tell me truly, who is thy father? The infant opened its mouth and said, 摘phraim the paramonarius. Having thus spoken, it died that same hour. The people and the Bishop received this miraculous vindication of the wrongfully accused with amazement and tears; the father of the sinful mother fell on his knees and cried for forgiveness; the true partner of her sin fled and was seen in Nisibis no more; Satan was confounded; and Ephraim was restored to more than all the favour and affection he enjoyed before.Not long after, the young disciple received a singular proof of the high esteem in which he was held by his Bishop. When summoned with the other prelates to the great Council of Nicaea (a.d. 325), Jacob took Ephraim with him as his attendant or secretary, and brought him into that holy Synod. It is to be inferred that a youth so chosen must have shown early maturity and zeal for the Faith. His presence on this first great battlefield of the Church痴 war against heresy must have given a keen stimulus to his polemic activity, and influenced his subsequent life as a student and teacher of theology.



2). Siege of Nisibis.

After some years his course of assiduous study, obedience, and devout piety, was rudely broken by-the alarm of war. Soon after the death of Constantine (a.d. 337), Sapor, king of Persia was moved to seize the opportunity offered by the removal of the great Emperor and the inexperience of his sons, and to attempt the recovery of the provinces on the Tigris which had been ceded by Narses his predecessor to Diocletian (under the treaty of a.d. 297), so as to push his border westward in advance of the line which had for forty years defined the eastern limits of the Roman Empire. To this end it was essential that he should obtain possession of Nisibis,3 the strength and situation of that city marking it as a necessary safeguard for the frontier he sought to attain; and to it accordingly he laid siege in great force. After seventy days successful resistance, he had recourse to a novel mode of assault by which the city was wellnigh overpowered. The river (Mygdonius4 ) which flowed through it was by his orders embanked and its waters intercepted, and then let loose so as to bear with destructive rush against the city wall. It gave way; and Sapor prepared to enter and take possession. To his dismay he found his advance vigorously repelled; he saw the breach filled by a fresh wall, manned and equipped with engines of war. The holy Bishop Jacob and the devout Ephraim, by their unceasing prayers within the church and their exhortations, had stimulated the garrison and the people to accomplish this work with incredible rapidity, and had secured the divine blessing on its timely completion. But a more amazing sight than the newly-built wall awaited Sapor. On the ramparts there appeared a Figure in royal apparel of radiant brightness,葉he Emperor Constantius in outward semblance; though he was known to be far off, in Antioch. Sapor in blind fury assailed this majestic phantom with missiles, but soon desisted when he perceived the futility of his attack. His final discomfiture was brought to pass by Ephraim. Having first sought and obtained the Bishop痴 sanction, he ascended a tower whence he could view the besieging host, and there he offered prayer to God that He should send on them a plague of gnats and mosquitos, and show by what puny agents Divine Power could effectually work the ruin of its adversaries. The prayer was instantly answered by a cloud of these insects, tiny but irresistible assailants, descending on the Persian host. Maddened by this plague, the horses flung their riders; the elephants broke loose and trampled down the men; the camp was thrown into irretrievable confusion; a storm of wind, rain, and thunder (adds another chronicler) enhanced the panic; and Sapor was forced to raise the siege and retire with ignominy and heavy loss instead of success.

Soon after, the saintly Bishop Jacob died, in the fulness of his virtues and his fame; and Ephraim in deep affliction conducted his funeral.



3). Removal to Edessa.

Our biographer then, passing over the remaining years of Constantius, goes on to the accession of Julian (a.d. 361). The troubles of the intervening period he assigns to the reign of Constans, whom (though he died before his brother Constantius) he supposes to have reigned after him and before Julian. He records the persecutions suffered by the Christians under the latter, the judgment that overtook him in his defeat and death by the hands of the Persians, the succession of Jovian, and the treaty concluded by him with Sapor, under which Nisibis was surrendered to Persia and emptied of its Christian inhabitants. Of Ephraim he tells us only that he raised his voice against Julian and his persecutions, and remained in Nisibis until its surrender, and then retired to a place called Beth-Garbaia,5 where he had been baptized at the age of eighteen and had received his first instruction in the Scriptures and in psalmody. Persecution having arisen there against the Church, he fled to Amid, where he spent a year; and thence proceeded to Edessa (now Urfa), which city, as soon as he came in sight of it, he fixed on as his permanent and final abode. As he was about to enter it, all incident occurred which nearly all the narratives of his life relate with variations, and which the historian Sozomen states to have been recorded in one of the writings of Ephraim himself. Beside the river Daisan which surrounds the city, he saw some women washing clothes in its waters. As he stood and watched them, one of them fixed her eyes on him and gazed at him so long as to move his anger. 展oman, he said, 殿rt thou not ashamed? She answered, 的t is for thee to look on the ground, for from thence thou art; but for me it is to look at thee, for from thee was I taken. He marvelled at the reply and acknowledged the woman痴 wisdom; and left the spot saying to himself, 的f the women of this city are so wise, how much more exceedingly wise must its men be!

Other authorities (including Ephraim痴 contemporary, Gregory of Nyssa, who professes to collect the facts of his Encomium exclusively from Ephraim痴 own written remains) give a somewhat different turn to this story. According to them, Ephraim approached the city, praying and expecting to meet at his first entrance there some holy and wise man by whose converse he might profit. The first person whom he encountered at the gate was a harlot. Shocked and bitterly disappointed, he eyed her, and was passing on; but when he noticed that she eyed him, in turn, he asked the meaning of her bold gaze. In this version of the incident, her answer was, 的t is meet and fit that I gaze on thee, for from thee, as man, I was taken; but look not thou on me, but rather on the ground whence thou wast taken. Ephraim owned that he had learned something of value even from this outcast woman; and praised God, who from the mouth of such an unlooked-for teacher, had fulfilled his desire for edification.

Another woman of Edessa is related by some of these authorities to have accosted the holy man, expecting that, even if she failed to tempt him to unchastity, she might at least move him to the sin, against which he strove no less sedulously to guard himself, of anger. He affected to yield to her solicitation; but when she invited him to fix on a place of assignation, he proposed that it should be in the open and frequented street. When she objected to such shameless publicity, he replied, 的f we are ashamed in sight of men, how much more ought we to be ashamed in the sight of God, who knows all secret things and will bring all to His judgment! By this reply the woman was moved to repentance and amendment, and gave up her sinful life,預nd finally (as some add) retired from the world into a convent.

In Edessa, Ephraim at first earned a humble livelihood in the service of a bath-keeper, while giving his free time to the task of making the Scriptures known to the heathen who then formed a large part of the population of the city. But before long he was led, by the advice of a monk whom he casually met, to join himself to one of the Solitaries (or anchorites) who dwelt in the caves of the adjacent 溺ount of Edessa (a rocky range of hills, now Nimrud Dagh). There he passed his time in prayer, fasting, and study of the Scriptures.

But a divine intimation was sent to call him back from his retreat into active life in the city. A vision came to the Solitary under whom Ephraim had placed himself. This man, as he stood at midnight outside his cell after prayer and psalmody, saw an angel descending from heaven and bearing in his hands a great roll written on both sides, and heard him say to them that stood by, 典o whom shall I give this volume that is in my hands? They answered, 典o Eugenius6 the Solitary of the desert of Egypt. Again he asked, 展ho is worthy of it? They answered, 笛ulian the Solitary. The Angel rejoined, 哲one among men is this day worthy of it, save Ephraim the Syrian of the Mount of Edessa.

He, to whom this vision came, at first regarded it as a delusion; but he soon found reason to accept it as from God. Visiting Ephraim痴 solitary cell, he found him engaged in writing a commentary on the Book of Genesis, and was amazed at the exegetical power shown in the work of a writer so untrained. When this was speedily followed by a Commentary on Exodus, the truth of the vision became apparent, and the Solitary hastened to the 鉄chool 登f Edessa and showed the book to 鍍he doctors and priests, and chief men of the city. They were filled with admiration, and when they learned that Ephraim of Nisibis was the author, and heard of the vision by which his merit was revealed, they went at once to seek him out in his retreat. In his modesty he fled from their approach; but a second divine vision constrained him to return. In the valley where he had sought to hide, an Angel met him and asked, 摘phraim, wherefore fleest thou? He answered, 鏑ord, that I may sit in silence, and escape from the tumult of the world. 鏑ook to it, rejoined the Angel, 鍍hat the word be not spoken of thee, Ephraim hath fled from me as an heifer whose shoulder hath drawn back from the yoke (Os 4,16, 10,11窯uoted loosely). Ephraim pleaded with tears, 鏑ord, I am weak and unworthy; but the Angel silenced his excuses with the Saviour痴 words, No man lighteth a candle and putteth it under a bushel, but on a candlestick that all may see the light (St. Matth. v. 5, St.
Lc 11,33). Accepting the rebuke, Ephraim returned to Edessa, with much prayer for strength from on high, to combat false doctrine. There he was ill received, and taunted as one who had fled in hypocritical affectation of reluctance, and was now returning in vainglorious quest of applause. This reproach he met with the meek reply, 撤ardon me, my brethren, for I am a humble man; at which they cried out the more against him, 鼎ome, see the madman, the fool! He held his ground notwithstanding, and taught many.

But this work which his adversaries failed to put down, the over-zeal of an admirer brought to a sudden close. One of the recluses of the Mount, having occasion to visit the city, saw him and followed him crying, 典his is the fan in the Lord痴 hand, wherewith (He wilt purge all His floor, and the tares of heresy: this is the fire whereof our Lord said, I am come to send fire on the earth (St. Matth. 3,12, St. Lc 12,49). Hearing this, certain chief men of the city, heretics, heathens, and Jews, seized him and drew him outside the gates, stoned him and left him wellnigh dead. Next morning he fled back to his cell on the Mount.



4). Work as a Teacher.

There, he gave himself to the work of refuting with his pen the heresies and misbeliefs of his time, which he had thus been hindered by violence from combating in speech. Disciples gathered round him, and a school formed itself under the teacher in his retirement. The names are recorded by our narrator of Zenobius, Simeon, Isaac, Asuna, and Julian. Others add those of Abraham, Abba, and Mara. All these are named with favour in his Testament (a document of which we shall treat hereafter) except Isaac; but two others, Paulinus and Aurit (or Arnad) are denounced as false to the Faith.

The biographer introduces into his narrative of this stage of Ephraim痴 life an account of his famous dream of the vine (above referred to), which foreshowed his future fertility as a writer, as related in his Testament.It will be given farther on, in his own words.

Remote and isolated as was his abode, the fame of the illustrious Basil, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, reached him there, and moved in him a desire to see and hear so great a divine. He prayed for divine guidance in the matter; and in answer a vision was sent to him. Before the Holy Table there seemed to stand a pillar of fire, whereof the top reached unto heaven, and a voice from heaven was heard to cry, 鉄uch as thou seest this pillar of fire, such is the great Basil.



5). Journey to Egypt, and Sojourn There.

Thus encouraged, Ephraim set out on his journey, taking with him an interpreter, for he was unable to speak Greek. In the first instance, however (according to the History), he made his way, not to Cappadocia, but to a seaport (not named by the writer傭ut probably Alexandretta is meant) where he took ship for Egypt. In the voyage the ship encountered perils, first in a storm, and afterwards from a sea-monster, but was delivered from both by his faith, which enabled him with words of power and the sign of the cross to rebuke the winds and waves into calm, and to slay the monster. Arrived in Egypt, he made his way to the city Antino (apparently Antino or Antinoopolis),7 and thence towards the famous desert of Scete, in the Nitrian valley葉hen, and still, the place of many monasteries. Here he found an unoccupied cave, in which, as a cell, he and his companion took up their abode for eight years. His habits of life in this retreat預nd (as it appears) at Edessa謡ere of the most austere. His food was barley bread, varied only by parched corn, pulse, or herbs; his drink, water; his clothing, squalid rags. His flesh was dried up like a potsherd, over his bones. He is described as being of short stature, bald, and beardless. He never laughed, but was of sad countenance. Other authorities, Gregory especially, dwell much and with admiration on his profuse and perpetual weeping.8

In this Egyptian retreat he is related to have proved himself a victorious adversary against the Arians. On his arrival he had sought out and found a monk named Bishoi, to whom, because of his special sanctity, he had been divinely directed before he quitted Edessa; and with him he had sojourned for a week, communing with him by means of a miraculous gift which endowed each with the language of the other. By this gift he was enabled to carry on controversy with Egyptian heretics, many of whom he reclaimed to orthodoxy. Over one of these, an aged monk who had been perverted to heresy by the possession of a demon, he exercised a further miraculous power for his restoration, by casting out the evil spirit and restoring the old man at once to his right mind and to the right faith. This gift of language, and the intercourse of Ephraim with Bishoi, are told only in the Vatican form of the History, which adds that he not only spoke Egyptian, but wrote discourses in that tongue. The other version of it represents him as having learned to speak Egyptian in the ordinary way. It is to be noted that the name of Bishoi (in Greek, Pasos) is known as that of the founder (in the fourth century) of the monastery of Amba Bishoi, still occupied by a community of monks, in the Nitrian Desert; and that in those sequestered regions the tradition of Ephraim痴 visit to Bishoi was lingering even within the last century and probably still lingers. To this subject we shall have occasion to recur, further on.9



6). Visit to St. Basil of Caesarea.

This long sojourn ended, he resumed his purpose of visiting Basil, and left Egypt for Caesarea (which our narrator evidently supposes to be a maritime city用robably confusing it with the Caesarea which was the metropolis of Palestine).10 He was anxious that his first sight of the great Archbishop should be on the Feast of the Epiphany, and he succeeded in so timing his journey as to arrive the day before that Feast. On enquiry, he learned that Basil would take his part in its celebration in the great church; and thither accordingly on the morrow he and his interpreter repaired. On the same day (adds our historian) was the commemoration of St. Mamas.11 At first, when he saw the great Prelate in gorgeous vestments attended by his train of richly-robed clergy, the heart of the humble ascetic filled him: this man so surrounded with state and splendor could not be (he thought) the pillar of fire revealed to him in his vision. But when Basil ascended the bema to preach, Ephraim, though he could understand little if anything of the orator痴 eloquence, was speedily brought to another mind. As he listened he saw the Holy Ghost (in the form of a dove, says Gregory, as also the Vatican History,熔r, according to another account,12 of a tongue of fire), speaking from his mouth, (Gregory says, hovering by his ear and inspiring his words); and he joined in the applause which each period of the oration drew from the audience,耀o vehemently that while others were content to utter the cry of approval (ah) but once, he reiterated it (ah, ah). Basil noticing this sent his Archdeacon to invite the stranger lute the Sanctuary; but the invitation was modestly declined. Another version of the story places this invitation before the sermon, attributing to Basil a spiritual insight which discerned the holy man痴 presence and identified him. Again the Archdeacon was sent to summon him葉his time, by name: 鼎ome, my lord Ephraim, before the bema; the Archbishop bids thee. Amazed to find himself thus discovered, Ephraim yielded, and praised God, saying, 敵reat art Thou in very truth; Basil is the pillar of fire; through his mouth speaks the Holy Ghost. He begged, however, to be excused from coming into the Archbishop痴 presence publicly, and asked to be allowed instead to salute him privately in the 典reasury, 殿fter the Sacred Oblation. Accordingly, when 鍍he Divine Mysteries had been completed, the Archbishop痴 Syncellus repeated the invitation, saying, 泥raw near, Apostle of Christ, that we may enjoy thy presence. He complied, and in his mean rags, silent, and with downcast looks, stood before the magnificent Prelate. Basil rose from his seat, received him with the kiss of brotherhood, then bowed his head, and even prostrated himself before the humble monk, greeting him as the 擢ather of the Desert, the foe of unclean spirits; and asked the purpose of his journey,濫Art thou come to visit one who is a sinner? The Lord reward thy labor. He then proceeded to give the Holy Eucharist to both the strangers. In the interchange of speech (through the interpreter) that ensued, Basil enquired how it was that one who spoke no Greek had followed his discourse with such applause. When he heard, in reply, of the visible manifestation of the Holy Ghost, he exclaimed, 的 would I were Ephraim, to be counted worthy by the Lord of such a boon! Ephraim then entreated of him a boon; 的 know, O holy man, that whatsoever thou shalt ask of God, He will give it thee: ask Him, therefore, to enable me to speak Greek. Basil in reply disclaimed such intercessory power, but proposed that they should join in prayer for the desired gift, reminding him of the promise, 滴e will fulfil the desire of them that fear Him (Ps 145,19). They prayed accordingly for a long space; and when they had ceased, Basil enquired, 展hy, my Lord Ephraim, receivest thou not the Order of Priesthood, which befits thee? 釘ecause I am a sinner, answered Ephraim (through the interpreter). 的 would thy sins were mine! exclaimed Basil. He then desired Ephraim to bow his head, laid his hand on him and recited over him the Prayer of Ordination to the Diaconate, inviting him to respond. Forthwith, to the amazement of all, Ephraim answered in Greek, with the due form, 鉄ave, and lift me up, O God. And thenceforth he was able to speak Greek with ease and correctness. He persisted, however, in declining the higher Order of the Priesthood; but his interpreter was admitted both Deacon and Priest by Basil before they departed. Their sojourn lasted about a fortnight. Other writers, however, call Ephraim a Priest; and there is a passage where he himself seems to speak of himself, as holding the Priesthood (koh ny);13 but Palladius, Jerome, Sozomen, and others of the best-informed writers, confirm our History. He is in fact frequently styled Ephraim the Deacon, as if to emphasize the fact that one so high in repute never rose above that lowly rank.

Traces of Ephraim痴 influence are to be found in two places of Basil痴 writings. It can scarcely be doubted that he points to Ephraim when (De Spiritu Sancto, 29,74), in defending the familiar formula 敵lory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost,迫and again (Homil. in Hexa麥. ii. 6), in explaining the action of the Spirit on the waters (Genesis 1,2)揺e appeals to the authority of an unnamed man of great knowledge and judgment, 殿s closely conversant with the knowledge of all that is true, as he is far removed from worldly wisdom, a 溺esopotamian,蚤 鉄yrian. From him he says he learned擁n the former instance, that 殿nd was to be inserted before the name of the Holy Ghost as well as before that of the Son;預nd, in the latter, that the Spirit was not to be conceived as being carried upon the waters (as the Septuagint represents); but (as the Peshitto more truly represents the Hebrew), as 澱rooding upon them, to cherish them into life預s a bird on her nest. The verb thus variously rendered is common to the Hebrew with the cognate Syriac; and the explanation of it given by Basil is in fact found in Ephraim痴 extant Commentary on the passage of Genesis:14 but he understands the 都pirit to be the wind溶ot (as Basil) the Holy Ghost.



7). Return to Edessa.

Ephraim痴 return to Edessa was hastened by the tidings that in his absence no less than nine new heresies had appeared there. His way thither lay through Samosata; and there he fell in with a chief man of the city, a heretic, who was passing by with a train of attendant youths. As the holy man sat by the wayside to eat bread, these followers mocked him, and one of them wantonly smote him on the cheek. The injury was borne in meek silence; but it was speedily avenged on the smiter, by a viper which came out from under a stone whereon he sat, and bit him so that he died on the spot. His master and companions hastened after Ephraim, and overlook him as he was begging his food in a village beyond the city which he had just passed through. At their entreaty he turned back with them, and by his prayers restored the dead youth to life. The nobleman and his followers, seeing this miracle, were converted to the orthodox faith.



8. Controversies.



1.

I have ch3.

I heard a2.

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This then



Arrived at Edessa, he engaged at once in the conflict against the multiform heresies of the place, old and new柚anichean and Marcionite, as well as Arian. Of all the forms of error he encountered, the one that gave him most grief and trouble was that which had been originated about the year 200 by a Syrian, Bardesan.15 Of this heresiarch he writes, in one of his Nisibene Hymns (the 51st;16 not included in the following selection):

The controversy against the disciples of this man gave to the literary work of Ephraim an impulse to which his fame is largely due. His polemic in the above instance took, as we see, the form of a hymn; and his biographer informs us that it was in this controversy he first was led to adopt hymnody as a vehicle for teaching truth and confuting error. Of his hymns we possess some which can be confidently assigned to an earlier period葉he first twenty-one of the Nisibene collection (which are the Nisibene Hymns proper), belonging to the epoch of the third siege (a.d. 350); but those are songs of triumph and thanksgiving, or of personal eulogy and exhortation,溶ot of controversy. The idea of the controversial use of hymnody he borrowed (we are told) from his adversaries. It appears that Harmodius, the son of Bardesan, had popularized the false teaching of his father, as embodied in a series of a hundred and fifty hymns (in profane rivalry with the Psalms of David), by setting them to attractive tunes, which caught the ear of the multitude, and inclined them to receive his doctrines. So Ephraim himself tells us (attributing the work, however, to Bardesan solely) in his Homily (metrical) LIII., Against Heretics (not included in our selection). 滴e fashioned hymns, and joined them with tunes; and composed psalms, and brought in moods. By weights and measures, he portioned language. He blended for the simple poison with sweetness. The sick will not choose the food of wholesomeness. He would look to David, that he might be adorned with his beauty, and commended by his likeness. An hundred and fifty psalms, he likewise composed.17

To confute the heresies thus circulated, Ephraim borrowed the tunes employed by Harmodius; and his hymns, set to these tunes, soon carried the day in favor of orthodoxy, partly by the force of their truth, partly by their superior literary power, and partly by the help of a choir formed among the nuns whom he employed to sing them, morning and evening, in the churches. Thus the rival hymnody of heresy was superseded, and the hymns of Ephraim gained the place they have ever since held in the Church, wherever Syriac is the ecclesiastical language,容ven though it is no longer the vernacular.

(He celebrated this victory in the following strain of triumphant imprecation :

鼎ursed be our trust [if it be] on the Seven;18 the Aeons which Bardaisan confesses!

Anathema [be he] who says, as he said: that from them descend the rain and the dew!

Anathema who affirms, like him: that from them are the showers and the frosts!

Cursed be he who says, as he said: that from them are the snow and the ice!

[Cursed be he who affirms, like him]: that from them are the seeds for the husbandmen!

Anathema who confesses, as he confessed: that from them are the fruits for the labourer!

Anathema who believes, like him: that from them are famine and plenty!

Anathema who confesses, as he taught: that from them are summer and winter!

Anathema be on the man: and on the woman who thus speaks!

Anathema be on the house: wherein it is thus affirmed!

Anathema his doctrine which rests: its trust on the Sevenfold!

Cursed be he who reproaches his Creator: and ascribes dominion to the Seven!

Cursed be he who reads the Scriptures: and becomes a gainsayer of the Scriptures!

Cursed be he who reads the Prophets: and breaks the words of the Prophets!

Cursed be he who reads the Apostles: and abides not by their words!

To this is subjoined a verse, the response of Balai (Balaeus) a disciple:

典he Lord exalt thy horn: O Church that art faithful!

For the King, and the King痴 son: are established in thine ark.

Another demonstration of Ephraim痴 zeal against heresy, which the compiler of the History judiciously omits, is (unhappily for the fame of both) attested, and with evident approval, by Gregory of Nyssa).

Apollinaris, who was his contemporary, and whose erroneous teaching he held in abhorrence, had committed his heresies to writing in two volumes which he gave into the keeping of a woman, a follower of his sect. Ephraim approached this woman and persuaded her to lend him the books, pretending that he agreed with the doctrine of their author and desired to use them in controversy against its opponents. At her instance he returned them in a short time; but before so doing, he treated them with fish-glue in such fashion that the leaves of each cohered into a solid mass, while to outward appearance they were unharmed. Soon after, he challenged Apollinaris to meet him in a public disputation concerning the articles of faith which the heretic had impugned. The latter sought to decline the controversy, pleading his old age19 and infirmities; but consented to it,熔nly on condition, however, that he should be allowed to read from these volumes the statement and defence of his tenets therein written by him. On these terms, the disputants met. Apollinaris was called on to maintain his thesis, and his writings were placed in his hands; but when he went to open the books, it was in vain. No part of either volume would yield to his fingers; he was obliged to desist and to retire, baffled and ashamed; in such dismay as to bring on an illness that nearly proved fatal.

Another incident of this period, related in the History, is a miracle (a genuine one this time, if true) wrought by Ephraim on a paralytic. Seeing him as he sat and begged at the door of a church in Edessa, the holy man asked him: 展ilt thou be made whole? 添ea, my Lord; lay thy hand on me, was the reply. With the words, 的n the Name of Christ, arise and walk, he was cured instantly; and departed, glorifying God.

At the end of four years, messengers came to him from Basil, summoning him to come and receive consecration to the Episcopate, for some see unnamed (to which, as Sozomen relates, he had been elected;幽ist. Eccl. II. 16). When he learned their errand, he reigned madness, going to and fro in the streets in unseemly fashion, in motley garb, eating bread as he went and letting his spittle run down. Thus he succeeded in evading the undesired elevation: the messengers, shocked at his behaviour, returned without him, and reported that they found him a madman. 徹 hidden pearl of price (cried Basil) 努hom the world knows not! Ye are the madmen, and he the sane.

The city and the Mount of Edessa suffered in these days from an invasion of the Huns, who plundered, murdered, and ravished, without mercy,溶ot even sparing the cells and convents. This calamity Ephraim is said to have recorded, in writings which have not reached us.



9. Persecution by Valens.



典he doors She is clad



From another peril the Edessenes were saved by their faith and constancy. In the days of their Bishop Barses (361378), the Arian Emperor Valens (364378), in the course of his persecution of the orthodox, approached the city and summoned the inhabitants to wait upon him in his camp and hear his pleasure there. They disregarded the command, and gathered into the great Church of St. Thomas,20 where they and their Bishop continued unceasingly in prayer. The historian Socrates, a trustworthy and early (fifth century) authority, confirms our History here; and explains that Valens had ordered their Church to be surrendered to the Arians, and was enraged against them for resisting his decree, and against his Prefect Modestus for failing to carry it out. Valens then, finding them contumacious, ordered one of his generals (this same Modestus, according to Sozomen, who also relates the story) to enter the city and put the people to the sword. As Modestus, who was a humane man, sought to persuade them to yield, he met a woman leading her two sons to the Church. He strove to stop her, warning her of the danger she incurred; but her reply was, 的 hear that they who fear God are to be slain, and I am in haste to win the crown with the rest. 釘ut what of these boys? he asked. 鄭re they thy sons? 典hey are, she answered, 殿nd we pray, both I and they, that we may be made an oblation to the Lord. Amazed at her resolve, he reported the matter to Valens, to convince him that the Edessenes were prepared to die rather than submit. The Emperor was moved to relent; the people and their Bishop and priests came forth; he heard their plea, was ashamed of his cruel purpose, pardoned their disobedience, and departed. This well-attested incident is to be assigned to 371, or to the preceding or ensuing year.21 This victory of faith was celebrated by Ephraim in the following verses :

After all was thus restored to peace and orthodoxy, Ephraim withdrew to his retreat on the Mount, which he is not recorded to have again quilted, save on one occasion, to be presently related.



10). Penitent Sent to Ephraim by Basil: Basil痴 Death.

The death of Basil (at the end of 378) is said by our author to have caused great grief to Ephraim, and to have been lamented by him in hymns. But (as will be shown below) this is hardly possible, even if the latest date for Ephraim痴 death be accepted.

Another miraculous incident connected with Ephraim痴 biography, belongs to the year of Basil痴 death. A woman of high rank, but of evil life, in Caesarea, being moved to penitence, wrote on a paper a full confession of her sins, and gave it to Basil, who at her entreaty laid it with prayer before the Lord. Her repentance and his intercession prevailed so far, that the record of all her guilt disappeared from the paper, save of one sin, more heinous than the rest. Disappointed thus of her hope of full pardon, she had recourse again to Basil, supplicating that this sin too might be wiped out. He encouraged her to persevere in prayer, and advised her to repair to the Mount of Edessa, to Ephraim, and through him obtain her desire. To Ephraim accordingly she made her way, and cried to him, saying, 滴ave pity on me, thou holy one of God. When he heard Basil痴 advice and her petition, he disavowed all such power to prevail with God as Basil had ascribed to him, and advised her rather to hasten back and obtain her Archbishop痴 farther intercession. She returned accordingly to Caesarea; but, as it seemed, too late: Basil had died before her arrival, and she met his corpse as it was carried to burial. In despair, she prostrated herself in the dust, proclaimed her story to all that stood by, and upbraided the dead saint, 展oe is me, servant of God! why didst thou send me far away that I should return too late and meet thee borne to the grave! The Lord judge betwixt me and thee, who hast sent me to another, when thyself couldst have absolved me! One of the attendant clergy, desiring to learn what was the sin for which pardon was so hard to win, took from her the paper she held, and opening found it blank. The last and deadliest of her list had vanished like the rest: and 鍍hus, by the prayers of Basil and of Ephraim, and by the woman痴 faith and perseverance, her sins were all of them blotted out.

After this occurrence, the History places the following narrative of Ephraim痴 last intervention in earthly concerns. It is related likewise by Palladius (Ephraim痴 younger contemporary) and by Sozomen.



11). Exertions in Relief of Famine.

In a season of severe famine, he ascertained that grain was being hoarded in the stores of certain persons who gave nothing to the starving poor. When he rebuked their inhumanity, they excused themselves on the plea that none was to be found of such probity as to guarantee fairness and honesty in the distribution of relief. Ephraim at once offered his services, and was accepted as their agent throughout the famine season, to dispense large sums as the treasurer and steward of their bounty. Among other things, he provided three hundred letters, partly for removing the sick to stations where they were duly tended, partly for carrying the dead for interment. A body of helpers worked with him in administering relief, and their care extended not merely through the city, but to the country and villages adjacent. The year of dearth ended, a year of plenty ensued; Ephraim retired to his cell,葉his time to leave it no more. He died a month after the close of the charitable labours. Of them his biographer, following for once the better instinct which recognizes higher worth in services of love than in ascetic practices or in miraculous pretensions, writes thus:濫God gave him this occasion that therein he might win the crown in the close of his life.



12). His Testament.

In his Testament, which professes to have been composed in immediate anticipation of his end, he laid on his disciples a solemn charge that his body should be buried humbly, covered with no garment save his tunic (coth麩). Gregory of Nyssa adds that a rich friend who, though informed of his prohibition, had provided beforehand for this purpose a costly robe, was punished by the possession of an evil spirit, which tormented him until, on his confession, the dying saint relieved him, casting out the demon by prayer and laying on of hands.

From the extant Syriac of this document22 (which is metrical), the following have been selected as the most striking verses:

的 Ephraim am at point to die: and I write my testament; That I may leave for all men a memorial: of whatsoever is mine, That though it be [but] for my words: they that know me may remember me. Woe is me, for my times are ended: and the length of my years is fulfilled; The spinning for me is shortened: the thread is nigh unto cutting; The oil fails in the lamp: my days are spent, yea, mine hours; The hireling has finished his year: and the sojourner has fulfilled his season. Around me are the summoners: on this side and that are they that lead me away. I cry aloud, [but] none hears me: and I complain, [but] none delivers.展oe to thee, Ephraim, for the judgment: when thou shall stand before the Son痴 judgment-seat, And around thee they that know thee: on the right hand and the left, Lo! there shalt thou be confounded: woe to him who is put to shamethere! Jesu, do Thou judge Ephraim: nor give his judgment to another; For whoso has God for his Judge: he finds mercy in judgment; For I have heard from the wise: yea, I have heard from men of knowledge, That whoso sees the face of the King: though he has offended, he shallnot die.
釘y him who came down on Mount Sinai: and by him who spake on the rock, By that Mouth which spake the EliF137:23 and made the bowels of creation tremble, By him who was sold in Judah: and by him who was scourged in Jerusalem, By the Might which was smitten on the cheek: and by the Glory whichendured spitting, By the threefold Names of fire: and by the one Assent and will, I have not rebelled against the Church: nor against the might of God. If in my thought I have magnified the Father: above the Son, let Him have no mercy on me! And if I have accounted the Holy Spirit less: than God, let mine eyes be darkened! If as I have said, I confessed not: let me go into outer darkness! And if I speak in hypocrisy: let me burn with the wicked in fire!

的 adjure you my disciples: with adjurations that may not be loosed, That my words be not set aside: that ye loose not my commandments. Whoso lays me beneath the altar: he shall not see the Altar of heaven; For it is not meet that foul stench: should be laid in the Holy Place; Whoso has laid me within the temple: he shall not see the temple of the Kingdom.

典ake nought from me as memorial:24 my beloved, my brothers, my sons, For as much as ye have a memorial: that which ye have heard of Jesus. For if ye take aught from Ephraim: into reproach will Ephraim come; For He, my Lord, will say unto me: 樽ore than in Me they have trusted in thee, For if they had relied on Me: they had not sought a memorial from thee.駐Lay me not with the martyrs: for I am a sinner and unworthy, And because of my unworthiness I fear: to be brought beside their bones; For if stubble comes near to fire: it will scorch it, yea, devour it. It is not that I hate their neigbourhood: because of mine unworthiness. I fear it.

展hoso carries me on his fingers: may his hands be leprous as Gehazi! 徹n your shoulders carry me: and in haste conduct me [to the grave], And as a mean man bury me: for I have worn out my days in sadness. Why glorify ye me, O men: who before our Lord am ashamed? And why give ye me [the name of] 達lessed: who am disclosed in my works? Should one show you my transgressions: ye would all of you spit in my face. For if the stench of the sinner: could strike one that stood by him, Ye would all of you flee away: from the loathsome stench of Ephraim.展hoso lays with me a pall: may he go forth into outer darkness! And whoso has laid with me a shroud: may he be cast into Gehenna. of fire! In my coat and cowl shall ye bury me: for ornament beseems not the hateful, Nor does praise profit the dead: who is laid and cast into the tomb.

鄭rise, my brethren of Edessa: my lords and my sons and my fathers! Bring whatsoever ye have vowed: to lay along with your brother, Bring and set it before me: whatsoever ye my brethren have vowed. While I have yet a little memory: let me set on it a price; And let there be bought pure vessels: and let there be hired workmen therewith, And distribution be made among the poor: the needy and them that are in want.

釘lessed is the city wherein ye dwell: Edessa, mother of the wise, Which from the living mouth of the Son: was blessed by His Disciple.25 This blessing shall abide in her: until the Holy One shall be revealed.展hoso withholds from me aught that he has vowed: shall die the death of Ananias, Who sought to deceive the Apostles: and was stretched [dead] before their feet.展hoso carries before me a taper: may his fire be kindled beside him! For to what end avails fire: for him whose fire is from himself? For when the visible fire is kindled: in it is consumed the secret fire. Sufficient for me is the pain without: add ye not to me that which is within.

鏑ay me not with sweet spices: for this honour avails me not; Nor yet incense and perfumes: for the honour benefits me not. Burn sweet spices in the Holy Place: and me, even me, conduct to the grave with prayer. Give ye incense to God: and over me send up hymns. Instead of perfumes of spices: in prayer make remembrance of me. What can goodly odour profit: to the dead who cannot perceive it? Bring them in and burn them in the Holy Place: that they which enter in may smell the savour. Wrap thou not the fetid dung: in silk that profits it not. Cast it down upon the dunghill: for it cannot perceive honour [done to it].

鏑ay me not in your sepulchres: for your magnificence profits me not; For I have a covenant with God: that I shall be buried with strangers. I am a stranger, as they were: with them, O my brethren, lay me! For every bird loves its kind: and man loves him that is like himself. In the cemetery lay me: where are the broken of heart,That when the Son of God comes: He may embrace me26 and raise me among them.




[After blessing by name the five faithful disciples above mentioned (page 126), he leaves an anathema on the two, Paulinus and Urit, who had erred from the faith; and against]鄭rians and Anomoeans: Cathari and those of the Serpent,27 Marcionites and Manichoeans: Bardesanites and Kukites, Paulites and Vitalianites: Sabbatarians and Borborites, With all the other doctrines: of superstitious that are unseemly.



[The dying Saint recalls in the following lines the vision of his childhood, and praises God for its fulfilment.]的 swear by your lives I lie not: in this thing that I tell. For when I was a little child: and lay in my mother痴 bosom, I saw (I was as in a dream): a thing which has come to pass in truth. There grew a vine-shoot on my tongue: and increased and reached unto heaven, And it yielded fruit without measure: leaves likewise without number. It spread, it stretched wide, it bore fruit: all creation drew near, And the more they were that gathered: the more its clusters abounded. These clusters were the Homilies; and these leaves the Hymns. God was the giver of them: glory to Him for His grace! For He gave to me of His good pleasure: from the storehouse of His treasures.

This farewell strain has no doubt suffered interpolation, but the main part of what is above translated is confirmed as genuine by the references to it of Gregory, who had undoubtedly read it in a Greek version.28 As it has reached us, it ends with a narrative, which at most can only claim to be an appendix added by a disciple, of the lamentations uttered at his deathbed by a maiden named Lamprotate, daughter of a man of rank in Edessa, who entreated permission to make a tomb for him and another at his feet for herself. The narrative concludes with his consent to this petition, his parting commands to her, and her promise of obedience.

His body was followed to the grave by all the people of the city and neighborhood, and by the Bishops, priests, and deacons of the province, with the monks, whether 殿nchorites, stylites, or coenobites迫solitary, or living in communities. It was laid (as he had desired) in the strangers burial-ground; but not long after, the citizens removed it thence, and made a grave for him, deacon as he was, among those of their Bishops,用robably in the monastery (now belonging to the Armenians) of St. Sergius on the Mount of Edessa, where his tomb is shown to this day, as we learn from the Reise in Syr. u Mesopot. of Dr. Sachau (p. 202).

13. Death and Burial.幽is death occurred in Haziran (June), on the 15th according to our History (Vat)., but other authorities differ, assigning it to the 9th, 18th, or 19th. The shorter Syriac Life gives the year as 372,葉hus contradicting the History which represents him as living in the year of Basil痴 death (378).

Even in the time of Gregory of Nyssa, an annual commemoration of Ephraim had become customary in the Church, which gave occasion for the Encomium above referred to. In the East, it was held on the 28th of January; but in the Roman Martyrology his name is recorded on the 1st of February.


Ephraim, Apapphrat