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HER E a re so me of the mo st b eauti ful songs of pea ce and joy that the wo rld po sse sses. Ye t thei r o rigin , the date of th ei r wri ting, and th e exac t meaning of many of the ve rse s re main one of the g rea t l ite ra ry my st erie s. They h ave c ome d o wn to u s in a singl e and ve ry a ncien t docu men t in Sy ria c la n guag e. Evid entl y that docu men t i s a t ran sl at ion f ro m the original Gree k. C ri tical deba te ha s raged around the se Ode s; on e of the mo st pla usi ble explana tion s i s tha t th ey are songs of n e wl y bapt iz ed Ch ri sti ans of the Fi rst C entu ry. They a re strangel y lack ing in h istorical al lusions. Thei r radianc e i s no re fle c t ion of oth er d ay s. Th ey do not borro w f ro m ei the r the Old Te sta ment o r th e Go spe ls. The inspiration of the se v erse s is f irst -hand . They re mind you of Ari st ide s' re mark, " A n e w p eople with who m so meth ing Div ine is mingled . " He re is vigo r and i nsi ght to wh ich we can f ind pa rall el s only in the mo st e xal ted pa rt s of the Sc rip tures. Fo r the se da zzling myste ry od es, we o we ou r tran sla tion to J. Rend e l Harri s, M A., Hon . Fel lo w of Cla re Coll ege, Ca mb ridg e. He sa ys abou t t he m: "The re doe s not see m to be an ything about wh ich ev eryone see m agreed unle ss i t b e that the Ode s a re of singu lar beau ty an d high spiritual valu e. "

ODE 1 1 T he Lord is on my head lik e a crown, and I shall not be withou t Him. 2 T hey wove for me a crown of truth, a nd it cau sed thy branches to bu d in me. 3 For it is not lik e a withered crown which bu ddeth not: bu t thou livest u pon my head, and thou hast blosso med u pon my head. 4 T hy fru its are fu ll -grown and perfect, they are fu ll of thy salvation. ODE 2 (No part o f th is Od e has ever b een iden tified .) ODE 3 The first word s o f this Ode ha ve d isappea red . 1 . . . I pu t on: 2 And his members are with him. And on th em d o I stand , and He

loves me: 3 For I should not have k nown how to love the Lord, if He had not loved me. 4 For who is able to distingu ish love, except the one that is loved? 5 I love the Beloved, and my sou l loves Him: 6 And wh ere His rest is, there also am I; 7 And I shall be no stranger, for with the Lord Most High and Merc ifu l there is no gru dging. 8 I have been u nited to Him, for the Lover has fou nd the Beloved, 9 And becau se I shall love Him that, is the Son, I shall become a son; 10 For he that is joined to Him that is immortal, will also himsel f b e come immortal; 11 And he who has pleasu re in the Living One, will become living. 12 T his is the Spirit of the Lord, which doth n ot lie, which teacheth


the sons o f men to k now His ways. 13 Be wise and u nderstanding and vigila nt. Hallelu jah.

ODE 4 Th is Od e is importan t b ecau se o f the h isto rica l allu sion with wh ich it co mmences. Th is may refer to the c lo sing o f the temp le a t Leontopo lis in Egyp t wh ich wou ld da te this writing abo ut 73 A. D . 1 No man, O my God, changeth t hy holy place; 2 And it is not (possible) that he shou ld change it and pu t it in a nother pla ce: becau se he hath no power over it: 3 For thy sanctuary thou hast d esigned before thou didst mak e (ot her) pla ces: 4 T hat which is the older shall not be a ltered by those that are you nger tha n itself. 5 T hou has given thy heart, O Lord, to thy believers: never wilt thou fa il, nor be without fruits: 6 For one hou r of thy Faith is more preciou s than all days and years. 7 For who is there that shall pu t on thy gra ce, a nd be hu rt? 8 For thy seal is k nown: a nd thy crea tu res k now it: and thy (heave nly) hosts possess it: and the elect a rcha ngels are clad with it. 9 T hou hast given u s thy fello wship: it was not that thou wast in need o f u s: bu t that we are in need of thee: 10 Distill thy dews u pon u s and open thy rich fou ntains tha t pou r forth to u s milk and honey: 11 For there is no repentance with thee that thou shou ldest repent of a nything that thou hast promised: 12 And the end was revealed before

thee: for what thou gave st, thou gavest freely: 13 So that thou mayest, not draw them back and tak e them again: 14 For all was revealed before thee as God, and ordered from th e begi n ning before thee: and thou , O God, hast made all things. Hallelu jah. ODE 5 Th is Od e ha s strang ely ap peared in a speech by Sa lo me in ano th er a n cient work ca lled the Pistis Soph ia . 1 I will give thank s u nto thee, O Lord, becau se I love thee; 2 O Most High, thou wilt not fo rsak e me, for thou art my hope: 3 Freely I have received thy grace, I shall live t hereby: 4 My persecu tors will come and not see me: 5 A clou d of dark ness shall fall on their eyes; and an air of thick gloom shall dark en them: 6 And they shall have no light to see: they may not tak e hold u pon me. 7 Let their cou nsel become thick dark ness, and what I have cu nningly devised, let it retu rn u pon their own heads: 8 For they have devised a cou nsel, and it did not su cceed: 9 For my hope i s u pon the Lord, and I will not fear, and becau se the Lord is my salvation, I will not fear: 10 And He is as a garland on my head and I shall not be moved; even if everything sh ou ld be shak en, I stand firm; 11 And if all things visible shou ld perish, I shall not die; becau se the Lord is with me and I am with Him. Hallelujah. ODE 6


First cen tu ry un iversa lism is re v ea led in an in teresting way in v erse 10 . 1 As the hand moves over the harp, a nd the strings speak . 2 So speak s in my memb ers the Spirit of the Lord, and I speak by His love. 3 For it destroys what is foreign, a nd everything that is bitter: 4 For thu s it was from the begi nning a nd will be to the end, that nothing shou ld be His adversary, a nd nothing shou ld stand u p against Him. 5 T he Lord has multiplied the k nowledge of Himself, and is zea lou s that these things shou ld be k nown, which by His grace have been given to u s. 6 And the praise of His na me He ga ve u s: ou r spirits praise His holy Spirit. 7 For there went forth a stream and beca me a river great and broad; 8 For it flooded and brok e u p ev erything and it brou ght (water) to the Temple: 9 And the restrainers of the chil dren of men were not able to restrain it, nor the arts of those whose bu s iness it is to restrain waters; 10 For it spread over the face o f the whole earth, and filled ever ything: and all the thirsty u pon earth were given to drink of it; 11 And thirst was relieved and qu enched: for from the Most High the drau ght was given. 12 Blessed then are the ministers o f tha t drau ght who are entru sted with tha t water of His: 13 T hey have assu aged the dry lips, a nd the will that had fainted they ha ve raised u p; 14 And sou ls that were near depart-

ing they have cau ght back from death: 15 And limbs that had fallen they straightened and set u p: 16 T hey gave strength for th eir feebleness and light to their eyes: 17 For everyone k new them in the Lord, and they li ved by the water of life for ever. Hallelu jah. ODE 7 A wo nd erfu lly, simple and joyfu l p sa lm on the Inca rna tion . 1 As the impu lse of anger against evil, so is the impu lse of joy over what is lovely, and brings in of its fru its withou t restraint: 2 My joy is the Lord and my i mpu lse is toward Him: this path of mine is excellent: 3 For I have a helper, the Lord. 4 He hath cau sed me to k now Hi mself, withou t gru dging, by His si mplicity: His k indness has hu mbled His greatness. 5 He became lik e me, in order that I might receive Him: 6 He was reck oned lik e myself in order that I might pu t Him on; 7 And I trembled not when I saw Him: becau se He was graciou s to me: 8 Lik e my natu re He became that I might learn Him and lik e my form, that I might not tu rn back from Him: 9 T he Father of k nowledge is the word of k nowledg e: 10 He who created wisdom is wiser than His work s: 11 And He who created me when yet I was not k new what I shou ld do when I came into being: 12 Wherefore He pitied me in His abu ndant grace: and granted me to ask from Him and to receive from His sacrifice:


13 Becau se He it is that is inco rru pt, the fu lness o f the ages and the Fa ther of them. 14 He hath given Him to be seen o f them that are His, in order that they ma y recognize Him that made them: a nd that they might not su ppose that they ca me of themselv es: 15 For k nowledge He hath a ppointed as its way, He hath widened it a nd extended it; and brou ght to all perfection; 16 And set over it the traces of His light, a nd I walk ed therein from the beginning even t o the end. 17 For by Him it was wrou ght, and He wa s resting in the Son, and for its sa lvation He will tak e hold of everything; 18 And the Most High shall be k nown in His Saints, to annou nce to those that have son gs of th e co ming of the Lord; 19 T hat they may go forth to meet Him, a nd may sing to Him with joy a nd with the harp of many tones: 20 T he seers shall come before Him a nd they shall be seen before Him, 21 And they shall praise the Lord for His love: becau se He is near and beholdeth. 22 And hatred sha ll be tak en from the ea rth, and along with jealou sy it sha ll be drowned: 23 For ignorance hath been d e stroyed, becau se the k nowled ge o f the Lord hath arrived. 24 T hey who mak e songs shall sing the gra ce of the Lord Most High; 25 And they shall bring their songs, a nd their heart shall be lik e the day: a nd lik e the excellent beauty of the Lord their pleasant song: 26 And there shall neither be an ything that breathes withou t k no wledge, nor any that is du mb:

27 For He hath given a mou th to His creation, to open the voice of the mou th towards Him, to praise Him: 28 Confess ye His p ower, and sho w forth His grace. Hallelujah. ODE 8 No te th e sudd en transition from the person o f the Psa lmist to th e p erson o f th e Lord (v. 10). Th is is like the ca non ica l Psa lter in style . 1 Open ye, open ye you r hearts to the exu ltation of the Lord: 2 And let you r love be mu ltiplied from the heart and even to the lips, 3 To bring forth fruit to the Lord [fru it], holy [fru it], and to talk with watchfu lness in His light. 4 Rise u p, and stand erect, ye who sometime were brou ght low: 5 Tell forth ye who were in silence, that you r mou th hath been opened. 6 Ye, therefore, that were despised, be henceforth lifted u p, becau se you r righteou sness hath been e x alted. 7 For the right hand of the Lo rd is with you : and He is your helper: 8 And peace was prepared for you , before ev er you r war was. 9 Hear the word o f tru th, and r eceive the k nowledge o f the Most High. 10 Your flesh has not k nown what I am saying to you neither have you r hearts k nown what I am showing to you . 11 Keep my secret, ye wh o are k ept by it: 12 Keep my faith, ye who are k ept by it. 13 And u nderstand my k nowledge, ye who k now me in truth. 14 Love me with affection, ye who love:


15 For I do not tu rn away my face from them that are mine; 16 For I k now them, and before they came into b eing I took k no wledge o f them, and on their faces I set my seal: 17 I fashioned their members: my own breasts I prepared for them, tha t they might drink my holy milk a nd live thereby. 181 took pleasure in them and am not a shamed of them: 19 For my work manship are they a nd the strength of my thou ghts: 20 Who then shall rise u p against my ha ndiwork , or who is there that is not su bject to them? 21 I willed and fashioned mind and hea rt: and they are mine, and by my own right hand I set my elect ones: 22 And my righteou sness goeth b e fore them and they shall not be d eprived of my name, for it is with them. 23 Ask , and abou nd and abide in the love of the Lord, 24 And yet beloved ones in the B eloved: those wh o are k ept, in Him tha t liveth: 25 And they that are saved in Him tha t wa s saved; 26 And ye shall be fou nd incorru pt in a ll ages to the name of you r F a ther. Hallelu jah. ODE 9 We sha ll never kno w surely whether the wars referred to here are sp ir itua l or a ctual o utward wa rs . 1 Open you r ears a nd I will speak to you . Give me you r sou ls that I ma y a lso give you my sou l, 2 T he word of the Lord and His good pleasu res, the holy thou ght which He has devised concerning his Messiah.

3 For in the will of the Lord is you r salvation, and His thou ght is eve rlasting life; and you r end is immo rtality. 4 Be enriched in God the Father, and receive the thou ght of the Most High. 5 Be strong and be redeemed by His grace. 6 For I annou nce to you peace, to you His saints; 7 T hat none of those who hear may fall in war, and that those again who have k nown Him may not perish, and that those who receive may not be ashamed. 8 An everlasting crown for ever is Tru th. Blessed are they who set it on their heads: 9 A stone of great price is it; a nd there have been wars on accou nt of the crown. 10 And righteou sness hath tak en it and hath given it to you. 11 Pu t on the crown in th e tru e c ovenant of the Lord. 12 And all those who have co nqu ered shall be written in His book . 13 For their book is victory which is you rs. And she (Victory) sees you before her and wills that you shall be saved. Hallelu jah. ODE 10 A vigorous little Ode in wh ich Ch rist Himself is the speaker . 1 T he Lord hath directed my mou th by His word: and He hath opened my heart by His light: and He hath cau sed to dwell in me His deathless life; 2 And gave me that I might speak the fru it of His peace: 3 To convert the sou ls of them who are willing to come to Him; and to lead captive a good captivity for


freedo m. 4 I was strengthened and made mighty and took the world captive; 5 And it became to me for the pra ise of the Mo st High, and of God my Fa ther. 6 And the Gentiles were gathered together who were scattered abroad. 7 And I was u npollu ted by my love for them, b ecau se they confessed me in high places: and the traces o f the light were set u pon their heart: 8 And they walk ed in my life and were saved and became my people for ever and ever. Hallelujah. ODE 11 A b eau tifu l sketch of Pa rad ise re ga in ed an d the blessedn ess o f tho se wh o ha ve retu rned to th e privileges o f the fallen Ada m . 1 My heart was cloven and its flower appeared; and grace sprang u p in it: and it brou ght forth fru it to the Lord, 2 For the Most High clave my heart by His Holy Spirit and searched my a ffection towards Him: and filled me with His love. 3 And His opening of me became my sa lvation; and I ran in His way in His peace, even in the way of truth: 4 From the beginning and ev en to the end I acqu ired His k nowledge: 5 And I was established u pon the rock of tru th, where He ha d set me u p: 6 And speak ing waters tou ched my lips from the fou ntain of the Lord plenteou sly: 7 And I drank and was inebriated with the living water that doth not die; 8 And my inebriation was not one withou t k nowledge, bu t I forsook

vanity and tu rned to the Most High my God, 9 And I was enriched by His bou nty, and I forsook the folly which is diffu sed over the earth; and I stripped it off and cast it from me: 10 And the Lord renewed me in His raiment, and possessed me by His light, and from above He gave me rest in incorru ption; 11 And I became lik e the land which blossoms and rejoices in its fru its: 12 And the Lord was lik e the su n shining on the face o f the land; 13 He lightened my eyes, and my face received the d ew; and my n o strils enjoyed the pleasant odou r of the Lord; 14 And He carried me to His Par a dise; where is the abu ndance of the pleasu re of the Lord; 15 And I worshipped the Lord on accou nt of His glory; and I said, Blessed, O Lord, are they who are planted in thy land! and those who have a place in thy Paradise; 16 And they grow by the fruits of the trees. And they have changed from dark ness to light. 17 Behold! all thy servants are fair, who do go od work s, and turn away from wick edness to the pleasantness that is thine: 18 And they have turned b ack the bitterness of the trees from them, when they were planted in thy, land; 19 And everything became lik e a relic of thyself, and memorial for ever of thy faithfu l work s. 20 For there is abu ndant room in thy Paradise, and nothing is u seless therein; 21 Bu t everything is filled with fru it; glory be to thee, O God, the delight of Paradise for ever. Hall e-


lu ja h. ODE 12 An e xcep tiona lly h ig h level o f sp iritua l though t . 1 He hath filled me with words of truth; that I may speak the same; 2 And lik e the flow o f waters flows truth from my mou th, and my lips show forth His fru it. 3 And He has cau sed His k no wledge to abou nd in me, becau se the mou th of the Lord is the tru e Word, a nd the door of His light; 4 And the Most High hath given it to His words, which are th e interpreters of His own beau ty, and the repea ters of His praise, and the co nfessors of His cou nsel, and the h era lds of His thou ght, and the cha steners of His servants. 5 For the swiftness of the Word is inexpressible, and lik e its expre ssion is its swi ft ness and force; 6 And its cou rse k nows n o limit. Never doth it fail, bu t it stands su re, a nd it k nows not descent nor the wa y of it. 7 For as its work is, so is its end: for it is light and the dawning of thou ght; 8 And by it the worlds talk one to the other; and in the Word there were those that were silent; 9 And from it came love and co ncord; a nd they spak e one to the ot her whatever was theirs; and they were penetrated by the Word; 10 And they k new Him wh o made them, becau se they were in concord; for the mou th of the Most High spa k e to them; and His explanation ra n by means of it: 11 For the dwelling-place o f the Word is man: and its tru th is love. 12 Blessed are they who by means

thereof have u nderstood everything, and have k nown the Lord in His truth. Hallelujah. ODE 13 A strang e little Ode . 1 Behold! the Lord is ou r mirror: open the eyes and see them in Him: and learn the manner of you r face: 2 And tell forth praise to His spirit: and wipe off the filth from you r face: and love His holiness and clothe you rselves therewith: 3 And be withou t stain at all times before Him. Hallelu jah. ODE 14 Th is Ode is as beautifu l in style a s the canon ica l Psa lter. 1 As the eyes of a so n to his father, so are my eyes, O Lord, at all times towards thee. 2 For with thee are my consolations and my delight. 3 Tu rn not away thy mercies from me, O Lord: and tak e not thy k in dness from me. 4 Stretch ou t to me, O Lord, at all times thy right hand: and be my gu ide even u nto the end, according to thy good pleasu re. 5 Let me be wel l-pleasing before thee, becau se of thy glory and b e cau se of thy name: 6 Let me be preserved from evil, and let thy meek ness, O Lord, abide with me, and the fru its of thy love. 7 Teach me the Psalms of th y tru th, that I may bring forth fru it in thee: 8 And open to me the harp of thy Holy Spirit, that with all its notes I may praise thee, O Lord. 9 And according to the mu ltitu de of thy tender mercies, so thou shalt give to me; and hasten to grant ou r petitions; and thou art able for all


ou r needs. Hallelu jah. ODE 15 One o f th e lo veliest Odes in this unu sua l co llection . 1 As the su n is the joy to them that seek for its daybreak , so is my joy the Lord; 2 Becau se He is my Su n and His ra ys ha ve lifted me u p; and His light ha th dispelled all dark ness from my fa ce. 3 In Him I have acqu ired eyes and ha ve seen His holy day: 4 Ea rs have become mine and I ha ve heard His tru th. 5 T he thou ght of k nowledge hath been mine, and I have been d elighted throu gh Him. 6 T he way of error I have left, and ha ve walk ed towards Him and have received salvation from Him, wit hou t gru dging. 7 And according to His bou nty He ha th given to me, and according to His excellent beau ty He hath made me. 8 I have pu t on incorru ption throu gh His name: and have pu t oft corru ption by His grace. 9 Dea th hath been destroyed before my fa ce: and Sheol hath be en a bolished by my word: 10 And there hath gone u p deat hless life in the Lord's land, 11 And it hath been made k nown to His fa ithfu l ones, and hath been given withou t stint to all those that tru st in Him. Hallelu jah. ODE 16 The b eau ty o f Go d's creation . 1 As the work of the hu sbandman is the plou ghshare: and the work of the steersman is the gu idance of the ship:

2 So also my work is the Psalm of the Lord: my craft and my occu p a tion are in His praises: 3 Becau se His love bath nourished my heart, and even to my lips His fru its He pou red out. 4 For my love is the Lord, a nd therefore I will sing u nto Him: 5 For I am made strong in His praise, and I have faith in Him. 6 I will open my mou th and His spirit will u tter in me the glory o f the Lord and His beau ty; the work of His hands and the operation of His fingers: 7 T he mu ltitu de of His mercies and the strength of His word. 8 For the word of the Lord searches ou t all things, both the invisible and that which r eveals His thou ght; 9 For the eye sees His work s, and the ear hears His thou ght; 10 He spread ou t the earth and He settled the waters in the sea: 11 He measu red the heavens and fixed the stars: and He established the creation and set it u p: 12 And He rested from His work s: 13 And created things ru n in their cou rses, and do their work s: 14 And they k now not how to sta nd and be idle; and His heavenly ho sts are su bject to His word. 15 T he treasu re-chamber of the light is the su n, and the treasury of the dark ness is the night: 16 And He made the su n for the day that it may be bright, but night brings dark ness over the face of the land; 17 And their alternations one to the other speak the beau ty of God: IS And there is nothing that is withou t the Lord; for He was before any thing came into being: 19 And the worlds were made by


His word, and by the thou ght of His hea rt. Glory and honou r to His na me. Hallelu jah. ODE 17 A pe culia r chang e o f persona lity, scarc e ly rea lized un til th e retu rn fro m it in the last verse . 1 I was crowned by my God: my crown is living: 2 And I was ju stified in my Lord: my incorru ptible salvation is He. 3 I was loosed from vanity, and I wa s not condemned: 4 T he chok ing bonds were cu t off by her hands: I received the face a nd the fashion of a n ew perso n: and I wa lk ed in it and was saved; 5 And the thou ght of tru th led me on. And I walk ed after it and did not wa nder: 6 And all that have seen me were a ma zed: and I was regarded by them a s a strange person: 7 And He who k new and brou ght me u p is the Most High in all His perfection. And He glorified me by His k indness, and raised my thou g hts to the height of His truth. 8 And from thence He gave me the wa y of His precepts and I opened the doors that were closed, 9 And brak e in pieces the bars of iron; bu t my iron melted and di ssolved before me; 10 Nothing appeared closed to me: beca u se I was the door of ev er ything. 11 And I went over all my bondmen to loose them; that I might not leave a ny ma n bou nd or binding: 12 And I imparted my k nowledge withou t gru dging: and my prayer wa s in my love: 13 And I sowed my fru its in hearts, a nd transformed them into my self:

and they received my blessing and lived; 14 And they were gathered to me and were saved; becau se they were to me as my o wn memb ers and I was their head. Glory to thee our head, the Lord Messiah. Hallelu jah. ODE 18 A man wh o had a sp iritua l exp e rience b rings a messag e. 1 My heart was lifted u p in the love of the Most High and was enlarged: that I might praise Him for His name's sak e. 2 My members were strengthened that they might not fall from His strength. 3 Sick nesses removed fro m my body, and it stood to the Lord by His will. For His kingdom is tru e. 4 O Lord, for the sak e of them that are deficient do not remove thy word from me! 5 Neither for the sak e of their work s do thou restrain from me thy perfection! 6 Let not the lu minary be co nqu ered by the dark ness; nor let tru th flee away from falsehoo d. 7 T hou wilt appoint me to victory; ou r Salvation is thy right hand. And thou wilt receive men from all qu arters. 8 And thou wilt preserve whosoever is held in evils: 9 T hou art my God. Falsehood and death are not in thy mou th: 10 For thy will is perfection; and vanity thou k nowest not, 11 Nor does it k now thee. 12 And error thou k nowest not, 13 Neither does it k now thee. 14 And ignorance appeared lik e a blind man; and lik e the foam o f the sea,


15 And they su pposed o f that vain thing that it was something great; 16 And they too came in lik eness o f it a nd became vain; and those have u nderstood who have k nown a nd medita ted; 17 And they have not been corru pt in their imagination; for su ch were in the mind of the Lord; 18 And they mock ed at them that were walk ing in error; 19 And they spak e truth from the inspira tion which the Most High brea thed into them; Praise and great comeliness to His name Hallelu jah. ODE 19 Fa n ta stic and no t in ha rmony with the o ther Od es. Th e reference to a pa in le ss Virg in Birth is no tab le . 1 A cu p of milk was offered to me: a nd I drank it in the sweetness o f the delight of the Lord. 2 T he Son is the cu p, and He who wa s milk ed is the Father: 3 And the Holy Spirit milk ed Him: beca u se His breasts were fu ll, and it wa s necessary for Him that His milk shou ld be su fficiently released; 4 And the Holy Spirit opened His bosom and mingled the milk from the two breasts of the Father; and ga ve the mixtu re to the world wit hou t their k nowing: 5 And they who receive in its fu lness a re the ones o n the right hand. 6 T he Spirit opened the wo mb o f the Virgin and she received co nce p tion a nd brou ght forth; and the Virgin became a Mother with many mercies; 7 And she travailed and brou ght forth a Son, withou t incurring pain; 8 And becau se sh e was not su fficiently prepared, and she had not sou ght a midwife (for He brou ght

her to bear) she brou ght forth, as if she w ere a man, of her own will; 9 And she brou ght Him forth ope nly, and acqu ired Him with great di gnity, 10 And loved Him in His swaddling clothes and gu arded Him k indly, and showed Him in Majesty. Hallelu jah. ODE 20 A mixture o f eth ics an d mysticism; o f the go lden ru le a nd the tree o f life. 1 I am a priest of the Lord, and to Him I do priestly service: and to Him I offer the sacrifice of His thou ght. 2 For His thou ght is not lik e the thou ght of the world nor the thou ght of the flesh, nor lik e them that serve carnally. 3 T he sacrifice of the Lord is rig hteou sness, and pu rity of heart and lips. 4 Present you r reins before Him blamelessly: and let not thy heart do violence to heart, nor thy sou l to sou l. 5 T hou shalt not acqu ire a stranger by the price of thy sil ver, neither shalt thou seek to devou r thy neig hbou r, 6 Neither shalt thou deprive him of the covering of his nak edness. 7 But pu t on the grace of the Lord withou t stint; and come into His P a radise and mak e thee a garland from its tree, 8 And pu t it on thy head and be glad; and recline on His rest, and glory shall go before thee, 9 And thou shalt receive of His k indness and o f His grace; and thou shalt be flou rishing in truth in the praise of His holiness. Praise and honou r be to His name. Hallelu jah.



ODE 21 A remarkable expla na tio n o f the "coa ts o f skin" in the third chap ter o f Gene sis. 1 My arms I lifted u p to the Most High, even to the grace of the Lord: beca u se He had cast off my bonds from me: and my Helper had lifted me u p to His grace and to His salva tion: 2 And I pu t off dark ness and clothed myself with light, 3 And my sou l acqu ired a body free from sorrow or affliction or pains. 4 And increasingly helpfu l to me wa s the thou ght of the Lord, and His fellowship in incorru ption: 5 And I was lifted u p in His light; a nd I served before Him, 6 And I became near to Him, prai sing a nd confessing Him; 7 My heart ran over and was fou nd in my mou th: and it arose u pon my lips; a nd the exu ltation of the Lord increa sed on my face, and His praise lik ewise. Hallelu jah . ODE 22 Like the Psalms o f David in th eir e xu lta tion b ecau se o f freedo m . 1 He who brou ght me down from on high, also brou ght me u p from the regions below; 2 And He who gathers tog ether the things that are betwixt is He also who ca st me do wn: 3 He who sca ttered my enemies had existed from ancient and my adve rsa ries: 4 He who gave me au thority over bonds that I might loose them; 5 He that overthrew by my hands the dragon with sev en heads: and thou ha st set me over his roots that I might destroy his seed.

6 T hou wast there and didst help me, and in every place thy name was a rampart me 7 T hy right hand destroyed his wick ed poison; and thy hand l evelled the way for those who b elieve in thee. 8 And thou didst choose them from the graves and didst separate them from the dead. 9 T hou didst tak e dead bones and didst cover them with bodies. 10 T hey were motionless, and thou didst give them en ergy for life. 11 T hy way was without corru ption, and thy face; thou didst bring thy world to corru ption: that everything might be di ssolv ed, and then r e newed, 12 And that the fou ndation for ev erything might be thy rock : and on it thou didst bu ild thy k ingdom; and it became the d welling place of the saints. Hallelu jah. ODE 23 The reference to th e sea led doc u men t sen t by God is o ne o f the g rea t myste ries o f the co llection . 1 Joy is of the saints! and who shall put it on, bu t they alone? 2 Grace is of the elect! and who shall receive it except those who tru st in it from the beginning? 3 Love is of th e elect? And who shall put it on except those who have possessed it from the begi n ning? 4 Walk ye in the k nowledge of the Most High withou t gru dging: to His exu ltation and to the perfection of His k nowledge. 5 And His thou ght was lik e a letter; His will descend ed fro m on high, and it was sent lik e an arrow which is violently shot from the bo w:



6 And many hands ru shed to the letter to seize it and to tak e and read it: 7 And it escaped their fingers and they were affrighted at it and at the sea l that was u pon it. 8 Becau se it was not permi tted to them to loose its seal: for the power tha t was over the seal was greater tha n they. 9 Bu t those wh o saw it went after the letter that they might k now where it wou ld alight, and who shou ld read it and who shou ld hear it. 10 But a wheel received it a nd ca me over it: 11 And there was with it a sign o f the Kingdom and of the Gover nment: 12 And everything which tried to move the wheel it mowed a nd cu t down: 13 And it gathered the multitu de of a dversaries, and bridged the rivers a nd crossed over and roote d u p ma ny forests and made a broad path. 14 T he head went down to the feet, for down to the feet ran the wheel, a nd that which was a sign u pon it. 15 T he letter was one of command, for there were inclu ded in it all di stricts; 16 And there was seen at its h ead, the head which was rev ealed even the Son of Tru th from the Most High Fa ther, 17 And He inherited and took po ssession of everything. And the thou ght of many was brou ght to nou ght. 18 And all the apostates hasted and fled a way. And those who pers ecu ted and were enraged became e x tinct. 19 And the letter was a great v o-

lu me, which was wholly written by the. finger of God: 20 And the name of the Father was on it, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, to ru le for ever and ever. Ha llelujah. ODE 24 The mention of th e Dove refers to a lost Go spel to wh ich th ere are ra re referen ces in an cient writing s . 1 T he Dove flu ttered over the Me ssiah, becau se He was her head; a nd she sang over Him and her voice was heard: 2 And the inhabitants were afraid and the sojou rner s were moved: 3 T he birds dropped their wings and all creeping things died in their holes: and the abysses were open ed which had been hidden; and they cried to the Lord lik e women in tr a vail: 4 And no fo od was given to them, becau se it did not belong to th em; 5 And they sealed u p the abysses with the seal of the Lord. And they perished, in the thou ght, those that had existed from ancient times; 6 For they were corru pt from the beginning; and the end of their co rru ption was life: 7 And every one of them that was imperfect p erished: for it was not possible to giv e them a word that they might remain: 8 And the Lord destroyed the i m a ginations of all them that had not the truth with them. 9 For they who in their hearts were lifted u p were deficient in wisd om, and so they were rejected, becau se the truth was not with them. 10 For the Lord disclosed His way, and spread abroad His grace: a nd those who u nderstood it, k now His



holiness. Hallelu jah. ODE 25 Bac k aga in to persona l experience . 1 I wa s rescu ed from my bon ds and u nto thee, my God, I fled: 2 For thou art the right hand of my Sa lvation and my helper. 3 T hou hast restrained those that rise u p against me, 4 And I shall see him no more: b eca u se thy face was with me, which sa ved me by thy grace. 5 Bu t I was despi sed and rejected in the eye of many: and I was in their eyes lik e lead, 6 And strength was min e from th y self a nd help. 7 T hou didst set me a lamp at my right hand and at my left: and in me there shall be nothing that is not bright: 8 And I was clothed with the covering of thy Spirit, and thou didst r emove fro m me my raiment of sk in; 9 For thy right hand lifted me u p a nd removed sick ness from me: 10 And I became mighty in: the truth, and holy by thy righteou sness; a nd a ll my adversaries were afraid of me; 11 And I became admirable by the na me of the Lord, and was ju stified by His gentleness, and His rest is for ever and ever. Hallelujah. ODE 26 Remarkab le praise . 1 I pou red ou t praise to the Lord, for I a m His: 2 And I will speak His holy song, for my heart is with Him. 3 For His harp is in my hands, and the Odes o f His rest shall not be s ilent. 4 I will cry u nto him from my

whole heart: I will praise and exalt Him with all my members. 5 For from the east and even to the west is His praise: 6 And from the sou th and even to the north is the confession o f Him: 7 And from the top of the hills to their u tmost bou nd is His perfe ction. 8 Who can write the Psalms of the Lord, or who read them? 9 Or who can train his sou l for life, that his sou l may be saved, 10 Or who can rest on the Most High, so that with His mou th he may speak? 11 Who is able to interpret the wonders o f the Lord? 12 For he who cou ld interpret wou ld be dissolved and wou ld b ecome that which is interpreted. 13 For it su ffices to k now and to rest: for in rest the singers stand, 14 Lik e a river which has an abu ndant fou ntain, and flows to the help of them that seek it. Hallelujah. ODE 27 The hu man bo dy makes a cross wh en a ma n stand s erect in p rayer with a rms ou tstretched . 1 I stretched ou t my hands and sanctified my Lord: 2 For the extension o f my hands is His sign: 3 And my expansion i s the u pright tree [or cross]. ODE 28 Th is Ode is a musical g em . 1 As the wings of doves over their nestlings; and the mou th of their nestlings towards their mou ths. 2 So also are the wings of the Sp irit over my heart: 3 My heart is delighted and exu lts:



lik e the babe who exu lts in the womb o f his mother: 4 I believed; therefore I was at rest; for fa ithfu l is He in whom I have believed: 5 He has richly blessed me and my hea d is with Him: and the sword sha ll not divide me from Him, nor the scimitar; 6 For I am ready before destru ction come s; and I have been set on His immortal pinions: 7 And He showed me His sign: forth a nd given me to drink , and from that life is the spiri t within me, a nd it cannot die, for it lives. 8 T hey who saw me marvelled at me, becau se I was persecu ted, and they su pposed that I was swa llowed u p: for I seemed to them as one o f the lost; 9 And my oppression became my sa lva tion; and I was their reproba tion becau se there was no zeal in me; 10 Becau se I did good to every man I wa s hated, 11 And they came rou nd me lik e ma d dogs, who ignorantly attack their masters, 12 For their thou ght is corru pt and their u nderstanding perverted. 13 Bu t I was carrying water in my right hand, and their bitterness I e n du red by my sweetn ess; 14 And I did not perish, for I was not their brother nor was my birth lik e theirs. 15 And they sou ght for my death a nd did not find it: for I was older tha n the memorial of them; 16 And vainly did they mak e attack u pon me and those who, withou t r ewa rd, came after me: 17 T hey sou ght to destroy the m emoria l of him who was before them.

18 For the thou ght of the Most High cannot be anticipated; and His heart is su perior to all wisdom. Ha llelu ja h. ODE 29 Aga in reminiscen t o f the Psa lms, o f David . 1 T he Lord is my hope: in Him I shall not be confou nded. 2 For according to His praise He made me, and according to His goodness ev en so He gave u nto me: 3 And according to His mercies He exalted me: and according to His excellent beau ty He set me on high: 4 And brou ght me u p out of the depths of Sheol: and from the mou th of death He drew me: 5 And thou didst lay my enemies low, and He ju stified me by His grace. 6 For I believed in the Lord's Me ssiah: and it appeared to me that He is the Lord; 7 And He showed him His sign: and He led me by His light, and gave me the rod of His power; 8 T hat I might su bdu e the imagina tions of th e peo ples; and the po wer of the men of might to bring them low: 9 To mak e war by His word, and to tak e victory by His power. 10 And the Lord overthrew my enemy by His word: and he b ecame lik e the stu bble which the wind ca rries away; 11 And I gave praise to the Most High becau se He exalted me His servant and the son of His handm a id. Hallelu jah. ODE 30 An invita tio n to the th irsty . 1 Fill ye waters for you rselves from



the living fou ntain of the Lord, for it is opened to you : 2 And come all ye thirsty, and tak e the drau ght; and rest by the fou ntain of the Lord. 3 For fair it is and pu r e and gives rest to the sou l. Mu ch more pleasant a re its waters than honey; 4 And the honeycomb of bees is not to be compared with it. 5 For it flows forth from the lips of the Lord and from the heart of the Lord is its name. 6 And it came infinitely and i nvisibly: a nd u ntil it was set in the midst they did not k now it: 7 Blessed are they who have dru nk therefrom and have fou nd rest th ereby. Hallelu jah. ODE 31 A song th at Marcus Aurelius migh t ha ve kno wn wh en h e said "Be like the pro mon to ry aga in st wh ich t he wa ve s con tinua lly break ." 1 T he abysses were dissolved b e fore the L ord: and dark ness was d e stroyed by His appearance: 2 Error went astray and perished at His ha nd: and folly fou nd no path to wa lk in, and was su bmerged by the truth of the Lord. 3 He opened His mou th and spak e gra ce and joy: and He spak e a new song o f praise to His name: 4 And He lifted u p His voice to the Most High, and offered to Him the sons that were with Him. 5 And His face was ju stified, for thu s His holy Father had given to Him. 6 Come forth, ye that have been a fflicted and receive joy, and possess you r sou ls by His grace; and tak e to you immortal life. 7 And they made me a debtor when

I rose u p, me who had been a de btor: and they divided my spoil, thou gh nothing was du e to them. 8 Bu t I endu red and held my peace and was silent, as if not, moved by them. 9 Bu t I stood u nshak en lik e a firm rock which is beaten by the waves and endu res. 10 And I bore their bitterness for hu mility's sak e: 11 In order, that I might redeem my people, and i nherit it and that I might not mak e void my promises to the fathers, to whom I promised the salvation of their seed. Hallelu jah. ODE 32 Jo y and ligh t. 1 To the blessed there is joy from their hearts, and light from Him that dwells in them: 2 And words from the Tru th, who was self -originate: for He is stren gthened by the holy p ower o f the Most High: and He is u nperturbed for ever and ever. Hallelujah. ODE 33 A virgin stands a nd procla ims (v. 5 ). 1 Again Grace ran and forsook co rru ption, and came down in Hi m to bring it to nou ght; 2 And He destroyed perdition from before Him, and devastated all its order; 3 And He stood on a lofty su mmit and u ttered His voice from one end of the earth to the other: 4 And drew to Him all those who obeyed Him; and there did no t a ppear as it were an evil person. 5 Bu t there stood a perfect virgin who was proclaiming and calling and saying,



6 O ye sons of men, retu rn ye, and ye da u ghters of men, come y e: 7 And forsak e the ways of that co rru ption and draw near u nto me, and I will enter into you , and will bring you forth from perdition, 8 And mak e you wise in the ways of tru th: that you be not destroyed nor perish: 9 Hear ye me and be redeemed. For the gra ce of God I am telling among you : a nd by my means you shall be redeemed and become blessed. 10 I a m your ju dge; and they who ha ve put me on shall not be inju red: bu t they shall possess the new world tha t is incorru pt: 11 My chosen o nes walk in me, and my wa ys I will mak e k nown to them tha t seek me, and I will mak e them tru st in my name. Hallelu jah. ODE 34 True po etry p ure and simp le . 1 No way is hard where there is a simple heart. 2 Nor is there any wou nd where the thou ghts are u pright: 3 Nor is there any storm in the depth of the illu minated thou ght: 4 Where one is su rrou nded on ev ery side by beau ty, there is nothing that is divided. 5 T he lik eness o f what is below is tha t which is above; for everything is a bove: what is below is nothing bu t the imagination of those that are withou t k nowledge. 6 Gra ce has been revealed for you r sa lva tion. Believe and live and be sa ved. Hallelujah. ODE 35 "No c rad led ch ild mo re so ftly lies than I: come soon , etern ity ." 1 T he dew of the Lord in qu ietness

He distilled u pon me: 2 And the clou d of peace He cau sed to rise over my head, which gu arded me continu ally; 3 It was to me for salvation: ever ything was shak en and they were a ffrighted; 4 And there came forth from them a smok e and a ju dgment; and I was k eeping qu iet in the order of the Lord: 5 More than shelter was He to me, and more than fou ndation. 6 And I was carried lik e a child by his mother: and He gave me milk , the dew o f the Lord: 7 And I grew great by His bou nty, and rested in His perfection, 8 And I spread out my hands in the lifting u p of my sou l: and I was made right with the Most High, a nd I was redeemed with Him. Hallelu jah. ODE 36 Theologians h ave never agreed on an exp lana tion o f th is perp lexing Ode . 1 I rested in the Spirit of the Lord: and the Spirit raised me on high: 2 And made me stand on my feet in the height of the Lord, before H is perfection and His glory, while I was praising Him by the co mpo s ition of His songs. 3 T he Spirit brou ght me forth b efore the face o f the Lord: and, a lthou gh a son of man, I was named the Illu minate, the Son of God: 4 While I praised amongst the praising ones, and great was I amongst the mighty ones. 5 For according to the greatness of the Most High, so He made me: and lik e His own newness He renewed me; and He anointed me from His



own perfection: 6 And I became on e of His Neig hbou rs; and my mou th was ope ned, lik e a clou d of dew, 7 And my heart pou red ou t as it were a gu shing stream of righteou sness, 8 And my access to Him was in pea ce; and I was established by the Spirit of His government. Hallelu ja h. ODE 37 An elemen ta ry Od e . 1 I stretched ou t my hands to my Lord: and to the Most I High I ra ised my voice: 2 And I spak e with the lips of my hea rt; and He heard me, when my voice reached I Him: 3 His answer came to me, and gave me the fru its of my labou rs; 4 And it gave me rest b y the grace of the Lord. Hall elujah. ODE 38 A b eau tifu l descrip tion o f the p o we r o f truth. 1 I went u p to the light of tru th as if into a chariot: 2 And the Truth took me and led me: a nd carried me across pits and gu lleys; and from the rock s and the wa ves it preserved me: 3 And it became to me a haven of Sa lvation: and set me on the arms of immortal life: 4 And it went with me and made me rest, a nd su ffered me not to wander, beca u se it was the Tru th; 5 And I ran no risk , becau se I wa lk ed with Him; 6 And I did not mak e an error in a nything becau se I obeyed the Tru th. 7 For Error flees away from it, and

meets it not: bu t the Tru th proceeds in the right path, and 8 Whatever I did not k now, it ma de clear to me, all the poisons of error, and the plagu es of death which they think to be sweet ness: 9 And I saw the destroyer o f d e stru ction, when the bride who is corru pted is adorned: and the brid egroom who corru pts and is co rru pted; 10 And I ask ed the Tru th 'Who are these?'; and He said to me, 'T his is the deceiver and the error: 11 And they are alik e in the beloved and in his bride: and they lead astray and corru pt the whole world: 12 And they invite many to the ba nqu et, 13 And give them to drink of the wine of their intoxication, and r emove their wisdom and k nowledge, and so they mak e them wit hou t intelligence; 14 And then they leave them; a nd then these go about lik e madmen corru pting: seeing that -they are withou t heart, nor do they seek for it! 15 And I was made wise so as not to fall into the hands of the decei v er; and I congratulated myself be cau se the Tru th went with me, 16 And I was established and lived and was redeemed, 17 And my fou ndations were laid on the hand of the Lord: b ecau se He established me. 18 For He set the root and watered it and fixed it and blessed it; and its fru its are for ever. 19 It stru ck deep and spru ng u p and spread out, and was fu ll and e nlarged; 20 And the Lord alone was glorified in His planting and in His hu s-



ba ndry: by His care and by the blessing o f His lips, 21 By the beau tifu l planting of His right hand: and by the discovery o f His pla nting, and by the thou ght of His mind. Hallelu jah. ODE 39 One o f the few a llu sions to events in the Go spels that o f ou r Lord wa lk ing on the S ea of Ga lilee . 1 Great rivers are the power of the Lord: 2 And they carry headlong those who de spise Him: and entangle their pa ths: 3 And they sweep away their fords, a nd ca tch their bodies and destroy their lives. 4 For they are more swift than lightning and more rapid, and those who cross them in faith are not moved; 5 And those who walk on them withou t blemish shall not be afraid. 6 For the sign in them is the Lord; a nd the sign is the way of those who cross in the name of the Lord; 7 Pu t on, therefore, the name of the Most High, and k now Him, and you sha ll cross withou t danger, for the rivers will be su bject to you. 8 T he Lord has bridged them by His word; and He walk ed and crossed them on foot: 9 And His footsteps stand firm on the wa ter, and are not injured; they a re a s firm as a tree that is tru ly set u p. 10 And the waves were li fted u p on this side and on that, bu t the foo tsteps o f ou r Lord Messiah stand firm a nd are not obliterated and are not defaced. 11 And a way has been appointed for those who cross after Him and

for those who adhere to the cou rse of faith in Him and worship His na me. Hallelu jah. ODE 40 A song o f pra ise witho ut equa l. 1 As the honey distills from the comb o f the bees, 2 And the milk flows fro m the woman that loves her children; 3 So also is my hope on T hee, my God. 4 As the fou ntain gu shes ou t its w a ter, 5 So my heart gu shes ou t the praise of the Lord and my lips u tter praise to Him, and my tongu e His psalms. 6 And my face exu lts with His gla dness, and my spirit exu lts in His love, and my sou l shines in Him: 7 And reverence confides in Him; and redemption in Him st ands a ssu red: 8 And His inheritance is immortal life, and those who participate in it are incorru pt. Hallelu jah. ODE 41 We d isco ver that th e writer may be a Gen tile (v. 8) . 1 All the Lord's children will praise Him, and will collect the tru th of His faith. 2 And His children shall be k nown to Him. T herefore we will sing in His love: 3 We live in the Lord by His grace: and life we receive in His Messiah: 4 For a great day has shined u pon u s: and marvellou s is He who has given u s of His glory. 5 Let u s, ther efore, all of u s u nite together in the name of the Lord, and let u s honour Him in His goo dness, 6 And let ou r faces shine in His



light: and let ou r hearts meditate in His love by night and by day. 7 Let u s exu lt with the joy of the Lord. 8 All those will be astonished that see m e. For from another race am I: 9 For the Father of tru th reme mbered me: He who possessed me from the beginning: 10 For His bou nty begat me, and the thou ght of His heart: 11 And His Word is with u s in all ou r wa y; 12 T he Saviour who mak es alive a nd does not reject ou r souls -; 13 T he man who was hu mbled, and exa lted by His own righteou sness, 14 T he Son of the Mo st High a ppea red in the perfection of His Fa ther; 15 And light dawned from the Word tha t wa s beforetime in Him; 16 T he Messiah is tru ly one; and He wa s k nown before the fou ndation of the world, 17 T hat He might save sou ls for ever by the tru th of His name: a new song a rises from tho se who love Him. Ha llelu jah. ODE 42 The Odes o f So lomon , th e Son o f Dav id , are end ed with the fo llo wing e xqu isite verses . 1 I stretched ou t my hands and a pproa ched my Lord: 2 For the stretching of my hand s is His sign: 3 My expansion is the ou tspread tree which was set u p on the way of the Righteou s One. 4 And I became of no accou nt to those who did not tak e hold of me; a nd I shall be with those who love me. 5 All my persecu tors are dead; and

they sou ght after me who hoped in me, becau se I was alive: 6 And I rose u p and am with them; and I will speak by their mou ths. 7 For they have despised tho se who persecu ted them; 8 And I lifted u p over them the yok e of my love; 9 Lik e the arm of the bridegroom over the bride, 10 So was my yok e over those that k now me: 11 And as the cou ch that is spread in the hou se of the bridegroom a nd bride, 12 So is my love o ver t hose that believe in me. 13 And I was not rejected thou gh I was reck oned to be so. 14 I did not perish, thou gh they d evised it against me. 15 Sheol saw me and was made m iserable: 16 Death cast me u p, and ma ny along with me. 17 I had gall and bitterness, a nd I went do wn with him to the u tmost of his depth: 18 And the feet and the head he let go, for they were not able to endu re my face: 19 And I made a congregation of living men amongst his dead men, and I spak e with them by living lips: 20 Becau se my word shall not be void: 21 And those who had died ran t owards me: and they cried and said, Son of God, have pity on u s, and do with u s according to thy k indness, 22 And bring u s ou t from the bonds of dark ness: and open to u s the door by which we shall come ou t to thee. 23 For we see that ou r death has not tou ched thee.



24 Let u s also be redeemed with thee: for thou art ou r Redeemer. 25 And I heard their voice; and my na me I sealed u pon their heads: 26 For they are free men and they a re mine. Hallelu jah.