Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hymns Against Heresy

I have never seen a hymn written as an apologetic against heresy, but Ephrem of Syria was so moved in Against Heresies, Hymn 22 as  translated by Adam C. McCollum.  I share two verses that dwell on God's truth.

Like the form of the alphabet,
Which is complete in its parts —
It lacks no letter,
Nor does it add another —
So, too, is the truth written
In the holy Gospel
With the letters of the alphabet,
A perfect measure that admits
Neither lack nor surplus.
Response: Blessed is your image that is in the alphabet!

Quite despised is gold to our king,
Who does not stamp his image in money;
In a human being, the one greater than all,
Our Savior stamps his beauty.
Who[ever] has believed in the name of God
Receives the stamp of God,
But if he has called himself by the name of a human being,
Then he receives a human stamp,
Because he despises the living name.
Response: Blessed is the one who has chosen us by his names!

The whole hymn is worth reading and can be viewed or downloaded here and here.  You will notice that Ephrem has no qualms about naming names.  I can only imagine how others could have been added had this been written today.