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Manichaean Scriptures

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of the Manichaean Bema Psalms


Let us worship the Spirit of the Paraclete.
Let us bless our Lord Jesus who has sent us
the Spirit of Truth. He came and separated us from the Error
of the world, he brought us a mirror, we looked, we saw the Universe in it.

When the Holy Spirit came he revealed to us the way of Truth
and taught us that there are two Natures, that of Light and that of Darkness,
separate one from the other from the beginning.

The Kingdom of Light, on the one hand, consisted in five Greatnesses,
and they are the Father and his twelve Aeons and the Aeons of the Aeons,
the Living Air, the Land of Light ; the great Spirit breathing in them,
nourishing them with his Light.

But the Kingdom of Darkness consists of five storehouses,
which are Smoke and Fire and Wind and Water and Darkness;
their Counsel creeping in them, moving them and inciting them to
make war with one another.

Now as they were making war with one another they dared to make an
attempt upon the Land of Light, thinking that they would be able to conquer it.
But they know not that which they have thought to do they will bring down
upon their own heads.

But there was a multitude of angels in the Land of Light, having powers to go forth
to subdue the enemy of the Father, whom it pleased that by his Word that he would send,
he should subdue the revels who desired to exalt themselves above that which was more
exalted than they.

Like unto a shepherd that shall see a lion coming to destroy his sheep-fold:
for he uses guile and takes a lamb and sets it as a snare that he may catch him
by it : for by a single lamb he saves his sheep-fold. After these things he heals
the lamb that has been wounded by the lion:

This too is the way of the Father, who sent his strong son ; and he produced
from himself his Maiden equipped with five powers, that she might fight against the five
abysses if the Dark.

When the Watcher stood in the boundaries of light, he showed to them his Maiden who
is his soul; they bestirred themselves in their abyss, desiring to exalt themselves over
her, they opened their mouth desiring to swallow her.

He held her power fast, he spread her over them, like nets over fishes, he made her rain down
upon them like purified clouds of water, she thrust herself within them like piercing lightning.
She crept in their inward parts, she bound them all, they not knowing it.

When the First Man had finished his war the Father sent his second son.
He came and helped his brother out of the abyss; he established this whole world
out of the mixture that took place of the Light and the Darkness.

He spread out all the powers of the abyss to ten heavens and eight earths,
he shut them up into this world once, he made it a prison too for all the powers of Darkness,
it is also a place of purification for the Soul that was swallowed in them.

The sun and moon he founded, he set them on high, to purify the Soul.
Daily they take up the refined part to the height, but the dregs however they erase . . . . . . . .
. . . . . mixed, they convey it above and below.

This whole world stands firm for a season, there being a great building which is being built
outside this world. So soon as the builder shall finish, the whole world will dissolve and
set on fire that the fire may smelt it away.

All life, the relic of Light wheresoever it be, he will gather to himself and of it depict and image.
And the counsel of death too, all the Darkness, he will gather together and make a likeness
of its very self, it and the Ruler.

In a moment the living Spirit will come . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . he will succor the Light. But the counsel of death and the darkness he will
shut up in the dwelling that was established for it, that it might be bound in it for ever.

There is no other means to bind the Enemy save this means; for he will not be received
to the Light because he is a stranger to it : nor again can he be left in his land of Darkness,
that he may not wage a war greater than the first.

A new Aeon shall be built in the place of the world that shall dissolve, that in it the powers of the Light
may reign, because they have performed and fulfilled the will of the Father entire, they have subdued
the hated one, they have . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . over him for ever.

This is the Knowledge of Mani, let us worship him and bless him.
Blessed is every man that shall have trust in him, for he it is shall live with all
the Righteous. Glory and victory to our Lord Mani, the Spirit of Truth, that cometh from the Father,
who has revealed to us the Beginning, the Middle and the End.
Victory to the soul of the blessed Mary, Theona, Pshaijmnoute.

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