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Manichaean Scriptures

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of the Manichaean Bema Psalms


Open the doors of mercy; arise that we may receive the present.
The great Judge is seated: let us gather and glorify him and bless him.

Say: Hail new sun, that has come forth with his Light.
Hail Holy Spirit, that art come today to save us:
Our Lord Mani, that forgives us our sins.
Blessing to thy Father peace to the kingdom on high.
Thanks to thy divine brethren who have believed in they coming to us.
Glory to the Aeons of Light who commemorated the things pertaining to
the celebration of thy birth into matter.
We worship the ships of Light that ferried thee across as thou camest.
Honour to the Perfect Man, the way of peace whereby thou didst come.
We bless thy Light-familiar, the Christ, the author of our good.
Honour to thy wisdom that has defeated the Error of the divisions.
We bless the Angels that brought thee from bound to bound.
We worship thy sufferings which thou didst endure because of thy children:

For thou didst leave thy great glory, thou didst come and give thyself for souls.
Thou didst assume different forms until thou hadst visited all races:
For the sake of thy loved ones, until thou hadst chosen them out of their midst.
. . . . . . . . . . . the earth, the seas and the . . . . . . . . . . . . also.
Thou didst seek out thy beloved, thy Church, until thou hadst found her.
Thou didst appear unto the crowned ones, the princes received thy word.
Shapur honoured thee, Oromazd also received thy truth.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bahram . . . . . . for he believed not in thy preaching.
He hearkened to thy enemies, the deniers of thy hope.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Herod, who crucified Jesus Christ.

Woe unto them, the children of the fire; for they sinned against thy holy body.
I was speaking of the Magi who looked upon thy blood.
They loved the evil-genius of the persecutors, the murderers of God.
They wrote their lying screeds, they gave them our concerning thee.
O Judge of all the races, they arraigned thee and judged thee.
From the time that thou didst confound their Error they loaded thee with iron
and bound thee.
They loaded thy hands and feet and put fetters also upon thy body.
They cast thee into their prisons, thinking that they could hold thee in.
Thou didst spend twenty-six days and nights of them in irons.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . thy children beside thee, thou didst embrace them all.

[illegible section]

Thou didst appoint the twelve Teachers and the seventy-two Bishops.
Thou didst make Sisinnios leader over thy children.
When thou hadst set thy affairs in order thou didst implore thy Father,
he answered thee.
Thou didst leave them thy body and didst ascend to thy kingdom.
The lawless men were confounded, they brought their wrath upon thy body.
They shed thy blood in the midst of the street of their city.
They struck off thy head and set it on high upon their gate.
They rejoiced in thy murder, knowing not that there is a judgement:

For an account shall be demanded of thy death and thy blood shall be avenged.
Their godless city shall receive the recompense for the outrage which it committed.
Blessed are thy loved ones that shed their tears for thee.
Lo, the grief of thy body, the joy of thy spirit that has ascended.
Blessed one, our Father, number us also among thy Elect today.

[illegible section]

The Man who has suffered wrong - lo, the protection of the Judge let him hasten unto it:
He whom grief has killed, he on whom anger has leapt:
He for whom lust has soiled the whiteness of his clothes:
He from whom obduracy stole away the sweetness of his heart:
He whom folly made mock of and took away his wisdom:
He for whom the devouring fire allied with his enemies, doing him harm:
He whom overweening pride deceived and tumbled to the ground:
Lo, the judge has sat down, he calls out the name of him who has been wronged.
There is no favouring in his judgment, no turning in his justice.
He knows how to forgive him that shall sin and repent.
He makes reckoning with none that shall come to him and implore him.
But the divided man - him he forgives not.
Let us not neglect ourselves and fail in our hearts through our own fault.
Lo, the great physician has come; he knows how to heal all men.
He has spread his medicine-chest, he has called out, - "He that wishes to be cured, come hither!"
Look at the multitude of his cures; there is no cure save in him.
He does not recoil from him that is sick, he does not mock him that has a wound in him.
A skilful one is he in his work: his mouth is also sweet in its words.
He knows how to cut a wound, to put a cool medicament upon it.
He cuts and cleanses; he cauterizes and soothes in a single day.
Look, his loving-kindness has made each one of us reveal our sickness.
Let us not hide our sickness from him and leave the cancer in our members,
the fair and mighty image of the New Man, so that it destroys it.

He has the antidote that is good for every affection:
His Great Gospel, the good tidings of all them that are of the Light.
His water-pot is the Thesaurus, the treasure of life.
In it there is hot water: there is some cold water also mixed with it.
His soft sponge that wipes away bruises is the Pragmateia.
His knife for cutting is the Book of the Mysteries.
His excellent swabs are the Book of the Giants.
The [...] of every cure is the Book of Letters..
[illegible section.] . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . hot, the two psalms, the lamentations
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cool also, his Prayers and all his Logia.

Lo, the test of our physician: my brethren, let us implore him.
May he give us a cure that heals our . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The forgiveness of our sins, that he may bestow it upon us all.
May he wipe away our iniquities, the scars that are branded on our souls.
Year by year there is the day: let us not forget, so that it goes . . . . . . . . . . . .
We are his holy ones, they that preach and they that hear, all of them.
He that sings a psalm is like them that weave a garland.
They that answer after him are like them that put roses into his hands.
Victory to the judge of Truth and his glorious Bema.
May he give it to all of us also, his Elect and his Catechumens.
Glory and honour to them that keep festival on this mighty day.
Victory to the soul of Plousiane, Apa Polydoxus, Apa Pshai, Panai, Pshai,
Jmnoute, Theona and the soul also of Mary.

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