My Thought Bore Me To Jordan
Hymn concerning our Lord and John.
Resp .— Glory to You, my Lord, for You — with joy Heaven and earth worship!
1. My thought bore me to Jordan,— and I saw a marvel when there was revealed—
the glorious Bridegroom who to the Bride— shall bring freedom and holiness.
2. I saw John filled with wonder—and the multitudes standing about him—and the glorious Bridegroom bowed down— to the Son of the barren that he might baptize Him.
3. At the Word and the Voice my thought marvelled:— for lo! John was the Voice;— our Lord was manifested as the Word, that what was hidden should become revealed.
4. The Bride was espoused but knew not— who was the Bridegroom on whom she gazed:— the guests were assembled, the desert was filled—and our Lord was hidden among them.
5. Then the Bridegroom revealed Himself—and to John at the voice He drew near:— and the Forerunner was moved and said of Him— This is the Bridegroom Whom I proclaimed.
6. He came to baptism Who baptizes all—and He showed Himself at Jordan.— John saw Him and drew back—deprecating, and thus he spoke:—
7. How, my Lord, do You will to be baptized—You Who in Your baptism atones all?— Baptism looks unto You — do You shed on it holiness and perfection?
8. Our Lord said I will it so—draw near, baptize Me that My Will may be done.— Resist My Will you can not:— I shall be baptized of you, for thus I will it.
9. I entreat, my Lord, that I be not compelled—for this is hard that You have said to me—'I need you to baptize Me;'— for it is You that with Your hyssop purifies all.
10. I have asked it, and it pleases Me that thus it should be—and you, John, why do you gainsay?— Allow righteousness to be fulfilled—and come, baptize Me; why are you standing there?
11. How can one openly grasp— in his hands the fire that burns?— O You that are fire have mercy on me—and bid me not come near You, for it is hard for me!
12. I have revealed to You My Will; what do you question?— Draw near, baptize Me, and you shall not be burned.— The bridechamber is ready; keep Me not back— from the wedding-feast that has been made ready.
13. The Watchers fear and dare not— gaze on You lest they be blinded—and I, how, O my Lord, shall I baptize You?— I am too weak to draw near; blame me not!
14. You fear; therefore gainsay not— against My Will in what I desire:— and Baptism has respect unto Me.— Accomplish the work to which you have been called!
15. Lo! I proclaimed You at Jordan— in the ears of the people that believed not and if they shall see You baptized of me—they will doubt that You are the Lord.
16. Lo! I am to be baptized in their sight—and the Father Who sent Me bears witness of Me— that I am His Son and in Me He is well pleased—to reconcile Adam who was under His wrath.
17. It becomes, me, O my Lord, to know my nature— that I am moulded out of the ground—and You the moulder Who forms all things:— I, then, why should I baptize You in water?
18. It becomes you to know why I have come—and for what cause I have desired that you should baptize Me.— It is the middle of the way wherein I have walked—withhold not Baptism.
19. Small is the river whereto You have come—that You should lodge therein and it should cleanse You.— The heavens suffice not for Your mightiness;— how much less shall Baptism contain You!
20. The womb is smaller than Jordan;— yet was I willing to lodge in the Virgin:— and as I was born from woman—so too am I to be baptized in Jordan.
21. Lo! The hosts are standing!— the ranks of Watchers, lo! They worship!— And if I draw near, my Lord, to baptize You—I tremble for myself with quaking.
22. The hosts and multitudes call you happy—all of them, for that you baptize Me.— For this I have chosen you from the womb:— fear not, for I have willed it.
23. I have prepared the way as I was sent:— I have betrothed the Bride as I was commanded.— May Your Epiphany be spread over the world— now that You have come, and let me not baptize You!
24. This is My preparation, for so have I willed;— I will go down and be baptized in Jordan,— and make bright the armour for them that are baptized—that they may be white in Me and I not be conquered.
25. Son of the Father, why should I baptize You?— for lo! You are in Your Father and Your Father in You.— Holiness unto the priests You give — why do You ask for water that is common?
26. The children of Adam look unto Me—that I should work for them the new birth.— A way in the waters I will search out for them—and if I be not baptized this cannot be.
27. Pontiffs of You are consecrated—priests by Your hyssop are purified—the anointed and the kings You make.— Baptism, how shall it profit You?
28. The Bride you betrothed to Me awaits Me—that I should go down, be baptized, and sanctify her.— Friend of the Bridegroom withhold Me not— from the washing that awaits Me.
29. I am not able, for I am weak—Your blaze in my hands to grasp.— Lo! Your legions are as flame—bid one of the Watchers baptize You!
30. Not from the Watchers was My Body assumed,— that I should summon a Watcher to baptize Me.— The body of Adam, lo! I have put on—and you, son of Adam, art to baptize Me.
31. The waters saw You, and greatly feared;— the waters saw You, and lo! They tremble!— The river foams in its terror—and I that am weak, how shall I baptize You?
32. The waters in My Baptism are sanctified,— and fire and the Spirit from Me shall they receive—and if I be not baptized they are not made perfect— to be fruitful of children that shall not die.
33. Fire, if to Your fire it draw near—shall be burnt up of it as stubble.— The mountains of Sinai endured You not—and I that am weak, wherein shall I baptize You?
34. I am the flaming fire—yet for man's sake I became a babe— in the virgin womb of the maiden.— And now I am to be baptized in Jordan.
35. It is very meet that You should baptize me—for You have holiness to purify all.— In You it is that the defiled are made holy; but You that art holy, why are You to be baptized?
36. It is very right that you should baptize Me—as I bid, and should not gainsay.— Lo! I baptized you within the womb—baptize me in Jordan!
37. I am a bondman and I am weak.— You that frees all have mercy on me! Your latchets to unloose I am not able—Your exalted head who will make me worthy to touch?
38. Bondmen in My Baptism are set free—handwritings in My washing are blotted out—manumissions in the water are sealed;— and if I be not baptized all these come to nought.
39. A mantle of fire the air wears—and waits for You, above Jordan;— and if You consent to it and will to be baptized—You shall baptize Yourself and fulfil all.
40. This is meet, that you should baptize Me—that none may err and say concerning Me—'Had He not been alien from the Father's house—why feared the Levite to baptize Him?'
41. The prayer, then, when You are baptized—how shall I complete over Jordan?— When the Father and the Spirit are seen over You—Whom shall I call on, as priest?
42. The prayer in silence is to be completed:— come, your hand alone lay on Me.— and the Father shall utter in the priest's stead— that which is meet concerning His Son.
43. They that are bidden, lo! All of them stand—the Bridegroom's guests, lo! They bear witness— that day by day I said among them—'I am the Voice and not the Word.'
44. Voice of him that cries in the wilderness—fulfil the work for which you came—that the desert whereunto you went out may resound— with the mighty peace you preached therein.
45. The shout of the Watchers has come to my ears—lo! I hear from the Father's house— the hosts that sound forth the cry—'In Your Epiphany, O Bridegroom, the worlds have life.'
46. The time hastes on, and the marriage guests— look to Me to see what is doing.— Come, baptize Me, that they may give praise— to the Voice of the Father when it is heard!
47. I hearken, my Lord, according to Your Word:— come to Baptism as Your love constrains You!— The dust worships that whereunto he has attained—that on Him Who fashioned him he should lay his hand.
48. The heavenly ranks were silent as they stood—and the Bridegroom went down into Jordan;— the Holy One was baptized and straightway went up—and His Light shone forth on the world.
49. The doors of the highest were opened above—and the voice of the Father was heard—This is my Beloved in Whom I am well pleased.— All you peoples, come and worship Him.
50. They that saw were amazed as they stood, at the Spirit Who came down and bore witness to Him.— Praise to Your Epiphany that gladdens all—You in Whose revelation the worlds are lightened!