As Iron Sharpens Iron

An ongoing and online discussion between: an Orthodox informed Ecumaniac without a denominational home, an ordained Baptist youth pastor with an open mind, a Calvinist worship leader/seminarian with a staggering vocabulary and ability to make a point, and a cradle Catholic with a love/hate relationship to Rome.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Hymn of Cleanthes


Cleanthes was a pre-Christian (as in BC) Stoic.  I've taken this hymn and only changed the name of "Zeus" to "Theos" (they're cognate both with each other and "Deus") and "lightning bold" to "sword".  All of it could generally be used as a Christian hymn, and the theology in some of the lines is so completely Christian that I am shocked.  I've bolded some of them.


Most glorious of the immortals, invoked by many names, ever all-powerful,
Theos, the First Cause of Nature, who rules all things with Law,
Hail! It is right for mortals to call upon you,
since from You we have our being, we whose lot it is to be God's image,
we alone of all mortal creatures that live and move upon the earth.
Accordingly, I will praise You with my hymn and ever sing of Your might.

The whole universe, spinning around the earth,
goes wherever you lead it and is willingly guided by you.
So great is the servant which You hold in Your invincible hands,
Your eternal, two-edged, sword.
By its strokes all the works of nature came to be established,
and with it You guide the universal Word of Reason which moves through all creation,
mingling with the great sun and the small stars.

O God, without You nothing comes to be on earth,
neither in the region of the heavenly poles, nor in the sea,
except what evil men do in their folly.
But you know how to make extraordinary things suitable,
and how to bring order forth from chaos; and even that which is unlovely is lovely to You.


For thus you have joined all things, the good with the bad, into one,
so that the eternal Word of all came to be one.
This Word, however, evil mortals flee, poor wretches;
though they are desirous of good things for their possession,
they neither see nor listen to God's universal Law;
and yet, if they obey It intelligently, they would have the good life.

But they are senselessly driven to one evil after another:
some are eager for fame, no matter how godlessly it is acquired;
others are set on making money without any orderly principles in their lives;
and others are bent on ease and on the pleasures and delights of the body.
They do these foolish things, time and again,
and are swept along, eagerly defeating all they really wish for.

O Theos, giver of all, shrouded in dark clouds and holding the vivid bright light,
rescue men from painful ignorance.
Scatter that ignorance far from their hearts.
and deign to rule all things in justice.
so that, honored in this way, we may render honor to You in return,
and sing your deeds unceasingly, as befits mortals;
for there is no greater glory for men
or for gods than to justly praise the universal Word of Reason.

2 Comments:

Blogger how to attract men said...

It is making huge relation about the good with the bad, into one,
so that the eternal Word of all came to be one and you are just showing some attitude about relations and that is really nice.
Thanks for sharing with us..


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