“There was an old book of the Paulicians called the “Key of Truth,” mentioned by Gregory Magistos, in the eleventh century. Fortunately, Mr. Fred C. Conybeare, M, A., formerly Fellow of University College, Oxford, was much interested in affairs in Armenia. He was a second time in that country, in 1891, in quest of documents illustrative of the history of the Paulicians. He fell upon a copy of the “Key of Truth” in the Library of the Holy Synod at Edjmiatzin. He received a copy of it in 1893; and the text with an English translation was printed by Mr. Conybeare in 1898. He also accompanied the text with important data received from Armenian histories and from other sources. As may be judged this is not only a new but a very important source of information. The Paulicians are at length permitted to plead, in a measure, for themselves. We are able, therefore, practically to reconstruct the Paulician history.”John T. Christian, A History of the Baptists, Vol. I
When I first introduced to the study of Baptist History while in Bible College, I was fascinated by an offhanded reference to a work titled “The Key of Truth”. All that was said about this book was that it was used by the Paulicians, possibly was very old, and that it contained Baptistic teachings. Within the next year I tracked down a reprint of Conybeare’s translation. Conybeare’s book is around 400 pages, but the English translation is only 54 pages. The rest of the book is information about the Paulicians and 66 pages of the original Armenian text.
There are online versions of Conybeare’s book available, but I believe I am here presenting a text-only version of his translation of the Key of Truth. To do so, I am making a few choices to simplify its presentation. First, I am omitting Conybeare’s footnotes. Second, I am omitting the marginal references that are present in the original Armenian text and that Conybeare includes in footnotes. Third, I have attempted to integrate some vital information, such as the location of missing words or pages, into the text in brackets. Fourth, I have kept many of Conybeare’s added in-text information which will be either in brackets or parentheses. My goal here is to present this fascinating work to a broader audience. For the serious student I will readily recommend referring to the fuller account and presentation in Conybeare’s book.
Before I present the text, let me say that if you read this work hoping to find a solid presentation of Baptist doctrine you will be disappointed. There are Baptistic positions found in this book, but there is also much error. You will find many remarks against Catholic doctrine and practice. You will find some questionable teaching concerning the Incarnation of Christ. How much of the truth or error is reflected from the more ancient Paulician beliefs is a matter of debate. This is what makes the study of Church History so difficult.
So, I present here the text of “The Key of Truth” that I captured from a reprint of Conybeare’s book via an iPhone. While I have attempted to catch any errors in the OCR process I am certain there will be many. I will correct all that are brought to my attention. – MBG
THE KEY OF TRUTH
Translated from the original Armenian text by Frederick C. Conybeare.
Originally published in 1898.
The book called the Key of Truth. It was written [or copied] in the era of the Saviour 1782, but of the Armenians 1230; and in the province of Taron.
Address to my dear readers.
Although the throng of distractions, and the temptations and storms of the world, and the manifold hindrances, strong to disturb our transitory life in various ways, – although these have sorely beset us and suffered us not to undertake this necessary work; nevertheless the pressing needs of the Truth of our Lord Jesus the Son of the heavenly Father, and zeal of the Holy Spirit [urged us] – yea, and also to meet the prayers of many believers, and especially because of supreme necessity – I have cast behind me all the affairs of this transitory life, and have spared nothing in order to give unto you, my new-born children of the universal and apostolic Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, the holy milk, whereby ye may be nourished in the faith.
Wherefore the Spirit of the Father in Heaven hath taken hold of us and inspired us to write this ‘way and truth and life.’ Forasmuch as for a long time past the spirit of deception had shut up the Truth, as our Lord saith: The tares had suffocated it. Furthermore it is a little and slender discourse that I have published to you, briefly and not opulently. The which ye shall read with deep attention, unto the glory of Jesus the Son, the Intercessor, and unto the honour of his Father [and Creator].
This brief discourse shall ye search and deeply o’er it meditate. If it please you, then revere it, as it were a voice of thunder.
Concerning the holy baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ, which hath been handed down for the sake of those who believe and repent, and not of catechumens, or of the unrepentant and of those who lack faith, nor either of the impure; as is manifest n the holy and precious life of John the Baptist, who with his loudly calling voice, before Christ our Lord and intercessor, cried unto the adult, saying:
Help us, Jesus, and become intercessor for all the faithful, thy beloved ones. For with thy sanctifying and illumining words thou didst pray to thy Father, saying: Father, not for these alone do I pray, but also for all who have believed in me through their word, &c.
‘Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’, and the sequel (Matt. iv. 2).
So, then, the words of the holy gospel are not hidden unto us; but for this reason the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ revealed [them] in true argument to his loved Son. For this reason also the holy John, greatest among the children of women, called aloud saying to the generation of vipers: Repent, O ye that are gone astray in sin after sin, thronging thick together, of your evil [deeds]; and recognize your original sin, which from of old days lies in you stored up. For this reason St. John in saying this woke up their minds to proceed unto the true faith and to know the new ‘least one of the kingdom,’ the Lord Jesus Christ, the lamb of God, who taketh away our sins. Even as John himself, stretching forth his holy finger, said: Behold Christ, the lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world. Again he continues by saying I am not he, but am sent before him. Thus then St. John, firstly, preached unto them; secondly, taught; thirdly, induced them to repent; fourthly, brought them to the faith; and after that cleansed them in the flesh from stains. And then our Lord and Intercessor, the Lamb of God, bestowed on them spiritual salvation. Thus the universal and apostolic church learned from our Lord Jesus, and continued so to do, as is clear in their Acts and especially in the traditions of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which he imposes on the universal and apostolic church, saying, Mark xvi 15: Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creatures. Whoever shall believe, shall be baptized, shall live; and he who shall not believe, shall be judged’
Wherefore also our Lord first asked for faith, and then graciously gave healing; and after that bestowed holy baptism on believers; but not on unbelieving catechumens. So also St. John and the holy Church of our Lord Jesus Christ – so did they continue to do until the assault of Satan. For when Satan was let loose from his bonds, then he began to steal away the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ and of the holy apostles ; and he insinuated his deceitful arguments among teachers, [against] whom as the heavenly Father enables us, let us with the Keys of Truth open the door of Truth close shut [by them]. Even as St. John opened the door of Truth prior to our Lord Jesus Christ, and uttered this command unto the adult (or perfected) souls: ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,’ and the rest.
Now their repentance lay in turning from their evil works and believing in Christ Jesus; in receiving the holy baptism of the Spirit of the heavenly Father, and in recognizing their original sin, and in their being afflicted because of it, and in their release from the fetters of demons, which from their forefathers on had been drawn tight round them. Wherefore, when he beheld them, the great prophet John in anger roused them, saying, Luke ii. 7: ‘Offspring of vipers, who showed unto you to escape from the wrath to come? Do ye therefore bring forth fruits worthy of repentance; nor make beginning to say, We have for a father Abraham. This I say unto you, that God is able out of these stones to raise up children of Abraham.’
But, forasmuch as they had fallen among rugged stones, he called them offspring of vipers and asps. God also caused Jesus to arise from among them, for through him he graciously vouchsafes to them salvation. Wherefore also a member of the universal and apostolic holy church, St. Luke, declares, xii. 23: Of this man’s seed God according to his promises raised up unto Israel the Saviour Jesus. So also must we lead the reasonable unto faith, and bring the imperfect unto perfection, and ill those who have not the word with the word of Jesus Christ, and soften their hearts of stone, and as for the gathered bile of bitterness, which from old days hath been stored up, this we cause them to vomit up with loathing by the finger of God, and then we give them a remedy for sin, whether original or operative in them. For as St. John taught first repentance and faith, and after that granted baptism and then showed them the way, the truth, and the life, saying: ‘Behold Christ, the lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world’; so we also must follow in accordance with this truth, and not according” to the deceitful arguments of the tradition of others, who baptize the unbelieving, the reasonless, and the unrepentant. These are utterly false and [full of] the deceit of demons, and are not godly; whom we will declare as the Holy Spirit enables us.
Concerning holy baptism. About our Lord Jesus Christ, that as he laid down canons and precepts, so do we proceed with God’s help.
First was our Lord Jesus Christ baptized by the command of the heavenly Father, when thirty years old, as St. Luke has declared his years, ii. 23: ‘And Jesus himself was of years about thirty, beginning with which as he was supposed son of Joseph.’ So then it was in the season of his maturity that he received baptism; then it was that he received authority, received the high-priesthood, received the kingdom and the office of chief shepherd. Moreover, he was then chosen, then he won lordship, then he became resplendent, then he was strengthened, then he was revered, then he was appointed to guard us, then he was glorifed, then he was praised, then he was made glad, then he shone forth, then he was pleased, and then he rejoiced. Nay more. It was then he became chief of beings heavenly and earthly, then he became light of the world, then he became the way, the truth, and the life. Then he became the door of heaven, then he became the rock impregnable at the gate of hell; then he became the foundation of our faith; then he became Saviour of us sinners; then he was filled with the Godhead; then he was sealed, then anointed; then was he called by the voice, then he became the loved one, then he came to be guarded by angels, then to be the lamb without blemish. Furthermore he then put on that primal raiment of light, which Adam lost in the garden. Then accordingly it was that he was invited by the Spirit of God to converse with the heavenly Father; yea, then also was he ordained king of beings in heaven and on earth and under the earth; and all else [besides] all this in due order the Father gave to his only born Son – even as he himself, being appointed our mediator and intercessor, saith to his holy, universal, and apostolic church, Matt. xxvii. 18: And Jesus came and spake unto them and said: ‘There hath been given unto me all authority in heaven and on earth. As the Father sent me, so do I send you,’ and what follows. Thus also the Lord, having learned from the Father, proceeded to teach us to perform holy baptism and all his other commands at an age of full growth (or lit. in a completed or mature season), and at no other time. As the lamb of God directs us after his resurrection, Mark xvi. 15, saying: ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to all creatures. Whoever shall believe, shall be baptized, shall live; but he that shall not believe shall be judged.’
So, then, hearken unto and receive into your minds the irrefragable decree of our Lord Jesus Christ For some in violation of the canons of our Lord Jesus Christ, have broken and destroyed the holy and precious canons, which by the Father Almighty were delivered to our Lord Jesus Christ; and have trodden them under foot with their devilish teaching. These are they who ever and always oppose the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ…[word missing here] baptizing those who are irrational (or without the word) and communicating the unbelieving. All these lie under the ban of the Lord and of the holy apostles, as is clear in the canons of our Saviour Jesus, since he saith to his holy apostles: ‘Give not holiness to dogs, nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they forthwith trample it under foot, and then turn and rend you,’ and the rest. Do we not then know by what authority they do these things, or who is their teacher? Manifestly, by the spirit of the adversary of the Father, of God, do they their works; even as the Saviour warned us, saying: ‘Beware of evil-doers,’ and the rest. In saying this our Lord showeth us that they are workers of deceitful agents, that is of Satan. Moreover, a member (it. part) of the church, St. John passes sentence on such ones, saying’ in his catholic first epistle, ii. 1o: In this are manifest one from the other the children of God and the children of Satan? Our Lord moreover manifests them when he says of such that ‘by their fruits ye shall know them’ and the rest we need not quote. Thus our Lord and intercessor Jesus will give to such as these their reward, but such as those he will liberate from the false teacher.
Let us then submit humbly to the Holy Church Universal, and follow their works who acted with one mind and one faith and taught us. Now still do we receive in the only proper (lit. necessary) season the holy and precious mystery of our Lord Jesus Christ and of the heavenly Father – to it, in the season of repentance and of faith. As we learned from the Lord of the universal and apostolic church, so do we proceed: and we establish in perfect faith those who [till then] have not holy baptism; nay, nor have tasted of the body nor drunk the holy blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore according to the word of the Lord, we must first bring them unto the faith, induce them to repent, and then give it unto them. As also a member of the church St. Luke in the Acts of the Church saith, vii. 12: ‘But when they believed Philip preaching good tidings about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were all baptized, men and women. And again in the same, vii. 36, he saith: ‘As they went on their way, they came unto a certain water, and the eunuch said: Behold, here is water; what doth hinder me from being baptized? And Philip said unto him, If thou dost believe with all thy heart, it is possible. The eunuch answered and said: I believe that Jesus Christ is Son of God.’ Thus then they first heard a declaration of faith from them and then bestowed supreme baptism. For so had they received it from the Lord, and so they truly did bestow it on others. But some aborted from the gospel and from His church, in opposition [thereto], ask of an unbelieving baptismal father, who is a false witness brought forward, as it were a profession of faith, saying to him: ‘What doth the catechumen seek, O [false] witness? And he makes answer and says: ‘Faith, hope, love, and baptism: How then, O [false] reader, art thou not ashamed? or how dost thou not blush ? so utterly dost thou fail to reflect as to thine utterances and thy questions that whatever proceedeth from thy mouth, is not true [but false] argument, whether the answer of the [false] witness or thy question about the catechumen
to the baptismal father? These are utterly …[missing words]…,and as our Lord and intercessor Jesus enables us, we will a little open your minds, and with God’s aid help to show who is your doctor and teacher.
Doth make manifest and point out the father and teacher of them who have believed and with much love fulfil his works, and know that it is God’s work. And God [forbid] that we should believe or bear in our minds such works or canons.
Our mediator and intercessor Jesus Christ doth direct us truly as follows: ‘Beware of evil workers,’ and the rest.
Already our Lord Christ passed sentence on the Jews and schismatics, when he pointed out their father, saying, John vii, 44: ‘Ye are from Satan your father, and ye wish to do the desire of your father. For he was a murderer from the beginning. But he abode not in the truth, because there is not truth in him. When he speaketh false he speaketh out of his own, for he is false and his father.’ Now, then, ye his disciples, come hither and judge of yourselves truly of your falsified (or falsely performed) baptism, ye that are wholly mythical and contrary to the holy Gospel of the universal and apostolic holy church, that it is not at all to be found in the holy and precious Acts of the Apostles or in the holy Gospels of our Lord Jesus Christ our intercessor.
By this time, however, true opinion has been banished from your minds ; since your father has taught you from of old and has bound you to his [false] gospel. For this reason our Lord most explicitly bore testimony, saying: ‘From the beginning your father was a murderer,’ and the rest. But now is the word of our Lord Jesus Christ found accurate and true, which he directs against that evil one. For at the first he was in the form of a serpent and spake in the Armenian language unto Eve, saying: ‘Wherefore hath God sternly commanded you not to eat of the fruit, and not to approach it? Because God knew that when ye take thereof and approach it, at once your eyes will be opened and ye will be as gods; therefore he strictly commanded you not to approach or touch the same.’
But the woman Eve obeyed the father of whom we have spoken and in turn satisfied the mind of Adam. So then, when each had persuaded the other, at once they were stript naked of glory and were driven from the garden; and then they beheld each the other’s nakedness, and were not ashamed, as the Spirit of God beareth witness in the sequel.
Now, however, was rent the veil of their virginity through the deceit of the same evil one. Virgin blood escaped for them, their perishable flesh was afflicted; the ligaments of God were torn asunder, those which he imposed on them; the modesty of their countenances was torn away, their reverence was wholly lost; the colour of light of the Godhead faded from their faces; the crown of their kingship was taken away, and their newly-fashioned palace was lost, fastened about with chains. Nay more, all other blessings were lost to them through that same evil one, and he made them his slaves. This is why the precept was uttered to the Jews who believed not: ‘He that worketh sin, is the slave of sin,’ and the rest.
And out of such knowledge did our Lord Jesus Christ give proof unto schismatics, unbelievers, the impious, liars, the false to law (or false examples), false teachers and false priests, ‘who are ever learning, yet never are able to come to the knowledge of the truth, and the rest.
Thus our Lord Jesus meant that their father and teacher is Satan. Let us next come to the dealings already alluded to of the murderer, who slew our forefather Adam [and Eve], and made them and their children, until our Saviour Christ, his slaves and captives, and fastened them in his chains and so forth; and so in bonds until the advent of the newly-created Adam kept them; I mean the prophets, patriarchs, men and women, sons and daughters, believers and unbelievers, and all others whom he drew in a throng to himself. And so it was that it pleased the heavenly Father in pity (to create] the new Adam out of the same deceitful blood. But the [created] man Jesus knew his Father, and by inspiration of the Holy Spirit came to St. John in all gentleness and humility to be baptised by him. And at the same time he was crowned by the almighty Father, who said: ‘Yonder is my well-loved son in whom I am pleased,’ as was written above.
Now, when Satan heard this same voice of the Godhead, he was at once seized with great fear and terror insupportable: and he quaked and trembled beyond measure, and he divided his evil mind this way and that, and said: Whatever can be that voice which resounded about him from above? What can be the coming upon him of the Holy Spirit? What can be all this greatness, all this authority in heaven and on earth ? What can be all this glory and honour? What indeed all this rejoicing and gladness that has accrued because of him? When Satan beheld all this, he was in despair, and began thenceforth to make ready the snare of his wickedness against our Lord Jesus Christ; and he bethought him, by what snare or gin he might catch him, as he had caught Adam and the patriarchs and the prophets and all others in order. And so he abode in perplexity and great trouble until the time of the temptation.
Concerning the forty days of our Lord Jesus Christ who entered in to his [maker] and conversed with him mysteriously and received commands of his Father, yea and overcame Beliar with is hosts (or strength).
As a member of the universal and apostolic church, St. Paul, directs, in writing, to the Hebrews, ch. ii. I: Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, contemplate the Apostle and High-priest of our Confession, Jesus Christ, who is faithful to his maker, as also was Moses in all his house. Forasmuch as the [created] man Jesus became very faithful to his Father, for this reason, the Father bestowed on him a name of praise which is above every name, that is, of beings whether in heaven or on earth or under the earth. He also put all things in subjection under his feet, as Saint Paul says elsewhere. When therefore he had pleased his increate and loved Father, at once the Spirit led him on to the mountain of temptation and admitted him into the mystery of holy Godship. For forty days and forty nights he feasted on contemplation, on fellow-converse, and on the commandments of the heavenly Father, as is plain to us from the holy Gospels; and when his [maker] took away the feasting and the fellow-converse from him, then he hungered. And the envious tyrant, seeing that, began to try to ensnare our Saviour with envy [of glory], saying: ‘If thou art the Son of God, speak, that these stones may become bread,’ and the rest, Matt. iv. 3. But Jesus made answer and said to that evil one: “O ravening lion, O enemy, O monster, O shameless slayer of men, wherefore dost thou thus address me with an “if”; dost thou desire under cover of the doubt to draw thy snare over me. I am not thy fancy which thou fanciest me, O full of all deceit.’ [preceding italicized text an interpolation?] Jesus made answer and said: ‘It is written that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word which goeth forth from the mouth of God.’ Now have we made clear the meaning of the text which says that our Lord Jesus, because of his feasting, his fellow-converse and receiving of commands and glory of Godship, hungered not until the completion of those days. So then the evil one saw that our Saviour Christ was not to be tricked like Eva and Adam with a single word; and Satan next took and led him into the holy city, and placed him on a pinnacle of the temple and said to him: ‘Throw thyself down thence, for it is written that to his angels he has given charge concerning thee, and on their hands they shall bear thee up, lest thou ever dash thy foot against a stone.’ Jesus again said unto him: ‘It is written that thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’ Again Satan took him into a mountain exceeding high and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them. And he said unto him, ‘All this will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me Then said Jesus to him: Get thee behind me, Satan, for it is written, that thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him alone shalt thou serve. Yea, and St. Luke adds about the evil one, ch. iv. 13, that having completed every temptation Satan departed from him for a season.
Concerning the deceitfulness of he evil one, which he practises after the temptation of our Lord Jesus Christ continuously until the second coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The same is set forth by a member of the church, St. Luke, ch. iv. 13: ‘And having completed every temptation Satan departed from him for a season.’
So then, after the temptation of our Lord Jesus, the adversary Satan was filled with much wrath, and began from that day to take to himself astute instruments of his wickedness and to follow after the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ and after all who believed on him, as is clear from the words of the holy Gospel, which says about Judas the traitor, John xii. 27: ‘And after the sop, then Satan entered into him.’ Therefore Satan, after accomplishing his acts of wickedness in Judas-and he procured his end and made him his servant, forthwith entered into the priests and high priests of the Jews. And after them, without waiting, the evil one entered into the heart of a damsel and caused her to address Peter twice over in order to subvert him and cast him over the precipice. Yea and into yet others he entered. At the same hour he also confirmed them, in order to secure Peter to himself. How ever, our intercessor and mediator Jesus Christ divined beforehand the temptation of the evil one which was in store for Peter and that is why our Lord began by giving great warning to Peter, saying, Luke xxii. 31: ‘Saith the Lord, Simon, Simon, behold Satan sought to sift thee as wheat, but I made supplication for thee, that thy faith may not be wanting, that thou mayest in time turn again and establish thy brethren.’
And we must now at every hour say this holy and precious prayer… in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, that he may relent towards us and intercede for us sinners, to liberate us from all evil temptations. Amen.
Holy Jesus, Holy Lord Christ
Holy Son of God, for us make intercession.
And then say ‘Our Father,’ and the rest.
And then, Satan seeing that his works of wickedness availed nothing, hardened and whetted his wickedness still more than before, and more and more against the believers and disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, and against the apostles of our Saviour, as is clear from John vi. 67.
Concerning the adversary of God the Father let us also speak.
‘From that time many of his disciples went back, and did not walk with him any more.’
Now, the wild beast, of whom I have written above, continued to threaten with great wrath the disciples of our Lord; because he that was said to be his did not fall a victim to his most evil plan, as St. Luke above testified, saying of this very evil one, that he left him and went away for a season. So firmly at this season this son of perdition, in the hour of the Lord’s temptation, cherished in himself the determination to sow his evil longings in the hearts and ears of those who should please Him even until the end of the world. For this cause our mediator and intercessor never ceases to warn us, saying, Luke xxii. 40: ‘And when he came unto the place he said unto them, Pray ye that ye enter not into temptation? So well did our Lord also know the designs of the evil one, and therefore expressly enjoined us to watch and pray. And a member of the holy universal and apostolic church, St. Peter, in his first catholic Epistle saith, ch. v. 8: ‘Be sober, be watchful, for your adversary, Satan, like a lion roareth, walketh about and seeketh whom he may devour.’ After this manner must we also be wakeful and not asleep in sin. For some, being weighed down with sin, have followed this adversary, as is clear in their histories and ceremonies, which same we shall expose with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Concerning Satan, in what form he has appeared to those who have been deceived and become his slaves, this we will set forth.
At the first this gate of hell took the form of a serpent; secondly, of a raven; thirdly, of a calf; fourthly, of wild beasts; fifthly, of light; sixthly, of women; seventhly, of men; eighthly, of clerics; ninthly, of teachers of the school; tenthly, of apostles; eleventhly, of bishops; twelfthly, of monks. And all other forms he assumes as a disguise; and in these same forms he seals and stamps those who love and please him, and guards them for himself until the end. For in evil wise doth he chastise himself and all his, according to the saying: Their worm dieth not, and their fire is not quenched. And may the Lord God Almighty, by the mediation and intercession of his loved Son, save and liberate all who make true confession of faith from such temptation. Amen.
And here must we say this prayer before Christ.
O sweet Lord of mine, Jesus Christ, we worship, we pray, we entreat and beseech thine all-powerful Lordship, who art at the right hand of thy Father [and maker], mediate and intercede for us sinners now and in the hour of our death. Amen.
Concerning him that disguises himself let us speak.
Now the teacher and father of schismatics and heretics assumes many forms of disguise. But we have only mentioned twelve, in order not to be tedious to you, my loved ones. What is the reason why the evil one disguises himself? It is this, that by means of the disguise he may easily enslave them to himself. For this reason he first assumes the form of a serpent, because the serpent was full of guile. Secondly of a raven, because the raven is a lover of lewdness. Thirdly of a calf, because a calf is a friend of mankind and useful to us. Fourthly in the form of wild beasts; because wild beasts are renders of all images. Fifthly of light, because light is disperser of darkness. Sixthly in form of maidens and of women, because they are too prone to adorn themselves because of their hunting after men. Seventhly in form of men, because they eagerly assent to things said. Eighthly of clerics, because they lead the lives of impostors. Ninthly of school teachers, because they are teachers of all. Tenthly of apostles, because they are healers of soul and body. Eleventhly of bishops and catholici, because they are proud and overweening, and in particular traffickers in the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ; yea, and though dispensers of holy law, yet are also avaricious and excogitators of falsehoods. Lastly, they disguise themselves as monks’, because they always love herbs and vegetables, yea and also.. . and they keep fasts, because their food grows always in damp places. Wherefore also their dwellings are there, for they like it much.
Concerning the testimonies of the holy apostles, and of writings which are external (i.e. gentile or pagan), that is is true that the evil one takes the form of…. [missing word]
First, St.Paul, in his second letter to the Corinthians, demonstrates the variety of forms assumed by this evil one, saying, ch. xi. 12: ‘What I do, that will I do, that I may cut off occasions of them who desire occasions; that wherein they glory, they too may be found even as we. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, they fashion themselves into apostles of Christ. And no marvel, for even Satan fashioneth himself into an angel of light; and it is no great thing, if his ministers also fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. But…
[Here are missing many pages]
…as also our Lord Jesus Christ, having chosen his disciples, said: ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel of the kingdom to all creatures. Whoever believeth, shall be baptized, shall live; but whoever believeth not, shall be judged,’ and the rest. Behold, O ye blind, how our Lord deems your procedure false and vain, and pronounces you to be deniers of him, and calls you children of Satan, as was written above. Lo, now do ye recognize right well your lying father; recognize of a truth your spirit; recognize even your false God. Nay, recognize also your teacher; yea, and furthermore do ye recognize the Pope, the Catholicos, and your president; and recognize your sham Messiah, and the rest. Of whom our mediator and intercessor, our life and refuge, doth manifestly speak, saying: ‘And that which he speaketh false, he speaketh out of his own, and his father is Satan.’ Thus our Lord Jesus and the holy universal and apostolic church saw and spoke as we wrote above. And now once more we write down from the First to Timothy, iv. I: ‘But expressly doth the Holy Spirit say, that in the last times some shall fall away from the faith,’ and the rest. And again in another writing of his doth he speak of you that are blinded: And there shall be lovers of self, overweening, proud and insolent. Nay, more, ye have confidence in your works, but have denied the holy works of our Lord Jesus, and of his sanctified apostles; and are followers of your father, the evil one, who gave you his law, namely, to baptize unbelievers, to worship images, to make silver and gold into the form of an image…. [words missing] and to adore the same, to pry into the sins of men and women, to explore the same and grant remission, as to which our Lord ordained, saying: No one can remit sins, save only the one God. But do you investigate all their other words, and give praise to the heavenly Father, and to his only-born Son.
Concerning the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ and of his elected, hallowed, disciples, how they were baptized.
When Jesus learned that the Pharisees heard that Jesus is making many disciples and is baptizing [more] than John. For it was not that…
[Here pages are missing]
…suffered, I say not you ; but if ye do not repent, ye shall likewise be destroyed.
Thus our Lord Jesus Christ decreed that these three ineffable mysteries (or sacraments) are essential when he spake to those who listened. First he lays stress on and ordains repentance; like St. John, who was mentioned above. Secondly, he grants us holy baptism, as he said to Nicodemus: “Jesus made answer and said to them, Verily, verily I say unto you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Thirdly, as regards his holy, precious body and blood, the Saviour commands us to make them (separately) from one another, as is clear from John vi. 54: ‘Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have not life in yourselves.’
Moreover, in the same chapter, he again speaks of them separately and not as one numerically, v. 56: ‘For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Look well at and thoroughly scan the holy writ; how that for the sake of the faithful it bestows and enforces repentance, baptism, and his holy body and blood. And the door of salvation speaks concerning believers and not unbelievers who… For in no wise at all do they know God, nor is their knowledge of Jesus Christ and of the holy church of Christ, that is of the holy Apostles. Moreover, they know not joy and sorrow, their father or their mother, and are like brass that sounds or cymbals that clash, and so forth.
In such matters then what is it right for us to do according to law? Naught but this: when children are born of their mothers, then it is necessary for the elect after seven days to proceed to the house of the children born, on the eighth day; and he shall comfort the parents with great love and give to them good spiritual advice, that they shall train up their offspring in godliness, in faith, hope, love, and in all good works, as St. Paul writes in his first to Timothy, ch. iv. 7, sayings as follows: ‘But from filthy words and old wives’ fables hold aloof: but exercise thyself unto godliness, for exercise of the body is profitable for a little; but godliness is something profitable for all things, and hath the promise of life, of that which now is and of that which is to be.’ Likewise, according to the canons of the holy apostles it is necessary for the parents themselves ever and always to give for instruction and study to their infant offspring as it were milk; and they shall not be at all sparing [thereof]. As also St. Paul, in his first to Corinthians ch. ii. I, says: ‘And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal’, as unto babes in Christ. I fed you with milk, not with meat; for ye were not able. Nay, not even now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal.’
So then, for us also and for the parents it is right first of all to perform the name-giving of the catechumens, and then after some time we cause them to be instructed in good works… [missing words] …at that time whether it be male or female; in order that he or she already… may be baptized. Accordingly, if a male, the child will learn to be on its guard against its original desires; while, if a maiden, it will be discreet [and shun the sin] which was manifested in the deception of Eva and Adam. For first was Eve dishonoured, and then she woke up the mind of Adam. So also must we [awake] them in their due seasons, [and tell them] of the curse they inherit from their sire; albeit we now through Jesus Christ lead them unto the highest bliss. For this cause St. John, our mediator and intercessor Jesus Christ, and his holy disciples, first showed the faith, then brought to repentance, and last of all bestowed baptism; as is clear from the actions of our Saviour Jesus. For he first asked for Faith of the blind, the halt, the withered, the demoniacs, and especially of the lords dead”, and said to them: Do ye believe that I am able to do this unto you? But they in great fear cried out, saying, ‘Yea, Lord, thou canst.’ And they worshipped him and were healed. Also their dead were raised. So must we also perform baptism when they are of full age like our Lord; so that they may seek it in faith from us, and that then we may give them baptism and perfect blessing.
Suppose, for example, a man who is caught by thieves or robbers on a mountain-top or in a ravine, and they have bound his hands and feet fast with fetters and cast him into some gully, surely it is necessary for him to struggle to free himself, or is it not? But they make answer and say that he must work hard and struggle, until he liberate himself; for fear lest he fall a prey to the wild beasts. Such also is the enactment of our Lord, which he laid down in our texts, with regard to repentance. In this very wise does he warn us that he who does not believe and repent cannot be baptized and be justified, be purified of sin and be freed from the fetters of Satan. To this effect our mediator and intercessor Jesus Christ delivered the parable which tells of the repentant and unrepentant, Luke xii. 6. ‘A certain man had a fig-tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit from the fig-tree, and found none. [And he said to the vinedresser, Behold these three years I come seeking fruit thereon and found none.] So cut it down; why doth it cumber the ground? He answered and said: Lord, let it alone this year, till I shall dig about and dung it. Perhaps it will bear fruit of repentance; if not, after another year thou shalt cut it down.’
But now it is needful for you, readers, to examine thoroughly and understand the parables of our Lord Jesus Christ, who primarily means repentance, but directly or indirectly graciously vouchsafes the parable to those that listen and receive it. Wherefore now hath our Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the heavenly Father, Revealed the Way and the Truth and the Life, that those who have not faith, repentance, hope, and love cannot be baptized nor draw nigh unto the holy flesh and blood of the Son of God. Nay more, cannot enter the kingdom of God; as above in regard to the three mysteries, he himself bore sure witness, that they cannot enter his holy bosom; nay, nor participate in the glory of his heavenly Father well-loved.
Thus our mediator and intercessor Jesus Christ spake this parable as touching believers and unbelievers. For the kingdom of God hath been likened unto ten virgins, who took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom and bride. Five of them were foolish and five wise. The foolish took their lamps… [missing page] …from place to place, whom shall the Lord God, through the mediation and intercession of his Son only born, preserve from the temptation of your father and rank them with the holy wise virgins. So that they knowing did abide in thy holy and precious word, and in no wise erred from thy all-holy tradition, which thou didst vouchsafe unto thy spotless Son, thine only-born. And they (lit. who) in the season of full growth baptize those that repent and believe in the name of Jesus Christ, thy loved Son… [missing word] yea and replenish them also with thine holy spirit and strengthen their minds and bodies. Because thy Son did truly promise us, saying: ‘He that believeth shall be baptized, shall live; but he that believeth not, shall be judged?’
Concerning the giving of a name to the Catechumen.
We must seven days after the birth proceed to the home of the newborn child on the eighth day, and we then begin by saying the holy prayer of our Lord Jesus, ‘Our Father.’
And then, after saying ‘Our Father,’ the elect one and all the congregation with one accord repeat this prayer over the catechumen with faith, thus:
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we beg and entreat thee, keep this catechumen from evil, and fix thy holy eye upon him, and keep him from all temptation of the world; and give him life according to thy good will, that he may pass through the season of his childhood and become acceptable to thee, to thy Son, and to thy Holy Spirit. And bring him through to reach holy baptism, and call him under the shelter of the wings of thy beloved Son. And also bless, O my Lord and God, the catechumen through the mediation of Jesus, thy beloved Son. Cleanse him from fleshly pollutions, and day by day prosper and increase him in thy grace, and bring him unto the full measure of the time of holy baptism, now and ever and to eternity of eternities. Amen.
And then read the words of St. Paul, 1 Cor. xiii. II.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. But when I became a full man, I put away childish things. Now we see as if in a mirror by symbol, but then face to face. Now I understand in part, but then I shall know even as he knoweth me. But now abide Faith, Hope, Love, as it were three; and the greatest of these is Love.
And after the reading of Paul, ’tis meet for the elect one to ask the name of the catechumen: ‘By what name do ye desire to call this catechumen according to law and not with a fabulous name?’
And then he readeth the holy gospel, Luke ii. 21.
‘And when eight days were fulfilled to circumcise bim, his name was called Jesus, which was so called by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.’
Glory to thee, King of Glory, that thou hast made this catechumen worthy to be given a name. We beseech thy foreseeing majesty, guard him until he attain to the holy birth of the font, that we may praise thee, thy Son, and thy Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.
Repeat the Our Father, and go to thy house.
God doth produce the fruits of grace.
Directions for those baptizing ; of what sort shall thy be who may be baptized.
But as the Lord commanded in his holy canons, even so shall ye baptize those who come unto us. And St. John directed those who came to himself to repent. Or as the holy universal and apostolic Catholic Church having learned from our Lord Jesus Christ did proceed ; so also must ye after them do, as we said above. For they first taught; secondly asked for faith; thirdly induced to repent; and after that granted holy baptism to those who were of full age, and in particular were cognizant of their original sin. Again ye, the elect ones, must observe the utmost care that they receive before baptism instruction and training, both of body and soul, as St. Paul saith: ‘Practise thyself in godliness.’ So must ye without delay bring those who come unto faith, hope, love, and repentance, and with extreme care and testing practise them, no matter who they be, lest peradventure any one should be an impostor, or deceitful, or a wizard, like Simon, in Acts vii. 13.
But Simon himself believed and was baptized and rose up against Philip in trickery and charlatanry, in order to obtain the power of the holy spirit by deceit. So also ye, my loved ones, must examine those who come to you, that is thieves and counterfeit ones, who come to you clothed as sheep. As our Lord Jesus Christ saith: Forasmuch as such as these would fain prove themselves holy to you in order to obtain2 holiness and the pearl from you, and would then trample them under foot; as Saint Paul commandeth in his letter to the Romans, saying, ch. xvi. 18: ‘For such as these serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by their smooth and fair speech they beguile the hearts of the sinless whether priests or doctors or deacons’, whether men or women, you must not at once baptize them nor communicate them until they have been completely tested.
Concerning those who are being baptized, how they shall come unto holy baptism ; and what is their duiy and what is the fruit they shall display, that we should se it and confide in them; as our Lord direcis us, saying: By their fruits shall ye know them.
It is right and fitting that those to be baptized should shed bitter tears, like Peter, like Paul, like the harlot Mary, or like Simon’s wife’s mother, and others resembling them. For they with great contrition received glory and honour from Jesus Christ our Saviour, as is clear in the holy gospel, and in the Acts of the holy Apostles, and elsewhere. Again, what is meet for those to do who wish to receive holy baptism ? It is meet that they should approach in gentleness, in humility to the elect one, solicit from him release from demons, and that they may serve our Lord Jesus Christ and his holy church. But then shall the elect one advise them, saying: O my little children, forasmuch as ye now desire to receive from me holy release, ye must say… [missing pages] …they trouble you and will desire to subvert the Gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel come down from heaven, should preach unto you a gospel in excess of that which we preached, let him be anathema. As I said before, so say I now again, If any man preach unto you a gospel in excess of that which ye received, let him be anathema.’
Again I write this unto you, dearly beloved, that ye shall diligently search the holy gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and the holy Acts of the Apostles, and then condemn us, lest perhaps ye also be punished in season.
Come my children of the new Zion,
Take on you the crown of the Lord Jesus.
Cherish in yourselves each word spoken,
Take your places in the ranks on the right hand.
If ye listen unto the Church,
The infinite God shall save you.
The Head of all is the Lord Jesus,
Whom the holy Paul doth confess,
And the head of Christ is God and Light.
Acts, ch. i. vs. 13.
Peter and Jacob,
John and Andrew,
Philip and Thomas,
Bartholomew and Matthew,
Jacobus of Alpheus,
And Simon the Zealot,
And Jude of Jacob;
Also Paul, the vessel of Election.
These are the Church Universal, nor is it Peter alone.
Which was foreshadowed in the Ark of Noe.
Through it have many souls been saved,
Which were lost through the wiles of devils.
Concerning what it is meet for the elect one to speak or what he giveth them to say. It is meet for the elect one to give them also this profession of faith to repeat, as follows :
We confess and believe that there is one true God, of whom our Lord Christ speaketh, John xvi. 3: This is life Eternal, that they should know thee the only true God and him whom thou didst send, Jesus Christ. Again we confess and believe in Jesus Christ, [a new creature and not] creator, as St. Paul saith to the Hebrews, ch. iii. 2: He is faithful to his creator, as was Moses in all his house. Again ye shall believe in the intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ and of no others. Ye shall believe in the holy apostles and in all who are the Universal Catholic Church, and are not Latins, Greeks, or [Armenians].
Furthermore ye shall believe in Jesus Christ, that by his father’s command he is to come to judge the quick and the dead.
And when they shall have finished the confession of faith before the elect one, and at the same time before the rulers, then shall the elect one say this prayer before the face of the heavenly Father:
The Prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of the Heavenly Father.
I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden this from the wise and learned and hast revealed it to babes. Yea, Father, for so it was pleasing in thy sight. All things have been given unto me by my Father; and no one knoweth the Son, but only the Father; nor doth any one know the Father save the Son, and to whom the Son shall desire to reveal. Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke on you and learn of me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
And when they have finished the holy prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ –
Now then, let us proceed to consider the baptizer, what he must [be], or how he must live, or in what manner he shall bring unto himself the repentant, or in what form minister to him. Wherefore we declare all this unto the person baptizing and to the person being baptized with God’s help, in detail.
Now therefore it is necessary for the baptizer to be elect according to the words of the heavenly Father to his beloved Son, Luke ix. 35: He is my Son Elect. Hear ye him. And secondly, he shall be gentle and lowly according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he gave by the mouth of his holy evangelists, John xv. 16 and 19, and xi. 28. Also in Matt.: ‘Learn of me, be gentle and lowly in heart, and the rest.
Now the teacher [shall be] wise, obedient, modest, sober, virtuous, god-fearing, loved by all, himself a lover of all the faithful. But let him not be superstitious, a babbler, a liar, an inciter of evil. Neither shall he be dissolute or vicious, nor shall he be deceitful and an impostor, nor shall he be fond of low gain nor a lover of pleasure.
Let him then not be contentious and choleric; nor let him be a wine-bibber and a drunkard. Neither shall he be fond of glory or a taker of profits. And he shall not be a taker of gifts and greedy, nor a thief and a robber; nor shall he be a murderer and a grinder of the poor. Let him also not be weak in faith, or perverse, litigious. Let him not be a deceiver of men and women. Let him not be double-tongued, an inciter unto evil; let him not be a calumniator of others. Let him not be proud and selfish, let him not be a lover of silver or of any of this world’s riches. Let him not be scarred with impurity, or a buffoon. Let him not be an adulterer and effeminate. Let him not be blind or halt, let him not be deaf or mute. Let him not be tall to excess above all men, nor let him be shorter than all men. And thus the [apostles] ordain by the Holy Spirit in their canons. And in particular the holy Apostle Paul directed Titus, saying, ch. i. 7: ‘For the bishop (or overseer) must be blameless, as God’s steward; not self-willed, not soon angry, not quarrelsome, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre. But hospitable, a lover of good, sober-minded, just, holy, temperate. To be a protector of the faithful word of the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in soundness of doctrine and to convict the gainsayers.
Again, St. Paul writes to Timothy thus, ch. ii. I: ‘Faithful is the saying, If a man seeketh the office of a bishop (or overseer), he seeketh a good work. The bishop (or overseer) must be without reproach, the husband of one wise, temperate, sober-minded, orderly, hospitable, apt to teach. No brawler, no striker; but gentle. Not contentious, no lover of money. For of his own house he shall be a good supervisor, and shall have children who are in subjection with all gravity.
Thus then the elect one must beware of all evil thoughts according to the Apostle Paul, according to the command he gave, saying: Be ye imitators of me, as also am I of Christ. I praise you for that you have all my riches. Ch. xi. 10 of First to Corinthians.
Behold and see, my godly ones, how the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ enjoin us. And if ye resemble not them, then ye (MS.=we) cannot any more become elect and presidents of the faithful, and so forth.
Concerning them who are baptized, how they shall come unto the elect one and be baptized by him.
Now then we say on this matter: Do ye be submissive to the law and have an ear to the canons, which direct how the novices shall go and present themselves to the elect one. For in gentleness and humility [shall they go), as our Lord Jesus Christ in gentleness and humility stood before St. John the Baptist. So also this new-born shoot must come unto the elect one. And forthwith the elect one shall rise to his feet and say: Come unto me all ye that are troubled and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, For I am gentle and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light’ Matt. xi. 28. And the penitent, with much eagerness throwing himself at the feet of the elect one, with supplications and tears, saith: O thou, elected by God and by Jesus Christ, I pray and beseech thee, set me, who am not worthy, free from the bonds of Satan.
This before the people he shall openly say.
Next the elect one, with benign glance and great love asketh him, saying:-
My little child, thou who wishest to be released from the bonds of the devils of Satan, What fruit of absolution hast thou? Tell it to us before the congregation. But the penitent, if he have learned and received the perfect faith, with unfeigned trust, shall at once come on his knees into the midst of the water and say with great love and tears to the elect one as follows:-
First do I faithfully believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, as the holy apostles believed, in Matt. xvi. 13, and as in Acts viii. to v. 18: ‘And he said unto them, But ye, whom do ye say that I am? Simon Peter made answer and said to him, Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God,’ and the rest. John vi. 69. And in particular the apostle Paul, making profession saith: ‘The head of all is Christ, and the head of Christ is God,’ 1 Cor. xi. 3. As also is clear in the holy gospel saying, John xvii. 3, ‘This is life eternal, that they should know thee, the only true God, and him whom thou didst send, Jesus Christ.’ So do I make confession and believe, serve, and worship (God the Father, and the Son, mediator and intercessor, and the Holy Spirit, the dispenser of grace to us who believe.
And then, as he that has believed completes his holy profession of faith, the elect one instantly takes the water into his hands, and looking up to heaven (saith), – also observing in (or toward) himself the mystery (or sacrament), the form (or figure) and the intention, – shall directly or indirectly empty out the water over the head saying: In the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit is baptized this man or woman – mentioning the name – by the testimony of the congregation here present.
And then he reads the holy gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:-
Matt. iii. 13: ‘Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan unto John to be baptized by him. Mark i. 9: And it came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.’ Luke iii. 21: And it came to pass in the baptizing of all the people, that Jesus was baptized and was praying; and the heavens were opened,’ and the rest. John i. 29: ‘On the morrow he seeth Jesus coming unto him and saith and read also the rest in full over the person baptized.
Next the elect one receives before him the novice; but the novices shall in fear and trembling on their knees draw nigh, naked, bending low their heads and with firmest faith, bearing in mind the release from Satan. But the elect one takes water in his hands, and with mystery (or sacrament) with word and with act, shall fully empty out the water over one head (at a time) and say first, In the name of the Father; and he shall empty out the water on the head three times [and after that] in the name of the Son and in the name of the Holy Spirit… in union,
Because the Father giveth release from the bonds, the Son giveth hope to sinners, and the Holy Spirit is love in the hearts of those who listen, believe, are baptized, and the rest.
Ye shall keep to this figure.
For a certain king releases certain rulers from the prison of sin, but the Son calls them to himself and comforts them (lit. gives hope) with lofty (lit. great) words, and the holy spirit of the king forthwith comes and crowns them, and dwells in (or with) them for ever and ever. Amen.
Read thou the holy gospels.
‘Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan unto John to be baptized by him. But John would have hindered him saying, I have need to be baptized by thee, and comest thou to me? Jesus made answer and said unto him: Suffer it now, for thus it becometh us to fulil all righteousness. Then he sufereth him. And when he was baptized Jesus went up straightway from the water; and behold the heavens were opened unto him; and he saw the spirit of God, descending like a dove; and it came upon him. And behold there was a voice from heaven which said: He is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’
He is in the presence of the Father.
We thank, we magnify and glorify thine Almighty Fatherhood, that thou hast made worthy thy servants in the hour of baptism, who have been baptized in the name of thy Son, the only-born. And now we adore, we ask and beseech of thee, Holy Father, preserve them from the wiles of devils and free them from the temptation of evil ones. Seal, Holy Father, their hearts, their souls and bodies with the precious flesh and blood of thine only-born Son, now and evermore.
Next ye shall read the Acts of the Apostles, ii. I.
‘And when the days of Pentecost were completed, they were all with one accord together. And there was on a sudden a sound, coming from heaven, as of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house in which they sat. And there appeared unto them divided tongues, as of fire, and there sat one on each of them. And all were filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.’
Gospel of Mark, i. 9.
‘And it came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And forthwith, as he went up out of the waters, he saw the heavens rent asunder, and the Spirit of God, like a dove, descending from heaven, [and a voice came out of the heavens] and said, Thou art my beloved Son; In thee am I well pleased.’
And then we say this prayer before the Son of the Heavenly Father.
We adore, we entreat and beseech of thee, Christ, Son of God, receive these among the number of thy holy disciples, and send the Spirit of thy Father into their hearts, for thou didst promise them, saying: If I go not, the Holy Spirit will not come unto you. But now with ardent love, falling on our faces, we beseech thee in behalf of thy servants, who now have been baptized into thy holy name, and now anxiously await the faithful promise of thy Lordship, [made] unto their hearts, and unto all thy servants who have believed in thee.
And next thou shalt read Paul to the Galatians, iii, 24-29.
‘So that the law hath been our tutor to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith is come, we are no longer under a tutor. For ye are all sons of God, through faith in Christ Jesus]. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ. There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye are Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, heirs according to promise.’
From the holy gospel of Jesus Christ according to Luke, iii. 21-22.
“Now it came to pass, when all the people were baptized, that, Jesus also having been baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily form, as a dove upon him, and a voice came out of heaven which said, Thou at my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.’
Also this further prayer in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Blessed art thou, Spirit of the Heavenly Father, forasmuch as thou wast made by the Father, and coming, didst give unto our Lord Jesus Christ authority over all flesh; and didst make him king and head of beings in heaven and in earth and under the earth; even as St. Paul, filled with thee, declareth. Furthermore, thou didst divide the fiery tongues unto the holy Apostles and unite them unto the one word, and didst make them the Catholic Church of the Son of God the Father. And now with all reverence do we entreat thee, that thou come down into these, and fll the hearts of the baptized, who have now been baptized into Christ Jesus. Lest peradventure the unclean spirit approach them that have believed in the only born Son of the heavenly Father. Cleanse their spirits and minds, and make them a temple and dwelling-place of the Father increate, of the Son our intercessor, now and ever and unto eternity of eternities. Amen.
Lection from the Acts of the Apostles, viii. 26-40.
‘But an angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south along the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza: the same is desert. And he arose and went: and behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was over all her treasure, who had come to Jerusalem for to worship; and he was returning and siting in his chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot And Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some one shall guide me? And he besought Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the chapter of the scripture which he was reading was this: He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and as a lamb before his shearer is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth: in his humiliation his judgement was taken away: his generation who shall declare? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other? And Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this scripture, preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on the way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch saith, Behold, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit came upon the eunuch, and an angel of the Lord caught away Philip ; and the eunuch saw him no more, and he went on his way rejoicing.
And then thou shalt read the holy gospel, John xx.
From the holy gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to John.
Or thus begin by saying: The holy gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is that which John saith:
‘When therefore it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples of Jesus were met together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had said this, he shewed unto them his hands and his side; and the disciples were glad, when they saw the Lord. He said to them again, Peace be unto you: as the Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed into them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whosesoever sins ye forgive, they are forgiven unto them; whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.’
Once more it is meet before all prayers to say the “Our Father.’
And then give the Peace in these words: May the Peace of the Father, the Peace of the Son, and the Peace of the Holy Ghost, come unto you. Amen.
HERE ENDETH THE FORM OF BAPTISM.
And concerning the order of laying on of hands.
Jesus, Son of the Heavenly Father, help us and intercede for us, and for all the faithful, for thou didst promise with thy faithful Word: Jobn xvii. 20, But not only for them do I pray, but also for all them that believe on me through their word:
Again let us speak about that man, and say how it is right to elect him, and then to lay hands (i.e. ordain) on him; lest by chance we be found guilty according to our Lord Jesus Christ and the holy apostle Paul, who declares and directs in his First to Timothy, v. 22: ‘Lay hands hastily on no man, nor become partaker of the sins of aliens,’ and the rest. But also our intercessor and mediator Jesus Christ, hindering us, saith: ‘Give not holiness to dogs, and cast not your pearls before swine’ Behold, it is thus incumbent on the elect one and the rulers not to give the authority to such a man For it is a fearful and awful thing to lay hands upon such as these, and to become partakers of the sins of aliens, and so forth. Therefore it is necessary for us to be greatly on our guard against them, and avoid participation in their sins; so far forth as it is no divine command, either of Christ the elect or of the universal and apostolic holy church (to do so). Let us further consider the words, the actions, and the canons of our Saviour, yea, and also of the elected holy apostles, who were taught by the high priest Jesus, and handed down unto us their tradition. As St. Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians, i. 11, says: ‘I make known to you, brethren, as touching the Gospel which was preached by me, that it is not according to the mind of man. For neither did I receive it from men, nor was I taught it by any one, but from the revelation of Jesus Christ.’ I Cor. xv. 1: Eph. iii. 3.
Behold then, according to these words, these blessed ones received it from Christ; and Christ our Saviour received it from the Almighty Father, as he himself insisted, speaking in Matthew: ‘And Jesus came and spoke to them, and said: Unto me hath been given authority in heaven and on earth. As the Father sent me, so send I you.’ Also Mark xvi. 15. Accordingly our Lord Christ was first elected by the Father and received the grace of the heavenly Father, as saith Matthew, chap. xii.: ‘Behold my servant, whom I elected, and my well-beloved in whom my soul was well-pleased. I have laid my spirit upon him, and he shall declare judgements unto the Gentiles.’ ‘And when Jesus was baptized, he went up straightway from the water, and lo! the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him, And lo, a voice from heaven which said, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.’ Mark x. 10, Luke iii. 22, and John i. 32. And the rest ye shall read in holy writ, that first was Jesus elected by the Father, and the apostles by him. Accordingly it is right for this man to be elected by rulers and then by bishops. Now the President must first test him in gentleness and humility, and see if he has perfect wisdom, love which is chief of all, prudence, gentleness, humility, justice, courage, sobriety, and eloquence. He must also possess in very deed continence, patience, moderation, pastoral care, love of the poor, pity and good conduct of life and all other good works, and repentance along with quick conscience. All this the teacher must test and ascertain; and only then shall it be incumbent on the Vardapet to approve him. But unless a man has borne these thorough tests, it is not right for the President or rulers to lay their hands on his head. Since our Lord and the universal and apostolic holy church inhibit us from laying our hands upon such ones and from becoming sharers and partakers of their sin. Even as our mediator and intercessor, Jesus, warns us against it saying: Beware of evil workers, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but within are ravening wolves, and so forth.
See and mark, my loved ones, how the Lord forbids us to lay hands on such as these, that is on false prophets, deceivers, disobedient, foolish, and so forth. Again, it is not meet for you, God-loving rulers and arch-rulers, to rashly lay your hands on such men; as St. Paul in his canons doth enjoin upon Titus, saying: ‘For the bishop must be blameless,’ and the rest. And accordingly the elect one must be on all sides spotless, and must be holy. Furthermore, he shall be shrewd and single-minded, as He that was elected by the Almighty Father saith : ‘Ye shall be shrewd as the serpent and single-minded as the dove’ and the rest.
Look ye and diligently examine, lest perchance ye violate these holy canons. Nay, more, may the Almighty Father give us his holy grace through the intercession of his beloved Son, and may he open the eyes of our souls unto the detection of such deceivers; that is to say, of thieves, robbers, murderers, sons of fornication, adulterers, detractors, evil speakers, scurrilous, foul-mouthed, blasphemers, quarrelsome, effeminate, paederasts, swinish in their lives, fond of strife, irreconcilable, slayers of the innocent, timid, sluggish, dissolute, niggardly, slow to learn, foolish, ecstatic, superstitious, without faith, lovers of sell, overweening, supercilious, double-faced, greedy, spotted with evil, graceless, libidinous, false witnesses, lovers of glory, lovers of silver, counterfeits, undiscerning, lovers of self, respecters of persons, longers after evil, privily-minded, lightly believing in false prophets and false doctors, in false preachers and false books ; who in every season and sundry trust not to the knowledge of truth, as the universal and apostolic church enjoins us to do. These must be elected with much testing, as also the Head of the Church enjoined above, saying: Beware of evil workers, and the rest.
Therefore, upon such as the aforesaid it is incumbent on us not to lay our hands, nor become sharers and participators in their sins. Further, we may say on this matter: Is there really found such an one as is free from all these vices? or was there ever anyone who, having had these vices, has turned away from them andrenounced them? Yes, there is indeed such a man, my beloved, as has been a hundredfold worse than these, and who yet, when he reached the time of election, then recovered himself, and fully and completely repented and received the grace of the heavenly Father; as a member of the universal and apostolic holy church, St. Luke, declareth unto us, saying in Acts vii. 6o, ‘And Saul was consenting unto the slaying of Stephen.’ Again, ch. ix. I, we read: ‘But Saul, yet filled with threatening and slaughter of the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest and asked of him letters to Damascus unto the synagogues, that if he found any who were of that way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem,’ and the rest.
Behold and mark, my godfearing ones, how Saul goes forth, and then how he repents, and turns to Christ our Lord, and receives the Holy Spirit and is ranked in the ranks of the universal and apostolic holy church; and becomes a vessel of election, establisher of the truth, pride of the faith and rampart of the holy apostles who were proclaimed by Christ the universal and apostolic church.
And this is the meaning of the blessed St. Paul when he said that where sin aboundeth there shall also abound grace. Again, he elsewhere saith, alluding thereto: ‘While I was a child I spoke as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man full-grown, I put away the things of childhood.’
Thus, my beloved, although it is natural for men to fall, is it not also natural for them to rise again and stand up straight? Let us also hold to this figure of our Lord, in which, dealing with us sinners, he compares us to the prodigal Son, who came to his father and said: Father, I have sinned unto heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son, but make me one of thy hired servants. But his father, in compassion, fell on his neck and kissed him and said, This is my son who was dead and is alive again, was lost and is found. And again he repeated in his great love and said, ‘Bring forth his robe and put a ring on his hand and kill for him the fatted calf, for he is my son who was dead nd is alive again, was lost and is found. So now do ye understand the decree of our Lord and of the holy apostles, which with true award they decreed for us and explicitly enjoined on all the faithful.
Let us return to the sequence of our direction, already expressed, that it is necessary for that man to be on all sides free from blemish, before we give him authority (or rule) of priesthood, of episcopate (or overseership), of doctorate, of apostleship, of presidency, and of election. For all these are one and the same thing; nor are they one greater or lesser than another. But they are on an entire level, as our intercessor Jesus enjoined on his holy elect ones, saying, Luke xxvi. 26: But be ye not so, but he that is great among you shall be as the least, and the master (lit. leader) as the servant, and the rest, In this wise is authority one, as our Lord enjoins saying, Matt. xvi. 15, where he promises to give authority to all his apostles. Likewise Matt. xvii. 18, he says the same, and also gives complete authority to all his elect ones: ‘Verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever ye shall release on earth, shall be released in heaven.’ Furthermore, John xx. 23, “Unto whom ye shall remit sins, it shall be remitted unto them; but whosesoever ye shall retain, it shall be retained.’
Accordingly it is thus that Latins, Greeks, and Armenians alike speak in the hour of their releasing (? = absolution). Whether catholici or bishops (or overseers) or vardapets (i. e. doctors) or their priests, they all alike, as suits the occasion, say: ‘I also in due order, with priestly authority, release thee from all participation in sin,’ and the rest.
Behold, my beloved ones, how they also bear witness that authority is one, and is not greater or less. For one was the Holy Spirit which came down upon the universal apostles and made them the universal and apostolic Catholic Holy Church. And we believe in their words, profession of faith, confession and works, for ever and ever unto eternity of eternities. Amen.
HERE ENDETH THE DIRECTION.
Concerning the laying of hands on the elect one and of their calling unto this grade.
Now after he hath been truly approved by the President, by the rulers and arch-rulers, then shall the elders lead that man before the President in great repentance and in tears.
And the rulers and arch-rulers shall begin by saying, as they bring him, this prayer unto the bishop (or overseer), saying as follows: Holy Father, we humbly pray thee, entreat and beseech thee out of thy great love, to lay hands on this man for the true guidance of our spirits. Amen.
And the Bishop, in turn, saith unto the Rulers as follows:
Ye then, who desire to have him as your good shepherd, have ye indeed diligently tested him, as also I have tested him with great humility and love?
But they make answer and say to the Apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ:-
Yes, our venerable father; for we have ful6lled all the commands of your Lordship with the help of God.
And again the elect one saith to the rulers and to all that listen: ‘I am without responsibility (or innocent) in this particular, and ye are responsible.’
And then the elect one begins in the very words of our Lord and Intercessor by asking of the reader as follows, Matt. xx. 23:-
Art thou then able to drink the cup which I am about to drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am about to be baptized?”
And he gives answer with ready will and love, saying to the President: Yes, holy father, for I, thy servant, take on myself scourgings, imprisonment, tortures, reproaches, crosses, blows, tribulation, and all temptations of the world, which our Lord and intercessor and the universal and apostolic holy Church took upon themselves, and lovingly accepted them. So even do I, an unworthy servant of Jesus Christ, with great love and ready will, take upon myself all these until the hour of my death. Amen.
And then the Chief receiveth him before him, and, himself sitting down on the throne, shall begin by first saying: ‘In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.’
And then he shall repeat the prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And after that he shall begin to read the holy Gospel, Matt. iii. to verse 16; and also Acts vi. to verse 8.
And then do thou read Acts i. to verse 5, *Our Father, which art’ and the rest.
Next again the Gospel of Matt, iii. to verse 17: also Acts xiii. to verse 6.
And after this the bishop calls the rulers unto himself, and the rulers having come shall place their hands upon the reader; but the bishop takes the holy Gospel into his hands, and gives it into the hands of the reader, and then asks his name, gently and humbly, saying:
‘What is thy name, my little son beloved?’
And he makes answer and says:-
‘The name of thy servant is Peter.’
But the apostle shall change his name in accordance with the Gospel, and after changing the name of the supplicant, he then gives him authority, saying as follows: Take to thyself authority of binding and loosing the sons of men in heaven and on earth, Matt. xviii. 18, and John xx. 23.
Here, in giving authority, there shall instantly be read the holy Gospels. After the reading of them it is incumbent also to read the Gospel of the birth, Luke ii. 13, and Mat. ii. as far as verse 13.
But after the reading of the holy Gospel of Luke, and the passage is that in which the angels sang their songs, it is meet that the bishop, the newly elected one, the rulers, arch-rulers, and all the congregation should sing: Glory in the highest to God, and on earth peace, to men good-will.
This much and no more shall they say:
King of kings, Lord and Creator of all beings, who didst create our first father out of clay and our first mother out of his rib; but they did not patiently endure thy holy commandment, but were deceived by the deceits of the Devil (it. slanderer). Yet nevertheless out of thy divine compassion thou didst create the new man Jesus, as the holy Paul saith: By man came death and by man salvation. Thus also the… [missing words] Christ Jesus kept thy ineffable commandments and bruised the head of thine adversary; as saith thine only-born Son himself, thy well-beloved, John xv. IO: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
Thus did our head Christ keep thy true words and the commandments of thy Lordship, and paid in full our debts and received from thee, blessedness unending. And now we humbly supplicate, entreat, and beseech thee, accept our prayers through the intercession of thine only-begotten, and through the mediation of his holy baptism and of his life-giving precious body and blood, and of his holy insupportable sufferings. Bestow thy holy grace on this one, who now is come and asks of thee the grace of thy holy authority, and that he may be ranked along with thy holy Son, according to that which is said, that ‘wherever I shall be, there also shall be my worshipper.’
And after that the rulers shall take their hands back and, lifting up their arms along with the bishop, shall say this prayer all together over the newly elected ones, as follows:
Our life and refuge, our mediator and intercessor. Now head of beings heavenly and earthly and of those under the earth, door of heaven, way of truth, and life of those who rightly believe in thee. Since thou didst promise with thy faithful word, saying: ‘He that Cometh unto me shall not remain in darkness; and him that is come unto me I will not cast out.’ Now therefore, forasmuch as this man, who hath been baptized in thy holy name, and hath been elected by the Holy Spirit of thy Father, doth now earnestly await thy faithful promise [which said]: ‘Ye shall abide in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be clothed with power from on high. Now therefore, falling on our faces at thy feet with ardent love, with bitter tears, we beseech, entreat, and beg of thee, send into him the grace of thy Father, that it may come and adorn his spirit, mind, and body, and make him resplendently pure from all evil thoughts. And bestow on him thy Spirit, which thou didst receive from the Father in the river Jordan. Strengthen him and open his mind to understand the scriptures and to take up the cross in love; that he may follow after thee now and ever and unto eternity of eternities. Amen.
And then the bishop shall blow three times in the face of the newly-elected, saying: Now may the breath of our Lord Jesus Christ open thy mind, beloved little son of mine, and strengthen thee in thy works. Amen.
And then ye shall read the holy promise of the archangel which was made concerning Jesus. Luke i. 26-38:-
‘Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee. But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this might be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most high: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. And Mary said unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore also that which is to be born of thee is holy, and shall be called the Son of God’. And behold, Elisabeth thy kinswoman, she also hath conceived a son in her old age : and this is the sixth month with her that was called barren. For no word from God shall be void of power. And Mary said, Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.’
And next read thou in the Acts of the Apostles, ii. 1 as far as verse 21 inclusive:
‘And when the days of Pentecost were now complete, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them tongues parting asunder, like as of fire; and it sat upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with divers tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this voice was heard the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speaking in his own language. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own language, wherein we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, in Judaea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia, in Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and sojourners from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we do hear them speaking in our tongues the mighty works of God. And they were all amazed, and were perplexed, saying one to another, What meaneth this? But others mocking said, they are filled with new wine. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice and spake forth unto them, saying, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and give ear unto my words. For these are not drunken, as ye suppose; seeing it is but the third hour of the day; but this is that which hath been spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall be in the last days, saith God, I will pour forth of my spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men
shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: yea and on my servants and on my handmaidens in those days will I pour forth of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will shew wonders in the heaven above, and signs on the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the day of the Lord come, that great and notable day. And it shall be that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
And then say this prayer.
I thank thee and magnify thee, Heavenly Father, true God, who didst glorify thine only-born beloved Son with thy holy spirit. Also the holy universal and apostolic church of thine only-born Son didst thou adorn with divers graces. And now adoring, we pray thee, merciful Father, send on this thy newly-elected one thine infinite grace; that coming it may fill him and be to him a rampart and armour against thine adversary, who for ever and continually desires to ensnare those who have believed on thine only-born. Now therefore, lay thy holy right hand upon thy servant here elected, and keep him from evil and from temptation of the world by the intercession of thy true Son, now and ever and to eternity of eternities. Amen.
And then thou shalt read the holy Gospel, John xx. 19, as far as verse 24:
‘When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were met together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had said this, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus therefore said to them again, Peace be unto you: as the Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed into them, and saith, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whosesoever sins ye forgive, they are forgiven unto them; whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.’
And also the precept of St. Paul shall thou read, Heb. xiii. 17-21.
‘Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit to them: for they watch in behalf of your souls, as they that shall give account to you; that they may do this with joy, and not with grief: for this were unprofitable for you. Pray for us: for we are persuaded that we have a good conscience, desiring to live honestly in all things. And I exhort you the more exceedingly to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner. Now the God of peace, who brought again from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep with the blood of the eternal covenant, even our Lord Jesus Christ, establish you in every good work to do his will, working in us that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
And then say this prayer before Christ.
Bread of angels and of the faithful, mediator and intercessor of us sinners, Lamb of God, Jesus, help us and especially this thy newly-elected servant, whom thou hast joined unto the number of thy loved disciples. Establish him on thy Gospel vouchsafed to thine universal and apostolic Church, the sure and immovable rock at the gate of hell. And bestow on him a goodly pastorship, to tend with great love thy reasonable flock; even as St. Peter, a member of the universal and apostolic holy Church, saith in his catholic Epistle, ch. v. 2 : ‘Tend the flock of God which is among you.’ Forasmuch as through thy calling he hath been joined with thy saints, keep this thy servant with thine elect; that no unclean spirit of devils may dare to approach him. Fortify thine elected one in the work which thou didst commit unto all who are thine elect and who have believed in thee. Amen.
Then after this prayer do thou give the peace to all the people; and then the bishop shall take the newly-elected one to himself, and instruct him with great love, and give him to read the holy Evangel ever and always. Yea and also the holy testament of the universal and apostolic Church; in order that thereby he may in fullness receive the grace of the Holy Spirit, during a space of forty days.
Explanations of important sayings of our Lord Jesus Christ, to which the holy evangelists bear witness. Matt. i. 25.
‘And knew her not until she brought forth her frstborn Son..[words missing].. And after eight days his name was called Jesus, which name the angel Gabriel revealed in the time of her virginity.’ See Luke i. 26.
For this reason the holy evangelists and the sanctified apostles, yea, and our Lord Jesus Christ, declare Mary, prior to the birth, to be a virgin, but after the birth call her a wife and utterly deny her virginity, as in the aforesaid the Son of God asserts in John ii. 4.
In Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine: ‘What have I to do with thee, thou woman, for not yet is my hour come?’
When in the hour of the passion he was raised on the cross, he said to his mother: ‘Woman, behold thy son.’ And to his loved disciple he committed her, saying: ‘Behold thy mother.’
There are many other testimonies in the holy gospel and testament of the apostles; and we state but a few in order to help the truth, and not out of grudging For example, that is clear which in the hour of the passion of the Lord Jesus the Evangelists insist upon, saying; ‘There were also there women, to whom were come Mary Magdalene, and Mary, mother of Jacob and Josias.’ And in another place, namely in the country of Jesus, they give proof by saying in astonishment: ‘Is not he the son of the carpenter? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren are John, and José, Simon and Judas, and his sisters are with us.’
Again, St. Luke expressly denies blessedness to her, and assigns it to those who have believed in Jesus Christ, ch. xi. 27: ‘And whilst he was discoursing to the multitude, a certain woman raised her voice out of the multitude, and said: Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that gave thee suck.’ But Jesus in return took away, in the hearing of the multitude, blessedness from his mother, and gave it to those who do and keep his word.
And also John the Evangelist most openly shows their unbelief, when he relates of the brethren of the Lord Jesus (that they said to him), Get thee hence, that thy disciples also may see the works which thou doest, for his brethren also did not yet believe on him. And in particular the vessel of election and member of the universal and apostolic holy church, St. Paul saith of our Lord Jesus: ‘He was born of a woman, and came in under the law.’
Thus, previously to Mary’s bearing the new-created Adam, Gabriel the archangel pronounces her a virgin and greets her; but after the birth the same angel does not call her a virgin. As is clear in the holy Gospels, from what he says in the dream to Joseph: ‘Arise, take the child and his mother, and flee into Egypt’; and again, after some time, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream, and said: ‘Arise, take the child and his mother, and depart into thy land.’
Comcerning the Creation of Adam and of our Lord Jesus Chris.
First, the heavenly Father, the true God, fashioned (or created) the heavens with all that belongs thereto, and the earth with all its kinds; he equipped them. As is clear in the inspiration of God (i.e. in the inspired Scriptures). Again, the benevolent God, seeing that all things were good, was pleased to make a king over all beings; and especially because of the most evil slanderer (i.e. the Devil), as is proved by the sense of the word which says: ‘Let us make man in our image and likeness.’ Thus in the twinkle of an eye he, by a single word, fashioned heaven and earth. But also by a single word he fashioned (or created) the old Adam, made him king and ruler of all creatures. Wherefore Satan, beholding the paramount kingship of Adam, was envious, as divine writ says in reference to him: ‘By the envy of the slanderer death came into the world.’ Moreover, St. Paul says that by man came death and by man resurrection. And he also repeats this, when he says: ‘As by Adam all men died, so also by Christ shall they be made alive.’ Now at the first we said that the Almighty Father with a single word fashioned (or created) Adam out of clay, and Eva out of his rib, like unto him in… [missing pages]… said, Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit. Also he prayed for his enemies: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. And again he says to Mary Magdalen, his disciple, after his resurrection, I am not yet ascended unto my Father and unto your Father, and to my God and to your God. And again the holy universal Church with one mouth decalareth that Christ died and God raised him from the dead. There are also many other testimonies, which we have not cited.
Concerning the mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ, and not of any other holy ones, either of the dead, or of stones, or of crosses and images. In this matter some have denied the precious mediation and intercession of the beloved Son of God, and have followed after dead [things] and in especial after images, stones, crosses, waters, trees, fountains, and all other vain things; as they admit, and worship them, so they offer incense and candles, and present victims , all of which are contrary to the Godhead. All these things our Lord put under his feet when he said: ‘I am the door. If any one shall enter with me, he shall go out and shall go in, and shall find pasture,’ and the rest.
And again, he saith, I am the way, and the truth, and the like.
And he doth furthermore say: I indeed am the resurrection and the life.
Again he saith: I am your mediator and intercessor.
As he saith to Peter in Luke: And I have prayed to the Father in thy behalf.
But he also said to his apostles: And I will pray to the Father, that he may give to you another Comforter.
And also to us who believe he saith; Not for them do I pray, but for them also who believe on me through their word.
He repeats, saying: Father, not for them do I pray, because thou hast taken them out of the world, but that thou mayest guard them from the evil.
Concerning the testimonies of the Holy Apostles.
First did St. Stephen behold the intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ at the time of his stoning, as St. Luke relates in Acts vii. 55: And he saw the heavens opened, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.
And St. Paul saith: So now who is he that shall condemn? Surely Jesus Christ, who died, yea rather, was raised indeed, and is on the right hand of God, who also is intercessor for us.
Again he saith: For there is one God and one mediator also of God and men, the man Jesus Christ. Of whom St. John, in his catholic epistle, speaks: Little children, this I write unto you. Sin not; and if any one sin, we have with God an intercessor Jesus Christ, the righteous and the spotless. And he is the expiation and remission of our sins; and not of ours only, but also for all those who rightly believe in him. Yea, and the Intercessor himself took his holy precious body and his holy unblemished blood, He and no other.
Supplement to the foregoing words.
Again I ask you, gainsaying Popes and your followers – you who baptize them that are catechumens still in their mother’s wombs by all sorts of means, though they have not yet come into the world, or are born dead; some of them in the womb and some in death, ye baptize conditionally. All these things are devilish, and not divine.
For the God of all who bestows such gifts of grace on his loved ones, since he is himself sincere, has also bestowed gifts of grace which are sincere nd true. Hence it is clear from your deeds, how ye sometimes are convicted by the truth, and are forced to speak the truth, as when ye say: Let no catechumen, nor any that is wanting in faith, nor any one that is unrepentant or impure. It is not meet that he should draw nigh to the holy divine mysteries.
Now if ye do not hearken unto God, Christ, and the universal and apostolic holy Church; ye should anyhow obey your own false testimonies and promises. For there are three divine mysteries, which he proclaimed from above to his only-born Son and to St. John the great prophet. First, repentance. Second, baptism. Third, holy communion. For these three he gave to the adult, and not to catechumens who have not repented, or are unbelieving.
And again I ask you, violator of ordinances, about this catechumen of yours, when did he ask or where did he petition the false witness, saying: I ask from thee faith, hope, love, and all other good works, from a false witness?
For if your catechumen asks from his tenderest age, then why does he not ask it direct from you, violators of the ordinances? So then your very falsehoods serve to show forth like the sun the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ. And your whole custom is found to be false and mere deceit; of which our Lord Jesus Christ primarily saith: ‘And what he speaketh false, he speaketh out of his own, and his father is Satan,’ John.
Instruction of a Christian.
If any one desire, my little children, to acquire the orthodox faith, it is fîrst necessary for him to learn fully the necessary questions and the confession. And then he shall go and ask for holy baptism; and the precious body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ shall he eat and drink, at a time when he hath believed, and not during his unbelieving time as a catechumen.
Concerning the Christian Doctrine.
Question. Art thou a Christian ?
Answer. Yes, I am a Christian by the grace of Christ.
Q. How are we to define a Christian?
A. Thus-one who knows our Lord Jesus Christ, what he is, and keeps his commandments.
Q. What is the command and precept of our Lord Jesus Christ, which we keep?
A. That which our Lord prescribed to his disciples and his faithful, saying: ‘If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments. As I also have kept the commandments of my Father.’
Q. How many are the commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ?
A. These. First, Hope. Second, Repentance. Third, Faith. Fourth, Baptism. Fifth, Communion. Sixth, Love, which is chief of all.
Q. What is Christ, and as what must we know him and believe him to be?
A. Even as the universal and apostolic holy Church believed, so must we also believe.
Q. How did the blessed apostles believe? Teach us.
A. As St. John the Evangelist showeth, saying: ‘We have believed and know that thou art Christ, the Son of God, who wast to come into the world.’
Q. So then, as touching those who baptize catechumens, is their baptism true or vain?
A. It is vain and a fraud. For catechumens have not repentance, have not hope, neither have they the holy faith. Wherefore their baptism is not true and is not salvation.
Q. Then whose baptism and communion is valid?
A. Their holy baptism and communion only is valid who have original and operative sin.
Q. Surely catechumens who are [newly] born of their mothershave not original and operative sin?
A. Yea, my children, they truly have not such sin, these catechumens.
Q. Hast thou then firm ground in holy scripture as touching catechumens?
A. Yes, venerable father, I have true witness from the holy Gospel, which our Lord enjoined on the holy Church, saying after his resurrection: ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to all creatures. He that shall believe and be baptized shall live; and he that believeth not shall be judged’ Behold, my reverent one, first did he enjoin faith, repentance, and then he gave the command of holy baptism.
Q. How many, my little children, were there who fasted the forty days and forty nights, until came Christ, the Son of God?
A. Four are those who so fasted. Enoch and Elias who, fasting, were raised to Heaven. Secondly, Abraham, who received the promise of Isaac from the angels of God. And thirdly, Moses fasting, received the ten commandments.
Q. Christ our Lord and Intercessor, did he really fast forty days and forty nights like them?
A. Yes, he fasted, and from his Almighty Father received the kingship over things in heaven and on earth and under the earth.
Q. Wherefore then did not God Almighty make one of the patriarchs king and head of all? Did they not also fast those days?
A. Although they fasted, yet they were not… [words missing] …as was our
Lord Jesus Christ. But they were conceived in original sin, they had original sin and operative. But our mediator Christ was not conceived in original sin, and had not original sin or operative like them, as St. John the Evangelist made clear saying, ch. i. 13: ‘Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of
the will of man, but of God. And the word became fesh, and dwelt among us,’
Q. Did then God converse with our Lord Jesus Christ, or not?
A. Almighty God conversed with his only-born Son ever and always, as St. John the Evangelist bore witness, saying, It thunderteth. But some of them said, An angel hath spoken unto him. But our mediator and intercessor himself confirmed it, that the Father conversed with him, saying: Not for my sake came this voice; but that ye may believe in me. And again he saith: I from myself speak nothing; but what I have heard from my Father, that will I make known unto you.
Q. How many are the words of our Lord Jesus Christ which save man?
A. Four are they which save man. First, Repentance. Second, Right Faith. Third, Holy Baptism. And fourth, the holy precious body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Q. (and A.) So then confirmation, the order of priesthood, last unction, and marriage, are not salvation of our souls. But are unnecessary and not obligatory. Even as the holy Church saith: ‘If he giveth his virgin in marriage, he doeth well. And if they give her not in marriage, they do still better.’ Thus shalt thou regard confirmation, order of priesthood, and last unction, which are not obligatory nor the door of salvation.
Q. For how many reasons did the God of all send into the world the new Adam his beloved?
A. For four necessary things. That is: First, because of original sin. Second, on account of operative sin. Third, for sake of mediation, reconcilement, and intercession, which now is. Fourthly, because of the end of the world, the Father Almighty sent his only-born Son, and appointed him to judge the quick and the dead.
Q. O venerable father, is it right for us to have the intercession of saints, or is it not?
A. We hold that their intercession is not right or essential. For they need the intercession of the living, not the living theirs. As is clear from the sacramentaries of the heretics and schismatics, who at the hour of mass (i. oblation) rightly here say; ‘Of all whether priests, or deacons, or scribes, that is apostles, saints, propnets doctors, martyrs, patriarchs, monks, virgins, recluses, and of all saints, let there be, we pray, commemoration in the holy oblations.’ Yea, and priests and scribes with one voice say out loud: ‘Remember, O Lord, and pity.’ Also he that offereth saith: ‘Give rest to the souls of the saints,’ and the rest.
Q. What further reason is there why they cannot make intercession?
A. Although they suffered for the love of Christ, still they have not glory, nor release, nor the crown of the kingdom of God As the holy Church of Christ makes clear when it says: ‘The saints received the promise of life eternal, they obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,’ and the rest. Furthermore our Lord Jesus, in giving his promise, spake to his loved ones thus: Wheresoever I shall be, there shall also be my worshipper.’ Again he also says: ‘Ye cannot now come after me; but then ye shall have come after me.’ And also he points out the place to them, saying: ‘There are many mansions in my Father’s house.’
See, my reverent children, how hath been made clear the mind of the holy Gospel and of the holy church. Those who are filled with hope, and not with glory and crowns, are all saints, as our mediator and intercessor Jesus directs, saying in his ineffable judgement: ‘Come ye blessed ones of my Father, be ye heritors of joy without term or end.’ In the same way shalt thou regard the sinners who are tormented in fire unquenchable.
Furthermore, my beloved little son, take to thee the word of the great prophet Moses, which tells how Pharaoh was very wrath with Joseph, and took him and put him in prison; and some of the imprisoned saw a dream and were afraid. So then in the middle of the prison they told their dreams to Joseph. But our forefather Joseph by the spirit of God told them their dreams, saying to the one: My good man, behold on the morrow Pharaoh the king owneth thee with great glory. But to the other he said: Thou also on the morrow shalt be punished by the king. See, my reverent child, that one with the promise of Joseph was crowned, and the other with his words was punished. Of like purport is the parable of our Lord Jesus Christ which tells about Lazarus and Abraham.
Furthermore the holy church of Christ tells how he went and preached to the spirits which were in prison, for the preaching of our Lord Jesus Christ signifies this, namely that he gave promises and great hope to the spirits of patriarchs and prophets, saying, My Father will crown you in the end of the world. But to the sinners he preached, saying: The Father Almighty will chastise you with heavy chastisement.
Concerning the judgement that is one and not two.
Question. How many judgements of God are there as touching the dead and the living?
Answer. There is but one judgement and not two.
Q. Then, if there is one judgement of God which he holdeth through Christ; why do some gainsayers say that there are two judgements and not one – the one, they say, private and apart, and the other universal.
A. They thus speak lies merely because their father is Satan. Even as our Lord says, that which he speaketh false he speaketh out of his own, and his father is Satan.
Q. I pray thee, venerable father, to give us instruction as touching how many judgements there be.
A. I tell thee that the universal and apostolic church confesses one only, saying that man dies once and after that is judgement. This is the meaning of the holy church, that as for man death comes once, so also will his resurrection and judgement be one and not two.
Q. Then did Christ, our Lord and intercessor, truly know the wickedness of their minds, who have established false and monstrous laws or did he not?
A. Yes, venerable father, he truly knew, and therefore said: ‘Beware of evil workers,’ and by their fruits ye shall know them’ who are disciples of lies and deceit, and not of my truth. As the holy church expressly declareth.
Q. Did our Lord Jesus Christ really know the day of judgement or no?
A. Since the heavenly Father, true God, did not reveal that day to his beloved Son; as he saith concerning the end of the world: ‘No man knoweth it, not the angels in heaven, nor the Son; but the Father alone.’ Further he saith: ‘Out of my own self I speak nothing; but whatsoever command my Father gave me, that I speak.’ Behold, my reverent one, how Christ, the Son of God, of his own self could not say aught, unless his Father revealed it to him.
Q. But forasmuch as our Lord Jesus Christ could not by himself without the ordinance of God know the day of judgement, how do some gainsayers declare, in opposition to the truth of the Son of God, that there is a separate judgement and place of expiation for sinners?
A. Because, as I at the first told thee, they are the heritors of their father’s deceit; and through the spirit of that same evil one they ever and always ordain false laws and false precepts. Behold, my loved one, their teacher, who has disguised himself in the form of a monk and preached unto them the torments of hell, in order to ensnare their souls.
HERE END THE QUESTIONS.
Concerning the Consecration of the Flesh and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Intercessor.
Now our Lord Jesus Christ willed to distribute his holy fesh and blood unto disciples and believers.
First he began with the following figure. He opened their minds, saying: ‘My flesh is the true food and my blood is the true drink.’ And again he said: ‘I am the bread of life which came down from heaven. He that eateth this bread shall live for ever’
When our Lord had thus ended these figures, many of the disciples forthwith turned back. Then he again said to his remaining disciples: Do ye go and get ready for us the table of holiness, where I shall presently perform the mystery of salvation, for my own believers and beloved ones. And when it was eventide Jesus went and sat down, and the twelve with him. He took one loaf unleavened in his hands, blessed it, gave thanks, broke it and said: ‘Take ye, eat. This is my BODY which for you many is distributed unto the expiation and remission of sins. [So also saith he in regard to the cup.]
Exposition of the Holy Mystery of our Lord Jesus Christ.
That our mediator and intercessor Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, took the bread in his hands and blessed it, this the holy Evangelists declare.
That is to say he earnestly besought the almighty Father that he would change the bread into his true precious body. This is why it says: ‘He blessed,’ that is, he prayed the Lord that he would change the bread truly into his body. And so it was assuredly changed by the spirit of the heavenly Father. And when he saw that the bread was changed into his body, then he thanked the almighty Father for having changed it into his body and blood.
Now dost thou understand, my little child, the interpretation of the blessing and thanksgiving?
Yes, holy father, I have right well understood it. Humbly I pray thee, venerable father, interpret to us this his use of the word mine namely: ‘This is my body,’ as he also said after the resurrection to Peter: ‘Feed my sheep.’ When he said this, did our mediator and intercessor Jesus Christ know that there would come false popes who would change [it] according to their good pleasure? Who with bread alone cajole all men and make that their own flesh and blood, and not Christ’s. For this cause also doth our Lord Jesus Christ say: ‘This is my body.’ Yea more, this doth he imply: that whosoever shall make any water, any mere bread, or any moistened morsel, and distribute (the same) deceitfully to the simple people, it is their own flesh and blood and not Christ’s.
To whom glory for ever and ever. Amen.
This was written [copied] in the province of Taron in the year of the Lord 1782 but according to the Armenian Era 1230.
…of the all glorious John Vahaguni. For they with great fervour were elected by us. But because of their being elected the love of truth abounded in my heart. Wherefore I could not hide the grace of the Holy Spirit. But I began to write out in order the holy Sacramentary and the Key of Truth for love of those who ask and receive. Moreover, I humbly entreat you with warm love and faith to forgive the shortcomings, the insufficiencies, and the faults of composition or of grammar. And also as touching the syllables, or writing, or verbs or nouns (lit. words) or eight parts of the art, if in regard to them ye find any errors or shortcomings, they are not due to ourselves, but have found their way into it as being (the faults) of unpractised copyists.
Glory to the Father truly existent, and to his Son our mediator and intercessor. Now and ever and unto eternity of eternities. Amen.