O gift that camest up without price for the diver!
Thou laidest hold upon this visible light,
That without price rises for the children of men:
A parable of the hidden One
That without price gives the hidden Dayspring!

And the painter too paints a likeness of thee with colours.
Yet by thee is faith painted in types and emblems for colours,
And in the place of the image
By thee and thy colours is thy Creator painted.

O thou frankincense without smell,
Who breathest types from out of thee!
Though art not to be eaten,
Yet thou givest a sweet smell unto them that hear thee!
Though art not to be drunk,
Yet by thy story, a fountain of types art thou made unto the ears!

It is thou which art great in thy littleness, O pearl!
Small is thy measure and little thy compass with thy weight;
But great is thy glory:
To that crown alone in which thou art placed, there is none like.

And Who hath not percieved of thy littleness, how great it is;
If one despises thee and throws thee away,
He would blame himself for his clownishness,
For when he saw thee in a king’s crown he would be attracted to thee.

Men stripped their clothes off and dived and drew thee out, O pearl!
It was not kings that put thee before men,
But those naked ones who were a type of the poor
And the fishers and the Galileans.

For clothed bodies were not able to come to thee;
They came that were stript as children;
They plunged their bodies and came down to thee;
And thou didst much desire them,
And thou didst aid them who thus loved thee.

Glad tidings did they give for thee:
Their tongues before their bosoms did the poor [fishers] open,
And produced and showed the new riches among the merchants:
Upon the wrists of men they put thee as a medicine for life.

The naked ones in a type saw thy rising again by the sea-shore;
And by the side of the lake they,
The Apostles of a truth,
Saw the rising again of the Son of thy Creator.
By thee and by thy Lord the sea and the lake were beautified.

The diver came up from the sea and put on his clothing;
And from the lake too Simon Peter came up swimming on his coat;
Clad as with coats, with the love of both of you, were these two.

And since I have wandered in thee, pearl,
I will gather up my mind
And by having contemplated thee,
Would become like thee,
In that thou art all gathered up into thyself;
And as thou in all times art one,
One let me become by thee!

Pearls have I gathered together that I might make a crown for the Son
In the place of stains which are in my members.
Receive my offering, not that Thou art shortcoming;
It is because of mine own shortcoming that I have offered it to Thee.
Whiten my stains!

This crown is all spiritual pearls,
Which instead of gold are set in love,
And instead of ouches in faith;
And instead of hands, let praise offer it up to the highest!

THE PEARL Seven Hymns of the Faith by St. Ephraim of Syria Translated by J.B. Morris re-edited by John Gwynn http://www.essene.com/History&Essenes/Esyria.htm

The notion of original sin, especially, departs from Gnosticism in its assumption that there could be something wrong or ungodly about any kind of knowledge . The Gnostics held just the opposite view. For example, in the Book of Thomas the Contender, one of the texts discovered at Nag Hammadi and thought to have been written in the second century, the Saviour tells his disciple Thomas, “He who has not known himself has known nothing, but he who has known himself has at the same time already achieved knowledge about the depth of all.” In other words, when you become one with (“know”) the God within, you will have become one with all that is. The following Gnostic story based on the Gnostic Hymn of the Pearl, also found at Nag Hammadi, expands on this principle and illustrates several other core beliefs:

“Imagine you are a prince. One day your parents, the King and Queen, send you on a mission to Egypt. You must find a pearl guarded by a hungry dragon.

You take off your royal robe and leave the kingdom of your parents.

You journey into Egypt, putting on dirty clothing and disguising yourself as an Egyptian.

Somehow the Egyptians discover that you are a foreigner. They give you food that makes you forget your royal birth and makes you believe that you are one of them. You sink into a deep sleep.

Your parents see your plight and send you a letter that tells you to awaken. It reminds you of your quest to recover the pearl. You remember who you are, a child of kings. You quickly subdue the dragon, recover the pearl and depart, leaving the dirty clothing behind.

When you return to your native land, you see your royal robe, which reminds you of the splendor you lived in before. The garment speaks to you, telling you that it belongs to the one who is stronger than all human beings. You put on your royal robe once more and return to your father’s palace.”


They that are not as I am

made themselves like me, they that are unworthy of me

made me wroth.

The wretches that belong not to the house of my Father:

they rose, they took arms against me,

they rose, they took arms against me,

making war with me, making war with me; fighting for my holy robe, for my enlightening light,

that it might lighten their darkness; for my sweet fragrance,

that it might sweeten their foulness;

because of my brethren, the children of the light,

that they might give a peace to their land; because of my sister, the hour of light,

that she might be a strengthening of their building.

A part therefore went forth from my robe,

 it went, it lightened their darkness; my sweet fragrance went,

it sweetened their stink;

my brethren, the children of the light, went,

they gave a peace to their land; my sister went, the hour of light,

she was a strengthening of their building.

They take arms against me, making war with me, crying out

against me,

like men going to subdue a camp; they drew the swords against me, like men going to kill lions;

they stretched their hands to the bow against me,

like thieves going to attack a man.

They did not stir from warring with me until (they had made)

a wall against me,

the weak and paralysed ones continually crept;

they did not stir until they had made a wall against me,

they crept until they had made a wall against me; they established a watch outside me … ,


          the bell was made to go round because of me.

My good fortune (came) on my behalf,

the wretches thinking in their heart that I (was)

a man for whom none would seek. I therefore was looking towards my Father,

that he might send aid;

looking towards my brethren, the children of the light,

       that they might come, tracking me; my Father therefore sent the aid to me;

my brethren arose, they became one with me.


Through a cry only which my brethren uttered,

their wall tottered and fell;

their wall tottered and fell,

their watches were unable to stop them;

       not was he that goes round with the bell and cries good fortune found,

against the cry which my brethren uttered;

the demons ran to the darkness, the demons ran to the darkness, trembling seized their ruler entirely.


Yet I said to my brethren:

`Suffer me yet this hour’;

I was quieting my brethren that they might not destroy their firmament,

for I await my robe until it comes and clothes him that shall wear it;

I will await my enlightening light,

until it strips itself of their darkness; I will await my pleasant fragrance

          until it returns to its place;

I will await my sister, the hour of light, until she casts their corruption away;

I will await my brethren, the children of the light,

until their stature (?) is completed for them.


When therefore my shining robe comes

and clothes him that shall wear it;

when my pleasant fragrance strips itself of their stink and returns (to its place);


when my lightening light

leaves the darkness;

when my brethren, the children of the light,

are complete in their stature;

when my sister, the hour of light, goes up and sees the land of light:

       Then I will strike my foot on the earth and sink their darkness down;

I will smite their heights with my head, and shake their firmament, and the stars shall fall down like these … ;

I will uproot the darkness, and cast it out,

and plant the light in its place;

I will uproot the evil, and cast it out,

          and plant the good in its place.

The universe will be full of glory,

the land will be without suspicion;

the entire earth will contain the righteous,

they of the land will dwell in peace; there being no more rebel from henceforth,

no name of sin can be uttered again. The rich ones of light will rejoice

          on every side without any grief:

That which the living ones took was saved;

they will return again to that which is their own.



–2nd Psalm of Thomas (Manichean) http://www.amazon.com/Manichaean-Texts-Roman-Empire-Gardner/dp/0521568226