120    H Y M N S     ( contemplate  or sing  in  Gregorian   or other style)     120,   page    1    of   2,

                From the Acts  of the Apostle Thomas    is  this  famous  gnostic “hymn of the soul”,

              “THE HYMN OF THE ROBE OF GLORY” said to be singed by Thomas in a  “ jail”  in India

When  I   was   a little child   and dwelling in my kingdom,  in my Father´s  house

and in the wealth and the glories  Of my nurtures had my pleasure,  

 From East,   our home ,  my parents,   having equipped me,  sent me forth.  

And of the wealth of our treasury   they had tied up for me a load.

Large it was,  yet light,  so that I might bear it unaided    Gold ….And  silver of Gazzak,  the great.

And rubies of India.   And agate from the land of   Kushan         And they girded me with adamant,

which can crush iron.     And they took off  from me the bright robe  which they had wrought for me

in their love.    And my purple toga,   which was measured     and  woven    to my stature.

And they made compact with me,  And wrote it in my heart        that it should not be forgotten 

 IF THOU GOEST DOWN INTO EGYPT      AND  BRINGEST THE ONE  PEARL                ( gnosis)                                                    

which is in the midst of the sea,      Hard  by  the  loud-breathing   serpent

Then  shalt  thou put on thy bright robe   And  thy toga   which  is  laid  over  it

And with thy Brother,  our next in rank  Thou shalt be heir in our kingdom….

      I quitted the East (and) went down       There being with me two messengers 

For the way was dangerous and difficult   And  I was young to tread it

I  passed the borders of  Maishan,   The meeting place of the merchants of the East

And  I reached  the land of Babel  and I  entered the walls    I went  down into     Egypt

And my  companions  parted  from me      I   betook me straight  to  the  serpent

Hard by his dwelling   I  waited  till he could slumber and sleep.   And I could take my pearl from him

And when I was  single and alone     A stranger to those with whom  I  dwelt

One  of my race,    a  free-born man      From  among  the Easterns,    I behold there

A youth  fair and well-favoured  and he came and  attached  himself   to me

And  I made him my intimate   A  comrade with whom  I   shared my merchandise

I  warned  him  against the Egyptians     And against  consorting  with  the unclean

And  I  put on a  garb like theirs   Last  they  should  insult me  because    I  had come from afar

to  take  the pearl      and  they  should  arouse  the serpent  against me

But  in  some way or other       they  perceived  that  I  was not   their  countryman

So  they dealt  with me treacherously.       Moreover  they  gave me  their  food  to  eat

I forgot   that I was  a   son of a King    and  I  served   their  king

And I  forgot  the  pearl  for which  my  parents  had sent me 

And  by  reason  of  the burden    I  lay in deep  sleep       But  all  those  things   that  befell  me  

my  parents  perceived    and  were  grieved  for me….…and  they wrote  to  me  a   letter…

From  thy  Father,   the King  of  kings    and  thy  Mother,   the  Mistress  of  the  East

And  from  thy  Brother,   our  next  in  rank    to  thee   our  son,  who art  in  Egypt,    greeting

Up  and  arise  from  thy  sleep  and  listen   to  the  words  of  our  letter

Call  to  mind  that  thou  art  a  son  of   kings.     See  the  slavery     whom  thou  servest

Remember  the pearl     For  which  thou  didst   speed  to    Egypt      Think  of  thy  bright  robe

And  remember  thy  glorious  toga which you  shall  put  on as  thine adornment

when thy name has been read out  in the list of the valiant    And with thy Brother,   our next in rank

thou shalt  be (king)  in  our kin  And my letter was a  letter which the King  sealed with  his right  hand

to keep it  from the wicked ones,    the children of Babel        And from the wicked demons …..

It  flew in the  likeness of an  eagle,   the  king of all  birds         It  flew and  slighted  beside  me

And  became  all  speech.   And  at  its  voice and  the  sound  of  its  rustling,     I  started

and  arose  from my  sleep    I  took  it  up and kissed  it,    And  loosed  its  seal  and  read,   

And  according  to  what  was  traced  on  my  heart     Were the  words of  my  letter  written.

I  remembered  that  I  was a  son   of   kings,       And  my  free  soul  longed  for  its  natural  state 

I   remembered  the  Pearl       for  which  I  had  been  sent  to  Egypt,

And I  began to  charm  him,   The  terrible  loud-breathing  serpent

I  hushed  him  to  sleep  and  lulled  him  to  slumber;    For my  Father´s  name I   named over him

And  the  name of  our next  in  rank       And  of  My  Mother,    the  Queen  of  the  East

And I  snatched  away  the  pearl,     And  turned     to   go  back  to my  Father´s  house

And  their  filthy  and  unclean  garb   I   stripped  off,     and  left  it  in  their  country.

And I  took my  way     Straight  to  come to  the  light  of  our  house,    the  East.

And  my  letter,  my awakener     I  found before me on the road.

And  as  with  its  voice  it  had  awakened me       (So)  too  with  its  light       it  was  leading  me

Shone before me with its  form   And with its voice and its  guidance   It also encouraged me to speed 

And with his   love was drawing me on     I  went  forth,    passed  by      I  left  Babel  on  my  left  hand

And   reached  Maishan  the  great,  The   haven  of   the  merchants

That  sitteth  on  the  shore  of  the  see…--------

And my  bright   robe,  which  I had  stripped  off,     And  the  toga  wherein  it  was wrapped

from  the  heights  of  Hyrcania      My  parents  sent  thither     By  the hand  of  their  treasurers

who in their  faithfulness  should  be   trusted  therewith   And because  I  remembered  not  its  fashion

for  in  my  childhood  I  had  left  it  in  my Father´s  house      On  a  sudden  as  I   faced  it

The   garment   seemed  to  me  like a  mirror  of  myself        I  saw  it  all   in  my  whole   self

Moreover I   faced  my  whole  self   in  facing   it       For  we  were  two  in  distinction,

And  yet  again  one  in  one  likeness,  

                                                                                                                    (Continued on page  2)

                                                                                                                                                 120  page 2 of 2

     And  the  treasurers   also,    who  brought  it  to  me,      I   saw  in  like  manner,  

that  they  were  twain  (yet)  one  likeness     For  one  kingly  sign  was  graven  on them,

of  his hand  that   restored  to  me   my  treasure  and  my  wealth  by means  of  them

My  bright  embroidered  robe    with     glorious  colours;     with  gold  and  with  beryls,  and rubies

and  agates  and  sardonyxes  varied  in  colour.    It  also  was  made  ready  in  its  home  on  high    

And  with  stones  of  adamant    And its seams were fastened    And the image of the King of   kings

was  depicted  in full  all over  it      And  like the sapphire  stone  also were  its   manifold  hues  

Again  I  saw  that  all  over  it    the motions  of  Knowledge  were  stirring     And  as  if  to  speak 

I  saw  it  also  making  itself  ready      I  heard  the  sound of  its tones     Which  it  uttered  to  those

who  brought   it  down     Saying       I  am  the  active   in  deeds

Whom  they  reared      in  the  presence  of  my  fathers      And I  also  perceived  in  myself

that  my  stature  was  growing  according  to     labours   and    kingly  motions

It  was  spreading   itself  out  towards me   And  the hands  of  its  givers

It  hastened   that  I  might  take it      And  me  too  my love  urged  on

That  I  should  run to meet   it     and    receive it     And  I  stretched  forth  and  received   it

With  the beauty  of  its  colours  I  adorned  myself        and  my  toga  of  brilliant   colours  

I  cast  around  me,    in  its  whole breadth      I   clothed myself  therewith  and  ascended  to the gate

of  salutation and homage       I  bowed my head  and  did  homage  to  the Majesty   of  my Father

who had sent  it  t o  me.     For  I   had  done  his  commandments       And  he  too  had  done

what  he  promised    And  at  the  gate  of  his  princes      I  mingled  with  his  nobles

For he rejoiced in me and received me     And I was with him   in his kingdom     And  with  the  voice,

all  his  servants    glorify    him     And he promised  that  also to the gate  of  the King of   kings  

I should speed with him.   And bring my  gift,  my  pearl.   I  should appear with  him  before  our   King


( This  hymn  from the  Acts of  Thomas  is preserved in the British  Museum  and is perhaps  from the gnostic Bardaisan.  The Egyptian garb which the prince puts on  may represent  the human body.  Bardaisan like  great

Gnostics knew reincarnation.     Compare the Prodigal Son.    The author  knew the caravan-ways from East to

Egypt and did use names as parables        This translation   is from Mead  . “Fragments of  a  faith  forgotten”  )


A  MYSTIC*   SINGED   in   “jail”    this chant                       (* Djelal ed-din Rumi  Sufi  Muslim )

I   lived and died  as mineral,   became  a plant ….  I  died  out  of  the  plant,  became an animal  

I died out of the animal, became a human soul …... I shall die from that   role,    become an angel   

and  I   shall  die  as  angel      and  became  still   higher  pupil ...       and die from  each  being,

become   all    seeing    and     through    transubstantiation      return   from   this   creation .



A   GNOSTIC  INITIATION RITUAL                                                                    From the Acts of John    

                    A tentative restoration  of  fragments which have survived   after persecutions from majorities

     (I)   stands for Christ,  the Initiator,   (C)   is the Candidate for initiation,      (A) are Assistants

           (Singing  disciples  hold one another’s hands dancing in a ring round Jesus who stands in the midst)

All  invoking:         Glory to Thee, Father      Glory to Thee, Word,           Glory to Thee,   Grace,     the   Spirit, 

                                  We  praise Thee, O Father,  we give  thanks to Thee,  o Light,   o Holy One.      All Amen

I:   Grace     (Sophia= the holy Ghost)     dances.      I would pipe:           Dance all of you                    A: Amen

I. The  Ogdoad  plays to our  dancing          A: Amen        I:   The  Dodecad   danceth  above (us)        A: Amen

I: He who danceth not,    knoweth not what is being done       C: I would flee          I: I would  stay      A: Amen

C: I would be robed   ( in the initiation- garment)              I:   And   I  would robe  thee                         A  Amen

C: I   would   be   at-oned                                                    I:   And    I  would   at-one                            A: Amen

I:  I have no temple,   and I have temples    A: Amen         I:  I am a lamp to thee who beholdest Me    A: Amen

I: I am a mirror to the who perceivest Me   A: Amen         I:  I am a door to thee  who knockest at Me  A: Amen

I: I am a  way  to  thee,  a  wayfarer            A:  Amen        I :  Now  respond   thou  to  my  dancing

I:: See thyself in Me who speak:  and when thou hast seen what I do,  keep silence on My mysteries.   A: Amen

I  Observe what I do    (of dancing)    for thine is this passion of the  Man which I am to suffer             A  Amen

I: Thou shouldst never alone have understood what I suffer.    I am thy WORD,  sent by the Father      A :Amen

I: When thou  didst look on My passion,  thou didst see Me as suffering,   thou   was shaken                 A :Amen

I   I  am  thy  God…   In   Me  know  the  Word  of   Wisdom

C :I  would  be  pierced                  I:    And   I would pierce        (All contemplate  the crucifixion )      A: Amen 

C  I would be born                          I:    And  I would bring to birth   (contemplate spiritual  rebirth)      A :Amen

C  I would be saved  I And I would save  A  Amen    C  I would be loosed        I:  and  I would loose   A  Amen

C  I would be washed        I:    And I would wash     (  A baptismal rite  can here  symbolize   universal

     washing  or  purification  through  cosmic           or   individual   involution)

C I would eat      I:    And   I would be eaten                            (  An Eucharist    or   Last Supper,   

              can     here     as   a   final    act    symbolize   perfection    through   transubstantiation )

All:   Glory to Thee,  Father ,      Glory  to Thee,  Word,             Glory  to  Thee,  Grace,  the   Spirit, 

We   praise Thee,  ö Father,   we give  thanks  to Thee, o  Light.,  o Holy One                                     All  Amen


GOD  SAVES     by  Grace  each  soul,      Calls   it to highest goal.       God   saves   each   soul,                          

Guides it in self-control,  Sends  it with saintly role,   Gives it  to serve the Whole,  God  saves  each  soul

 (Old catholic hymn, often  primitive chauvinism-populism-translated,   here reformed and  made affirmative.)