Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Prayer to the Paedagogus - The Instructor in final

This is the conclusion of my series on Clement of Alexandria and his book, "The Instructor." If you are new to this series or are unfamiliar with Clement and his book, you may want to first read the introduction to this series.

Clement is now finished and he leaves us with the following prayer to the Paedagogus, or to the Instructor. In it he ask God to grant us grace that we might 1) become like His, 2) might find peace and calm in our lives, and 3) may be able to rightly praise and thank Him for his works in our lives.
"Be gracious, O Instructor, to us Thy children, Father, Charioteer of Israel, Son and Father, both in One, O Lord. Grant to us who obey Thy precepts, that we may perfect the likeness of the image, and with all our power know Him who is the good God and not a harsh judge. And do Thou Thyself cause that all of us who have our conversation in Thy peace, who have been translated into Thy commonwealth, having sailed tranquilly over the billows of sin, may be wafted in calm by Thy Holy Spirit, by the ineffable wisdom, by night and day to the perfect day; and giving thanks may praise, and praising thank the Alone Father and Son, Son and Father, the Son, Instructor and Teacher, with the Holy Spirit, all in One, in whom is all, for whom all is One, for whom is eternity, whose members we all are, whose glory the ├Žons are; for the All-good, All-lovely, All-wise, All-just One. To whom be glory both now and for ever. Amen." (Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, Book 3, Chapter 11)
Finally, Clement leaves us with the following hymn to the Instructor which he himself composed. It is unfortunate that we must read it in English for I am sure it looses much of its original beauty from the original Latin. Yet, nonetheless, you can still hear his love and thanksgiving for his Instructor and ours.

1) Bridle of colts untamed, Over our wills presiding; Wing of unwandering birds, Our flight securely guiding. Rudder of youth unbending, Firm against adverse shock; Shepherd, with wisdom tending, Lambs of the royal flock: Thy simple children bring, In one, that they may sing, In solemn lays, Their hymns of praise, With guileless lips to Christ their King. 
2) King of saints, almighty, Word Of the Father highest Lord; Wisdom’s head and chief; Assuagement of all grief; Lord of all time and space, Jesus, Saviour of our race; Shepherd, who dost us keep; Husbandman, who tillest, Bit to restrain us, Rudder To guide us as Thou willest; Of the all-holy flock celestial wing; Fisher of men, whom Thou to life dost bring; From evil sea of sin, And from the billowy strife, Gathering pure fishes in, Caught with sweet bait of life: Lead us, Shepherd of the sheep, Reason-gifted, holy One; King of youths, whom Thou dost keep, So that they pollution shun: Steps of Christ, celestial Way; Word eternal, Age unending; Life that never can decay; Fount of mercy, virtue-sending; Life august of those who raise, Unto God their hymn of praise, Jesus Christ! 
3) Nourished by the milk of heaven, To our tender palates given; Milk of wisdom from the breast, Of that bride of grace exprest; By a dewy spirit filled, From fair Reason’s breast distilled; Let us sucklings join to raise, With pure lips our hymns of praise As our grateful offering, Clean and pure, to Christ our King. Let us, with hearts undefiled, Celebrate the mighty Child. We, Christ-born, the choir of peace; We, the people of His love, Let us sing, nor ever cease, To the God of peace above.

David Robison

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