Stephen bar Sudaili, the Syrian mystic, and the book of Hierotheos

Frothingham F. Stephen bar Sudaili, the Syrian mystic, and the book of Hierotheos. -1886

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76 venerable chief of theologians were present, it was decided,
after the contemplation, that all the hierarchs should sing
hymns, as each one was able, to the all powerful goodness
of the thearchic infirmity) as you know, he excelled, after
the theologians, all other initiated, being entirely beside him¬
self, all in an ecstasy, and feeling communion with that
which he was praising in hymns. He was considered by all
those who heard and saw him, whether they knew him or
not, to be divinely inspired and a divine psalmist. But where¬
fore should I speak to you of the divine things which were
there said: for, unless my memory betrays me, I feel certain
that I have often heard from you fragments of these divinely
enthusiastic psalmodies, such zeal did you feel in searching
diligently after divine things. //But, passing over these mysteries, both because they are
not be mentioned to the common crowd and because they
are well-known to you, when it was necessary to confer
with the multitude and to draw as many as possible to our
own holy doctrine, how he surpassed the greater part of
sacred teachers, in the use of time, in purity of mind,
in acuteness of demonstration, and the rest of sacred dis¬
courses , so that we did not attempt even to look such a
great light (lit. sun) in the face! For we are conscious and
aware of not being sufficiently able either to comprehend
those divine things which are intelligible, or to express and
explain those divines doctrines which are expressible; being
left so far behind by the knowledge of these divine men in
theological truth, that through excessive timidity we would
have even concluded not to hear or say anything on divine
philosophy, had we not perceived that it was not right to
neglect what it is possible for us to know of divine things.
We were persuaded of this not only by the natural aspira-