Acts of Thomas: Chapters 8- 10
1 Then it happened that a certain woman, whose name was Mygdonia, the wife of Charisius, that was next in line to the king, came to see the new name and the new God who was being proclaimed, and the new apostle who had come to visit their country.
2 She was carried by her own servants; and because of the great crowd and the narrow way they were not able to bring her near to him. She sent word to her husband to send her more servants to minister to her; they came and approached her, pressing upon the people and beating them.
3 When the apostle saw it he said to them: ‘Why do you overthrow them that come to hear the word, and are eager for it? You desire to be near me, but are far off, as it was said of the multitude that came to the Lord: “Having eyes you see not, and having ears you hear not”; and he said to the multitudes: “They that have ears to hear, let them hear”; and “Come to me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”’
4 Looking upon them that carried her, he said to them: ‘This blessing and this caution which was promised to them is for you that are heavily burdened now. You are they that carry burdens that are heavy to carry, and are carried about by her command.
5 And, though you are human, they lay on you loads as on brute beasts, for they that have authority over you think that you are not human such as themselves.
6 Neither shall possessions profit the rich, nor poverty save the poor from judgement; nor have we received a commandment which we are not able to perform, nor has he laid on us burdens grievous to be carried which we are not able to carry, or to make that (stones) which humans use to build; nor were we told to hew stones and prepare houses as craftsmen do. But this commandment have we received of the Lord: that, that which pleases us not when it is done by another this we should not do to any other person.’
The two cities
7 ‘Abstain therefore first from adultery, for this is the beginning of all evils, and next from theft and lust, which enticed Judas Iscariot, and brought him to hanging; for many who give in to lust see not that which they do; and from pride and from all foul deeds, especially them of the body, whereby comes eternal condemnation. For this is the chief city of all evils; and likewise it brings them that hold their heads high to tyranny, and it draws them down to the deep, and submits them under its hands that they see not what they do; therefore the things they do are hidden from them.’
8 ‘But, become well-pleasing to God in all good things, in meekness and quietness: for these do God spare, and grant eternal life and set death at nothing.
9 Also become gentle, and walk in gentleness, for gentleness follows on all good things, and overcomes all enemies and alone receives the crown of victory: with gentleness, and stretching out of the hand to the poor, and supplying the want of the needy, and distributing to them that are in need, especially them that walk in holiness.
10 For this is chosen before God and lead to eternal life; for this is before God, the chief city of all good; for they that strive not in the stadium of Christ shall not obtain holiness - holiness appeared from God.
11 God, you have come into a desert country, for we live in the desert; being like brute beasts in our conversation, but now shall we be saved by your hands; I beseech you, therefore, take thought of me, and pray for me, that the compassion of the God whom you preach may come upon me, and I may become his dwelling place and be joined in prayer and hope and faith in him, and I also may receive the seal and become a holy temple and he may dwell in me.’
12 The apostle continued and said: ‘I do pray and entreat for you all: Brothers that believe in the Lord, and for you, sisters, that hope in Christ; that in all of you the word of God may tabernacle and have her tabernacle therein - for we have no power over your souls because you are given power over your own souls.’
13 He began to say to the woman Mygdonia: ‘Rise up from the earth and compose yourself, take off your ornaments; for this attire that is put on shall not profit you, nor the beauty of your body, nor your apparel, neither yet the fame of your rank, nor the authority of this world, nor the polluted intercourse with your husband shall avail 29 you if you be partake of the true fellowship: for the fantasy of ornamenting come to nothing, and the body becomes old and change, and coverings wear out, and authority and lordship pass away accompanied with reward or punishment, according as each person have conducted themselves in that.’
14 This he spoke, and dismissing the woman said: ‘Depart in peace, and the Lord shall make you worthy of his own mysteries.’
15 But she said: ‘I fear to go away, lest you forsake me and depart to another nation.’ The apostle replied: ‘Even if I go, I shall not leave you alone, but Yesu of his compassion will be with you.’ She fell down and did him reverence and departed to her house.
16 Now Charisius, the kinsman of Misdaeus the king, bathed himself and returned and laid him down to dine. He inquired concerning his wife, where she was; for she had not come out of her own chamber to meet him, as she was wanted.
Mygdonia refuses her husband’s sexual advances
17 Her handmaids said to him: ‘She is not well.’ He then entered quickly into the chamber and found her lying on the bed and veiled, he unveiled her and kissed her, saying: ‘Why are you sorrowful to-day?’ She said: ‘I am not well.’
18 He then said to her: ‘Why then did you not keep the appearance of a freewoman30, but went out to go and listen to vain speeches and look upon works of sorcery? Rise up and dine with me, for I cannot dine without you.’ She said to him: ‘To-day I decline it, for I am greatly afraid.’
19 ‘When Charisius heard this of Mygdonia, he would not go in to dinner, but asked his servants to bring her to dine with him. When then they brought her in, he desired her to dine with him, but she excused herself; and he dined alone, saying to her: ‘On your account I refused to dine with Misdaeus the king, and you, were you not willing to dine with me?’ She replied: ‘It is because I am not well.’ Charisius consequently rose up because he was in need of sexual satisfaction and wanted to sleep with her, but she said: ‘Did I not tell you that for today I refused it?’
20 When he heard that, he went to another bed and slept; and awaking out of sleep he said: ‘My lady Mygdonia, listen to the dream which I have seen. I saw myself lie at dinner near to Misdaeus the king, and a dish of all sorts was set before us: and I saw an eagle come down from heaven and carry off from before me and the king two partridges, which he set against his heart; and again he came over us and flew about above us, and the king asked a bow to be brought to him; and the eagle again caught away from before us a pigeon and a dove, and the king shot an arrow at him, and it passed through him from one side to the other and hurt him not; and he being unscathed rose up into his own nest. I awoke, and I am full of fear and troubled, because I had tasted of the partridge, and he allowed me not to put it to my mouth again.’
21 Mygdonia said to him: ‘Your dream is good, for you eat partridges every day, but this eagle had not tasted of a partridge until now.’
22 When it was morning Charisius went and dressed himself and put his right foot in his left shoe; he stopped, and said to Mygdonia: ‘What then is the matter? Look, the dream and this action of mine!’ 31 But Mygdonia said to him: ‘This also is not evil, but seems to me very good; for from an unlucky act there will be a change to the better.’ He then washed his hands and went to greet Misdaeus the king.
23 Likewise Mygdonia rose up early and went to greet Judas Thomas the apostle, and she found him discoursing with the captain and all the multitude, and he was advising them and speaking of the woman which had received the Lord in her soul. He asked whose wife she was, and the captain said: ‘She is the wife of Charisius the kinsman of Misdaeus the king. Her husband is a hard man, and in everything that her husband says to the king, the king obeys him. He will not allow her to continue in this mind which she have promised; for often-times have he praised her before the king, saying that there is none other like her in bed. All things therefore that you speak to her are strange to her.’
24 The apostle said: ‘If truly and surely the Lord has risen upon her spirit and she has received the seed that was cast on her, she will have no care of this temporal life, nor fear death, neither will Charisius be able to harm her at all: for greater is he whom she have received into her soul, if she have received him indeed.’
25 Mygdonia hearing this said to the apostle: ‘In truth, my lord, I have received the seed of your words, and I will bear fruit like to such seed.’
26 The apostle said: ‘Our spirits give praise and thanks to you, O Lord, for they are yours; our bodies give thanks to you, which you have accounted worthy to become the indwelling-place of your heavenly gift.’
27 And he said also to them that stood by:
‘Blessed are the holy, whose souls have not condemned them, for they have gained them and are not divided against themselves.
Blessed are the spirits of the pure, and they that have received the heavenly crown whole from the age which have been appointed them.
Blessed are the bodies of the holy, for they have been made worthy to become temples of God, that Christ may dwell in them.
Blessed are you, for you have power to change the course of sins.
Blessed are you, if you lose not that which is committed to you, but rejoicing and departing take it away with you. Blessed are you the holy, for to you it is given to ask and receive.
Blessed are you meek, for you have been counted worthy by God to become heirs of the heavenly kingdom. Blessed are you meek, for you are they that have overcome the enemy.
Blessed are you meek, for you shall see the face of the Lord.
Blessed are you that hunger for the Lord’s sake, for, for you is rest laid up, and your souls rejoice from henceforth. Blessed are you that are quiet, for you have been counted worthy to be set free from sin and from the exchange of clean and unclean animals.’
28 And, when the apostle had said these things for the multitude to hear, Mygdonia was the more confirmed in the faith and glory and greatness of Christ.
29 When Charisius the kinsman and friend of Misdaeus the king came to his breakfast and found not his wife in the house, he inquired of all that were in his house: ‘Where has your mistress gone?’ One of them answered and said: ‘She has gone to that stranger.’
30 Having heard this of his servant, he was angry with the other servants because they had not straightaway told him what was done, and he sat down and waited for her.
31 It was evening when she came into the house and he said to her: ‘Where were you?’ Mygdonia answered: ‘With the physician.’
32 He said: ‘Is that stranger a physician? And she said: ‘Yes, he is a physician of souls: for most physicians do heal bodies that are dissolved, but he heals souls that are not destroyed.’
33 Charisius, hearing this, was very angry in his mind with Mygdonia because of the apostle, but he answered her nothing, for he was afraid; for she was above him both in wealth and birth 32. He departed to dinner, and she went into her chamber. He told the servants to call her to dinner, but she would not come.
Domestic problems in Charisius’ household
34 When he heard that she would not come out of her chamber, he went in and said to her: ‘Why will you not dine with me, and perhaps not sleep with me as the need is? Yes, concerning this I have a great suspicion, for I have heard that that sorcerer and deceiver teach that a man should not live with his wife, and that which nature requires and the godhead have ordained he overthrows.’ When Charisius said these things, Mygdonia kept silence.
35 Again he said to her: ’My lady and consort Mygdonia, be not led astray by deceitful and vain words, nor by the works of sorcery which I have heard that this man performs in the name of the Father, and the Christ; for it was never yet heard in the world that any raised the dead, and, as I hear, it is reported of this man that he raised dead people.
36 And for that he neither eats nor drinks, think not that for righteousness sake he neither eats nor drinks, but this he does because he possesses nothing, for what does he do which provides not even his daily bread? Furthermore, he has one garment because he is poor, and as for his not receiving anything of any, it is surely because he knows he never works honestly.’
37 When Charisius said this, Mygdonia was as silent as a stone, but she prayed, asking when it should be day, that she might go to the apostle of Christ. He withdrew from her and went to dinner heavy in mind, for he thought to sleep with her according to his need.
38 When he has gone out, she bowed her knees and prayed, saying: ‘Lord God our Mother, merciful Father, Saviour Christ, do give me strength to overcome the shamelessness of Charisius, and grant me to keep the holiness wherein you delight, that I may also find eternal life by it.’ When she had so prayed, she laid herself on her bed and veiled herself.
39 After Charisius had dined he came in to her and came upon her, and she cried out, saying: ‘You have no more any room by me, for my Lord Yesu is greater than you, who is with me and rests in me.’
40 He laughed, saying: ‘You mock so very well, saying this of that sorcerer, and well do you ridicule him who says: “You have no life with God unless you purify yourselves.”’
41 When he had so said, he set out to sleep with her, but she endured it not and cried out bitterly saying: ‘I call upon you, Lord Yesu, forsake me not, for with you have I made my refuge when I learned that you are he that seek out them that are veiled in ignorance and saves them that are held in error. Now I entreat you whose report I have heard and believed, come you to my help and save me from the shamelessness of Charisius, that his foulness may not get the upper hand of me.’
42 Therefore she tied his hands together and fled from him naked. As she ran out, she pulled down the curtain of the bedchamber and wrapped it about her, she went to her nurse, and slept there in her chamber.
43 But Charisius was in heaviness all night, and slapped his face with his hands. He was minded to go that very hour and tell the king concerning the violence that was done him, but he deliberated with himself, saying: ‘If the great heaviness which is upon me compel me to go now to the king, who will bring me in to him? I know that my abuse have overthrown me from my high looks and my pride and majesty, and have cast me down into this vileness and separated my sister Mygdonia from me. Yes, if the king himself stood before the doors at this hour, I could not have gone out and answered him. But, I will wait until dawn, and I know that whatsoever I ask of the king, he will grant to me. I will tell him of the madness of this stranger, how that it tyrannously casts down the great and illustrious into the depth. For it is not this that grieves me, that I am depraved of her company, but for her am I grieved, because her greatness of soul is humbled: being an honourable lady in whom none of her house ever found fault she has fled away naked, running out of her own bedchamber, and I know not where she went. It may be that she has gone mad by the means of that sorcerer, and in her madness have gone into the market-place to seek him; for there is nothing that appeal to her lovably except him and the things that are spoken by him.’
45 So he began to lament, saying: ‘Woe to me, O my consort, and to you likewise! I am too quickly bereaved of you! Woe to me, my most dear one, for you are most excellent of all my race: neither son nor daughter have I had of you that I might find rest in them. Neither have you yet dwelt with me a full year, and an evil eye have caught you from me.
Would that the violence of death had taken you, and I should yet have reckoned myself among kings and nobles: but that I should suffer this at the hands of a stranger, and he is like a slave that have run away, to my bad fortune and the sorrow of my unhappy soul!’
46 ‘Let there be no stumbling block for me until I destroy him and avenge this night, and may I not be happy before Misdaeus the king if he helps me not to take revenge of this stranger.’
47 ‘Of Siphor, the captain who have been the occasion of this, I will also tell – for by his means did the stranger appear here, and lodged at his house. Many are there that go in and come out, whom the stranger teaches this new doctrine; saying that none can live if he quit not all his substance and become a renunciant like himself – and he strives to make many to partake with him.’
48 As Charisius thought on these things, the day dawned. He put on a mean habit and shoes, and went depressed and long-faced to greet the king.
When the king saw him he said: ‘Why are you sorrowful, and come in such clothes? I see that your appearance has changed.’
49 And Charisius said to the king: ‘I have a new thing to tell you and a new desolation which Siphor have brought into India, a certain Hebrew, a sorcerer, whom he have sitting in his house and who departs not from him.
50 Many are there that go in to him, whom also he teaches of a new God, and lays on them new laws such as never yet were heard, saying: “It is impossible for you to enter into that eternal life which I proclaim to you, unless you rid you of your wives, and likewise the wives of their husbands.”
51 It so happened that my unlucky wife also went to him and became a hearer of his words, and she believed them, and in the night she left me and ran to the stranger.
Now send for both Siphor and that sorcerer that is hiding with him, and bring it on their heads, before all that are of our customs perish.’
52 When Misdaeus his friend heard this, he said to him: ‘Be not grieved nor depressed, for I will send for him and revenge you, and you shall have your wife again.’
53 The king went forth and sat on the judgement seat, and he commanded Siphor the captain to be called. They went to his house and found him sitting on the right hand of the apostle and Mygdonia at his feet, listening to him with all the multitude.
54 And they that were sent from the king said to Siphor: ‘Do you sit here listening to vain words, while Misdaeus the king in his anger thinks to destroy you because of this sorcerer and deceiver whom you have brought into your house?’
55 Siphor when hearing it was depressed, not because of the king’s threat against him, but for the apostle, because the king was disposed antagonistically to him.
56 Siphor said to the apostle: ‘I am distressed concerning you: I told you at the first that that woman is the wife of Charisius, the king’s friend and kinsman, and that he will not allow her to perform that which she has promised, and all that he asks of the king he grants him.’
57 But the apostle said to Siphor: ‘Fear nothing, but believe in Yesu that pleads for us all, for to his refuge are we gathered together.’ Siphor, hearing that, put his toga about him and went to Misdaeus the king.
58 The apostle inquired of Mygdonia: ‘What was the cause that your husband was angry with you and devised this against us?’
59 She replied: ‘Because I gave not myself up to his corruption, for he desired last night to subdue me and subject me to that passion which he serves – and he to whom I have committed my soul delivered me out of his hands, and I fled away from him naked, and slept at my nurse’s - but what came into him to plan this, I know not.’
60 The apostle said: ‘These things will not hurt us; but believe you on Yesu, and he shall overthrow the anger of Charisius and his madness and his impulse; and he shall be a companion to you in the fearful way, and he shall guide you into his kingdom, and shall bring you to eternal life giving you that confidence which pass not away nor changes.’
Siphor before king Misdaeus
61 Now Siphor stood before the king, and the king inquired of him: ’Who is that sorcerer and where from is he, and what teaches he whom you have hiding in your house?’
62 Siphor answered the king: ‘You are not ignorant, O king, of what trouble and grief I with my friends had concerning my wife, whom you know and many others remember, and concerning my daughter, whom I value more than all my possessions. What a time and trial I suffered, for I became a laughing-stock and a curse in all our country!
I heard the report of this man and went to him and entreated him, and took him and brought him here. As I came by the way I saw wonderful and amazing things: and here also many did hear the wild ass and concerning that devil whom he drove out, and healed my wife and daughter, and now they are whole.’
63 ‘This man asked no reward but requires faith and holiness, that people should become partakers with him in that which he does - and this he teaches; to worship and fear one God, the ruler of all things, and Yesu Christ his son, that they may have eternal life.’
64 ‘That which he eats is bread and salt, and his drink is water from evening to evening. He makes many prayers, and whatsoever he asks of his God, he gives him.
He teaches that this God is holy and mighty, and that Christ is living and makes alive, wherefore also he charges them that are there present to come to him in holiness and purity and love and faith.’
65 When Misdaeus the king heard these things of Siphor he sent many soldiers to the house of Siphor the captain, to bring Thomas the apostle and all that were found there. They that were sent entered in and found him teaching many people, with Mygdonia sitting at his feet.
66 They feared when they beheld the great multitude that were about him, and returned to their king and said: ‘We dare not say anything to him, for there was a great multitude about him, and Mygdonia sitting at his feet was listening to the things that were spoken by him.’
67 When Misdaeus the king and Charisius heard these things, Charisius leaped out from before the king and drew much people with him and said: ‘I will bring him, O king, and Mygdonia whose understanding he have taken away.’
68 He went to the house of Siphor the captain, greatly disturbed, and found Thomas teaching, but Mygdonia he found not, for she had withdrawn herself to her house, having learnt that her husband had been told that she was there.
Thomas before king Misdaeus
69 Charisius said to the apostle: ‘Up, you wicked one and destroyer and enemy of my house, for me your sorcery harms not, for I will visit your sorcery on your head.’
70 The apostle looked upon him and said to him: ‘Your threats shall return upon you, for me you will not harm in any way: for greater than you and your king and all your army is the Lord Yesu Christ in whom I have my trust.’
71 Charisius took a head-cloth of one of his slaves and flung it about the neck of the apostle, saying: ‘Bring him and take him away; let me see if his God is able to deliver him out of my hands.’ And they brought him and led him away to Misdaeus the king.
72 As the apostle stood before the king, the king said to him: ‘Tell me who you are and by what power you do these things.’ But the apostle kept silence.
73 Then the king commanded his officers that the apostle should be scourged with a hundred and twenty blows, and bound, and be cast into the prison - they bound him and led him away.
74 Thereafter the king and Charisius considered how they should put him to death, for the multitude worshipped him as a god. They had it in mind to say: ‘The stranger insulted the king and is a deceiver.’
Thomas in prison
1 The apostle went to the prison rejoicing and exulting, saying: ‘I praise you, Yesu, for that you have not only made me worthy of faith in you, but also to endure much for your sake. I give you thanks therefore, Lord, that you have taken thought for me and given me patience. I thank you Lord, that for your sake I am called a sorcerer and a wizard.’
2 ‘Let me receive of the blessings of the poor, and of the rest of the weary, and of the blessings of them whom men hate and persecute and revile, and speak evil words of them. For Lord, for your sake I am hated, Lord for your sake I am cut off from the many, and for your sake they call me such as I am not.’
Song of the Pearl
3 As the apostle Thomas prayed, all the prisoners looked on him, and begged him to pray for them, and when he had prayed and sat down, he began to sing this mystical song:
‘When I was a little child, I played in the kingdom of my Father, and enjoyed the wealth and luxuries, of those who raised me up. 1
From our homeland, in the East, my Parents prepared me and sent me. 2
And from the riches of our treasury, they gave me a load, Great the treasure was, but so light I could carry it alone. 3
Gold from Beth’Ellaye (the house of the high ones), and silver from great Ga’zak. Chalcedonies from India and opals of the realm of Kushan. 4
They girded me with determination, which crushes iron. 5
They took off from me the splendid robe, which in their love they had made for me, and the purple toga, which was woven to the measure of my eminence. 6
They made with me an oath, and wrote it in my heart, that I might not forget:
“If you go down to Egypt and bring the one pearl, which is in the middle of the sea, in the place where the loud-breathing serpent lives, then you will again put on your splendid robe, and the toga which lies over it.
And with your Brother, our next in rank, you shall inherit our kingdom." 7
I quitted the East and went down, led by two companions, for the way was dangerous and difficult, and I was very young to travel it. 8
I passed over the borders of Maisan, (meeting-place of the merchants) of the East, and reached the land of Babel, and entered in to the walls of Sarbug. 9
I went down into Egypt, and my companions left me to go alone. 10
I went straight to the serpent, and close to the place where he lives I stayed. 11
I waited that he should slumber and sleep, so that I might take my pearl from him. 12
Since I was all alone, I was a stranger to those who lived there with me. 13
One of my race I saw there, a nobleman out of the East, a youth fair and lovable, an anointed one, and he came and attached himself to me. 14
I made him my intimate friend, my companion with whom I discussed my business. 15
He warned me against the Egyptians and against associating with the unclean. 16
But I dressed in clothes like theirs, so they would not suspect I came from outside to take the pearl, and so may wake the serpent up against me. 17
But for some reason or other they saw that I was not from their country, so they treated me treacherously, and gave me to eat of their food. 18
Very soon I forgot that I was a king’s child, and I served their king. 19
And soon I forgot about the pearl, for which my Parents had sent me. 20
Because of the heaviness of their food, I fell into a deep dream. 21
All that happened to me, my Parents observed and were sad for me. 22
A proclamation was published in our kingdom that all should come to our gate, the kings and chieftains of Parthia, and all the great ones of the East. 23
They decided that I must not be left in Egypt, and they wrote me a letter, and every family member signed it:
“From your Father, the King of kings, and your Mother, the mistress of the East, and from your Brother, our other child, to you, our child in Egypt, greetings!
Awake and rise up from your sleep, and listen to the words of our letter.
Remember that you are a child of a king. See the slavery of those serving the one you also serve!
Remember the pearl, for which you went into Egypt.
Remember the beautiful robe, and think of your glorious toga, that you may put them on again, that your name may be read in the book of the heroes, and that with your Brother, our crown prince, you inherit our kingdom." 24
The letter was a letter which the king had sealed with his right hand, against the wicked, the people of Babel and the rebellious demons of Sarbug. 25
It flew in the form of an eagle, the most majestic of all birds, it flew and sat down beside me, and became all speech. 26
Hearing its voice and the sound of its rustling, I woke up from my sleep. 27
I took the letter and kissed it, broke its seal and read. 28
The letter was a reminder of the oath they made with me, that they wrote in my heart, so that I might not forget. 30
Then I remembered I am a child of a king, and my noble birth asserted itself. 31
I remembered the pearl for which I was sent to Egypt, and I began to cast a spell on the terrible loud-breathing serpent. 32
I brought him to dream and sleep, by naming my Father’s name over him, and of my mother, the queen of the East, and the name of our next in rank, my Brother. 33
I snatched away the pearl, and turned about, to go to my Father’s house. 34
The dirty clothes of that land, I took off and left it there. 35
Then I changed my way, to face the light of our homeland, the East. 36
My letter, my awakener, I found before me on the way; as with its voice it had awakened me, so it led me further with its light, written on Chinese tissue with ruddle, gleaming before me with its image. 37
With its voice and its guidance encouraging me to speed, drawing me with its love. 38
I went forward, passed through Sarbug, left Babel on my left hand, and came to the great Maisan, the haven of the merchants, which lies on the shore of the sea. 39
My beautiful robe that I had taken off, and my toga with which it was wrapped about, from the heights of our kingdom, my Parents sent it to me. 40
It was brought to me by the hands of their faithful and trusted treasurers. 41
Amazed, I forgot how dignified it was, for I had left it in my childhood in my Father’s house, but suddenly, when I put it on, it became like me, as my reflection in a mirror; I saw it in me, and in it I saw myself, apart from myself, so that we were two in distinction, and again one in a single form. 42
And the treasurers too, who had brought it to me, I saw in like manner, that they were two of a single form, for one sign of the king was impressed upon them, who restored to me through them, my pledge and my riches, my splendid robe adorned gleaming in glorious colours, with gold and beryls, chalcedonies and opals, and sardonyxes of varied colour, adding to the grandeur of my robe, with stones of determination all its seams fastened. 43
The likeness of the king of kings, was embroidered all over it, like stones of sapphire in its grandeur brilliant with manifold hues. 44
Again I saw that all over it, the movements of knowledge were stirring. 45
I saw too the preparation of a speech. 46
I hear the sounds of its songs, which it whispered as it came down:
“I belong to the brave servant, who was reared for me by my Father, and I saw in myself how I grew, as the servant laboured." 47
With royal movements, it poured itself toward me, and my love made me run to meet it, and receive it, I stretched out and took it. With the beauty of its colours I dressed myself. 48
And my toga of brilliant colours, I put on completely over myself. I clothed myself with it, and went up to the gate of greeting and adoration. 49
I bowed my head and worshipped the splendour of the Father who sent the robe, whose commands I had accomplished, as he also had done what he promised. 50
At the gate of his kingdom I mingled among his great ones. For he rejoiced over me and received me, and I was with him in his kingdom. 51
With the sound of music all his servants praised him. And he promised that I will again walk with the crown prince, to the gate of the king of kings, and with my gift and my pearl, with him, we will appear before our king.” 52
Charisius blames the gods
1 Charisius went home glad, thinking that his wife would be with him, and that she had become such as she was before, even before she heard the divine word and believed in Yesu.
2 When he got home, he found her with her hair dishevelled and her clothes torn: ‘My lady Mygdonia, why does this cruel disease keep hold of you, and why have you done this? I am your husband from your virginity, and both the gods and the law grant me to have rule over you! What is this great madness of yours, that you have become a mockery in all our nation? Now, put away the prudence that comes of that sorcerer; and I will remove his face from among us, so that you may see him no more.’
3 But, when Mygdonia heard that, she gave herself up to grief, groaning and lamenting. Charisius said again: ‘Have I then so much wronged the gods that they have afflicted me with such a disease? What is my great offence that they have cast me into such humiliation? I beg of you, Mygdonia, stop strangling my soul with the pitiful sight of you and your mean appearance, and stop tormenting my heart with care for you. I am Charisius your husband, whom all the nation honours and fears. What must I do? I know not which way to turn. What am I to think? Shall I keep silence and endure?’
4 ‘Yet, who can be patient when a man takes his treasure, and who can endure to lose your sweet ways? What is there for me? The fragrance of you is in my nostrils, and your bright face is fixed in my eyes. They are taking away my soul, and the fair body which I delight to see, they are destroying. Those sharpest of eyes, they are blinding and cutting off my right hand, my joy is turning to grief and my life to death, and the light of it is being coloured with darkness, and from you no help have come to me. Let no man of my family look to me! I hereafter not worship the gods of the East that have enwrapped me in such trouble, nor will I pray to them any more, nor sacrifice to them, for I was robbed of my wife. What else should I ask of them? For all my glory is taken away, yet am I a prince and next to the king in power; but Mygdonia have made me into nothing, and taken away all these things.’
5 And while Charisius spoke this with tears, Mygdonia sat silently, looking upon the ground. Again he came to her and said: ‘My lady Mygdonia, most desired of mine, remember that out of all the women that are in India I chose and took you as the most beautiful, though I might have joined to myself in marriage many more beautiful. No, that is a lie, but yet I lie, Mygdonia, for by the gods it would not have been possible to find another like you in the land of India! But, take pity on me, for you do not even consider me worthy of a reply; I would rather have you insult me, so that I may hear only a word from you. Look at me, for I am more handsome than that sorcerer. You are my wealth and honour, and all men know that there is none like me, you are my race and kind – and behold, he takes you away from me.’
6 And when Charisius had so said, Mygdonia said to him: ‘He whom I love is better than you and your substance: for your substance is of earth and returns to the earth; but he whom I love is of heaven and will take me with him to heaven.’
7 ‘Your wealth shall pass away, and your beauty shall vanish, and your robes, and your many works: and you shall be alone, naked, with your transgressions. Call not to my remembrance your deeds, for I pray the Lord that I may forget you, so as to remember no more those former pleasures and the custom of the body; which shall pass away as a shadow, but only Yesu endures for ever, and the souls which hope in him. Yesu himself shall acquit me of the shameful deeds which I did with you.’
8 When Charisius heard this, he turned him to sleep, troubled and fragile in soul, saying to her: ‘Consider it by yourself all this night; if you will be with me as you were before, and not see that sorcerer, I will do all what you may think to ask of me; if you will remove your affection from him, I will take him out of the prison and let him go, also I will remove him to another country; in addition I will not trouble you, for I know that you make much of the stranger.’
9 ‘Be mindful that you are not the first woman who this happened to, for many other women he has also deceived in the same way as you; and they have woken up sober and returned to themselves; do not then make nothing of my words and cause me to be a reproach among the Indians.’
10 Charisius having said this, went to sleep. But Mygdonia took ten coins, and went secretly to give them to the jailors so that she might enter and visit the apostle.
11 But, on the way there Judas Thomas came and met her, and she saw him and was afraid, for she thought that he was one of the rulers as a great light went before him.
12 She said to herself as she fled: ‘I have lost you, O my unhappy soul, for you will not again see Judas the apostle of the living , and you have not yet received the holy seal!’
13 She fled and ran into a narrow alley and there hid herself, saying: ‘I would rather choose to be taken by the destitute of the street, whom it is possible to persuade, than to fall into the hands of this mighty ruler, who will despise gifts.’