Letter from Heaven (published, part). Jesus' sabbath letter. Icelandic version. Around 1200.

6.  I take up my song, where a famous miracle befell the men of Jerusalem.  True signs are shown in such a thing as this.  The speech-skilled warder of the earthly chamber (God) sent from heaven a letter set down in golden characters, to help the people of the city.

7.  On a Sunday the letter was found which the wise-hearted God composed and let fall on the green earth.  Hope is given therein.  The blithe heroes of wind-skates (men) then deciphered that writing written in golden characters.  Wise is he who is versed in miracles.

8.  Spoke the letter to those who adorn the horse of the sea (men) concerning the commands of the Lord; what bitter evil will put an end to the prosperity of man.  Of a truth, said the glorious giver of good things, all those who labour on my day shall suffer special grief in consequence.

9. The Holy Lord declares that danger will befall the diminishers of the fire of the arm (men) who do not respect the days of the all-fair Son. Therefore the exciters of the whiz of flying arrow (men) are born subject to various evils, mother and children, too, at times.

10.  Saith the warder of Earth's roof (God): "I will hurl to death the tribes of men in all their families if the heroes of the fire of the way of ships (men) work hard on holy days or pay not a just tithe."

11.  He who removes the obstacles of peace (God), Gracious to mortals bids men to observe, to all time, the renowned day of the Sun.  The excellent averter of evils declares that he will bestow on men, in return, continued prosperity and perfect peace with all honour.

12. No men who have received baptism can hold it without making return.  It is good for wasters of the otter's pillow (men) to consult their own well-being.  These words which God has taught will not come to nought.  The seeker of wound-fire (men) is ignorant of the truth, if he thinks otherwise.

From Robert Priebsch, Letter From Heaven on the Observance of the Lord's Day, Oxford, 1936, pp. 15-16. Only these stanzas (6-12) were given, along with the original Icelandic. The source is a poem titled "Leidar-visan," ("Way-Pointing") by Brandr, assisted by a priest Runold. The text is closer to older Latin versions of Jesus' Sabbath Letter, than to more recent versions. Translation by the Rev. J. Sephton.


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