A Chinese Hymn on the Holy Trinity
attributed to Ching-ching (Adam),
Bishop of Chang'an (Xi'an), capital of Tang China, c. AD 780,
found at Dunhuang, along the Silk Road in western China,
on the edge of the Taklamakan Desert
The highest heavens profoundly adore Thee!
The great earth repeatedly calls to mind Thy universal peace and good will!
Man in his original true nature had the trust and rest in Thee,
For Thou art Lord, the Merciful Father of Three Powers:
Heaven, Earth and Man.
All good people of God worship Thee in sincerity!
All the Enlightened sing in Thy praise:
May all human beings without exception be restored to look up respectfully to Thee!
For, receiving Thy holy gracious Light, they will all be freed from evil spirits.
Incomprehensible and unattainable is Thy Uprighteousness, Truthfulness and Eternity!
O, Merciful Father! O, Glorious Son! O, "Pure-Wind" King!
Among all the rulers on earth, Thou art the Master Ruler of all.
Among the world-honoured Ones, Thou art the Emperor of Law.
Thou dwellest from eternity to eternity in the mysterious bright world of infinity,
And Thy Brightness and Majesty thoroughly search out the boundaries of the finite.
And yet no mortals have ever been able to see Thee,
Nor can any eye of flesh form Thy glorious Image.
Thou alone art the perfection of pure and purified virtue beyond description.
Thou alone art the changelessness existing with majestic dignity.
Being the Root and the Origin of all goodness, Thy Goodness is boundless.
We now call to mind all Thy Mercy and Grace,
And sigh for such mysterious Joy coming to enlighten this part of our world.
O Messiah! Thou art the Greatest and the Holiest of the Universally honoured Beings!
Widely delivering, Thou savest innumerable souls from the sorrows of life.
Thou art the King of Eternal Life and the merciful Lamb of God!
Greatly and universally pitying all suffering ones, Thou dreadest not to labour for them.
We pray Thee to take away the accumulated Sins of all men,
And to make them recover their true original nature that they may be out of trouble.
Thou art Holy Son who worthily sittest on the Throne on the Father's right hand side,
Whose Throne is matchlessly high above all.
Great Master, We pray Thee that Thou determine to hear the supplication of all people,
And send down the salvation Raft from on high to make them escape from being tossed on the stream of fire!
Great Master, Thou art the very Merciful Father of ours!
Great Master, Thou art the very sacred Lord of ours!
Great Master, Thou art the very Law King of ours!
And Great Master, Thy wisdom and strength can save all who are gone astray!
All eyes are steadfastly lifted up to Thee, and that without wavering for an instant!
So Thou, for the sake of the withered or parched, send down sweet dew,
In order that all living things may be watered and the root of goodness be nourished.
Thou most Holy and Universally honoured Messiah!
We adore Thee, O Merciful Father! for Thy Mercy is as boundless as the ocean!
O Thou, who art Most Holy! Thy Meekness is ingrafted in the Nature of Pure Wind (the Holy Spirit).
Whose Purity is the absolute embodiment of Law beyond all thought!