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The Ransom

That which the Creator said,
That the Lord of truth proclaimed,
Adam scorned – and so was dead,
Eve with him – lost and ashamed.

Wrong of all wrongs, eternal loss:
Scorned Holy Goodness to His face,
Cast out the gold and kept the dross,
Followed the Traitor, void and base.

And God is good, His justice pure:
Stars, mountains great, a flaming sword,
The Law that shall all laws endure,
The Holy, inviolate Word.

The man, transgressing this, must die.
What hope in all the worlds for him?
Accused the True One of a lie;
Preferred to Holy Love, vile whim.

What hope can reach across the space
That separates him from all joy?
What rescue save him from the place
Where sword and fire and worm destroy?

Hope now is not even a dream.
Far easier the Sun go black,
Or up the hill shall flow the stream,
Than hope for Adam be brought back.

Wander alone through twilight world.
Wrench futile bread from cursed ground.
Why waits the ending to be hurled
So long? – for dust to dust is bound.

The Lord His own Law will not break;
His justice must be satisfied.
Yet Adam He will not forsake;
His Holy Love won’t be denied.

Though Adam’s redemption cannot be:
Impossible, a contradiction,
God into Hell will walk to see
His child, repeat His benediction!

Harder than making sun not shine,
Harder than making stream flow up,
Or making time reverse its line:
“Father, please take away this cup.”1

One Way, Adam shall ransomed be;
One Way, redeemed infinite loss:
Sun fears to shine, stars fear to see,
The Cosmos wavers round the Cross.

Angel to angel whispers low,
Star to star cries in awed dismay:
No hope, no place for hope to go --
The Lord Almighty dies today.

This is the impossible thing,
This the eternal mystery.
Creation totters, shivering,
Immortal dies on Calvary.

This is the cost, this is the Way,
Justice embraces endless Love.
This is Creation’s direst day,
Appalling mercy2 from above.