Glory to Him who came and Restored It! – St. Ephraim the Syrian


Glory to Him who came and Restored It!  

St. Ephraim the Syrian

1. Adam sinned and earned all sorrows; — likewise the world after His example, all guilt. — And instead of considering how it should be restored, — considered how its fall should be pleasant for it. — Glory to Him Who came and restored it!

2. This cause summoned Him that is pure, — that He should come and be baptized, even He with the defiled, — Heaven for His glory was rent asunder. — That the purifier of all might be baptized with all, — He came down and sanctified the water for our baptism.

3. For that cause for which He entered into the womb, — for the same cause He went down into the river. — For that cause for which He entered into the grave, — for the same cause He makes us enter into His chamber. — He perfected mankind for every cause.

4. His Conception is the store of our blessings; — His Birth is the treasury of our joys; — His Baptism is the cause of our pardon; — His Death is the cause of our life. — Death He alone has overcome in His Resurrection.

5. At His Birth a star of light shone in the air; — when He was baptized light flashed from the water; — at His Death the sun was darkened in the firmament; — at His Passion the luminaries set along with Him; — at His Epiphany the luminaries arose with Him.

6. Revealed was His Glory because of His Majesty; — revealed was His Passion because of His Manhood; — revealed was His Love because of His Graciousness; — revealed was His Judgment because of His Justice. — He has poured forth His attributes, on them that were His.

7. That whoso has looked on His Glory and despised Him, — may look again on His Glory and worship Him; — and whoso has scorned to taste of His Graciousness, — may fear lest he be made to feel His justice; — He has poured forth His helps on His worshippers.

8. Lo! the East in the morning was made light! — lo! the South at noonday was made dark! — The West again in turn at eventide was made light. — The three quarters represent the one Birth; — His Death and His Life they declare.

9. His Birth flowed on and was joined to His Baptism; — and His Baptism again flowed on even to His Death; — His Death led and reached to His Resurrection, — a fourfold bridge unto His Kingdom; and lo! His sheep pass over in His footsteps.

10. And like as, save by the door of birth, — none can enter into creation; — so, save by the door of resurrection, — none can enter into the Kingdom, — and whoso has cut off his bridge, has brought to nought his hope.

11. He put on His armour and conquered and was crowned; — He left His armour on earth and ascended, — that if any man desires the crown, — he may resort to the armour and win by it — the crown of victory which he yearns after.

12. He fulfilled righteousness on earth, and ascended. — But if He, the All-cleanser, was baptized, — What man is there that shall not be baptized? — for grace has come to baptism — to wash away the foulness of our wound.

13. The compulsion of God is an all-prevailing force; — [but that is not pleasing to Him which is of compulsion,] — as that which is of discerning will. — Therefore in our fruits He calls us — who live not as under compulsion, by persuasion.

14. Good is He, for lo! He labours in these two things; — He wills not to constrain our freedom — nor again does He suffer us to abuse it. — For had he constrained it, He had taken away its power; — and had He let it go, He had deprived it of help.

15. He knows that if He constrains He deprives us; — He knows that if He casts off He destroys us; — He knows that if He teaches He wins us. — He has not constrained and He has not cast off, as the Evil One does: — He has taught, chastened, and won us, as being the good God.

16. He knows that His treasuries abound: — the keys of His treasuries He has put into our hands. — He has made the Cross our treasurer — to open for us the gates of Paradise, — as Adam opened the gate of Gehenna.

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