The Word, when it was made flesh, passed from ubiquity to space, from eternity to history, from limitless bliss to mutation and flesh; to correspond with such a sacrifice, it was necessary that a man, in representation of all men, would make a like sacrifice. Judas Iscariot was that man. Judas, unique amongst the apostles, intuited the secret divinity and terrible purpose of Jesus. The Word had lowered itself to the status of mortality. Judas, disciple of the Word, could lower himself to the status of informer (the worst crime this infamy bears) and become the chalice of a fire that cannot be extinguished. This inferior order is a mirror of the superior order; the forms of the earth correspond to the forms of the sky; birthmarks are a map of the incorruptible constellations; Judas reflects, in some manner, Jesus. Hence the thirty pieces of silver and the kiss; hence the voluntary death, hence the deserved Damnation. This is how Nils Runeberg has solved the enigma of Judas.

He renounced honour, goodness, peace, the kingdom of heaven, like others, less heroically, to pleasure. He premeditated with terrible lucidity his guilt. In adultery, tenderness and self-sacrifice are usually twins; in murder, courage; in desecration and blasphemy, a certain satanic glow. Judas chose those faults not visited by any virtue: breach of trust (John 12:6) and betrayal. He acted with great humility, and believed himself unworthy of being good. Paul has written: Let the one who boasts, boast only of the Lord. (I Corinthians 1:31); Judas sought Hell, because the happiness of the Lord was enough for him. He thought that happiness, like good, is a divine attribute and that men should not usurp it.

An Argentine reader may recall an analogous passage in the work of Almafuerte. Runeberg published, in the symbolist magazine Sju insegel, an assiduously descriptive poem called The Secret Water; the first stanzas narrate the events of a tumultuous day; the last, the finding of a glacial pool; the poet suggests that the eternalness of that silent water makes up for our useless violence, and that in some way, permits and absolves it. The poem concludes like this: The water of the jungle is happy; we can be wicked and painful.