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it must be remembered that, according to the general order of the world, every one who has come after him has commenced life in a condition of infantile feebleness and total inexperience; that the most frequent and most powerful temptations are those in which entire ignorance exists as to the actual results of the action solicited; and that the whole life of man on earth is a condition of infancy and training for a higher life. If, therefore, Adam failed under conditions of least stress, what hope could there be of his children, who, during their infancy, would be under the fallible and imperfect rule of a human parentage, and whose maturity would be surrounded by manifold temptation, springing from every side of their nature, and out of every relation they sustained to others?
Looking at man simply as an intelligent agent, with his multiplied relations to his fellows and to the world, their common home, we see no hope of the continuance of harmony between man and his Maker. The application of a law which would have compelled this union by some exterior mechanical or semimechanical means was impossible. If man, therefore, is to be brought into permanent
union with God, by which he shall have inclination and ability to do His will, it must be by moral means, which appeal to his intellect and employ his emotions. A perfect example of this moral force we have in the person and work of the Redeemer, in whom we have a man fulfilling all the duties of an exceptionably difficult human life, but doing this by an unbroken and plenary union with God. Then we have this same perfect Man, with all the authority and value of His Godhead, taking the place of the sinning man, and by dying in his stead removing the penalty from him, and by the same act so establishing the authority and necessity of the law, as to take away all impediment to the exercise of forgiveness to future sinners who desired reconciliation. And in this substitution of the God-man for Adam, we discern the means by which He is able to exert a recovering influence on all men. In His relation of Head, He has the natural authority or right to do this, and in His true manhood He has the power of appeal to individual men; while His condescension in uniting Himself with us for ever shows forth the deep interest God has in us, His great love
for us, and the high honour and strength of which our nature is capable, as shown in His own person; and thus He presents the true ideal and purpose of the Creator not only as attainable, but also as eminently worthy of attainment. And in doing this there is such a rich display of Divine compassion, righteousness, truth, unchangeableness, and love, as furnishes a powerful motive and a broad and firm basis of future obedience.
All this is addressed outwardly to the intellect, and inwardly to the heart of man, and treats him as a man, bringing all the faculties of his nature into operation in the response it calls forth, and presenting nothing extra-human either as motive or example. Moreover, we have the whole accomplished within the nature. It was man who sinned, and man who atoned; it was man who fell from God by disobedience, and man who brought him back by obedience unto death. Thus He showed that the sin and the fall did not spring from the nature, but from the individual, who went contrary to the nature; and that the thorough interpenetration of the human by the Divine is the true ideal of humanity, which Adam, in the vain exercise of his fancied independence, forgot,
but which, by the pattern and the power of His vicarious humanity, the incarnate God restored to the race.
The time of this Divine intervention is most important, as showing its nature and design. The trial occurred when not a birth had taken place, and when, therefore, the race could be dealt with as a whole, and not only the immediate consequences to the sinner could be stayed, but the new power of recovery could go forth on all. This shows that the result of the trial was not an unforeseen accident, but simply the first stage of a process which was planned at the beginning, and which must be passed before man could proceed to multiply and replenish the earth. At no later period could the effect of sin have been so completely met, or the intervention have had an universal influence. And as, in the nature of the case, reunion with God can only take place on the desire of man, and can only be continued by the persistency of that desire, so it would have been impossible to present a Divine revelation in action, so full of mercy and justice, and consequently so calculated to awaken desire in man by showing him his need and the condescension and love of his Maker, but for the
fall, which was so fenced about as to time and conditions as most emphatically to declare human impotence apart from God. It was the Creator's first moral lesson, and it is universal and everlasting.
It must be admitted that there are some principles involved in this Divine action which we understand only imperfectly, although they harmonize with the modes of lower life, in which we have imperfect shadows of them. Thus we see the law of heredity operating through all animal life, and only modified as to uniformity and completeness as the domestic animals come under the range of human culture and experiment. We also find it operating in the lower side of human nature to a large extent, and on the higher with sufficient force to produce permanent national characteristics. But this last form of its operation, which most nearly approaches our present question, is deficient in uniformity and force as compared with the twofold heredity of sin and salvation, which we see in man. We may, perhaps, find the basis of this special form of heredity in the peculiarities of our origin. Eve was not an independent creation after the manner of all other animals, who were made male and female;