« ÎnapoiContinuați »
but she was taken out of man, so that Adam only was to be the head and source of the race. We cannot suppose that this mode of production was the correction of a mistake, because all previous animal life would have supplied a pattern for this; nor can we conceive of it but as the result of some peculiarity of the nature, and as a means of perpetuating that peculiarity. At any rate, it harmonizes with the facts of human history, and shows that the whole nature, physical, intellectual, and moral, has come from Adam. If this be the effect of headship in the one case, also in the other. And we can see a sufficient reason for all possible guarding, in the rank and value of the race now coming into existence, of which the power of entail in the head is an important element.
After all, this, like every other question of life, is one of fact, and our science is of avail only as it rests on and accounts for facts. Our facts here are numerous and precise from the first on both sides. Cain, like his father, refused to submit to the Divine rule, and would not acknowledge the Mediator as the way to communion with God; and as the consequence of this obstinate determination to act only after his own pleasure with respect to God, all other obligation was over-ridden, and he became his brother's murderer. But Abel acknowledged sin, which needed a substitute to stay the penalty, and acquiesced in this mode of union with God, which brought him Divine acceptance and blessing. These two successions continue to the present time, every case, on the one side, showing deliberate sin, after the manner of the old Adam, and on the other a glad and thankful acceptance of the help and blessing offered by the last Adam, the quickening Spirit. We have only intimations of the earliest history of the race, and therefore are unable to speak with absolute accuracy as to their moral and spiritual character. But as far as our imperfect knowledge helps us to a judgment, their sin was an entire rejection of Divine rule, in imitation of Cain, who went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of his wandering.' And in breaking the bands of the Lord and casting away His cords from them, they broke all other bands which united them to their fellows, so that anarchy prevailed, each man taking with the strong hand all he desired and was able to seize, until the earth was filled with violence.
But here we find an Enoch who walked with God, and a Noah who was righteous before Him. The flood which swept that intensely wicked generation away, taught too plainly to be forgotten, that however easy it might be for an individual to rebel against his Maker while surrounded by those who obeyed Him, with only personal deterioration as the consequence, yet that national life could not exist without a recognition of His presence and authority. So that, although the just views of the one living, supreme God, with which the different families of men left the plain of Shinar, were obscured, corrupted, perverted, and all but rendered powerless, yet in the long course of history since, we find no nation without a God who ruled, and whom they were bound to obey. In many cases, both individually and collectively, they failed to obey as they acknowledged they ought, just as Christian nations at the present day; but they acknowledged the justice of the chastisements which overtook them for their sins, and attempted amendment, but in no case did their troubles even drive them to Atheism. It has been left for a people in our own time, trained by a perverted Christianity, to imitate the old world, and to prove by bitter experience that without any special Divine intervention such lawlessness rendered social and national life impossible. The men who exercised rule on these conditions, first slew their enemies, then their friends, and would soon have produced a desert had not their own suppression happily prevented. National atheism is incapable of producing anything but monsters. In the present condition of men, then, we have proof of the transmission of those characteristics of humanity which we see in Adam after he had come under the rule of the Mediator; and the connection of the incarnate God with our race, as we have expressed it, more fully accounts for this state of things than any other theory.
By the union of the Divine and human natures in the Lord Jesus, He is naturally the mediator between God and man, so that all access to the Father is by Him, all Divine acts are done by Him, and all rule is in His hands. The world is already incipiently reconciled to God in Him, and He has authority and power to persuade sinners to renounce sin, and accept an individual reconciliation. By the same means, and on the same grounds, He is able more perfectly to establish the inward harmony, until the consciousness testifies : 'I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.'
It is no valid objection to these representations, that we are unable to demonstrate the mode of this inward operation. We have seen that this new condition is a life, for which we must be born again;' and we know that we are unable to define life of any kind.
. Our descriptions are empirical, and for them we are restricted to our own individual experience. How then can we be expected to present tangible evidence of the origin of this life, which comes from the operation of Him whom we can only know by the intuitive power of faith? Every man who possesses this life, knows its reality and nature by the direct testimony of consciousness, and he can only make it manifest to others by its fruits. By the same kind of evidence he is himself assured of the source, because it was only when he beheld the incarnate God as the Reconciler, that the life began, and it is only as he continues to behold Him that it grows. But the seed of the life, as well as the seed of sin, comes to us, irrespective of nition, by that peculiar law of heredity which underlies and pervades our race.