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God, though assailed by all that the powers of darkness could do against him. The mouth of man is therefore shut for ever, for he cannot, in face of such evidence to the contrary, affirm an original impossibility to fulfil the demands of the Creator. *

This gives us the key to the jealous care of God, in the Scriptures, to assert the bona fide humanity of Christ, in the words that he came in the flesh: and it should induce vs, because of God's care about it, to attach the highest importance to the belief in the bona fide humanity of the Lord.

To deny the bona fide humanity of Christ, is to rob him of that which he has claimed upon the basis of that fact, namely, the having glorified God upon the earth. It is also to rob God the Father of the vindication of his name, which it was one of the chief objects of the incarnation of his Son to effect.

Before we enter upon a more particular examination of the consequences of the obedience of Christ in its result upon all created intelligences, let us look at two points which strengthen the view we have taken, that it was the purpose of God by the obedience of Christ to do that which we may see has been effected by that means.

The first arises from the circumstances attending the birth of the Saviour. It was given to the angels to announce the purposes of God in his son, in the words, “ Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace," (Luke ii. 14.)

, Here we see two things attached to the circumstance of the birth of Christ as man (that is as the seed of the woman). First, glory to God; secondly, peace on earth. The conjunction “and,” shews the two things are connected. They centred in Christ, by whom both were to be effected; they meet also in the believer who reaps the benefit both of the glory which his obedience brought to God, and of the peace to man. But the same word “ and" shews they are also separate things; one in addition to the other. There is God's part and man's part; to God glory—to man, peace, and these were to result from the birth of Christ as man.

We find the counterpart of the former in the Lord's own words, “I have glorified thee upon the earth, I have finished the work which thou gavest me

Note.—Some may find difficulty in understanding how the obedience of Christ can have any condemning power upon those who have fallen, because he, as God, could not have been in circumstances of possibility to fall.

To such it may be observed that “possibility to fall,” is not the question; possibility to obey is the question. The question, too, respects beings before they had fallen. It is a question, of whether they were, or were not created in the possibility to obey : that is the point; wherefore, to bring in any question concerning possibility to fall,” is a mere shifting of the real ground, a blinking of the original question.

That original quiestion is decided by another ;-viz., was Christ placed in such circuinstances upon the earth, as to have been at once a man, as Adam was, when he was created, and a little lower than the angels were, as they were created ? The Scriptures assert the truth, the bonâ fide and literal truth, of both those facts; and also that he glorified God, by a perfect obedience, while in that condition of being. Wherefore, his obedience has evinced, what the disobedient ought to have done, and might have done, and hence the condemning power to them.

That it was not possible for Christ to fall, is an abstract truth which none can question. But to bring it into connection with his obedience as man, indicates a secret belief that divinity was the power by which he persevered. This is distinctly disavowed in the words of Phil. ii. 7, which declare that when he took upon him the form of a servant, he divested himself of the form of God. And this clearly intimates that divinity was not the power by which he persevered. (N. B.-- The Greek word, which has been translated « made himself of no reputation,”- - means “to divest oneself— to empty oneself.”)

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to do," and it was just before he uttered those words, when his work had been finished and he was about to be offered up, that Christ himself noticed its connection of condemnation upon the world and upon Satan.

He did so in the words, “ Now is the judgment of this world ; now shall the prince of this world be cast out,” (John xii. 31.) and he refers again to the latter as a thing done (though it was fully accomplished only when he had risen from the dead) in John xvi. 11, “the prince of this world is judged." The counterpart of the latter portion of the angels' song is found in the words, " being justified by faith we have peace with God;" “ He hath made peace through the blood of his cross.

Thus we see that to glorify God upon the earth, and to die for sinners, were two separate ends of the mission of Christ. The accomplishment of the first can be found in his character of the righteous servant alone. The second was fulfilled only upon the cross.

As God has seen fit to connect these two ends, we might be sure they are both equally and essentially necessary parts of the mission of Christ; and this leads to another important thought, namely:

That the gospel plan of salvation would be utterly incompatible with the glory of God except upon the basis of the obedience of one made, in very deed, both a little lower than the angels, and of the flesh and blood of man.

For let us suppose that the incarnation of Christ had contemplated only the providing of a sin offering. Surely the atonement would have sufficed to meet the holiness of God, for he himself has said, “ He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world ;" that is, there is in his blood an efficacy sufficient to cleanse the whole race of man even in God's sight; but what would have been the state of things had that been all which God had effected in sending his Son into the world ?

A dispensation which provided only for the pardon of the fallen among men, if even it had embraced the whole of the fallen of the human race, would not have met the circumstances of the case; for the gospel plan of salvation has no aspect of hope or of pardon upon the myriads of angels who have also fallen.

Besides which, the gospel plan of salvation does not provide for the indiscriminate and necessary salvation even of all the fallen of the human race ; the salvation of those among them who are saved, depends upon the electing mercy of God, wherefore a dispensation which provided only for the salvation of some, while others not more guilty, were left to themselves, would scarcely place the justice--that is, the impartiality of God in a clear point of view, because as (in the supposed dispensation) it would be unproven that there had been original ability to continue in obedience, all the fallen might appear to have an equal claim upon the mercy of God. Therefore such a dispensation as has been supposed, would in the estimation of the fallen, have afforded ground to impeach the glory of the Most High on two points.

1st. That no proof existed that either angels or man had been created with powers adequate to their continuance in obedience ; wherefore the sovereign will by which the Creator had elected some, necessarily implied that he had predestined, even in the act of creation, the non-elect to fall, and to its penalty.

2nd. That the eternal punishment, whether of angels or of men, was an unjust thing, seeing that, for all that had been shown to the contrary, their failure had arisen from an irresistible power of evil, which would manifestly seem to rest upon the creator who had permitted it.

We may, therefore, perceive the absolute necessity to the glory of God, that the gospel plan of salvation should have respect to his own glory as well as to the salvation of man. To vindicate the justice of God in the act by which he shows mercy to some, there was a previous and absolute necessity that the whole of the fallen should be stripped of all pretence to a claim upon him. It is that which the obedience of Christ has effected ; it has placed all the fallen upon the common ground of guilty before God. But if all are guilty before him it is obvious none can have any


upon him. The proper expectation of the guilty can be only that which God has declared to be their expectation. He has said that the wages of sin is death ; that refers to the second death alone, and intimates the eternal wrath of God to be the due reward of sin, even as wages are the due meed of work done. That is in the Scriptures declared to be the due of all men by nature ; and none could justly complain if it fell upon all. Still less can any complain if the mercy of God should spare some ; and it is in this way election comes in. It is the sovereign exercise of the mercy of God in Christ to some of the guilty. Of two equally guilty no injustice is done to the one by pardoning the other. But is there not partiality? There can be none

-and it is to remove even the shadow of this ground of thought that pardon is equally offered to all the guilty ; nay more, God has commanded all men every where to repent and believe the gospel, declaring it to be his power unto salvation unto every one that believes.

It is only when we perceive that the glory of God is in question as well as the salvation of man, that we can at all estimate the grandeur of the design of God in Christ. It is then only that we can appreciate the jealous care of the Scriptures to assert that Christ came in the flesh ; for we see that it is only by admitting the literal truth of that fact, we can understand also the nature (in its condemnation upon the angels who have fallen) of the parallel assertion that he was made a little lower than the angels.

Finally, it is this alone that enables us to understand why the whole energies of Satan were bent against Christ's earthly course. ciated the result of condemnation to himself, of the possible continuance in obedience of the first Adam, and full well did he appreciate the eternal consequences to him and to his fellows of the perseverance of the Second Adam. The fact the mere fact of Satan's strenuous endeavours to hinder and overthrow Christ, is the fullest virtual proof that Satan, at least, had no sort of doubt that his perseverance would snatch from him every shadow of pretence whereby he has either justified himself or sought to arraign the justice of God. And what a testimony bas Satan himself afforded to the fact that Christ was at once in the place of “a little lower than the angels," and truly man! that testimony arises out of his efforts to overthrow Christ, efforts which could not and would not have been made, had he not deemed him to have occupied that place.

The Scriptures present us with the assurance that Christ maintained a perfect and unswerving obedience to the will of God, and that he by that perfect obedience has glorified God upon the earth. We can never hope to approach to any thing like an appreciation of the import of that fact, in its bearing upon men, that is upon all men, excepting by an implicit reception of

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it in its literal truth. If we permit ourselves to be misled into any thought which would resolve the obedience of Christ into a consequence of his divinity, we thereby virtually deny that he has glorified God; because that could only have been done by him as man. But we not only derogate from the glory of God which has accrued to him from the vindication of his name by the obedience of the man Christ, we also open the door to another evil, even that of evading in our own instance the effect upon us which God has designed should be produced by Christ's obedience as man. That designed effect is to place every man upon the ground of guilty before God; and who that believes the obedience of Christ was the consequence of the divinity and not of the humanity, of his nature, can see any effect of condemnation upon himself ? Who that believes the perseverance of Christ was the result of " a divine spring of thought and feeling,” can for a moment admit any parallelism of circumstances between Christ and himself ? But to deny that parallelism is to deny that Christ came in the flesh! It is to deny that “He was tempted in all points like as we are;" and then the words which follow that declaration, viz., yet without sin," instead of suggesting the condemnation in which our fles necessarily stands by the contrast, are read so as at once to account for his perseverance through trials, and excuse our own faultiness under them.

The effect of the bona fide belief of the perfect obedience of Christ as man should be, in the believer, that of joy, that by knowing that righteous servant he has been justified. (Isaiah liii. 11.) In the unbeliever its perception should have the effect of driving him to seek by faith, that righteousness, which while he cannot attain to it by his own works, God will nevertheless require of him, if he will not accept of that which Christ has wrought out.

Before going into the consideration of the manner in which the wisdom of God is so singularly and especially shewn in election, it may be well to clear up a matter which may have seemed to have been somewhat confounded in the preceding remarks. It may appear to some that a distinct line of reasoning should have been adopted in respect of Adam, who was created “perfect," and those descended from him, who, by his means alone, have been made sinners. But the Scriptures do not authorise any such distinction. All men are involved in a common liability to the wrath of God—a liability which results from the fact that they have derived the evil principle from Adam ; an evil principle which places them by natural birth in a position of heart-alienation from and enmity to God.

While, therefore, none who have derived life from Adam alone have ever been in a position to do what Adam might have done, neither can it be said that God is requiring of them a perfect obedience which they cannot render. On the contrary, he has expressly declared, that“ by the deeds of the law” (that is by a man's own righteousness) no flesh shall be justified in his sight." But he has also set forth Christ as “the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes."

By faith in him men are justified from all things from which they could not have been justified by the law of Moses.”

In direct connection with this truth, God has also declared that he has fixed a day in which he will judge the secrets of all hearts by the Man whom he hath appointed. In that great and terrible day those only will be judged by their works, who themselves prefer to stand on that ground before God. All who reject the way of escape which the mercy of God has provided in Christ against that day, having themselves rejected escape by faith, must (so God

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has willed it) answer to him for that obedience which the Creator has an indefeasible right to expect from his creatures. It is then the obedience of the Man who will be their judge, will be found to place in speechless confusion all those who will not now have him to reign over them.

But it is said " how can I believe, unless one of those predestined to life ?” To this the reply is—to God alone is known who is predestined : “ secret things belong to God, but those which are revealed, to us.” (Deut. xxix. 29.) But he has, in the most explicit words said, “ He is not willing that any should perish ; " and in yet more positive terms, “ He will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth.” To this he has added his command, “God now commandeth all men every where to repent, (turn to him) * BECAUSE he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world." He has said further, “All who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved;" and that Lord has, with pointed reference to that declaration said, “ Him that cometh to me I will in nowise cast out.” What words can more effectually convey the desire that all should be saved ? Yet it is more than desire, since he, the Almighty, beseeches sinners to be reconciled to him. That is the language of the Gospels. “We are ambassadors for Christ; as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you, be ye reconciled to God.” (2 Cor. v. 20, 21.)

That is what is revealed and belongs to man; and not that, which being secret, can belong to God alone.

All excuses (in the face of such declarations) whereby men suffer themselves to evade a compliance with the Gospel call, will be found based in an entire absence of will to do so, as the Lord said to the Jews, “Ye will not come to me that ye might have life," and the cause of that unwillingness will be found one and the same in all men, viz., the preference of things seen, to those unseen -a love of darkness rather than light-the fear lest they may be subjected to restraints to which they desire not to be subjected.

But one thing is evident, viz. : that salvation from the wrath to come, is freely offered to all men, and together with it, an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Christ. Wherefore the rejecting those offers is purely the fault of those who reject them. It cannot be chargeable upon God, since he wills, beseeches, and commands every one to believe and be saved.

And it is this very consideration that enables us to appreciate the wisdom of God in election. The wisdom of a means is measured by its fitness of adap

* A great deal of evil has resulted from misunderstanding the meaning of the word "repentance.It has been almost universally thought to enjoin only sorrow for sin, and men feel they have no such sorrow, and do not see how to originate it. But the Scriptures authorise another interpretation of that expression. In one place, indeed, it is placed in a distinct point of view, as differing from sorrow_"Godly sorrow," the Apostle says, worketh repentance unto life.That is sorrow is but the means of turning a man to life. The word everywhere translated to repent,” or “repentance," signifies also turning from one course of action to another. So when the Jews asked John (Luke jii. 8—14) to describe the fruits of repentance, (“ What shall we do then ?") he clearly indicates the nature of repentance to be the desisting from evil and adoption of good, and therein agrees with Ezekiel xviii. 27. “When the wicked man turneth from the wickedness he hath committed,”' &c. Under the Gospel, repentance signifies " turning to God in the way of his appointment,” by faith in Christ, who is that way. It is not meant that sorrow for sin is not an element of repentance, but that the latter word has a much wider meaning than mere sorrow.


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