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Glance once more at the first
and what it teaches. (1) If through the trespass of the one man, Adam, the many died, unto the many the grace of God abounded through the one Man, Christ. Are we to understand the many ’in the one case as a lesser number than the many' in the other case ? (2) If through the one man death reigned, through the one Man life reigned. Is the reign of life to be less universal than the reign of death, which it is brought in to supersede? (3) If the issue of Adam's transgression was unto all men to condemnation, the grace of Christ's righteousness was unto all men unto justification of life. Have we any right to put a limited sense on all men' in the one instance more than in the other? I do most earnestly contend that, if we simply give ourselves up to the obvious statements of this passage, we must believe that the results of Christ's redemptive work shall be co-extensive with the results of Adam's fall; and, therefore, that the mediatorial reign of the God Man must and is to eventuate in the complete victory of divine grace and goodness, even in the will of God being done on earth as it is done in heaven.
And is it not just this we are led to by what St. Paul tells us in the other passage. He brings before us a certain sequence of events. First, there is the resurrection of Christ, then after that, at a great interval, as we know, for it is not yet come to pass, the resurrection of the saints at the coming of the Lord; then after that, at what interval we know not, but, as we infer from other passages, after the lapse of ages, the end. The end of what ? St. Paul
himself tells us, the end of the mediatorial reign. • Then cometh the end, when He delivereth up the kingdom to God, even the Father.' And when is this surrender to be made ? When He shall have brought to nought all rule and all authority and power,' when in fact He shall have accomplished the great object for which the kingdom was conferred upon Him, the subjecting of all things unto God. For this end all power was given to Him in heaven and on earth ; for this end did the mighty power
which raised Him from the dead set Him at Eph. i. 20, 21. the right hand of power, far above all principality and power, and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but in that which is to come. This sovereignty and power He is to exercise until the purpose of his being invested therewith is completed. He must reign till He hath put all enemies under his feet.' Even death, the last enemy, shall be brought to nought, for God hath put all things under his feet; there is no limitation to the dominion which has been given Him, nothing is exempted from the power of subjection conferred on Him; therefore the last enemy shall be brought to nought, death. Of course, indeed, as St. Paul goes on to show, in this universal sovereignty He is not included by whom and for whom that sovereignty was conferred on the Son of Man.
But,' says the Apostle, his mind reaching on to the end, when the object of the kingdom shall have been attained, But when He (God) shall declare that all things have been subjected to Him, it is evident that it is with the exception of Him who did make all things subject unto Him (Christ),' and
who so put them in subjection to Christ that He might bring them into subjection to God. Therefore, when that is accomplished He will surrender Himself and his kingdom unto the Father. And when all things shall be subject unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject to Him who made all things subject unto Him, that God may be all in all.'
Now, in this passage a truth of the deepest interest and moment is revealed, namely, that the kingdom of Christ, in its beginning and its completion, has for its one great end the glorification of the Father by the Son. Therefore, when that kingdom shall have reached its culmination in the subjection of all things to God, then He to whom it has been given will not retain it as its King, but deliver it up to the Father. Hence, the reign of Christ as the Son of Man will not, like that of earthly kings, endure when but only till He shall have put all enemies under his feet, being then absorbed into the all-pervading majesty of Him for whose glory, from first to last, it was carried onward. The kingdom of Christ, this passage teaches us, is to be consummated by the subjection of all things to God.
There can be no question then, I say, if these words of St. Paul are to be taken in their plain and obvious sense, that ultimately all things are to be brought by the Saviour King into subjection unto God, all things without any exception. That, so far, cannot be disputed. True, some will reply, we quite admit that; there can of course be no question but that ultimately all things shall be subjected unto God, but the question is, What does that mean? And
what, I would ask, can it mean but that at the last, all hostile influences being overcome and death itself brought to nought, all shall be brought into a state of willing surrender and loyal submission to the will of God? Nothing short of this would be either an adequate or suitable interpretation of the Apostle's words. This interpretation alone seems consistent and reasonable. It is said that when all things shall have become subject to Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject. Are we not to understand the word “subject' in a like sense in both cases? When it is said that Christ shall give up the kingdom to God the Father and be subject to Him, does it not mean willing surrender, loving and loyal submission; and when it is said that He will do this after all has been made subject to Him, does it not mean that in the end He will bring all things into like subordination ? Will any end but this fulfil the prayer, 'Thy kingdom come; thy will be Matt. vi. 10. done on earth as it is done in heaven'? There are those who tell us that Christ will, indeed, subdue all things unto God, but that it will be by the power of his grace in bringing some to love and obey God, and by the power of his wrath in crushing down into everlasting perdition those who resist bis will. And can that, with any propriety of language, be called a making all things subject, which consists, in part at least, in leaving untold myriads of souls, souls which God made and which Christ died to redeem, in hopeless misery and raging rebellion ? If this be the meaning of bringing all things into subjection to God, then where is the victory of Christ's kingdom over evil ? It may be a conquest
Col. i. 20.
Eph. i. 10.
over evil-doers, but where is the triumph over evil itself? If this be the true interpretation of the passage before us, then bow is that design of Christ's manifestation to be realized, namely, to destroy, to bring to nought, the works of the devil ? If this passage is so to be understood, then how are we to understand what St. Paul says, 'that it pleased the Father that in Christ should all fulness dwell, and having made peace by the blood of his cross, by Him to reconcile all things to Himself'? How, too, is that purpose of the ages to be accomplished, 'in the fulness of the times to gather up together again in one all things in Christ'? Once more, if the making all things subject be not the bringing all into holy and loyal submission to God, then what can St. Paul mean when he says that because of Christ's obedience unto death, even the death of the cross, ‘God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name which is above every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father'?
Before closing this chapter an apparent discrepancy must be noticed in the statements of Scripture respecting the character of the kingdom of Christ. In the prophecy of Daniel the dominion given to Messiah is described as an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away; and in the annunciation of the angel to the Virgin Mary it is said that of the kingdom to be given to Jesus 'there shall be no end. Yet, as we have seen, St. Paul declares that in the end the Son will deliver
the kingdom to the Father. But the discrepancy dis
hil. ii. 10, 11.
Dan, vii, 14.
Luke i. 33.