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glory. It is through death and out of death that, chap. xiv. the body of sin being destroyed, we are made alive Rom. vi. 6. unto God. The killing of the old man precedes, and Eph. iv. 22–24. is the process to, the formation of the new man in Col. iii. 5—10. us. Scripture is full of this death and destruction in order to life. The heavens and the earth them- 2 Pet. iii. 10–13. selves are to perish, undergoing a baptism of fire, that out therefrom may come forth the new heavens and the new earth. Is this so ? Then, when the terms death and destruction are applied to future punishment, are we to ignore all this, and in sheer arbitrariness to say that they mean nothing but final, hopeless, and irremediable ruin? I cannot
On the contrary, when I consider how in nature fresh and fragrant forms of life grow out of death and decay; when I think how out of that which is vile and refuse the processes of chemistry can extract exquisite scents and glowing colours ; when I remember how the most beneficent results are evolved from the visitation of God's judgments on earth, terrible and destructive as they seem; when I note how in the spiritual world death is the way to life; when I know that the very words which are used in Hebrew to express destruction signify also completion ; when I ponder all this, I do permit myself to believe that when future punishment is spoken of as destruction, it denotes a destruction not final and absolute, but a destruction through which and out of which, under the mighty and mysterious operation of divine grace, the subjects of it shall come forth purged and purified from evil, the wondrous monuments to saints and angels of the transforming love and power of the Saviour King.
THE EFFECTS OF CHRISTS REDEMPTION COMMEN
SURATE WITH THE EFFECTS OF ADAM'S PALL.
SEVERAL passages have now been discussed, commonly advanced as conclusive by those who hold the dogma of endless perdition. Before this volume closes, other passages will have to be considered, and certain objections weighed, which many deem fatal to the position which it is the object of these pages to establish. But resuming, for the present, the direct argument, I wish now to place before the reader what seems to me additional and
decided testimony in its favour. And, first, let that remarkable parallel, and yet contrast, be noted which St. Paul draws between Adam and the effects of his sin and Christ and the effects of his redemption. They are parallel, in that each is a head of the human race, and in that what they did equally involved and affected the whole race. They are in contrast, in that the act of the one was sin and brought death to all, and in that the act of the other was righteousness and brought life to all. As the rendering of this passage in the English version is somewhat inadequate, I venture to place before the reader a revised translation, interposing where necessary explanatory remarks. The bringing in of righteous
Rom. v. 12-21.
ness and life by Christ, in its analogy to the bringing chap. xv. in of sin and death by Adam, begins to be treated of by the Apostle at the twelfth verse : ‘Like as through one man sin entered into the world, and through sin death, and thus (in this way) death spread through unto all men, for that all sinned.' At this point the Apostle abruptly breaks off the parallel to explain how, consistently with what he had previously said, Where there is not law, neither is there transgression,' how, consistently with this, it could now be said that prior to the giving of the law on Mount Sinai all sinned. 'For up to the time of the law there was sin in the world, but sin is not reckoned where law is not; is not, i.e., formally put in account by God where there is no law. But though that be so, the fact remains that death as a consequence of sin prevailed before the giving of the law. Nevertheless,' continues the Apostle,
death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who sinned not after the likeness of the transgression of Adam,' sinned not, i.e., just as Adam did, who sinned against a known definite command. Resuming the parallel with the words, 'who is a type of him that was to come,' the Apostle proceeds to show that not only are the effects of Christ's obedience co-extensive with the effects of Adam's sin, but that the free gift of grace surpasses the transgression and its consequences. "Howbeit not as the act of transgression, so also is the gift of grace.' There is a difference, he points out, both in degree and in kind. “For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift abound in (by means of the grace of the
one Man, Jesus Christ, unto the many. And not as through one man that sinned so is the gift, for the judgment (that pronounced by God upon Adam) was by occasion of one man (having sinned) unto condemnation, but the free gift was by occasion of many trespasses unto justification. For if by the trespass of the one death reigned through the one, much more shall they who receive the abundance of the grace and of the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ. So then, (here St. Paul recapitulates and re-states the parallel and its distinctions) as through one transgression the issue was unto all men unto condemnation, even so through one righteous act the issue was unto all men unto justification of life. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also (after the same manner through the obedience of the one the many shall be made righteous. Now the law (of Moses) came in besides, that the trespass might be multiplied: but where sin was multiplied grace did beyond measure abound, in order that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace may reign through righteousness unto life eternal through Jesus Christ our Lord.'
Now herein it will be observed Adam is set forth as a figure of the Adam that was to come, the Last Adam as He is elsewhere called; and the issue of the transgression of the one man, Adam, and the issue of the righteousness of the one Man, Christ, are set over, the one against the other, as co-extensive, the one for death, the other for life. And with this may be compared another antithetic parallel pre
sented by St. Paul. “For since through man is death, through man is the resurrection of the dead ; 1 Cor. xv. 20—28. for just as in the Adam all die, so in the Christ shall all be made alive.' The contrast is complete, the points being put in the sharpest possible antithesis. In Adam universal death, in Christ universal life. He does not say, as in the Adam all die, so in the Christ some shall be made alive, but all; the one is co-extensive with the other. But this making alive'is not to be all at once, but in a certain order and succession. First, there is the resurrection of Christ Himself as the firstfruits, the pledge and earnest, that is, of the great coming harvest. Then, after a great interval, follows the resurrection of his saints at his coming. Then, passing over another interval, the mind of the Apostle reaches on to the end, the consummation of the redemptive work and mediatorial reign of Christ, when the great purpose for which all power was given to Him in heaven and on earth having been accomplished, in the bringing death to nought and in the subjection of all things to God, He shall render up the kingdom to the Father, and Himself become subject to Him that put all things under Him, in order that God may be all in all.
Now, if the foregoing passages are to be taken in the plain, simple, obvious import of their language, can it be questioned but that in terms most explicit and distinct they assert that the results of divine grace shall be co-extensive with the results of human sin, that the effects of the redemptive work of Christ, as the Last Adam, shall be commensurate with, yea, shall overpass, the effects of the First Adam's fall?