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from the first. He takes the responsibility, and we must look that fact fairly in the face, of sending us into a world in which, as our nature develops, and His law is revealed, the cry, “ I am carnal, sold under sin,” will inevitably fall from our lips. We are bound to believe that Adam in Eden, dressing and keeping the garden, would not have afforded room, in his nature, for the unfolding of the whole idea of God. The true Man is the second man, the Lord from heaven, and the Manhood which is transformed into His likeness; and that Divine figure of a man, the man of God's eternal kingdom, abides not in Eden, but beyond the wilderness life of transgression, and beyond the river of death. I say, that we are bound to believe this, for God could, at His will, have abolished the fallen Adam and his race, and produced new unfallen children in each successive age of the world. But He has chosen to prolong the race of sinners, because from the first the one great aim of His heart was redemption. To reign as King in a redeemed creation has been from the first His vision of heaven.
And here, too, the vision of Redemption opens in its profound relation to the whole system of the universe, and the whole plan of God, in the creation, constitution, and government of the world It is the godlike act of God. God without a race to redeem by sacrifice, and to rule redeemed, must have kept the glory of His Godhead veiled. Emmanuel, God with us, declares for the first time the glory of the Father; the express image of His substance was then, and then only, unveiled. God made man free, knowing that the unfolding of his freedom in such a body, in such a world, would lead him into dread experience of transgression; would lead him down to death, unless He interposed to save. Accepting the responsibility of the existence of a world of sinners (and the Deluge could as easily have finished its work), He accepted at once the responsibilities of Redemption. At once He stooped to lift the burden which else had crushed His helpless child. At once He set to light the pathways of the wilderness, on the brow of the first sentence, a bright gem of hope. At once He placed the Manger, the Garden, the Cross, the Grave, fully before His sight. That was the share which He took at once of the great burden, the great sorrow, the great shame, with which sin had oppressed the world. That Divine share in the shame and sorrow makes man's history the supreme history of the universe. This is the thread which, entwined with the dark woof of the history of man's freedom, makes the fabric more costly, more precious, than any which is woven “in the roaring
loom of time,” more noble, more fruitful, more divine.
The sinless Adam could rest in Paradise till the serpent stung him into transgression. For the sinful Adam, through God's abounding love and the riches of His grace, there is rest in heaven, and in heaven alone. No restoration of Eden could satisfy the conditions of the grand problem which the Fall has stated. There are but two solutions possible. Either man must lie where his sin must sink him, in a deeper depth of shame and anguish than even a fiend can fathom, or man must rise through Redemption to a higher, diviner manhood, and eating of the tree of life in Christ, live before the face of God for ever. The first Adam is by grace abolished; the elder glory is done away by reason of the glory that excelleth. “ The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy : and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” Not from Eden, but from the pathways of the weary wilderness, all sinful and
stained with tears, the Bride, the Lamb's wife, is taken to be arrayed in the pure white splendour of His righteousness; and blessed, blessed beyond Adam in Eden, blessed beyond angels in heaven, are they who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
“ And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hear kened
unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, thou shalt not eat of it : cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken : for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”—GENESIS III. 17—19.
Puan HE main object of the first discourse was
to develop the thought expressed in the
words, “ Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.” We may not shut our eyes to the fact that the Fall is spoken of as a step in man's development, though, mystery as it may seem, if it rests there, a fatal one. A step out into freedom, but a freedom which, unless some