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Making, Destroying, And Saving Man.

Making, Destroying, And Saving Man.

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Published by glennpease

" And God said, Let us make man." — Gen. 1. 26.
"And the Lord said, I will destroy man." — Gen. vi 7.
" Will he reserve his anger for ever ? " — Jer. iii. 5.
" The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" — Luke xix. 1 a

" And God said, Let us make man." — Gen. 1. 26.
"And the Lord said, I will destroy man." — Gen. vi 7.
" Will he reserve his anger for ever ? " — Jer. iii. 5.
" The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" — Luke xix. 1 a

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 08, 2012
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MAKIG, DESTROYIG, AD SAVIG MA.
BY JOSEPH PARKER, D.D." And God said, Let us make man." — Gen. 1. 26."And the Lord said, I will destroy man." — Gen. vi 7." Will he reserve his anger for ever ? " — Jer. iii. 5." The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" — Luxexix. 1 aIF you could bring together into one view all the words of Godexpressive of his purposes concerning man, you would bestruck with the changefulness which seems to hold his mind incontinual uncertainty. He will destroy, yet the blow never falls ;he will listen to man no more, yet he speeds to him in the day of trouble and fear ; he will make an utter end, yet he saves oahfrom the flood, and plucks Lot as a brand from the fire ; his armis stretched out, yet it is withdrawn in tender pity. So changefulis he who changeth not, and so fickle he in whom there is noshadow of turning ! We cannot but be interested in the study of so remarkable a fact, for surely there must be some explanationof changefulness in Omniscience and variation of feeling in theInhabitant of eternity. You never read of God being disappointedwith the sun, or grieved by the irregularity of the stars. Henever darkens the morning light with a frown, nor does he evercomplain of any other of the work of his hands than man, madein his own image and likeness I he does indeed say that he willdestroy " both man and beast, and the creeping thing, and thefowls of the air," but it is wholly on account of man's sin ; for, aseverything was made for man, so when man falls all that wasmade for him and centred in him goes down in the great collapse.Why should there be blithe bird-music in the house of death ?Why should the earth grow flowers when the chief beauty haslost its bloom? So all must die in man. When he falls heshakes down the house that was built for him. So we comeagain to the solemn but tender mystery of God's changefulness,
 
and ask in wonder, yet in hope, whether there can be foundany point at which are reconciled the Changeable and theEverlasting ?But let us be sure that we are not mistaken in the terms of thecase. Is it true that there is any change in God ? is not theapparent change in him the reflection of the real change that is inGen. i. 26.] MAKIG AD SA VIG MA. 165ourselves ? I not only undertake to affirm that such is the case,but I go farther, and affirm that the very everlastingness of theDivine nature compels exactly such changes as are recorded inthe Bible. If you say that man ought not to have been createdas a changeable being, then you say in other words that manought not to have been created at all. If you find fault with man'sconstitution, you find fault with God, and if you find fault withGod I have no argument with you. I take man as he is, and Iwant to show that Divine love must manifest itself, either incomplacency or anger, according to the conduct of mankind.I must remind you that this principle is already in operationin those institutions which we value most, and that it ie a prin-ciple on which we rely for the good order, the permanent security,and the progress of society.This principle is in constant operation in family life. By thegracious necessities of nature the child is tenderly beloved. Thewhole household is made to give way to the child's weakness.The parents live their lives over again in the life of the child.For his sake hardship is undergone and difficulty is overcome.The tenderest care is not too dainty, the most persistent patienceis not accounted a weariness. But sin comes : ingratitude,rebellion, defiance ; family order is trampled on, family peace isviolated; and in proportion as the parent is just, honourable, true,and loving, will he be grieved with great grief; he will not bepetulant, irritable, or spiteful, but a solemn and bitter grief willweigh down his desolated heart Then he may mourn the
 
child's birth, and say, with breaking and most tearful voice, " Ithad been better that the child had not been born." Then stillhigher aggravation comes. Something is done which must bevisited with anger, or the parent must lose all regard for truthand for the child himself. ow, all punishment for wrong-doingis a point on the line which terminates in death. Consider thatwell, if you please. It may, indeed, be so accepted as tolead to reformation and better life ; but that does not alter thenature of punishment itself. Punishment simply and strictly aspunishment is the beginning of death. Have you, then, changedin your parental love because you have punished your child?Certainly not. The change is not in you; it is in the child.If you had forborne to punish, then you would have lost your166 THE PEOPLE'S BIBLE. [Gen. 1. 26own moral vitality, and would have become a partaker in the verysin which you affected to deplore. If you are right-minded, youwill feel that destruction is better than sinfulness ; that sinfulness,as such, demands destruction ; and if you knew the full scope oiyour own act you would know that the very first stripe given for sinis the beginning of death. But I remember the time when youcaressed that child and fondled it as if it was your better life ,you petted the child, you laid it on the softest down, you sang ityour 'sweetest lullabies, you lived in its smiles ; and now I seeyou, rod in hand, standing over the child in anger ! Have youchanged ? Are you fickle, pitiless, tyrannical ? You know youare not. It is love that expostulates ; it is love that strikes. If that child were to blame you for your changefulness you wouldknow what reply to make. Your answer would be strong inself-defence, because strong in justice and honour.We have exactly the same thing in the larger family calledSociety. When a man is punished by society, it is not a proof that society is fickle in temper ; it is rather a proof that society isso far conservative, and even everlasting in its substance, as todemand the punishment of every offender. Society is formed toprotect and consolidate all that is good and useful in its own

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