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Lecture on Romans 5 12-21 Continued

Lecture on Romans 5 12-21 Continued

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ROMAKS V. 12 — 21.

ROMAKS V. 12 — 21.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Aug 16, 2013
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LECTURE O ROMAS 5 12-21 COTIUEDREV. RALPH WARDLAW, D.D.ROMAKS V. 12 — 21.(fourth discourse.)The next subject, as already intimated, which the passagebrings before us, is the parallel and the contrast between thesin of the first Adam ivith its effects, and the ohediencc of thesecond Adam iclth its effects. We shall first attend to thepoints of parallelism.1. There is a parallel between the one and the other,such as exists between a iyge, and its antitype, verse 14 — " IliTevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, evenover them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam'stransgression, who is the figure of him that is to come."Where, then, it may be asked, can be the parallelism ]What resemblance is there between sin and obedience, be-tween misery and death — the dreadful effects of the one, andblessedness and Hfe — the happy results of the other ? Here,it must be granted, there is no correspondence, there is per-fect opposition. It is not in these things the parallel is tobe found. In what, then, does it lie? It Hes chiefly in onepoint ; namely, that the first and second Adam acted each apublic part, standing for others and not for themselvesmerely ; a part from which important results were to arise tothose whom they are considered respectively as representing.In tracing this parallelism, the principal difficulty lies inascertaining the import of the phrases by which the extentof the injury from the sin of the first Adam, and the extent22 LECTURE XXV.
of the benefit from the obedience of the second, are hereexpressed. These phrases are on both sides the same: — " the manif and " all men'"^ Surely, if there can be founda principle of interpretation, according to which these phrasesmay be understood on both sides with the same extent of meaning, this would bid fair to be the true one, inasmuch assuch agreement cannot in candour but be admitted to be farmore simple and natural, than understanding the samephrases mth a latitude of import so much greater on the oneside than on the other. This much, I think, ought to be atonce conceded by every ingenuous inquirer.Some, then, conceive that such a principle is to be foundin what they think a right conception of the extent of thecurse consequent on Adam's first sin. According to theseinterpreters, that curse consisted simply in temporal death,the dissolution of the soul and the body. Understand it so,they allege, and all is quite simple. All die in Adam ; allare made alive in Christ. The resurrection from the graveis to be as universal as the death that commits to it. Thedeath came by the first Adam, the resurrection comes by thesecond Adam. It is the death of all ; it is the resurrectionof all. This does, to be sure, sound very simple and veryplausible; plausible from its very seeming simplicity. Thereare objections to it, however, which appear to me quite in-superable. They are such as these : — (1.) What is temporal death? It is the dissolution of soul and body. Well, when soul and body are dissolved,what, according to this view of the curse, becomes of each?We know the effects as to the body — the inanimate, uncon-scious mass of clay; but what becomes of the soul] Herelies the dilficulty; here tlie dilemma. For if the separatesoul be miserable, then the curse, contrary to the hypothesis,consists in more than temporal death ; and on the otherhand, if the soul be happy (and if happy, holy) to what alight matter does this reduce the curse, and to what a lightmatter, consequently, redemption from it. On this account — ■
* Verses 15, 18, 19.ROMAS V. 12—21. 23(2.) It appears to indicate by far too low an estimate bothof the evil of sin, considered as transgression of the law, andof the redemption effected by the wonderful scheme of Christ's mediation, to consider temporal death as the fullamount of the curse on account of the former; and deliver-ance from the gi'ave consequently (for the dehverance fromthe curse must be commensurate with the extent of it) thefull amount of the redemption effected by the latter. I canneither imagine, on the one hand, that the curse against sincan be exhausted in mere temporal death, considering theguilt of rebellion against infinite purity, authority and love ;nor, on the other, that a scheme so fuU of di-vnne wonders asthe mediation of the Son of God should have no other de-sign and no other effect than to rescue the body from thegrave. Yet this must be all, if temporal death be all thecurse.(3.) Supposing the hypothesis true, that temporal deathcomes to aU men by the first Adam, and the resurrectionfrom that death comes equally to all by the second Adam,surely that which the Scriptures represent as coming to sin-ners by Jesus Clirist must be a benefit. ow it is admittedthat though the resurrection comes to all, it shall be to theimpenitent and unbeheving not a resurrection to life, but aresurrection to damnation. But is this a benefit] It seemsto me utterly vain to speak of the resurrection abstractly, orin itself considered, as a benefit. The resurrection cannot beso considered. The body lay in a state of absolute uncon-sciousness, and destitute of all sensation, and of aU sense of the loss it had sustained. It rises to suffering, to endlesssuffering. By the re-union of the body and soul, therefore,there is nothing gained but an augmentation of suffering. Ican regard it as nothing better than a mockery of the woesof the wretched victims of their own delusions, to speak of 

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