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NOR ANY OTHER CREATION.pdf

NOR ANY OTHER CREATION.pdf

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY SAMUEL COX



" Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation, shall be able to
separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our
Lord." — Romans viii. 39.
BY SAMUEL COX



" Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation, shall be able to
separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our
Lord." — Romans viii. 39.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Nov 09, 2013
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NOR ANY OTHER CREATION.BY SAMUEL COX" Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation, shall be able toseparate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus ourLord." — Romans viii. 39.Twenty years ago or more, when I first ventured toalter a few words in reading the lessons of the day,and had substituted the word " creation " for the word"creature" in the 19th, 20th, and 21st verses of thisChapter, a good old man rose at a meeting of theChurch and, with a brow of grave rebuke, demandedwhat Bible it was that I had introduced into the pulpit,and by what authority I had introduced it. When Ireplied that, purely on my own authority, I had deviatedhere and there from our Authorized Version in order torepresent the original Greek a little more faithfully, itsoon became apparent that on this point he was im-pervious to argument, and must be quietly brushed onone side. " What did he care for the Greek .'' Hewanted the mind of the Spirit ; " and the mind of theSpirit was to be found only in our noble but faultytranslation. But, to-day, no one would think of takingNOR ANY OTHER CREATION.the objection which it was very natural for him to takethen. Or if any old man, clinging to the prejudices of bygone years, were to take it, his very grandchildrenwould rise up against him, and point out that this alter-ation had been made in our Revised Version, and wasapproved by the best authorities.
 
Yet, while our Revisers had the courage of theirscholarship in dealing with Verses 19-21, that courageseems to have failed them in dealing with this 39thVerse, where the same Greek word is used, and wheretherefore it should, by their own rule, be rendered bythe same English word. Instead of putting " nor anyother creation " into the text, they have banished theword " creation " into the margin, and retained the word" creature " in the text, although every one must admitthat between a single creature and a whole creationthere is a considerable, and even an enormous, difference.They took this course, I apprehend, however, not somuch through lack of courage as from the fear of becoming unintelligible, or perhaps because they had noclear, or no unanimous, conception of what the Apostlemeant when he declared that no other or diiTerentcreation to this would be able to separate us from thelove of God as revealed in and by Christ Jesus our Lord.And indeed if they had put the right word (" creation ")into the text, what do you suppose the ordinary readerof the New Testament would have made of it ? Whatwould ^^« have made of it ? Even if you had consultedthe commentators you would have found that most of them assume St. Paul's phrase to be nothing moreNOR ANY OTHER CREA TION. 93than a rhetorical and sublime et cetera ; that when,after enumerating certain great forces which, despitetheir greatness, would be unable to separate us fromthe love of God, the Apostle added, " nor will any othercreation ; " he was not rising to the climax of his im-passioned affirmation, but was simply asserting that" nothing else," no other and similar force, would eversucceed in detaching us from that love.Now even if we take it thus, even if we find in his
 
words no more than a simple denial that any conceivableforce or being will ever divide us from God and God'slove, they have a very noble meaning for us, and, if wecan believe them, will yield us a sovereign consolationand support under all the changes of time and all thefluctuating emotions which those changes breed in ourhearts. But is there any reason why we should notfind in them a much more clear and definite conceptionthan this, and therefore a much more sustaining andconsolatory assurance ? I think not. I think there aretwo senses in which St. Paul may have used the word" creation " here ; that we may take it in both thesesenses ; and that, instead of regarding this pregnantphrase as a mere et cetera, however sublime, we mayfind in it a very true and noble climax to his impas-sioned asseveration.I, First of all, he may use the word " creation " here,as he uses it elsewhere, in an imaginative but most truesense ; as when, for example, he speaks of the kingdomof Christ as " a new creation," and declares that to thebeliev'er in Christ " all things become new." When we94 NOR ANY OTHER CREATION.read such phrases as these, or when in the Hebrewpoets and prophets we read of the heaven and theearth passing away before the advent of the Lord, orbeing folded up like a scroll which has no furthermeaning or use, we are apt to regard them as merepoetry, or, at best, as poetic exaggerations of factscapable of being stated in a much more cool andreasonable form. And yet this language is not peculiarto the Bible ; it is as common outside the covers of theBible as within them ; and the validity of it is confirmedby the whole history of human thought no less than byour private experience. Philosophy has always affirmedthat what we call the real universe has no existence

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