This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
I Cor. XV. 45. And so it is written. The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. We look back to two Adams ; one the natural, one the spiritual Adam ; one the father of our old nature, and the other the author of our renewed nature ; one the head of our fallen race, the other the head of our redeemed generations. From the one flows on a stream of sorrows and disappointments, of sicknesses and corruption, from the other flows in a flood of grace and joys remedial, of health and hopes beyond the grave. And yet both Adams were sons of God; one by creation, the other by an eternal generation : both Adams had the likeness of God; one as the shadow has a resemblance to the substance, the other as the impress bears the exact likeness of the seal. By a reference to these two Adams we are able to account for the mixture of good and evil in the
world at large, and in our own particular persons, F
66 BEBMOX X. Of course there still remains that dark question^ hw there should be evil at all, while the great First Canse ifi from everlasting to everlasting good^ and onlj good ; Who by His prophet Isaiah has directly contradicted the doctrine of the Eastern sage oonceming two principles co-ordinate, of good and evil, where it is written, I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the Ught, and create darkness : I make peace, Mi create evil: I the Lord do all these thmgs.* It is indeed a dark question, and perhaps never to hejklly answered in this world: but mere hum^^ speculators have not thrown any clear light upon i^» while the simple history of the Bible has satisfied tt^ * more generous minds of humble enquirers. Th^^ history tells us in few words the origin of our rac^^ How God, aiPber He had in the forethought of Hi^ creative wisdom prepared the earth and readjusted it(^ previous elements, settled the atmosphere, and ordained the laws of night and day; carpeted the land with green herbs and many-coloured flowers; set up the mighty forests and peopled them with birds and beasts; caused the waters to flow in their own channels and teem with animal and vegetable life; did at last, to crown His great work, build up from the dust of earth a shapely creature to rule over all the rest, as His own representative in authority, and truth, and holiness, and wisdom. * Isaiah xlv. 6, 7.
SBBMO X. 67 The Lord God formed mem of the dust of the ground y and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul: perfect as to his nature^ worthy, so far as the material went, of the glorious workmanship of God Almighty ; full-grown at once, with full powers of manhood, with all his senses fresh and ready for free exercise, with an expansive mind and a large intelligence, with a heart pure and open to his Maker's breathings, with well-tempered passions and evenly-balanced appetites. Such an one, doubtless, as has never been bom into the world, from the beginning, for he came unmarred from his Maker's hand; as St. Luke writes of him, Adam which was the son of God. It has been too much the way with many to speak of the savage life as the state of nature, whereas nothing is farther from what the Bible tells us of our first parents Adam and Eve. We find them able to converse, having a language adequate to their ideas, naming the objects around them with precision, and altogether what we should call very intellectual persons. It may well be that their knowledge was in some respects more accurate than ours of this century, and it may well be that it was in many respects narrower than ours, for the experience of many ages is our inheritance, whereas they had to gather their information through years of comparatively simple existence. The complex society of modem ages and F2
68 SERMO X.
the multiplied records of the past have enlarged our means of learning. Again^ it has been too much the way with many to talk of civilisation as having its commencement, as well as its growth, from man. But surely there is enough said concerning Adam^s state in Paradise to shew us that the Lord God was the instructor of maa at the first; and that, not only as his Maker, but also as revealing to him the purposes and uses o^ things. How could Adam have dressed and kept tJ^^ garden of Eden without some sort of instruments What is the meaning of his having to work at a^ unless he had an understanding of what he ought t do, and what to leave undone ? And after the fal^^ shall we not say that the coats of skins given by GoC^ Himself point to Ilim as the autlior of civilised life^ God, says the Prophet Isaiah,* dotk itistruct him tc^ discretion, and doth teach him. Once more, men in the wildness of their fancy have not seldom ventured to deny a revelation of God in matters of religion, and because much of it has been lost in almost all parts of the earth, they strive to account for what ronains upon merely human principles. But sure I am, that the wisest of these persons have never been able to make up so satisfactory an explanation of the subject, or one so reconcileiible with the present state of things, as is to be * Isaiah xxviii. 26.
SERMO X. 69 found in the simple statements of the author of the Pentateuch. ow, if all this be true, as I for my part cannot doubt, then we have before us in our first father
Adam, as made by God, a creature of the highest order in this world,— endowed with language, understanding, strength, and health of body and of soul ; • holy, pure, undefiled ; full of religious feelings, holding converse with God Himself, taught of Him, kept by His near and special providence. And so in her turn may it be said of our first mother Eve, only with such difierences as must be, by divine appointment, between man and woman. There is no reason for supposing that their bodies were not mortal bodies as ours are ; indeed, the very fact that they could die points the other way. If they were not mortal bodies, then what was the meaning of the threat. In the day that thou eateat thereof thou shalt mrely die ? Besides, the eating to repair loss and the sleeping to rest from toil are as much proofs to us that their bodies were mortal, as they are sensible tokens to ourselves that we must die in like manner. But what we learn from the Scripture is, that had they obeyed God, they would not have died. God would in His own way have clothed them with immortality. It pleased Him, however, to put them, as moral beings, upon tlmr trial, to see whether they would obey Him or not. This could only be done, as
70 SERMO X. far as I can see, by giving them an independent will^ a will somehow distinct from His own will^ and aUe to choose between right and wrong. It was the highest gift^ and such as the angels had. We haye then^ I think^ a complete sketch of our first Hathi Adam; a perfect man^ on tri^ for higher glories; a son of God^ created in some sort after the likeness of God; the shadow, as it were, of God, dwelling in . animal life in this wonderful world; made so as to increase his kind and to be father of countless thousands. And to him we look back as our natwro^^
father, the fountain of our fallen nature, with all it^ grief, and pains, and cares, and troubles in the mid^^ of all, and the disappointments and inequalities of ou^ rugged pathway in life on earth. You will surely^ say, this is no pleasant inheritance ; but it is not for the children to reproach their father. Sad though our lot be in a certain measure, the good still seems to outweigh the evil. In the hand of God Adam has been the medium of our existence, the instrument through which each one of us has come into being. And what says the prophet to this ? Shall a living man complain ? To have, as we all have by inheritance from Adam, a living, sentient, active, moral, intellectual, religious nature, — ^is not this a cause for the deepest gratitude? To have been made capable of pleasure as well as pain, fitted for the loftiest enjoyments, and filled with hopes and longings for a better
SEBMO X. 71 and more glorious Aiture^ as Adam^s children^ — ia not this much^ and does it not call for ceaseless praise ? And what (you are thinking) if Adam had not fallen? Why, perhaps we should never have heard of the scheme of redemption, or perhaps you and I should never have been bom; perhaps there would have heen fewer human creatures in the world than now there are. But even so, every one as a moral being would have been on Ms otvn trial, suad might have fallen. Each would have had a mil, to choose evil or to choose good, to obey or to disobey, as Adam did. I seem to see how marvellously the loving-kindness of God has brought good out of evil. Enough then for us that Adam became a living soul, and we, through him, have become living souls. But now for the lessons to be gathered, ist.
Thankfulness, that, whatsoever we be, we are at all; for life in any form and imder almost any circumstances is a blessing. 2nd. KumiUty ; for the children of a fallen parent are partakers of their parentis shame. When we feel pride rankling in our hearts let us bethink us of our parentage— sinners, and sons of sinners, from generation to generation up to Adam ! 3rd. Meekness ; for all that we are, and all the good we enjoy, is of sufferance, seeing that by sin all was forfeit. 4th. Repentance, for not only are we inheritors of Adam's sin and its consequences, but we are sinners in our own persons, and have no claim what-
72 BERMO X. soever, except it be upon the pitifiilness of Qt>d onr Saviour. 5th. Hope, for we are subjected^ as the Apostle Paul tells us, to our present ^te of vamty in hope. When fear came with guilt, Gh)d gscve the healing hope. 6th. Faith, for Adam received the promise of succour, and was put upon a second trial, and we have received that succour, and in the strength thereof are on our own trial. And thus it is that we look from the first Adam to the second Adam — ^the last Adam, even a quickening Spirit. Yes, my brethren, you and I (if we understand the religion we profess) are looking to the last Adam, the Lord Jesns Christ from heaven. He is the Head of His redeemed ones, the Life of the Church which is His body. He is the Physician of the sick and distressed soul, the Quickener of the dead spirit, the Life of them that believe, and the Resurrection of the dead ; the Joy of them that sorrow, the Stay of them that fear, the Comfort of them that mourn, the Strength of those that fail, the Light of those that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
The first Adam brings his children before the great Creator, and says, as it were, " They are mine, bom of my flesh, evil in heart, evil in soul, evil in spirit ; partakers of my sins, inheritors of my sufferings, subjects of Thy wrath, worthy of Thy judgments.^' The second Adam comes in the might of His life-giving grace, and says to His Father, ''These
SEBMO X. 73 are Thy children^ for they are Mine ; and all Mine are Thine, and Thins are Mine. I give unto them My righteousness, and make them acceptable in Myself, to present them hol^, and unblameable, and unreproveable^ in Thy sight, O Heavenly Father; wherefore, Behold, I and the children which Thou hast given Me'^\ * CoL i. 22. t Isaiah viii, 18 ; comp. Heb. ii. i3.
1. 68 FREE BOOKS http://www.scribd.com/doc/21800308/Free-Christian-Books
2. ALL WRITI GS http://www.scribd.com/glennpease/documents?page=1000
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.