Page images



"And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul, the

last Adam was made a quickening spirit.' 1 Cor. xy. 45.

With the original meaning of this term, of course, we have nothing to do. Some remarks, however, on the connection in which it stands, seem necessary to a proper understanding of the whole subject. The Apostle was treating of the resurrection of Jesus. He lays down this great truth as a foundation for the resurrection of the whole human race. In faith, he beholds the structure completed, and hears every voice crying, 'grace, grace, to the top-stone.' A beautiful writer observes as follows on this subject :- As he passes on, revelling in the greatness of his strength, and absorbed in the immensity of his theme, his argument gathers force, till earth and heaven appear to be in motion before him! He ranges the universe, summons to his aid the power of God, lays his masterly hand upon every fact, gathers them in his grasp, condenses them before his hearers, and in one overwhelming burst of eloquence, makes the whole bear upon the resurrection of Christ, and of man.'

The Apostle, to assist him, in his reasoning, calls the great Redeemer by the same name which distinguished the first human being that ever walked on our fair earth. A similar mode of argument is presented in his fifth chapter of the epistle to the Romans. There he shows the consequences of transgression on the one hand, and the blessings resulting from the gospel on the other. But here his language becomes more forcible. He touches every string of the golden harp. He rises to the loftiest height, even until language and conception seem utterly to fail.

To assist the reader, I have thought proper to present the whole subject in the form of a parallel, and though it may be deemed fanciful in some respects, yet it may answer until a better can be furnished :

First Adam.

Last Adam.

1. At his creation, the morn- 1. At his birth, the angels pro

ing stars sang together, and claimed “Glory to God in all the sons of God shouted the highest, peace on earth for joy.' Job xxxviii. 7. and good will to man.

' Luke

ii. 14. 2. Made in the image of 2. “The brightness of the FaGod.' Gen. i. 27.

ther's glory and the express image of his person.' Heb.

i. 3. 3. “Received dominion over the 3. “Received power over all

fish of the sea, and over the flesh that He should give fowl of the air, and over eternal life to as many as every living thing that mov- thou hast given him.' John eth upon the earth.' Gen. i. xvii. 2.

28. 4. Head of the woman. 1 Cor. 4. Head of the man. 1 Cor xi. 3.

xi. 3. 5. Son of God. Luke iii. 39. 5. Same. John i. 34. 6. Death conquered. Gen. v. 6. Conquered death. 2 Tim. 5.

i. 10.

The following is taken entirely from Rom. v. and 1 Cor. xv.



even so

7. As by one man's disobedi-17. So by the obedience of one

ence, many * were made sin shall many be made right

ners, 8. As by the offence of 8. By the righteousness one, judgment

of one, the free gift upon all men to con

came upon all men to demnation,

justification of life. 9. As sin hath reigned

9. Might

grace reign unto death,

through righteousness

unto eternal life. 10. As in Adam all die,

even so

even so

{ 10made Christ, shall all be

11. The first man is of the 11. The second man is the earth, earthy:

Lord from heaven. 12. Made a living soul. 12. Made a quickening spirit. 13. By man came death. 13. By man

came also the

resurrection. 14. As we have borne the 14. We shall also bear the image of the earthy,

image of the heavenly.

When the great Apostle touched, with his inspired pen, the masterly contrast, of which the above is an imperfect sketch, a thousand associations rushed into his mind. At a single glance, he sees all the beings that sprung from Adam, and all that were to follow to the latest period of time. He beholds them all bearing 'the image of the earthy.' He sees generation after generation descending into the cold and silent tomb. He sees them all pass through the valley of the shadow of death.' He beholds the Great Father of the universe clothing each being in the garments of eternity, bearing the image of the heavenly;' crowning the whole with his blessing, and again pronouncing his creation good. The morning stars again sing together, and all the sons of God shout aloud for joy. He pursues his subject till finding

* The many, all.- Parkhurst. The great body of mankind.-Nero


himself lost in its immensity, he exclaims, 'O death! where is thy sting? O grave! where is thy victory?' Then he renders thanks to God for the victory through Jesus Christ. The whole is finished by a moral inference, at once just, forcible, and impressive. And a more beautiful chapter never was, nor ever can be put into human language. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.'*

* For some good remarks on this general subject, see Belsham on the Epistles of Paul, in loc. Also, Illustrations of the Divine Govern. ment, by T. S. Smith, p. 324 et seq.; a work, that for beauty of style and brilliancy of thought, has never been equalled by any writer on the subject of the final purity and happiness of man.


"If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous.'

1 John ii. 1.

This title is found only in the above passage in our common version. In the Greek text, it occurs in the following places :—John xiv. 12. 26. xv. 26., but is there rendered Comforter. Paracletos is the word, and it signifies not only a Comforter, but also an Advocate, a Defender of a cause, a Counsellor, Patron, or Mediator.

Though the meaning of this word is obvious, yet many errors prevail which should be removed. God is usually represented as a cruel, inexorable being, unwilling to show favor to the sinner. Jesus interceded; offered himself as a sacrifice on the altar of humanity. The Father and the Holy Ghost approved, and consented, and he descended to the earth; took upon himself human nature; labored, suffered, and died for a world that otherwise would have been lost forever! He rises from the dead, ascends to the Father; continues to plead for the sinner, and after about six thousand years it is said, the Creator has made it possible for all men to be saved! A grand result indeed from such immense sacrifices, and from so long a plea! Such a view is unsupported by the Scriptures.

« PreviousContinue »