Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

“ gether, increaseth with the increase of « God." , ' '

But your time will not permit me to enlarge upon this subject : let it suffice at present to observe, that what Adam was in the first creation, that is Christ in the new creation. Hence he gets the name of the second Adam ;, and it is expressly said of the first Adam, Rom. v. 14. “ that he was “ the figure of him that was to come.” I shall not pretend to trace out the resemblance between these two different heADS in all its extent; and yet it is obvious, that a great part of the Scripture-language which is employed to describe the nature of that station which Christ holds in the church, not only alludes to this resemblance, but is so much founded upon it, that without some just conception of the figure or type, our views of the antitype must be very dark and imperfect.

If we look at the state of things in the first creation, we shall find Adam placed in a station of the highest importance. Besides the dominion that was given him over the inferior creatures, he was consti

tuted,

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

tuted, in the most proper sense of the word, the head of mankind, in as much as “ of that one blood were to be made all the “ nations of men that should dwell upon “the face of the whole earth.”. The life of all his posterity was deposited in him. He was the root, and his descendants, in all their successive generations, are the branches which grow out of it. This is the plain account which the Scriptures give us ; and the closeness of our connection with the first Adam is fatally illustrated by its effects, which cannot escape our observation. It is too apparent, that life is conveyed to us under the same awful forfeiture which Adam incurred; for in consequence of the sentence pronounced against him on account of his transgression, “ Duft thou art, and unto duft thou shalt “ return,” we find, in fact, that “ it is ap"pointed unto all men once to die," and that “ there is no discharge in that war“ fare.”

This is the figure by which we are taught to form our conceptions of Jesus Christ, and of the place he holds in that

new

de

new creation, which is here distinguished by the names of bis church and his body. And to those who are acquainted with what the Scriptures say concerning Chrift, many circumstances will occur from the hints I have already suggested, in which the resemblance between the first and fecond Adam may easily be traced with the most critical exactness. But, blessed be God, there is one circumstance of the greatest importance in which the resemblance doth not hold, as will appear from the information the Apostle gives us concerning the third particular I took notice of : namely,

III. The qualifications of our Redeemer; for performing what belongs to him as the bead of his church.

It pleased the Father, faith he, verse 19. that in him should all fulness dwell. • The first Adam received the gift of life from God, which he held in trust for all his posterity, upon a condition the most gentle and easy that can possibly be imagined: but he failed in the performance of

it; and thusby one man sin entered into “ the world, and death by fin:” fo that ever fince that fatal trespafs, “ death hath passed “ upon all men.”

The SECOND ADAM received the grant of eternal life for his church, upon terms no less severe than his obedience unto death, even the death of the cross; that sin being condemned in the flesh, mercy and truth might meet together upon the apostate race, righteousnefs and peace might embrace each other. But difficult as the terms were, he not only punctually, but cheerfully, fulfilled them, insomuch that under all the pain and ignominy of the cross, he would not bow his head, and yield up the ghost, till, with a shout of triumph, he could say, “ It 6 is finished.”

“ The firft man Adam was inade a living 6 soul; but the second Adam was made a " quickening spirit.” “ The first man was “ of the earth, earthy: the second man was " the Lord from heaven."

In the head of the first creation there dwelt indeed a fulness, but it was only the fulness of a creature : whereas all fulness

reldes

ܣܵܝܪ،، ܀

resides in the Head of the new creation; or, as it is elsewhere expressed in this fame epistle, “ in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

Here, my, brethren, expression fails ; an ocean opens to our view that hath neither bottom nor shore,--the Godhead !-the fulness of the Godhead !-all the fulness of the Godhead! How flat, how unmeaning, is the language of men, when applied to a fubject which angels themselves are unable to comprehend? glorious constitution of grace! worthy of him whofe name, whose essence, is love; and infinitely becoming the wifdom of that Sovereign, “whose “ work is perfect, and all' whose ways are “ judgement.” With such an object in our eye, can we refrain from crying out, “ Let “ Ifrael rejoice in him that made him; let “ the children of Zion be joyful in their « King?" Well might Paul say, “I know « whom I have believed'; and I am per“ suaded, that he is able to keep that which “ I have committed to him against that “ day.” This is the endearing peculiarity of the gospel-covenant, that all the blessings

of

« IndietroContinua »