« PreviousContinue »
$ 59. Plan for the Salvation of man through Christ. As all men were involved in misery, without their fault, by the sin of one man (§ 55—57); God was induced (1) mercifully (2) to open (3) a way of salvation for all men, without their merit, by the man Jesus Christ (4). Rom. 5: 12—19.
ILLUSTRATIONS. I. Since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead.-For if through the offence of one, many have died ; much more have the grace and gift of God, through the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded unto the
many: 1 Cor. 15: 21, επειδη δι' ανθρωπου ο θανατος, και δι' ανθρωπου αναστασις νεκρων. Rom. 5: 15, 17, ει τω του ενος παραπτωματι οι πολλοι απέθανον, πολλα μαλλον η χαρις του θεου και η δωρεά εν χαριτι τη του ενος ανθρωπου Ιησου Χριστου εις τους πολλους επερισσευσε. .
II. Tit. 3: 4, 5, η χρηστοτης και η φιλανθρωπια επεφανη του σωτηρος ημων θεου-κατα τον αυτου ελεον εσωσεν ημας the kindness and philanthropy of God our Saviour appeared-according to his mercy he saved us. Ephes. 2: 4. 1 Pet. 1: 3.
III. On the subject of the suitableness of the plan of salvation to fallen man, the reader is referred to the author's work on the Object of the death of Christ, p. 633–640, 659, 612.
IV. Christ is therefore the Restorer and, as it were, the second Father of the human family. Rom. 5: 14, Adam Eoti TUNOS rov uslovtos, Adam is a type of him who was to come. 1 Cor. 15 : 45, 47, 49, ο εσχατος Αδαμ-ο δευτερος ανθρω. nos the last Adam—the second man.
Magnitude and nature of that happiness which we obtain through
Christ--the state of the blessed immediately after death.
Great and exalted indeed is the blessedness (1) which the boundless goodness of God (2) has pointed for unfortunate man. Even death itself, which has been entailed on all men through the medium of our natural depravity (3), is, according to the purpose of God, no longer a punishment (4), but becomes a blessing to us (5). Death therefore is stripped of its melancholy aspect (6), and is, in truth, to the immortal (7) spirit, the beginning of real life (8). For immediately after the death of the body (9), the disencumbered spirit may be liberated (10) from all evil (11), and may be transferred into the actual enjoyment of those pleasures, of which, in the present life, he was permitted to have only a remote prospective view (12).
Ι. The future blessedness of the christian, is termed “The glory (in the presence) of God—to reign in life--the glorious liberty of the children of God-the riches of the glorious inheritance of his saints--an eternal weight of glory-so great a salvation--the greatest and most precious promises. Rom. 5: 2, δοξα θεου. ν. 17, εν ζωη βασιλευειν. 8: 18, 21, ελευθερια της δοξης των τεκνων του θεου. Εph. 1: 18, πλουτος της δοξης της κληρονομιας εν αγιοις. Col. 1: 27. 2 Cor. 4: 17, αιωνιον βαρος δοξης. 2Thess. 1: 10. Ηeb. 2: 3, τηλικαυτη σωτηρια. ν. 5-10. 2 Ρet. 1: 4, μεγιστα και τιμια επαγγελματα.
Π. Εph. 2: 4, 5, 7, πολλη αγαπη αυτου (θεου)-υπερβαλλων πλουτος χαριτος αυτου, the great love of God-the exceeding riches of his grace. 1: 6, δοξα της χαριτος αυτου his glorious grace. v. 14. 2 Thess. 2: 16.
III. 1 Cor. 15: 21. Rom. 5: 12. 8: 10.
IV. Rom. 8: 1, 2, ουδεν νυν κατακριμα τοις εν Χ. Ι. there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. 5: 16-18. See the work on the Object of the death of Christ.
V. Rom. 8: 28, τοις αγαπωσι τον θεον παντα συνεργει εις ayatov, to them that love God all things work together for good. v. 35, 38. Phil. 1: 21, εμοι το αποθανείν κερδος for me to die is gain. V. 23. 2 Cor. 5: 8, ευδοκουμεν μαλλον εκδημησαι εκ του σωματος we wish rather to depart from the body.
. VI. John 8: 51. 11: 26, ο πιστευων εις εμε μη αποθανη εις τον αιωνα, he that believeth in me shall never die. 6: 50.
VII. Luke 20: 38, θεος ουκ εστι των νεκρων αλλα ζωντων God is not a God of the dead, but of the living.
VIII. In the Dissertation “ Concerning the state of the blessed after death,” $ 2, it is remarked that the verse, Rom. 8: 10, το σωμα νεκρον, το δε πνευμα ζωη, the body is dead, but the spirit is alive, refers to the state of the soul of the true christian between death and the resurrection.
IX. State of the blessed between death and judgment.—That their blessedness begins immediately after death, is proved in the Dissertation just alluded to, $ I. JII. from the following considerations : 1. According to Phil. 1: 21, Paul considered death as gain ; and in the 23d verse he expressly places this gain in a closer union with Christ συν Χριστη ειναι ; and in 2 Cor. 5: 8, the phrases “to depart from the body” and “to be at home with the Lord,” εκδημησαι εκ του σωματος-ενδημη-, dal noos TOV uvolov, are combined together.--2. The multitude represented in Rev. 7: 9, &c. as praising God, were spirits of the dead anterior to the resurrection.-3. Agreeably to Luke 16:22, 25, 28, the blessedness of the righteous will begin immediately after death. Comp. $ 58. Ill. 10. The blessedness of the righteous before the resurrection and after that event does not indeed differ in kind, and they are both described alike in the New Testament (see Rev. 7:9--13, 17. and 21:4. 22: 3—5); but their happiness is increased by their reunion with a more perfect body and by their honourable acquittal at the final judgment. But that the human soul should be incapable of activity without the body, can never be proved.
X. The sufferings of the righteous terminate with the present life.--In Rom. 8: 18, it is said, that these sufferings refer only to the present time, τα παθηματα του νυν καιρου ; and in 1 Pet. 5: 9, that they befal those brethren only who are in this world, εν τω κοσμο αδελφοτητι and not the others, the citizens of heaven. Heb. 12: 23. Thus also in other passages these afflictions are described as very short; they are called, “our present light afflictions”_" temporary”_" for a season ye grieve"-"ye suffer awhile.” 2 Cor. 4: 17, to napautixa slaφρον της θλιψεως ημων. V. 18, προςκαιρα. 1 Ρet. 1: 6, ολι
- Heat” xavua
γον λυπηθεντες. 5: 10, ολιγον παθοντες. Ηeb. 12: 10, προς 0λιγας ημερας παιδευει ημας.! In this place, ο δε (κυριος) must be supplied from the context.
XI. Same subject continued.–Lazarus in his life time received evil; but now he is comforted—the Lord will deliver me from every evil work-God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes--no heat shall fall upon them. Luke 16: 25, daζαρος εν τη ζωη τα κακα απελαβε, νυν παρακαλειται. 2 Τim. 4: 18, δυσεται με
κυριος απο παντος εργου πονηρου. Ηeb. 13: 3.2 Rev. 7: 17, εξαλειψει ο θεος παν δακρυον απο των οφθαλμων V. 16, ουδε παν καυμα πέση
ET αυτους. . is used to express sufferings in general.3 All evidence for the necessity of pain, in order by contrast to heighten the value of subsequent pleasure, is derived from the experience in temporal and transient objects, which are essentially different from the unchangeable blessings of heaven; or, at least, from experience made in circumstances totally different from those of our future state. To the position, that the blessed will be liberated from all pain immediately after death, it cannot be urged as an objection, that the happiness of the blessed will be much augmented at the time of the resurrection ($ 61, 65); and that, as well previously to the resurrection, as after it, there will be various grades of happiness. For although the possibility of increase in happiness, presupposes that it was not perfect before, 5 yet it does not follow that the imperfection was combined with unpleasant feelings. For the present enjoyment of happiness may have
[1 The whole verse may be rendered thus: For they (our earthly parents) indeed for a few days chastised us according to their judgment (as well as they knew how), but he (the Lord) for our (real) profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. S.].
2 See the Comment. on Heb. Note o.