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OUTLINES OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE

by the Rev. H. C. G. Moule, M.A., Principal of Ridley Hall, and formerly Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.

Author of "Veni Creator: Thoughts on the Holy Spirit of Promise," etc.
Revised edition [[third edition, Feb., 1890]]
London: Hodder and Stoughton
27, Paternoster Row.
MDCCCXC

<152> CHAPTER VIII.

The Doctrine of Man.

I. Man as Created.

II. Man as Fallen.

III. Man as Restored.

 

I. Man as Created.

Scripture gives no formulated Anthropology. But in its representation of man, as in its revelation of God, it gives facts and principles, inviting reverent formulation. It implies meanwhile two provisos; first, that it considers man from the divine viewpoint, above all as the subject of redemption; secondly, that the theory which it suggests must be tempered by the remembrance that about ourselves, as truly as about God, "we know in part."

Man appears, on the first page of the Scriptures, as the last work of the Sixth Day. Gen. i. 26, 27 gives the creation of man in the abstract, so to speak; Gen. ii. 7-25, the creation of the first man in the concrete; not different events, but different views. From the first passage we gather that man is a result of specially deliberate and direct creative will. Neither "the earth" "brings him forth" (vers. 11, 24), nor "the waters" (vers. 20, 21); Elôhim <152/153> (above, p. 24) consults within Himself, and makes him.

Further we gather that man in his creation was related to God in a way quite peculiar, among the works of the Six Days. He was made "in the image, after the likeness," of God. And he was made to be head of the orders of terrestrial creation.

From the second passage we gather that the First Man was produced from the existing "dust of the ground," that the Maker "breathed into his nostrils a breath (neshâmah) of life;" that he thus became "living soul;" and that his spouse was "builded," by the direct will of the Maker, out of the manís own body.

We attempt here no detailed enquiry how far these narratives are to be read "literally." We only remark, first, that they are assumed in the New Testament to be historical (e.g. Matt. xix. 4-6; 1 Tim. ii. 13, 14), and not only so, but fundamental to after revelation (see Rom. v. 12-19; 1 Cor. xv. 45-9). For the New Testament writers, beyond doubt, Adam was as real a personage as Christ. The minute account of the locality of the garden (Gen. ii. 8-14), an account on which recent research throws clear light, [1] looks in the same direction. On the other hand the narrative, by its manner and subject matter, as a very brief account of natural and spiritual "origins," allows us to read beyond the letter as regards details. We are free to explain "the dust" not narrowly, but as probably meaning existing matter, proper for the end; and the "breathing into the nostrils" as a pictorial phrase for the divine act of will by which the lifeless frame became the seat of <153/154> life and personality. So with the making of Woman; the same creative will which long after worked the multiplication of the loaves, willed the origin of the human female from "the side" of the male; but we need not figure to ourselves a mechanical operation.

It is impossible to avoid all mention of the modern evolutionary philosophy. We only point out, modestly but firmly, what that philosophy cannot lawfully say against the Scripture account of manís origin; an account endorsed by One whom Christians believe to be manís Maker (Matt. xix. 4-6).

It cannot, from observed phenomena, pronounce it proved that man was not a properly "new departure." No strictly scientific evidence to that effect has yet appeared. It is difficult even to imagine the future appearance of any, even should the present manifold deficiencies in the physical links between man and the most nearly related beasts [2] be yet much reduced. For Scripture allows, or rather asserts, a plan, progression, harmony in Nature. Not one word makes it unlikely that, when man was to be willed into being, he should prove to be moulded of the same matter as that of predecessors and coevals, and on a similar plan. What Scripture does none the less assert is a mysterious new departure when the first human pair was produced. There was not a dislocation of immaterial design, but a break of mere material continuity, when there was to appear the creature, at once spiritual and material, who should resemble, know, and love the Creator.

No discoveries in material nature can properly disprove this. One thing is certain, that the earliest discovered human skulls are even finely developed, and on a plan, in some respects, divergent (as now) <154/155> from that of the skulls of the highest "anthropoid" beasts, Another and far more significant certainty is that man, amidst his many variations, is found to be everywhere, even at his lowest, capable of loving and obeying God; a gulph between him and the highest lower animals which has neither bottom nor bridge. The exceptional origin of such a creature is the reverse of an anomaly.

We may here briefly remark on the general prevalence of an evolutionary philosophy, claiming more or less distinctly to explain the universe by matter and impersonal force. Such a philosophy gets a high prestige from its present adoption by a host of eminently skilled students of material nature. Their proper studies are concerned with phenomena, capable of precise observation and verification as such; and from this an impression arises that all inferences of such observers carry a peculiar weight of accuracy and certainty. But as soon as these observers pass from physical observation, and from inferences of the nature of mathematical reasoning on proper subject matter, to philosophize on the nature and origin of things, they are on the open ground of universal human thought. The physical observer, as such, has no more knowledge than his neighbour about things which are not physical phenomenon, and has no peculiar mental apparatus. If, because of his knowledge of the phenomena of the body, he claims a right to say that the brain originates thought, or that the beast can be true ancestor of the man, he is off his ground. Wrong or right, he no longer speaks as the observer of verifiable phenomena.

More particularly, the word "evolution," now irrevocably familiarized, needs careful usage if we would avoid confusion. It means "unrolling" of <155/156> something already there. If what is unrolled is an ascending and all-including plan and progress, already in the eternal Mind and Will, Scripture is evolutionary. If what is unrolled is all organic life from primary inorganic material, excluding the factor of creative purpose, (which must be free to act as uniformly or as acutely as eternal Mind shall order, now modifying by degrees, now effecting "new departures," by its own at once sovereign and immanent action,) Scripture is anti-evolutionary. Most decisively it is so when "evolution" is taken to mean that it is proved that man is merely the result of insensible variations from below; that human nature as a whole is continuous with animal.

And if Scripture is, in this sense, non-evolutionary, so is the vast phenomenon of man as he is, amidst the lower races as they are, and as the rocks show "animals" to have been in the remotest past. Too often we fail, in this matter, "to see the forest for the trees."

As regards the Antiquity of Man, it is allowed that the chronology of the early chapters of Scripture must be handled with great reserve. Not that it is therefore loose and mythical. But it lies in a narrative presented, so to speak, enigmatically, by its very brevity, and it goes very probably on principal of enumeration not yet fully understood. Still, Scripture represents man as originating in a past quite recent, compared with what it allows for nature in general. On the other hand it has been asserted by naturalists that the origin of man must be put back hundreds of millenniums into past time. This belief rests partly on à priori reasoning on "origins," partly on the occurrence of human relics in certain geological surroundings. But the believing Scripture student need not <156/157>"make haste in this matter," while yet he takes care not to assert hastily on his own side. An eminent geologist, Sir J. W. Dawson, recently President of the British Association, has just (1888) published his conviction that the origin of man is to be fixed, geologically, within a moderate number of millenniums, say seven or eight. [3] To him, on the whole, geological evidence and the comparatively brief chronology of Scripture appear to be converging. He regards "palæolithic man" as the antediluvian of Scripture, and finds geological indications of a general, if not universal, deluge within the human period.

As regards the Unity of Mankind, clearly asserted by Scripture (Acts xvii. 26, with Gen. i., ii., ix. 19), naturalists have often asserted, or conjectured, many centres of origin. But their researches now strongly favour the proper unity of the race.

 

The Image and Likeness of God.

Of the mysterious and much-discussed words of Gen. i. 26, we offer no minute exegesis here. Even to examine the different references of Image (Tselem, Shadow) and Likeness (Dímûth) is beyond our scope; we only notice one suggestive interpretation, that God made man, as to constitution, in His Image, to be brought out, as to development, into His Likeness. Our more possible enquiry here is, What is the Image? Is it reason, in its highest sense? Or power to know God? Or actual holiness, positive sanctifying knowledge of God? Or immortality? Or sovereignty over the creatures? We reject the last as inadequate. And as to the theory of positive holiness, it is a fact against it that fallen men are <157/158> viewed in Scripture as "made in the image of God" (Gen. ix. 6; Jas iii. 9); the original making of man in that image is a fact permanent for all men.

The solution which to us seems most comprehensive is that the Image lies in the mysterious gift of Personality, bringing not only mental but, much more, moral capacity, and true free-will and free-agency, such that man within his sphere becomes a true self-guiding Cause, as God is in His sphere.

The beasts are not so. They are not moral, not responsible, not disengaged from material circumstance; not true causes. Man is all this; and so can know God as like knows like. God, the Archetype of all Personality, supremely self-conscious, self-acting, moral, has made man to be, in the remarkable words of the Apocrypha, "the image of His own peculiar nature" (Wisd. ii. 23: eikona tês idias idiotêtos).

Such is Man, as Man, as possessing "the abysmal deeps of personality," [4] that the individual, profound as are his relations to the race, and particularly to his immediate ancestry, still is never their irresponsible effect, but always a responsible moral cause amidst and above them. We know it, in our inmost self-knowledge. Be "heredity" what it may, the man is so himself that he, not his ancestry in him, has each moment to face, for himself, the mysteries of right and wrong, as truly as if he had waked up, at the first touch of the Creator, in an immaterial environment. Our individual personality, and our generic continuity, are "antinomies"; truths equally certain always, however impossible fully to reconcile while "we know in part."

Thus interpreted, the Image stands, in a sense, <158/159> apart from manís "Original Righteousness." The Righteousness he could and did lose. The Image he retains, whatever fatal disorder may have touched it; he is for ever personal, moral, responsible. And in this view it is the Image which makes him capable of redemption and regeneration, while yet it gives no contradiction to his "death in trespasses and sins." Nay, it is this possession which makes that "death" possible. Only a true personality can be "alienated" from God.

Here too seems to lie the deepest indication in Scripture of manís natural immortality. We believe that immortality to be a revealed fact, taken for granted in some awful passages, where the "second death," the hopeless retribution on the impenitent, is seen to have no necessary tendency to cessation of being (see, e.g., Matt. xxv. 46; Joh. iii. 36; Rev. xiv. 11, xx. 10, 15). It seems to be indicated, not precisely that "the substance of the soul is indissoluble, and therefore indestructible," but that moral personality is mysteriously permanent, as God has constituted things. This seems to underlie our Lordís reasoning for the Resurrection of the dead (Matt. xxii. 31, 32). He assumes, for one thing, the necessary ultimate coherence, so to speak, of body and spirit in man, so that if man lives for ever his body must ultimately share that life. But He assumes also, and first, the natural permanence of the creature constitutionally capable of knowing God, of having God for "his God." [5]

The enquiry about the Image of God suggests that about manís constitution, according to Scripture, <159/160> as Body, Soul and Spirit. Here first observe the peculiar language of Scripture about the Body. It puts an honour on the body found nowhere else. The formation of the body, in Scripture, is not an accident of manís creation, but the first step to his becoming "living soul." Scripture nowhere makes the body, apart from the awful accident of sin, the prison, or clog, of the spirit, [6] so that the summum bonum should be to quit it. It is the spiritís congenial home, and its true normal vehicle of experience and action. We do not read that it was created immortal, so that had man not sinned his body, apart from the special will of God, would not have died. But it is implied that such was that will that had man not sinned his entire constitution, body and "breath of life," would have known no dislocation. Somehow, through whatever transfiguration, the whole being would have "lived for ever" (Gen. iii. 22). Accordingly redemption, salvation, sanctification, glorification, is for body as well as soul (Luke xxiv. 39; Joh. ii. 21; Rom. viii. 23; 1 Cor. vi. 13-20; Phil. iii. 20, 21); and so is retribution also (Matt. xviii. 8, 9; Joh. v. 28, 29; 1 Cor. vi. 18). There awaits man, as an essential for his vast final future, a re-embodiment, most mysterious, but not figurative. The "spiritual body" (1 Cor. xv. 44) will not be made of spirit.

With this agrees the consistent indication of Scripture (especially 2 Cor. v. 10) that the final judgment of man, as a responsible personality, will proceed upon his embodied life, "the things by means of the body" (2 Cor. v. 10, lit.), the things done through it as the vehicle of formation of habit and <160/161> registration of result. This is a solemn intimation of a fallacy in the hope of repetitions, in the Intermediate State, of the offers and graces of the Gospel. (See above, p. 95.)

Finally, in this sacred importance of the body, resting upon relations of matter and spirit inscrutable to us, we read some of the reasons of our blessed Lordís Incarnation. Only by taking both the immaterial and material sides of our nature could He become entire Man, and so entirely manís Representative and Head. Thus too "the body of His glory" (Phil. iii. 21) is now an everlasting fact in His blessed Life.

The words Spirit (Ruach, Pneuma) and Soul (Nephesh, Psychê) suggest a host of doctrines, Christian and non-Christian. We can only ask what, on the whole, they mean in Scripture. Are they two separable immaterial elements, so that man can have one and not the other; can lose the one, while keeping the other? Or two departments of consciousness, such that one denotes emotions, the other the pure reason which guides them? Or again, such that soul is our point of contact with the world and man, spirit with God?

None of the above distinctions seem fully to satisfy the Scripture data. The two words, in Scripture, perpetually cross each other, while again they are certainly not mere synonyms. The explanation which best includes all facts seems to be this. Both words denote manís being as immaterial, the "inner man;" but from different aspects. "Spirit" is manís being considered as Godís gift; "Soul" is that being considered as the individualís possession in life and experience. Put somewhat otherwise, Soul may be described as Spirit organized; Spirit viewed <161/162> in the workings of human personality, inseparably linked, for its development, with the body. But they are not separate elements of existence, and many experiences may be described in terms of either. It will thus be further seen how natural, on the other hand, is the occasional reference of higher aspects of experience to the human Spirit, and that the action of the Eternal Spirit is specially connected with it; while lower aspects of experience, such as vehement emotions, are often assigned to the Soul. If Spirit is manís inner being viewed as given from God, and Soul manís inner being viewed as his own, that fact is at least partially explained; while yet it is constantly crossed by other facts.

Here too is a suggestion why the human person disembodied is called a spirit rather than a soul (e.g. Luke xxiv. 37, 39; Heb. xii. 23), [7] and why personal existences other than human, and about which we read nothing analogous to manís corporeity, are called spirits, never souls.

All this indicates that while manís being is in one aspect threefold it is more essentially twofold. Some modern Christian thinkers [8] have held that the human spirit was lost, or at least thrown into abeyance, at the Fall; that it was not infected by the Fall; that it alone is immortal; that salvation consists in its restoration, or awakening, without which the whole being ends at length in the annihilation of personality. <162/163>

This theory falls if Scripture attests the ultimate identity of soul and spirit. [9] Most certainly Scripture indicates the possession of "spirit" by "all flesh" (Numb. xvi. 22); and, on the other hand, the share of the "spirit" in the Fall; its sinful defilement and disorder (2 Cor. vii. 1).

Thus, on the one hand, Man is dual. The familiar (but not scriptural) distinction between matter and spirit may indeed be pressed too far, till it suggests the anti-Christian idea of the necessary evil of matter. But Scripture freely presents "body and soul" as distinct and separable constituents of manís normal state (Matt. x. 28). And it always assumes the actual existence of manís spirit, without the body, after death (e.g., Luke xxiv. 37, 39; 2 Cor. v. 8; Heb. xii. 23). On the other hand, it views Man as yet more essentially single and homogeneous; "living soul," embodied spirit. It knows no theory that matter is evil, or again that in manís inner world, by original constitution, there is a necessarily rebel element, held more or less in check by a higher and purer; the psychology of Plato. Not nature, but its invasion by sin, has produced an inner discord. Man, as man, is the homogeneous and good work of God; body, soul, and spirit. He is a true unity, alike in creation, in fall, and in grace.

Scripture says much about manís heart. The word is large; its possible reference embraces understanding, conscience, affections, will. It is thus "the organ, rather than the seat, of personality." <163/164> Man has, and is, "a soul;" man has, not is, "a heart."

Scripture speaks of the inner man (Rom. vii. 22; 2 Cor. iv. 16; Eph. iii. 16). In itself the phrase is morally neutral; it means the inner world of consciousness. But by usage it refers to the regenerate state.

Man has, in Scripture, mind (nous), in the sense of both mental and moral perception (Rom. vii. 23, 25; Eph. iv. 23). By usage, the word seems to denote manís highest faculties viewed out of special relation to God and grace.

Man has conscience (syneidêsis); the knowledge in himself of moral differences. The word sometimes refers specially to the sense of guilt before God (Heb. ix. 9, 14, x. 2, 22).

Man has free will. He is not the product of circumstances; he is responsible amongst them for moral choice (see above, p. 158). This is always assumed in Scripture, especially in divine reasonings and appeals (e.g., Jer. xxvii. 13; Joh. v. 40). True, Scripture is always jealous for the supremacy and sovereignty of the Will of God (e.g., Dan. iv. 35; Luke xxii. 22; Joh. i. 13; Acts ii. 23, iv. 27, 28; Rom. ix. 19; Eph. i. 11; Rev. xvii. 17). This is one of its great and conspicuous characteristics. His will has sovereign relations to all events, such that all events somehow contribute to the perfect realization of its purposes. But among these "all things" is the reality of the will of the created personality, such that man is a true though secondary cause. We fail, by the necessary limits of our viewpoint, to see mentally the harmony of the absolute sovereignty of the will of the Holy Creator, and the true freedom, and so true respon- <164/165> sibility, of the will of the personal creature. But the two facts are equally plain in revelation, and equally important in a true theology. [10]

Manís Original State.

"The Man whom the Lord God had formed" is seen in Scripture as "put" into (not created in) a scene of outward safety and beauty, with occupation, and with the dominion of a true personality over the unpersonal animals (Gen. ii. 8-15). The primal narrative, and the later Scriptures (e.g., Eccl. vii. 29), imply that his moral state was "very good;" particularly, that he held untroubled intercourse with God, as friend with friend. We are not to assume that his moral state, or his mental, was of developed excellence. But it was nobly innocent; childlike in some respects, but also infinitely higher, as it, unlike the child-life now, contained no germ of sinfulness waiting only the development of faculty. Adam "walked with God," in holy simplicity, in inner harmony; "upright" with his eternal Friend and Father (Luke iii. 38). No "lower element" of his constitution wrestled with a "higher" for primacy; nothing in his nature resisted his blessed concord with the divine Nature.

We give thus the account of Man unfallen which seems to us clearly scriptural. Very different views have been taken of manís first state. <165/166>

Non-scriptural theories usually assume that man, however originated, began at a low level, one remove above the brutes, and was slowly disciplined into something higher. Great difficulties of common reason attend this view. Manís muscular inferiority to the beasts, and other physical characteristics, e.g., the unclad human skin, make his early survival and propagation a mystery, unless under exceptional original conditions. But to the believer it is enough that Scripture assumes all along the primeval goodness and greatness of human nature. Adam was simple, but not savage; undeveloped, but noble; inexperienced, but conversant with God.

The Roman Catholic theology, as worked out by the Schoolmen, holds an elaborate theory of Original Man. He was created morally neutral, and with conflicting elements in his nature. Then, perhaps after a first probation, he received a supernatural gift, by which he became positively holy and immortal. This gift, and only this, is lost in the Fall, which thus has left man as he was at first, only somewhat weakened morally. (See further below, p. 169.)

This view minimizes, in a way alien from Scripture, both the glory of our nature and the awfulness of its fall. Everywhere in Scripture Man is, from one point of view, kept profoundly low before God; not only as sinner, but as creature. Man owes everything to God; creation to begin with. He is no necessary outcome of the Divine Nature. He is not such that God, being God, need, or must, have made him. He is, in these respects, "the potterís clay"-which the Potter has first freely willed into existence. But, on the other hand, he is the most glorious work of the Creator; "the image and glory of God" (1 Cor. xi. 7). No theology true to Scripture must <166/167> decry Human Nature. Not man the creature, but man the sinner, is to be criticized and censured. And again, everywhere Scripture assumes that sin is an incalculably discordant and unnatural thing in man; not a mere gravitation of his nature as created and finite, inevitable but for an abnormal intervention. It is a terrible distortion, anomaly, and discord. He ought never to have been and never to be, a sinner. No theology true to Scripture must venture to minimize the mystery and horror of the Fall, which is correlative to the essential glory of Human Nature. [11]

Thus as we now approach the revelation of the Fall, we emphasize again the height that went before it. Man was "made upright;" spiritually harmonious with God; so formed that his moral "habit" (habitus), the cast and condition of his being, the source of actions, was "very good." All this was by the Holy Spirit; but by Him in normal action, not abnormal.

Man thus appeared on earth, the crown of Godís works, made in His image, knowing and enjoying Him as a kindred Nature. He was not divine; not God in disguise. He was as entirely a subject product of creative will as the beasts, or the plants. To this all Scripture bears witness. But he was "the son of God" (Luke iii. 38). Not that he was so yet in that deeper and loftier sense, the ultimately true sense, reached through redemption and regeneration in Christ. (See above, p. 34.) No hint in Scripture (above, p. 72) indicates that man is by creation "in" the Only-Begotten Son. But as a direct production, "in Image and after Likeness," Adam was "son of God" as truly as Seth was Son of Adam (Gen. v. 3). And the son <167/168> walked with his Eternal Father, in peace and light, and in conscious intercourse. [12]

One great mystery and fact about Primal Man remains to be spoken of. It comes out explicitly in the later Scriptures, (Rom. v.; 1 Cor. xv., especially; and cf. Eph. iv. 22-4; Col. iii. 9, 10 ) But the whole revelation prepares for this, in its manifold witness to the spiritual as well as physical unity of the race; not least in its one word for Adam, the individual, and for Man, the race. It is the position of the First Adam as Head and Representative of Man. Adam was a true individual, as truly as Abel. But, unlike his son, he was, what only one other Being ever has been, the moral intelligent Head of a moral intelligent race; not only the first specimen of a newly created Nature, but in such a sense the Spring of that nature to his after-kind that in him not only the individual but the race could, in some all-important respects, be dealt with. His incalculable advantages were theirs; his gentle probation was theirs. This, certainly nothing less, is the mystery taken for granted in Rom. v. (see below, p. 175).

No revelation of Scripture leads us more abruptly, so to speak, to the edge of the unknown. And the strongest efforts of thinking have been spent in the search for a complete theory of it. We believe that its rationale rests upon unrevealed <168/169> relations between Race and Head. Our safest course, till eternal light is cast upon it, is to keep strictly to what "is written;" to be quite sure that nothing capricious, nothing not purely good, entered into the sovereign divine appointment; and to study it, not in the abstract, but in the glory of its counterpart, the Headship of Christ.

 

II. Man Fallen.

The record of the Fall, in its stern yet pathetic simplicity, must be read at once as fact [13] and as mystery (above, p. 153). The story of the Garden is given as a fact, without a hint of discontinuity in kind between it and the record, for instance, of the Flood. On the other hand, its position, its brevity, and the later expositions of its significance, all prepare us both to forbear asserting a mere literality in all details, and to see in every detail a revelation.

Man, originally holy, was invaded by a personal Intelligence hating God. [14] Man, in the female, suspects a lack of love in God; and, in the male, prefers the creatureís will to His (1 Tim. ii. 14). Godís will, in its one known prohibition, is violated. Thereupon, by a law quite mysterious in some aspects, but firmest self-evident in others, the personal creature not only loses the bliss of intercourse with God, but suffers moral revolution in his being. There is no change in the nature, or constitution, of <169/170> man, which retains all its noble parts and faculties. Man is still "living soul;" spirit, soul, and body; still has conscience and will. But the "habit" (habitus) of the personality, the state of the "subject" of all these parts and faculties, is distorted (depravatus). Man no longer loves and obeys God as the law of his life. Moral discord is there. Knowledge and choice no longer delightfully converge upon right, upon the will of God. Man "knows good and evil" (Gen. iii. 5, 22). The very idea of discord with God apparently had as yet been absent from his happy being; now it is awfully present. He is now "like God," in knowing that such a thing is; but with what a difference! God knows it as the infinite Observer and Judge; man, as the guilty subject of its experience.

Was this a growth, an enrichment, of manís consciousness? Some have ventured to call it "a fall upward," as if the incoming of moral discord were a normal condition of human development. But this is the precise contrary to the witness of Scripture. It contains a fragment of truth; for supernatural, abnormal grace overruled the Fall to glorious ends. [15] The eternal plan mysteriously included the fact of the Fall, in its vast progression towards the final glorification of God in Christ. But all this leaves untouched the awfulness, ruin, loss, guilt of the Fall, as it was manís free act. For it was wholly free. No faintest force was put on manís will by God . Manís personality, and it alone, chose and caused the disobedience. And so actual evil, sin, had its "origin" for man.

Scripture nowhere reveals the absolute "origin <170/171> of evil," that dark nucleus of all distressing mysteries. It does not even state the (to us) insoluble problem, why one momentís wrong was permitted in the sovereignly created universe of an all-holy God. Thought has laboured at the problem. An approach to its answer lies in St. Augustineís teaching, that evil has no origin, inasmuch as it is negative, not positive; defect, failure; illustrated by the discordant state of a damaged harp. And plainly the abstract possibility of such defect lies in the conception of a probation. But, on the other hand, we cannot say that free and willing holiness is impossible without a moral precariousness, an actual liability to fall. God is holy, with infinite willingness and yet with eternal inner necessity. Is it inconceivable, on any abstract principle, that He should will a finite nature into being in a truly kindred state?

No; the solution of the problem of permitted evil lies beyond our sight. What we know is that sin is a fact, a fact in our own inmost personality; and that wherever it is, there, by its idea, it is condemnable-that is, by its very idea it makes the subject of it, the person., condemnable and that the all-holy God not only is not its cause, but "hates" it with infinite repulsion. That "hatred" is wholly unlike the bitterness and gloom of fallen manís hatred, but it is none the less an absolute personal aversion. And in graciously dealing with its presence in us God has shown His estimate of its formidable, incalculable greatness (above, p. 80) by "giving up His own Son" (Rom. viii. 32).

We cannot thus examine the Scripture estimate of sin without a grave appeal once more to the student. It has been said that every heresy shows some <171/172> subtle connexion with inadequate views of the "exceeding sinfulness of sin" (Rom. vii. 13). Great differences, affecting whole systems of theology, are traceable to deeper or shallower views of the extent of the Fall; of the malign power of the infection of sin in man; and, not least, of the awful reality of its guilt (reatus), its essential liability to condemnation; the profound fact that the sinner, as such, has no claim on God, no title to grace, whether in remission or amelioration.

Meanwhile, Scripture, as we have seen, plainly indicates that manís nature, as a constitution, remained intact. Fallen, he was just as much man as before; a true Ego, possessing understanding, affections, will. No force ab extra upon his will compelled him now, any more than before, to rebel against God despite himself. In sorrowful truth his will was bound towards God; he was unable to choose God as his All. But the bondage was from within; not in circumstances, or fate, but in himself; analogous to Godís holy inability to choose evil. Conscience still spoke of moral difference. Reason still tended to affirm the claim and glory of God, the beauty and duty of virtue. Emotions could still be stirred about God and goodness. But the ultimate decision of the Ego now ran in the line of the Fall, away from Godís full rights, and towards self and the creatures. God, as not merely a glorious Object of thought, but the absolute and holy Possessor, End, and All, was now not loved but dreaded by the very centre, so to speak, of the personality. No better response was to be found by awakening, or discovering, some deeper and "better self." The fall was thus "total." The central and ultimate choice was wrong. <172/173>

What man thus became, men are. Scripture bears witness, with the vast experience of mankind, to the "depravity" of men, to their distortion (depravatio) universally (e.g., 1 Kings viii. 46; Psal. li. 5, cxliii. 2; Jer. xvii. 9; Matt. vii. 11; Rom. iii. 19, 20; Eph. ii, 1-3). One implied testimony is the universal necessity of a "new birth;" except a man (a person, tis) be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (Joh. iii. 3. In Rom. viii. 5-8, under different imagery, the same truth is put with solemn decisiveness.) Sinful tendency, underlying sinful action, is co-extensive with mankind. In terms of conscience, no man, of himself, does all the right he knows. In terms of divine right, no man, of himself, fully loves the true God, beheld in all the truth of His holy claims. Here is the deepest of mysteries; but it is also one of the surest of facts. The phenomenon of strictly universal sinfulness is remarkably attested not only by Scripture, but by universal human thought. [16] One distant instance may serve for many. The ancient Chinese moralists, who moulded national thought to a high degree, take a lofty theoretical view of the goodness of man. Confusing, probably, conscience with will, the approbation with the love of right, they teach that "man is born good." Yet an ancient Chinese proverb speaks of "two good men; one dead, the other unborn."

The fact of universal sin points direct to a mystery below it; to a "law," in the naturalistís sense; to a normal tendency correlative to the uniform phenomenon. This leads to the statement of the doctrine of Original Sin.

"If all the individuals who come under the head <173/174> of a certain nature have sin in them, then one mode of expressing this law is, to say that it belongs to the Nature, the nature being the common property and ground in which all meet" (Mozley, Lectures, etc., No. ix.).

"It is the fundamental article of Christianity that I am a fallen creatureÖ that an evil ground existed in my will, previously to any given act, or assignable moment of time, in my consciousness; I am born a child of wrath. This fearful mystery I pretend not to understand. I cannot even conceive the possibility of it; but I know that it is so Ö and what is real must be possible" (S. T. Coleridge, Omniana, at the end). The Christian, with a true insight into himself, and with the Scriptures before him, owns and affirms this. "He knows that it is so." He is himself a sinner. He did not at any point in his individual life choose to leave unbroken personal goodness for sin. He was sinful before he sinned. He also knows that this antecedent sinfulness cannot be rightly conceived as mere misfortune; it was implicit rebellion, real guilt. It was the free attitude of his true personality. When it came to expression, that expression was not due to a mastering fate, wrong while the victim-self was right, though weak. It was the due to-himself.

As of man fallen (above, p. 172), so of the individual, Scripture attests the "totality" of this "depravity," or distortion. That is, it has not only touched every region of the individualís constitution; it is lodged at its centre, so that there is nothing deeper in the Ego with which the Ego can reverse it, or lead up to a reversal of it. A more than reversal, great and full, is possible. But this is due altogether, in its true causation, not to the Ego, but to God. <174/175>

Meanwhile, as with man so with the individuals the nature is complete, though the being is fallen. Every faculty and aspect of the nature is there. The man is a free moral personality, the Creatorís image. No fatalism has invaded him. But in one direction, that of the blessed Maker and His holy will, he is held fast-not from without, but from within. He wills freely, choosing truly, but always, in the ultimate, crucial choice, choosing not to be "subject to the law of God" (Rom. viii. 7), bonâ fide, toto corde. Conscience must protest; the affections may kindle and waver; the mind may assent to truth; but the man ultimately wills not for God.

All this leaves wide room for differences of character, and of inter-human morality. And these differences are not nothing in themselves, or in the sight of God. But they do not touch the central fact of sin-that men, as fallen, are of themselves alienated from the true God, and of themselves cannot, because they will not, reverse that alienation,

These statements, supported as we hold by Scripture, and by the inmost voice of Christian experience, [17] are connected in one remarkable passage, Rom. v. 12-21 (cp. 1 Cor. xv. 21, 22, 45-9), with Adam and the Fall (see above, p. 168). There we gather that (a) our normal sinfulness has a profound connexion with Adamís sin; and (b), a mystery even deeper still, that the connexion is such that we have from him not only an infected nature but an inherited exposure to condemnation, antecedent to our acts (vers. 12, 14, 16, 18). Indeed, this is the point of the Apostleís argument. Not "infection," primarily, but "condemnation," lies on the race, and <175/176> on the individual, "for that all sinned" (ver. 12) in "the offense of the one" (ver. 15).

The greatest force of thought has been spent in the study and discussion of this mystery for fifteen centuries. And in the study of the thoughts of an Augustine, an Anselm, a Bernard, or a Calvin, the student will surely gain spiritual as well as mental benefit. But after all they leave us in face of the mystery as a mystery still. We need less to analyse than to adore and act. We return to the Scripture, and to the awakened soul, and there, as we believe, are found affirmed and confessed the universality of sinfulness, the solidarity of the race in guilt (reatus púnæ) and in pollution (macula), the totality of the distortion of the fallen being from the holy will of the true God as such, and so the absolute need of a mercy which man cannot claim, and of a power not his own, for his recovery. We read in Scripture, and in awakened consciousness, the unresolved "antinomy" of our true responsibility yet guilty impotency. We read another contradiction too, less of speculation than of practice, in the facts that (a) we are unable, without special grace, even to "prepare ourselves to faith and calling upon God" (Art. X.), yet that (b) every hearer of the Gospel is invited with the sincerity of eternal goodness. "As I live, I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth. Turn ye; why will ye die?" (Ezek. xxxiii. 11).

For the practical needs of the heart, the doctrines of the Fall are meant wholly for mercy; meant to drive the last vestige of self-trust and self-esteem from the mind, shutting us up into "the confidence of self-despair" as we turn to the glorious opposite pole of truth, the revelation of love and grace in Jesus Christ. <176/177>

 

III. Man Restored

Much has been anticipated here under the doctrine of the Work of the Eternal Persons. There we saw the Fatherís holy love for the fallen world, His provision for the call and salvation of the Church in His beloved Son, the covenant of eternal grace, in which the Church was "blessed with all spiritual blessing" by the Father in the Son. We saw the Sonís undertaking to be the Mediator and Surety of the Covenant, providing in Himself for His members all things needful for acceptance and holiness-in His sacred incarnation, atoning death, and resurrection-life and headship. We saw the Holy Spiritís office and efficacy in dealing with the soul for its new birth and life in union with the Son by faith, that union of which the Spirit is Bond and Channel. It remains to consider the Scripture revelation of man, of man, thus restored, regarded as the effect of these divine Causes.

One or two points call for brief remark first.

We shall here again recognize those apparent contradictions (antinomies) which always appear when we deal with the relations of eternity and time, God and man. Scripture richly assures us that God is Love, that His every act and purpose is of transcendent moral goodness, that He is to be loved and trusted by His creatures without reserve. Accordingly, it represents Him as meeting the Fall with a gift of redemption immeasurably great and sincere; and as purposing to bring out from the facts of evil, in the end, only a nobler victory of goodness and love. (See esp. Rom. v. 20, 21.) But, on the other side, Scripture makes it solemnly plain <177/178> (certainly, from the first, to the vast majority of submissive students) that there will not be an actual salvation of all men. From the first Scriptures to literally the last runs the doctrine of Two Ways, and Two Ends. (See, e.g., Gen. iv. 1-16; Deut. xxx. 15; Psal. lxxiii. 27, 28; Prov. xv. 24; Dan. xii. 2; Hos. xiv. 9; Mal.iii. 17, 18; Matt. vii. 13-27, xxv.; Joh. iii. 16, 19-21, 36, v. 28, 29, ix. 39; Acts xiii. 38-41; Rom. ii. 2-11; 1 Cor. xi. 32; Gal. vi. 7, 8; Eph. v. 6; Phil. iii. 18, 19; Heb. vi. 4-8; 1 Pet. iv. 17, 18; 1 Jon. v. 16; Rev. ii. 11, xxi. 1-8, 27, xxii. 14, 15.) Efforts are made (and who can wonder, that has really felt the mystery?) to read a universal hope between these dark lines. The phrase (Acts iii. 21), "the restitution of all things," and the words of Eph. i. 10, Col. i. 20, are earnestly adduced as witnessing to an ulterior future in which the two ends shall, as it were, result in one-the good and peace of every individual man. But is the awful weight of the main drift of Scriptural warnings meant to be thus ultimately neutralized? Acts iii. 21 expressly refers to "the things which God spake by the prophets;" i.e., the final triumph of His cause after such seeming defeats as the rejection of Israel (cp. Matt. xvii. 11). The language of Eph. i. and Col. i. significantly refers to heaven and earth, without inclusion of "things under the earth." But the great alternative appears not only in explicit passages. It is present, in its most tender and solemn form, in the divine entreaties to the Christian to watch and pray against powers of ruthless evil; in the tears of the Lord and the Apostles over the impenitent (Luke xix. 41; Acts xx. 31; Phil. iii. 18). Below all articulate statements there lies in such facts the <178/179> infinitely grave assurance of an alternative which knows no compromise, no solution.

When, on our knees, we ask the account of this, the one reply, as we believe, is, that it lies with the account of the origin of sin, and of the full wrong and malignity of sin; that is, it lies out of our sight. Sin is both an insoluble riddle, and a terrible fact, in the freely created universe of the Holy God. It is impossible to reason à priori on the effects of an unknown cause.

If with deep reverence we may figure the action of the Eternal Mind in terms of the action of a finite mind, as Scripture does, we may put the case somewhat thus [18]:-The Blessed God, in absolute wisdom and goodness, willing to create, chose of all possible orders of things the best. For ultimate ends of pure good that system involved the moral probation of finite moral beings, and this involved the certainty that some of these would, of themselves, depart from God. In the case of man, a race having a Head in whom the nature was tried, it involved the result that the race, in the Head, would so fall as quite to lose, by moral judicial sequel, the power of self-recovery, and that some of that race would never be recovered, from within or from without. Yet He who is love, knowing the whole of things, saw it best, truly best, that thus it should be. And He bids us, looking on His face, in His Son, be sure that for the most magnificent possible "bringing" of human "sons unto glory," the order chosen was the best. As a fact, it shall result in a redeemed host incalculably great (Rev. vii. 9). And we know absolutely nothing of <179/180> its extra-human effects, except that "the whole creation" (Rom. viii. 22) longs for its issue, and "angels desire to look into" its process (1 Pet. i. 12).

Here we confessedly present a conception of divine and eternal thought in terms of human thought. But this is not to limit God. Scripture and our being alike witness to the necessary and eternal absoluteness of God in every attribute, or characteristic. But in every revelation of the relations of God to the world, of the Eternal to time, we come by strict necessity to seeming inconsistencies of thought (p. 37). We have to view the Absolute as under relations; to observe the Almighty Creator as using means, working through design. The limits thus induced are real; but they lie not in the Nature of God, but in that of finite being and its thought.

It remains to add that those who hold what we may call the Augustinian doctrine of grace, as read in Scripture (where they see it revealed, but also on every hand balanced, and limited, by the unrevealed), hold that He who chose that order chose it as both the most righteous and most benignant of all, for His dealings with man. They will bow to His doings, confessing them to be "past finding out" (Rom. xi. 33). But they will also work for God and man with the simplicity and energy of faith in the Almighty. And they will look for the day when, though our minds will never be infinite, we shall yet no longer "know in part," but "as we were known" (1 Cor. xiii. 12). Then we shall praise the infinitely Wise, Mighty, and Loving, in a song free from all under-notes of sadness, sung above the clouds of time.

To resume ;-on "Man Restored" our statement, as we have said, has been largely anticipated; <180/181> especially under the heads of the work of the Son, and of the Spirit.

It is perhaps necessary to point out that the great restoration is not revealed as acting apart from the knowledge, more or less articulate, of the true God. It is not revealed as a process which silently and without known means penetrates Humanity, so that, for example, the Incarnation of the Son has affected the condition of body, soul, or spirit where no moral and spiritual means have been brought to bear on men or nations. The great and urgent missionary commission to the Church speaks clearly in this direction. (And see Rom. x. 12-15.) The gracious "Judge of all the earth will do right" with every human individual. We may trust Him with His own handiwork. But the Scripture is deeply silent as to any restoration of man, certainly normally, without the message of grace.

One great exception there is. The innumerable multitude of infants "dying before they commit actual sin" belongs, as we firmly believe, to "man restored," everywhere and always. Opinion on this has differed in the Church of Christ. The loss of the infant soul without baptism has been widely held. [19] To us the words of our Lord (Mark x. 14, 15) seem to carry us far beyond the baptismal limit, and to encourage the belief that where human life terminates here as infant-life, though the very fact of that death is (Rom. v. 14) a testimony to the extension over humanity of the liability of its fallen Head, yet for the sake of the Second Adam there is such an application of His merits and His Spirit as <181/182> assures us of life eternal. The case, immensely common as to numbers, is quite abnormal in idea. Only the Creator knows the limits of it, and of all the other cases which fall under its class.

Normally, the individual restored was at once an instance of fallen human nature (a subject of original sin), and an actual transgressor (Eph. ii. 1-3). He now, from the point of view of God, has been regenerated, new-created. From his own point of view he has, with genuine willingness, "come to Christ" (Joh. vi. 35, 37), "received Christ, believing on His Name" (Joh. i. 12), coming to "obedience, and the sprinkling of His blood" (1 Pet. i. 2). To use a word familiarized by our version of Psal. li. 13, Matt. xviii. 3, etc., he has been "converted," "turned about," as to affections and will, from original inner alienation from God, so as to submit, believe, and love. The subjective experience of this conversion (metanoia) may, and does, widely vary. To consciousness, it may be gradual, and even imperceptible, or intensely otherwise. But it is essentially one thing in all cases, a forsaking of all else as the manís peace, strength, and aim, in favour of "Christ as the power and wisdom of God" (1 Cor. i. 24); for this He is to "the called," the apostolic term most closely akin to our "converted." The relations of time between regeneration and the consciousness of conversion are secret. The consciousness of conversion is not precisely of the essence of conversion. It is conceivable (not natural, or probable) that a man truly regenerate may pass through mortal life to death not fully conscious of the divine life; not able to analyse and affirm it to himself. But it seems also to be clear that where true regeneration is, there, by a spiritual law, it always tends to come out in a new life <182/183> (Joh. iii. 8, an all-important verse), whether or no the man recognizes it as such. We infer that ordinarily no assignable interval separates actual (not ceremonial, see pp. 249, 255) new birth and its potential manifestation.

The man, then, thus restored, new-born, and turned to God, is a person who, once "alienated," is now united really to Jesus Christ by the indwelling of that Spirit who also dwells in his Head, and who has brought him to repentance (i.e., humble turning from sin to God) and to faith in Christ (Acts xx. 21). In this mysterious, but most true and vital, Union he (above, p. 133), possesses the two great covenant blessings (Heb. x. 16, 17), acceptance for his Redeemerís merits, and a regenerated state of nature, and particularly of will and affections, by His Spirit. Not to retrace old ground, we only deal here with certain main questions about the actual condition of the restored individual in Christ.

(1) His justification. The word "justify" is frequent in Scripture, not only in doctrinal connexions (see, e.g., Exod. xxiii. 7; Deut. xxv. 1; Prov. xvii. 15). The great passages for its doctrinal application are the first half of the Epistle to the Romans, part of the Epistle to the Galatians, and Jas ii. 14-26. It is clear everywhere that the essence of the idea is judicial acceptance; not pardon merely, but a verdict of the lawís contentment with the person. The quality of such contentment will vary with that of the law. Human law, speaking broadly, demands a minimum; abstinence from positive and exterior disobedience. And its acquittal accordingly avouches this and no more. Divine spiritual law demands in its nature a maximum; supreme love of God and unselfish love of men. And so its "justi- <183/184> fication" avouches that the person examined contents it in these respects. But how can this actually be, when "in the sight of God no man living shall be justified" (Psal. cxliii. 2) on his own merits? Here comes in the mystery and fact of the application of the merits of Christ (see above, p. 81), the substituted Victim, valid Representative, and Covenant-Head, of "all who come to God by Him" (Heb. vii. 25). The great justification-argument of the Roman Epistle is in effect this: that such is Jesus Christ, the sacrificed Son of God, and such is the relation, to believing sinners, of the propitiation He wrought in death, that they for His sake, being personally guilty and de-meritorious, are accepted with unreserved contentment by the eternal law as its fulfillers. That this amazing but holy paradox is meant is shown by the fact that the truth did from the first suggest the perversion (meaningless, without a real counterpart in the thing perverted) that it favored moral license (Rom. iii. 8, vi. 1). And the Apostle meets this, not by modifying the paradox, but by placing it unmodified (ch. vi.) in organic connexion with the other truth of concurrent spiritual life. Pauline justification, isolated for study, is the acceptance of the sinful person, believing, irrespective, (in this isolation) of any consideration whatever but the sacrifice of Jesus Christ accepted by faith.

This grandly simple and heart-moving view of justification has been impugned from many quarters. Thus, it has been held that by "the works of the law," or more simply by "works," is meant, not personal morality of practice, but either Judaist observances or morality practised in the definitely Pharisaic spirit. But that the phrase goes far <184/185> deeper is plain from Rom. iii. 19, 20 with the previous context. There "the works of the law" are defined by their contraries, enumerated vv. 9-18. And it thus appears that these "works of the law" are-seeking after God, fearing God, doing good, right use of the tongue, reverence for human life, and the like. The practical issue of the argument is, that the eternal standard in such things is such that personal obedience on the part of fallen man always and fatally falls short, by whatever intervals. And the eternal law, in its nature, knows no compromise; so that acceptance before it, in a saving sense, is hopeless for man on his merits, even if his merits are only a part of his plea. And the deep need is met, not partially, but wholly, by the sacrifice of Christ, by Christ the Propitiation, appropriated as such by faith.

Again, the simplicity and depth of the truth have been weakened by disturbing the simplicity of the idea of faith. To has been held that faith is a short expression for true Christianity; faith, or credence, along with its assumed results of obedience and piety. This was the view, in essence, of Bishop Bull, cent. xvii. And most other theories impugning the view above given as the Pauline view, run up ultimately into this. But a full study of the word "faith" in Scripture, and in common human speech, will, we think, be conclusive the other way. Particularly, our Lordís use of it (e.g. Matt. vi. 30, viii. 10) gives it an essential connexion with the idea of personal reliance. Such reliance, by the nature of the case, assumes an underlying credence of, or assent to, expressed or implicit statements. But its vital characteristic is an act of accepting reliance, not on immediate evidences but in imme- <185/186> diate trust. The woman of Canaan shows her faith by invincible trust in Jesus against all appearances.

St. Jamesí words (ii. 14-26) are undoubtedly a grave problem on the other side. But we believe the solution lies in the fact that by "faith" St. James means orthodox credence (ii. 19), not personal reliance; and that in this meaning he does not give his own view of faith, but takes his opponents on their own ground. One thing is practically certain, that St. James is cautioning his leaders, not against ultra-Paulinism, but against Rabbinism, with its tenet that the Orthodox Jewish "confession of faith" (Deut. vi. 4) was a passport to life eternal.

The large scale, of revelation on this subject in the Pauline Epistles warns us that, while both Apostles convey infallible truth, the bearing of St. Jamesí words should be inferred from St. Paulís, rather than the other way.

Again, it has been held that while the simplest doctrine of Justification by Faith applies to the Christianís first entrance on the new life, a more complex doctrine applies to the sequel. The man is welcomed in for the mere sake of Christ the Propitiation. He is allowed to remain, he is held in acceptance, because, of his regenerate obedience, or because of it concurrently with the first ground. The deepest answer to this, apart from explicit Scripture, lies, we think, in the inmost consciousness of all true believers, of many varying types of thought, when brought at any moment of their course face to face with the Eternal Holiness. At such moments of intuition it is seen, or rather felt and known, that something "not ourselves," absolute and perfect, availing in the legal sphere, must <186/187> stand between the man and the "fiery law." Psal. cxliii. 2, for the true Christian as for the true Israelite, alone expresses the soulís conviction then. From this, point of view there is no room for a "first and second justification;" the first by faith in the Propitiation only, the second on the ground of our obedience too. "I know whom I have believed" (2 Tim. i. 12) is a word as fit for the latest as for the earliest conviction of the saint. See too, by all means, Phil. iii. 9, with its whole context.

The words of the dying Hooker are in point: "Though I have, by His grace, loved Him in my youth, and feared Him in my age, and laboured to have a conscience void of offenseÖ yet if Thou, O Lord, be extreme to mark what is done amiss, who can abide it? And therefore, where I have failed, Lord, show mercy to me; for I plead not my righteousness, but the forgiveness of my unrighteousness, for His merits who died to purchase pardon for penitent sinners." [20]

Nothing is more essential to a full view and humble enjoyment of our salvation than a reverent hold on the divine paradox of Justification by Faith, as (speaking broadly) that paradox was brought into the foreground of Christian thought by Luther, and as it will be found in our Eleventh Article, illustrated (as the Article directs) by the "Homily of Justification," i.e., the third Homily of the First Book. See, too, Hookerís great sermon On Justification. That paradox is only the correlative of the glorious fundamental of the Gospel, "Christ is all." In the full view of what Scripture says of His all-precious Sacrifice, it will be less a tenet than an instinct to remit the whole weight of our acceptance to Him <187/188> as our Propitiation, and to recognize faith, that is, a trustful acceptance, as deep as it is absolutely simple, as that which on our side puts us into contact with the Propitiator. Not our sufferings or sacrifices unite us savingly with His, for our acceptance. He is all, and we sinners accept Him as He is.

A few words may come in here on the Imputed Righteousness of Christ. This phrase, once widely accepted, and not least by such Anglicans as Andrewes and Beveridge (cent. xvii.), is now much disputed, and even repudiated. But it rests securely upon Rom iv. 6, with its context. There has been a tendency to over-refinement upon it; a too elaborate distinction between our Lordís active keeping of the moral law and His awful suffering beneath the penalty of our sins; the one considered as supplying our defects, the other as meeting our violations. But this is not the essential view of the phrase; and we see this all the more as we remember (above, p. 83) the profound connexion between the obedience of our Lordís life and the merit of His Passion. The essential of the phrase is just this, that the Son of God, as the supremely meritorious One, as infinitely satisfactory to law, is, before the law, and for the purposes of law, accepted, reckoned as the believing sinnerís substitute. The man, incorporated in Him, is counted, reputed, as involved in His whole merit, as the Lord was counted, reputed, as involved in the manís sin. His merit is thus imputed, that is to say, set down, to the man.

Alike for his defects and his violitions,-which intimately run up into one idea of anomia (1 Joh. iii. 4), i.e., non-correspondence to the holy law,-the man involves himself, or rather consents that he should be involved, in that perfect merit. As thus <188/189> involved, he stands accepted. His ground of justification and peace is not only not his own "works," but not even (as some hold) the presence of Christ in him, taken along with its eternal development in prospect. It is Christ for him, in the quite different region of merit, of law.

We do not repeat here what we have said above (p. 132), on the connexion of this sacred paradox of free justification with our Union with Christ. But the subject is all-important, and calls for the devout attention of the Christian. To the last, the ultimate rationale of the Atonement of our Lord, and so of our acceptance through faith on its account, "goes off into mystery." But within the circle of light and revelation on the subject lies the fact that the effectual application of the Atonement is for the living members of the living Head of the mystical Body, one with their Lord in an unspeakable reality of conjunction; and that it is faith, the acceptance of Christ for salvation by the awakened soul, which from our side is the nexus of that union. Faith is ipso facto entrance into Christ. And in Christ, the Propitiation, resides perfect merit for acceptance before God, for all that are "found in Him" (Phil. iii. 9).

Meanwhile it is abundantly revealed that the justified man, while decisively and continuously accepted before God from this point of view, is, from other points of view, under paternal discipline, liable to paternal displeasure and correction (see, among the wealth of references, 1 Cor. xi. 29-32; Heb. xii. 5-11; and cp. Deut. viii. 5; Psal. xciv. 12). And not only so, but (p. 44) the justified man, if he is not only to stand accepted before God, but to enjoy the bliss of the fact, must, as a spiritual con- <189/190> dition, "walk humbly with his God," in regenerate obedience. The act, and yet more the habit, of admitted and willing sin is fatal to personal assurance in that sense.

(2) We are led now, in considering the actual condition of man restored, to the direct view of his Sanctification, or personal and internal separation from sin to God. The connexion of this with his justification is close and manifold. Justification is, we may say, (a) his entrance on the possibility of Sanctification; for a true because willing and loving holiness has a necessary connexion, by way of resulting gladness, gratitude, and love, with an entrance into "peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Ö by whom we have now received the atonement" (Rom. v. 1, 11). And Justification thus also, and as a yet deeper truth, has to do with Sanctification because (b) our entrance on acceptance is altogether for the very purpose of our holiness. This is manifest, and most important. Scripture nowhere forbids or condemns the profoundly natural and human gladness of our personal deliverance in Christ from "the wrath to come" (e.g. 1 Thess. i. 10). Scripture is not committed to the doctrine, rather unnatural than supernatural, that gratitude for the rescue of our personality from eternal woe, and unto eternal bliss, is an unworthy element among motives to obedience; that the Glory of God is the one possible element in true motive. But it does place that Glory in such supremacy over every other kind of motive, and adjusts every other so to it, as to make it spiritually impossible for the renewed man to rest short of it as the recognized goal of his being, his blessed raison díêtre. From this point of view, sanctification is greater than justification somewhat as end <190/191> is greater than means. We are justified for an ulterior purpose. We are sanctified, we are subdued and transfigured, as the fulfilment in us of the will of God, for whom we exist; and the ulterior purpose is attained.

We do not deal here with Christian ethics, and therefore do not enter on the discussion of the holy precepts for renewed man in detail. We only observe that they amount, in their sum, to just this-a total abstinence in Christís name from admitted sinning, of motive and act, and a true and entire dedication of "spirit, soul, and body" to the will of God.

What we have to say here concerns the restored manís personal equipment, in Christ, for this holy purpose.

The work of faith in Sanctification. This is manifold. As by faith we enter the justified state, we so far owe to faith all the holy motives that state brings to bear on our acts and habits. But also faith is exercised at whatever moment the Christian for any purpose definitely trusts his Lordís word and power. It is precisely the same faculty as that exercised in the act of receiving remission and acceptance, and its exercise is quite as simple as then; but it now takes another direction. And this direction of faith figures very largely in the Scriptures in the matter of the Christianís victory over sin, or deliverance from it (see e.g. Acts xv. 9, and probably xxvi. 18; Gal. ii. 20; Eph. vi. 16). It is clearly indicated that for the man in living contact with Christ the true secret for internal moral purity is Christ (1 Cor. i. 30), living and overcoming within, by the Holy Spirit who effects His presence there (see above, p. 136). And our part is to believe. <191/192>

In one great passage (Eph. iii. 14-19) we reach the heart of the matter. The believerís practical experience of "all the fulness of God," i.e., of all that which, being in Him, is communicable as holiness to His regenerate creature, is there connected with the "coming of Christ to dwell in the heart." And this is connected on one hand with the work of the Spirit, "strengthening" the Christian "in the inner man;" and on the other hand, with the Christianís "faith," obviously as the result of that divine work. The Indwelling, with its sequel of blessings, is secured and retained on our side "by faith" not by a process of discipline and labour, but by the same humble and reverent reliance on God in His word which is our entrance into justification. Thus the heart is "purified by faith," because faith is the admission into it of Jesus Christ, its indwelling Redeemer, Friend, and King, divinely able so to work on it and in it, along all its lines of spontaneity, as to conform it effectually, yet without force, to His most sacred will in all things.

This deep yet open secret of spiritual victory is largely illustrated in Scripture. The combat of the soul is seen portrayed, for all believing students, in the language of the Psalms about enemies and battle. And the Psalms bear inexhaustible witness to a secret of victory which is in fact the manís committal of himself, for victory, to Jehovah (see, out of many passages, Psal. xxv. 15, xxvii. 1-6, cxxxviii. 7, 8). His is the one really prevalent force; His people prevail by Him. So with the conflict of the Christian under temptation. His secret is to "put on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. xiii. 14), who is, in effect, "the whole armour, the panoply, of God" (Eph. vi. 11). "In Him" alone, as vantage ground <192/193> and fortress, His follower is "strong" (Eph. vi. 10) against the powers of evil. "In Him, enabling," the Christian "has strength for all things" (Phil. iv. 13) which are to be borne or done in the will of God.

This divine principle needs an always large and glad, while an always guarded, recognition in the teaching of Sanctification, and above all in its practice. A full view of it is vitally connected with the doctrine of our Union with Christ as the Second Man, in whom Manhood, perfected and glorified, is personally united to Godhead, and who, thus constituted the Head of His people, is for them the fountain of all grace and virtue, to be derived from Him by faith in Him. [21] He in His blessed constitution is at once our new Life, the Basis, as it were, of our regenerate condition and action; and also, in His personal energy, through the Holy Comforter, our Conqueror, Ruler, and Keeper, in the exercise of that life. And, our realization of Him as such is "according to our faith," our submissive and recipient reliance on Him as we are His members. From Him equally we derive both gifts of the New Covenant; acceptance and spiritual power to do the will of God. And both, amidst many differences in the experience of their application, are alike in this, that each is the divine response to simple "faith in the Son of God."

Meanwhile, the Scripture doctrine of Sanctification teaches no effortless passivity. No will is so fully constituted for work as the regenerate and surrendered will. And in this matter of inner sanctification, which lies at the base of true and faithful outward service (2 Tim. ii. 21), the will has abundant work to do, in watching and prayer, in self-examination and confession of sin, in diligent study of the divine Word, in the spiritual use of sacred <193/194> ordinances, in holy contemplation of Christ, in attention to every whisper through the conscience. But these works will all be done with a view to maintaining and deepening that sacred practical contact with Christ by faith which is the one ultimate secret of spiritual success. They will be helps and guides to faith, not substitutes for its divine simplicity. The temptation of the hour will be met less by direct efforts of the will than by indirect; through, and "in, Him who enableth."

In connexion with this subject, the question arises, does the regenerate man actually attain, by this divine means, such a deliverance here from sinfulness in his constitution and from sinning in his acts (inward and outward) as to entitle him to say, "I am devoid, in all respects, of sin"?

Undoubtedly the promises and offers of Scripture are magnificently large (see, e.g., Eph. iii. 20, 21; Col. i. 10; 1 Joh. ii. 5, iii. 6, 9). And the New Testament obviously contemplates the Christianís life as a life meant to be, not intermittently, but normally, a "walk with God" in the deep peace of a loving obedience of motive and act, pleasing to Him in Christ. To speak for a moment of Christian ethics rather than doctrine, very many believing lives fall far below the divinely intended realization of this, in a "peace which passeth understanding, keeping the heart and thoughts, in Christ Jesus" (Phil. iv. 7); and are thus hindered not a little in the joy and also in the fruitfulness of service.

But then Scripture has another side, of limit and caution. While spreading before us the animating truth of the divine perfectness of grace, of God working in us, it intimates the humbling imperfection of our receptivity, while as yet the redemption of our being from the effects of the Fall awaits <194/195> actual completion (Rom. viii. 23). Here seems to lie the root of the mystery, and fact, of the spiritual antitheses of Scripture as regards sanctification (see, e.g., Psal. xvii. 3, contrasted with cxliii. 2; Jas iii. 2 with Jude 24, in the Greek; 1 Pet. iv. 18 with 2 Pet. i. 11; 1 Joh. i. 8 with iii. 6, 9). From the side of grace and gift, all is perfect, and the realization is to be indefinitely better and more delightful. From the side of the Christian there is imperfect receptivity, and accordingly imperfect holiness, to the end of his pilgrimage. So to the last he is to join, with profound sincerity, in the prayer, "Forgive us our trespasses," and to reflect on his abiding need (see above, p. 85) that "the (propitiatory) blood of Jesus Christ should cleanse him from all sin," in a process continuous and therefore not completed. He is divinely entitled to, and enabled for, a continuous spiritual emancipation from sinís "kingship" (Rom. vi. 12) for he has by the Cross become "dead to sin" (vi. 2), as he is "dead to the law" (vii. 4), in the sense of deliverance from arrest and doom, and entrance in his risen Lord into a new life (vi. 4) of power before and for God. But he is not yet exempted from sinís presence, in his (not yet wholly redeemed) complex being (viii. 23). He has still to reckon with "the flesh" (Gal. v. 16, 17), that mysterious element, or rather condition, of the once fallen and not yet wholly redeemed being whose "mind" or bias, even in its faintest vestige, "is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be" (Rom. viii. 7). He is not "in it" (viii. 9), for it is not his spiritual sphere, or atmosphere ; but it is in him, just so far as its "infection" is there, needing every moment the conquering counteraction of the Spirit (Rom. viii. 13; Gal. v. 17). It is "crucified" (Gal. <195/196> v. 24) a word of profound import as regards a decisive rejection by the regenerate will of the very idea of a self-life. But the imagery of the Cross, while it suggests a stern execution (not by our power), may suggest also the lingering death of the thing crucified. (See Addenda, p. 268, on "the old man.")

What is the bearing on this subject of the great passage Rom. vii. 7-25? Very various views have been taken of it. It has been explained of (a) the struggles of conscience against will in fallen man as such; (b) these struggles intensified and complicated by the first stages of spiritual recovery, in which the man, convinced and attracted by grace, but not yet actually regenerate seems to himself a double self; (c) the inner experience of the fully regenerate man, in a normal and hourly balanced conflict between the Holy Spirit and the flesh; (d) the inner experience of the fully regenerate, but presented for study under peculiar condition-isolated from the divine factor of the Holy Spiritís conquering and observed as in view of the absolute holiness of the law of God (ver 12), and the constant presence, (ver. 18) of "the flesh," and the insight of the renewed reason (vers. 22, 23, 25) into the glory of the will of God and the hatefulness of the least sin. Of these interpretations we believe (a) to be clearly untenable, and (b) only less clearly so; for the passage throughout deals with in experience in some sense "present" to a man who has learnt not merely to respond in conscience to the will of God, but sympathetically to "delight in it" (ver. 22)-the height of the work of grace. Again, (c) offers serious difficulties in view of the witness of Scripture to the joy and peace of the true Christianís life, and the provision for him, in the work of the Holy <196/197> Spirit, of an habitual deliverance from all internal captivity under the power of sin. In (d) appears to lie the true line of solution. Observe that throughout the passage no mention is made of the Holy Spirit. The highest words employed are "the inward man" (see above, p. 164) and more markedly "the mind" (nous), the human spirit directed in recognition upon truth. The regenerate man, assailed by temptation through "the flesh" (in its moral, not material sense), meets the attack with his highest regenerate powers, but without actively calling in the divine force of the Comforter, by whom he is in Christ and Christ in him. And the conflict continues in partial but serious failure, at best. It is otherwise when (viii. 13) "we through the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body."

Rom. vii. thus describes a real element in the regenerate life, liable to be experienced at any stage or moment. And, in the mystery of the Fall, it is experienced, in the light of the absolute holiness of the law (ver. 12), brought home by the Spirit as enlightener. Rom. viii. 23 testifies, in the midst of a passage full of divine triumph, to the presence, potential if not actual, of a "groan" in the regenerate, during the pilgrimage. But the great aim of Rom. vii. is to bring out to the full the awful yet blessed holiness of the law of God, and so it contemplates the regenerate man at his very best, but isolated (as it were) from the activity of his divine Indweller. Every moment, however brief, in which the Christian yields to even the most refined temptation, is an instance in point of the passage; and at every such moment there is definite defect in the manís use, if we may say so, of the Spiritís power. And the more advanced his intimacy with the Holy <197/198> God, the deeper then will be his response to the language of that passage.

The question has been raised, whether the life of sanctification (as its deepest requisite, on our part, like that of justification, is faith) begins similarly with one great initial step, in which the man commits himself, in a crisis of entrustment, to his Lord, entering thus on a path of continuous peace and purity within. We think that no definite revelation of such a "law" is made, certainly not as in the matter of justification. But the case may reverently be stated thus. Every true entrance on acceptance is a true entrance on spiritual life and power, in its fulness, because it is an entrance into Christ (above, p. 133). The man decisively accepted in Christ is the man also fully endowed in Christ, and needing only to discover his wealth. And no man who, in believing so as to receive the remission of sins, has really seen at all "whom he has believed," can be quite in the dark both as to the immediate call to obey His Redeemer, and the immediately given new willingness and power to obey. But time inevitably discloses spiritual need and personal weakness, and there come in the manís life occasions, often very definite, of developed insight into and use of spiritual resources in Christ. And if, in the particular case, the easy mistake has been made at first of taking the emotion and motive of joy and gratitude on acceptance for the basis and treasury of strength, then the first discovery that nothing less and else than Christ in us by the Spirit is basis and treasury is likely to be a conscious crisis in life as deep and definite as possible. In the language of Eph. iii. 14-19, we think, there is reference to this; and see too Rom. vi. 13-19; Gal. v. 16-25; <198/199> Eph. i. 15-23; Col. i. 9-13, etc. Yet the analogy is not complete between the decision and crisis in the two cases. In that of justification the real crisis is an entrance, from the lawís point of view into acceptance of the person. In that of sanctification it is an entrance from the Christianís point of view, on realization of inner peace and strength. The first case is in its nature one and single: an admission, an incorporation. The second is in its nature progressive and developing: the discovery, advancing with the occasion for it, of the greatness of the resources of Christ for life. The latter may, not must, thus include one great crisis in consciousness, one particular spiritual act. It is much more certain to include many starting-points, critical developments, marked advances. The act of self-surrendering faith in the power of Christ for inward cleansing of the will and affections may be, and often indeed it is, as it were a new conversion, a new "effectual calling." But it is sure, if the man knows himself in the light of Christ, to be followed by echoes and reiterations to the end; not mere returns to and beginnings from the old level (certainly it is not the plan of God that it should be so), but definite out-growths due to new discovery of personal need and sin, and of more than corresponding "riches" in Christ.

With each such advance the sacred promise of the Fulness of the Spirit will be received with a holy and happy realization. The idea of the phrase (Eph. v. 18), "be ye filled in the Spirit," is that of a receptacle surrounded by air, or water, and filled with its environment in proportion to its receptive freedom. The more the regenerate man, in the way of humble reverent self-abnegation and believing <199/200> surrender, presents himself to God, the more this sacred inflow into every faculty of the soul will take place. He shall be ever filling, and ever flowing as a channel of good for other men (Joh. vii. 38, 39).

Thus man restored stands and lives. Justified and new-born in Christ, to whom the Spirit has united him, as member to Head, in repentant faith, he by the same Spirit, working in and welcomed by his spontaneity, "mortifies the deeds of the body," in the life of watching and prayer, by faith. He is a "child of God by faith in Christ Jesus" (Gal. iii. 26). He is the brother, [22] in the regenerate life, of the Son of God (Rom. viii. 29); his body is the temple of the Holy Spirit of God (1 Cor. vi. 19). He "worships God by his Spirit, rejoices in Christ Jesus, and has no confidence in the flesh" (Phil. iii. 3); that is to say, in anything out of God which in any sense is his own. In his exalted Head he has, and uses, the true secret for holy serviceableness and the life of duty, in its highest or humblest forms. He recognizes in others and their needs the expression of his Masterís will for him, that he should live "no longer to himself" (2 Cor. v. 15). Whether be lives or dies, it is "to the Lord," with reference to Him as Possessor (Rom. xiv. 7-9). "The world"-that is to say, unregenerate and unspiritual humanity, knows him not" (1 Joh. iii. 1), cannot read his secret; whether that fact attracts it or repels it. And to himself "it does not yet appear what he shall be; but he knows that when his Lord shall appear, he shall be like Him, seeing Him as He is" (1 Joh. iii. 2).

He expects the mysterious future with the fear of <200/201> holy reverence and profound self-distrust, but in the joy of divine peace. For him to die is "to go home to be with the Lord" (2 Cor. v. 6, 8), to begin to "walk by sight" (ibid., 7), "to be with Christ, which is far better" (Phil. i. 23) than even a life here which "is Christ"; (ibid., 21). If indeed his Redeemer shall return from the heavens before his own dissolution, he expects the instant transfiguration of his whole being (1 Cor. xv. 52; 1 Thess. iv. 17), and reunion in that being with "the children of the resurrection" in the presence of Christ. And if he himself is then one of "them who sleep in Jesus" he is well assured that "He who raised up the Lord Jesus will raise up him also, and present him with Him" (2 Cor. iv. 14). Because the Spirit of God "dwelt in his mortal body," the Father, who raised the Son, "shall also quicken his mortal body." It will have been "sown" as "not that body that shall be" (1 Cor. xv. 37); the link of continuity and identity is mysterious (see above, p. 100); but nevertheless that which is "sown" shall be "raised, in incorruption, in glory, in power, a spiritual body" (1 Cor. xv. 42-44) "in" "the Second Man, the Lord from heaven"; "with Him, in glory" (Col. iii. 4). So transfigured, into the final perfectness of his nature, restored man shall "serve God day and night in His temple" (Rev. vii. 15), in whatever ways-doubtless infinitely various, as they will be eternally important and efficacious-the everlasting life shall open up. Dimly but really revelation indicates that the saints, the Church, shall have immeasurably great things to do in the eternal realm of God, while they personally and together "enjoy Him fully for ever." <201>

___________________

[1] See Sir J. W. Dawson, Modern Science in Bible Lands, ch. ii.

[2] See Mivart, Lessons from Nature, ch. vi.

[3] Modern Science, cc.i., iii. Cp. at large Southall, Recent Origin of Man.

[4] Tennyson, Palace of Art.

[5] The question, observe, was of the resurrection, not of the saints, but of "the dead." Our Lord uses words spoken of the saints as also intimating universal human facts which they presuppose.

[6] Contrast Wisdom ix. 15. But even this may refer mainly to the fallen condition of man.

[7] In Rev. vi. 9 (cp. xx. 4) we have disembodied "souls." But the reference is peculiar. The case is of those who have, in self-devotion, yielded up their lives in bodily death. The more self-related word is in point. Cp. Isa. liii. 10-12.

[8] As Dodwell (cent. xviii.). In our own time the Rev. J. B. Heard, and the Rev. E. White, have taken similar lines of teaching.

[9] The remarkable words of Heb. iv. 12 may be explained not of separation so much as penetration; manís being as spirit is found and searched by the Word through and under manís being as soul; his relations to God through his knowledge of himself. See Prof. Laidlawís Bible Doctrine of Man, p. 63, note. To this book we are greatly indebted here.

[10] Is the individual "soul" (in the common meaning of the word) derived from the parents (the "traducianist" view), or divinely originated (the "creationist" view)? The former seems to throw some faint light on the mystery of Original Sin; the latter, to accord better with the fact of individual personality, and on the whole with Scripture. Origen held the pre-existence of all souls "from the beginning" and their fall in a previous state; a view certainly without definite support in Scripture. Cp. Shedd, Hist. of Doctrine, Bk iv., ch.i.

[11] See Pascal, Pensées, partie i., ch. iv. (ed. Faugère).

[12] On this last point it appears to be impossible to avoid the testimony of Scripture to the gift of speech, in however simple a form and vocabulary, to primal man. That deeply mysterious gift, our power to formulate (not only to express) general and particular thought in words, such that it is certainly now at least difficult, in idea, to dissociate thought from words, was not, according to Scripture, a result of countless experiences. It was, as it were, a sound struck on the harp of primal human nature by the touch of God in supernatural intercourse.

[13] See Dawson, Modern Science, ch. iv.

[14] On any view of Scripture inspiration, "the Serpent" is not a mere serpent. No hint appears in Scripture that the beasts can rebel against God. A rebel intelligence such as long after invaded, and as it were animated, bestial bodies (Matt. viii. 30, 31), "possessed" and used such a body in the Temptation. And cp. Rev. xii. 9, etc.

[15] A truth boldly expressed in the medieval sentence, O beata culpa, quæ talem eneruisti Redemptorem.

[16] See, by all means, Prof. J. B. Mozley, Lectures, etc., No. x.

[17] Far beyond the circle of doctrinal agreement on the theory.

[18] See A. A. Hodge, Lectures on Theological Themes, p. 157.

[19] It is nowhere now affirmed by the English Church, though it was otherwise in the early stages of the Reformation.

[20] Waltonís Life.

[21] See Marshall (1690), Gospel Mystery of Sanctification.

[22] Not "the child."

 
 

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