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bring good out of evil, and to seek and save that which is lost, than to preserve or reward those who need no such extraordinary exercise of benevolence, then is redemption (to us, at least,) so much more stupendous a proof of both, than even creation itself.
Under such a representation, the contrast between man's fallen and his primeval state loses so much of its harsher features, that we are enabled to contemplate it without despondency or dejection. The gloom that surrounds it is so irradiated by the beams of heavenly consolation, as to open to us fresh sources of gratitude and praise. We see the hand of infinite power stretched forth to aid the weak and helpless. We hear the voice of infinite wisdom calling man from the error of his ways, and directing him to the path of life. We trace with wonder that union of justice with mercy, which, in the very act of vindicating its injured claims, provides the means of reconciliation and acceptance. In a word, we recognise, throughout the whole of the proceeding, the Apostle's forcible representation, “where sin abounded, grace did “ much more abound: that as sin hath reign“ ed unto death, even so might grace reign
through righteousness unto eternal life, by “ Jesus Christ our Lord.”
* Rom. v. 20, 21.
For this view of the subject, however, let us never forget that we are indebted wholly to the light of divine revelation. Cheerless and hopeless were the prospect which would otherwise be set before us. But,“ through the “ tender mercy of our God, the day-spring “ from on high hath visited us, to give light “ to them that sit in darkness and in the “ shadow of death, and to guide our feet into “ the way of peace.”
y Luke i. 78, 79.
Coloss. iii. 9, 10. Ye have put off the old man with his deeds, and
have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.
THERE are three different states in which the nature and condition of man claim our special consideration. The first is his primeval state, while he retained in full vigour that image of God in which he was originally created, and was endowed with all the perfections suitable to his rank in the scale of moral being. The second is his fallen state, when, in consequence of his transgression, that divine image was defaced and despoiled. The third is his redeemed or regenerated state, in which his nature is so far rectified and restored, as to obtain for him new hopes and privileges, and to reinstate him in the Divine favour.
Respecting his primeval and his fallen state, observations have been made in two
preceding Discourses, intended, not only to explain and vindicate the scriptural representation of them against erróneous persuasions, but also to direct our thoughts to the value and the necessity of that redemption, by which the evils of the fall are removed or mitigated, and a new covenant proposed, adapted to man's present exigencies. It remains now to take a view of him in this redeemed or regenerated state; to consider what are its peculiar privileges and benefits, what change it is designed to produce in his nature and condition, and by what means it operates to render that change effectual.
The words of the text lead us directly to the contemplation of these points. They seem intended by the Apostle to suggest a comparison of man's condition under the Gospel, both with that of his fallen, and that of his original state. “Ye have put off the 6 old man with his deeds;" that is, ye
have renounced the evil propensities, the vitiated affections, natural to you as the posterity of fallen Adam ; “ and ye have put on the new “ man, which is renewed in knowledge, after “ the image of Him who created him ;" in other words, ye are made partakers of that grace and mercy by which
mercy by which ye may become, as it were, new men, attaining to some resem