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the spiritual life of God, which alone can bear the fruit of true obedience to the law which is spiritual—and nothing but a perfect confidence in God, founded on a knowledge of His loving purpose to make us partakers of that life, through the process of dying to the flesh, can prevail with any man to yield him
cordially to that process. And therefore nothing but a manifestation of God's love, and an infusion of God's Spirit, could ever have put man into a capacity of obey. ing the law-for nothing else could prevail on him, or enable him to consent to the
process of shedding out the blood of his own will.
Now Christ is given to us as the quickening Spirit, and also as the manifestation of God's love to all men and thus in Him we have all that we need, for we have both the subjective ability, and also the objective attraction. And he is also set before us, yielding Himself up to the process of blood-shedding, as our leader in it, and as the proof of its blessed result-and thus “in Him is revealed the righteousness which is by faith, in order that we also might believe.” Rom. i. 17.
And now let me ask the reader to look back with me to page 257, where this digression on the nature of the Fall commenced,
that we may again take up our examination of Chapter 5th of the Epistle to the Romans, which that digression interrupted.
I had been remarking that the Apostle, in verse 12th, distinctly specifies that the entrance through Adam of a sin or perversion, (depereria,) into the nature, was the great evil which constituted the Fall,—and that he thus prepares us to expect that the restoration, if there was a restoration, would consist mainly in the entrance of a counteracting principle of righteousness, through the Messiah, of whom Adam was a type.
This brought us to verse 15th, which, as well as the 16th, I cannot help thinking, in accordance with many eminent critics, has been much darkened by being translated as if it contained a denial of a parallelism between the first and second Adam, instead of being translated as an interrogation, implying a strong and emphatic affirmation of such a parallelism. There can be no doubt that the words perfectly admit of this signification, and surely the whole tenor of the argument would lead us to suppose that it is the parallelism between these two Heads of the race, that the Apostle is chiefly intent upon inculcating here, and not the dissimi
larity which rises out of the superabounding of the one over the other. He assumes it as an axiom, founded on the character of God, that the restoration from the fall should meet the damage of the fall, and that with advantage; so that the superabounding of grace does not really stand forth as a dissimilarity, but rather as the filling out of such a parallel between the damage and the restoration as accords with the rich bounty of God. Each reader must here judge according to what seems to himself most agreeable to the spirit of the passage ; but it does indeed appear to me wonderful, that this suggestion should not have met with a larger and readier welcome.
If we did but fully appreciate the Apostle's apprehension of the perniciousness of that tendency in men's minds, which leads them, in one way or other, to limit the grace of God, and to make it come short of all the wants of all mankind, either by supposing that it is restricted within the bounds of a family, or sect, or profession; or by supposing that the true and efficient means of salvation are only really conferred on those who do in fact make use of them,--if, I say, we did but fully appreciate the Apostle's
apprehension of the evil of this tendency, an apprehension which is manifested through the whole of his writings, we would, I think, be more generally open to the probabilities of this interrogative interpretation.
The two features of the gospel righteousness on which the Apostle chiefly dwells, are, first, That all are invited to partake in it; and, second, That none can partake in it except through a willing death. Both these points he has treated in the preceding part of the Epistle, and when he comes to verse 11th of chap. v., the headship of Christ seems to suggest a new demonstration of them, founded on the correlativeness of the two heads, Adam and Christ,—each being the head of all men, and therefore all men having a part in each; Adam being the corrupt fountain, and therefore rejected, Christ being the renewed fountain, and therefore elected.
I shall here subjoin a translation, which though free, will, I think, commend itself as faithful to those who compare it with the original, and with the context; and as the principles or conclusions which I draw from the passage do not depend at all on those parts of it in which I differ from the common authorized version, but on those in
which I agree with it, namely, the latter part of verse 15th, and the whole of verse 17th, the reader needs not be jealous of my
The Apostle had concluded verse 14th by saying that the first Adam was a type or figure of the seond; and then he proceeds in verse 15th, “But if this be so, must not the free gift by the one, extend as wide as the offence by the other? And thus, if by the offence of the one, the many die, much more (may we conclude that) the grace of God, and the gift bestowed in favour to the other man, Jesus Christ, hath also abounded unto the many.
I need scarcely stop to remark, that the ó no noi, the many, in this verse, to whom the grace abounds, are just the same many who have sustained injury by the fall; and that they are in fact also the all of verse 18th. In our own language we often express all in the same manner; thus when we say, that in a monarchy the one rules the many, we mean all.
The evident import of this verse is, that in no point whatever, is the fall unmet by the restoration. To interpret it, therefore, as if it contained a denial of the parallelism