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passed through him to his descendants in that corrupted state—so that the liability to death proved the sinfulness or corruption of the nature which had this liability. The similarity of the form of expression in the 12th and 16th verses, indicates that they both refer to the same principle; and as it is impossible to doubt that this is the principle taught in verse 12th, I have considered myself justified in explaining verse 16th by it.

It seems to me quite clear, that the apostle uses language expressly chosen to mark that it was not an imputation of sin, but the propagation of a corrupted nature, which was the instrumental cause of the universal sentence of mortality; and that it was the real

' participation in the same corrupted nature, that put the descendants of Adam in the same position as himself in respect of this. And it seems farther clear to me, that he presses this point, in order to draw out from it the proof of the necessity of the introduction of a counterbalancing principle into the nature through the second Adam, even the gift of righteousness, which forces none, but enables all who join themselves to it, to become righteous, and to pass through the condemnation of death into the eternal life, awarded

by the judge to the righteous ; thus putting them in the same position as Christ, by a real participation in his nature, on which there is no condemnation. Verse 16. Και εχ ώς δί ενος αμαρτησαντος κτλ. .

“And as the fall came through one who had sinned, has not the gift come in a similar way?” Now how did the fall come through Adam? Was it not by the actual communication of his corrupted nature to the rest of the race? We can give no other answer—and therefore, the principle of this answer, until we see reason against it, must lead us to judge that the restoration has come also by the communication of the nature of Jesus Christ to the rest of the race.

Then follows the clause, Tò pè fis--dixaiwuces which clause bas, I believe, through a misunderstanding of its meaning, furnished the chief reasons against the interrogative interpretation of these verses, to those commentators who have opposed that interpretation. Their misunderstanding has consisted in supposing that the antithesis stated in it, between the “one offence" and the “ fences," was intended to convey the idea, that the benefits of the restoration so far outwent the damage of the fall, that there could be

many of

no comparison between them ; thus justifying the common translation, in its explicit denial of all parallelism, “But not as the offence, so also is the free gift,” and, “ And not as it was through one that sinned, so is the gift ;" whilst in fact no other idea is really conveyed by the clause, or the antithesis, than that the fall is fully met by the restoration, not only in its source, but in all its ramifications, so that however much any one may have been tainted by the fall, the restoration is both open to him, and sufficient for him. These commentators say, that if the fall came through “one offence,” and if the free gift blots out not merely that one offence, but “many offences,” the difference between the two is such as may well justify the denial of all comparison between them. But they ought not to forget, that as these “many of . fences” were in some measure at least the effects of the “ one,” so a restoration which would truly meet the “one offence,” ought also to embrace “the many" as its consequences.

The reader will observe, that I am arguing here at a great disadvantage, because I appear to be arguing against the glory of God's grace; but I know that I am not doing so,

either in the purpose or in the effect, for I know that the true recognition of a parallelism, such as I have stated, would be a true and blessed recognition of the gospel—such a recognition of it, indeed, as is not generally found even amongst those who would condemn this parallelism as a low statement of the gospel, and who yet, I believe, do really in their hearts honour God's name, and acknowledge the authority of the Bible.

In verse 15th the Apostle had, in his argument from parallelism, taught us to infer the universality of the gift” through Christ, from the fact of the universality of death, the consequence of Adam's transgression. He would now teach us something more about this gift, namely, what it is, and how it works,—and this he does in the same way, that is, he does it by referring us to what we know of the way in which Adam's condemnation is extended. Now we know only that Adam's condemnation is extended, simply by the extension or propagation of his nature, for we know that wherever that nature appears, the sentence of death accompanies it, and as it were, claims it. And thus he would teach us, that the judicial reward of eternal life that rests on Christ, is extended, in like manner,

of par

by the extension or propagation of his nature, to which that judicial reward cleaves, as death does to Adam's. This is the answer, or at least a part of the answer, which the Apostle intends that we ourselves should make to the και ουχ ως δι' ενος αμαρτήσαντος, ΟΥΤΩΣ (which ought certainly to be supplied,) to dweneck The nature of Christ is “the gift,” and it is by the extension of this that men are to rise out from the xatexqiuese, the consequence of taking in Adam's corrupted nature, into the dixxi wiece, the judicial award of eternal life.

But here a doubt occurs :—this “ gift," we are told in ver. 15th, is as universal as death. How is this consistent with the appearance of the world, where we see all men dying, and but few turning to God, or showing any signs of Christ's nature in them, or of Christ's reward upon them? Surely,—one is tempted to think,—surely, there is some limitation of this gift, which has not been yet mentioned ; it may perhaps come only to those who have not added to the corruption derived from Adam, by any personal sins; or, at least, there may be some certain amount of guilt, which excludes a man from it; for how else can we explain the rarity of its appearance ?

No, nothing of this kind is the explanation

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