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1 COR. i. 30. Who of God is made unto us TVisdom, and
Righteousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption.
THESE words (it was observed on a former occasion) furnish a summary description of the nature and genius of that Religion, which Christ came to propagate in the world. They discover the fulness of that divine grace, which has been manifested in the character and office of Jesus Christ, considered as the Revealer of all true wisdom; the Fountain of all true righteousness; the Sanctifier, and Redeemer of fallen man. In every part of his divine character and office Jesus Christ must be received by all, who would derive benefit from Him. For the History of
Religion, so far as it respects the knowledge of a Divine Creator, and the duty of man as a created accountable being, unaccompanied with the grace of the Gospel, opens our eyes only to the misery of our fallen condition, and the consequent certainty of condemnation. This statement stamps an unusual degree of importance on the words before us; considered in their immediate relation to that Divine Person, who must be received by man in the same compleat character, which, according to the economy
he hath been pleased to assume for man; even that Holy One, “who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” : In what sense Jesus Christ is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification, has been already shewn. We ceed therefore, in conformity with the text, to speak of Him in the remaining part of his character; as the Redeemer of fallen man. He “ is made unto us (says the Apostle), wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption."--Redemption pre-supposes captivity in bondage: for
where there is no bondage, there can be no redemption. To say, then, that Jesus Christ was made unto us redemption ; is a virtual acknowledgement of man's captive condition previous to that event. Consequently an enquiry into the testimony borne by Scripture to the nature of man's fallen condition, and his consequent captivity; together with the adequacy of the means employed to recover him from it; must constitute the most interesting employment of the human mind; and if fairly made, can lead, it is presumed, but to one and the same Christian conclusion.
Man (we are given to understand) was created a perfect being; but in the possession of freedom to determine his own actions ; either by obedience to continue in his original perfection, or by disobedience to fall from it. He was at the same time placed in a state of earthly happiness in Paradise; which was designed to pre-figure, as well as prepare him for that more compleat state of blessedness, to which he was to be removed at the expiration of his earthly trial. The condition of the covenant under which Adam was admitted a tenant in Paradise, and on the fulfilment of which his continuance in that original state of perfection depended, was perfect obedience. Had Adam remained in innocence, by eating of the Tree of Life placed in the midst of the garden, he had never known death. But by transgressing, through the suggestion of the devil, the command of his Maker, the condition of the covenant under which Adam was originally placed being broken, he was in consequence turned out of Paradise ; because all right of access to the Tree of Life, in his character of an innocent crea, ture, was now lost.
“ Thus by one man (says the Apostle) sin entered into the world, and death by sin: and so death passed upon
all men.” Rom. v. 12.-" For God created man to be immortal; and made him to be an image of his own eternity: nevertheless, through envy of the devil came death into the world.” Wisd. of Sol. ii. 43.
But by wilful disobedience, not only the immortality, for which Adam : had been created, became forfeited, but all possibi. lity of his recovering it was also lost; in