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was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one. man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which received abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one Jesus Christ."



ROMANS V, 15-19.

"But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if, through the offence of one, many be dead; much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one Jesus Christ. Therefore, as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."

WE do feel that there is a considerable difficulty in this short passage; and the following is the only explanation that we are able to give of it. You will observe that in the 14th verse, the effect of Adam's sin in bringing death upon his posterity, is demonstrated by this circumstance that the sentence had full execution, even upon those who had not in their own persons sinned as he did. Death reigned even over them; and it made Adam to be the figure of Christ, that, what the one brought upon mankind by his disobedience, the other by his obedience did away.

But Christ did more than do away the sentence which lay upon mankind, because of the sin of

Adam being imputed to them. This and no other sentence was all that could be inflicted on infants, or those who had not sinned actually. But, in addition to the guilt that we have by inheritance, there is also a guilt which all who live a few years in the world incur by practice. The one offence of Adam landed us in guilt; but the many offences of the heart and life of us all, have wofully accumulated that guilt: And we stand in need, not merely of as much grace as might redeem us from the forfeiture that was passed on the whole human family in consequence of the transgression of their first parent, but also of as much new grace as might redeem us from the curse and the condemnation of our own iniquities-as might redeem us not merely from the debt that has been entailed upon us, but from the additional debt that has been incurred by us.

And thus it is, that not as the offence so also is the gift. For the gift by Christ compensates for more evil, than the offence by Adam has entailed. Through that one offence the penalty of death passed upon many-even upon all whom Adam represented. But the grace of God, and the gift which emanated therefrom and was won for us by the one man Jesus Christ, greatly exceeds in its amount the recalment of this penalty from the many whom Christ represented. The condemnation we derive from Adam was passed upon us because of his one offence. The free gift of justification we receive from Christ, not merely reverses

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that condition of guilt in which Adam has placed us, but that still more aggravated condition of guilt in which we have been placed by the multitude of our own offences. We obtain not only justification from the guilt of Adam's one offence, but justification from the guilt of our own many offences. Such was the virulent mischief even of the one offence, that, through it and it alone, even when separated from all actual guilt as in the case of infants, death reigned in the world. There was more grace needed however, than would suffice merely to counteract this virulence-for greatly had it been aggravated by the abundance of actual iniquity among men; and for this there was an abundance, or as it might have been translated, a surplus of grace provided, so that while the effect of Adam's single offence was to make death reign, greatly must the power of the restorative administered by the second Adam, exceed the malignity of the sin that has been transmitted to us by the first Adam-inasmuch as it heals not merely the hereditary, but all the superinduced diseases of our spiritual constitution; and causes those over whom death reigned, solely on account of Adam's guilt, to reign in life though for their own guilt as well as Adam's they had rightfully to die.

This is all the length at which we can penetrate into this passage. We see affirmed in it the superiority of that good which Christ has done for us, over that evil which Adam has entailed upon us. We see in it enough to stop the mouth of any

gainsayer, who complains that he has been made chargeable for a guilt which he never contracted -for we there see announced to us, not merely release from this one charge, but from all the additional charges which by our own wilful disobedience we have brought upon ourselves. The heir of a burdened property who curses the memory of his father and complains of the weight and hardship of the mortgages he has left behind him, ought in all justice to be appeased-when his father's friend, moved by regard to his family, not only offers to liquidate the debts that were transmitted to him by inheritance, but also the perhaps heavier debts of his own extravagance and folly. From the mouth of a wilful and obstinate sinner, may we often hear the reproach of God for the imputation of Adam's sin to his blameless and unoffending posterity; and were he indeed a blameless individual who was so dealt with, there might be reason for the outcry of felt and fancied injustice. But, seeing that in hardened impiety or at least in careless indifference he spends his days, living without God in the world and accumulating voluntarily upon his own head the very guilt against which he protests so loudly when laid upon him by the misconduct of another-this ought at least to mitigate a little the severity of his invective; and it ought wholly to disarm and to turn it, when a covering so ample is stretched forth, if he will only have it, both for the guilt at which he murmurs and for the guilt of his own misdoings. Nor has he any right

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