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In the foregoing analysis of the Holy Scriptures, we have seen, that the whole record of the Bible has a reference to the mysterious scheme of salvation through the blood of our crucified Redeemer. The person of Adam; the creation of male and female man; the tree of life; the promise respecting the seed of the woman; the institution of sacrifices as figures of vicarious atonement; the history of Cain and Abel; the preference given, in so many instances, to the younger child ; the history of the Deluge; the personal character of Noah ; the prophecy of Noah; the call of Abraham, and the promise to his seed, so frequently repeated in succeeding generations; the histories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the history of Sarah and Hagar; the character of Melchizedek; the prophecy of Jacob; the history of Joseph; the personal character of Moses; the bondage of Egypt; the deliverance from that bondage, and the several circumstances and events connected with that deliverance; all the ordinances and ceremonies of the Mosaic institutes; the history of the pilgrimage of the Israelites in the wilderness; the sweetening of the waters of Marah; the rock that yielded water; the manna; the brazen serpent; the predictions of Moses; in short, the whole record of the Pentateuch, which embraces a period of
2550 years ; the entrance into the land of Canaan; the personal appellation and character of Joshua ; the leading particulars in the history of the children of Israel from Joshua to David ; the personal character and history of David; the promises made to David; the prophetic writings of David; the division of the twelve tribes into two kingdoms ;, the annihilation of the kingdom of Israel ; the captivity of Judah ; the restoration of Judah ; the rebuilding of Jerusalem ; in short, the whole historical record from Joshua to Nehemiah inclusive; the predictions relative to Israel and Judah ; the announcement of the restoration of dominion in Jerusalem ; the denunciations against the enemies of the children of Israel; the predictions which relate to the promised Messiah ; in a word, the whole contents of the prophetic writings; the whole of the books of the Old Testament from Genesis to Malachi inclusive; all these have a reference to the Christian scheme of redemption, which was to receive its full and final ratification in the incarnation, humiliation, and passion of Him “whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
We find, that when Adam was put in “ the garden of Eden,” the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" and the tree of life, were both “ in the midst of the gården 8.", Where
p Micah, v. 2.
i Gen. ii. 9; ii. 3.
the tree of death stood, there was also placed the tree of life. The symbol of salvation stood by the symbol of perdition. So that, before Adam had incurred the penalty attached to his “ transgression,” the means for rescuing him from that penalty were already prepared. From this evidence alone we might infer, that the scheme of Christianity was planned before the necessity of it became apparent to man; but we have further evidence which proves that such an inference is correct: God is said to have chosen us in Christ “ before the foundation of the world*b;” redemption through “ the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot,” “ was fore-ordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times i;” He was “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the worldk.” This is “ the mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ, to the intent, that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places, might be known by the church, the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord!.” This “mystery is the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world, unto our
πρό καταβολής κόσμου. .
Eph. i. 4. i i Peter, i. 18-20.
* Rev. xiii. 8.
Eph. iii. 9, 11.
glory ";" “ the mystery which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the Prophets";” it is “ the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure, which He hath purposed in Himself" “God hath saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world beganP*.” We stand“ in hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began9*.” The mystery of redemption by the blood of Christ was, then, “the eternal purpose” of the GODHEAD, purposed before ages began, before the world was. Christianity, then, was not only co-eval with “ the first man Adam,” but it was established “ before the foundation of the world.” Salvation was “ from the beginning” laid “ in Christ Jesus our Lord;” “ by Him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in-earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him and for Him; and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist; and He is the head of the body, the church; who is the begin
P 2 Tim. i. 8, 9.
m 1 Cor. ii. 7.
n Rom. xvi, 25, 26, Coloss. i. 26.
χρόνων αιωνίων. .
* Eph. i. a.
wgo 9 Titus, i. 2.
ning, the first-born from the dead ; that in all things He might have the pre-eminence. For it pleased [the Father] that in Him should all fulness dwell. And (having made peace through the blood of His cross), by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, whether things in earth, or things in heaven"."
Christ, then, created, not only this world, but also “all things that are in heaven," whether 66 visible or invisible.” He made the worlds $; “ all things were made by Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was madet.” And it was “the eternal purpose" of the Godhead, that, “in the dispensation of the fulness of time, He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven [the heavens] and which are on earth ;"
by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, whether things in earth, or things in heaven W." “ The manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord,” was to be made known“ unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places” by the revelation of the mystery of the sacrifice of Christ). “By the blood of His cross" all things in heaven, as
r Coloss. i. 16-20.
John, i. 3.
Coloss. i. 20.