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the inferior portion of God's creatures, under times and circumstances, which we have reason to believe admit not of the cause of such death being in any way connected with the history of man.
I begin with citing from the New Testament a few of the passages in which death is spoken of, both as to its cause and consequences, and from which, I trust, it will appear, that though most clearly inflicted as a punishment on man, it is by no inspired writer spoken of as a penal dispensation to any other living creature excepting Adam and his posterity. .
If so, we are free to conclude that throughout the brute creation death is in no way connected with the moral misconduct of the human race, and that whether Adam had, or had not, ever transgressed, a termination by death is, and always has been, the condition on which life was given to every individual among the countless myriads of beings inferior to ourselves, which God has been pleased to call into existence.
The words of my text, taken as an insulated proposition, may seem to favour the opinion, that
universal death came into the world, as the consequence of Adam's fall; and that, but for the sin of the first man, no form of dissolution or destruction would ever have been allotted to any living being throughout God's creation. To this opinion the structure and physical condition of the entire animal kingdom appear to present very weighty objections, upon which I will not enter at present; but rather endeavour to show, that the opinion itself is without any warrant or foundation in the Scriptures, and would never have been entertained by any who had carefully consulted the sacred volume upon the subject.
Referring to the fifth chapter of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, we find that the main scope of the apostle's argument is to show, that as sin and death came by Adam, righteousness and life should come by our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus we read, “ Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin ; and so . death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned;"* " for if by one man's offence death reigned by one, much more they which receive
* Rom. v. 12.
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.”* There are several other passages in this chapter to the same import.
Again, in the Epistle to the Corinthians, we read, “ For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” of In all these passages death is mentioned only in immediate apposition to, and connexion with the remedy provided for it by the sacrifice of Christ; and the context shews that no other part of the creation is alluded to, except that highly favoured race, who are taught to hope for a recovery from death by the resurrection, and for pardon of their sins through the gift of grace, which is by Jesus Christ.
Another passage frequently quoted in support of the opinions against which I am contending, is the following, from the eighth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans. “We know that the whole
* Rom. v. 17, 18. + 1 Cor. xv. 21.
creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.”* These words, considered apart from the context, may appear susceptible of an application, extending beyond mankind, to other parts of animated nature, and even to things inanimate. But viewed in connexion with the adjacent passages, and the train of argument in which they are introduced, the pains and penalties herein specified, appear strictly and exclusively limited to the human race.
The context runs thus, “ For the earnest ex“ pectation of the creature (rñs krioews,) waiteth “ for the manifestation of the sons of God. For “ the creature (ń kriois) was made subject to “ vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who “ has subjected the same in hope. Because the “ creature itself also (aŭrn ý kríos) shall be de“ livered from the bondage of corruption, into “ the glorious liberty of the children of God. For “ we know that the whole creation (māoa ý kríoic) “ groaneth and travaileth in pain together until “now. And not only they, but ourselves also, “ which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we
. * Rom. viii. 22.
~ ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the " adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." Rom. viji. 1923.
It is almost impossible to view these passages in their relative bearings, and consecutive connexion, especially in the original language, and not to see that the creature therein described throughout is man, and man alone; for the word (in ver. 22) which our translation renders, " whole creation" is the same, (ů Kriolc) which in the three preceding verses is rendered “creature,” and would have been interpreted more correctly, had it been rendered “ the whole human race." And in the succeeding sentence, “ Not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit," a comparison is clearly instituted, not between irrational and rational beings, but between the whole creation, meaning the whole human race, and those who, through Christ, are to be delivered from the penalties of sin.*
The same exclusive limitation to mankind of the apparently general expression, “Every creature,"
* Gill remarks upon these passages, “ 'Tis best of all by the creature to understand the Gentile world."