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so much as might at first be apprehended. For, even admitting that the apostle meant by the phrase, “things in heaven and things on earth,” Jews and Gentiles, yet it deserves to be borne in mind, that these expressions include all mankind: since, in the apostle's view, Jews and Gentiles would comprehend the whole of the human race, there being no description of persons which would not be classed by him under one or other of these divisions. . Mr. Locke’s own paraphrase of the 6th verse is, “To the end that all mankind might magnify his glory for his abundant goodness to them.” If the Jews and Gentiles include all mankind, how far does the interpretation suggested by Mr. Locke limit the sense of the passage 2 . May it not still be understood to declare, not only that under the gospel dispensation Jews and Gentiles are admitted to equal privileges, but also that it is the gracious purpose of God to restore all mankind to a state of perfect virtue and happiness, and thus to unite all under one head, namely, Jesus Christ? This passage must be understood to refer to some future change, universal in its extent and happy in its consequences: for at no period since the advent of the Messiah have these been united together in one under him. All do not, and never have acknowledged his mild and benevolentsway: sin and misery still dispute and always have disputed the government of the world with him.
But are we not by this passage encouraged to believe that, in the dispensation of the fulness of times, every disposition which opposes him shall be destroyed, and that, different as men's character and condition may be at present, they shall all then become his willing subjects, and be rendered holy and happy? And as Christ will be the means of effecting this glorious work, may not all mankind in this sense be said to be gathered together in one under him If there be no reason for restricting this passage to a more limited signification, does not this sense best accord with the diffusively benevolent spirit of the gospel, with the character of God as the kind father and wise governor of mankind, and with many other passages of Scripture ? However, in the language of that great man and excellent Christian, whose words on a similar occasion have just been cited, and, I trust, with something of the spirit with which he wrote them, I would say, that of this interpretation I would not be positive, but “offer it as a matter of inquiry to such who think an impartial search into the true meaning of the sacred Scripture the best employment of all the time they have.” The same observations I would apply to the similar passage, Col. i. 19, 20: “It hath pleased the Father that in him all fulness should dwell, and having made peace through his blood shed on the cross, that by him he would Reconc1 LR ALL THINGs to HIMsFLF; that is, all intelligent creatures.” Newcome: “By him, I say, whether they be things on earth or things in heaven.” It is highly probable that the phrase “things on earth or things in heaven” signifies Gentiles and Jews. But since Gentiles and Jews comprehend all mankind, it seems just to take this passage in its most extensive sense, and to consider it as affirming that it has pleased the Father to appoint Jesus Christ to be the great instrument of reconciling to himself the whole human race. And, if this be so, how can the intention of the Father be accomplished if the greater number of human beings remain for ever at enmity with him, and execrate his name through all eternity: or if they are blotted out of existence because a reconciliation could not be effected between them 2
That remarkable passage in Romans v. 12–21, has already been considered in the last Chapter; but it must be again brought under review in this. “As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and thus death hath passed upon all men, inasmuch as all have sinned : (for until the law, sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law: nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those that had not sinned after the likeness of Adam's transgression, who is a resemblance (a type) of him that was to come: (yet, the free gift likewise is not so, as was the offence; for if through the offence of one, many have died, much more the favor of God, and the gift which is through the favor of one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. Neither is the gift so, as it was by one who sinned; for the judgment was of one offence to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences to justification. For if, by the offence of one, death reigned by one, much more those who receive the abounding of favor and of the gift of justification, will reign in life by one, even Jesus Christ. So, then, as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; so, likewise, by the righteousness of one, the free gift hath come upon all men to justification of life. For as by the disobedience of one many were made sinners, so, likewise, by the obedience of one many will be made just. Now the law entered in privily, so that offences abounded. But where sin abounded, the favor of God hath much more abounded; that as sin hath reigned through death, so favor likewise might reign by justification to everlasting life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” In this passage all men are said to have been made mortal by the offence of Adam, and here the phrase “ all men,” must necessarily be understood to signify every individual of the human race. Though the style of the apostle in this passage is remarkably intricate and perplexed, yet his meaning is clear and can scarcely be misunderstood. He affirms that sin entered into the world by Adam, and that, in consequence of his offence, death passed upon all men, or all men became mortal. Thus many were made sinful or mortal by one. In this sense Adam was a type of Jesus Christ: for as all mankind became subject to great privation and suffering in consequence of the offence of one, namely Adam, so the greatest privileges and blessings are bestowed upon all mankind in consequence of the obedience of one, namely, Jesus Christ. But it is only in this single circumstance, that all suffer and all are benefited by one, that there is any analogy between them: for in every other respect there is the greatest possible difference between Adam and Christ. The act entailing such important consequences upon the whole human race, was on the part of Adam an act of transgression, on the part of Christ an act of obedience. And there is a still farther disparity between them ; for the calamities resulting from the act of transgression were the legal punishment of the offence; but the blessings accruing from the act of obedience were not such as could be claimed by law, but were the free, unpurchased, unmerited gift of God. And the consequences of the act of transgression and the act of obedience may be placed