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men and of men to God, with the reign of death and sin which characterised it, and inaugurate a fresh period in which man collectively, in the Person of his Representative, has attained to a new standing before God, and started with fresh powers for the realisation of his high destiny to manifest under material conditions the moral image of his Maker. In His Death, sin, both in itself and in its physical consequences, has been destroyed; and in His Resurrection a new order of beings, spiritual and immortal, has been founded. In Him, as its Second Adam, mankind is at once reconciled to God and regenerated in all its powers. Thus is He become the Founder and Head of a new humanity with which He remains united as the permanent source of its life and the pledge of its perfection in glory.
And all this in the view of the apostle was an arrangement for the salvation of man, originating in, and revealing throughout, the wonderful grace of God, as well as communicating that grace in a way that constitutes it a power to which no limit can be set, either in respect of its intensity or the range of its operation. Words seem to fail the apostle in the effort to express his profound conviction of the all-sufficient provision for human need there is in the gracious love of God that reaches mankind through its Second Head, and of the far-reaching effects destined to be wrought out by it for the human race. None knew better than he who lived in that ancient world, and was a witness to its wickedness, what a power sin is in human nature and society, how disastrous the effects of its reign are in the world. But he saw, in the grace of God which had begun to work on the world through the Person of the Risen Christ, a mightier power far than that of sin, and one destined to make its sovereignty recognised in the universal reign of righteousness and life. "Where sin abounded grace has superabounded." 1 Paul's Christianity was characterised by this triumphant faith in the invincible and inexhaustible efficacy of Christ, and of the Divine powers emanating from Him on the nature of man,—by this boundless confidence in the might of the Second Adam to reverse all the effects of the first, and to subdue under Him every form of evil that springs from our fallen human nature. It may be alleged, indeed, that Paul was over sanguine, that the event has shown that he was mistaken in the belief he entertained that the old world was so soon to be replaced by a new in which righteousness and life were to be supreme. We may well believe that it would have been incredible to him had he been told that after so many centuries the world would still be ruled, to so large an extent as we see it to be, by the forces of evil. But were he present with us to-day, a witness to all the crime and wrong that retard the progress of the Kingdom of God and that dishearten those who labour for the well-being of the race, he would not, we may be confident, attribute the failure of Christianity to regenerate the world to any insufficiency in Christ, or to any defect in the moral and spiritual powers that emanate from Him, but to the fault of those who will not receive it, and the pusillanimity of those who receive it in appearance but who will not apply it as it asks to be applied. The world's deepest need now, as in Paul's age, is the need of religion; and the religion of redemption, which Christ administers, is the only one that has proved equal to the necessities of the case. And as for the long-delayed hour of His triumph, who will deny that the Church would have had a brighter story to tell of the prowess of its Master over human souls, had it possessed a little more of the idealism of this Christintoxicated man, a little more of his unconquerable faith in its Second Head as the power of God unto salvation?