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wrought into the constitution of the race and is set forth in the books both of nature and of revelation. We do not mean to assert that Universalists have not insisted upon the necessity of retribution as required both by the divine law and by a beneficent regard for the sinner's good, but they have failed to put proper emphasis upon the fact of death as the wages of sin, and upon the office-work of Christ the Life-giver. They have not understood the principle of solidarity by which the wrong-doer suffers not only in himself, but entails the consequences upon those who come after him, and which puts upon the living a burden of responsibility for those who have gone before them and ties up their deliverance with the fidelity of the living. In fact, the Church at large has not yet grasped the law of retribution for sin in the unity of its effects upon both the living and the dead, and as it is being wrought out here in this sphere of earth and time, and in the structure of human society of which we form a part. We must rise to the conception of the human race as one organism, the bonds of which are not dissolved by death, the burden of whose common sin is transferred from one generation to another, and whose redemption from sin must be wrought out by the sacrifices of its elect members, bearing a burden of suffering for the whole, the living being baptized for the dead. Such views of both retribution and redemption are needed in order to enable men to practically realize that sin is no trifling matter, easily disposed of by a merciful legal device or by a transient impulse of faith and pious emotion, that its effects are indeed far-reaching; and it is equally needed to stimulate men to a proper appreciation of the responsibility and dignity and the self-sacrifice of the Christian calling, which is nothing less than a call to have fellowship with Christ in the work of the world's redemption.
It is because Univeralists have only skimmed the surface of this problem of retribution and redemption, that they have failed to impress men with the danger of neglecting this great salvation or to stir up in their own members a true evangelical fervor to win men to Christ. New England cannot be saved by them from drifting into Paganism nor by their Unitarian associates in liberalism. Nor can the diluted orthodoxy which is made up of a compound of the old with this liberal faith, and which is the principal type of Christianity now prevalent there, prevent this decay. What is needed is a larger, more comprehensive, and scientific grasp of the Christian faith as it is revealed in the Scriptures and outlined in the whole scheme of nature and of man.
FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION.
We desire to direct attention to the frequency and significance of this and kindred Scripture phrases. Every Bible reader has observed how frequently they occur in its descriptions of the truth, the covenant, the kingdom of God. He is said to keep covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations (Deut. vii, 9). "His truth endureth unto all generations." (Ps. c, 5). "His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion from generation to generation" (Dan. iv, 3, 34; Sam. v, 19). "Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations " (Ps. cxlv, 13 ).
These expressions are commonly regarded as only another way of saying that the Lord's faithfulness and kingdom continue forever. They convey this thought of perpetuity, but this is far from being all their* import. When we are so constantly told that the Lord's kingdom reaches over from one generation to another and that the whole succession of the generations of mankind is embraced by it, there is special hope and comfort contained in the assurance. The phrase brings into strong relief the purposes and power and grace of the eternal God in offset to the wants and woes of man whose days are as the grass. Man is compelled to see one generation after another pass away with plans frustrated and hopes blighted and lives cut short by death. The answer of faith to all this is "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations." In the sight of God, the Living One, the distinction we make between dead and living has no place, "For all live unto Him." His kingdom of power and grace comprehends within the unity of its scope and administration all the generations of men. Past and future generations, the living and the dead, are alike subjects of it. Those who have passed away are still under His notice, His care, His discipline. Before God, who quickeneth the dead, "things that are not" are viewed as though they were (Rom. iv, 17).
This phrase " from generation to generation " brings to view God as Redeemer and Restorer, in whose one life the lives of all the dead are treasured, in whose grand purpose all unfulfilled purposes toward the race are comprehended
and all promises to the fathers are confirmed. Death mows down one generation after another, but this effects no change and thwarts no plan of Him whose kingdom goes on from generation to generation, and whose faithfulness bridges over all these chasms made by death. Let us rise then to some proper appreciation of the foundation laid for our faith and hope in the fact that our God is the Living One whose kingdom spans all the generations of mankind and unites them all under one economy, the outcome of which will be that all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
But all this implies, further, that these generations are linked together in one chain of life. Death does not sever this connection nor break these links.
Science in our day has much to say about heredity. Ethical teachers and social reformers are continually reminding us of the poteifcy of this principle in the transmission and the development of character. This principle lies deep in the organic constitution of the race. But while there is much recognition of the evils that are inseparable from it, there is but slight acknowledgment of the vast treasury of blessing concealed in it. God does indeed visit the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. But He also shows mercy unto thousands of generations of them that lqve Him. So much more in the constitution of the race is this principle potent for good than for evil. Not all the sins of faithless Israel can make God forget His covenant promise to their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but even down to a thousand generations will He remember it. And so we read that in the end "all Israel shall be saved " (Kom. xi, 26). And this rests upon the deep principle that, in God's view, as the life of the father is transmitted to the son, so the son is dealt with, not simply as a separate individual, but as a member of a household, a family, a kindred, a race, in all of whom a common life dwells, and who are partakers, each in their time and measure, of a common destiny. The sins of individuals may indeed long delay their participation in the common blessing. They may require their long chastisement and humiliation, for our God who forgives must also punish the guilty. .But in the continuity of life from one generation to another the evils that seemed inwrought into the fibre of ancestors may be overcome and eliminated in their descendants, and the virtues of ancestors, which seemed lost to view in their children, may reappear, under the discipline of God, in still later generations. However strange it may sound to some of us, the long-concealed principle must sooner or later be acknowledged, that fathers and children are so bound up in the bundle of life and so made members one of another, that those who have failed in the past may recover standing through those who come after them who succeed in this life-struggle against evil. Of this there is assurance in the fact that God's kingdom so spans the generations as to preserve them in this unity of life and destiny, making them helpers, one of another, sharers in each other's sins and griefs, and in their dominion and joy.
This indeed is the deep meaning of the victory through suffering and death of Him who took on Him the sins of the world. He became one with the race that He might bear the iniquities and sorrows of the race and so redeem it. And every man in whom His Spirit dwells, and in whom Christ is being formed, must share in the world