the fall ? the stage was arranged for the great drama of sin and redemption, which was to be enacted thereon. We accept Bushnell?s idea of ?anticipative consequences,? and would illustrate it by the building of a hospital room while yet no member of the family is sick, and by the salvation of the patriarchs through a Christ yet to come. If the earliest vertebrates of geological history were types of man and preparations for his coming, and then pain and death among those same vertebrates may equally have been a type of man?s sin and its results of misery. If sin had not been an incident, foreseen and provided for, the world might have been a paradise. As a matter of fact, it will become a paradise only at the completion of the redemptive work of Christ. Kreibig, Versohnung, 369 ? ?The death of Christ was accompanied by startling occurrences in the outward world, to show that the effects of his sacrifice reached even into nature.? Perowne refers <199610>Psalm 96:10 ?The world also is established that it cannot be moved? ? to the restoration of the inanimate creation; cf., <581227>Hebrews 12:27 ? ?And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that have been made, that those things which are not shaken may remain?; Revelations 21:1,5 ? ?a new heaven and a new earth? Behold, I make all things new.?
Much sport has been made of this doctrine of anticipative consequences. James D. Dana: ?It is funny that the sin of Adam should have killed those old trilobites! The blunderbuss must have kicked back into time at a tremendous rate to have hit those poor innocents:? Yet every insurance policy, every taking out of an umbrella, even buying of a wedding ring, is an anticipative consequence. To deny that God made the world what it is in view of the events that were to take place in it is to concede to him less wisdom than we attribute to our fellowman. The most rational explanation of physical evil in the universe is that of <450820>Romans 8:20, 21 ? ?the creation was subjected to vanity? by reason of him who subjected it? ?
i.e., by reason of the first man?s sin ? ?in hope that the creation itself also shall be delivered.?
Martineau, Types, 2:151 ? ?What meaning could Pity have in a world where suffering was not meant to be?? Hicks, Critique of Design Arguments, 386 ? ?The very badness of the world convinces us that God is good.? And Sir Henry Taylor?s words: ?Pain in man Bears the high mission of the flail and fan; In brutes ?tis surely piteous? ? receive their answer: The brute is but an appendage to man, and like inanimate nature it suffers from man?s fall ? suffers not wholly in vain, for even pain in brutes serves to illustrate the malign influence of sin and to suggest motives for resisting it. Pascal: ?Whatever virtue can be bought with pain
<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->
Was this article helpful?