human nature, although created pure, was yet, as one of Adam?s posterity, conceived of as a sinner in Adam. To him attached ?the guilt of the act in which all men stood together in a federal relation. He was decreed to be guilty for the sins of all mankind.? Although there is a truth contained in this statement, it is vitiated by Miller?s federalism and creationism. Arbitrary imputation and legal fiction do not help us here. We need such an actual union of Christ with humanity and such a derivation of the substance of his being, by natural generation from Adam, as will make him not simply the constructive heir, but the natural heir, of the guilt of the race. We come, therefore, to what we regard as the true view, namely:
5. That the humanity of Christ was not a new creation, but was derived from Adam, through Mary his mother so that Christ, so far as his humanity was concerned, was in Adam just as we were, and had the same race-responsibility with ourselves. As Adam?s descendant, he was responsible for Adam?s sin, like every other member of the race. The chief difference being, that while we inherit from Adam both guilt and depravity, he whom the Holy Spirit purified, inherited not the depravity, but only the guilt. Christ took to himself, not sin (depravity), but the consequences of sin. In him there was abolition of sin, without abolition of obligation to suffer for sin while in the believer, there is abolition of obligation to suffer without abolition of sin itself.
The justice of Christ?s sufferings has been imperfectly illustrated by the obligation of the silent partner of a business firm to pay debts of the firm which he did not personally contract or by the obligation of the husband to pay the debts of his wife. Another imperfect illustration is the obligation of a purchasing country to assume the debts of the province, which it purchases (Wm. Ashmore). There have been men who have spent the strength of a lifetime in clearing off the indebtedness of an insolvent father, long since deceased. They recognized an organic unity of the family, which morally, if not legally, made their father?s liabilities their own. So, it is said, Christ recognized the organic unity of the race, and saw that, having become one of that sinning race, he had involved himself in all its liabilities, even to the suffering of death, the great penalty of sin.
The fault of all the analogies just mentioned is that they are purely commercial. A transference of pecuniary obligation is easier to understand than a transference of criminal liability. I cannot justly bear another?s penalty, unless I can in some way share his guilt. The theory we advocate shows how such a sharing of our guilt on the part of Christ was possible. All believers in substitution hold that Christ bore our guilt: ?My soul
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