Seed of the Woman
It is not that we have new light
on the Articles of Faith themselves:
they are still the grand fundamentals
we have always believed.
It is rather that we have new light
on the connecting links between them.
This new light underscores the organic unity of our Faith,
and shows how each Article contributes an essential element to
the whole structure.
Now unto the King
eternal, immortal, invisible,
the only wise God,
be honour and glory
for ever and ever.
(1 Timothy 1:17)
Owen had not pre-empted the phrase "The Death of Death"
as part of the title of one of his best known theological works,
it might have made an excellent title for this volume. For this
is largely what it is all about. Alternatively, it might have
been titled The Unique Relationship Between the First and
the Last Adam, since this too would have been appropriate.
Yet its theme has a broader compass than either title.
2 of 15
For a long time we were in the
habit of referring to the volume as The Physiology of Redemption
since it lays emphasis on those factors in the great scheme
of redemption which have to do with matters physiological. Yet
we were persuaded in the end that the title did not adequately
declare the theme of the book which is the salvation of the whole
man. So we ended up with the present title, The Seed of
the Woman ‹ that Seed being the Lord Jesus Christ, our
Saviour. It is a fresh examination of how the Lord Jesus Christ,
the Jehovah of the Old Testament and the Creator of the Universe,
when He designed the order of nature, prepared the way for Himself
to become Man in order to die as Man that we who had lost true
manhood might live.
We have indeed been dealing with
the nature of death as a consequence of disobedience and with
the promise of its final elimination. But we have been dealing
with an even more profound problem: how
can such a tragedy in
human experience as death has proved to be, be reconciled with
the claim that God who declares Himself to be altogether gracious
in all his intentions towards man is also sovereign? How can
such an evil have been allowed to bring so great an avalanche
of tears to a race conceived in love by a Creator who desires
only the good of his creatures? Was the Fall and its penalty
unforeseen? Was it an accident? Was it merely allowed? Or was
The conclusion seems to me to be
somewhere between allowing and planning, for it was both allowed
and allowed for and therefore part of the Plan. It was
planned in hope, not after the event had happened but from the
very beginning of creation ‹ indeed, before creation was
actually begun. The whole process of creation, whether it took
millions of years to set the stage or only a few days, was directly
related to and designed with the Plan of Redemption in mind.
Natural laws, including those governing
all living processes, were engineered as a direct preparation
for the creation of man as a free agent with the power of making
a choice between right and wrong, and with the capacity for redemption
if the choice was wrongly made. The process of redemption itself
was ultimately bound to the nature of the penalty that disobedience
would bring, namely, the experience of dying. And the origin
and nature of man's dying as distinct from the origin and nature
of plant and animal death provides the key to an understanding
of the physical basis of this Plan of Redemption: in short, the
physiology of redemption. Human death makes redemption
Only Revelation can help us here. All
the sophisticated research in the world cannot tell us what kind
of physical life Adam enjoyed at first that made it possible
for him not to die unless he disobeyed. We see something of the
meaning of a form of physical immortality in certain lower orders
of life, but we cannot know by experiment whether the form of
Adam's immortality was the same. And we still do not know even
in animals what actually happens when a creature begins to die.
If we should get closer to understanding this strange phenomenon
for them, we still have no materials for experiment with
man as God created him because man is no longer man. Adam
ceased to be himself when he disobeyed and became something essentially
different, for he no longer had the power to continue his life
unendingly. If we experiment with man today, we are not experimenting
with man as God created him in Adam.
All we know is that the original
kind of life system was not entirely lost to the human race when
Adam fell. By the unique formation of Eve out of Adam, provision
was made in the woman's seed for its continuance and recovery
in the Person of Jesus Christ. The Universe seems to have been
designed for this: and the earth was prepared
specifically as the stage
within the theatre of the Universe upon which the drama of Redemption
was to be worked out. The nature of the Universe predetermined
the nature of man's corporeality, and it was only possible for
man to be redeemed by a Redeemer who assumed man's corporeal
constitution. The Redeemer was God Himself, taking upon Him the
nature of man as a permanent part of his own personal existence
without in any way surrendering his deity. And the constitution
of man as a hyphenate body/spirit entity made this 'assumption'
His death for man, by incarnation
as Man, meant that his manhood could suffer death when
his human body died and could be recovered again when his human
body was resurrected. He died as Man even though He continued
to live as God; and it was in his capacity as God that He raised
Himself again as Man from the dead. What He raised up again was
his human body and what He thereby reconstituted was his manhood.
He was perfectly correct when He said that He would raise
his body up again in three days (John 2:19). But Peter was equally
correct when he said that it was God who raised Him up
(Acts 2:24). For He was God. It was the Lord Jehovah who raised
up his own human body and re-appeared to the disciples as the
Lord Jesus whom they had known before. As such, even Thomas acknowledged
Him when he exclaimed, "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28).
The death of God as Man incarnate
is only comprehensible to the extent that we grasp the fact that
it was by the destruction of the human body which He had assumed,
that He died as Man. And the reconstitution of God as Man
is only comprehensible to the extent that we recognize He
was able to raise that body and assume it once again in a glorified
Man was created with the possibility
of dying but not the necessity of doing so, and thus accordingly
a Redeemer could be made with the same potential and be truly
human. Since redemption involved the Redeemer's death but without
internal necessity, this is precisely how true man had to be
constituted at first. No angel could die for man since angels
do not experience physical death, and no animal can suffice by
its dying either. Only God could suffice as Redeemer of men;
and therefore God became neither angel nor animal, but Man. And
He became Man specifically that He might taste death not for
some solitary individual, as a man may do today in giving his
life for a friend, but that He might taste death for every man
(Hebrews 2:9). That was why He had to be both man and more than
As we have seen, while death must
be possible for man even in his unfallen state since otherwise
an unfallen redeemer could not himself have experienced death
on man's behalf, it had to be possible for him not to die since
otherwise the redeemer could not embrace death
voluntarily. Unless these two alternatives were present in Adam,
there could have been no Redeemer and no redemption. It is necessary
to underscore these two potentials because so much hinges upon
them. Unless it is possible for man to die, no man can
possibly die as a substitutionary sacrifice. Unless it is possible
for man not to die, such a redeemer if truly man would be subject
to death by nature and could not therefore offer himself in man's
place. We know that both these conditions were met in the creation
of the first Adam, and we know now that the processes of conception
and birth and hereditary transmission were so designed that out
of Adam's loins there might still arise a Second Adam who could
be just such a Redeemer.
So the Plan is of a piece in every
element. To surrender any link in the chain is to make the Plan
unworkable. For man to be redeemable, the race must have begun
with an Adam whose physiology was precisely that which Scripture
reveals it was in Adam. Such a creature was not evolved but was
a special creation.
And in order for the Redeemer to
escape the necessity of death while remaining truly man, what
is revealed in Genesis to have happened is precisely what had
to happen to make the Plan of Redemption work. The creation of
Eve out of Adam in order to separate the two seeds, the housing
of the woman's seed in a unique way for its preservation, and
the virgin conception and birth of a sinless and immortal Redeemer
‹ these form a single theme. Bodily resurrection without
corruption was proof of its success.
In following this sequence of events,
we have seen how research has shed more and more light upon the
matter until continued unbelief is well-nigh inexcusable. We
see now that the great fundamentals of the Faith need not be
abandoned because of the advance of knowledge, but ought to be
even more securely embraced than ever before. Only those ignorant
of the facts can today justify their departure from the Faith.
may be argued that the approach taken in this volume is inherently
dangerous. In the past, apparent confirmations of faith have
been hailed with enthusiasm only to prove in the course of time
to be misinterpretations of the evidence which, properly understood,
offered no confirmation at all. In a few instances the evidence
has in fact been the invention of an over-eager mind, although
with the best of intentions. Such claims can only do harm. The
argument is, therefore, that we should never bolster Faith by
With this I agree. Faith based
on humanly acquired knowledge is precarious, since all such knowledge
is subject to correction. Yet it is undoubtedly a mistake to
go to the other extreme and refuse to explore the implications
of such new knowledge in the light of the
strong convictions we
do have. The worst of all fears is fear that the discovery of
the truth will be damaging to our Faith. Yet a fact established
is as sacred as a truth revealed.
Moreover, almost all the evidence
here presented is experimentally verifiable or can be documented
historically. Much of it is repeatable evidence, observable,
and in essentials hardly deniable. It is not likely that we shall
suddenly discover it is all a mistake. Theories come and go,
but experimentally established data remain. And I believe it
is time that the implications of these findings should be explored
by the Lord's people. The supposed conflict between Science and
Faith lies not in the facts themselves but in the way they are
interpreted. We are challenged to interpret them in the light
of the Word of God.
Just when our theological colleges
and seminaries are tending to lead the ministers and pastors
of tomorrow away from the old Faith on the grounds that modern
science has made that old Faith untenable, modern research is
in many ways tending in exactly the opposite direction.
That Adam could have been 'divided'
for the formation of Eve, and that two such creatures could have
had a potential physical immortality is no longer a concept foreign
to current biological findings ‹ though few biologists would
risk their reputations yet by openly declaring such a position
as I have taken. But human genetics and developmental physiology
do combine to show that the unique formation of Eve out of Adam
could very well serve the purpose of providing a means whereby
the potential immortality they both enjoyed at first could be
preserved via the woman's seed, even after it had been surrendered
by both of them personally. However, what the evidence really
tells us is not so much that this could be done, for we know
by the implications of Scripture that this is what must have
been done. What this new knowledge does is to enable us to gain
a deeper insight into the means whereby God brought it all about.
And it shows that the natural order had been designed with this
We should not therefore turn our
backs upon this new light, but rejoice in it and explore our
Faith along new lines. The result of such exploration is to provide
new understandings of Scripture itself and new insights into
passages, the meaning of which has lain dormant hitherto. Such
passages are suddenly unlocked, and many old familiar passages
are illuminated in new and surprising ways. In short, this new
knowledge is not to engender Faith but to enable us to gain a
deeper understanding of the things we already believe.
But there is
an important distinction that needs to be made between what are
strictly the fundamentals of our Faith when viewed
as a series of propositions
to which we assent wholeheartedly, and the rationale with which
they are organized into a coherent and defensible system of theology.
The existence and nature of God, the creation of man in God's
image, the formation of Eve, the fact and nature of the Fall,
the entrance of death (both spiritual and physical), the promise
of a Redeemer, the Incarnation whereby God became Man for man's
redemption through the miracle of a virgin conception, the sinless
life and vicarious death of that Redeemer, his bodily resurrection
without corruption, and his promised return ‹ all these are
the elements of our Faith, the basis of our hope as Christians,
and the subject headings of our systematic theologies. How one
element follows from the preceding one and relates to it and
to all the rest is something which God has left us to work out
by thinking about the matter, though He has provided pointers
Such pointers illuminate the whole
fabric of our Faith and make it beautifully satisfying to the
sort of minds we have, if we do but accept these fundamental
elements to begin with. But because our minds are at different
stages of development, so we each take from Scripture that which
is most suitable for us personally. Scripture encourages this
selectivity by its constant use of parable and symbol and metaphor,
since such devices lend themselves to different purposes according
to the mind of the reader. By which I mean that one may have
in a single household a child reading a Bible story and being
stirred in imagination to make noble resolves, while at the same
time in another room grandfather is sitting at a desk poring
over the same passage and drinking in the deep things of God,
which the child would never discover nor needs to know at that
stage of development. The words are for children, but the thoughts
are for men. Each draws from the same Word food convenient for
himself. Yet the truth is not thereby compromised.
However, what I think we have to
avoid at all costs is the temptation to confuse the rationale
(the theology which we construct for ourselves in relation to
our Faith) with saving faith itself. Such systematic theologies
are built up partly on the basis of explicit statements of Scripture,
and partly upon its implicit statements and upon knowledge gained
from other sources. We must not equate faith with reason in such
a way that it becomes dependent upon reason. Faith that is dependent
upon reason is not a biblical faith. Saving faith is something
granted to our darkened minds by the Holy Spirit. We reach it
by a leap not a ladder, by a jump not a climb. It is something
that suddenly grips the mind, as though a light were switched
on unexpectedly. Afterwards we may back-track and construct a
rationale but we do not arrive at our faith this way to begin
with. Christian evidences may serve the purpose of removing some
of our objections
so that our blindness
is not quite so strongly 'willed': but this is not how saving
faith itself is acquired.
We do not simply decide to believe,
having been convinced by factual evidence. We first grasp the
truth, being enabled by the Holy Spirit, and then the external
evidence for the truth suddenly takes on a new significance.
Thus we 'understand' by faith rather than believe because we
have first understood. Anselm said, "I believe in order
that I may understand." It was years later that Abelard
set the modern trend by saying instead, "I seek understanding
in order that I may believe." Abelard led us astray.
The reason I believe the fundamentals
of my Faith is not because I can rationalize them. For some years
I believed them with all my heart without being able to systematize
them in my own mind. Systematization, and rationalization, came
long after faith. But today I find it exciting indeed to explore
the implications of these things not only in the light of Scripture
but with the help of scientific research also. Such findings
do not certify faith but they can indeed broaden understanding:
and they help to show the organic unity of that Faith.
It is important to note that the
fundamentals of Faith are sometimes abandoned because their interrelateness
as a system of belief has not been made explicit. For example,
it is easy to abandon the concept of the direct creation of Adam
and to substitute some form of evolution at least of his body,
if the true significance of the body in man's constituted being
is not recognized. If Adam's body is animal in origin, regardless
of where his 'soul' arises, then man is half animal and the Lord
Jesus when He became Man became half animal also. If we once
accept the erroneous view that man is only truly man by reason
of his 'soul,' and that his body has little significance except
in so far as it is an adept housing for his soul from a physiological
point of view, then we are really losing sight of what man is.
The human body forms as much a part of man's humanity as his
spirit does. Neither is more important than the other, or less
If Adam had his physical
life by virtue of animal ancestry, then his death was not a penalty
but was programmed as it was for animals. He becomes a unique
spirit in an animal body, all the physical elements of which
are shared by other primates. But Scripture does not seem to
take this view at all. The death of a man is quite different
from the death of an animal because it is a rending apart of
a bond originally designed to last throughout eternity. So important
is the body of a man that he must have his own body resurrected
in order to be reconstituted as truly himself. When we bow to
the implacable offensive of science in such an issue as this,
as the Roman Catholic Church has done officially, we are left
with a totally indefensible theology of salvation, and a biblical
psychology that is no longer truly
biblical. It is only
a matter of time before the logical relations of this betrayal
of sound doctrine will become evident. Professor Gresham J. Machen
said many years ago: *
The true way in which to examine
a spiritual movement is in its logical relations: logic is the
great dynamic and the logical implications of any way of thinking
are sooner or later certain to be worked out.
Few people realize
when they begin to take a supposedly broader view of human origins
that they are initiating a process of reasoning which will work
itself out in their minds, willy-nilly, until they find they
are shifting their position even with respect to some elements
of their Faith which they never had any intention of abandoning.
And very soon the whole Faith, the whole system of Faith,
begins to collapse. It is quite hopeless to defend the fact of
the Virgin Birth and the Incarnation if we abandon the record
of the formation of Eve as given in Genesis. The Virgin Birth
apart from the background of original sin and the communication
of mortality through natural generation becomes meaningless.
Indeed such a scholar as William Barclay, who accepted the evolution
of man, has stated quite candidly that he cannot see the significance
of either the virgin birth or the bodily resurrection of the
Lord. If one can see no reason for these great truths, can they
remain great convictions? The fatal step from a little doubt
to no faith is sometimes delayed for a long time, but it is almost
always taken in the end. And we have seen how unnecessary it
is for us to surrender our Faith in any of its fundamentals so
far as factual evidence goes.
Whatever else in Karl Barth's theology
we may feel uneasy about, he was unquestionably right in insisting
that the creation of man in such a form that the Fall of man
took place as it did, was an essential step in the revelation
of God's redeeming love; and the story of Eden must be viewed
as preparatory to Calvary. In this sense creation was conceived
after the Plan of Redemption had been formulated, because that
plan predetermined the form that creation must take. As Barth
To proceed from creation to
original sin, from original sin to actual sin, and from actual
Sin to grace, is a wrong method in dogmatics. The true method
of a believing theology is in reverse.
* Machen, Gresham J., quoted by J.
I. Packer, Fundamentalism and the Word of God, London,
IVF, 1958, p. 26, 27. DOC
† Barth, Karl, quoted by N. H. Ridderbos, Is There
a Conflict Between Genesis and Natural Science?, Grand Rapids,
Eerdmans, 1957, p. 14. DOC
That is to say, in the mind of God the exhibition
of his love at Calvary was the prime cause of his decision to
create man at all: the creation of man in the form in which it
is revealed to have taken place was a necessary but dependent
consideration. Calvary preceded Eden and the Plan of Redemption
preceded the Fall. This means that the crucifixion was not an
emergency measure planned later to offset an unfortunate incident
in Eden. What happened to the First Adam had everything to do
with what was achieved by the Last Adam. By distorting the former
we completely confuse the significance of the latter.
We should be exploring the new
evidence that science is uncovering in the fields of genetics,
embryology, and developmental physiology with a view to enlarging
our sense of wonder that God in his wisdom should so design the
processes of conception and birth that He could use them, without
doing violence to his own created order, as a means of entering
into our world of space and time in the likeness of ourselves
for our redemption. He did not need to supercede these laws.
He put them to a higher service, a service for which they were
designed in the first place.
It is not that we have discovered
unexpectedly that the natural laws governing these things at
last permit us to present a scientific argument for our Faith.
It is rather that we can now see how these laws were from the
very first intended to serve the purpose of God. Our Faith perceives
them to have been essential if that purpose was to be fulfilled.
God was not limited by natural law which by some adjustment permitted
Him to do what He wished: He designed those laws in the first
place to serve his own purpose. He first made his plans and then
designed the natural order accordingly.
It is time to return to the old
Faith, for the old Faith as traditionally understood is far nearer
to the truth than the newer versions of it. The revised versions
are often the result of ignorance rather than the understanding
of modern research. We have abandoned our Faith too easily. We
were fearful of being 'out of date' where in point of fact we
might even have inspired some new fields of biological research
which just now are beginning to excite the scientific world (the
basis of longevity, for example). If only we had had the courage
to explore without apology the consequences of those things which
the Lord's people have most surely believed from the beginning,
we might have led the way to exciting new understandings of both
the world we live in and of the Faith we profess.
I cannot do
better than close with a beautiful succinct summation of the
whys and wherefores of much that has been discussed in this volume
than by quoting some words of W. Ian Thomas in his quite
remarkable little book,
The Mystery of Godliness. *
He had to come as He did
to be what He was.
He had to be what He was
do what He did.
He had to do what He did
that you might have what He is.
You must have what He is
be what He was.
In short, the
Lord Jesus had to come by virgin conception to be a truly
human being. He had to be a truly human being to redeem fallen
man. He had to redeem fallen man in order that you and I might
have his kind of eternal life. You and I must have his kind of
eternal life in order to be a truly human being. Amen!
We have for too long thought of
the salvation of the soul as a salvation of the spirit only.
But man is not a spirit only. Angels are spirits, but man is
man: and he is man by reason of the duality of his constitution
as a body/spirit entity.
Whereas it is true that the application
of the redemptive process depends upon man's spiritual nature
which permits him to see his own need and appropriate God's promises,
it is nevertheless true that the manner of man's redemption
hinges upon the nature of his physiology which was so designed
that the Son of God might be made flesh in order to achieve that
redemption for him without doing violence either to his own nature
or to the natural order of things.
The salvation of his soul is not
possible except his body be redeemed as well. Nor is the body
incidental: it is as fundamental a part of man's being as his
Furthermore, the emphasis upon
man's spiritual being to the exclusion of his bodily existence
has led us to overlook the physiology of his redemption. Redemption
is not simply a matter of the Lord's spiritual sacrifice of Himself.
In spite of the great emphasis in Scripture upon the blood
of his sacrifice, we tend to find repugnant the thought that
the shedding of his blood is the ground of our salvation. Yet
this shedding of blood is what made his embodiment, his Incarnation,
a prerequisite. It involved not merely taking upon Himself for
our sakes the appearance of man, as angels already have
done throughout biblical history. It involved being human as
* Thomas, W. Ian, The Mystery of Godliness,
Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1972, p.121.
body including his brain:
i.e., physiologically. So we re-discover the importance
of Adam's body as created, not evolved: of Eve as formed miraculously,
not by natural process: of the Fall as a physical Fall as well
as a spiritual Fall: of the virgin conception as an essential
step in the redemption of man: of a death that need never have
happened for internal reasons but was truly substitutionary both
spiritually and physically: and of a resurrection of that body
that allowed the symbol and proof of divine satisfaction to be
placed on record in heaven to protect for ever those whose souls
have been redeemed at such a price.
The whole man is body and spirit,
a hyphenated entity in which neither constituent is whole in
itself, nor is either superior or inferior to the other in importance.
As Robert H. Gundry argues*, the biblical touchstone for truly
human life is not a spirit that has consciousness nor the mere
existence of a physical object such as a body. Man is only himself
in the unity of his body and his spirit, wherein the body is
animated and the spirit can express itself actively in obedience
to God. Once redeemed, both parts of the human constitution share
equally in the dignity of the divine image, a dignity which lies
in man's service as God's representative caretaker over the material
world. For such a task man needs just as much the physical instrument
for action, his body, as he does the incorporeal source of conscious
willing to action, his spirit. Thus we come full circle and find
ourselves reiterating the words of Hugo St. Victor, that the
world was made for the body, the body for the spirit, and the
spirit for God. And we may remind ourselves that the Universe
was made for the world.
Man in his whole
constitution becomes the reason for the whole creation,
which now waits for his redemption, the redemption of his body
(Romans 8:23), because upon it the proper ordering of the world
hinges and without it, its proper master is missing.
It becomes us to recognize once
again the fundamental importance of the long chain of events
which has been the subject of this study of the physiological
aspects of man's redemption. All too often we have tended to
ignore these aspects of salvation and consequently to lose sight
of the vital importance of the events which necessitated such
a kind of redemption and also made such a kind of redemption
The human body is as essential
to the existence of a truly human being as is the human spirit.
In spite of the effect of the Fall upon man's body, his body
is still essential to his spirit because it supplies the spirit
with its means of expression and action, just as the spirit
provides the body with its animation and capacity for purposeful
* Gundry, Robert
H., Soma in Biblical Theology, Cambridge University Press,
activity. By their separation
body and spirit both die; and so dies the whole man. Thus by
the redemption of the body and by bodily resurrection wherein
the physiology of redemption is made complete, the whole man
is reconstituted personally, and the original creation of man
is finally fulfilled and justified. Thereby is also fulfilled
and justified the creation of the whole Universe.
The whole creation awaits the redemption
of man, a redemption made possible because both the cosmos and
man himself were prepared for this contingency ‹ perhaps
even designed for it. Certainly the design encompassed the necessary
mechanisms for the appearance in due time of one unique Seed
of woman in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, who by special
means escaped the entail of sin and death transmitted through
the seed of man.
By his sacrifice of Himself, He
who was the Creator of the Universe effected our salvation by
temporarily laying aside the glory He had shared with his Father
and being made one with us within the framework of space and
time, becoming subject to two kinds of death in our place. So
that, by rebirth of our spirit and by resurrection of our body
we are thus wholly redeemed.
As there is to be a race of new
men in Christ ‹ new in spirit and new in body ‹ so there
is to be a new heaven and a new earth accordingly.
Nothing has been in vain, nothing was unforeseen. He who promised
He would make a new people out of us who are really no longer
people at all (1 Peter 2:9), promised also that He would make
all other things new as well (Revelation 21:5). And indeed He
Even so, come Lord Jesus. . . . Amen.
The drama is not yet
The final chapter has still to be played
out, and it is to far outlast earth accord- all that has gone
before. The prospect carries us into eternity . . .
While the precise details and the exact
order of events associated with the Lord's return are not yet
clear enough to ensure unanimous agreement upon them, yet the
fact itself is nowhere disputed among the Lord's people.
He will return. And He will return as
He went into heaven; a perfect Man with a perfect human body,
a body as glorious in its constitution and potential as God originally
planned the human body to be: and as becomes the vehicle of a
race appointed to have dominion over all other creatures on earth
- and perhaps even over the universe itself. And we shall be
like Him! Free from all sin; free from all vulnerabilities; free
from pain and tears; free from the circumscriptions of time and
space; and above all free from the devastation of death.
With our Lord, we shall be part of a
new world that is to encompass a new earth, not merely a new
heaven. We shall not all die, for some will be alive at his coming,
though millions will have sown their bodies in the earth. But
we shall all be changed, transforrned, transfigured, beautified
in spirit and in body, incomparably.
He, as Man, will restore the pristine
splendour of the earth that God planned for it, and we under
Him will finally fufill, with joy and with skills made perfect,
the establishment of human dominion over all living things. Paradise
will not be a hoped for place in heaven, but an experienced reality
on earth-and on the new earth it will never
ever wear out or decay.
And perhaps this wonderful thing we call
the web of nature will be transported in an ever widening circle
and in ever diversifying forms until the whole Universe is thronged
with the creatures of God's design! Of the increase of
his kingdom there is to be no end (Isaiah :7).
We have some intimations of it. This
enormous Universe surely cannot have been created solely as a
display of God's power and might. But we see only through a glass
darkly. Certainly man has yet to have total dominion over the
physical order and the Son of Man is yet to wear the crown of
that dominion. The millenial age is not the terminal one, nor
is the present physical world the final economy of things. All
this is but the first step towards a fulfilled reality the glory
of which will be breathless to behold: so that in a wonderful
sense we can perhaps say to one another (borrowing the words
of Robert Browning's Rabbi ben Ezra),
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life for which the first was made.
Our times are in his hand
Who saith "A whole, I planned."
Youth shares but half; trust God:
See all ‹ nor be afraid.
Behold! I make all
things new! Alleluiah! "Blessed are they that do his commandments,
that they may have the right to the tree of life" (Rev.22:14)
which is in the midst of the Garden.
the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
be with you.
Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights
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