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In considering the subject of our Lord's humanity, I shall first state what is revealed in the Scriptures respecting it; and then uppose 'this truth to the two false opinions which prevail at the present day.
There are three distinct views on this subject, which at present cause divisions in the Church of CHRIST. I shall endeavour to prove to you, that the Scriptures, in the clearest manner, represent the humanity of Jesus CHRIST as inheriting the penal, but not the polluting effects of the fall.* And I shall afterwards show, that those who deny this doctrine, and those who assert that His human nature inherited the polluting effects, are equally tar from the truth ; and equally assert a most fearful and dangerous heresy. The subject then fur consideration is, whether the humanity of Jesus CHRIST was penally fallen, unfallen, or sinful. I shall consider these three distinct opinions in the above order.
*I am indebted for this valuable distinction, belween “the judicial and polluting effects of the fall," to a remark made to me some years since in private conversation.
Our church is very clear on the subject of the humanity of JESUS CHRIST ; which is fully treated on in tbe Athanasian creed. "It is necessary to everlasting salvation that we also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus CHRIST : for the right faith is that we believe and confess that our LORD JESUS CHRIST, the Son of God, is God and man: God of the substance of the Father begotten before the world ; and man of the substance of His mother born in the world : perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting ; equal to the Father as touching His GODHEAD; and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood; Wbo although He be God and man, yet He is not two but one Christ. One, not by conversion of the GodHEAD into flesh; but by taking of the manhood into God; one altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of Person; for as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one CHRIST."
Such is the language of our church on the subject of our Lord's humanity: and the whole is comprehended in the words "without father,” since this expression implies, that the manhood of Christ was essentially the same, as if God were not His FATHER; that His body was in reality our mortal flesh of the substance of His mother; and that His soul inherited the penal effects of the fall. This is what a child may understand. Our Lord's human body and soul were taken out of His mother. The humanity of our LORD, brethren, was then our fallen flesh and mind, yet without sin ; for, it was a “holy thing” which was born of the Virgin Mary. His flesh inherited the consequences or penal effects of man's sin, yet was altogether free from the polluting effects of the fall. His mind or soul also inherited the judicial consequences and the resulting infirmities of Adam's transgression ; since “He increased in wisdom” as well as in stature. * But I must proceed to define more clearly what is intended by fallen humanity. Although human nature cannot be strictly said to be fallen or changed; yet that phrase is constantly used to express the perversion and liability to suffering of the faculties of the mind, and the mortality of the body. In other words, by the common phrase “fallen human nature,” I mean simply, a fallen body and soul, or the condition of man since the fall. But since the polluting effects of the fall consist in the perversion of our mental faculties, it is necessary to confine the expression “fallen," when applied to the humanity of our Lord, to the soul's liability to suffering, and to the mortality of the body. The ambiguity of language continually requires this precision of expression : and I feel that the only way, in which I can avoid being mis
understood, is to qualify the word fallen in order that it may express the penal effects only of the fall. In consequence of the incidental connexion between the penal and polluting effects of the fall, in all the natural progeny of Adam; the word “fallen” has been generally used to signify both these results. Yet it must also be taken to represent either of the consequences of the fall; although to avoid ambiguity, it would perhaps be better to qualify its use, and to represent the judicial effects, by the expression penally fallen. It seems necessary thus to mark the difference between the penal suffering of the human soul, and the perverted state of its faculties. Human nature, therefore, penally fallen, consists simply in the body's inheriting mortality, and in the soul's contracting liability to suffering; and does not imply the slightest taint of indwelling sin, or the least tendency to carnal concupiscence. All sin is in the will, and the fallen state of the mental faculties' need not include the