The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 84
Man's Recovery through Christ Jesus
Man's Recovery through Christ Jesus.
The Mediator being by proclamation established, God was now prepared to deal with Adam and Eve and their posterity as his children. He could now open page 53 his bowels of love to them as a Father, and, instead of cursing them as rebels, extend mercy and forgiveness to them, his mercy no more interfering with his justice. Here, then, in the setting forth by proclamation of the Mediator, lies the defeat of the devil, and the overthrow of his power, and God's victory over him, to the rejoicing of his host of holy angels and the salvation of man. In that Mediator, thus proclaimed, man appears before God as a child before his father, in defiance of the malice of the devil, and possessed of all the qualities required of him to perfection : for what the Mediator (Christ) is in himself, man is also in Christ—perfect, holy, righteous, even the righteousness of God (Col. i. 28; 1 Cor. i. 30); "there is therefore now' no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus" (Bom. viii. 1). But every man who refuses the intercession of the Mediator (Christ) is a cursed and condemned rebel, a wretch, a barren dry tree, fit only to be cut down like firewood at any time; and why he is spared is only because of the intercession of the Mediator: "Let him alone another year," in hope that he may turn from his wicked ways and be reconciled to God through the Mediator, who will then extend pardon to him and forgiveness of his sms.
Ever since the words were uttered, "The woman's seed shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel," God has dealt with man in mercy, through the Mediator, in spite of all the efforts of that old serpent the devil. With each and every one who believes or disbelieves God still pleads : "Seek ye my face "Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die" (Jer. xviii. 8). There is but one specified condition of acceptance. "obedience." And by that proclamation, and with the words which God spake, "I will put enmity," &c., Christ's mediatorship commenced, and his Church, and the fundamental truth, "Through grace ye are saved, by faith" was established. And in that sense also the woman's seed was born, and as a Lamb slain, from the foundation of the world (Rev. xiii. 8). The claim of that old Serpent, however, holds good upon each and every one who will not abandon his sins and accept Christ as Mediator, and to be ruled by him. The Lord said, his sheep hear his voice, and they follow him, &c. (John x. 3, 4).
Since that event the Church of Christ has been administered by his representatives or ambassadors, ordained and empowered by the Holy Ghost for that purpose, under various changes in form and outward appearance so as to arouse man's attention: whilst, however, the Church remained in substance the same, man's salvation being based upon mercy and forgivenesss, until Christ himself appeared on the stage of the world. And when he left this world he again established his representatives or ambassadors (2 Cor. v. 20) to administer the affairs of his Church in his apparent absence, until he shall appear again to judge the world.
We know that only in the name of Jesus is salvation to be found (Acts ix. 12). If, therefore, it should be accepted that the Church of Christ did not commence sooner than at the day of Pentecost, then would follow as a consequence that before that time no person was saved; for salvation in the name of Jesus can only be obtained in the ordinances of his Church. But we read in Revelation xiv. of the 144,000 shown to St. John in vision, following the Lamb (Christ) when standing on Mount Sion (in the offerings, &c.), before it was actually slain; and also as being sealed as saved ones before the Jewish dispensation closed (Rev. vii.) Also St. Paul reminds us, in Heb. xi., of a number of most substantial heroes of faith. It would mean, further, that the holy ordinances had been administered before the Church of Christ was established; for the Holy Ghost informs us by St. Paul, in his first Epistle to the Corinthians, chapter x., "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea. And were all"—men, women, and children—"baptised unto Moses"—Christ's representative in his Church—"in the cloud and in the sea as the shadow or outward appearance, as the water in baptism. The cloud did nor rain upon them, nor did the sea make them wet; nevertheless it was a baptism in substance, by God's Word administered to them. "And did all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink, for they drank of that spiritual Bock that followed them, And that Rock was Christ," in his Church—as we do in the holy sacrament of the Lord's Supper, if administered as it was instituted by him, and not being corrupted or misinterpreted by man's invention.
How sweetly sings the Spouse, and how comely responds her Beloved (Christ) page 54 in the Song of Solomon : (1.) Each soul individually; and, (2.) collectively as a body (Church). Blessed is he who can join in with David in his song, "The Lord is ray Shepherd," &c. And who was David's Shepherd, if not Christ ? In fact, examples too numerous to mention clearly show that the Church of Christ has existed through all ages, and that Christ's spiritual presence in his Church, unchanged, was, is, and shall be to the end of the world. We should always be careful not to be narrow-minded in these matters, by which we too often deprive ourselves of blessing.