“Let us now endeavour to realize a truth, which few of us will be disposed to dispute as far as words go.
1. First consider our present condition, as shown us in Scripture. Christ has not changed this, though He has died; it is as it was from the beginning,—I mean our actual state as men. We have Adam’s nature in the same sense as if redemption had not come to the world. It has come to all the world, but the world is not changed thereby as a whole,—that change is not a work done and over in Christ. We are changed one by one; the race of man is what it ever was, guilty;—what it was before Christ came; with the same evil passions, the same slavish will. The history of redemption, if it is to be effectual, must begin from the beginning with every individual of us, and be carried on through our own life. It is not a work done ages before we were born. We cannot profit by the work of a Saviour, though He be the Blessed Son of God, so as to be saved thereby without our own working; for we are moral agents, we have a will of our own, and Christ must be formed in us, and turn us from darkness to light, if God’s gracious purpose, fulfilled upon the cross, is to be in our case more than a name, an abused, wasted privilege. Thus the world, viewed as in God’s sight, can never become wiser or more enlightened than it has been. We cannot mount upon the labours of our forefathers. We have the same nature that man ever had, and we must begin from the point man ever began from, and work out our salvation in the same slow, persevering manner.”