The Book Of The Generation Of Jesus Christ, The Son Of David, The Son Of Abraham -- By: Charles C. Starbuck

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 038:151 (Jul 1881)
Article: The Book Of The Generation Of Jesus Christ, The Son Of David, The Son Of Abraham
Author: Charles C. Starbuck

The Book Of The Generation Of Jesus Christ, The Son Of David, The Son Of Abraham

Rev. Charles C. Starbuck

The opening of the first book of the New Testament strikingly corresponds with the earlier chapters of the first book of the Old. Each is a book of genesis, of origins. The one describes the origin of creation, the other of redemption. This leads us to consider the relation between these two great events.

The doctrine of creation does not arise from a mere observation of the world and the things in it, leading to the speculation as to whether they are self-originated, or have never originated, or whether they have sprung from the fiat of an omnipotent being. Men who have not the sense of God might speculate forever on these points without coming to any conclusion. And through whatever steps the religious consciousness, the consciousness of God, may have unfolded,

it is certain that, once unfolded, it is supreme. To the religious man the idea of God controls and explains all others. Now, as the church from the beginning has never wavered in affirming, the idea of God is that of him in whom there is from eternity the fulness of being, and out of whom there is emptiness, except so far as he, from the promptings of self-moved love, communicates his fulness. The thought of a blind, weltering chaos, of an infinity of disorderly, conflicting atoms originating apart from the will of God is alike opposed to right reason and to Christian consciousness. The process of creation we cannot understand, for we are ourselves created. But there is a sufficient ground for it in the will and power of God, whereas of this blind tumult of self-originated or self-existent atoms we understand neither the process nor the ground. And the assumption of it is repugnant to the very thought of God as the eternal, all-comprehending fulness. Therefore we affirm with resolute steadfastness, as a matter not of idle speculation nor of indifference to faith, but fundamental, that we believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of “all things visible and invisible.”

Let us now consider the relation of creation and redemption. Creation is the lower stage, the platform on which redemption must rest. That which is not created cannot be redeemed. What is redemption? It may be defined as the setting right, by a second act of the Creator, of that which has swerved from the creative impulse, and is going astray. I need not add, hopelessly astray, for who but God can set the creature in the line of God’s purpose, or restore it if it have varied? Indeed, what can any act of the creature be but an empty illusion unless it be the free appropriation and transmission of an act of the Creator within i...

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