The Divine Origin of Redemption
By Richard Meux Benson
From The Church Eclectic, January 1897, pp. 878-892.
Transcribed by Alan Stott, 2011
PROBABLY the ordinary idea of our Redemption is that Christ, being the God-man, redeemed the rest of mankind as individuals. That, however, is not the idea put before us in Holy Scripture. Throughout the Psalms Christ speaks as being Himself redeemed by God. This truth is rendered the more forcible because it is contained in the very sentence with which Christ gave up His life upon the Cross: "Into Thy Hands, O Lord, I commend My Spirit, for Thou hast redeemed Me, O Lord, Thou God of Truth" (Ps. XXXII. 5).
 What then is the object of Redemption, and who is the Redeemer?
It is human nature which needed to be redeemed. Satan had enslaved human nature by his struggle with Adam. When a Redeemer was promised, it was not persons who could be redeemed as separate personalities. Redemption was not an arrangement with Satan to set certain individuals free, but a deliverance of human nature as a whole from that condition of imprisonment under Satan's power which it had incurred by the loss of the authoritative Divine Presence as originally given to our first parents in Paradise.
By Redemption human nature is freed. The Son of Man bruises the serpent's head. Hitherto all personalities had been involved in the loss which Adam's fall occasioned. Now the Seed of the Woman is born with power to repudiate the inherited bondage. The promise was not given, although it was doubtless implied, that this Seed of the Woman would institute a spreading vitality in human nature which should gather other personalities to share in His own freedom. The nature, however, as a whole, was the proper object of the Redemption.
The personalities were imprisoned in the nature. We need not enter upon the question whether those personalities were separate creations or derived from Adam. There was no power of dealing with them except as sharing in the destiny of the nature generated from Adam and one with Adam himself. Let the nature be redeemed, and the heirs or partners of that redeemed nature will be free from this external tyranny; but unless the nature be set free the persons who inherit that nature are in bondage.
S. Paul says: "I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing" (Rom. VII. 18). The nature was wholly hi bondage to Satan, not by willing toleration of evil but by incapacity of asserting freedom. Such bondage does not imply habitual evil in action. It was consistent with the utmost morality of the outer life and the intensest reality of love to God. By it the power of Satan brooded over all, and was ready to assert itself against the will of the best of men.
Satan could indeed tolerate much accidental goodness,—goodness without God's indwelling Presence. Man still desired what was good, for he bore God's image. He might do many things that were noble and of good repute. The Greek philosopher said as much when he described all men as seeking happiness in apparent good. Faith is required that we may look beyond this world and not listen to Satan. By faith we must [879/880] be absolutely dead to this world if we would know the freedom of the redeemed. The prince of lies could always deceive those who were held hound by him. Only the Incarnate Truth could make us free.
It is then human nature as such which needs to be rescued from the power of Satan. The kingdom of truth must take the place of the tyranny of deception, and the Word of God calls men to a standard of freedom, by which to escape the delusions of the flesh. "Thou hast given a standard for such as fear Thee, that they may triumph because of the Truth" (Ps. LX. 4).
The Seed of the Woman was to bruise the serpent's head. This points to a victory asserting itself within the nature of man. Nevertheless, it could not be a man who should gain the victory, for as men the offspring of the Woman were in a state of slavery. Satan's power must ever be too great for man to shake off. "It cost more to redeem their souls, so that he must let that alone forever" (Ps. XLIX. 8).
The Jews of our Lord's time failed to see how much was involved in the victory. The Jewish law did not give men this freedom from Satan, the lord of death, for it did not give them life (Gal. III. 21). Even they who were Abraham's seed after the flesh, were of their father, the devil, after the spirit. The Seed to whom the promise was made did not satisfy the desires of the natural mind and therefore they sought to slay Jesus. The law did not raise them out of the atmosphere of Satan's deceit nor the bondage of his control. They doubtless sought to do right, to establish their own righteousness by the law which God had given them, but God gave them the law in order to make them feel that very sinfulness which they strove by the law to hide. "By the law was the knowledge of sin" (Rom. III. 20). They did not rise by the use of the law to that filial obedience of love which alone could justify their claim to be the children of God who is love. If they obeyed they obeyed only as slaves, though it was better to be God's slaves than to be Satan's slaves.. Yet could such righteousness be only short- lived. "The slave remaineth not in the house forever, but the Son abideth ever" (John VIII. 35). Any obedience given to God upon the mere principle of worldly right, perishes with the world. The slave cannot win the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven. Love inspired by the regenerating Spirit is the only eternal principle of vital holiness.
So then none but the Son of God could make man free. "If the Son shall make you free then are yet free indeed" (John var. 3 6). "God sent His Son to redeem them that were under the law [880/881] that they might receive the adoption of sons" (Gal. IV. 5). A state of slavish obedience is not a state of atonement. A state of redemption must be a state of atonement lifting man up to the obedience of a loving Sonship.
Hence it is said that "God sending His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin condemned sin in the flesh" (Rom. VIII. 5). "God made a redemption for His people, raising up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David" (Luke I. 68).
The Son of God is the Redeemer.
How then does He redeem? He redeems by assuming that nature which was enslaved to the enemy. He becomes the Seed of the Woman. He broke open the gates of the prison- house, not from without, but from within. "He took upon Himself the form of a slave" (Phil. II. 7). He became truly Man, and therefore the nature which He took was in this state of slavery until the moment of His taking it, and had the appearance of slavery until by His temptation and triumphant Passion and Death, He asserted Himself in the power Of the Divine Sonship.
This leads us to consider the unity of human nature. It is not an aggregation of individuals compacted by external power. It is a solid, self-extending entity. It is complete in each individual, and the vitality of the parent germ holds all the members together. It is given in its completeness to each individual, although that completeness may be marred by accidental disease. It may lose its power of action, but it is one and the same in all, and it exists in each with a transmissive identity. No generation can add to its power by putting forth new faculties, although the outward condition of the race may change through external relationships to the world around. The race may, deteriorate, but in itself it never can acquire any faculties beyond those of the original stem. It may indeed lose. Faculties may be divided out amongst the various branches. These may be restored. The primary nature may be revived in each individual germ that springs forth, but then it is not an endowment acquired by individual effort. It is only a resuscitation of the powers essential to the original Divine idea. Such revival is not the engrafting of new power, but the awakening of that which has been latent since it was originally lost.
Consequently, our Lord Jesus, when taking upon Himself our nature, took it in all its integrity. There was no need to create a new humanity to be the instrument of His Divine Mission. The Seed of the. Woman was to conquer Satan, and He [881/882] took upon Himself this nature free from all flaw, with all the capacities of its original endowment.
Adam had some gifts which were preternatural. He had a knowledge of the secrets of nature which we do not possess. We know not how much of our natural knowledge has been derived from supernatural communications, which would indeed seem to have been necessary for Adam if he was to live with the contemplated enjoyment of his earthly home. Without such supernatural communications of scientific truth, his life would have been wasted amidst the resources of the wealthy universe which he was formed to rule. The narrative of Genesis implies that he had such knowledge when he gave suitable names to all the animals as they were brought before him.
But also he was constituted in the possession of supernatural gifts, that is, of powers which were not only beyond his reach to discover, but beyond his natural aptitude to use; gifts which were bestowed upon him as being created. in the Divine Image, for the use of which the continuous co-operation of the Divine Spirit was always needful, because though exercised in the sphere of human existence, they were the result of a participation in the Divine Life.
The possession of' such gifts was not essential to human nature as a created organism, but it was essential to the moral attainment of man's true end. His nature had endowments which pointed beyond the transitory objects of daily occurrence. He was created to conquer Satan who was a spiritual enemy. He was created to glorify God, and finally to attain his joy in the Divine Love, for he was a son of God.
If, therefore, human nature, as the Seed of the Woman, was to rise up. to its original completeness, it was necessary that the physical integrity wherein it was renewed should be quickened by the life of the Spirit by whose inspiration the first father of our race was originally empowered to go forth as God's vice-gerent.
That concomitant Divine Life was necessary, but that was not all. The first experience of man's struggle had shown that such concomitance was not sufficient. Adam had lost it. He had failed to use it, and had fallen into sin. He had fallen under the power of death.
The Seed of the Woman, therefore, must possess this aid by such concomitance as could not be alienated through any feebleness of human will. He must have the Divine Strength inherent within himself. The renovation of man could not be by any effort of man rising up to appropriate Divine gifts. He never [882/883] could rise above the sphere into which he had fallen by Satanic slavery. If he were raised out of that sphere to the perfection of his physical origin, he would be incapable of using the restored powers without a Divine Life as His central impulse.
How is this emergency to be met?
God did not take a perfected man to be His delight in heaven. He did not bring the Godhead into flesh as an organic form perfected and fit for His indwelling. He took the manhood into God. By the power of the Holy Ghost, He took from the substance of the Blessed Virgin that which He would make to spring up in the integrity of human form by the inhabitation of Divine Power. The Son of God, being a Divine Person, took the impersonal manhood into God as the Instrument of His Divine operations. Had the human perfection belonged to a humanly developed personality it would have imprisoned the Godhead when He came to dwell therein. The Personal Godhead taking upon Himself the Human Substance, so as to quicken it with Divine Life, anterior to all human development, associated all the activity proper and possible to the manhood with its own Divine Power.
Thus would a Divine Person become the Seed of the Woman.
Only thus could the promise of victory be fulfilled.
The two natures had to be joined together, not by a Nestorian concomitance, nor an Eutychian confusion, but by a Personal Unity, the Divine Person acting through the human faculties under the conditions of human life.
The Seed of the Woman was not to be a multitudinous offspring, co-extensive with the human race, nor was it to be chosen out from the race. That Seed was to be a solitary Divine Child, growing up by the Holy Spirit in the fulness of Almighty Power, although bearing the outward environments of man's fallen condition. He was to possess within Himself all that naturally belonged to the race.
The Seed of the Woman is born in purity, although the natural generation of mankind can only propagate the seed of the Serpent, that is to say, humanity bearing the taint of the Serpent's vitiating touch.
The natural offspring of Adam are all of them called the seed of the Serpent, because in their birth they inherit the forfeiture of their first parent. The Jews claimed "not to have been born of fornication," that is, not of Gentile corruption; but our Lord charges them with being the seed of the Serpent, and by this He means, not that the diabolical nature was infused [883/884] into them, but that by the terms of the law, they were Satan's children, being born under his slavery. They had not power to assert a Divine Sonship, although that was the promise to which their law led onward. The law did not give them this freedom. More than that, whatever their boasts might be, their hearts showed that they were content to do the will of him who had become their legal father. No one but the Son of God could give them the freedom to which the law pointed onward, although unable to give if (John VIII. 34-44).
How then does the coming of Christ in the Flesh affect those who are of the same race with Himself?
He is our Redeemer, our Avenger, our Kinsman.
This introduces the question of universal and particular Redemption.
We are not to think that Christ redeemed some portion of mankind, leaving others to perish. He did not leave some under the irreparable taint of the Serpent's poison, while others were arbitrarily withdrawn by Him from that resistless evil. As He was the Kinsman of all He would avenge and redeem all. That which He wrought for one, He wrought for all.
But in what sense? How were all to be partakers of this Redemption?
Our considerations hitherto show that the immediate object of Christ's Redemption was human nature as a solidarity. It was not men as persons who were redeemed ; but the organism of human nature was redeemed because Christ by His Incarnation introduced into it a power superior to Satan's tyranny, a power of truth superior to his deception, a power of holiness superior to his violence.
The Humanity redeemed from Satan by Christ's assertion in His own Personality of this inherent superior power was to become a parental humanity. The Seed of the Woman would be " the Father of the world to come," the new race. He would communicate to His brethren what was inherent within Himself, and so He would extend the Divine freedom.
As human nature had originally a natural power of reproduction, so the glorified Humanity has a power of self-reproduction by the regenerating Spirit dwelling therein. "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them which believe on His Name" (John. I. 12). Thus did He "redeem those that were under the law," and all the Gentile world as well, "that they might receive the adoption of sons" (Gal. IV. 5). Thus are we restored [884/885] in Christ to that Divine Sonship from which Adam fell. Satan has no longer dominion over the nature of Christ, for Christ has bruised the serpent's head, and, therefore, also, he has no dominion over those who are incorporated into Christ. Satan is crippled, and although he may still assail them, they must tread him under foot, because Christ, their Head, has conquered him.
This redemption, therefore, is universal, not by a fictitious theory so that there is a pretence of redemption without the reality, nor by a waste of Divine beneficence giving to man a freedom -which man does not care to use, but by a potential universality of loving appeal. Whatever may be the form of Satanic bondage wherein any are held, the redeemed humanity in Christ is the perfect restorative of vital power, so that the deadly chain of sin can no longer hold captive those who come to Him. "If the Son shall make you free, then are ye free indeed" (John VIII. 36).
Christ therefore took upon Himself not a neutral but an enslaved Humanity, and by taking it, He, as the Word of God, asserted the freedom of the predestined Sonship in all the fulness of Divine power. Plainly He could not do this, unless He put Himself under the external conditions of the fall. So He took upon Himself the likeness of sinful flesh, the foam of a slave (Phil. II. 7).
He emptied Himself, laying aside all the glorious freedom of action which was inalienable from Him by reason of His Godhead, and bearing the physical necessities of our mortal nature, the social hindrances arising from the non-recognition of those who were round about Him, the antagonism of men who hated Him because of the Divine Message which He bore. Thus, also, He subjected Himself to the violence of Satan carrying His Body from place to place when tempted in the wilderness, and the yet more terrible probation in the Garden of Gethsemane. Thus He conquered the great enemy in the struggle by the power of the Holy Spirit whose Procession from Himself is His own Eternal property as the Son of God, so that in this struggle He claimed for His assumed Humanity the free-dom belonging to His Sovereign Personality. The reality of this claim was finally manifested by the impotence of the powers of darkness with the allied violence of human tyranny to take away His life when He hung upon the Cross. The head of the Serpent was bruised when the Redeemer went down into hell to bind him and set those free who in former ages had been waiting for redemption in Israel. The triumphant power of [885/886] the Son of God was "declared by the resurrection of the dead" (Rom. I. 4), when He not only rose from the dead Himself; but raised up also those whom He had thus delivered, initiating also the kingdom of life so that those who would come to Him by faith might receive through the sacramental extension of His own all-glorious Humanity the freedom of "the Spirit of adoption," becoming thus entitled to cry to God, "Abba, Father" (Rom. VIII. 15). This glorious redemption is to be finally consummated when Christ shall cone again to be glorified in His Saints. That coming is called the Day of Redemption (Eph. IV. 30). Meanwhile we have after the likeness of the Redeemer Himself, to bear the outward slavery and the inward temptations of the enemy with the continuing burden of our own sinful flesh. By the flesh Satan would buffet us still, and by the mortification of the outer nature, the suffering of the flesh, we must learn to cease from sin (Rom. VI. 7). As members of the Body of Christ we have received the redemption which by our personal exercise of grace we are to appropriate.
So was fulfilled the original Divine pronouncement: "I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her Seed" (Gen. III. 15). The woman is human nature, the human nature as assumed in its purity of origin by Christ. They that are born after the flesh are the seed of the Serpent. They that are born after the Spirit are the true Seed of the Woman, living true to man's original predestination, by regeneration' under the Personal Headship of Christ the Redeemer. Humanity as originally predestinated, and thus fitted by the power of the Holy Ghost, for the glory of the Divine Sonship, is that which S. John beheld, "the Woman clothed with the Sun" (Rev. XII. 1). In the Person of Christ, the Seed of the Woman, this Humanity is taken up to the Throne of God, but by spiritual communication this Humanity remains in the wilderness of earth, for the faithful being incorporated into it are partakers of the Divine Sonship. The "woman," the abstract pure Humanity, lives on, but there is no separate offspring belonging to her. No one save the Son of God can claim personally to be the Seed of the Woman; although being made one with the Incarnate Son we Christians have by fellowship of grace to carry on the struggle against the seed of the serpent, and to bear the persecution of the natural man Gal. IV. 29).
The struggle of the Seed of the Woman against the Serpent md his seed must continue in the mystical Body of Christ until God shall tread down Satan under the feet of His faithful ones [886/887] after the short probation of earth is ended. By the gift of the Holy Ghost illuminating our inmost nature in the living fellowship of Christ's glorified Humanity, we are "sealed unto the day of redemption"—redemption of the purchased possession (Eph. I. 14), being separated by this regeneration from the multitude of mankind who will not come to Him that they may have life (John V. 40).
Such is the Scriptural representation of the redemption of .human nature accomplished for all men in the Body of Christ. It is not a redemption from God's wrath, but from the power of the enemy, whose evil slavery kept men subject to that wrath. They were the "children of wrath," not as the personal objects of God's displeasure, but as belonging to that nature which was in rebellion against Him. Now they are redeemed according to the original purpose of God's love. "God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John III. 16). Human nature was always the object of God's love, even though for a time involved by its .own fault in this condition of slavery to His enemy. Those were the objects of His wrath who were content with the enslaved condition of humanity and did not rise to that Divine call wherein alone human nature could find its true end and satisfaction.
The life-giving reality of this Redemption is entirely dependent upon the unity of the Divine and Human Natures in the Person of the Redeemer. The Godhead and the Manhood are joined together in one Person in Christ, never to be divided. In Adam there was a junction, but there was no principle of unification. God breathed into Adam the breath of life, a higher life than that belonging to his earthly nature, so that he became a living soul, but the feebleness of the recipient nature did not enable it to grasp the glory of the communicated Godhead so as to appropriate it with abiding security.
When the Son of God came into the world "He took hold of the Seed of Abraham" (Heb. II. 16), and therefore, also, He took upon Himself Humanity in its completeness. His Divine Personality took the feeble nature of man into its firm grasp, so that no power can wrench the two natures asunder. There was no action needed upon the side of man, for it was impersonal humanity that He took upon Himself in the womb of the Blessed Virgin. There was consequently no trace of Adam's sin tainting it, as there would be if there had been any action of the human nature antecedent to its assumption. The [887/888] Divine Person was the active principle and the germ of humanity had no existence for Him until the Holy Ghost had gathered it up into the fellowship of the Divine Personality.
The two natures were thus not merely associated but indissolubly united. This was the first true union between the Creator and the creature. The great atonement for which creation longed was now begun by this redemptive mystery of Incarnation. Even the Holy Angels were distinct from God although stablished by God's irrevocable covenant of truth. That very covenant was dependent upon the Divine Word. The exercise of the Divine Word was to be perfected even towards them through this true Personal Union by which the creature should be glorified. Their relation to man as the predestined heir of Divine glory became a relation binding them to the Son of God who became map. "All things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things and by Him all things consist" (Col. I. 16. 17).
The Personality of the Incarnate Son is therefore the root principle of life, to the redeemed. He is the "Root as well as the Offspring of David" (Rev. XXII. 16).
The union of the two natures was complete in His Person, but it did not extend beyond the limits of His own pure and perfect organism. He was "separated from His brethren" (Heb. VII. 26., Gen. XLIX. 26), although having a nature derived from the common substance of all mankind. He was of the substance of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, but not in the same way in which He was of the substance of the Father according to His Godhead; for the substance of the Godhead is indivisible, so that He was not only of one substance with the Father, but eternally indwelling in the substance of the Father, whereas, although He was of one substance by origin with the Blessed Virgin, His Mother, He was not abiding in one substance with her; for the substance of her body was separated from her as it vas assumed by Him. The human substance, having lost the indiscerptible unity of spiritual life, lives by fragmentary communication in all the members of the human race, and therefore, although it was assumed by Christ in the completeness of is essential integrity, it was assumed with the distinctness of individual life and will.
Hence we can see that the Divine Holiness inherent in the Humanity of Christ was not naturally communicable to any other members of the human race, however intimately associated with Him.
 It remained ever complete and individual. While it was subject to the limitations of human environment it could not take any other up into the unity wherein it lives being glorified in God. As our Lord said of the corn of wheat, "Except it fall into the ground and die, it remaineth alone" (John XIV. 24).
Our Lord's Humanity was the Eternal object of Divine Love. The Love of the Father, wherein the Eternal Son dwelt before His Incarnation, rested upon the Humanity which He assumed in all the fulness of the Eternal Spirit by whose power proceeding from Himself the Son of God assumed it.
It was the perfect object of the Divine Love. "This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased" (Matt. III. 17). He was created in the Divine Image, for the original nature of Adam lived anew therein in all its perfections but He possessed also a capacity of love and therefore of being loved greater than Adam possessed, for He was living in full participation and exercise of Divine Life, whereas the bond between Adam and his Creator was a bond. of association only, not of personal unity.
As then the love of the Father rested completely upon Him, so He in His Human Nature rose up completely to reciprocate the love of the Divine.
His was a human love absorbed in a Divine Object by a Divine power. He therefore had no love save that which was identified with the Divine. He as man loved what God the Father loved, but He could not love anything which was opposed to the Father's love. He came into the world not only to be the Object of the Father's love Himself, but to be the instrument of the Father's love to all others.
As His Humanity is the Complete, ,Eternally predestined Object of the Father's love, the love of God can flow forth to His creatures only through Him and in proportion as they minister to Him. Love to Him is the foundation of the Father's love to us (John XVI. 27).
His love towards mankind was therefore from the very first, a love comprehending all the purposes of Divine beneficence which He was to carry out towards men. He who is the Word of the Father, loved each man according to the possibilities of The vocation which each man was to receive, for that vocation was the utterance of His own Self by the power of the Holy Ghost speaking to every one and calling every one. That love was an invitatory love, an empowering love, whether accepted or no. His human nature felt this true human love towards His brethren after the flesh whether they returned it [889/890] or "took only His contrary part" (Ps. CIX. 4). As the substance of humanity is one, He felt this love towards all. Nearness of time, or place, or association did not affect His love, for He was equally cognizant of that which was most distant, as of that which was most nigh. His love went forth equally with Divine power to all, and rested upon each according to the measure in which each individual received and reciprocated it. There was no arbitrary selection, no social accident, disturbing the calm overflow of His love to all, of every time and of every place. None could merit His love by anything that they had done. All received His love in proportion to the human development of the nature in which they were, if they were true to it.
As His love rested upon all with a Divine action of spiritual power, so He could recognize what traces of the Divine Image remained in every fallen child of Adam. He loved them according to the possibilities, of their nature. As all were originally treated in love, so He loved those who were hardened against Divine Truth, and sorrowed with all the sorrow belonging to humanity in the contemplation of their reprobate estate. His Love was not the elective love of a stranger but the indissoluble Love of a Kinsman.
His human nature was thus under the constant control of the Divine nature, with capacities of sympathy enlarged to the full requirements of human knowledge, and not neutralized by fatalistic submission to Divine necessity. As God is Love, so the affections of Christ's Humanity were perfect in love, but that love was always true, so that He could only love what was worthy of love. He could only love according to the substantive law of God's creation. He could only mourn over the negative perversities of man's declension.
In Him the Divine Love found an instrument of sorrow as associated with a finite world, whereas sorrow could not affect the Divine nature in its infinite glory. "The Father laid upon Him the iniquity of us all " (Is. LIII. 6). In the fulness of creative knowledge He knew the needs of human nature, and in be unity of human nature He felt the strain to which that nature was subjected by the undisciplined rebelliousness of nan's sinful will. As the Man of Sorrows He bore the burden of- man's sin, not in order to win for man God's love, but to express that love so that man might know it and rise to it. The infinite wrath of the Creator found its counterpart in the infinite sorrow of the Redeemer. God could be reconciled to humanity because the Son of Man had bruised the head of the arch-rebel and had broken away from his enslavement.
 By the instrumentality of the Word all creation was called into being. By His instrumentality now becoming Incarnate, God would develop the original purpose of predestination and vindicate the glory of Divine justice against the outrages of the fallen angels. Not man alone, all heaven shared the glory of this triumph.
Although we cannot fathom the mystery of creation by which the Divine nature operated outside of the sphere of infinity wherein God dwells, yet we can see the fitness by which the same Divine Person who is the instrument of the creative work is also found to be the instrument of that redemptive suffering which the fall of creation involves; a suffering of which the Divine nature in itself is incapable, just as the Divine nature in itself is incapable of the limitations of time and space and power which a created universe necessitates.
The human nature of Christ by reason of its union with the Divine, was thus fitted to act in love co-extensive with the human race in all the fulness of sympathy which Divine love required, and the Divine Person of the Creative Word was the true and fitting organ of Divinity for carrying out the mysterious action by which a world "not-God" had originally been Called out of nothingness alongside of the Divine Infinity.
It. seems to us a necessity that a. world "not-God" should fall into corruption and evil. By the Incarnation He who is God becomes one with the world “not-God." Coming into the lower sphere, He embodies the idea of sorrow wherewith the Creator contemplates the failure of His original work. It repented the Lord that He had made man upon the earth (Gen. VI. 6). So we read before the judgment of the flood. The same words apply to the earlier stage of created discord when the angels fell from heaven. It was to repair the consequences of this fall that the Son of God came down. The Creator of that which became evil, would conquer the evil which sprang out of His Creation, although the evil was not His own work.
No power that was itself created could avail to accomplish this end, for no created being could transcend the limitations of its own existence. The Divine nature enabled Christ to conquer Satan, for in a nature which was not-God He acted with the power of God.
The union of the two natures was thus essential to the conquest of Satan. It was also to be the means of permanently establishing the created world in Divine holiness. Had the creature been left to-itself, it must always have been liable to a fall similar to that of Lucifer. The holy hierarchies were to be [891/892] established in truth upon the foundation of the same Divine Word by which the evil angels were conquered. The world which was not-God was to be brought into union with Him who was God. His human nature stablished in Divine Holiness would be the vital source of unfailing sanctity to all that was not enslaved to evil. His Divine Person acting through His human nature would give to that nature a self communicating power, so that the fallen race of man should in Him be lifted up to the Divine Sonship. As He who was God took upon Himself a nature that was not-God, so that which was not-God would in Him be lifted up out of the order of merely finite life, to partake of the Divine Life in union with the extended humanity of His Divine Sonship.
Thus would the Creative Word by the redemptive economy of His Incarnate Life perfect the world that was not-God in the glory of His own eternal inheritance. Creation out of nothing was the work of His Divine nature alone. Redemption out of evil was a work necessitating the combined operation of the two natures in the unity of His Divine Person.
We can trace the fitness of the redemptive economy as set forth in the mystery of Christ. God has shown us enough of His Divine condescension to make us see the necessity of an Incarnate Redeemer, very God and very Man, to raise us out of the feebleness of created life, to deliver us from the thraldom of evil, and to perfect us in the glory of our Divine predestination, that the work of our creation beginning from God might be justified as a work worthy of God, by having its eternal consummation in the fellowship of God. In God's love it originated. In God's love it must end.