40
THE SECOND EVE

We will here make a brief transition, and note the similar parallel drawn by S. Paul between Jesus Christ and Adam, which has corresponding points of likeness and antithesis. The Apostle speaks of Adam as the figure of Christ; he, moreover, expressly calls Our Lord the Second Adam. The likeness between Adam and Christ may be said to lie generally in the relation which they both bore to the human race as its father and head; Adam in the natural order of creation, Our Lord Jesus Christ in the supernatural order of grace. But there is yet another and a closer resemblance of Adam to Christ, which, inasmuch as it formed part of the Divine plan concerning Adam, should be accounted a real likeness, though through his transgression it failed of actual effect. For, had Adam remained unfallen, he would -- because constituted the natural father and head of the whole human race -- have preserved, by his own obedience, both himself and his descendants in original justice and life, and been thus in a true sense their father and head, not only by nature, but also spiritually in the order of grace.

The contrast drawn of the two lies in the different conduct and effects of each: that, whereas the sin and disobedience of the first Adam wrought our condemnation and death, the justice and obedience of the Second Adam obtained our justification and life. Hence we see S. Paul likens Our Lord to Adam whilst yet unfallen, and contrasts Him with Adam in his transgression.*

There is another point of analogy in these two comparisons of Mary with Eve, and of Christ with Adam, which is of great significance. This is the wholly subsidiary part that Even had in the Fall, corresponding to that which Mary had in the Redemption. They both alike have their share of co-operation; but are not the efficient causes of either one or the other result. For to speak with just precision, it is through Adam's disobedience alone that all are made sinners and die; and it is through Christ's obedience alone we are justified and live. He of Himself alone is to all who obey Him: the cause of eternal salvation.+


* Rom. v. 12-19; 1 Cor. xv. 21, 22, 45-49.

+ Heb. v. 9.


 

 

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