LET us now sum up the points we have made. God, Infinite, Eternal, Incomprehensible, wills to create. The beings He will create, He will make in His own image, with power to know, and love, and serve Him. For their habitations He will make material worlds with certain properties and laws, and give to His rational beings material bodies correspondent to their material environment. He will create light that all His material works may be visible to His creatures, but He Himself remains invisible. With Creation time begins.
The motive of this Creation is love. God will give to His creatures all that is possible of His own perfections and thus ensure their highest blessedness. He will make Himself known to them and take them into closest communion. But how will He make Himself known to them? The highest form of His revelation is through the Incarnation of the Son, and this is that determined in the Divine Counsels anterior to Creation. The Son will be the medium of this revelation, the Revealer. But how will He, a person of the Trinity, and invisible, reveal Himself to the creature? He will take a creature nature into union with His own, and thus be the visible and perfect medium of Divine revelation.
We thus see the relation of Incarnation to Creation. For the Son, who in due time was to become Incarnate, were all things made. He, as God-man, was the Divine Ideal, the pattern of perfect creaturehood, before Creation began, and the Corner-stone upon which it should rest. The nature to be taken by Him existed, therefore, in the Divine intent before it was made. For the Son it was made, that through it, assumed by Him, He might best reveal the Godhead to the reasonable creatures yet to be created.
Humanity, being the creature-nature chosen by God to be the medium of Divine revelation through the Son Incarnate, was made what it is with its manifold powers and capacities. It is, therefore, the highest of created natures, the best fitted for the manifestations of God; and most capable of communion with Him.
If first in order of the Divine purpose, was this nature first also in the order of creation? Did God create before man other and lower orders of rational beings? The creation of man was at the beginning. Angels indeed were made before man, but with reference to him, and as the helpers of men, and inseparably associated with them in the Divine purpose. But the human nature in this purpose has a higher place than the angelic, because to be taken into the Godhead. The Bible knows of but these two types of creature being, now existing, angels and men. With their creation, creature history began.
Though created good, angels and men must be tested whether or not they would abide in that goodness, and walk in obedience to the Divine commands. Both failed under the trial. Satan and other angels rebelled, and Adam disobeyed the Divine command, and thus came under the law of sin and death, and the earth under a curse. In them all creaturehood had its trial.
The Son, who as the Word had been the Creator, must now act as the Redeemer. Beginning at the fall of Adam, He carries on as the Word the redemptive work, till, the fulness of time having come, He takes upon Him human nature, He is born of the Virgin, the Word is made flesh and enters upon His earthly ministry. Rejected by the covenant people, He is crucified, dead, and buried; but He rises from the dead in the power of a new and supernatural life, and ascends into Heaven, and is made Head of the Church and Great High Priest. These offices He fulfils till the time for taking His kingly power, when He comes forth from Heaven and seats Himself upon His throne. As King he carries on the work of redemption, separating the obedient from the disobedient, till all things, through successive acts of judgment, being made subject to Him and Satan cast into the lake of fire, He gives up the redemptive Kingdom to the Father. The trial of creaturehood, in the angelic and human natures, is ended, the way is opened for the new creation, —the old made new.
The earth, being made to be man's dwellingplace, and the place where the Son would become Incarnate, its whole material constitution and configuration were adapted to its end as the theatre of His work, and it had, therefore, a position in the universe higher than any other world could have.
The Incarnate Son enters upon the work of New Creation. This work, embracing His reasonable creatures, already begun in the Church through regeneration, the communication of the supernatural life, is extended to other worlds and their inhabitants.
In the New Creation will be seen the highest revelation of God, through the glorified Son, to all reasonable beings in all worlds and for ever, and their own highest blessedness ensured. The Head of this New Creation is the God-man. Through Him therefore humanity occupies the highest place in the universe.