From Studies in the Scriptures Publication: August, 1939
So extremely desperate was the Fall of man, that it required the infinite and unsearchable wisdom of God Himself to find out a remedy against it. If the Lord should have proceeded thus far in mercy towards man and no farther--Thou art a wretched creature, and I am a righteous God; yea, so heavy is My wrath and so woeful thy condition, that I cannot choose but take compassion upon thee; and therefore I will put the matter into thine own hands. Requisite it is that My pity towards thee should not swallow up the respects to Mine own justice and honour, that My mercy should be a righteous and a wise mercy. Consult therefore together all ye children of men, and invent a way to reconcile My justice to one and another; set Me in a course to show you mercy without parting from Mine own right and denying the righteous demands of Mine offended justice, and I will promise you to observe it. I say, if the mercy of the Lord should have confined itself within these bounds, and referred the method of our redemption unto human discovery, we should forever have continued in a desperate state, everlastingly unable to conceive or so much as in fancy to frame unto ourselves a way of escape.
As the creatures before their being could have no thought or notion of their being educed out of nothing which they were before, so man fallen could not have the smallest conjecture or suspicion of any feasible way to deliver himself out of that misery into which he fell. If all the learning in the world were gathered into one man, and that man should employ all his time and study to frame unto himself the notions of a sixth or seventh sense, he would be as totally ignorant of the conclusion he sought at last as he was at first. For all human knowledge of natural things is wrought by a reflection upon those ideas which are impressions made from those senses we already use, and are indeed nothing else but a kind of notional existence of things in the memory of man wrought by an external and sensible perception of that real existence which they have in themselves.
And yet in this case a sixth or seventh sense would agree in genere proximo, and so have some kind of cognition with those we already enjoy. But a new covenant, a new life, a new faith, a new salvation, are things toto genere beyond the strain and sphere of nature. That two should become one, and yet remain two still, as God and man do in one Christ; that He who maketh should be one with the thing which Himself hath made; that He who is above all should humble Himself; that He who filleth all should empty Himself; that He who blesseth all should be Himself a curse; that He who ruleth all should be Himself a servant; that He who was the Prince of Life, by whom are all things and all things subsist, should Himself be dissolved and die; that mercy and justice should meet together, and kiss each other; that the debt should be paid, and yet pardoned; that the fault should be punished and yet remitted; that death like Samson's lion should have life and sweetness in it, and be used as an instrument to destroy itself; these and the like evangelical truths are mysteries which surpass the reach of all the princes of learning in the world. They are to be believed by a spiritual light, which was not so much as possible to a human reason.--Edward Reynolds, 1648.
"Lord when we bend before Thy throne And our confessions pour, Teach us to feel the sins we own And hate what we deplore. Our broken spirits pitying see, True penitence impart, Then let a kindly flame from Thee Beam hope on every heart. When we disclose our wants in prayer May we our will resign And not a thought our bosoms share That is not wholly Thine. May faith each weak petition fill And raise it to the skies, And teach our hearts 'tis goodness still That grants it, or denies." --Edward Bickersteth.