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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

"The creature was made subject to evil, not willingly, but by reason of him who subjected it in hope".

The introduction of sin into the world necessitated the constitution of things as they were laid in the beginning.

If there had been no sin there would have been no "enmity" between God and man; and consequently no antagonism by which to educe good out of evil.

Sin and evil are as cause and effect.

God is the author of evil, but not of sin; for the evil is the punishment of sin.

"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I, the Lord, do all these things".

"Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?

" The evil then to which man is subjected is the Lord's doing.

War, famine, pestilence, flood, earthquake, disease, and death, are the terrible evils which God inflicts upon mankind for their transgressions.

Nations cannot go to war when they please, any more than they can shake the earth at their will and pleasure; neither can they preserve peace, when He proclaims war.

Evil is the artillery with which He combats the enemies of His law, and of His saints; consequently, there will be neither peace nor blessedness for the nations, until sin is put down, His people avenged, and truth and righteousness be established in the earth.

This is the constituted order of things.

It is the constitution of the world; and as the world is sin's dominion, or the kingdom of the adversary, it is the constitution of the kingdom of sin.

The word sin is used in two principal acceptations in the scripture.

It signifies in the first place, "the transgression of the law"; and in the next, it represents that physical principle of the animal nature, which is the cause of all its diseases, death, and resolution into dust.

It is that in the flesh "which has the power of death"; and it is called sin, because the development, or fixation, of this evil in the flesh, was the result of transgression.

Inasmuch as this evil principle pervades every part of the flesh, the animal nature is styled "sinful flesh," that is, "flesh full of sin"; so that sin, in the sacred style, came to stand for the substance called man.

In human flesh "dwells no good thing"; and all the evil a man does is the result of this principle dwelling in him.

Operating upon the brain, it excites the "propensities," and these set the "intellect," and "sentiments" to work.

The propensities are blind, and so are the intellect and sentiments in a purely natural state; when therefore, the latter operate under the sole impulse of the propensities, "the understanding is darkened through ignorance, because of the blindness of the heart".

The nature of the lower animals is as full of this physical evil prin- ciple as the nature of man; though it cannot be styled sin with the same expressiveness; because it does not possess them as the result of their own transgression; the name, however, does not alter the nature of the thing.

A defective piece of mechanism cannot do good work.

The principle must be perfect, and the adaptation true, for the working to be faultless.