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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

Man in his physical constitution is imperfect; and this imperfection is traceable to the physical organization of his flesh, being based on the principle of decay and reproduction from the blood; which, acted upon by the air, becomes the life of his flesh.

All the phenomena which pertain to this arrangement of things are summed up in the simple word sin; which is, therefore, not an individual abstraction, but a concretion of relations in all animal bodies; and the source of all their physical infirmities.

Now, the apostle says, that the flesh thinks -- to; frovnhma th`" sarcov" -- that is, the brain, as all who think are well assured from their own consciousness.

If, then, this thinking organ be commanded not to do what is natural for it to do under blind impulse, will it not naturally disobey?

Now this disobedience is wrong, because what God commands to be done is right, and only right; so that "by his law is the knowledge of sin"; and this law requiring an obedience which is not natural, flesh is sure to think in opposition to it.

The philosophy of superstition is -- religion in harmony with the thinking of the flesh; while true religion is religion in accordance with the thoughts of God as expressed in His law.

Hence, it need excite no astonishment that religion and superstition are so hostile; and that all the world should uphold the latter; while so few are to be found who are identified with the religion of God.

They are as opposite as flesh and spirit.

Sin, I say, is a synonym for human nature.

Hence, the flesh is invariably regarded as unclean.

It is therefore written, "How can he be clean who is born of a woman?"

"Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one".

"What is man that he should be clean?

And he which is born of a woman that he should be righteous?

Behold, God putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.

How much more abominable and filthy is man, who drinketh iniquity like water?

" This view of sin in the flesh is enlightening in the things concerning Jesus.

The apostle says, "God made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin"; and this he explains in another place by saying, that "He sent his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" in the offering of his body once.

Sin could not have been condemned in the body of Jesus, if it had not existed there.

His body was as unclean as the bodies of those for whom he died; for he was born of a woman, and "not one" can bring a clean body out of a defiled body; for "that," says Jesus himself, "which is born of the flesh is flesh".

According to this physical law, the Seed of the woman was born into the world.

The nature of Mary was as unclean as that of other women; and therefore could give birth only to "a body" like her own, though especially "prepared of God".

Had Mary's nature been immaculate, as her idolatrous worshippers contend, an immaculate body would have been born of her; which, therefore, would not have answered the purpose of God; which was to condemn sin in the flesh; a thing that could not have been accomplished, if there were no sin there.