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by Dr. John Thomas
The remote cause of these "motions" is that physical principle, or quality, of the flesh, styled indwelling sin, which returns the mortal body to the dust; and that which excites the latent disposition is the law of God forbidding to do thus and so; for, "I had not known sin, but by the law".
Now, while a righteous man feels this law involuntarily at work in his members, the law of sin, or of nature within him; he also perceives there a something which condemns "the motions of sins," and suppresses them; so that they shall not impel him to do what he ought not to do.
The best of men -- and I quote Paul as an illustration of the class -- are conscious of the co-existence of these hostile principles within them.
"I find," says he, "a law that, when I would do good, evil is present with me" Yes; the principle of evil and the principle of good are the two laws which abide in the saints of God so long as they continue subject to mortality.
The reader is invited to re-peruse pages eighty-nine and ninety on the subject of these laws, as it will prevent repetition in this place.
The law of sin and death is hereditary, and derived from the federal sinner of the race; but the law of the mind is an intellectual and moral acquisition.
The law of sin pervades every particle of the flesh; but in the thinking flesh it reigns especially in the propensities.
In the savage, it is the only law to which he is subject; so that with his flesh, he serves only the law of sin and death.
This is to him "the light within"; which is best illustrated by the darkness of Egypt, which might be felt.
It was this internal light which illuminated "the princes of the world, who crucified the Lord of glory".
It shined forth in the philosophy of Plato, and in the logic of Aristotle, who walked in it while "dwelling in the land of the shadow of death" and it is "the light within" all babes who are born of blood, of the will of the flesh, and of man under the constitution of sin, in all countries of the world.
Now, the scripture saith, "The commandment of God is a lamp; and his law is light"; so that the prophet says, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path".
And to this agrees the saying of the apostle, that the sure word of prophecy is "a light that shineth in a dark place".
Now, Isaiah testifies, that the Word is made up of God's law and testimony, and that those who do not speak according to it, have no light in them.
This is the reason that the savage has no light in him; because he is intensely ignorant of the law of God.
Light does not emanate from within; for sin, blood, and flesh can give out none.
It can only reflect it after the fashion of a mirror.
The light is not in the mirror; but its surface is so constituted that when light falls upon it, it can throw it back, or reflect it, according to the law of light, that the images of objects are seen on the surface, whence the light proceeding from the objects is last reflected to the eye.
Neither is light innate in the heart.
This is simply a tablet; a polished tablet, or mirror, in some; but a tarnished, rusty tablet in others.
It is called "the fleshy tablet of the heart".
It was polished in the beginning, when God formed man after His likeness; but sin, "the god of this world," hath so tarnished it that there are but few who reflect His similitude.
No; it is a mere conceit of the fleshly mind that man is born into the world with the light within; which requires only to be cherished to be sufficient to guide him in the right way.