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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

MAN IN HIS NOVITIATE.

"God made man upright".

When the work of the six days was completed, the Lord God reviewed all that He had made, and pronounced it "very good".

This quality pertained to everything terrestrial.

The beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, reptiles, and man, were all "very good"; and all made up a natural system of things, or world, as perfect as the nature of things required.

Its excellence, however, had relation solely to its physical quality.

Man, though "very good," was so only as a piece of divine workmanship.

He was made different from what he afterwards became.

Being made in the image, after the likeness of the Elohim, he was "made upright".

He had no conscience of evil; for he did not know what it was.

He was neither virtuous, nor vicious; holy, nor unholy; but in his beginning simply innocent of good or evil deeds.

Being without a history, he was without character.

This had to be developed; and could only be formed for good or evil, by his own independent action under the divine law.

In short, when Adam and Eve came forth from the hand of their potter, they were morally in a similar condition to a new-born babe; excepting that a babe is born under the constitution of sin, and involuntarily subjected to "vanity"; while they first beheld the light in a state of things where evil had as yet no place.

They were created in the stature of a perfect man and woman; but with their sexual feelings undeveloped; in ignorance, and without experience.

The interval between their formation and their transgression was the period of their novitiate.

The Spirit of God had made them; and during this time, "the inspiration of the Almighty was giving them understanding".

In this way, knowledge was imparted to them.

It became power, and enabled them to meet all the demands of their situation.

Thus, they were "taught of God," and became the depositories of those arts and sciences, in which they afterwards instructed their sons and daughters, to enable them to till the ground, tend the flocks and herds, provide the conveniences of life, and subdue the earth.

Guided by the precepts of the Lord God, his conscience continued good, and his heart courageous.