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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

Now, here was a conception in sin, the originator of which was the Serpent.

When, therefore, in the "set time" afterwards, "Eve bare Cain," though procreated by Adam, he was of the Serpent, seeing that he suggested the transgression which ended in the conception of Cain.

In this way, sin in the flesh being put for the Serpent, Cain was of that Wicked One, the pre-eminent sinner, and the first-born of the Serpent's seed.

Now, they who do the works of the flesh are the children of the Wicked One, or of sin in the flesh; on the like principle that those Jews only were the children of Abraham who did the works of Abraham.

But they did not the deeds of Abraham, but evil deeds.

They were liars, hypocrites and murderers: therefore, said Jesus, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye are willing to do.

He was a murderer from the beginning, and stood not in the truth, because there is no truth in him".

We have seen in what sense this is affirmed of the Serpent, the unaccountable and irresponsible author of sin.

Every son of Adam is "conceived in sin and shapen in iniquity," and therefore "sinful flesh"; on the principle that "what is born of the flesh is flesh".

If he obey the impulses of his flesh, he is like Cain, "of the Wicked One"; but if he believe the "exceeding great and precious promises of God," obey the law of faith, and put to death unlawful obedience to his propensities, he becomes a son of the living God, and a brother and a joint-heir of the Lord Jesus Christ of the glory to be revealed in the last time.

But serpent-sin, being a constituent of human nature, is treated of in the scripture in the aggregate, as well as in its individual manifestations.

The "lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life," generated in our nature by sin, and displayed in all the children of sin, taken in the aggregate constitute "the world," which stands opposed to God.

Serpent-sin in the flesh is the god of the world, who possesses the glory of it.

Hence, to overcome the world is to overcome the Wicked One; because sin finds its expression in the things of the world.

These things are the civil and ecclesiastical polities, and social institutions of the nations, which are based upon "the wisdom that descendeth not from above" -- the serpent wisdom of the flesh.

If this be admitted, it is easy to appreciate the full force of the saying, "The friendship of the world is enmity against God.

Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God".

Let no more, then, who would have God's favour, seek the honour and glory of the world in Church or State; for promotion in either of them can only be attained by sacrificing the principles of God's truth upon the altar of popular favour, or of princely patronage.

Let no man envy men in place and power.

It is their misfortune, and will be their ruin; and though many of them profess to be very pious, and to have great zeal for religion; yea, zeal as flaming as the scribes and Pharisees of old; they are in friendship with the world, which in return heaps upon them its riches, and honour, and therefore they are the enemies of God.

It is unnecessary to indicate them in detail.

If the reader understand the scripture, he can easily discern them.

Wherever the gospel of the kingdom is supplanted by sectarian theology, there is a stronghold of "the carnal mind, which is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be".