transgression of God?s law, the essence of it always and everywhere is selfishness. It is therefore not something external, or the result of compulsion from without; it is a depravity of the affections and a perversion of the will, which constitutes man?s inmost character.
See Harris, in Bibliotheca Sacra, 18:148 ? ?Sin is essentially egoism or selfism, putting self in God?s place. It has four principal characteristics or manifestations: (1) self-sufficiency instead of faith, (2) self-will instead of submission, (3) self-seeking instead of benevolence, (4) self-righteousness instead of humility and reverence.? All sin is either explicit or implicit ?enmity against God? ( <450807>Romans 8:7). All true confessions are like David?s ( <195104>Psalm 51:4) ? ?Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, And done this which is evil in thy sight.? Of all sinners it might be said that they ?Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king of Israel? (1Kings 22:31).
Not every sinner is conscious of this enmity. Sin is a principle in course of development. It is not yet ?full-grown? (James:1:5 ? ?the sin, when it is full-grown, bringeth forth death?). Even now, as James Martineau has said: ?If it could be known that God was dead, the news would cause but little excitement in the streets of London and Paris.? But this indifference easily grows, in the presence of threatening and penalty, into violent hatred to God and positive defiance of his law. If the sin which is now hidden in the sinner?s heart were but permitted to develop itself according to its own nature, it would hurl the Almighty from his throne, and would set up its own kingdom upon the ruins of the moral universe. Sin is world-destroying, as well as God-destroying, for it is inconsistent with the conditions which make being as a whole possible; see Royce, World and Individual, 2:366; Dwight, Works, sermon 80.
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