unrighteous for each one tends to himself and the bent toward self is the beginning of all disorder.? Kant, in his Metaphysical Principles of Human Morals, speaks of ?the indwelling of an evil principle side by side with the good one, or the radical evil of human nature,? and of ?the contest between the good and the evil principles for the control of man.? ?Hegel, pantheist as he was, declared that original sin is the nature of every man, every man begins with it? (H. B. Smith).
Shakespeare, Timon of Athens, 4:3 ? ?All is oblique: There?s nothing level in our cursed natures, But direct villainy.? All?s Well, 4:3 ? ?As we are in ourselves, how weak we are! Merely our own traitors.? Measure for Measure, 1:2 ? ?Our natures do pursue, Like rats that ram down their proper bane, A thirsty evil, and when we drink, we die.? Hamlet, 3:1 ? ?Virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock, but we shall relish of it.? Love?s Labor Lost, 1:1 ? ?Every man with his affects is born, Not by might mastered, but by special grace.? Winter?s Tale, I:2 ? ?We should have answered Heaven boldly, Not guilty; the imposition cleared Hereditary ours? ? that is, provided our hereditary connection with Adam had not made us guilty. On the theology of Shakespeare, see A. H. Strong, Great Poets, 195-211 ? ?If any think it irrational to believe in man?s depravity, guilt and need of supernatural redemption, they must also be prepared to say that Shakespeare did not understand human nature.?
S. T Coleridge, Omniana, at the end: ?It is a fundamental article of Christianity that I am a fallen creature? that an evil ground existed in my will, previously to any act or moment of time assigned in my consciousness I am born a child of wrath This fearful mystery I pretend not to understand I cannot even conceive the possibility of it; but I know that it is so? and what is real must be possible? A skeptic who gave his children no religious training with the view of letting them each in mature years choose a faith for himself, reproved Coleridge for letting his garden run to weeds Coleridge replied, that he did not think it right to prejudice the soil in favor of roses and strawberries Van Oosterzee: Rain and sunshine make weeds grow more quickly, but could not draw them out of the soil if the seeds did not lie there already; so evil education and example draw out sin, but do not implant it Tennyson Two Voices: ?He finds a baseness in his blood, At such strange war with what is good He cannot do the thing he would? Robert Browning, Gold Hair: a Legend of Pornic: ?The faith that launched point-blank her dart At the head of a lie ? taught Original Sin, The corruption of Man?s Heart? Taine, Ancien Regime: ?Savage, brigand and madman each of us harbors, in repose or manacled, but always living, in the recesses of his own heart? Alexander
<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->
Was this article helpful?