of moral innocence, the sense and reality of sin being impossible to the animal. The existence of sin, both as an inherent disposition, and as a perverted form of action, may be explained as a survival of animal propensity in human life. Sin is the disturbance of higher life by the intrusion of lower.? Professor James Hadley: ?Every man is more or less insane.? We prefer to say: Every man, so far as he is apart from God, is morally insane. But we must not make sin the result of insanity. Insanity is the result of sin. Insanity, moreover, is a physical disease, sin is a perversion of the will. John Henry Newman, Idea of a University, 60 ? ?Evil has no substance of its own but is only the defect, excess, perversion or corruption of that which has substance.? Augustine seems at times to favor this view. He maintains that evil has no origin, inasmuch as it is negative, not positive, that it is merely defect or failure. He illustrates it by the damaged state of a discordant harp; see Moule, Outlines of Theology, 171. So too A. A. Hodge, Popular Lectures, 190, tells us that Adam?s will was like a violin in tune, which through mere inattention and neglect, got out of tune at last. But here, too, we must say with E. G. Robinson, Christ. Theology, 124 ? ?Sin explained is sin defended.? All these explanations fail to explain, and throw the blame of sin upon God, as directly or indirectly its cause.
But sin is an existing fact. God cannot be its author, either by creating man?s nature so that sin was a necessary incident of its development or by withdrawing a supernatural grace, which was necessary to keep man holy.
Reason therefore, has no other recourse than to accept the Scripture doctrine that sin originated in man?s free act of revolt from God ? the act of a will which, though inclined toward God, was not yet confirmed in virtue and was still capable of a contrary choice. The original possession of such power to the contrary seems to be the necessary condition of probation and moral development. Yet the exercise of this power in a sinful direction can never be explained upon grounds of reason, since sin is essentially unreason. It is an act of wicked arbitrariness, the only motive is the desire to depart from God and to render self-supreme.
Sin is a ?mystery of lawlessness? (2Thess. 2:7), at the beginning, as well as at the end. Neander, Planting and Training, 388 ? ?Whoever explains sin nullifies it.? Man?s power at the beginning to choose evil does not prove, now that he has fallen, that he has equal power of himself permanently to choose the good from the evil. Because man has power to cast himself from the top of a precipice to the bottom, it does not follow that he has equal power to transport himself from the bottom to the top
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