and destroy it, and does them from the love of it. But man does this, and he is born to do it, he does it from birth. As the seedlings of the peach-tree are all peaches, not apples, and those of thorns are all thorns, not grapes, so all the descendants of man are born with evil in their natures. That sin continually comes back to us, like a dog or cat that has been driven away, proves that our hearts are its home.?
Mrs. Humphrey Ward?s novel, Robert Elsmere, represents the milk and water school of philanthropists. ?Give man a chance,? they say; ?give him good example and favorable environment and he will turn out well. He is more sinned against than sinning. It is the outward presence of evil that drives men to evil courses.? But God?s indictment is found in <450807>Romans 8:7 ? ?the mind of the flesh is enmity against God.? G. P. Fisher: ?Of the ideas of natural religion, Plato, Plutarch and Cicero found in the fact that they are in man?s reason; not obeyed and realized in man?s will, the most convincing evidence that humanity is at schism with itself, and therefore depraved, fallen, and unable to deliver itself. The reason why many moralists fail and grow bitter and hateful is that they do not take account of this state of sin.?
Reason seeks an underlying principle, which will reduce these multitudinous phenomena to unity. As we are compelled to refer common physical and intellectual phenomena to a common physical anti-intellectual nature, so we are compelled to refer these common moral phenomena to a common moral nature; to find in it the cause of this universal, spontaneous, and all-controlling opposition to God and his law. The only possible solution of the problem is this, that the common nature of mankind is corrupt, or, in other words, that the human will, prior to the single volition of the individual, is turned away from God and supremely set upon self - gratification. This unconscious and fundamental direction of the will, as the source of actual sin, must itself be sin; and of this sin all mankind are partakers.
The greatest thinkers of the world have certified to the correctness of this conclusion. See Aristotle?s doctrine of ?the slope,? described in Chase?s Introduction to Aristot!e?s Ethics, xxxv and 32 ? ?In regard to moral virtue, man stands on a slope. His appetites and passions gravitate downward; his reason attracts him upward. Conflict occurs. A step upward and reason gains what passion has lost but the reverse is the case if he steps downward. The tendency in the former case is to the entire subjection of passion; in the latter case, to the entire suppression of reason. The slope will terminate upwards in a level summit where men?s
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