1. To the holiness and benevolence of God.
Creation, as the work of God, manifests of necessity God?s moral attributes. But the existence of physical and moral evil in the universe appears, at first sight, to impugn these attributes, and to contradict the Scripture declaration that the work of God?s hand was ??very good?
( <010131>Genesis 1:31). This difficulty may be in great part removed by considering that:
(a) At its first creation, the world was good in two senses: first, as free from moral evil. Sin being a later addition, the work, not of God, but of created spirits. Secondly, as adapted to beneficent ends ? for example, the revelation of God?s perfection, and the probation and happiness of intelligent and obedient creatures.
(b) Physical pain and imperfection, so far as they existed before the introduction of moral evil, are to be regarded: first, as congruous parts of a system of which sin was foreseen to be an incident. Secondly, as constituting, in part the means of future discipline and redemption for the fallen.
The coprolites of Saurians contain the scales and bones of fish, which they have devoured. <450820>Romans 8:20-22 ? ?For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation [the irrational creation] groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now?; 23 ? our mortal body, as a part of nature, participates in the same groaning. <470417>2 Corinthians 4:17 ? ?our light affliction, which is for the moment, worketh for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory.? Bowne, Philosophy of Theism. 224-240 ? ?How explain our rather shabby universe? Pessimism assumes that perfect wisdom is compatible only with a perfect work, and that we know the universe to be truly worthless and insignificant.? John Stuart Mill, Essays on Religion, 29, brings in a fearful indictment of nature, her storms, lightening, earthquakes, blight, decay, and death. Christianity however regards these as due to man, not to God, as incidents of sin as the groans of creation, crying out for relief and liberty. Man?s
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