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dition, and to aim at a new and previously unanticipated result.
Redemption is no accident. The need of being a Redeemer lies deep in the nature of God; and not only was man's sin foreseen, but all things were ordered with a view to the great drama of Redemption, from before the foundation of the world.
But was sin pre-ordained? The sun was ordained to shine, the moon to embosom and radiate his tempered beams. The flowers were ordained to bloom, the rain to fertilize, the lightning to scathe, the whirlwind to uproot and to destroy. Is it part of the Divine plan of creation, that as the sun shines and the rain descends, some men should blaspheme, and some rob, hate, and murder? Are these dark shadows of life but the inevitable attendants of its virtues, brought out into sharpest outline where the light is clearest—and their necessary foil ; or else the stages through which God leads the development of nascent virtues, purifying them in the crucible of each as they pass through? To this question the answer of the Bible, and of the Church is “No! a thousand times No!” God has set His witness against this in the picture of Eden and the history of the Fall, and to this witness the history of sin adds an emphatic Amen. Man has never been able, in the long run, to shake off the horror which sin inspires, as his own hateful and accursed
"York. Responsibility, in the fullest sense which that word will bear, is the broadest, strongest, most insoluble fact in the spiritual history of our race.
“ God made man upright, but he has sought out many inventions," and nothing can deliver man from the consciousness that the “I” which has sought, them out represents something which, whatever it may be, distinctly is not God.
Behind all the solutions which Paganism offers of the mystery of life, there is the one haunting consciousness that man's sinful personality is a selfdetermining power which, whatever it may be, whencesoever it may come, is not God, and is not necessarily the manifestation of God. I shall have more to say upon the point when I come to speak of the penitent's creed," I have sinned; I have perverted that which is right, and it profited me not,” —for the present I simply say, that I believe the universal human experience upholds this creed as the absolute truth. Of course it is easy to make broad and bold assertions about universals. A man is prone to find in universal history the theory which he brings to it; but nothing seems to me more broadly marked on the Theism, and even on the Pantheism of Paganism, than the conviction, whether it be in full health or half-strangled, that by sin, man discovered in himself a self-determining
power--a power capable of originating acts and states, in itself not divine, and which is able to set up in this universe something which is not of God, which is not according to the mind of God, and which, if He is to hold the rule, He must transmute or destroy. It is the deepest witness of consciousness, this “I” which is not God. It is in sin that this individuality, this lonely and responsible “I” starts forth with such dread distinctness. Man knows what the “I” means, and then only fully, when he sees that he has become the parent of that which is hateful to God, the genesis of which he cannot charge on God, which exposes him righteously to the judgment of God, and which God lives to trouble and destroy.
This is the consciousness of sin in the human spirit; and this agonizing consciousness neither intellectual subtleties nor devilish falsehoods can charm out of the conscience of mankind. A man, a class, a race, may shake itself free from it for a time, but man never. " Father, I have sinned,” is the only confession which reaches the depths of the human consciousness; and the Gospel which demands the confession, and begins its ministry by deepening the conviction of sin, alone seems to him to be able to undertake the cure. As matter of history it is palpably true, that the convincing of sin, the inspiring a horror of sin—a horror which
took many grotesque and ghastly forms in the early Christian centuries—was the first work of that Gospel which was God's message to all mankind.
The history of conscience, then, I hold to be conclusive—the profound, universal, unalterable conviction of the moral consciousness in man, that his sin springs out of an “I” which is not God; that his sin is his own, his creature, for which he is as responsible as God is for the order of the world. “ Conscience," I think I hear some Rationalist sneering, “ Conscience, yes! its fright has been real enough, and sad enough, in all ages; but what is conscience but a puppet whose wires are pulled by the priest. If the priest would be quiet, conscience would soon be at rest.”
Brethren, the priest is the creature of the conscience, not the conscience of the priest. It is the dread reality behind, which endows the priest with all his power; his yoke had been cast off and ground to fragments long ago, for none has pressed so heavily, but for the great mystery of sin, with which the priest has the art to play. It is the awful sense of the burden which the sinner takes on himself by sin, of the taint which has infected the self with a poison which no force that he is master of will expel, which lends to the men who proffer their aid in man's dire extremity such
tremendous influence, and lays the pagan world prostrate at their feet. No! the priest shall himself be summoned as witness, and his lips shall utter the chief testimony to the reality of the guilt of sin.
Sin then is, and is not God's creature. Being capable of sinning is God's creature. For making him capable of sinning God is responsible, and there His responsibility, as concerns Adam's transgression, ends. For making me as I am, capable of sin, for bringing me into a sinful world in a body of sinful flesh, God is responsible; not for my sin, that grows up of myself in me. But for sending forth into such a world as this, generation after generation of living beings born to sin and to suffer, God is responsible. It is idle to say, by way of solving the difficulty on easy terms, that this is the work of Adam not of God; that from him all our sin and suffering flow. From Adam indisputably. “By one man's disobedience sin entered into the world, and death by sin.” But who makes the law of the inheritance? The fatal relation with Adam is established by the hand and sustained by the will of God. It is within the power of His hand to make men in their birth pure and upright as He made Adam in Eden; but He has chosen that we shall be born the children of the sinful Adam, and shall taste the fruit of his disobedience