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higher power interfere, is simply a freedom to die. There is no escape from death for the freeman who has sought to realize his freedom in separating his mind and will from God. The complete freeman is the child of two—of free humanity and the Divine Spirit. If God fails him freedom is death. In fact, it is but an illusory freedom that he wins. It is the passage into a fatal bondage. The freedom is but exercised in choosing his captivity. The desires of the flesh and of the mind become thenceforth his lords. From that moment, corrupting and destroying forces are at work upon the structure of his nature ; it is a spurious freedom which he has grasped at; God only can make it real. “Carnal, sold under sin,” must thenceforth be written of him, and unless some new order of things arise out of the will of a Superior Being who has power to make that will effective, his act of freedom is the beginning of death.
This must be clearly borne in mind; the sentence “ In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,” is absolutely and inevitably true. The devil uttered a half truth: is it not characteristic of all his suggestions? He saw the development, but he did not see the death. But the development must be as clearly borne in mind. Man, by that act, widened quite infinitely the range of his experience, he expanded the orbit of his being, heaven and hell came equally within
its sphere. A knowledge of the things of God, such as no being inexperienced in the mystery of freedom could attain to, was within his range of power on the one hand ; an experience of evil, of woe and wretchedness, the mere dream of which could never have entered his quiet Paradise, was too dreadly within his reach on the other. God recog. nizes the development: and God records the judgment-death.
So far, man by the Fall has taken a step out into a wider world, but the step is a deadly one. He has changed the quiet limits of his Eden for the free broad wilderness, but his one mission there is to find himself a grave. “And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life : and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception ; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children ; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."
Is this to be the end of the experiment: the act of freedom, judgment, death? It were a dark mystery were it left here. The creation of man, had this been the swift end of it, would have remained a stain on the wisdom and goodness of Him who is responsible for all that may come of creation, and at the door of whose government this abortion of freedom must have lain as a reproach for ever. We must look wider afield.
Man is manifestly made on a scale which no Paradise life can explain. Similarly, creation, through all its orders, is made on a scale which can only be explained by man. In every order of the creation there is a propulsive movement to the next higher order, and rudiments of organization exist in each, to which higher organisms are the key. The key to the whole, as well as of the whole, is man. And man in Eden was on a scale which his history in the wilderness alone explains and justifies. There are in him godlike powers of endurance, sacrifice, and ministry—wherein man shows likest God—which a life of sorrow and struggle
in the midst of a world which is struggling and sorrowing, alone could unfold and furnish with their theatre. We are, in truth, justified in saying that Adam, in Eden, was spiritually but an embryo, and these sorrows and struggles are the pains of his travail, through which, by grace, he is born into his full manhood in heaven. By grace, I say, but this is anticipating
Looking at man then as he is, we may say that such a life as Paul lived was a higher, nobler, diviner life than any which was within the sinless Adam's reach. Looking at the world, too, we see everywhere traces that it was made to be the theatre of such a sorrowful and struggling life as man's. It was made before man, and for man; and, whether Mr. Darwin be right or wrong as to higher matters, “struggle for life" is its broad, grand characteristic. It sounds simple and calm enough in the sacred record. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good : and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the dark. ness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let
there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament : and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind : and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.” But lift the veil. Everywhere beneath is life unfolding, through struggle, suffering, and death. Every blade of grass, every lump of stone, has been fed by death, and feeds life, to die. This was all ordered before man, and for man, and was set from the first to the key-note of his life. And it all says plainly that the Fall was no accident which has deranged the orderly plan of creation,