Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Origin of Sin Concerning Man

In An Exposition of the Epistle of I John [ISBN 1-888514-01-9], Samuel E. Pierce (1746-1829) carefully describes the origin of sin concerning man while maintaining the sovereignty of God.  He continues:

"The fall of man was brought about, and effected by the old serpent called the devil.  Adam and his wife, were perfectly holy and happy by creation, and in their creation state.  They being left to the mutability of their creature free wills, fell from God, on the first temptation, and corrupted themselves, and all who shall ever descend from them.  And here it may be proper to ask some questions, which may be relieving to our minds.  As 1st. Is not all which hath been delivered to declare God is the author of sin?  To this it must be replied, some of our greatest Divines have asserted this.  Yet not with the least intent to detract from the Holiness and Purity of God.  In the 2nd place it must be asked, What is sin?  The answer is; the least variation from the will of God revealed and made known.  It is a mental evil.  It originates in the mind.  All the evils it further produces, are but the fruits and effects of the same.

But say all this, How could sin originate in a pure mind?  To which the reply is this.  The creatures with all their created holiness and purity, could not continue so, if left one moment to themselves.  The Lord God never created one individual, either angel, or saint, let the creature be created either in heaven, or earth, to exist of itself: or, to be a centre to itself: or, to derive happiness from itself: yet all creature wills, in all intelligent rational agents are inclined to seek for all their enjoyments and happiness in themselves alone.  It is from hence the origin of sin, derived its being and existence.  The mind of those bright intellectual beings in heaven, being left to think of happiness to be enjoyed by them, out of God himself, and it being his declared good pleasure, they should enjoy all blessedness and good out of the fulness of the God-Man, in whom it pleased the Father all fulness should dwell--they not assenting and consenting to this , immediately sought out happiness for themselves.

This occasioned the loss of their original purity and holiness: and from hence, out of this as the fountain and original, all their actual beginnings and sinnings began, and are and ever will be continued.  They one and all sinned in an Head.  Mankind all sinned in an head.  Let what hath been expressed be rightly understood, it will appear, nothing in all this reflects on the glory of God's Holiness, nor does it by any means tarnish it.  This truth remains immutable.  God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  Sin is in the creatures.  Not in God.  Sin is in the nature of the creature as fallen from God.  It is no part of what the Lord God hath created in it.  Sin is a privation of all good; and a positive inclination to all evil.  The whole of which consists, let it be in angels or men, in self love.  In the pursuit of those gratifications and desires, as make self, our chief end, and aim.  It is the principle from whence all these proceed which makes us exceeding sinful.  The existence of which is within us.  Now God is not the author of all this.  Yet God willed all this: or it could not have been," (p. 45).

"This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all," (1 John 1:5).