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him to commit the action forbidden by the commandment of God; and, in the same manner, was that evil spirit the accuser on the consciences of the Jews, when our Saviour said unto them, “ He that John viii. 7. is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her;" and, in like manner are our consciences accused, when we do knowingly unjust actions, and contrary to the commandment of God.
That the Holy Spirit of God does not cause the fear we are subject to, is also evident from the words of St. Paul, “For God hath not given us the 2 Tim. i. 7. spirit of fear ; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Again, “ for
“ for ye have not received the spirit of Rom. viii. 15. bondage again, to fear; but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”
“And the Lord God said unto the woman, What Gen. iii. 13. is this that thou hast done ? and the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”
“ And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Be- Gen. iii. 14. cause thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the ficld ;* upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat of 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.”
* “ The field is the world.”—Matthew xiii. 38.
“ Dust thou art, and to dust shalt thou return.”—Gen. iii. 19., that is, the passions shall consume, and live upon the flesh of nature.
Gen. iv. 1.
It is necessary here to remark, that God addresses the serpent as an intelligent base spirit, cursed above all cattle, for having deceived the woman; and that such spirit of evil should have a race always at enmity with the seed or race of the woman, which should ultimately bruise his head!
“ And Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bare Cain.—And she again bare his brother Abel.--And Cain was very wroth” with Abel, " and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth, and why is thy countenance fallen ?* If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.–And Cain talked with Abel his brother, and it came to pass when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.”
As we can know mankind only by their actions, the epistle of St. John refers, not only to the ori
ginal commandment, but to this murder by Cain. 1 Jobo iii. 11. “ For this is the message that ye heard from the
beginning, that ye should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.” That is, he slew him from the influence of those malignant passions, which influence the depraved in the present and past ages, in committing similar actions, and which constituted his natural soul, denominated malice, hatred, jealousy, pride, &c.; and, therefore, his spiritual countenance was fallen from the purity of spirit of the first created in the image of God.
* Spiritually “ The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”_James i. 20.
That those passions did cause the fall of the first created from the pure Spirit of God, which constituted the living souls, is also confirmed by St. Paul, in addressing himself to his disciples, regenerated by the Holy Spirit—" But I fear, lest by any 2 Cor. xi. 3. means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity” (of mind) “ that is in” the spirit of “ Christ :”—which shews that we are subject now to the deceptions of that subtle spirit of evil, as the first created were.
Here, then, are the two principles from the beginning of the world, as are seen in mankind at the present day, that in our introduction we wanted information of, as being out of the reach of the natural mind to acquire :—the man with the reasonable mind, and passions, called the serpent, which deprave his nature! In Abel was seen, the man governed by right reason in truth and justice :-in Cain, the bad one of malignant soul, who pursued to revenge, from the impulse of envy and malice; ; and this he did “ because his own works were evil, 1 John iii. 12. and his brother's righteous.
But our Saviour also refers to the base nature of the soul of Cain, in his conversation with the unbe
John viii. 44.
ye will do.
lieving Jews: and that all of them were of the same nature, without the renewing of their souls by the Holy Spirit, through him. He tells them, that their nature is derived from, and is of the spirit of the devil; whom he also denominated the prince of this world, Beelzebub, Satan, in his several conversations with those about him; and by us, in the present age, malignant passions, as will be seen in the following quotation :
“ Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father
He was a murderer from the beginning,” (in Cain) 6 and abode not in the truth, because there is no” spirit of “ truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own, for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
But his previous words to them made manifest James i. 18. their malignant souls. “ I know that ye are Abra
ham's seed,” in the flesh,“ but ye seek to kill me, because my word of truth hath no place in you,”that is, in your souls. “I speak that which I have seen with my Father, and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham: but now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye.do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of the flesh; we have one father, even God. Jesus saith unto them, If God were your father, ye would love me, for I proceed forth and come from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me : why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.”
That is, they could not understand his words, because their souls were of the nature or seed of the serpent, or spirit of the devil, that was at enmity, as foretold, with the seed of the woman, who should bruise his head : and both our Saviour and St. John, called the Scribes and the Pharisees, “Ye serpents, ye Matt. xxiii.33. generation of vipers.”
St. Paul, speaking of the gift of the Holy Spirit to the flock of Jesus Christ, makes mention of it as constituting their difference from the natural man : he says, “ We have not received the spirit 1 Cor. ii. 12. of the world, but the spirit which is of God.” The spirit of the world then, and the Holy Spirit of God, are the two powers alone which influence mankind from the beginning of the world; and are in direct opposition to each other, in the final purposes of the Almighty.
Hence, our Saviour informed his disciples, that as they were of his nature in the Holy Spirit, they had a warfare to endure with the spirit of malignity, and would be persecuted by the seed of it: but had their nature been of the spirit of the world, they would not be persecuted by it.
“ If the” spirit of the “world hate you, ye know John xv. 18. that it hated me before it hated you. If
ye were of the spirit of the world, the spirit of the world would