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mand, for all the angels to worship him, stands on the same ground. By angels, are meant messengers, who are employed by God for the instruction of their fel. low creatures, in the will of the Almighty : but as all those messengers, or ministers, were inferior to the
messenger of the covenant,” whom the Almighty promised to send to Jerusalem, it was suitable to show his superiority by such a token in the scriptures, as commanding all the angels, or in other words, ministers of the sanctuary, to worship him.
There is another passage or two, in the 41th ch. of Isaiah, which reads, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O! Lucifer, son of the morning ?” which is brought in requisition to prove the fall of Satan. But if the reader will read all the chapter to the 24th verse, he cannot but be convinced, if he has the understanding of a school boy, that no other being is alluded to in the above text, than the king of Babylon.
Again, this angel of light and glory, must have been very ignorant of the power and goodness of God, to have had a thought, that to rebel against him could be of the least possible advantage to him, or that he could have maintained a contest with the Almighty ; even man, with all his imperfections, possesses more correct understanding on the subject, than the great archangel must have had, to justify the hypothesis, that he did rebel, under these circumstances. If this angel did rebel with an expectation of success against his Maker, it intiinates, that the inhabitants of heaven must have been extremely uncultivated in that age of eternity.
If heaven, which is said to be God's throne, be, or ever was inhabited by defectible beings, the place itself must be a defectible place; and why the Almighty should take up his special abode in such a place, surrounded by defectible beings, we cannot imagine. If, however, it should be argued, that he took up his
abode among them with a view to make them holy, we reply, that it appears he did not do it; and it would show as much ignorance, as Satan is suffered to have laboured under while a holy angel, by supposing that God ever was, or ever will be, disappointed in his expectations or wishes. But we will proceed. After Satan was turned out of heaven, (it is said by man) he saw no possible way to injure the Almighty, his ad versary, but by contaminating the new creation, which he had just made, and placed in a happy situation in the garden of Eden.
Now reader, observe here, how strange and improbable this account is. Did not God know the evil disposition of Satan? Had he forgot the awful difficulty just settled ? or could he leave man to the subtilty and wrath of the devil, as an innocent and helpless lamb to the ferocity of a bear robbed of her whelps? God, it seems, had driven Satan out of heaven, from his own presence, but left him at loose ends to prey on his tender offspring, whom he had just left in a situation on the earth.
What would appear more unnatural and shocking, than for a father to chase his enemy out of his door, but to leave him to slay his defenceless children in the street?
After what has been here written, is it possible that any one can find, or even pretend to find from scripture, the mere shadow of evidence, or reason, for believing such a story, of the cause or origin of sin ?
But, we are told, that man standing or being in a state of sinless purity, in the image of a holy God, could not have fallen from that state of rectitude, unless there had been some sinful being to tempt him. This argument is unjustifiable ; for if it is true, that a perfect being cannot sin unless it be tempted, but if tempted can sin; then, according to this mode of reasoning, and these calculations, the Almighty himself may sin, if he should be tempted, who is no more per
fect than man originally was (according to orthodoxy,) being created in the " image of him who created him," and as man did fall from rectitude, and become sinful, so may the Almighty, admitting that the above hyposesis is correct.
From this we see that the argument of the doctrine of the fall of man, by the temptation of the devil, or the snake, is false, because its results would be impious to believe-man therefore, was never holy since he had a body and a carnal mind.
But, admitting that there is any force in the argument, that man being holy could not have sinned without a tempter, it stands as directly against the fall of satan without a temptation, as it does against man's transgression without a temptation. Was man more pure before he sinned than was the holy angel in heaven? If not, how could that angel sin without a temptation, easier than inan, who was made in a lower grade of being ?
But supposing we should admit that God commanded an angel to worship his son Jesus, and that the angel refused, and we call that refusal the first sin ever committed, it would not determine its origin, or cause. A cause must exist before an effect, or productionSo after all our travelling in argument to heaven after a sinning angel, and after pursuing him to hell, and from hell to earth, we have not yet found an answer to the question. We have only shown, that the way in which this question has been generally stated and believed, is without foundation.
Having exposed, and we think refuted the notion of the generality of christian professors, respecting the origin of sin in the moral system, we shall make only a few remarks on the subject, but do most earnestly solicit the reader who is in the search of truth, to read Ballou's Treatise on the Atonement, and on the Parables in the New Testament, from which work on the Atonement wo have collected for this subject:
We are informed by the Bible, that God created man in his own image, and we are informed by the scripture also, that, Christ " is the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person;"? and that he is the “ beginning of the creation of God." But we are further informed by the sacred text, that after this creation of man, in the image of God, he " formed (not created) man of the dust of the ground.” The immortal part is thus made a partaker of flesh and blood, and is, as the scriptures declare, made subject to vanity, not willingly, (not by its own consent) but by reason (or the will) of him who subjected the same in hope.
Man has now, not an immortal, but a mortal constitution, possessing natural carnal appetites and pas. sions; therefore the immediate cause of sin is found in the natural constitution of man, which Paul calls the “body of sin and death."
From these remarks, the reader may be led to think, that we would intimate that God himself, is, or was the cause of sin in man, because he put him into a mortal body, and under the influence of natural appetites and passions, that lead him to crime and misery, as naturally as the current flows from the fountain.
Well, if it should be admitted, that sin will finally terminate for good in the moral system, it will be then necessary to admit, that God was its first cause, or else we cannot admit that he is the author of all good. But if it should be argued, that sin will not terminate in good, but is and always will be real damage to the kingdom of the Almighty, we must admit, on this hypothesis, that he is not Almighty, nor good-for if good and Almighty he would not have allowed sin to enter his kingdom to injure it. We therefore, must admit that God, by putting mankind into mortal bodies, subjects them to vanity, and that all their
crimes and sufferings, will by him be made to terminate in good-the good of man, and the pleasure and glory of God himself.
In no other view of the subject, can we justify the ways of God to man. Those who object to the existence of a God, say—If he is all-wise, he must have foreseen the evil and misery which were coming into the world - If he is all powerful, he could have prevented them from taking place; and if he is all good, he would have hindered them from existing at all, or from continuing, especially if true, as stated by some, the existence of moral evil is the cause of the eternal misery of the greatest part of God's intelligences.--To answer these objections against the existence of a God of all wisdom, of all goodness, and of all power, we must acknowledge, and say, that he did foresee the evil and misery which would exist in the world, with all their effects and consequences, and that he could have prevented them from taking place: and that' although the existence of evil is not the cause of eternal misery; but that the existence of moral evil and human misery, will terminate for the good of the universe, and therefore the existence and continuance, is in accordance with the will, wisdom, power and goodness of the Almighty, and the eternal happiness of all immortal intelligences.
By whatever means sin may have been introduced among the human family, nearly all Theologians have agreed in believing it to be infinite in its nature and con’equences, we therefore will now, put this part of an erroneous doctrine under examination.
The supposition that sin is infinite, is endeavoured to be supported, in consequence of being committed against an infinite law, which is produced by an infinite Legislator. But here we must remark, that the intention of a legislature must be thwarted in order that the law should take cognizance of sin. Now if God