perception and guidance, that we may comprehend aright its meaning, and to open the eyes of our understanding, that we may discern our inward condition and the way to obtain eternal salvation, everlasting life, and abiding bliss and felicity.

If we study Gen. i. 26-ii. 25, and Eccles. vii. 29, we shall clearly perceive that God created man pure, holy, and happy. The statement that God created man in His own image, after His likeness, implies that in mind and especially in spirit there was originally such a degree of resemblance between the finite creature man and his Infinite Creator that God could in some measure make Himself known to man. Man was then free from sin in deed, and even from evil thoughts and impulses, as well as from all infirmity of body, soul, and spirit, nor was he liable to disease or a painful death. As he then knew and loved God and desired to serve Him, man was at first happy and contented. He was also the head of all creatures to be found on the face of the earth. From the Book of Genesis we learn that God specially prepared a place for man to live in, it was in Eden (Gen. ii. 8), which was the name of the great plain in Lower Mesopotamia, on which Babel and other cities were long afterwards built.

Every man's own conscience testifies to the fact that mankind has not continued in that state of sinlessness and consequent happiness. Besides this, the history of ancient nations which for their wickedness have perished off the face of the earth, and the existence of the sin, misery, suffering and death which now bear sway over the whole face of the earth—both these facts afford abundant proof that our condition has changed very much from that in which the Most Merciful God created Adam, and in which He wished him and his children to continue. Besides this we have other evidence, for the Holy Scriptures tell us how guilty and miserable man's present condition is in God's sight (Gen. viii. 21; Ps. cxliii. 2; Rom. iii. 10-20, 23; 1 John i. 8).


He who is in any degree acquainted with his own heart, and knows the thoughts and desires which too often spring up there, like water gushing forth from a fountain, must admit that in very truth he is guilty in the sight of the Most Holy God, even as these verses state. Conscience forces him to acknowledge that sin and impurity have taken possession of his heart, and that he has been so full of evil impulses and unworthy passions that even from his childhood he has ever been inclined to what was wrong, and hence that his moral nature is and has been in a state of corruption. All men's inclinations are not towards the same kind of sin. Some are ambitious, others avaricious, others licentious, others cruel, others proud and cold-hearted, others false, others hypocritical, others unbelieving, others prone to more than one of these sins. But experience teaches us that no man is devoid of sin. Even the best of men confess that they have done much that they ought not to have done, and left undone much that they should have done. Thus the universal condition of mankind in all past ages and in the present is a great proof that the Bible is the Word of God. Many heathens, when they have heard it read, have felt that it so exactly described their spiritual condition that it must contain a message from the Creator Himself. Such men have therefore come for Christian teaching, saying, "He who made that Book made me."

There are some men who have experienced a change of heart, and have hence come to hate sin and love righteousness. But this change is due to the New Birth of which Christ spoke in John iii. 3, 5: and it takes place only in those who truly believe in Him.

We have seen that the Holy Scripture informs us that Adam, when God created him, was not prone to sin, and therefore was not in the state of guilt and misery in which most of his descendants are to-day. Our reason also makes it clear to us that the commission of sin is not in accordance with God's will, for sin is the transgression of the Moral Law, which is in