accordance with the Divine Nature (ذات) and an expression of it. Hence it is self-contradictory to say that God wills the transgression of His Will. As, however, the sons of Adam are now engulfed in the whirlpool of Sin and wretchedness and are bound in slavery to their own carnal disposition (النّفس الاْمّارة), it is fitting to inquire how this wickedness and misery befell mankind.

Holy Scripture gives the answer to this question. It informs us that sin and its evil results come upon men through the enmity and deceitfulness of Satan, and through man's own free choice and resolve to do his own will instead of God's. Eve was deceived by Satan, and she led Adam astray. He wilfully disobeyed the commandment of his Creator: and thus, turning aside in heart and conduct from the love of the truth, he cut himself off from the fountain of life and of true happiness. This is related in Gen. iii: compare John viii. 44; Rom. v. 12, 19: I Tim. ii. 13, I4.

If anyone should here inquire, "How is it that God did not prevent the entrance of evil into the world? Why did He permit Satan to tempt man and to overcome him? Why does He still permit the Evil One to perpetuate sin and misery, discord and violence on earth?"—he will find the subject in some measure discussed in the "Way of Life" (طريقُ الْحيوَة). Here we content ourselves with saying that God has not fully explained this matter to us, nor has human reason been able to discover an answer which is in every respect full and satisfactory. But, however much we may wish to know the reason of God's conduct in this matter, it is not necessary for us in this world to be able to understand His doings. But it is necessary for us to recognize our own lost and miserable condition and the way of escape from it. We know, as did Abraham, that the Judge of all the earth does what is right (Gen. xviii. 25). Wise men have assured us that the presence of so many temptations in this present


world, and the fact that there exists in it so much misery and sorrow and suffering caused by sin, all this renders life in this lower world peculiarly fit to train us in virtue1 by leading us to resist and overcome temptation through God's grace, and by showing us how terrible are the consequences of sin. God Most High has given men freedom of will, to choose for themselves right or wrong, sin or righteousness, obedience or disobedience, freedom from the slavery of the Devil or submission to it. God has revealed His Will and His love towards us. He has shown us the right way, yet He does not compel us to turn to Him, for He desires our love, and in love, as in true Religion, there cannot be compulsion.

God Most Merciful has unmistakeably taught us in His Holy Word (كلام) that it is not His Will that any man should remain2 subject to the dominion of Satan and the slavery of Sin. God's will is that every man should become free from the chains of sin, should be cleansed from the stains of guilt and impurity, and should thus attain to the spiritual condition of likeness to God from which Adam fell, so that each man may become an heir of eternal happiness. Both the Old Testament and the New agree with universal human experience in teaching that there can be no true happiness for man until he repents of his evil deeds and with true faith turns to God, becomes free from sin, and obtains God's forgiveness. Without purity of heart no one can ever see God with the inward eye (Matt. v. 8; Heb. xii. 14). The truly pious man must become holy because God is Holy (Lev. xix. 2; Matt. v. 48; 2 Cor. vi. 14-vii. 1; I Pet. ii. 9, 10; I John iii. 1-8). This is the teaching of the Holy Scripture: and when once we have heard this doctrine, our reason and conscience bear witness to its truth. For, as man was made in Gods image and has had that image

1 [Compare Butler's Analogy of Religion, Part I, ch. v (vol. ii, p. 91, § 16 of Bernard's edition of 1900).]
2 Ezek. xviii. 23, 32; xxxiii. 11; John iii. 16; 2 Pet. iii. 9.