that no one among men can utter such a speech, nay rather every man must in God's presence acknowledge his numberless sins. Therefore it was that, after the flood, God spoke to Noah and said: 'The1 imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth.' So also before the flood it is said:

'The2 LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.' So in accordance with the Psalms, it is written:—

There3 is none righteous, no, not one;
There is none that understandeth,
There is none that seeketh after God;
They have all turned aside, they are together become unprofitable;
There is none that doeth good, no, not so much as one. ...
All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.'

In complete agreement with this, David in his supplications says: 'Enter4 not into judgement with thy servant; for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.' So too it is written:—

The5 LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men,
To see if there were any that did understand,
That did seek after God.
They are all gone aside, they are together become filthy;
There is none that doeth good, no, not one.

1 Gen. viii. 21. 2 Gen. vi. 5. 3 Rom. iii. 10-12, 23.
4 Ps. cxlii. 2. 5 Ps. xiv. 2-3.  

And David himself confesses his sin and says:—

Have1 mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness:
According to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.

From other passages of the holy Scriptures it is evident that other prophets also, like David, acknowledged their sins. In holy Scripture the sin of Adam and the sins of some prophets, such as Moses, David, Solomon, Jonah, etc., are written down in order that it may be clear that all men, even the prophets, have fallen into sin. And every man of intelligence knows that the prophets did not on that account completely forfeit their position as messengers of God, because they sincerely repented (as we see in the case of David above) and by God's grace received power to give up their sin and hence forth to obey God's commandments. Hence they were able to perform their duty as prophets faithfully and faultlessly through the aid of God's Holy Spirit, as is evident from the record of their work in the holy Scriptures.

Although, as has been shown, all men are sinners, yet in respect of sin they are not all alike, but there are degrees in sin in such a way that, though transgression of God's will is called sin and from this point of view all sins are equal, since all are

1 Ps. li. 1-2.