and the slave of sin and of Satan. And the man whose conscience and reason are thus vanquished by his passions ultimately reaches such an evil state that sin becomes pleasant to him, and the light of his conscience and reason will ultimately grow so dark that sin and wickedness will no longer seem evil to him. And whoever has in this way quenched his inner light and has stopped up with the day of error the window of his own heart against the entrance of the light of the word of God—however perfect he may become in this world's wisdom and knowledge—is yet devoid of the knowledge of God and heavenly wisdom. Falling into darkness, day by day he will sink deeper and deeper in the sea of error and sin. It is in this manner that very many people, not knowing the true God, have fallen into error to such an extent that they have made idols of wood and stone and have worshipped them, as idolaters in many lands do to the present day.

And when sin gains strength and victory in the heart, then it manifests itself outwardly too. That is to say, those evil thoughts and desires which have rendered a man's inmost parts restless and have corrupted them, when they manifest themselves in action, openly occasion among men restlessness, enmity, fighting, quarrelling, and produce corruption. For, in whatever heart the love of God does not exist, but on the contrary it is filled with selfishness and friendship for the world and with


pride, it is impossible that with such an impure heart any one should desire his neighbour's good and should make an effort for his sake. On the contrary, such a man will desire to satisfy his own tastes and desires, and to gain honour for himself. Therefore he will not willingly obey any one, but will be continually thinking how to give effect to his own thoughts and wishes and how to rule others and render them subject to himself. All the sin and oppression which is found among men arises from this state of mind, for they are the fruits of man's carnal condition, as is written in the holy Scriptures: 'The1 works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, heresies, envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I forwarn you, even as I did forwarn you, that they which practise such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.' And these results of sin are also among the punishments of sin. For, when men fell in love with sin, then God left them to their sin, as it is written: 'Knowing2 God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and fourfooted

1 Gal. v. 19-21. 2 Rom. i. 21-5, 28-32.