at the time of creating them planted in His creatures the seed of evil along with freedom of will, while rendering them free to act. For evil is not a substance or a special entity but a negation. The way it came into existence was this. The creature alienated the free will and choice which the Creator had bestowed on him from God's will and became opposed thereto. Sin, therefore, is not a definite thing with a substantive existence, so to speak, which God created among His creatures. It is an attitude of mind and will; the opposition of the free will of the creature to the will of the Creator. On account of the freedom of will which God has bestowed upon His creatures that are free agents it necessarily becomes possible for them either to walk according to God's will or to oppose it and not to serve God. It is evident that, but for this freedom of will and action, men and angels would be as incapable of virtue as of vice. In order that there may be moral good, there must be liberty of choice and of conduct. Thus there must be the possibility of moral evil if there be the possibility of moral good. A slave chained hand and foot in a dungeon would be incapable of theft, but he would equally be unable to do any good or to act generously. A machine cannot be dishonest or cowardly, but it is equally impossible for it to be honest and brave. And, since the creature can be happy only when his will is in accordance with that of the Creator, and gladly obeys Him, therefore when the


creature alienates his will from God's and, becoming proud and self-willed, does not render obedience to the divine will, he at once becomes evil and unhappy. Hence as soon as Satan opposed the will of God he became evil and in fact became the devil, and evil then became existent in him; and, as he had previously been great and strong and high in rank, so also, after turning away from God, he became great and mighty in evil and wickedness.

If you enquire whether God could not have prevented Satan from becoming wicked, and why He did not prevent it, the answer is that, had God desired to prevent Satan and Adam from sin and evil, assuredly this would not have been difficult to His Almighty Power; and by His infinite wisdom He could have prevented it in such a manner as not to have destroyed free will. But, since the Absolute Ruler has not prevented evil, though He has forbidden it, it is certain and evident that it was in wisdom that God did not hinder Satan and Adam from evil and sin. But man cannot wholly and completely explain the wisdom which underlay that matter, because that wisdom and purpose are not limited to this world and to the chain of human generations only but affect also that world and those who dwell there and all the angels also. Accordingly the divine wisdom which underlies the non-prevention of evil will be fully revealed to holy and believing people only in the next world.