But from holy Scripture it is evident that, in the first place, it was not through any weakness or want of information but on the contrary through His own very wisdom that God did not prevent evil. In the second, that His reason for not preventing it was that He is able, in consequence of His wisdom and power, so to subdue evil unto Himself and so to overrule the evil deeds of men and devils that His purpose and object in permitting them should not be rendered vain, but that by means of it He might the more clearly reveal His own wisdom, power, love and holiness. Thirdly, since God, of His infinite love and mercy, had decreed the salvation of mankind before the creation of the world, and since those who accept that salvation will attain to a higher degree of happiness than Adam enjoyed in the beginning and through Christ will reach much greater glory, therefore, God is not the author and origin of evil, nor did He treat man cruelly by not preventing evil. To know this much is sufficient to comfort people of understanding. But the mystery of this matter will be completely disclosed in that world to those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and through Him escape from sin and wickedness.

Since, however, the knowledge which it is most absolutely necessary, for every person to gain in this world is not knowledge of the origin of evil but knowledge of the way of salvation, because sin is not only in the world but has made its mark on man


also and rendered him liable to eternal ruin, we therefore, with God's assistance, now proceed to inquire in what manner deliverance from sin and its eternal consequences can be obtained. Accordingly in the next chapter we shall endeavour to set forth the way of salvation.