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according to the degree of his participation in truth, he is able to distinguish and pass judgment on good and evil. No doubt this inner eye may be darkened and obscured, the voice of conscience may be stifled, nay, the moral ideas which are conjoined with conscience may receive a wrong development. But the intruding falsehood is again removeable, because in contradiction to man's abiding nature. The entire Gentile mission of the apostle proceeded on the true assumption, that behind the rubbish of corrupt morals and heathen conceptions lay an awakenable, pure conscience in the form of a knowledge of duty and responsibility, of guilt and liability to punishment, to which appeal might be made.? No doubt, according to Holy Writ, in that innate conscience, which is universal, in the natural feeling and sense of right and wrong, concrete moral (or religious) knowledge is by no means involved, and what of this exists may be overborne by the power of desire. For this reason the Mosaic law, the national specification withal of the universal moral law, was given to the people of the 0. T., and in the N. T. especially frequent appeal is made to the Decalogue. Moreover, because that which is innate is insufficient, growth in moral knowledge is often required. But still a better knowledge, slumbering in the background and capable of awakening, is presupposed even in the case of the heathen, nay, a faculty of moral judgment able rightly to reprove wickedness in others. Christians, therefore, are required to walk without offence even in the judgment of those who are without.
The second element is moral capacity on the side of will. The N. T. indeed, where it treats of freedom, does not speak, as we might expect, of moral freedom of choice. It knows no élevé epía outside the unity of the will with goodness, with God, reserving the noble word freedom for the normal development which proceeds without check and is unfettered by sin (the so-called theological freedom). For freedom- of choice no word occurs in the N. T., although siaBoúhlov was at hand, while aŭregovo Lv was quite usual among the philosophers. Only in one passage is the word ékovolws found in describing the strongest form of personal sinful selfwill, the rejection of Christ. But although, in keeping with this, sinfulness in the N. T. is called bondage, not freedom," still personal volition is not on this account denied to man.” A will exists, on which the law is binding in full force, and on which influence is brought to bear and claim made as a determining cause, that man may become what God wills. Even in evil there is will," although in bondage ; in good also there is will, which implies that good and evil cannot be imposed on man merely from without and passively. His will, his inclination must take part, in order that good or evil may belong and be imputed to him. And through this participation of inclination or will the idea of guilt is possible, the Trónov elval and condemnation. Although, therefore, an abiding injury to freedom is the result of sin, still, according to the N. T., this bondage and what follows from it come under moral condemnation, the N. T. regarding as evil not merely the abnormity which is consciously such at the given moment and is avoidable for freedom of will, but abnormity in general. Paul's teaching, that man ever retains unchanged his power for good and for avoiding all evil, was not intended as a reply to the sinner's self-justification. On the contrary, he explains, how the heathen in consequence of their sin, i.e. of their apostasy from God, have been given up to a reprobate mind, to do what is not convenient, their self-defence being simply refuted by the statement that men are not what they ought to be, even granting that they lack the consciousness of the fact. Enough that evil is culpable in itself, and better knowledge, like better will, in harmony with the moral capacity still remains possible for the future. If knowledge and condemnation of evil are lacking, this is evidence of deeper moral degeneracy. There is a guilty ignorance. But even where the individual has not contracted a darkening of the moral judgment, the verdict remains fixed that his state is culpable. Nor are obligation and responsibility abolished in the case of deeply fallen man, because a possibility lies open to him of attaining unity with the law. By the help of the exposition given, which has established the universal actuality of evil among mankind as well as its pre-conditions, we are now able to apprehend the nature of evil according to Holy Scripture.
1 Acts xvii. 28 f.; 1 Pet. ii. 25; Eph. ii. 1-3; cf. Kähler, ut supra, p. 301, 303 ff. 2 Rom. ii. 12-16.
* Heb. v. 14; Rom. xii. 2. 4 Matt. v. 16 ; Phil. i. 10; 1 Pet. ii. 12. * John viii. 32; Gal. iv. 26, v. 1, 13; Rom. viii. 15, 21 ; Jas. i. 25, ii. 12.
1 Ecclus. xv. 14.
Rom. vi. 18, 20 ; John viii. 32 f. 3 Matt. xxiii. 37; John v. 40. Eph. ii. 3: diamua rapxós; Rom. vii. 5. 5 Matt. vi. 12, xxüi. 32-37 ; Rom. i. 32, iii. 19; Gal. vi. 5. 6 1 John iii. 4.
7 Rom. i. 21.
II.---THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF THE NATURE OF EVIL OR THE
IDEA OF EVIL.
Despite its endless diversity, sin has, according to Holy
Scripture, a similarity, nay unity. It is contrariety, opposition to God and His holy precepts, which embrace the individual and the whole race. In man himself it is the opposition of the flesh to the spirit, manifesting itself not in mere passivity, but also in false energy, in falsehood, arrogance, and hate.
LITERATURE.—See $ 72.
1. In the 0. T., as in most languages, one and the same word (v?) at first denotes two things, moral and physical evil. That a norm of goodness or a goal to be striven after is always presupposed, is clear from the fact, that the words for the act of sin denote etymologically, a deviation, namely from the straight path or goal. So son, Suy. Therewith a distinction finds place according to the degree of conscious will present in the action. Maar (mistake) is opposed to be as culpa to dolus. In Syp and yup also, which refer to actual wickedness, more intention is expressed than in son yen is the offender against God's holy precept. But the worst kind of offences consists in the sins done any ma (with uplifted hand), i.e. in rebellion against God. These are punished with extermination. But along with these conceptions is found another, according to which evil is the unsubstantial, the idle and futile in itself (597); the untrue, the irrational, nay foolish (and nasad). In the N. T. also evil is measured by the norm of the law.1 But according to the different aspects of the law which it violates, it is now represented more ethically as opposition in man himself through the predominance of the lusts of the flesh, which war against the soul, resulting in inner disorganization, while the dissolution of the harmony in man himself introduces in the next place conflict into the world and into his relations to his neighbour;* now it is represented in an ethico-religious aspect, i.e. as contrariety to his moral and religious destination, and finally in part more objectively as a state of real alienation from God,—all these views not excluding each other. Everywhere in the N. T., the law, which embraces love to God, to one's self, to one's neighbour, in brief, morality and religion, is the fixed point, hy means of which all evil is apprehended in its homogeneity and under its different chief aspects.
2. In the didactic discourses of Christ it is emphasized as the ground of the sinful conduct of the Jews, and consequently as their fundamental sin, that they have not the love of God in them, love not the light, and have not God's word abiding in them. If all this is primarily merely a defect, a negative, it is still a defect in that which they ought to have, for the love of God and our neighbour is the all-embracing fundamental command. Hence in the absence of love all good is wanting to them.
Moreover, such defect alone does not describe an entire element or state. The converse of the nonexistence of that which ought to exist, is the existence of that which ought not to exist, a false love which introduces disorder into man and into the world. They love darkness rather than light, love themselves and their own honour, the world and its glory more than God.' The moral weakness, torpor, or obtuseness of the flesh1o in relation to goodness does not exclude, but has for its converse, a false strength, sensitiveness, and love. This false love, when it would assert itself against
1 1 John iii. 4.
2 Gal. v. 17; Rom. vii. 15 ff. ; Jas. iv, 1. 3 Jas. iv. 1.
Eph. iv. 17–19; Col. iii. 5 ff. ; Rom. viii. 7. Eph. iv. 30; Rom. viii. 7, 8. 6 Matt. xxii. 37 ff. ; Rom. xiii. 8-10; Jas. ii. 8. 7 John üi. 19, v. 38, 42. * Matt. xxii. 37 ff.; John xiii. 34 ; Rom. xiii. 9. 9 John iii. 19, xii. 43, v. 44.
10 Matt. xxvi. 41.
God and His Spirit, has for its result, that deficiency in love to God advances to the positive form of hatred to what is divine. And with hatred is joined the falsehood which blinds man in self-complacency to his own character. The worst form of this pride, which is an abomination before God, is the spiritual arrogance, the conceit of self-righteousness, which is at the farthest remove from salvation.
3. Let us turn to the separate New Testament authors. James, although presupposing the Christian faith and divine revelation, moves especially in the ethical sphere. He starts from the mature course of moral observation peculiar to a genuine converted Israelite, who adopts the idea of unity, which distinguishes his faith in God from heathenism, as the supreme moral principle, and works it out under every aspect. He regards sin above all as antagonism to that rounded unity and completeness which the individual man as God's image, and the human community as a family, ought to represent." To him, evil is man's disunion with and in himself. The dualism on the side of knowledge is doubt, on the side of will doubleness of soul, a welling of sweet and bitter from one spring; a conflict of lusts and desires one with another; in relation to others, the dissolution of unity in strife and hate, -all which is also disunion with and enmity to God. The most explicit passage in James respecting evilo does not treat of the origin of evil in the world in general. Otherwise, its meaning must be: Evil is innate, which would not harmonize with James's teaching. It rather depicts the process through which existing sin runs; for the desire, from which the passage starts, is already disorderly desire.
The temptation which springs from our own lust, is not for James something innocent. Otherwise, he had no need to say : “ God tempts no one.”
The passage rather describes the issuing forth of
1 John iii. 19 f., xv. 19. 2 John v. 44; Matt. ix. 12; Luke v. 31, xvi. 15.
According to the Synoptics also, along with the sensuous form of sin (Matt. vi. 31), Christ signally emphasizes the specifically Jewish one, the dix ancūv jautóv, Matt. xxi. 31 ff. ; Luke x. 29, xvi. 15, xviii. 9 ff., v. 31 ; Matt. ix. 12; Mark ii. 17. But the parable of the Prodigal and his brother is specially pertinent here. * i. 3, 18-21.
και i. 4: ολοκληρία, τελειότης, iii. 9 f. 6 i. 6, 8, iii. 11 f., iv. 8.
7 iv. 1, 2, iii. 14–16.
8 iv. 4. 9 i. 13 ff.
i. 17, 13.