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tion, has been crude and ofttimes grotesquely absurd, varying, in accordance with the state of his intellectual development, from the lowest fetichism to a semi-ethical anthropomorphic polytheism, with some traces, perhaps, of monotheistic ideas.

But while universal experience establishes the fact that man is by nature religious, universal testimony also acknowledges him to be a sinful being morally accountable to a higher power. However, many nations have preserved traditions of a former period of holiness and happiness. Thus, we read in the Chinese books that “during the period of the first heaven, the whole creation enjoyed a state of happiness: everything was beautiful; everything was good; all beings were perfect in their kind. In this happy age, heaven and earth employed their virtues jointly to embellish nature. There was no jarring in the elements, no inclemency in the air; all things grew without labor, and universal fertility prevailed. The active and the passive virtues conspired together, without any effort or opposition, to produce and perfect the universe."1 The Chaldean traditions of the primeval state—the sacred tree, its guardian cherubs, and flaming sword-strikingly resemble the Hebrew account. The story of the fall of man is preserved in Thibetan, Mongolian, and Cingalese traditions, and the account given in some of the Persian books closely resembles the Scriptural narrative.3 But the religious aspirations of man, independent of divine revelation, have ever been merely the longing of the infant crying in the night for its food.

1 Faber's Horae Mosaicae, Rawlinson.

p. 146,

as quoted by 2 See George Smith's Chaldean Account of Genesis, 1876.

Turning to the Bible, we find not only an account of the primitive fall and man's subsequent sinful condition, but also, during the ages, increasing evidences of a plan for his restoration. Now, that plan must of necessity be divine in order to be successful. Man could not redeem himself; for, having been originally placed under a law that required perfect obedience and love for God with all the heart and soul, he could have no surplus obedience to make reparation for the sins that were past. Therefore works of supererogation were clearly impossible. The broken law of obedience could not be set aside; its infinite dignity and majesty had to be vindicated by the enforcement of its penalties. No created intelligence could secure man's redemption; for the fact of creatureship implies dependence and obliga

3 Kalisch, Comment on Genesis, p. 63.

After pre

4:4,

tion. Even the angels of heaven were under the same law exacting perfect obedience, and hence they could have no surplus righteousness to atone for fallen man. Only a being over whom the law had no jurisdiction was adequate to such a task, and therefore only God could redeem. dictions by prophets and typical foreshadowing by many of the ceremonies of Moses' law, "when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." Gal.

5. Although this plan of salvation was perfect and complete in the mind and purpose of God from the beginning, its full revelation to mankind

reserved until the incarnation of Christ. Therefore the apostle Paul refers to it as a “mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God" (Eph. 3:9), "even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Col. 1:26, 27. But looking backward upon the history of God's dealings with his people in olden times, we can

was

now discern clearly that throughout the ages there was a gradual unfolding of the divine purposes which was destined to reach its climax of moral development in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The original promise of victory over the serpent that had been the means of Eve's seduction (Gen. 3:15), given to her in the Garden, is an allusion to a future Redeemer. That God regarded mankind is further shown by the statements that he “had respect unto Abel” (Gen. 4:4), that “Enoch walked with God” (Gen. 5:22), and that “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Gen. 6:8. At a later date the divine plan received a marvelous unfolding to Abraham, so that he was able to see not only the great preparatory revelation which was to be given his literal descendants, but also the grand permanent structure of the gospel system, through which all the families of the earth should be blessed. Christ himself declared, "Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad.” John 8:56. To the prophet Isaiah was made known the fact that God himself would effect the salvation of men (Isa. 35:4) and that it would be accomplished by his suffering and vicarious death. Isa. 53. Daniel was assured that the Messiah would come “to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness." Dan. 9: 24, 25.

Many of the materials that Christ employed in the formation of the gospel system had been made ready to his hand in the preparatory course of instruction that had been given the Jewish people in order to pave the way for the advent of the Messiah and for the reception of his teachings. C. P. Tiele has said that “every religion coming to the front on the stage of history is rooted in the past, has been fostered, so to speak, by one or more of its predecessors, and can not be maintained without taking up and assimilating the still-living elements of the old faith.”1 This witness is right; but we can only affirm the truth of the statement with reference to its bearing on the establishment of Christianity, for the details are too numerous to be discussed here. However, regarding Christianity as the outgrowth or result of a prearranged plan that had been in process of unfolding through all the ages, I have entitled the present work, which deals with its origin, nature, and development, THE EVOLUTION OF CHRISTIANITY. Thus, we apply in a sense the later designation of divinely re

1 Encyclopedia Britannica, Ninth Ed., Art., Religions.

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