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The Deception of Sin.

The Deception of Sin.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY Alexander Gardiner Mercer

Now the serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field which
the Lord God had made : and he said unto the woman, Yea,
hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden,
etc. — Gen. iii. 1-24.
BY Alexander Gardiner Mercer

Now the serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field which
the Lord God had made : and he said unto the woman, Yea,
hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden,
etc. — Gen. iii. 1-24.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Feb 01, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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THE DECEPTION OF SIN. BY Alexander Gardiner MercerNow the serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made : and he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden, etc. — Gen. iii. 1-24. WHATEVER difficulties there may be, and are, if the early part of Genesis be viewed as literal history, or viewed as the imaginary embodiment of primitive and inspired conceptions, it is the most in-teresting record in the world. Nothing can be more weak and unhistorical than to read these narratives as if they were papers presented to a scientific convention, or as reports of a statistical bureau, or even that which we call biography or history. How literal they are no man will ever be able to say ; but that they are truthful, in the deepest sense truthful, that they are a record of the very Spirit of God, no man competent to judge ought ever to doubt. Never was there such childlike-nes.s in the form and the details, suiting the time, united with such dignity and depth of substance. Here is a tradition of the purest and profoundest ideas, issuing
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from the crude beginnings of the world ; and here in pictured form are laid those great foundations of truth 1 82 THE DECEPTION OF SIN. on which the human race is built, and without which it never could be truly human. The Book of Genesis begins with God in action, with the creation of the heavens and the earth ; and if it had stopped with the first sentence, " In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," — that fact settled, everything is settled (I had almost said), for in that fact is laid the chief corner-stone of all truth ; there is the fountain from which everything else flows. It means that spirit comes not from matter, but matter from spirit, and from such a spirit, an Almighty, which merely wills, and all that is stands up and says, " Be-hold us here ! " — and that this one revelation not only stands first in order, but is so great that all subsequent revelations might be deduced or evolved from it; for if there is really an almighty spirit it must be all-pure
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also. And when I read that sentence, knowing that that is just the truth with which or without which every-thing must stand or fall, the sentence indeed and test, not merely of a standing or falling church, but of a standing or falling humanity, — I say no one can read it and look around to-day at the spirit of the latest sciences and philosophy, as they confront it, without a sense of heartfelt awe ! After thousands of years the cleverest of the mere thought of the race writes its sen-tence : " In the beginning was the mere possibility of matter." Read that and this : '' In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." The first two chapters, then, present and picture God THE DECEPTION OF SIN. 1 83 as Creator, creating the heaven and the earth. But leaving this, I come to the third chapter, which is my proper subject, — the beginning of the story of God in relation to his human child. Here begins the first in-cident of that story, — the fall of man. After just a
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