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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

REVOLVING upon its own axis, and describing an ample circuit through the boundless fields of space, is a planet of the solar system bearing upon its surface a population of over nearly a thousand millions subject to sin, disease, and death.

This orb of the starry heavens shines with a glory similar to that of its kindred spheres.

Viewed from them, it is seen sparkling "like a diamond in the sky;" and with the rest of the heavens, declares the glory of God, and shows forth the handiwork of Him that did create it.

This celestial orb, which is a world or system of itself, is styled THE EARTH.

It is the habitation of races of animals which graze its fields, lurk in its forests, soar through its atmosphere, and pass through the paths of its seas.

At the head of all these is a creature like themselves, animal, sensual and mortal.

He is called MAN.

He has replenished the earth and subdued it, and filled it with his renown.

His crimes, however, rather than his virtues, have illustrated and distinguished him with an unhappy pre-eminence above all other created things.

His heart is evil; and, left to its uncontrolled impulses, he becomes licentious, merciless, and more cruel than the fiercest beast of prey.

Such is the being that claims the independent sovereignty of the globe.

He has founded dominions, principalities, and powers; he has built great cities, and vaunted himself in the works of his hands, saying, "Are not these by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty"?

He repudiates all lordship over him, and claims the inalienable and inherent right of self-government, and of establishing whatever civil and ecclesiastical institutions are best suited to his sensuality and caprice.

Hence, at successive periods, the earth has become the arena of fierce and pandemoniac conflicts; its tragedies have baptized its soil in blood, and the mingled cries of the oppressor and the victim have ascended to the throne of the Most High.

Skilled in the wisdom which comes from beneath, he is by nature ignorant of that which is "first pure, and then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy".

This is a disposition to which the animal man under the guidance of his fleshly mind has no affinity.

His propensity is to obey the lust of his nature; and to do its evil works, "which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, sects, envying, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like".

All these make up the character of the world, "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life," upon which is enstamped the seal of God's eternal reprobation.

"They who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God," but "they shall die".

Such is the world of human kind!

The great and impious enemy of God upon the earth.

Its mind is not subject to His law, neither indeed can it be.

What shall we say to these things?