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XVII.

(Lecture V., page 155.)

CONFLICT OF THE FLESH AND MIND.

The following is part of Neander’s exposition of this subject:—

“When the law in its glory, the moral archetype, first revealed itself to the higher nature of man, he was filled with earnest desire to seize the revealed ideal; but this desire only made him more painfully sensible of the chasm which separated him from the object after which he aspired. Thus, what appeared at first a blissful ideal, by the guilt of death-producing sin, became changed into its opposite. The higher nature of man aspiring after a freer self-consciousness, is sensible of the harmony between itself and the divine law, in which it delights; but there is another power, the power of the sinful principle striving against the higher nature, which, when a man is disposed to follow the inward divine leading, drags him away, so that he cannot accomplish the good by which alone his heavenly nature is attracted. In the consciousness of this wretched disunion, he exclaims, ‘Who shall deliver me from this power of sin?’ . . .

237

“By the opposition between the inner man and the law in the members or the flesh, Paul certainly does not mean simply the opposition between spirit and sense; for if the spirit were really so animated by the good which is represented in the law, as it ought to be, according to its original nature and destination, its volitions would be powerful enough to subordinate sense to itself. . . . He therefore intends by these terms to express the opposition between the depressed higher nature of man, and the sinful principle which controls the actions of men.”—Neander’s ‘Hist. of the Planting and Training of the Christian Church,’ Bohn’s translation, p. 431, 432.

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