objects of His love, and He is not willing that any should perish. God's power over the soul is limited to the persuasions of Love and Reason and the beginning of His opportunity is that change in the will of man, called Repentance.
So these two theories offend against both of our cardinal doctrines—The Love of God, and The Freedom of Man. They paint a God of unreasonable anger and foolish reasoning; and a man free only to desire and do evil: so that he must regard himself at worst as an unlucky victim of circumstances, a patient needing a doctor, not a sinner needing forgiveness. This false Christian Doctrine kisses the worst of Modern Psychology in an unholy alliance, explaining away true guilt, and taking from man the full responsibility for his actions. It provides a perfect excuse for everyone who gives way to his unfortunate nature!
Indeed in its final analysis it does away altogether with the concept of sin, which is that of a free will breaking law deliberately, and replaces it by the concept of the necessary and inevitable outworking of a faulty nature; which is the doctrine of the Materialist and the Unbeliever, the Hindu and the Buddhist, the Evolutionist and Psychiatrist!
As a matter of fact those who hold such theories are guilty of hypocrisy, even if it be partly unconscious and caused by lack of reflection, like those who, through unwillingness to believe in Divine Healing, declare that sickness is a blessing from God, and then hasten to the Doctor to get rid of the blessing!
If these theories were true, every parent who caught its child lying or stealing would explain to it that it mustn't worry, because God has made it that way, and that because it is depraved it couldn't help doing so! So also the Judge would not blame the criminal for giving way to his unfortunate propensities for crime, but would explain to him that as a matter of fact we were all in the same boat, and only giving expression to our fallen nature, which God has created. This is the exact position of many anti-Christian Psychologists and they walk hand in hand with St. Augustine and his theories.
But in actual practice does the Christian preacher of Original Sin excuse either his own children or the criminal on the ground that it was impossible for them to avoid sin