The Trees of the Garden

IN the allegorical account of material creation Adam and Eve were permitted to eat freely of the trees of the garden, with the exception of the fruit of the tree which was in the midst of the garden; of it they were forbidden to eat. But man has never been forbidden to partake of all that is good and true, of all that is wholesome and helpful. It is only the poison of the belief of evil, and of evil desire, which has been forbidden.

The fallacy that was held by our "first parents" has been held by many throughout the ages, that certain kinds of transgression against good make for a larger freedom, and for especial forms of satisfaction. The cause of the prohibition of intoxicating liquor is being attacked to-day, for the reason that there are those who believe freedom and happiness can be found in the use of strong drink. It is evident they mistake the stimulated frenzy of mortal mind for genuine satisfaction and contentment. The moderate drinker tries to find justification and exoneration in the fact that he partakes of intoxicants moderately; yet it is so clear that it scarcely needs to be stated, that exactly in the proportion one is under the influence of an intoxicant, in just that proportion he is in an abnormal mental condition.

It is safe to say that the moral requirements of mankind have not changed since the days of the first allegory in Genesis. The ancient command to eschew the evil in our midst is as obligatory now as it was then. Of the trees of the garden which are good we may freely eat: but of the tree of evil, which is in the midst of the garden, we may not eat, lest we die.

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Rejoice Evermore
January 19, 1924

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