Page:Germ Growers.djvu/222

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One may, if He so please, take away his freedom, but by so doing He annihilates the man."

"You raise a hard question," said I; "is the Infinite One, then, committed to the eternal prevalence of evil? Is He pledged never to annihilate the power to do evil?"

Leäfar answered very slowly and solemnly, and yet there was a smile upon his countenance as he spoke.

"There is one thing impossible to the Eternal Love, and that is to annihilate Himself: and it would be to annihilate Himself if He were to permit the existence of Eternal hatred."

"Then," said I, "if I understand you rightly, these beings are doomed to annihilation?"

He smiled again and said, "Surely the freedom which opposes and continues to oppose God must perish: it is self-doomed; that is as certain as that the Love of God is infinite. The creature who so misuses his freedom must lose it at last, and then he is as if he had never possessed it. And so his moral being is, as you say, annihilated. All his other powers remain, but his will is dead. He becomes, like the brute, or like the earliest of the ethereal creation; nothing but an instrument in the hand of God. Such is the eternal doom of those who choose evil and abide by their choice. No