The Carnal Mind?



THE CARNAL MIND.
"The thinking of the flesh is enmity against God."

When the Lord God bestowed the faculty of speech upon the serpent, He enabled it to give utterance to its thoughts. The possession of this power did not, however, confer upon it moral accountability. This depends on a different constitution of "the flesh." Where no "moral sentiments" exist as a part of "the flesh," or brain, there is no ability in the creature to render an account for its aberrations from the requirements of moral, or spiritual institutions. Speech only enabled it to utter the thinkings of its unsentimentalized intellect. It spoke like Balaam's ass, under the impulse of the sensations excited by what it had seen and heard. The thinkings of its flesh could not ascend to faith, being destitute of the organic ability to believe; therefore its speech could express only fleshly thoughts. Faith was too high an attainment for it. The light of God's law could not shine into it. Like all the inferior animals, it was a creature of mere sensation, and could utter only sentences formed of combinations resulting from the impressions of sensible objects transmitted to its sensorium by the five senses; it transcended them, however, in being more observant and reasoning than they.
The carnal mind is an expression used by Paul; or rather, it is the translation of words used by him, in his epistle to the Romans. It is not so explicit as the original. The words he wrote are to fronhma thV sarkoV the thinking of the flesh. In this phrase, he intimates to us, that the flesh is the thinking substance, that is, the brain; which, in another place, he terms "the fleshly tablet of the heart." The kind of thinking, therefore, depends upon the conformation of this organ. Hence, the more elaborate and perfect its mechanism, the more precise and comprehensive the thought; and vice versa. It is upon this principle such a diversity of mental manifestation is observable among men and other animals; but after all, how diverse soever they may be, they are all referable to one and the same thing -- the thinking of the flesh, whose elaborations are excited by the propensities, and the sensible phenomena of the world.

Now, the law of God is given, that the thinking of the flesh, instead of being excited by the propensities within, and the world without, may be conducted according to its direction. So long as Adam and Eve yielded to its guidance, they were happy and contented. Their thoughts were the result of right thinking, and obedience was the consequence. But when they adopted the serpent's reasonings as their own, these, being at variance with the truth, caused an "enmity" against it in their thinkings, which is equivalent to "enmity against God." When their sin was perfected, the propensities, or lusts, having been inflamed, became "a law in their members;" and because it was implanted in their flesh by transgression, it is styled "the law of sin;" and death being the wages of sin, it is also termed, "the law of sin and death;" but by philosophy, "the law of nature."

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