14 FEBRUARY 1941, Page 15

GOD AND EVIL s ,,,_m a ny Christians beside myself must have heartily

welcomed Dr. Joad's observations upon " Dualism." To the common man life is dualist. He is aware of two unseen forces outside of himself appealing to him, the one holy and brave, the other sinister and craven, and to allow for one single moment that evil derived from God cripples him in his struggle. What is absolute is the antithesis between the two. " Simon, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not."

We cannot too often assert (z) that the origin of evil, as William Law says, is utterly remote from God ; (2) that the origin of evil is veiled in impenetrable mystery ; (3) that to Christian, in contrast to philosophic, conceptions there is no such thing as equal dualism. The early Church, faced by the ordeal of their age, were sustained by the certainty of the ultimate triumph of God over Satan. In the vigorous language of the Apocalypse, the Devil they foresaw was to be "cast into the lake of fire." " God must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet."

Far, therefore, from dualism involving, as Mr. C. S. Lewis fears, "a real step backwards," it would seem to give fresh incentive to religion. Life may be a grim struggle: yet, so we but keep fighting, God is with us in the battle. And as to the issue there can be no