How Sin Began
of God, Lucifer went forth to diffuse the spirit of discontent among the angels. Working with mys- terious secrecy, and for a time concealing his real purpose under an appearance of reverence for God, he endeavored to excite dissatisfaction concern- ing the laws that governed heavenly beings, inti- mating that they imposed an unnecessary re- straint. Since their natures were holy, he urged that the angels should obey the dictates of their own will. He sought to create sympathy for himself, by repre- senting that God had dealt unjustly with him in be- stowing supreme honor upon Christ. He claimed that in aspiring to greater power and honor he was not aiming at self-exaltation, but was seek- ing to secure liberty for all the inhabitants of Heaven, that by this means they might attain to a higher state of existence.
God, in His great mercy, bore long with Luci- fer. He was not immediately degraded from his ex- alted station when he first indulged the spirit of discontent, nor even when he began to present his false claims before the loyal angels. Long was he retained in Heaven. Again and again he was offered pardon, on condition of repentance and submis- sion. Such efforts as only infinite love and wis- dom could devise, were made to convince him of his error. The spirit of discontent had never be- fore been known in Heaven. Lucifer himself did not at first see whither he was drifting; he did not understand the real nature of his feelings. But as his dissatisfaction was proved to be without cause, Lucifer was convinced that he was in the wrong, that the divine claims were just, and that