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REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 34 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

9. A more thoroughly sanctified sensibility is a condition of growth in the favor of God. By the sensibility, I mean that department of our nature that feels and desires, to which belongs all that we call desire, affection, emotion, feeling, appetite, passion, propensity, lust. The sensibility is an involuntary power, and moral actions and qualities cannot, with strict propriety, be predicated of it. The states of the sensibility have moral character only as they derive it, directly or indirectly, from the action of the will. The nature of man, as a whole, in his depraved condition, is in a very unlovely state, and although the will may be given up to God, the sensibility may be in such a state as to be very unlovely in the sight of One that looks directly upon it, and knows perfectly every excited desire, passion, propensity, lust. It is through the sensibility, mainly, that we are assailed with temptations. It is through this that the Christian warfare is kept up. The Christian warfare consists in the battle of the will with these various appetites, passions, propensities, and lusts, to keep them in subjection to the will of God. If the will maintains its integrity, and cleaves to the will of God, the soul does not sin in its battle with the excited states of the sensibility. But these rebellious propensities embarrass the will in the service it renders to God. To keep them under occupies much time, and thought, and strength. Hence the soul cannot render to God so complete a service, while exerting the full strength of the will to subjugate these propensities, as it otherwise might and would render.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE VII - Legal Experience paragraph 12

     1. One opinion that has extensively prevailed and still prevails, is that the latter part of the chapter [Romans chapter 7] is an epitome of Christian experience.
 
     It has been supposed to describe the situation and exercises of a Christian, and designed to exhibit the Christian warfare with indwelling sin. It is to be observed, however, that this is, comparatively, a modern opinion. No writer is known to have held this view of the chapter, for centuries after it was written. According to Professor Stuart, who has examined the subject more thoroughly than any other man in this country, Augustine was the first writer that exhibited this interpretation, and he resorted to it in his controversy with Pelagius.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE VIII - Christian Perfection I paragraph 16

     4. Neither does Christian perfection imply a freedom from what ought to be understood by the Christian warfare.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 978 942 Lecture XVI. & XVII. The Rest of Faith- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

2. Many fail to enter into this rest, by not realizing that there is any such state. They seem not to know any thing about the tranquilizing effects of faith, and that state of deep repose in God which those enjoy who have taken possession of the promised rest. They seem to suppose that the Christian warfare consists in that mental conflict which they are conscious is going on within themselves, with their hearts and consciences. They are conscious of a continual mutiny being kept up between the conflicting powers of their own minds, which they express by saying they are constantly sinning and repenting, by which nothing more can be meant than that their hearts and consciences are at fearful war with each other. They appear to be utter strangers to the sweet peace and repose of mind which results from a harmony of the powers of their own mind, where their conscience and their heart are at one. Understanding from the Bible that their warfare is to continue through this life, and mistaking their inward conflicts for the Christian warfare, they take it for granted that no such rest as that of which I have spoken, exists.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 91 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

25. It does not imply that watchfulness, and prayer, and effort, are no longer needed. It is the height of absurdity to suppose that, either in this or any other state of being, there will be no faith called for, or watchfulness against temptation. Just so long as the susceptibilities of our soul exist, temptation in some sense and to some extent must exist, in whatever world we are. Christ manifestly struggled hard with temptation. He found watchfulness and the most powerful opposition to temptation, indispensable to his perseverance in holiness. "Is the servant above his master, or the disciple above his Lord?"
26. Nor does it imply that we are no longer dependent on the grace of Christ, but the exact opposite is implied. A state of entire and permanent sanctification implies the most constant and perfect dependence upon the grace and strength of an indwelling Christ. It seems to have been supposed by some that entire sanctification implies that something has been done which has so changed the nature of the sanctified soul, that ever after he will persevere in holiness in his own strength. I suppose this to be as far as possible from the truth, and that no change whatever has occurred in the nature of the individual, but simply that he has learned to confide in Christ at every step. He has so received Christ's strength as to lean constantly upon his supporting grace.
27. Nor does it imply that the Christian warfare is ended. I understand the Christian warfare to consist in the mind's conflict with temptation. This certainly will never end in this life.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 270 237 Lecture XXIX. The True Service of God ...

1. If your religion does not afford you present happiness, if you do not feel that there is real salvation in it, it is a legal and not a gospel religion. Beloved, there is a sad mistake upon this subject among professing Christians. Instead of finding their religion a peace-giving, soul-satisfying employment, they think themselves to be engaged in what they call the Christian warfare, and expect to be made happy when they get to heaven, and can cease from their irksome labors. They drag on against their feelings, and elaborate a most distressing religion. The more they have of it, the more miserable they are. They keep up a continual controversy between their conscience and their hearts, supposing this inward struggle to constitute the Christian warfare. They bless themselves with the idea that their painful service will soon be over, and they shall have nothing to do but sit down in the midst of the joys of heaven.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 271 237 Lecture XXIX. The True Service of God ...

Now the Christian warfare consists in conflicts with those temptations, persecutions and besetments, that endeavor to draw us aside from the labor in which we take so much delight. The true Christian's religion is his life. When he is left to pursue his course of doing good without opposition or temptation, he finds the service itself to be the delight and satisfaction of his soul. He knows full well that the grand difference between heaven and this state of existence lies in the fact that there he will have less interruption, temptation and resistance, and can therefore give himself up uninterruptedly and without fighting Satan, to that service in which he has so long had supreme delight. Is this your religion?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 144 115 Lecture II. Danger of Delusion ...

13. The fact that the 7th chapter of Romans has been so generally understood as descriptive of the Christian warfare, is evidence conclusive, that the true idea of true religion is rare. In that chapter the Apostle is speaking of a legal experience, as contrasted with a gospel experience, of which he proceeds to speak in the 8th chapter. And the fact that the Church have so generally stopped short, and claimed the 7th chapter, as descriptive of a Christian's experience, because it was their own experience, shows to what a limited extent the real idea of true religion has been developed.

I might adduce a great many other reasons, showing that the true idea of true religion is a rare idea: but I must pass to say,

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 11 TABLE OF CONTENTS ... HOLINESS OF CHRISTIANS IN THE PRESENT LIFE ...

Lecture V. Christian Warfare

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 249 249 Lecture V. Christian Warfare ...

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THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 250 249 Lecture V. Christian Warfare ...

HOLINESS OF CHRISTIANS IN THE PRESENT LIFE --No. 5
Christian Warfare
Lecture V
March 1, 1843

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 254 249 Lecture V. Christian Warfare ...

In further remarking on this text, I design to show,

I. What the Christian warfare does not consist in.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 262 249 Lecture V. Christian Warfare ...


I. What the Christian warfare does not consist in.

1. It does not consist in a conflict between the will or heart, and the conscience: for the Christian has a new heart, and the new heart and the conscience are at one. The new birth consists in the will's rejection of self-gratification as the supreme end, and adoption of the law of reason. Therefore regeneration harmonizes the will and the conscience, for the conscience is nothing else but the reason in a given function.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 263 249 Lecture V. Christian Warfare ...

2. It does not consist in a war with inward sin, but with temptation. Some persons talk about fighting with inbred sin. But what do they mean by such language? I have no objection to such persons using such language, if they will only tell what they mean, but the truth is, to talk of a Christian's fighting with inbred sin, is to talk stark nonsense. What is sin? Sin is an act of the will. It is choosing self-gratification in preference to the will of God. This, and nothing else is sin. To talk therefore of fighting inbred sin, is to talk of the will fighting itself. It is a choice warring upon itself, than which nothing can be more absurd. We may fight with temptation, but not with sin in ourselves.

II. In what the Christian warfare does consist.

1. It consists in a conflict between the will and the sensibility. By the sensibility, as I have repeatedly said, is intended that primary faculty of the mind to which all feelings, desires, and passions belong. The desires and passions of the sensibility are generally called propensities. The Christians warfare, is a warfare kept up between the will and these. For example: the appetite for food seeks its own gratification, and so do all the other propensities of the mind. Inasmuch as gratification is the only end at which the sensibility aims, it of course is blind to every thing else. It knows nothing of measure or degree. To give the will up to the gratification of these, therefore, is to subject it to a lawless power, and wholly to set aside the law of God as revealed in the reason. This is sin, it is giving the will up, to seek gratification for its own sake. This is the whole business of sinners. But in regeneration, the will rejects the gratification of these for its own sake, as an end, and gives itself up to the end demanded by the reason: that is, to universal well-being. It takes ground right over against these. But they still exist, and must be resisted. That the sensibility and its susceptibilities still need a curb, after regeneration, is a matter of universal experience with Christians, and is directly asserted in the Bible. In the text the Apostle says, addressing Christians, "Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not obey the lusts of the flesh." The term flesh in the Apostle's time, represented what we now mean by the sensibility. The reason why I use the term sensibility rather than the term flesh, is I think it expresses the idea intended more definitely at the present time. When a term which once definitely expressed an idea, has, in the wear of time, become less exact, it is our duty to adopt modern language representing the same idea. To express the idea of the text, I would say, "Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the propensities of the sensibility."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 264 249 Lecture V. Christian Warfare ...

2. The Christian warfare is a war between the will and Satan. It is his great object to keep the will in subjection to the propensities of the sensibility. Hence he directs all his efforts to arouse these propensities, and through them to enslave the will.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 293 249 Lecture V. Christian Warfare ...

1. The common notion of warring with inward sin is nonsensical and impossible. Those who use such language confound temptation with sin. They call their natural appetites and propensities sinful, and when resisting these, they say they are indwelling sin, and multitudes, doubtless, mistake the actions of the conscience, its warnings and reproofs, for the resistance of the heart to temptation. The truth is, the Christian warfare consists in a struggle between the will and temptations from without and within, and in nothing else.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 294 249 Lecture V. Christian Warfare ...

2. The deceived professor's warfare is between his heart and his reason or conscience. His heart is devoted to self-gratification, and the reason constantly disapproves of and denounces the service as wrong, and thus a continual struggle is kept up within, between his heart and reason, and this he calls the Christian warfare. If so, every sinner has the Christian warfare, and doubtless the devil also.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 307 249 Lecture V. Christian Warfare ...

15. Many have supposed for a time their enemies were dead, but were mistaken. The fact is they are never dead in such a sense, that we do not need to watch lest we enter into temptation. But let us never overlook the distinction between temptation and sin, and ever keep in mind that the Christian warfare in not with sin, but temptation. Nor forget that Christ alone can give us the victory. O for the Spirit of Christ to baptize the Ministers and the Churches.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 430 413 Lecture VIII. What Attainments Christians May Reasonably Expect to Make in This Life ...

5. Nor is it implied that a sanctified soul has no farther warfare with temptation. I showed, in my lecture on the Christian warfare, that this would have existed if man had never fallen, and will exist, in some form, forever.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 454 413 Lecture VIII. What Attainments Christians May Reasonably Expect to Make in This Life ...

2. The harmonious development of the sensibility so that it shall respond to all perceived truths and relations, is intended in this language. In my sermon, on the Christian warfare, I spoke of the monstrous development of the sensibility, and of the influence it has upon the will, in the direction in which it is developed. I there remarked that a perfect balancing of all its susceptibilities, would greatly abate the force of temptation. Every one knows how forcibly the appetites and passions wake up and clamor for indulgence. Now, although neither holiness, nor sin, belong to these, in themselves, yet it would be vastly favorable to virtue, if they were all brought into harmonious subjection to the law of the reason. Here let me say that no physical influence is exerted on the mind or body by the Spirit, to change the sensibility. The mother, whose sensibility is so developed by the loss of her child, is not brought into such a state, by any physical influence; nor is such an influence needed to secure such effects. Let sinners see the love of Christ in its real relation to themselves, and it is directly adapted to enkindle their emotions. It is the Spirit's office to take the things of Christ, and show to them; and thus secure this result. This He actually effects in Christians. To be sanctified, then is to have not only the will consecrated to God, but the sensibility brought into harmonious action under the control of the will.

V. What is not implied in the sanctification of body, soul, and spirit.

1. It is not implied that the constitutional appetites, passions, and propensities, are extinct. They certainly were not in the Lord Jesus Christ, and whoever supposes this necessary in order to sanctification, has not well considered the matter. Without their continued existence, we should be incapable of any moral action whatever.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 458 413 Lecture VIII. What Attainments Christians May Reasonably Expect to Make in This Life ...

2. Of course they cannot reasonably expect to get beyond a state of warfare. Christ had a warfare, not with sin, not with conscience, for it would be nonsense to call this Christian warfare, but with temptation, and no one will deny that he was entirely sanctified. And here I wish to notice a very singular fact. Those who deny this doctrine say that if Christians were perfect, they would have no further warfare, But where do they get that idea? Not from the Bible, for there is not a single passage in it, that I know of, which teaches any such thing.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 480 413 Lecture VIII. What Attainments Christians May Reasonably Expect to Make in This Life ...

(6) From false views with respect to what constitutes entire sanctification. Many say, the Bible represents the Christian warfare as continuing till death, and that this warfare consists in fighting with sin. Now where do they learn this, not in the Bible. The Bible does indeed represent the Christian warfare as continuing till death, but it never represents it as consisting in fighting with sin. What is sin? Why, sin is a heart, or will, or choice, contrary to the will of God. To fight with sin, then, would be to fight with our own present choice or voluntary state of mind--a choice warring on or against itself--this is absurd. The Christian warfare consists in warring with temptation, not with sin. They say that Christians are commanded to grow in grace, and if they once arrive at perfection, progress is at an end. They thus set up a man of straw, and then fight it.

9. This is a serious question to all Christians, and I cannot tell how I feel, when I hear professors of religion say they cannot give time for its examination. Said a professor of religion to me not long since, "I cannot take time to examine this subject," and yet he had the strangest misapprehensions respecting it. It is enough to make one weep tears of blood to see the darkness which prevails, and yet the apathy and unwillingness to inquire. Beloved, let us know the truth that it may make us free. Let us give ourselves up to the teachings of the Spirit, that we may be "sanctified wholly, and preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 496 482 Lecture IX. Necessity and Nature of Divine Teaching ...

5. If it be an existing choice, which diverts the mind from one class of objects or motives, and directs it into another channel, although the mind is entirely free, yet failing to perceive objects from which it is thus diverted, it does not possess within itself the means that will ever secure its choosing in accordance with them. I do not mean to say that an existing choice, whether selfish or holy, absolutely prevents the mind from perceiving any motives to a choice contrary to itself; for, as I showed in my lecture on the Christian warfare, our sensibility will always lay us open to temptation, however holy we may become. But a holy choice naturally shuts out motives hostile to itself as far as possible, and keeps its attention upon the opposite class. So, on the contrary, a selfish choice cannot utterly hush the voice of reason, and shut out all motives to holiness, but it naturally does so as far as it can; and, as a matter of fact, we find selfish minds so much open to motives to selfishness, and so diverted from all others, that selfish motives have the entire influence over them. Unless, therefore, some agency external to itself is employed to engage the attention, and cause the mind to apprehend and consider another class of motives, than those to which it has committed itself, the case is hopeless. While it is thus taken up and engrossed, it will not perceive objects of a different character so as to come under their influence, but will be drifted along to the depths of hell. All its choices will be between different forms of selfishness. It has committed itself to the stream, and notwithstanding the spontaneous remonstrances of reason, it will float onward. Persons may even hear daily the best of instruction, and the most solemn warnings, and yet so divert their attention from it, as to feel its power but little if any. Thus Judas was always thinking of money, so that even the preaching of Christ did him no good. So, multitudes of persons have so employed themselves in selfish pursuits that although they hear, every Sabbath, the most pungent and solemn truths, they do not seem to be in the least degree affected by them, but even sit in the house of God plotting schemes of selfish enterprize, and thus, by the action of the laws of their own minds, rush on to certain destruction, unless arrested by some foreign influence.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1846 paragraph 673 633 Lecture X. The Blessedness of Enduring Temptation ...

2. We see what constitutes the Christian warfare. It is made up of resisting temptation--of resisting and overcoming all those inducements to turn away from God and to seek one's own ends and gratification. This is the strife and the struggle in which the Christian is engaged.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1852 paragraph 384 344 Lectures VII. & VIII. Salvation Difficult to The Christian- Impossible to The Sinner-- The Salvation of Sinners Impossible- No.'s 1 - 2 ...

They must however give all diligence. A lazy man cannot get to heaven. To get there costs toil and labor. For his will must be sanctified. The entire voluntary department of his being must be renovated. It is remarkable how the Christian warfare develops the will. Not an obstinate will--not a self-will, do I mean, but a strong and firm will. The man, disciplined in the Christian conflict, cries out, I must and I will believe; I will trust.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 53 19 Lecture I. Christ's Yoke Is Easy ...

6. This subject will throw light upon the true nature of the Christian warfare. This is not hard, a something to which we are to be screwed up, and whipped up, by our conscience. It is only love to Christ spontaneously resisting temptation to displease him. It is not hard work for the most affectionate husband or wife to resist infidelity to him or her whom each loves most. This resistance is not that to which we are whipped up by a mere sense of obligation, or fear of consequences. It is the spontaneous resistance of love to that which is entirely inconsistent with it. Such is the Christian warfare.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 57 - Sanctification. paragraph 75 An account of the recent discussions that have been had on this subject

     Again: Dr. Woods denied that Christian perfection ever was or ever will be attained in this life, because the Bible represents Christians in all time as engaged in the Christian warfare. Here again we get at the doctor's view of Christian perfection; to wit, that it implies the cessation of the Christian warfare. But what is the Christian warfare?

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 57 - Sanctification. paragraph 76 An account of the recent discussions that have been had on this subject

     The doctor plainly assumes, that it consists in warring with present sin. Yet he holds all sin to be voluntary. His assumption then that the Christian warfare consists in a warfare with present sin, represents the will as opposing its present choice. Choice warring with choice. But the Christian warfare implies no such thing. It is a warfare or contest with temptation. No other warfare is possible in the nature of the case. Christ was a subject of it. He was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. While our circumstances remain what they will always be in this world, we shall be subject to temptation, of course, from the world, the flesh, and Satan. But Christian perfection is not at all incompatible with the existence of this strife with temptation. This argument of the doctor was based wholly, like the preceding, upon the begging or assumption of a totally false major premise. He made an issue between himself and President Mahan, when there was none. The president no more held than he did, that such a state ever was or will be attained in this life, as implies the cessation of the Christian warfare, properly so called. Thus Dr. Woods set out without giving his readers any definition of Christian perfection, and stumbled and blundered through his whole argument, totally misrepresenting the argument of the author whom he reviewed, and sustaining several of his own positions by sheer assumptions.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 58 - Sanctification (Part 2) paragraph 26 Remind you of some points that have been settled in this course of study . . Definition of the principal terms to be used in this discussion

     In this discussion, then, I shall use the term entire sanctification to designate a state of confirmed, and entire consecration of body, soul, and spirit, or of the whole being to God--confirmed, not in the sense, (1.) That a soul entirely sanctified cannot sin, but that as a matter of fact, he does not, and will not sin. (2.) Nor do I use the term entire sanctification as implying that the entirely sanctified soul is in no such danger of sinning as to need the thorough use and application of all the means of grace to prevent him from sinning, and to secure his continued sanctification. (3.) Nor, do I mean by entire sanctification, a state in which there will be no further struggle or warfare with temptation, or in which the Christian warfare will cease. This certainly did not cease in Christ to the end of life, nor will it with any being in the flesh. (4.) Nor do I use the term as implying a state in which no further progress in holiness is possible. No such state is, or ever will be, possible to any creature, for the plain reason, that all creatures must increase in knowledge; and increase of knowledge implies increase of holiness in a holy being. The saints will doubtless grow in grace or holiness to all eternity. (5.) Nor do I mean by the term entire sanctification, that the entirely sanctified soul will no longer need the continual grace and indwelling Spirit of Christ to preserve it from sin, and to secure its continuance in a state of consecration to God. It is amazing that such men as Dr. Beecher and others should suppose, that a state of entire consecration implies that the entirely sanctified soul no longer needs the grace of Christ to preserve it. Entire sanctification, instead of implying no further dependence on the grace of Christ, implies the constant appropriation of Christ by faith as the sanctification of the soul.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 58 - Sanctification (Part 2) paragraph 33 Remind you of some points that have been settled in this course of study . . Definition of the principal terms to be used in this discussion

     Let me, therefore, be distinctly understood as maintaining the attainability of this state, as the true question at issue; and that I regard the fact, that this state has been attained, only as one method of proving, or as a fact that demonstrates its attainability. Dr. Woods admitted the attainability of a state of entire sanctification in this life, and contested only the fact of its actual attainment. But he should not have admitted the attainability, with his idea of what is implied in it, as has been shown. For example, if, as he supposed, entire sanctification is a state in which no further progress in grace or holiness is possible, or in which there is and can be no Christian warfare or struggle with temptation, he had no right to admit that any such state as this is attainable in this life. I do not admit, but utterly deny, that any such state is at all attainable in this life, even if it is in any state of existence whatever.

 

 


WAY OF SALVATION, SERMON 7 - Salvation Difficult to the Christian, Impossible to the Sinner paragraph 39

They must, however, give all diligence. A lazy man cannot get to heaven. To get there costs toil and labour. For his will must be sanctified. The entire voluntary department of his being must be renovated. It is remarkable how the Christian warfare develops the will. Not an obstinate will -- not a self-will, do I mean, but a strong and firm will. The man, disciplined in the Christian conflict, cries out, I must and I will believe; I will trust.