THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 328 292 Lecture V. The Law of God 1 ...

22. That it is inconsistent with our living in human society--with mingling in the scenes, and engaging in the affairs of this world. Hence the absurd and ridiculous notions of papists, in retiring to monasteries, and convents--in taking the veil--and, as they say, retiring to a life of devotion.

Now I suppose this state of voluntary exclusion from human society, to be utterly inconsistent with any degree of holiness, and a manifest violation of the law of love to our neighbor.

23. That a state of entire holiness would be recognized as such by all men.

Now this is as far as possible from being true. It was insisted, and positively believed, by the Jews, that Jesus Christ was possessed of a wicked, instead of a holy spirit. Such were their notions of holiness, that they no doubt supposed him to be actuated by any other than the Spirit of God. They especially supposed so on account of his opposition to the current orthodoxy, and the ungodliness of the religious teachers of the day. Now, who does not see, that when the Church is in a great measure conformed to the world that a spirit of holiness in any man, would certainly lead him to aim the sharpest rebukes, at the spirit and life of those in this state, whether in high or low places. And who does not see that this would naturally result in his being accused of possessing a wicked spirit?

24. That a state of entire holiness implies a state of entire moroseness of temper and manners.

Nothing is farther from the truth than this. It is said of Xavier, whom perhaps few holier men have ever lived, that "he was so cheerful as often to be accused of being gay." Cheerfulness is certainly the result of holy affections. And sanctification no more implies moroseness in this world than it does in heaven.

25. That entire holiness is inconsistent with any further dependence on Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

Now this idea arises out of the very obscure notions, that people have with regard to what constitutes entire sanctification. They seem to suppose, that in sanctification, the Holy Spirit changes the nature, so that men remain holy without any further influence from the Spirit of Christ. Whereas, a state of entire and permanent sanctification is nothing else, than a state of entire and perpetual dependence on Christ, and on the Holy Spirit. It is the state in which the mind throws itself entirely upon the supporting grace of Christ.





Lecture III. Dependence on Christ



THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1845 paragraph 123 123 Lecture III. Dependence on Christ ...

Back to Top



THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1845 paragraph 124 123 Lecture III. Dependence on Christ ...

Dependence on Christ
Lecture III
February 26, 1845



THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1845 paragraph 791 748 Lecture XVI. Faith in its Relations to the Love of God ...

4. The doctrine of human ability as it lies in many minds produces nothing else than self-confidence and self-dependence as opposed to faith. Many have such an idea of human ability that they suppose they shall readily, by dint of their own resolutions and efforts, do what God requires of them. Such an idea renders dependence on Christ morally impossible. How can he depend on Christ when he thinks he can just as well depend upon himself? It is therefore wholly indispensable to true faith that the doctrine of human ability should be in such a shape in the mind as to encourage faith,--nay, rather, as to enforce the conviction that without aid from Christ, obtained by depending on Him, we are certainly undone. In fact the idea of human ability as often apprehended, is nothing else than the spirit of Anti-Christ. It stands directly and insuperably in the way of the soul's reliance upon Christ for the grace requisite for saving the soul from sin. Faith is forever impossible till this notion of self-sufficiency is utterly put away.



THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1858 paragraph 103 85 Lecture III. The Self-Righteous Sinner Doomed To Sorrow ...

14. All those nominally Christian hopes that fail to sanctify the heart, are of this self-righteous -- self-dependent sort. Everything, save the sincere dependence on Christ which makes you like Him in Spirit, falls under this general character, and must end in this fearful doom.

II. We may next consider the destiny of all these classes.



THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1858 paragraph 134 126 Lecture IV. Sufficient Grace ...

He must first give them thorns, and make them feel their weakness and wants; then He shuts them up to rely on Himself alone, leading them to die to all dependence on themselves, and to enter with the fullest committal upon dependence on Christ alone. This is needful to the end that they may avail themselves of His strength and may discard their own.

1. "My grace is sufficient for thee," said Christ to Paul; and if we may believe what Paul says of his sinful ways, this must be a very strong case. Paul said he was the chief of sinners. He had been a Pharisee of the straitest sect; in his mad zeal against the friends of Christ, he had persecuted them even unto strange cities; and manifestly, taking into view all the circumstances of the case, he had some reasons for magnifying the grace that could reach such an one as Saul of Tarsus. If Christ could pardon him, it was safe to conclude He could pardon anybody. If grace could humble a soul of self-righteous as his had been, what could it not do? If a man so tempted on every side, once standing high in public favor, but now accounted as "the filth and off-scouring of all things," could yet find grace sufficient to bear all for Christ's sake joyfully, then nobody need doubt the all-sufficiency of this grace.



THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 577 514 Lecture IX. Looking To Jesus ...

9. Many fall into the mistake of dwelling upon their dependence on Christ, while they fail really to depend on Him, to lean and cast themselves upon Him.

There is a great difference between feeling our dependence, and really depending. A child may feel his dependence upon his father for support; but he could only really depend on him in the sense of expecting him to support him.



SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 66 - Sanctification (Part 10) paragraph 15 Relations of Christ to the believer--continued Part IV

     Now, let it be understood and constantly borne in mind, that this self-renunciation and taking hold on Christ as our strength, is not a mere speculation, an opinion, an article of faith, a profession, but must be one of the most practical realities in the world. It must become to the mind an omnipresent reality, insomuch that you shall no more attempt any thing in your own strength than a man who never could walk without crutches would attempt to arise and walk without thinking of them. To such a one his crutches become a part of himself. They are his legs. He as naturally uses them as we do the members of our body. He no more forgets them, or attempts to walk without them, than we attempt to walk without our feet. Now just so it is with one who spiritually understands his dependence on Christ. He knows he can walk, and that he must walk, but he as naturally uses the strength of Christ in all his duties, as the lame man uses his crutches. It is as really an omnipresent reality to him, that he must lean upon Christ, as it is to the lame man that he must lean upon his crutch. He learns on all occasions to keep hold of the strength of Christ, and does not even think of doing any thing without him. He knows that he need not attempt any thing in his own strength; and that if he should, it will result in failure and disgrace, just as really and as well as the man without feet or legs knows that for him to attempt to walk without his crutch would ensure a fall. This is a great, and, I fear, a rarely learned lesson with professed Christians, and yet how strange that it should be so, since, in every instance, attempts to walk without Christ have resulted in complete and instantaneous failure. All profess to know their own weakness and their remedy, and yet how few give evidence of knowing either.