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REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XIII. - HOW CHURCHES CAN HELP MINISTERS. paragraph 60 The importance of the cooperation of the Church in producing and carrying on a revival - Several things which Churches must do, if they would promote a revival and aid their ministers.

8. See that the house of God is kept clean. The house of God should be kept as clean as you want your own house to be kept. Churches are often kept excessively slovenly. I have seen them where people used so much tobacco, and took so little care about neatness, that it was impossible to preach with comfort. Once, in a protracted meeting, the thing was charged upon the Church (and they had to acknowledge it), that they paid more money for tobacco than they did for the cause of Missions. There is an importance in these things, which is not realized. See that man! What is he doing? I am preaching to him about eternal life, and he is thinking about the dirty pew.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XIII. - HOW CHURCHES CAN HELP MINISTERS. paragraph 62 The importance of the cooperation of the Church in producing and carrying on a revival - Several things which Churches must do, if they would promote a revival and aid their ministers.

Or, he may find the house too warm, and the people, instead of listening to the truth, are fanning themselves and panting for breath. By and by a woman faints, and makes a stir, and the train of thought and feeling is all lost, and so a whole sermon is wasted. These little things take off the attention of people from the words of eternal life. And very often it is so, that if you drop a single link in the chain of argument, you lose the whole, and the people are damned, just because the careless Church does not see to the proper regulation of these little matters.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON II. HOW TO CHANGE YOUR HEART paragraph 70 Ezek. 18-31.--"Make you a new heart, and a new spirit, for why will ye die?"

But, sinner, you have seen, in the progress of this discourse, the reasonableness of benevolence, and the hatefulness of selfishness. The right and the duty of God to govern you, and your obligations to obey. You have seen the reasonableness and utility of virtue; the unreasonableness, the guilt, and evil of sin. And now what say you? What is your present duty? Is it right? Is it reasonable? Is it expedient longer to pursue your selfish course? Is it not best, and right, and manly, and honorable, and time, to turn and obey your Maker? Look at the consequences of your present course, to yourself, your friends over whom you have influence, to the church, and to the world. Will you continue to cast firebrands, arrows, and death, - to throw all your influence, your time and talents, your body and soul, into the scale of selfishness! Shall all your influence continue to be upon the wrong side, to increase the wickedness and misery of earth, to gratify the devil and grieve the Son of God? Sinner, if you go to hell, you ought to be willing to go alone; company will not mitigate, but increase your pain. Ought you not then, instantly, to throw all your influence into the other scale; to exert yourself to roll back the tide of death, and save your fellow- men from hell? Do you see the reasonableness of this? What is your judgment in the case? Do not stop to look at your emotions, nor turn your eye in upon your present state of mind; but say, will you cease your rebellion, throw down your weapons, and enlist in the service of Jesus Christ? He has come to destroy the works of the devil, to demolish his empire, and re- establish the government of God in the hearts of men. Are you willing that he should govern the world? Is this your choice? If allowed to vote, would you elect him as supreme Governor of the world? Will you obey him yourself? But do you reply, "Oh! I am so great a sinner, I fear there is no mercy for me?" That is not the question. The question is not, whether he will pardon you, but whether you will obey him. If he saw it not wise to pardon you, if the circumstances of his government require your damnation, is it not on that account the less your duty to obey him. The question for you to settle is, whether you will obey him, and leave the question [matter] of your salvation for him to settle, in view of all the circumstances of the case. He is infinitely wise, and as benevolent as he is wise. You ought, therefore, cheerfully to submit your final destiny to him, to make your duty the object of your attention, and obedience your constant aim. The atonement is full and perfect. The presumption is, that nothing is in the way of your salvation but your impenitence and unbelief; and indeed you have the promise, that on condition of submission to his will, you shall have eternal life. Do you see what you ought to do, and are you willing to do it? "Choose this day whom you will serve." To choose God and his services - to prefer these to your own interest and to every thing else, is to change your heart. Have you done it? Do you still ask, how shall I do it? You might with much more propriety ask, when the meeting is dismissed, how shall I go home? To go home would require two things, first, to be willing; secondly, to put your body in motion. But here, no muscular power is needed. But one thing is requisite, that is a willing mind. Your consent is all that is needed. Be willing to do your duty, [and do it,] and the work is done.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON II. HOW TO CHANGE YOUR HEART paragraph 88 Ezek. 18-31.--"Make you a new heart, and a new spirit, for why will ye die?"

Lastly. I remark, that from this subject it will be seen that a death- bed is but a poor place for repentance. Many are expecting, that if they neglect repentance until they come upon a bed of death, that then they shall repent and give their hearts to God. But alas! how vain the hope! In the langour and exhaustion, the pain and distraction, the trembling and the anxiety of a death-bed, what opportunity or power is there for that fixedness and intensity of attention that are requisite to break the power of selfishness and change the entire current of the soul? To think, is labor; to think intensely, is exhausting labor, even to a man in health. But, oh! upon a bed of death, to have the intricate accounts of life to look over, the subject of the soul's character and destiny to ponder and understand; to hold the agonized mind in warm and distressing contact with the great truths of revelation, until the heart is melted and broken, rest assured, is ordinarily, if not always, too great an effort for a dying man. Be it known to all men, that, as a general truth, to which there are but few exceptions, men die as they live, and no dependence can be placed upon those waverings, and flickerings, and gleamings forth of the struggling mind, while the body, all weakness and pain, is breaking down to usher it into the presence of its Maker. Now is your time, in the wakefulness and strength of your powers, while the command to make to you a new heart and a new spirit, and the reasons for the performance of this duty lie fully before you; while the gate of heaven stands open, and mercy, with bleeding hands, beckons you to come; while the pearl of great price is tendered to your acceptance, seize the present moment, and lay hold upon eternal life.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON VI. WHY SINNERS HATE GOD paragraph 51 John, 15:25.--"They have hated me without a cause."

But let us look at this. Here are two systems; the one maintains that infants have no moral character at all, until they have committed actual transgression. That their first moral actions are invariably sinful, but that previous to moral action they are neither sinful nor holy. That as they have no moral character they deserve neither praise nor blame; neither life nor death at the hand of God. God might annihilate them without injustice, or he may bestow upon them eternal life as a free and unearned gift.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON VI. WHY SINNERS HATE GOD paragraph 52 John, 15:25.--"They have hated me without a cause."

The other system maintains that infants have a sinful nature which they have inherited from Adam. The scriptures maintain that all who are ever saved of the human family, must be saved by grace; and those who maintain the system that the nature of infants is itself sinful, suppose that upon their system alone is it possible to ascribe the salvation of infants, who die before actual transgression to grace. But let us for a few moments examine these systems. Grace is evidently used in different senses in the Bible. It is sometimes synonymous with holiness. To grow in grace, is to grow in holiness. Its most common import seems to be that of unmerited favor. It is sometimes used in a wider sense, and includes the idea of mercy or forgiveness. Now, when infants die previous to actual transgression, it is impossible to ascribe their salvation to grace, in any other sense, than that of undeserved, or unearned favor. If they have never sinned, it is impossible that they should be saved by grace, if we include in the term grace, the idea of mercy or forgiveness. To assert that a child can be pardoned for having a sinful nature, is to talk ridiculous nonsense: and it is only in the sense of undeserved favor, excluding the idea of mercy or pardon, that an infant, dying before actual transgression, can be said to be saved by grace. In this sense, his salvation is by grace. He has never earned eternal life; he has never done anything, by which he has laid God under any obligation to save him, and God might, without any injustice, annihilate him. But if it please him for the sake of Christ, as I fully believe it does, to confer eternal life upon one whom he might without any injustice annihilate, it is conferring upon him infinite favor. But let us look at the other system for a moment. This denies that infants have a sinful nature, and rejects the monstrous dogma that God has created the nature sinful, and then pretends to save the infant from a nature of his own creation by grace, as if the infant deserved damnation for being what God made it. Those that hold this scheme insist that there is as much grace in the salvation of infants, upon their view of the subject, as upon the impossible dogma of a sinful nature. The fact is, that the very existence of the whole race of man, is a mere matter of grace; having reference to the atonement of Jesus Christ. Had it not been for the contemplated atonement, Adam and Eve would have been sent to hell at once, and never have had any posterity. The race could never have existed. There never could have been any infants, or adults (Adam and Eve excepted,) had it not been for the grace of Christ in interposing in behalf of man by his atonement. it was doubtless in anticipation of this, and on account of it, that Adam and Eve were spared and the sentence of the law not instantly executed upon them. Now every infant owes its very existence to the grace of God in Jesus Christ, and if it dies previous to actual transgression, it is just as absolutely indebted to Christ for eternal life, as if it had been the greatest sinner on earth. On neither of these schemes, does the grace which saves infants include the idea of pardon - but on both of them they are saved by grace, inasmuch as they owe their very existence to the atonement of Christ; and in both cases are delivered from circumstances under which it is certain had they lived to form a moral character, they would have sinned, and deserved eternal death. To think, therefore, of objecting to the view of depravity that I have given in these discourses, that it denies the grace of God in the salvation of infants, is either to misconceive, or willfully to misrepresent the sentiments that I have advocated. I desire to ask, and I wish that it may be answered, if it can be; wherein there is any more grace displayed in the salvation of infants, upon the one system than upon the other. Will it be said that if the nature of infants be sinful, grace must change their nature, and that there is this difference; that although in neither case does the infant need a pardon, yet in the one case his nature needs to be changed, and not in the other? But if his nature needs to be changed. I deny that this is an act of grace; if God has made his nature wrong and incapable of performing any but sinful actions, he is bound to change it. It is consummate trifling to call this grace - to cause a being to come into existence with a sinful or defective nature and then call it grace to alter this nature and make it as it should have been at first, is to trifle with serious things and talk deceitfully for God.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON VI. WHY SINNERS HATE GOD paragraph 58 John, 15:25.--"They have hated me without a cause."

9th. This conduct in sinners is infinitely blame worthy and deserves eternal death. It is impossible to conceive of guilt more deep and damning than that of sinners under the Gospel. They sin under circumstances so peculiar, than their guilt is more aggravated than that of devils. Devils have broken the law and so have you sinners. But devils never rejected the Gospel. They have been guilty of rebellion and so have you. But they have never rejected the offer of pardon and spurned, as with their feet, the offer of eternal life through the atoning blood of the Son of God. If you sinners do not deserve eternal death, I cannot conceive that there is a devil in hell that deserves it. And yet, strange to tell, sinners often speak as if it were doubtful whether they deserve to be damned.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON VII. GOD CANNOT PLEASE SINNERS paragraph 4 Luke, 7:31-35--"And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept. For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! But wisdom is justified of all her children."

It would seem, as if God designed, in his dealings with men, to leave them without excuse. He uses such a variety of instrumentality to reclaim and save them, that it appears as if he meant to try every possible means of winning them away from death, that he may give them eternal life.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON X. DOCTRINE OF ELECTION paragraph 28 Ephesians, 1:45.--"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will."

I will not take up your time in multiplying passages of Scripture; scarcely any doctrine of the Bible is more abundantly and unequivocally taught than this. Much ingenuity has been exercised in explaining these passages so as to show that they do not teach election as I have stated it. But the manner in which the attempts to explain this doctrine away have uniformly terminated, has fully demonstrated that it cannot be explained away, and that the doctrine as it lies upon the face of the Scriptures is that contained in the proposition I have stated, viz. that a part of mankind are chosen to eternal life and salvation.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON X. DOCTRINE OF ELECTION paragraph 42 Ephesians, 1:45.--"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will."

Moreover he asks, what more could I have done for my vineyard that I have not done. If God does not save all men, it must be because all cannot consistently be saved. That the salvation of all men would require such a change in the administration of his government as would upon the whole do more hurt than good in the universe. For if the salvation of all men would upon the whole be wise, most for the glory of God, and for the best interests of his kingdom, we may rest assured that all men would be saved. But it is a matter of fact, that the conversion of all men would require a very different arrangement and administration of the divine government from that which we now experience, in order to bring sufficient moral influence to bear upon this world, to turn all men to God. It is easy to see also, that this change in the administration of the divine government might in many ways so disarrange the concerns of the universe, of the worlds that roll around his throne, as upon the whole to do more hurt than good. It also follows, that if any part of mankind are saved, it is because God can wisely save them. That in the best possible administration of his government he can bring sufficient moral influence to bear upon them to convert them. It is a contradiction to say that the same amount of moral influence can be brought to bear upon every individual of the human family. It would be the same as to say, that every individual could be in circumstances in all respects, precisely similar. But this is a natural impossibility. The elect then must be those whom God foresaw could be converted under the wisest administration of his government. That administering it in a way that would be most beneficial to all worlds, exerting such an amount of moral influence on every individual, as would result upon the whole, in the greatest good to his divine kingdom, he foresaw that certain individuals could with this wisest amount of moral influence be reclaimed and sanctified, and for this reason they were chosen to eternal life. By this we are not to understand that he foresaw that some men would be better by nature than others, and that because on this account they could be more easily turned to God; but that upon the whole they would be so circumstanced that it would be wise in God, in the administration of his government, to bring sufficient moral influence to bear upon them to subdue their opposition, and to save their souls.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON X. DOCTRINE OF ELECTION paragraph 44 Ephesians, 1:45.--"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will."

The apostle says it was before the world began, or from eternity. It must have been when the plan of the divine government was settled in his mind, and the present mode of administration concluded upon. Some suppose that men are not elected until they are converted, and confound their election with their conversion. But this is neither reasonable nor scriptural. Christ will say to his saints in the judgment day; "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;" and certainly it is unreasonable to suppose that an unchangeable God has changed his mind in regard to an individual, and made a new choice, and elected him to eternal life when he sees that he is converted.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON X. DOCTRINE OF ELECTION paragraph 50 Ephesians, 1:45.--"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will."

The choice of some to eternal life, on the ground that they can be converted under the wisest administration of government, is by no means throwing any difficulty in the way of the conversion of the non-elect; for with them God uses all the means that are consistent with wisdom to reclaim and save them. The conversion of the elect, instead of being an obstacle in the way, is a powerful inducement to the non-elect to turn and live. The conversion of the elect, sustaining such relations as they do to the multitudes of the non-elect, is among the most powerful motives that could be presented for the conversion of the non-elect.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON X. DOCTRINE OF ELECTION paragraph 56 Ephesians, 1:45.--"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will."

Knowing as I do that the carnal mind is enmity against God; that men are utterly opposed to the way of salvation; that they hate the Gospel, and all the efforts that are made to save them; what encouragement should I have to preach the Gospel, were it not that I know that God has chosen some to eternal life, and that many or all my hearers may be of this number; and that his providence has collected you here, with a design to reach you with the arrows of his truth. It is this consideration alone that can afford any ground for encouragement to hold forth in your heaving the word of life.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON X. DOCTRINE OF ELECTION paragraph 60 Ephesians, 1:45.--"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will."

I. Foreknowledge and election are not inconsistent with free agency, but are founded upon it. The elect were chosen to eternal life, because God foresaw that in perfect exercise of their freedom, they could be induced to repent and embrace the Gospel.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON X. DOCTRINE OF ELECTION paragraph 63 Ephesians, 1:45.--"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will."

IV. This doctrine lays no foundation for a controversy with God. But on the other hand it does lay a broad foundation for gratitude, both on the part of the elect and the non-elect. The elect certainly have great reason for thankfulness that they are thus distinguished. Oh what a thought, to have your name written in the book of life, to be chosen of God an heir of eternal salvation, to be adopted into his family, to be destined to enjoy his presence, and to bathe your soul in the boundless ocean of his love forever and ever. Nor are the non-elect without obligations of thankfulness. You ought to be grateful if any of your brethren of the human family are saved. If all were lost, God would be just. And if any of your neighbors or friends, or any of this dying world receive the gift of eternal life, you ought to be grateful and render everlasting thanks to God.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON X. DOCTRINE OF ELECTION paragraph 69 Ephesians, 1:45.--"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will."

Lastly, God requires you to give all diligence to make your calling and election sure. In choosing his elect, you must understand, that he has thrown the responsibility of their being saved upon them, that the whole is suspended upon their consent to the terms; you are all perfectly able to give your consent, and this moment to lay hold on eternal life. Irrespective of your own choice no election can save you, and no reprobation can damn you. The spirit and the bride say Come, let him that heareth say Come, let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will, let him take the waters of life freely. The responsibility is yours. God does all that he wisely can, and challenges you to show what more he could do that he has not done. If you go to hell, you must go stained with your own blood. God is clear, angels are clear. To your own master your stand or fall; mercy waits, the Spirit strives; Jesus stands at the door and knocks; do not then pervert this doctrine, and make it an occasion of stumbling till you are in the depth of hell.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON XI. REPROBATION paragraph 37 Jeremiah, 6:30.--"Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the lord hath rejected them."

1st. As it respects God, from eternity. But as it respects men they are reprobated when they become refuse and good for nothing. As God knew from eternity how every event would be; how every sinner in the universe would behave himself--as this was always present to his mind as much as it ever will be--his decision upon it all, must have been from eternity just what it always will be. So far as the making up of his own mind is concerned, he needs only to have all the evidence in the case, and this he has always had, as much as he ever will have. If, at the day of judgment, he will see cause to reprobate them, and send them to hell, he has always seen this cause, and always been of one mind upon this subject. But so far as the reprobates themselves are concerned, they become reprobates when they pertinaciously, and finally refuse to accept eternal life on the terms of the Gospel. The doctrine of reprobation is just like the doctrine of election, in this respect, as existing in the mind of God; like all other purposes of the Divine mind, it is eternal. He has no new thoughts, nor new knowledge, nor purposes, nor designs. But as it respects us, reprobation is just like election, conditional, a contingency. It is just so on every other subject; man's life and death are all fixed, and his days are numbered. God has set the bounds of his habitation that he cannot pass, and all the circumstances of his life and death are settled; yet, who does not know that the time of every man's death, so far as he himself is concerned, is a matter of entire contingency; that his days may be lengthened or shortened by his own conduct; that years, and scores of years, may be added to, or subtracted from his life, through the instrumentality of his own agency. The fact of its being settled in the mind of God does not alter the contingency with regard to us. It is to us just as much a matter of contingency as if neither God nor any being in the universe had any fore-knowledge of the event. So in regard to our salvation or damnation; although God is perfectly acquainted with what the result will be, still the event is to us, just as contingent and just as much suspended upon our own voluntary agency, as if God knew nothing about it. The event alone develops to us what was before a certainty in the mind of God.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON XI. REPROBATION paragraph 46 Jeremiah, 6:30.--"Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the lord hath rejected them."

Is it not just in God to let men have their own choice, especially when the highest possible motives are held out to them as inducements to choose eternal life? What! is it not just to reprobate men when they obstinately refuse salvation? When every thing has been done that is consistent with infinite wisdom and benevolence to save them? Shall not men be willing to be either saved or lost? What shall God do with you? You are unwilling to be saved; why then should you object to being damned. If reprobation under these circumstances is not just, I challenge you, sinner, to tell what is just.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON XI. REPROBATION paragraph 72 Jeremiah, 6:30.--"Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the lord hath rejected them."

4. Reprobates are bound to praise God. He has created and given you many blessings, sinners, and offers you eternal life; and will you refuse to praise him?

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON XI. REPROBATION paragraph 82 Jeremiah, 6:30.--"Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the lord hath rejected them."

You only show that you are determined to harden your hearts, and resist God, and thus compel the holy Lord God to reject you. There is no doctrine of the Bible that can save you, if you persevere in sin, and none that can damn you, if you repent and embrace the Gospel. The blood of Christ flows freely. The fountain is open Sinner, what say you? Will you have eternal life? will you have it now, or will you reject it? Will you trample the law under foot, and stumble over the Gospel to the depths of hell?

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE I - True and False Conversions paragraph 43

     They may both love Christ. The true convert loves His character; the deceived person thinks He will save him from hell, and give him eternal life, and why should he not love Him?

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE I - True and False Conversions paragraph 59

     19. They may both be willing to suffer martyrdom. Read the lives of the martyrs, and you will have no doubt that some were willing to suffer, from a wrong idea of the rewards of martyrdom, and would rush upon their own destruction because they were persuaded it was the sure road to eternal life.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE I - True and False Conversions paragraph 68

     5. If you are selfish in religion, your enjoyments will be chiefly from anticipation. The true saint already enjoys the peace of God, and has heaven begun in his soul. He has not merely the prospect of it, but eternal life actually begun in him. He has that faith which is the very substance of things hoped for. Nay, he has the very feelings of heaven in him. He anticipates joys higher in degree, but the same in kind. He knows that he has heaven begun in him, and is not obliged to wait till he dies to taste the joys of eternal life. His enjoyment is in proportion to his holiness, and not in proportion to his hope.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE II - True Submission paragraph 28

     And again he says, "There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, but he shall receive a hundred-fold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come, eternal life." Here some people may stumble, and say, There is a reward held out as a motive. But, mark! What are you to do? Forsake self for the sake of a reward to self? No; but to forsake self for the sake of Christ and His gospel; and the consequence will be as stated. Here is the important distinction.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE III - Selfishness not True Religion paragraph 16

     Thus, the Bible tells us "Labor not for the meat that perisheth, but for that which endureth unto everlasting life." This teaches that we are not to regard or value our temporal interests at all, in comparison with eternal life.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE VI - Sanctification by Faith paragraph 21

     When obedience to the law is held forth to the sinner as the condition of life, immediately it sets him upon making self-righteous efforts. In almost every instance, the first effort of the awakened sinner is to obey the law. He thinks he must first make himself better, in some way, before he may embrace the gospel. He has no idea of the simplicity of the gospel plan of salvation by faith, offering eternal life as a mere gratuitous gift. Alarm the sinner with the penalty of the law, and he naturally, and by the very laws of his mind, sets himself to do better, to amend his life, and in some self-righteous manner obtain eternal life, under the influence of slavish fear. And the more the law presses him, the greater are his pharisaical efforts, while hope is left to him, that if he obeys he may be accepted. What else could you expect of him? He is purely selfish, and though he ought to submit at once to God, yet, as he does not understand the gospel terms of salvation, and his mind is of course first turned to the object of getting away from the danger of the penalty, he tries to get up to heaven some other way. I do not believe there is an instance in history, of a man who has submitted to God, until he has seen that salvation must be by faith, and that his own self-righteous strivings have no tendency to save him.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE VI - Sanctification by Faith paragraph 29

     The believer in the gospel plan of salvation finds salvation, full and complete, including both sanctification and eternal life, already prepared; and instead of being driven to the life of a Pharisee in religion, of laborious and exhausting effort, he receives it as a free gift, a mere gratuity, and is now left free to exercise disinterested benevolence, and to live and labor for the salvation of others, leaving his own soul unreservedly to Christ.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE X - Way of Salvation paragraph 9

     Salvation includes several things; sanctification, justification, and eternal life and glory. The two prime ideas, are sanctification and justification. Sanctification is the purifying of the mind, or making it holy. Justification relates to the manner in which we are accepted and treated by God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 6 TABLE OF CONTENTS ...

Lecture I. Eternal Life>Eternal Life

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 41 41 Lecture I. Eternal Life ...

Eternal Life>
Eternal Life
Lecture I
January 1, 1839

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 43 41 Lecture I. Eternal Life ...

Text.--I John 5:10,11: "He that believeth on the Son of God, hath the witness in himself; he that believeth not God, hath made him a liar, Because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 44 41 Lecture I. Eternal Life ...

In discoursing upon this subject, the following is the order in which I intend to direct your thoughts:

I. Show what we are to understand by eternal life.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 45 41 Lecture I. Eternal Life ...

II. That Jesus Christ is the eternal life of the soul.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 46 41 Lecture I. Eternal Life ...

III. That God has given eternal life to all mankind, entirely irrespective of their knowledge or consent.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 48 41 Lecture I. Eternal Life ...

V. Whosoever believes on the Son of God, or receives this gift, has the witness in himself, or knows that he has eternal life by his own consciousness.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 49 41 Lecture I. Eternal Life ...


I. I am to show what we are to understand by eternal life.

1. Not merely eternal existence. This is implied in eternal life, but does not constitute it. Death, as used in the scriptures, or in common language, does not mean annihilation. Nor does life mean mere existence.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 50 41 Lecture I. Eternal Life ...

2. Not merely exemption from eternal death or punishment. This, also, is implied in, but does not constitute eternal life.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 51 41 Lecture I. Eternal Life ...

3. Not merely eternal happiness. All these are implied, and included in eternal life, but are not the principal thing intended by it.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 52 41 Lecture I. Eternal Life ...

4. But this life is the contrast, or opposite of that death in "trespasses and sins," in which mankind are said to be, by nature. Life is the opposite of death. If we can, therefore, understand what the Scriptures mean by death, as applied to the mind, we can ascertain what that life is which is brought to light in the gospel. Death, as applied to the mind, in the Scriptures, is a state of entire sinfulness--of total depravity, and alienation from God. Eph. 2:1, the Apostle addressing those who had been converted, says; "And you HATH HE QUICKENED, who were dead in trespasses and sins." And in the fifth verse again, he says: "Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved.") In Col. 2:13, he says, "And you being dead in your sins, and in the uncircumcision of your flesh hath he quickened, together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses." And in Eph. 5:14, he says, "Wherefore he saith, Awake thou, that sleepest, and rise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." These, and other similar passages, show what is meant by the death which is the contrast of that life, which in the text, is said to be given in Christ. This life includes exemption from eternal punishment, together with eternal happiness. But the great and leading thing implied, is salvation from sin, or perfect and eternal holiness. Hence it is said in the very beginning of the gospel, Matt. 1:21, "Thou shalt call his name JESUS, for he shall save his people from their sins." And He is everywhere in the gospel represented as a Savior from sin.

II. I am to show that Jesus Christ is the eternal life of the soul.

1. This is shown by the text.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 53 41 Lecture I. Eternal Life ...

2. By John 11:25: "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the LIFE, he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he LIVE." This text establishes the same point. In Col. 3:4, it is directly asserted, "When Christ, who is our LIFE, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." In 1 John 1:1 he is called the "Word of LIFE." And in 1 John 5:12, it is said, "He that hath the Son, hath LIFE, and he that hath not the Son, hath not LIFE." That He is the eternal life of the soul, is evident from John 5:40; "And ye will not come to me that ye might have LIFE." And also from John 6:33, and onward, "For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth LIFE unto the world." " Then said they unto him, Lord evermore give us this bread."--"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of LIFE; he that cometh to me, shall never hunger, and he that believeth in me shall never thirst." Again, in the 48th verse and onward, He says, "I am that bread of LIFE." "Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead." "This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die." "I am the LIVING bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall LIVE forever, and the bread that I will give him is my flesh, that I will give for the LIFE of the world."

"The Jews, therefore, strove among themselves, saying, how can this man give us his flesh to eat?" "Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no LIFE in you.--"Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, HATH ETERNAL LIFE; and I will raise him up at the last day." "For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed." "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 56 41 Lecture I. Eternal Life ...

"It is the Spirit that QUICKENETH; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are LIFE." His disciples supposed Him to speak of His material body, and blood--but in these verses he informs them that it was His divine nature which came down from heaven, and that constituted the bread and blood of which He spake, and of which, if they ate and drank, they should have eternal life. I need not multiply passages of scripture. You who read your Bibles, know that Christ is everywhere represented as "the resurrection and the LIFE," as "the way, the truth, and the LIFE," as "the bread and water of eternal LIFE," as the "fountain of LIVING waters," and in a vast variety of ways, this truth is taught throughout the Scripture.

III. I am to show that God has given eternal life to all mankind, entirely irrespective of their knowledge or consent.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 57 41 Lecture I. Eternal Life ...

By this, I do not mean that they have received, or are actually put in possession of eternal life, or if they remain in unbelief, that they ever will be put in possession of it, but that an act is passed conferring on them pardon, and eternal life. In proof that this gift must be irrespective of our believing it, I remark, that whatever is to be believed, must be true, independent of our belief. If the truth of a proposition depended upon our believing it, then we should be under the necessity of believing it before it was true, which would be an absurdity. Every truth of the gospel which is an object of faith, is true, whether we believe it or not. Were it not so, we could not be required to believe it. It must, therefore, be true that God has given eternal life to all who are under any obligation to believe the gospel. The text represents the unbeliever as making God a liar, "because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son." "And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal LIFE, and this life is in his Son." Now, is the unbeliever to believe that God has given to others, eternal life, and exclude himself, or is he to believe himself to be included in the gift of eternal life. If by us,"he is to include himself with the rest of mankind, then it must be true that eternal life was given him before he believed or received it. Did the gift belong only to those that believe, and that, too, after they believe? How, then, should our unbelief make God a liar? This gift must extend to all for whom Christ died. In John 1:29, he is called the "Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." In John 3:16,17, it is said, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved." In John 4:42, he is again called the "Saviour of the world." In John 6:33, he is represented as "giving life to the world," and in the 51st verse, the same fact is declared, "and the bread which I will give, is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world." In Heb. 2:9, it is said, "We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for EVERY man." These, and many other passages that might be quoted, show that this gift respects all mankind.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 59 41 Lecture I. Eternal Life ...

The gift is absolute, without any other conditions than those necessarily implied in the bequest. If I give a man anything, the condition is always implied, that he receive it. The gift on my part may be absolute, and the condition, if not expressed, is always implied in the very nature of the case. A father may make a will, and bequeath his estate to an heir; but in this bequest, this condition is implied, that he receive it. The gift is an absolute gift, which may be received or rejected, at the pleasure of the heir. Now, faith is a necessary condition of the Gospel. It is naturally impossible that an unbelieving mind should accept, or receive the gift of eternal life. The gift is holiness. Holiness is love and active obedience. Unbelief is distrust. Faith is trust or confidence--that confidence of the heart that works by love. Faith is the yielding up the soul to the influence and truth of Christ. And thus Christ is represented as being our sanctification. Not our sanctifier, as if he made us holy in ourselves, and left us to obey, in the exercise of our uninfluenced and unaided powers. When he is said to be our life--"our sanctification," the "bread of life," --the "vine of which we are branches"--I suppose these, and such like expressions, all mean the same thing, viz: that Christ is the perpetual author of all our holy feelings and actions. Faith is that act of the mind that submits to the control of Christ and of the truth. It is the receiving of Christ as an indwelling Savior--it is that opening of the door of the heart spoken of in the Scripture, and receiving Christ as an indwelling and reigning king. Thus in Eph. 3:17, Christ is represented as "dwelling in the heart by faith," and in many other passages, he is represented as dwelling in the heart, and faith is represented as the door by which he enters. It is, as I have already said, the voluntary receiving of the divine influence of Christ, and of his truth into the mind. It is the yielding of our voluntary powers to his divine control. Hence he is represented as dwelling in us--which I suppose to be really and literally true--that by his Spirit he is personally present with the mind, and by his truth and persuasive influences, controlling, guiding, and directing it. Now distrust or unbelief rejects His teaching--refuses to receive, and be guided, and molded by truth; while faith receiving the divine communication, surrenders the will, and all the powers to his entire control. So that he is our sanctification, i.e. he does not change our nature, so that we become good in ourselves--so that we have life in ourselves, apart from him. But as it is said in Colossians, [3:3-4,] "Our life is hid with Christ in God, and when he who is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory." He is the life, or the holiness of the soul; it is his presence and agency that produces holiness in us; and this holiness continues no longer, and extends no farther, than the divine agency that produces it. By this, I do not mean that we are passive in holiness, or that we receive his holiness or righteousness by imputation; but that we actually become partakers of his holiness, and of his life, by the voluntary surrender of our powers to his control. Nor by controlling our powers, do I mean that our own agency is, in any sense, suspended. Our own agency is never more freely and fully exercised, than when under the divine influence of Christ. His influences are moral, i.e. persuasive only, else they could not be received by faith. It were absurd to speak of receiving a physical or compulsory influence by faith. Nor, in the nature of the case, can eternal life, although absolutely given, and left at the option of every man, be received in any other way, than by simple faith. This gift is entirely irrespective of works of any kind on our own part. Nor do works of law, or any other kind of works, bring us any nearer the reception of it. Faith alone receives it. Unbelief alone rejects it.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 60 41 Lecture I. Eternal Life ...

V. I am to show that, whosoever believes on the Son of God, or receives this gift, has the witness within HIMSELF, or knows that he has eternal life by his own consciousness.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 61 41 Lecture I. Eternal Life ...

This is expressly affirmed in the text. And I might quote various other passages to the same effect--but would observe, that as eternal life consists in holiness, it must be a subject of consciousness. Holiness is supreme love. Now of what can we be conscious, if not of the supreme affection of the mind? Is it possible that any of you should love God supremely, and not be conscious of it? Many persons hope that they love God, and hope that they have eternal life; but if they would consider that eternal life is holiness, and that nothing short of supreme love is holiness, they would know at once that if any man believes, he has the witness in himself--the testimony of his own consciousness, which is the highest and best possible evidence. Now if any of you have not this evidence, the witness of your own consciousness, I beg of you to put away your hope and your talk about eternal life. For what is a life worth which is not a matter of consciousness?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 63 41 Lecture I. Eternal Life ...

1. From what has been said, every one of you must know whether you have eternal life. Can you say with Paul "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me?" "And the life which I now live, I live by faith on the Son of God?" Do you know that you live in love, and walk in love?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 64 41 Lecture I. Eternal Life ...

2. You who do not believe, and thus receive eternal life, are making God a liar. How horrible it would sound were the language of your unbelief put into words!

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 65 41 Lecture I. Eternal Life ...

3. You see, from this subject the great mistake of those who suppose if persons were wholly sanctified they would have no further need of Christ. You who think thus, overlook the fact that Christ is the eternal life of the soul. The difference between those who are wholly, and those who are partially sanctified, is, that the former are made to feel, continually, their entire dependence upon God--that "in him they live, and move, and have their being" that without him they are absolutely dead in "trespasses and sins"--that every spiritual breath they breathe, and pulse they tell, is from his influence. They know they have not, and never expect to have any life but in him, any more than the vine has life when severed from the branch. Constant faith receives the tide of eternal life as it flows continually from Christ; in other words, it receives a continual influence, and the constant leadings and guidings of the Spirit of Christ. Whereas, they that are but partially sanctified, have so illy learned their dependence, as sometimes to look to Christ, and at other times to turn away and depend upon the exercise of their own unaided powers.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 66 41 Lecture I. Eternal Life ...

4. If God has given to us eternal life, why should we not enter into, and take possession of it? The gift is absolute; our elder brother, the Lord Jesus Christ, has it in possession, and holds it as a trustee, or surety, or guardian, and invites and continually urges us to accept it. And why, with such an inheritance as this, should we go about like swine, and wallow in the filth of sin, instead of at once entering upon our inheritance, and taking hold of the fulness of gospel salvation? Take hold, at once. Christ, your elder brother, has in possession, this eternal life. Believe in Him--believe now, at once, without any preparatory process whatever. Believe the record "that God hath given to us, eternal life, and this life is in his Son," and you shall now enter into the rest of faith.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 650 634 Lecture X. Carefulness A Sin ...

5. Because it is highly injurious to yourself. I beseech you to reflect upon your past history. Have you not found, in multitudes of instances, that this kind of carefulness was a real obstruction to your worldly business? And have you not found that the more you indulged this state of mind, the more embarrassed and perplexed your secular affairs became? And no wonder, for in this state you are in some sense a maniac, and not qualified to manage business of any kind. How many persons there are, who, instead of keeping calm, and preserving a state of mind, in which they can act with discretion and wisdom, will become so filled with carefulness as to incapacitate themselves for superintending their affairs with discretion; and they wonder, that, after all their attention, and carefulness, and anxiety they do not succeed any better. They seem to think that the providence of God is wholly adverse, and is designed to perplex them, while in reality nothing uncommon has happened in the providence of God; and their foolish and wicked carefulness is that to which they may ascribe their failure.

It is just so in matters of religion. Multitudes suffer themselves, in the peevishness of their unbelief, to be so distracted and confounded with carefulness about their spiritual state, or the spiritual state of those around them, that they are forever whining, complaining, and murmuring, as if it were the most difficult matter in the world to persuade God to be good, and kind, and gracious. They seem to act as if it were as difficult a matter to get hold of the grace of God, as to be saved by the law. And not withstanding all the declarations in regard to the freeness of gospel salvation, it would seem as if they supposed the wells of salvation were infinitely deep, and their waters infinitely beyond their reach; and the promises of eternal life were infinitely high above their heads. Indeed, they are in that state of mind, that from its own nature excludes the grace of the gospel, and sets aside all the promises of God. Now let me ask, did you ever find that this kind of carefulness has resulted in any thing else than evil to your own souls? Why then indulge in it? Persons in this state are very apt to think their circumstances, and condition deserve commiseration. They look around for sympathy, and pity; and often secretly blame God for not pitying them, when they have so carefully sought him. Now this is a state of horrible rebellion against God. Here is an ocean of the waters of eternal life, flowing at your feet--here is a table spread before you with infinite provisions for your souls, and as free as the heart of God, and yet you stand and distress yourself, and complain, and are filled with vast cares, and anxieties, lest you should lose your soul--starving, thirsting, dying with these provisions and waters of eternal life before you. Precious soul, lay aside your carefulness, I beseech you, and believe, or you must perish.

6. Because your carefulness is a great stumbling block and injury to those around you. Are they professors of religion--they are emboldened to exercise this same temper because they see it in you. Are they impenitent sinners--they wonder what religion is good for. They see you fretted with the same cares and anxieties that others are who have no hope in Christ. What inference can they draw from witnessing your state, only that religion is a name that has no consolation or salvation in it.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 759 677 Lecture XI. & XII The Promises- No.'s 1 - 5 ...

Now by what rule of biblical interpretation can this conclusion be denied or evaded?

11. The Old Covenant was the ministration of death, but the New of righteousness and life. 2 Cor. 3:6-16: "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the Spirit: for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses, for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away; how shall not the ministration of the Spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. Seeing, then, that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: and not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away." Here we have the two covenants beautifully contrasted by the Apostle--the Old as working spiritual death, and ending in eternal death--the New as consisting in righteousness and eternal life.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 1213 1195 Lecture XXI. & XXII. Grieving the Holy Spirit- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

3. The reading of light and trifling publications grieves the Holy Spirit. Woman, Man, dare you spend an hour in defiling your mind with some vain novel or foolish story, when so much truth of infinite weight and importance urges your investigation and instant attention? Can Jesus Christ--can eternal life and death--can the glory of God and the salvation of the souls of men--can the commandments of God be solemnly weighed--can the blood, and groans, and mercy of Calvary be duly considered, when novels and plays and frivolous reading have gotten possession of your mind? O! you poor, wicked, helpless, loathsome, miserable sinner, what do you mean? No matter whether you are a professor of religion or not. You are a miserable sinner before God, and the law of your own conscience, if you spend your time in such reading. What is your name? Let me visit your chamber, your parlor, or wherever you keep your books. What is here? Byron, Scott and Shakespeare, and a host of triflers and blasphemers of God, and despisers of the Holy Ghost. Are these your companions--these the spirits with whom you commune--this the way in which you spend your time? And you a professor of religion? Do you not know that you are a great hypocrite to neglect your Bible and communion with the Holy Spirit, and give your mind up to communion with such earthly, sensual and devilish works as these?

But do you say I do not profess to be a Christian? Then I reply, you are never likely to be a Christian in such company. You might as well expect to be weaned from habits of intoxication by sitting in the barroom with drunkards or while holding communion with a pipe of brandy, as to expect to become religious surrounded with such companions as these.

4. Vain conversation grieves the Holy Spirit. Christ says, "Let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay, for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." "And, for every idle word that men shall speak they shall give an account thereof in the judgment." In the chapter of which the text is a part, the Apostle warns Christians not to be guilty of "vain conversation and foolish jesting." Would you spend your time in vain and idle conversation, if you knew you had but one hour to live? And perhaps you have not. But suppose you have, are your circumstances those in which it becomes an immortal being to spend his time in vain conversation? Do you not know that God is listening to every word you say? He is pouring the blaze of his eye through your inmost soul, as if he would speak out and rebuke you. Why are you not using your conversational powers in instructing those around you in the way of life? Perhaps those of your own household, and your nearest friends need to be reproved and warned, exhorted and instructed in regard to their salvation. Professor of religion, how do you spend your time, when in the midst of your impenitent friends, and what is your conversation when in the midst of professing Christians? I beg of you to answer to your own heart and to God. And if you doubt just how you appear to them, will you show them this sermon, and ask them to read this paragraph and then give their candid opinion of what you ought to think of yourself and of your conversation? Now if your conversation has hitherto been vain and trifling or useless, and in any way unbecoming in a Christian, will you immediately repent and confess to those before whom you have laid a stumbling block--confess to the Holy Ghost whom you have grieved, and beseech him to forgive you, and return and take up his dwelling in your heart?

But perhaps you are not a professor of religion. Then I ask, Why are you not? And I add that you probably never will be, unless you make a false profession, if you are in the habit of indulging in vain conversation. Do you expect the Holy Spirit to strive with you, and wait upon you day after day, month after month, and year after year, while you keep up your incessant and senseless babble, regardless of his solemn presence, his awful holiness, and of his great and infinite love and desire to get your serious attention that he may save you?

5. Too much study, I mean too much mental application to those arts and sciences that have no direct reference to the sanctification of your souls, grieves the Holy Spirit. This is particularly a sin of students, into which they are sometimes betrayed by ambition, and into which, at other times, they are almost crowded by their teachers. Their whole mind is swallowed up from day to day in literary and scientific pursuits to the neglect of the solemn calls, and warnings, and strivings of the Holy Spirit. So did not James B. Taylor. With him it was the first and principal thing to obey the calls of the Holy Spirit. This was his determination, and a practical adherence to this rule was the secret of all his piety.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 598 552 Lecture XII. Blessedness of Benevolence ...

15. We see what we should think of those who are unwilling to exercise any self-denial, for the sake of doing good to others. There is one man, who will not give up what he calls the temperate use of alcohol, for the sake of doing good. He contends, that it is lawful for him to use it moderately; that others have no right to make a stumbling-block of his use of it; and as for practising a little self-denial for the sake of the example, he will not do it. Here is a woman, who professes to love God supremely, and her neighbor as herself. She prays for the heathen, and thinks herself truly religious; and yet, she will not deny herself the use of tea and coffee, to save the heathen world from hell. The wail of eight hundred millions of human beings is coming upon every wind of heaven, crying out, "send us tracts, send us Bibles, send us missionaries, send us the means of eternal life; for we are dying in our sins." "But ah!" says these professing Christians, men and women-- "It is hard times; money is scarce; we are in debt; we must turn away our ears from hearing these wailings of woe." Now brother--sister--let me sit down at your table. What have you here? How much does this tea and coffee cost you a year? How much do these worse than useless articles of luxury curtail your ability to send the gospel to the perishing? My sister, how many Bibles and tracts have you used up in this way? How many Bibles, at five shillings each, might be sent by you to the heathen every year, were you willing to exercise a little self-denial, and that too, a self-denial which your own health and highest good demand? Brother, perhaps you use tobacco. How long have you used it? The price of how many Bibles does it cost you a year? And how many heathen might this day have had Bibles in their hands, who will now go down to hell, without ever hearing of the Savior, who might have had the Bible and eternal life, had you had one particle of benevolence in your heart? Will you make the calculation? Will you ask, how many Bibles and tracts might have been purchased by the money you have squandered in this manner? And will you settle the question, definitely, whether you are influenced by the love of God and of souls? Whether you eat and drink these things for the glory of God, or for the gratification of your own lust? Surely, the question is of no less importance, than whether benevolence or selfishness constitutes your character.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 688 665 Lecture XIV. Death to Sin ...

8. A death in sin implies a state of mind that is influenced by sensible objects, by the honors, riches, opinions, and things of this world as much as if its possessor expected to live here forever. Death to sin implies the giving up the world substantially as a dying man gives it up. Its riches, honors, amusements, pursuits, ambition, strifes, and envyings, what are all these to him? If he knows himself to be a dying man, he regards them not. He desires them not. He seeks them not. He does not, cannot, under these circumstances, will to have them. He chooses nothing of this world's goods, but those things that are really necessary for the few hours or moments which remain to him of this life. A little more breath--perhaps a few spoons full of water--a little of the kind attention of his friends are all that is left for him to desire of earthly good. Now death to sin implies this giving up all desire and expectation of the wealth, honors, and selfish pursuits of this world. The man who is dead to sin is as absolutely satisfied with a competency of earthly good as a man is who is on a bed of death. He would no sooner lay his schemes of earthly aggrandizement, or for enlarging and perpetuating his selfish gratification, than a man would upon a bed of death. In a word, he has given up the world as an object of pursuit, as really and emphatically as if he knew himself to be doomed to live but one hour. He has entered upon a new and eternal life. All his plans, desires, and aims are heavenly, and not earthly, sensual or devilish.

V. How this death is effected, or how persons may enter into and exercise this state of mind.

1. Not by the strength of your own resolutions. You will never die to sin by merely resolving to die to sin. It is one of the most common delusions among men to suppose that they can stand against temptation by the strength of their own resolutions. Peter thought himself able to follow Christ even unto death. But his resolution, like all mere human resolutions, failed him just when he most needed its support. A brother said to me the other day, "I have learned this of my resolutions; they are firm enough when there is nothing to overthrow them, and just when I do not need their support. But they always fail me when I do, just when I have a trial that demands their sustaining power, I find they are like air and good for nothing."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 762 754 Lecture XVI. Christians the Light of the World ...


I. The world is in great spiritual darkness.

1. Impenitent sinners are universally ignorant of the true God. Many of them may have a correct theory in some respects. But after all they know not God. To know God and Jesus Christ, is to have eternal life. And while in their sins, they have no correct apprehension of the true God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 768 754 Lecture XVI. Christians the Light of the World ...

7. Consequently they are pursuing exactly the course, that must eventually and necessarily result in their everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and the glory of his power.

II. Christians, under God, are to enlighten the world.

1. Because they have the true light. They know God. They understand the spirituality of his law. They know the character of man. They know his guilt, desert, helplessness, and necessities. They have seen their own ignorance, and know that the world is in darkness and lieth in wickedness. They have the most certain knowledge of this, and the best of all knowledge, that of their own experience. They also know the remedy for sinners. They have been enlightened by the true light. True Christians have all been taught of God. They know God and Jesus Christ, whom to know is life eternal. They are conscious of so knowing him as to have eternal life abiding in them. They can truly say, from their own consciousness, "Where as I was blind, now I see." They then are the persons, and the only persons in all the world, that are capable of enlightening the world. It is in vain for unconverted philosophers or statesmen, or any unconverted persons whatever to talk of enlightening the world. The light that is in them is great darkness. And when they talk of enlightening the world, they know not what they say, nor whereof they affirm. They speak at random, and deceive their followers. They are blind leaders of the blind, and they all stumble on together upon the dark mountains, till teachers and disciples fall into the pit of destruction together.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 844 808 Lecture XVII. & XVIII. Communion with God - No.'s 1 & 2 ...

IV. The value and importance of Communion with God.

1. Communion with God is just as important as the true knowledge of God. No man really and truly knows any thing of God, only as God reveals Himself personally to that soul. I do not mean, that He must make to him a revelation not made in the Bible; but God must make him feel and apprehend the real meaning of the Bible. "No man can say that Jesus is the Christ, save by the Holy Ghost." No man understands any thing more than the letter of the Bible, only as he has direct and personal communion with God. The Bible is to no man a revelation any further than God makes it a revelation to him. Without this personal and direct opening up the truths of the Bible to the soul, it is only "the letter that killeth." Bible truth is to him no revelation of God. It is but blindness, darkness, and mystery. This does not seem to be understood, even by the great body of the Church--that direct communion with God, the Holy Spirit explaining his own word, and making the Bible a direct and personal revelation to him. I say, it does not seem as if the Church understood that without this, no soul has the knowledge of the true God. Why it is said, that "to know God and Jesus Christ is eternal life." But do all know God and Jesus Christ, who have the Bible? Do all who read and even study the Bible know Jesus Christ, and have they eternal life? Surely not. None know God and Christ in such a sense as to have eternal life, unless He is directly and personally revealed to them, through the word, by the Holy Spirit. What vast and ruinous mistakes are in the Church upon this subject.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 848 808 Lecture XVII. & XVIII. Communion with God - No.'s 1 & 2 ...

My brother, my beloved brother, do you preach the spirit or the letter of the gospel? Are you a minister of the New or of the Old Testament? Be not offended, but let me come near, I pray you, and commune with you. Would you be useful to your fellow-men? Would you glorify God in all your ways? Are you useful to them? Does your fruit abound to the glory of God? Are you instrumental in watering their souls with the water of eternal life? Do you feed them with the bread of heaven? What is the state of the church to which you minister? What is the standard of their spirituality? Especially, how is it with those with whom you associate most, and over whom you have the most influence? Do you feed them with the "sincere milk of the word?"

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 920 875 Lecture XIX. Temptations Must Be Put Away ...

26. We see why so many, who admit the truth of the doctrine of entire sanctification in this life, do not practically embrace it. They have some idol with which they will not part. Their right hand and their right eye are so dear to them, that they will not spare them for the sake of eternal life. Especially, they will not do this, as from the common sentiments of the Church, they think they can get along very well without. They seem to reason thus: "We are about as good as common Christians, although to be sure, we are in the practice of many sins. The great mass of Christians do not believe that entire sanctification in this life is necessary or even attainable. We can, therefore, satisfy ourselves with but partial sanctification in this life, and still go to heaven. Why then should we throw away all our idols, merely for the sake of entire sanctification here, when partial sanctification will, in the judgment of the Church, and even of the ministers, do just as well. Now it is doubtful whether any such state is really attainable; and if it is, as I can get to heaven just as well without, I will not be so extravagantly foolish as to part with a right hand or a right eye, for the sake of being wholly without sin in this life." Now this seems to be a statement in words of the real, though unexpressed sentiments, of many professors of religion. The truth is, they are unwilling to give up their sins, and they resolve, if possible, to get into heaven without. Let such hear the words of Christ: "If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if they right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 52 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

2. Many deceive themselves, by confounding emotion with the heart or will. Emotions, or what are commonly called feelings, are involuntary states of mind, and are necessarily excited in the sensibility whenever the thoughts are intensely occupied with those considerations which are calculated in their nature to produce such feelings. Now these feelings or emotions are very commonly understood to be identical with the heart. Whereas they are no more the heart than the conscience is the heart. And their existence is no more certain evidence of piety than the convictions and remonstrances of conscience are evidences of piety. Any kind or degree of emotion may exist in the mind, while the heart is entirely selfish. Submission belongs, as I have already said, to the will, or heart. And when the emotions are confounded with the heart there is a ruinous delusion. And this accounts for the fact that so many persons mistake mere excitement for religion. While in all their business transactions they are supremely selfish, they nevertheless can maintain a hope of eternal life. Under strongly exciting preaching, circumstances, or measures, they find themselves strongly excited, and exercised with deep emotion. They call these feelings the feelings of their heart, and thus take it for granted, that their hearts are changed; while all their lives demonstrate, that their hearts are supremely selfish.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 70 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

3. No man has salvation, therefore, who is not really saved; that is--any farther than his will is subdued to the will of God. In this salvation consists; and it is in vain to talk about salvation, while that in which it consists is overlooked. Many persons entertain the hope of salvation, who self-evidently are not saved, and who, so far as human observation can go, are not likely to be saved. They are continually fretted and annoyed by the providences of God, and are never happy any farther than the providence of God favors their selfish schemes. Every thing else but vexes and displeases them. If the weather is not just as they would have it--if their business operations do not go just so as to favor their own interests--if their health and the health of their families are not in accordance with their selfish views and aims, they are rendered miserable, by what they call adverse providences of God. In short, the fact is, they have a will of their own. They have interests of their own. They have aims and ends, upon the accomplishment of which their happiness is dependent. If God's providence favors them in these respects, they are happy, and think they enjoy religion. But if otherwise, they are miserable, and think themselves to be highly virtuous if they do not go into downright open rebellion against God. They understand submission to mean nothing more than the absence of murmuring, complaining, and accusing God of wrong; and do not understand, that submission implies a delightful acquiescence, a sweet yielding, and delightful choosing, that in all respects the will of God should be done. Now it is manifest, that such persons understand salvation to consist more in a change of place, than in a change of mind--that to be taken to heaven, is to be saved--that to be pardoned is to have eternal life. But certainly this is an infinitely dreadful mistake. Heaven is a state of mind, and may be enjoyed in any world. Hence the saints, or truly submissive souls, are represented as already being in the enjoyment of eternal life. Hell, also, is a state of mind; and it does not require a change of place, to give the wicked a foretaste of the pains of hell. Why, then, talk of salvation, when you are not saved? Why talk of happiness, while you are not holy? Why hope for heaven, while you have the spirit of hell?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 227 146 Lecture XXVIII. Self Denial ...

20. How infinitely diverse from this are the general notions of professing Christians in respect to the conditions of salvation. The general idea of professors of religion seems to be that if they only once in a while wake up as they call it--if they are revived now and then, at long intervals, and once in a while bluster about, and perform their duty as they call it, this will suffice as a sufficient ground of hope. And living in this way they expect to be saved. How amazing it is, that with the express declaration of Christ before them, they can dare to hope in the face of his most solemn declarations. Why, professor of religion, as sure as your soul lives, such loose notions as those that are common among professors of religion in respect to the conditions of salvation, will if you trust to them, land your soul in the depths of hell. I say again, remember that the daily doing of these things is just as expressly and indispensably a condition, as that you should do them at all. What then do you mean, to dream of eternal life while you indulge your selfishness and lust, with only now and then a spasmodic effort, when conscience can remain no longer silent, and the Spirit of God forces upon you the conviction that you are one of the greatest sinners out of hell. Then you set to blustering about and seem to suppose yourself to be religious enough in a few weeks to set off against years of selfishness and lust. Why, what do you mean?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 267 237 Lecture XXIX. The True Service of God ...

3. It is the only service that can do you any good. God cannot honestly reward a legal service by the gift of eternal life, because there is not a particle of real virtue in it. Nor can He possibly reward a legal service with eternal life; for what is eternal life but holiness and its necessary results. It is absurd, therefore, to suppose that God can give you eternal life as the reward of legal service. Nor can you receive eternal life as the gift of grace, while your heart is not holy and you are not rendering to God a holy and acceptable service. It should be forever understood that if a man does not find his happiness in benevolence and in that course of life which God requires, he neither deserves to be happy, nor is it possible for God to make him happy. If he does not love his work, he does not deserve any reward for it, because his heart is not in it. Nor is it possible that he should be rewarded for his labor, unless he finds a sweetness and an enjoyment in the labor itself. Why heaven will not consist in supineness and inaction, in giving yourself up to the exercise of sweet emotions and ecstacies without benevolence and effort, but must consist in the service of God. If you are not engaged in that kind of service here which makes you happy, the same kind of service will not make you happy in heaven.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 276 237 Lecture XXIX. The True Service of God ...

(5.) Another consideration that establishes the fact that multitudes of professed converts have only a legal religion is, that they so suddenly backslide and as it is commonly expressed "grow cold in religion" as soon as the effervescence of excited emotion subsides. Now whether their religion is of the heart, or merely of the emotions, can only be known as the greatness of the excitement subsides. Strong feelings or very highly excited emotions, may induce volition or a series of volitions at variance with the state or permanent preference of the will or heart. A miser may be so affected in view of some spectacle or wretchedness as to exert such a temporary influence over his will, as that by a single volition he will relieve the sufferings before him, in view of which he is so greatly excited. But this volition has been induced by an excitement of feeling in opposition to the permanent state of the will. Now as soon as the excitement has subsided, he calls himself a fool for having been thus induced to part with his money, and almost curses himself for his folly. Now in revivals of religion, it often happens that strongly excited feeling will induce for the time being a series of volitions, that will so shape the life as really to lead us and to lead the subject of them to believe, that the heart is truly changed, that the deep moral preferences of the soul are reversed, that selfishness is given up, and that benevolence has taken its place. But let excitement fully subside, and then you will be able to discern clearly and distinctly, whether the heart is changed, or whether the volitions of the mind were only induced by temporary excitement. If it is found that the deep currents of the soul are benevolent, that selfishness in heart, life, business, and social intercourse is abandoned, and that love and disinterested benevolence, a supreme disposition to do good to all around is the real state of the heart, then you may be certain that there is true conversion, that that soul has truly entered upon the service of God, and that he is not a mere legalist, and serving for wages.

3. Converts should always be made to see, that the more disinterested they are in religion the more happy they will be; of course the less they seek happiness the more they will find it. And the less regard they have to their own happiness, the more self-sacrificing and disinterested they are, the greater will be their joy, and the fuller the tide of their blessedness. Suppose a man comes across, in the street, an object of the deepest distress and compassion. Being touched to the very quick with the spectacle before him, and from unmingled benevolence, he steps into a provision store and purchases a basket of provisions, and sets at the feet of this object of poverty and distress. The fainting starvling lifts up his streaming eyes of gratitude, speaks not, but looks unutterable thanks. Now the happiness of this benefactor would be precisely in proportion to the strength of his benevolence and disposition to do him good. If his benevolence was strong and disinterested, and he longed to do him good for its own sake, his happiness would be full and unmingled and he would find his happiness to be in proportion to his disinterestedness, and that in this thing he had found most exquisite happiness simply because he sought it not. Upon the principle that he who would lose his life for the sake of doing good, shall find it and keep it unto eternal life.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 304 292 Lecture XXX. Entire Consecration a Condition of Discipleship ...

3. Nor is it a mere barter or exchange, a giving up of worldly things in exchange for eternal life. Many persons seem to have an idea, that forsaking all for Christ is merely giving up worldly things, for the sake of obtaining heavenly things. This would turn upon the mere principle of speculation, and is by no means the thing intended in the text.

II. What is implied in forsaking all for Christ.

1. A radical change of heart, from selfishness to benevolence. In other words, a forsaking, abandoning self-interest as the end of pursuit--an absolute and everlasting giving up of self-interest and self-gratification, as the end of life; and the entering into the views, sympathies, and designs of Christ, in promoting the glory of God, and the interests of his kingdom.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 808 781 Lecture XXXV. Mediatorship of Christ ...

Now the design of Christ was, to satisfy the demands of public justice, at once to demonstrate the infinite compassion of God for his rebellious subjects, and at the same time his unalterable determination to sustain his government and enforce obedience to his law--to protect and bless the innocent--to punish and destroy the guilty. And his relation to the universe was such, that his death, I may say, was an infinitely higher expression of his compassion, on the one hand, and of his justice on the other, than could have been given in his execution of the law upon sinners.

8. I said, the mediator must be not only able, but willing to make any sacrifice necessary in order to remove the obstacles out of the way of such reconciliation. The Atonement has been looked upon by many, as an incredible doctrine, and aside from right apprehensions of the moral character of God, it is altogether the most incredible thing in the universe. That God should consent to suffer for man, would beggar all credibility, but for the fact, that his whole moral character is love or benevolence. When this is well considered--and it is a truth taught by all the works, and all the ways of God--the doctrine of Atonement is altogether the most reasonable and credible doctrine that can be conceived. If He is benevolence, it is certain, that He must be disposed to exercise mercy. But if He is benevolence, it is also certain, that He would exercise mercy with a due regard to public justice, and upon such conditions as not to endanger his authority. If God is love, it must be certain, that if infinite wisdom could devise a plan, whereby the ends of public justice might be consistent with the offer of pardon, He would not hesitate to adopt that plan, although it might call Him to the exercise of great self-denial. If his suffering in their stead a less amount than must necessarily be inflicted upon them, would not only render it proper to offer them mercy, but would prevail to bring them to repentance and make them virtuous, his being love would render it certain, that such would be the course of conduct He would pursue. Christ, then, was not only able but willing to offer his human nature a sacrifice to public justice. His human nature being taken into union with his divine nature, became a part of Himself. His blood was, therefore, the blood of God. His Atonement was the Atonement of God, in offering up his human nature unto death, that He might give to man eternal life.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 638 624 Lecture XII. Unbelief ...

2. A want of assurance of salvation through Christ is unbelief. This must be so, if the Atonement is general, and if faith consists in believing what is said respecting it. The Apostle says, "that this is the record which God hath given to us, eternal life, and this life is in his Son." Now if it be true that God hath given eternal life to all, then not to possess an assurance of your own salvation through Christ is unbelief.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 641 624 Lecture XII. Unbelief ...

5. God has promised the salvation of all that believe; now, to doubt whether we shall be saved, is both an evidence and an instance of unbelief. Remember too, that the salvation promised, is salvation from both sin and hell. To this, it is objected, that the promise of salvation is conditional; and, says the objector, I have no right to believe that I shall be saved, until I have believed in Christ; for faith, is the condition of the promise, and to require me to believe that I shall be saved, before I believe in Christ, is to require me to believe a fact before it is true. To this, I answer,
 

(1.) By inquiring of the objector what I am to believe about Christ? Plainly, I am to believe in Him, as the Savior. That is, that He tasted death for every man, and that He hath given us eternal life. Two things, then, I must believe; first, that He died for all, and of course, for me; and secondly, that He will save me. Suppose an angel should believe that Christ died for all the world, would that be faith in Christ? Certainly not, in the sense in which the Bible requires us to believe in Him; and I do not believe, in any proper sense, unless I believe He died for me. I must believe, not only, that He died for all, but for me; not only that justification is offered to all, but to me; and true faith, is accepting of eternal salvation at his hand. Now observe what the objection is; that the realization of the promise, is conditioned on faith, and that the condition must be fulfilled, before I can believe that the promise will be realized, and I shall be saved. This is a mere trick. It is to suppose a promise given, but on a condition that nullifies it. Suppose a rich father should give his son a promise in writing, and under oath, that he would supply all his wants, and should send him abroad, but the condition demanded of the son, was that he should exercise full faith in the promise. He must believe, that it will secure for him a supply of money in any of the banks of Europe, according to the tenor of the writing. Now, I want to know, if this is a condition that would nullify the promise. Plainly not, since the condition is not arbitrary, but naturally essential to its fulfillment. If he does not confide in the promise and expect its fulfillment, it is naturally impossible that it should be fulfilled. On the contrary, how plain it is, that faith in the promise naturally secures its fulfillment. God has given the promise of eternal salvation to all that believe. The condition is not arbitrary, but natural, so that the fulfillment of the promise to each individual necessarily depends on his faith in it. Now is it faith to stand away back, and say, Christ died for everybody else, and will save everybody else, if they will believe, and not believe yourself? What a strange objection! The truth is, if this objection be good, it nullifies every promise in the Bible. God has promised to convert the world, but the fulfillment of this promise, is conditioned on the faith of Christians. For them to believe it, is to deliver themselves up to it, and preach the gospel to them. Now does this condition hinder faith? Is it a sly and artful means of evasion, put in by the promiser to prevent the necessity of his ever fulfilling the promise? Nay, but the condition is natural, and involves the expectation of the thing promised. So God has promised to bless the children of believers, if they will believe; that is, if they will give themselves up to this truth. Now to believe, is to fulfill the condition, and for persons to take the ground of the objector, is to stumble themselves. The objection, then, cannot be good.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 744 722 Lecture XIV. Joy in God ...

9. The happiness of the true saints is secure, because it depends not on external and contingent circumstances, but on God Himself. They know God, and to know Him is eternal life. As long as God lives and reigns, they know their happiness cannot be disturbed.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1845 paragraph 335 269 Lectures VI. & VII.The Church Bound to Convert the World- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

Now, beloved, let us for a moment come right back to the question. What have we to do? What is the business to which we are to address ourselves? Here the command and promise of the text lie in all their force before us. We are to act as if Christ had just for the first time sounded this in our ears, and the church ought today to address herself to the work with as much zeal and earnestness and consecration as she would if Christ had for the first time this day stood on the earth and given out this great commission; 'All power is given Me in heaven and in earth; Go ye, therefore, and disciple all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and Holy Ghost; and lo, I am with you even unto the end of the world.' Now let it be understood that no one who hears this command and does not obey in the true spirit and meaning of it, has a right to the name of a Christian, let him be who he may. If he does not consecrate himself to this work, if he does not hold on and persevere in doing what he can to accomplish it to the end of life, he has no sympathy with Christ, no regard for His requirements, and no title to eternal life.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1845 paragraph 627 574 Lecture XIII. Relations of Christ to the Believer ...

Now, if this be so, what is the state of many professors of religion here? Many of you have not received Christ by a living faith--you have no rest in Christ--no rest any where. Until you find Christ, you have not found the true gospel, nor its salvation. You are living, not in Christ, but in yourself. You are not conscious of having eternal life actually in your possession. You do not realize its vital, sin-subduing, soul-purifying power. And will you rest there? Can you?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1845 paragraph 649 632 Lecture XIV. The Folly of Refusing to be Saved ...

6. God gives you all things requisite to life and godliness. All needed grace is provided and proffered you to make sure to you eternal life. Provision enough is here to meet all your need for time and for eternity. You may have the prayers of this people, their sympathies, their counsels; all the aid they can afford you in your way to heaven. You cannot imagine a thing essential to your salvation which God has not furnished you -- not one thing. On His part all is done. Nothing remains except what necessarily devolves on you to do.

There are some things essential to the salvation of the sinners which God cannot do. They must be done by the sinner himself. God cannot repent in your stead, you must repent for yourself. Neither can God believe on Christ for you; this also you must of necessity do yourself. The Deity cannot be born again for you, so that it shall answer instead of your "making yourself a new heart and a right spirit." It is no part of the provisions of salvation to relieve you of the responsibility of these duties. Indeed it is in the nature of the case impossible that you should be saved unless your own mind consents to obey God and accedes to the whole plan of salvation. No other being in the universe can give this consent of the mind in your stead, so as to exonerate you from the responsibility of doing it yourself.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1845 paragraph 652 632 Lecture XIV. The Folly of Refusing to be Saved ...

Sinner, your conduct is infinitely unreasonable. It would be wicked to call you anything else than a fool. If any one should call you anything else than a fool, he would be a liar like yourself. You can rightly bear no other name than this, No other word so perfectly expresses your real character, and so well distinguishes you from all other beings in the universe. By pre-eminence, and in distinction from all other beings, you are a fool. Yes, a fool and a liar in the worst sense of the term are you -- in the same sense in which Satan is a fool and a liar. Did I say, in the same sense in which Satan is a fool? I take that back. The devil has no price put into his hands to get wisdom. Who knows that if he had, he would play the fool with it as you do? Go bear this price to hell, and then put it in the hands of Satan and his angels, and see if they will scorn it as you do. Let them have Bible societies there, and the glorious effusions of the Holy Spirit, and let the tidings ring through all the deep caverns of hell -- "Behold now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." Who knows that they would hear with cold indifference, and spurn with proud contempt as some of you do? We are too fast then, in saying that Satan and his legions are as wicked fools as those ungodly sinners who will not have salvation. We should not condemn them before they are proved guilty. Put on trial, they might show vastly more wisdom than you do. It is by no means improbable that you are greater fools than they. We do not know that they would not reject the offer of eternal life. True they once played the fool when they broke away from their rightful allegiance to God. They did then just what you did when you began to sin; but no offers of mercy ever fell upon their ears. Who knows that they would have been so great fools as to have trampled Mercy underneath their feet? Surely they have never evinced that superlative folly which characterizes the sinner who will not have a redemption which costs him nothing but which cost the Son of God a cruel death.

But let us enter into some particulars which show the infinite folly and unreasonableness of the sinner's course.

1. Sinners prefer their own gratification to the happiness of God and of the universe. They had rather please themselves than please God, though they know that God's pleasure is perfectly right and perfectly vital to the happiness of the universe. O, what infinite folly to be willing to see the well-being of the universe put in jeopardy, or even sacrificed, to secure their own selfish gratification!

What should you think of a man who should see a city taking fire and know that by an effort he might extinguish the fire and save the city; but prefers some slight gratification, and sees it burn down. He had rather read a novel, or finish his dinner, or play with a whistle, any such paltry gratification he places before the saving of a city from devouring fire! O, you would cry out, What a contemptible fool! What a wicked fool, and a wretch! O, you would cry -- what! would he stop to read his novel, or finish his dinner, or jingle a rattle-box, and give this mean gratification the preference over the salvation of a city from fire! What a fool!

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1845 paragraph 701 690 Lecture XV. Seeking the Kingdom of God First ...

It is also implied that we seek this kingdom with supreme earnestness. This is fully involved in the points just spoken of. We are required to agonize to enter in at the strait gate--to press hard for entrance, with the greatest earnestness, and the most strenuous efforts. Let the soul be indeed in agony to carry the point and make sure of admission into the kingdom of God. To the same purport are very many passages which I might quote from the Scriptures, all going to show that God requires us to seek with all our hearts, to lay out the utmost strength of our souls, if we would successfully resist the devil, and really break the chains of sin, and secure so great a treasure as eternal life.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1845 paragraph 731 690 Lecture XV. Seeking the Kingdom of God First ...

I said, nothing is valuable to you unless you mean to seek first the kingdom of God. Every enjoyment, even life itself, is a curse to him who is treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath. Every abused mercy augments that fearful treasure of wrath. The sooner you stop eating and drinking and breathing the better. "Every beating pulse you tell" will rise up in the judgment against you to swell the evidence of your great guilt in not seeking life when God besought you to live. It were better for you not to have lived at all unless you seek first the blessing of God and eternal life.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1845 paragraph 736 690 Lecture XV. Seeking the Kingdom of God First ...

But perhaps the Bible has been taken out of his trunk, but has lain on his shelf unmoved until the dust has coated it over--a witness against him that he heeds not the words of eternal life. Or you find it at last on his table, but under his Cicero and a huge pile of newspapers and novels--ah, that youth is not seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. His arrangements are not made at all for this end.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1846 paragraph 669 633 Lecture X. The Blessedness of Enduring Temptation ...

The more I have thought of it the more I have been astonished that any class of men who ever think at all on moral subjects can ever tend towards infidelity. What! reject the religion of the Bible and then talk of salvation? The man knows not what he is talking about. He knows no more about the subject and no more understands what he says than the veriest maniac! For, what is salvation? What is eternal life? Only let the individual press the question--what is this thing about which I am talking? And he will see that he must become just what the Bible represents men as becoming before they can be saved. He will see that it is in the nature of the case impossible that any man should be saved from misery to happiness unless he be changed from selfishness to benevolence.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1846 paragraph 815 787 Lecture XII. Responsibility of Hearing the Gospel ...

Consider further that God is offering you eternal life. It is on this subject that He speaks to you, offering you life and threatening you with death if you will not attend and obey. When God is about to speak on such a subject, is it not fitting that He should introduce His communication with the solemn admonition--"Take heed how ye hear?"

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 96 74 Lecture II. The Spirit Not Striving Always ...

Again, another fruit of the Spirit is developed in the case of those persons who are conscious of great hardness and insensibility. It not unfrequently happens that men suppose themselves to be Christians because they have so much sensibility on religious subjects. To undeceive them, the Spirit directs their attention to some truth that dries up all their sensibility, and leaves their hopes stranded on the sea-beach. Now they are in great agony. "The more I hear," say they, "the less I feel. I was never in the world so far from being convicted of sin. I shall certainly go to hell. I have not a particle of feeling. I cannot feel if I die."

4. Now the explanation of this singular state is usually this: The Spirit of God sees their danger--sees them deceiving themselves by relying on their feelings, and therefore brings some truths before their minds which array the opposition of their hearts against God and dry up the fountains of their sensibility. Then they see how perfectly callous their hearts are toward God. This is the work of the Spirit.

Again, the Spirit convicts the soul of the guilt of unbelief. Sinners are very apt to suppose that they do believe the gospel. They confound faith with a merely intellectual assent, and so blind themselves as to suppose that they believe God in the sense of gospel faith.

5. But let the Spirit once reveal their own hearts to them and they will see that they do not believe in God as they believe in their fellow men, and that instead of having confidence in God and resting on his words of promise as they do on men's promises, they do not rest on God at all, but are full of anxiety lest God should fail to fulfill his own words. They see that instead of being child-like and trustful, they are full of trouble, and solicitude, and in fact of unbelief. And they see also, that this is a horribly guilty state of heart. They see the guilt of not resting in his promises--the horrible guilt of not believing with the heart every word God ever uttered.

Now this change is the work of the Spirit. Our Saviour mentions it as one of the effects wrought by the Spirit, that He shall "reprove the world of sin, because they believe not on me." And in fact we find that this is one of the characteristic works of the Spirit. In conversing recently with a man who has been for many years a professor of religion, but living in the seventh chapter to the Romans, he remarked--"I have been thinking of this truth, that God cares for me and loves me, and has through Jesus Christ offered me eternal life; and now I deserve to be damned if I do not believe." Stretching out his pale hand, he said with great energy, "I ought to go to hell if I will not believe." Now all this is the work of the Spirit--this making a man see the guilt and hell-desert of unbelief--this making a sinner see that every thing else is only straw compared with the eternal rock of God's truth.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 125 74 Lecture II. The Spirit Not Striving Always ...

O what a world is this! Throughout all its years and centuries we can not see one moment on whose tender point there hangs not a balancing of the question of eternal life or eternal death! And is this a place to trifle?--this a place to be mad and foolish and vain? Ah, no! it were more reasonable to trifle in any other world than in this. The awful destinies of the soul are being determined here. Heaven sees it and hell too, and all are filled with solicitude, swelling almost to agony;--but you who are the subjects of all this anxiety--you can trifle and play the fool and dance on the brink of everlasting woe. The Psalmist says--

"I heard the wretch profanely boast,

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 192 138 Lecture III. The Excuses of Sinners Condemn God ...

15. But another says--"there is no salvation for me." Do you mean that Christ has made no atonement for you? But He says, He tasted death for every man. It is declared that God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whomsoever believeth on Him shall have eternal life. And now do you affirm that there is no salvation provided and possible for you? Are you mourning all your way down to hell because you cannot possibly have salvation? When the cup of salvation is placed to your lips, do you dash it away, saying, That can not be for me? And do you know this? Can you prove it even against the word of God Himself? Stand forth then, if there be such a sinner on this footstool of God--speak it out, if you have such a charge against God, and if you can prove it true. Ah, is there no hope? none at all? Oh, the difficulty is not that there is no salvation provided for and offered to you, but that there is no heart for it. "Wherefore is there a price put into the hands of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart for it?"

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 284 221 Lecture IV. Conditions of Being Saved ...

In this spirit you must renounce the world, the flesh, and Satan. Your fellowship is henceforth to be with Christ, and not with those objects. You are to live for Christ, and not for the world, the flesh, or the devil.

8. You must believe the record God hath given of his Son. He that believes not does not receive the record--does not set to his seal that God is true. "This is the record that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son." The condition of your having it is that you believe the record, and of course that you act accordingly. Suppose here is a poor man living at your next door, and the mail brings him a letter stating that a rich man has died in England, leaving him 100,000 pounds sterling, and the cashier of a neighbouring bank writes him that he has received the amount on deposit for him, and holds it subject to his order. Well, the poor man says, I can't believe the record. I can't believe there ever was any such rich man; I can't believe there is 100,000 pounds for me. So he must live and die as poor as Lazarus, because he won't believe the record.

Now, mark; this is just the case with the unbelieving sinner. God has given you eternal life, and it waits your order--but you don't get it because you will not believe, and therefore will not make out the order, and present in due form the application.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 286 221 Lecture IV. Conditions of Being Saved ...

Now, sinner, you must understand this. Why should you be lost when eternal life is bought and offered you by the last will and testament of the Lord Jesus Christ? Will you not believe the record and draw for the amount at once! Do for mercy's sake understand this and not lose heaven by your own folly!

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 302 221 Lecture IV. Conditions of Being Saved ...

The promises were made to be believed, and belong to any one who will believe them. They reach forth their precious words to all, and whoever will may take them as his own. Now will you believe that the Father has given you eternal life? This is the fact declared;--will you believe it?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1849 paragraph 309 281 Lecture VI. Jesus, A Savior from Sinning ...

7. Many think their sins are forgiven, and seem to satisfy themselves with the hope that they are justified before God. They know they live in sin, but they strangely imbibe the impression that they are accepted of God, are His real children, and have a well-founded hope of eternal life. Of this class, one thing must be certain; they have not one particle of religion. If they can content themselves and bless their souls that they are justified, and then live along without a devoted life and without a penitent, grateful heart, drawn to God evermore by a sense of His pardoning grace, they have not the first particle of real religion. For how can this state of mind consist with real love to God? How can there be real love to God in the soul, which yet shall not "constrain" the soul to love God and do His will?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1849 paragraph 412 401 Lecture IX. God Not Pleased with the Death of the Wicked ...

Positively, the death spoken of must be the opposite of the life here referred to. This life cannot be natural life, for all, both saint and sinner, are conceived of as being alike in natural life. Of course, the life must be salvation -- eternal life -- that blessedness which saints enjoy in the favor and love of God, begun here, prolonged forever hereafter. Now, if such be the life alluded to, the death, being in contrast with it, must be eternal death; the misery experienced by all God's enemies. As the life referred to here is not a mere state of existence, but a state of positive blessedness, so the death placed over against it, cannot be annihilation -- the natural opposite of mere existence -- but must be misery -- the natural opposite of blessedness.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1851 paragraph 135 104 Lecture III. Jesus Christ Doing Good ...

But what are these rewards of eternal life? Suppose a man makes a mistake and regards the whole matter of salvation as one of mere loss and gain, altogether a mercenary thing; is it not plain that he entirely misapprehends the subject? It were well that he should ask--What are these rewards? What were they in the case of our Lord? I answer--The joy of doing good--the joy of witnessing and enjoying the happiness of others, so that when He saw the results of His labors, they were their own reward and He could not but enjoy them.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1852 paragraph 433 344 Lectures VII. & VIII. Salvation Difficult to The Christian- Impossible to The Sinner-- The Salvation of Sinners Impossible- No.'s 1 - 2 ...

And what should you do? Like Bunyan's Christian pilgrim, put your fingers in both ears, and run, shouting, Life! life! eternal LIFE! How many of you are sliding along on the smooth, deceitful stream, above, yet only just above the awful rapids and the dreadful cataract of death! What if, this night, delirium should seize upon you? Or what if the Spirit should leave you forever, and it should be said of you, "He is joined to his idols, let him alone?"

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1852 paragraph 634 521 Lecture XI. Election and Reprobation ...

Another said, "I must bid Jesus welcome to my heart--I must and will rush to the wide arms of His offered embrace, crying "Life, Life, ETERNAL LIFE!" and so doing, he "made his calling and election sure." And did he, think you, pay too dearly for his soul's salvation? Will he regret it when, in the light of the judgment, he shall come to see what such a salvation is actually worth?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1853 paragraph 124 121 Lecture III. The Saviour Lifted up, and the Look of Faith ...

Text.--John 3:14, 15: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1853 paragraph 128 121 Lecture III. The Saviour Lifted up, and the Look of Faith ...

The object in both cases was to save men from perishing. The bite of the serpent, its influence being unchecked, is the death of the body: the effects of sin, unpardoned and uncleansed from the heart, are the ruin of the soul. Christ is lifted up, to the end that sinners, believing in him, may not perish, but may have eternal life. In such a connection, to "perish" cannot mean annihilation, for it must be the antithesis of eternal life, and this is plainly much more than eternal existence. It must be eternal happiness--real life in the sense of exquisite enjoyment, and the counterpart of this, eternal misery, is presented under the term "perish." It is common in the scriptures to find a state of endless misery contrasted with one of endless happiness.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1853 paragraph 161 121 Lecture III. The Saviour Lifted up, and the Look of Faith ...

Yet the analogy afforded in our text is complete. Men are to look to Jesus that they may not perish but may have eternal life. And who does not know that eternal life involves entire sanctification?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1853 paragraph 163 121 Lecture III. The Saviour Lifted up, and the Look of Faith ...

6. There is a wonderful and most alarming state of things in many churches abroad;--almost no Christ in their experience. It is most manifest that He holds an exceedingly small space in their hearts. So far from knowing what salvation is as a thing to be attained by simply believing in Christ, they can only give you an experience of this sort. How did you become a Christian? I just made up my mind to serve the Lord. Is that all? That's all. Do you know what it is to receive eternal life by simply looking to Jesus? Don't know as I understand that. Then you are not a Christian. Christianity, from beginning to end is received from Christ by simple faith. Thus, and only thus does the pardon of sin come to the soul, and thus only can come that peace of God, passing all understanding, which lives in the soul with faith and love. Thus sanctification comes through faith in Christ.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1853 paragraph 172 121 Lecture III. The Saviour Lifted up, and the Look of Faith ...

13. It is easy for us all to see the analogy between the manner of looking and the reasons for not looking at the brazen serpent and to Christ the Saviour. I need not push the analogy into its minute particulars any further. But the question for you all now is: Do you really believe that as "Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so is the Son of man lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but shall have eternal life"? Do you understand the simple remedy of faith? Perhaps you ask--What were they to believe? This; that if they really looked at the brazen serpent on the pole, they should certainly experience the needed healing. It was God's certified remedy, and they were so to regard it. And what are you now to believe? That Christ is the great antitype of that serpent lifted up in the wilderness, and that you are to receive from him by simple faith all the blessings of a full and free salvation. By simple faith, I say, and do you understand this? Do I hear you say to these things--What, may I, a sinner, just fix my eye in simple faith on Jesus? Who, who may do this? Is it I? How can it be that I should have this privilege?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1853 paragraph 372 368 Lecture VIII. Death to Sin Through Christ ...

The connection of this passage will help us to understand its meaning. Near the close of the previous chapter Paul had said--"The law entered that the offence might abound; but where sin abounded, grace did much more abound, that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord." He speaks here of sin as being a reigning principle or monarch, and of grace also as reigning. Then, in chapter 6, he proceeds--"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1854 paragraph 257 232 Lecture VI. Variety in the Service Offered to God ...

This class of persons, as I have said, do not serve God from fear, but from hope. They go into it as a good and a paying business. They do not toil hard, for they don't suppose it necessary, and their toil does not come hard to them, because they expect a handsome reward for it. They work cheerfully as those who are driving a good business. Their religion is not a yoke of bondage. They call it "gospel liberty." They will be all the more earnest and zealous, by how much the stronger are their hope and expectation of eternal life. They are laying up treasure in heaven, why should they not be cheerful and hopeful? They make reward their end; mistake presumption for faith; the love of gain for the love of God. It does not lie before their minds as the love of gain, yet it is so, none the less truly.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1854 paragraph 374 364 Lecture X. The Wages of Sin ...

We cannot but affirm that no government lays sufficient stress on the protection of human life unless it guards this trust with its highest penalties. Where life and all its vital interests are at stake, there the penalty should be great and solemn as is possible.


6. Moral agents have two sides to their sensibility; hope and fear;--to which you may address the prospect of good and the dread of evil. I am now speaking of penalty. This is addressed only to fear.
 
7. I have said in substance that penalty should adequately assert and vindicate the rightful authority of the lawgiver; should afford if possible an adequate rebuke of sin and should be based on a just appreciation of its nature. God's moral government embraces the whole intelligent universe, and stretches with its vast results onward through eternity. Hence the sweep and breadth of its interests are absolutely unlimited, and consequently the penalties of its law, being set to vindicate the authority of this government and to sustain these immeasurable interests, should be beyond measure dreadful. If anything beyond and more dreadful than the threatened penalty could be conceived, all minds would say-- "This is not enough." With any just views of the relations and the guilt of sin, they could not be satisfied unless the penalty is the greatest that is conceivable. Sin is so vile, so mischievous, so terribly destructive and so far-sweeping in its ruin, moral agents could not feel that enough is done so long as more can be.

III. What is the penalty of God's moral law?


1. Our text answers, "death." This certainly is not animal death, for saints die and animals also, neither of whom can be receiving the wages of sin. Besides, this would be no penalty if, after its infliction, men went at once to heaven. Such a penalty, considered as the wages of sin, would only be an insult to God's government.
 
2. Again, it cannot be spiritual death, for this is nothing else than a state of entire disobedience to the law. You cannot well conceive anything more absurd than to punish a man for disobedience by subjecting him to perpetual disobedience--an effort to sustain the law by dooming such offenders to its perpetual violation--and nothing more.
 
3. But this death is endless misery, corresponding to the death-penalty in human governments. Every body knows what this is. It separates the criminal from society forever; debars him at once and utterly from all the privileges of the government, and consigns him over to hopeless ruin. Nothing more dreadful can be inflicted. It is the extreme penalty, fearful beyond any other that is possible for man to inflict.
 
4. There can be no doubt that death as spoken of in our text is intended to correspond to the death-penalty in human governments.
 
5. You will also observe that in our text the "gift of God" which is "eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord," is directly contrasted with death, the wages of sin. This fact may throw light on the question respecting the nature of this death. We must look for the antithesis of "eternal life."

Now this eternal life is not merely an eternal existence. Eternal life never means merely an eternal existence, in any case where it is used in scripture; but it does mean a state of eternal blessedness, implying eternal holiness as its foundation. The use of the term "life" in scripture in the sense of real life--a life worth living--i.e. real and rich enjoyment, is so common as to supersede the necessity of special proof.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1854 paragraph 560 546 Lecture XV. The Christian's Genuine Hope ...

4. A false hope must and will reveal itself in many ways. It will reveal itself by its obviously mistaken end. Suppose it to be the common hope of being a Christian. A man has a hope, he says; you ask him what he hopes for, and he tells you he hopes he is a Christian. This man, perhaps, does not at all conceive what constitutes eternal life. He has never thought of it as being an eternal likeness to Jesus Christ, and an eternal sympathy with Him. On the contrary, he thinks of it only, or at least chiefly, as an escape from hell. Now, by natural consequence, this hope will reveal itself as we so often see it -- no energizing after holiness -- no laboring to be prepared to live forever with Christ; but anything else, rather than this. Yet who does not see that the result of the Christian hope must be a most earnest preparation for the employments of heaven?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1854 paragraph 562 546 Lecture XV. The Christian's Genuine Hope ...

5. Eternal life is nothing else but sympathy with Christ and its consequences. Becoming like Christ in spirit and temper, you have the life that dwells in Him. Your soul is essentially transformed into His moral image.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1854 paragraph 572 546 Lecture XV. The Christian's Genuine Hope ...

Some of you have a hope, which, instead of leading you on to a holy life, makes you quiet and easy in your sins. It does not tend at all to make you purify yourself from sin, but on the contrary, it makes you careless and dead in your sins. You know you live in sin, yet you have a hope that you shall be saved at last. Is it not a fact on the very face of it, that your hope is bad, and that your soul is on the way to hell? It has precisely the opposite influence to what it should have; it works more sin rather than more holiness; it fits you for hell -- not for heaven; yet you hold on to it as if it were your very life. Do you not see that it must inevitably drown your soul in destruction? It helps you to live careless and prayerless. It impels you after everything else but Christ. Surely you must see that it is leading you down to hell! Unless you abandon it as a nuisance, a curse and a lie, you can never be saved! Put it away as an abomination that is leading your soul down to hell! Why not put it away? What good can it do you? You may just as well have a good hope, in a glorious gospel -- a hope that shall purify your heart, and lift you upward to heaven. Why will you have the counterfeit, while the good coin can be had just as well and as cheap? Why cleave to delusion and death, when the truth is free, and eternal life in Christ comes without money and without price?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1855 paragraph 167 158 Lecture V. On Prayer for The Holy Spirit ...


I. The gift of the Holy Ghost comprehends all we need spiritually.

1. Remarking upon this text, I first observe that when we rightly understand the matter, we shall see that the gift of the Holy Ghost comprehends all we need spiritually. It secures to us that union with God which is eternal life. It implies conversion, which consists in the will's being submitted to God's control. Sanctification is
 

(1.) this union of the will to God perfected and perpetuated;

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1855 paragraph 246 200 Lecture VI. Conscience and The Bible in Harmony ...

But such fears may come too late! The door perhaps is shut, and the soul is lost! Alas that you should lose eternal life for a reason so poor--for a compensation so insignificant.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1855 paragraph 260 248 Lecture VII. God Has No Pleasure In The Sinner's Death ...

Positively, this death must be the opposite of that life which they would have if they would turn from their evil ways. Throughout the Bible we are given to understand that this is eternal life -- life in the sense of real blessedness. By the terms, death, and life, when used of the final rewards of the wicked and of the righteous, the Bible does not mean annihilation and existence. It does not teach that one class shall cease to exist and the other shall simply continue to exist; but most obviously implies that both alike have an immortal existence, which existence, however, is, in the one case, infinite misery; in the other, infinite blessedness.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1858 paragraph 96 85 Lecture III. The Self-Righteous Sinner Doomed To Sorrow ...

5. But if you propose to place yourself on the ground of strict law and justice, the one question which the law of God will ask is this -- "Have you continued in all the things written in the law to do them?" Have you kept the whole law and not offended in one point -- ever?

Anything less than this by ever so little will forfeit your title to eternal life on the ground of law.

6. Others comfort themselves with good resolutions. With those they get up a fire of their own kindling -- and are fain to think that if they are not as good as they should be, they shall be by and by.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 370 261 Lectures V. - VII. Hardness Of Heart- No. 1 -- Harden Not Your Heart- No. 2 -- Tender-Heartedness- No. 3 ...

6. How astonishing is the long-suffering of God? How many ways have you hardened your hearts against Him! How many times have you betaken yourselves to the most absurd, unreasonable, provoking reasons for girding yourself and resisting the claims of God! And God's forbearance is still lengthened out, even to this long-suffering! Will it not suffice you thus far to have resisted the mercy and compassion of God? I beseech you, now let the controversy cease. Lay down your weapons; accept God's claims; humble yourself under His mighty hand; lay down your sins, and accept the offer of eternal life.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 647 582 Lectures X. & XI. Profit and Loss; Or The Worth of The Soul- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

The soul is already in a lost condition, already condemned, already under sentence of eternal death. Sinner, you need only to die instantly, to wake up in hell. Hence you are expected to escape, to lay hold of eternal life, to give all diligence to repent and believe the gospel, and what you do, to do quickly. How, then, can you escape, if you neglect to attend, and that effectually, to the salvation of your soul!

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 706 688 Lectures XII. & XIII.Sinners Not Willing To Be Christians- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

2. Sinners are indebted to Christ for that spiritual and eternal life which God has given us in Christ.

Rom. 6:23 -- "The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 707 688 Lectures XII. & XIII.Sinners Not Willing To Be Christians- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

1 John 5:11-12 -- "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son of God hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 708 688 Lectures XII. & XIII.Sinners Not Willing To Be Christians- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

These, and many other texts, speak of the eternal life which we have in Christ Jesus. This spiritual life consists substantially in a moral union and fellowship with God's will and with God's feelings -- with God's whole state of mind.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 709 688 Lectures XII. & XIII.Sinners Not Willing To Be Christians- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

When a sinner turns to Christ, he thereby, and in the very act of turning to him, comes into sympathy with his will and with his state of mind. This is the beginning of eternal life; it is the beginning of moral union and fellowship with God; as John says, "Surely, our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 710 688 Lectures XII. & XIII.Sinners Not Willing To Be Christians- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

Let no one think that the eternal life which we have in Christ Jesus is a mere continuance of existence; for existence without moral sympathy with God would be to me a curse, and not a blessing. Eternal life implies continued existence, but consists in that state of mind in which God is.

II. To bring out clearly the truth affirmed in the text, I must enquire what is implied in coming to Christ for life?

1. Coming to Christ does not imply a change of place. It is not a going any whither; but it is a change of mind.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 719 688 Lectures XII. & XIII.Sinners Not Willing To Be Christians- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

Would he not, after all, consider himself as injured by the implication that he had committed a greater crime than he had? To be sure he would. A condition of his cordially accepting it must be, that it shall cover no more time than that for which he deserved to be punished.

(4.) Now Christ is presented to us as offering us eternal life as a mere gift, no part of which is due to us in justice. "The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life." The very fact that the whole of the eternal life is a gift, implies that the forfeiture incurred by sin is eternal death.
 

9. Coming to Christ implies the coming to him for pardon and the expecting of pardon from him. That is, it is looking to him for pardon with the expectation -- the applying to him for it, in the expectation that he will grant it.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 720 688 Lectures XII. & XIII.Sinners Not Willing To Be Christians- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

10. Coming to Christ for spiritual and eternal life must involve,
 

(1.) Repentance, or the renunciation of sin. Observe, this spiritual life consists in moral union with God's state of mind, fellowship with God. Of course the very act of coming for this life involves the renunciation of sin.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 734 688 Lectures XII. & XIII.Sinners Not Willing To Be Christians- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

3. Another reason why you are not willing to come to Christ is, you are unwilling to give up a life of sin, and now to enter upon a life of holiness. But this, as we have seen, is implied in coming to Christ. Truly coming to Christ for pardon, implies repentance, or the giving up of sin. Truly coming to Christ for the eternal life here spoken of, implies the giving up of sin and entering into sympathy with God's holiness. This you are unwilling to do. Indeed, as we have seen, to will this is to do it.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 742 688 Lectures XII. & XIII.Sinners Not Willing To Be Christians- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

4. You stop short in the means. In immediate connection with the text Christ says to the Jews, "Ye do search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me."

The English translation needs amending in this case. It reads, "Search the Scriptures," as if it were imperative; whereas it is indicative; "Ye do search the Scriptures." It is not a command to search them; but an assertion that they do search them. They stopped short in the Scriptures. They read the Scriptures a great deal, and they laid great stress on this; but after all they were not willing to do what they might have learned from the Scriptures. And sinners are now making precisely the same mistake in this respect which Christ charged upon the Jews. The Jews were set upon doing certain duties which the law required of them; by doing which duties they expected to be saved. They read the Scriptures, not for the sake of understanding about Christ, that they might come to him, but they read the Scriptures as a duty--they read the Scriptures as a task. They searched the Scriptures, and made a great deal of reading and searching the Scriptures; and they rested in that duty without trusting in him whom the Scriptures taught.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 906 803 Lectures XIV. & XV.Holding The Truth in Unrighteousness- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

What then shall you do? I answer, immediately discard this spirit of delay--lay hold upon eternal life--let your heart go to Christ--no longer hold the truth in unrigheousness. Arise, and what you do, do quickly. Lay hold upon eternal life; for "now is the accepted time, now is the day of Salvation."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 939 908 Lecture XVI. Any One Form of Sin Persisted In Is Fatal To The Soul ...

6. Many profess to be Christians, and are indulging the hope of eternal life, who know that they never have forsaken all forms of sin; that in some things they have always fallen short of complying with the demands of their own consciences. They have indulged in what they call little sins; they have allowed themselves in practices, and in forms of self-indulgence, that they cannot justify; they have never reformed all their bad habits; and have never lived up to what they have regarded as their whole duty. They have never really intended to do this; have never resolutely set themselves, in the strength of Christ, to give up every form of sin, both of omission and commission; but, on the contrary, they know that they have always indulged themselves in what they condemn. And yet they call themselves Christians! But this is as contrary to the teaching of the Bible as possible. The Bible teaches, not only that men are condemned by God if they indulge themselves in what they condemn; but also that God condemns them if they indulge in that the lawfulness of which they so much as doubt. If they indulge in any one thing the lawfulness of which is in their own estimation doubtful, God condemns them. This is the express teaching of the Bible. But how different is this from the common ideas that many professors of religion have!

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 965 908 Lecture XVI. Any One Form of Sin Persisted In Is Fatal To The Soul ...

He cannot serve God and mammon. Many are trying to do so, but it is impossible. They cannot love both God and the world; they cannot serve two masters; they cannot please God and the world. It is the greatest, and yet the most common, I fear, of all mistakes, that men can be truly, but knowingly, only partially religious; that in some things they can truly yield to God, while in other things they refuse to obey Him. How common is this mistake! If it is not, what shall we make of the state of the churches? How are we to understand the great mass of professors? How are we to understand the great body of religious teachers, if they do not leave the impression, after all, on the churches, that they can be accepted of God while their habitual obedience is only very partial; while, in fact, they pick and choose among the commandments of God, professing to obey some, while they allow themselves in known disobedience of others. Now, if in this respect the church has not a false standard; if the mass of religious instruction is not making a false impression on the churches and on the world in this respect, I am mistaken. I am sorry to be obliged to entertain this opinion, and to express it; but what else can I think? How else can the state of the churches be accounted for? How else is it that ministers have no hope that the great mass of their churches are in a safe state? How else is it that the great mass of professors of religion can have any hope of eternal life in them, if this is not the principle practically adopted by them, that they are justified while only rendering habitually but a very partial obedience to God; that they are really forgiven and justified while they only pick and choose among the commandments, obeying those, as they think, obedience to which costs them little, and is not disagreeable, and is not unpopular; while they do not hesitate habitually to disobey where obedience would subject them to any inconvenience, require any self-denial, or expose them to any persecution. Again,

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 10 - MORAL ATTRIBUTES OF GOD paragraph 65 MORAL ATTRIBUTES OF GOD. A Moral Attribute defined; Some of the Moral Attributes of God; Prove that God possesses them; Benevolence.

4. With respect to the death of infants and of animals, their death may be mercifully ordered to prevent still greater calamities befalling them. And in the case of infants, there is no reason to doubt that their natural death is only the entrance upon eternal life.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 18 - DIVINITY OF CHRIST paragraph 29 DIVINITY OF CHRIST. What is intended by the Divinity of Christ; Christ truly divine, or the true God; Objections answered.

1 John 5:20: "And we know that the Son of God is come and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is TRUE; and we are in him that is TRUE, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the TRUE God, and eternal life."

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 18 - DIVINITY OF CHRIST paragraph 97 DIVINITY OF CHRIST. What is intended by the Divinity of Christ; Christ truly divine, or the true God; Objections answered.

John 6:39, 40, 44, 54, 'And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.' 'No man can come to me, except the Father, which hath sent me draw, him; and I will raise him up at the last day.' 'And this is the will of him that hath sent me, that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.' 'Whose eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.'

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 18 - DIVINITY OF CHRIST paragraph 100 DIVINITY OF CHRIST. What is intended by the Divinity of Christ; Christ truly divine, or the true God; Objections answered.

5. He gives eternal life to men.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 18 - DIVINITY OF CHRIST paragraph 101 DIVINITY OF CHRIST. What is intended by the Divinity of Christ; Christ truly divine, or the true God; Objections answered.

John 10:27, 28. 'My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give unto them ETERNAL LIFE; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand.'

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 33 - SANCTIONS OF GOD'S LAW paragraph 29 SANCTIONS OF GOD'S LAW. God's law has Sanctions; What constitutes the remuneratory Sanctions of God's Law; Their perfection and duration; What constitutes its vindicatory Sanctions; Their duration.

3. The rewards of holiness and the punishment of sin, are described in the Bible in figurative language. The rewards of virtue are called eternal life. The punishment of vice is called death. By life is intended, not only existence, but that happiness which makes life desirable. By death is intended, not annihilation, but that misery which renders existence an evil.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 38 - VALUE OF THE ATONEMENT paragraph 29 VALUE OF THE ATONEMENT. In what its value consists; How great its value is; For whose benefit it was intended.

6. Virtue consists in benevolence. God requires benevolence, threatens all his subjects with punishment, if they are not benevolent, and promises them eternal life if they are. All this has power. But his example, his own benevolence, his own disinterested love, as expressed in the Atonement, is a vastly higher moral influence than his word, or any other of his ways.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 8 - WHY LONDON IS NOT CONVERTED. paragraph 37

Some ministers preach the whole Gospel, but in such unequal proportions that they fail to produce a proper effect upon their people. The fact is, they are afraid of appearing to be uncharitable, and so individuals are allowed to maintain a hope and standing in the Church, who in their lives do not differ from any decently moral man. Now, while such persons are allowed to have a hope of eternal life, and to maintain a creditable standing in the Church; while ministers allow them to believe that they are Christians, they will always remain stumbling blocks; their own standard of piety will never be elevated, and they will prevent others being converted. The fact is, it is no charity to let men believe themselves to be Christians, when after all you cannot tell whether they are Christians or not. You do business with them, you have familiar intercourse with them, you live with them; but you cannot see their Christianity , or in what they differ from other men; yet how many of this class of persons become members of Churches, and thus deceive themselves and scandalize the religion they profess. The effect of this is to make both the Church and the world confound things which differ, and to prevent either knowing what true religion really is. A higher standard of piety must be pressed home upon the Church, from the pulpit, the press, and by everyone who is engaged in any department of Christian labor. Professors must not be allowed to count themselves christians unless they separate themselves from all iniquity, and come out and show themselves; and live in such a way as to be easily and unmistakable distinguished from the world.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 18 - THE GREAT BUSINESS OF LIFE. paragraph 21

Now, we never read in the Bible that death will sanctify men, or that they will go to heaven if they are not sanctified in this world, by the renewing of the Holy Ghost in virtue of their belief in the Gospel. With many professors, "the kingdom of God and his righteousness" is but little understood. They regard the righteousness of God as imputed, not imparted, righteousness. They imagine, that somehow or other, the righteousness of Christ can be imputed to them without their being personally holy. They come not into sympathy with God; they neglect to have this kingdom of God set up within them; God's government has no dominion over them. How, then, do they expect to get to heaven? What can they understand by the kingdom of God and his righteousness, which they are required to make it the business of their lives to seek? Again: it is better to leave everything else undone than to leave this undone. How memorable and decisive are Christ's teachings in this respect. He will not allow us to give ourselves any anxiety on other subjects. Nothing is to take precedence of this. When one said to him, "Let me first go and bury my father," he said to him, "Let the dead bury their dead." Your own father, and the duties you owe to him in that relation, must not stand in the way of your seeking eternal life. "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness," nothing is to be allowed to have precedence of this!

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 19 - HOLINESS ESSENTIAL TO SALVATION. paragraph 23

Now, if anybody is seeking for God to do that which they must do themselves, they will fail of eternal life. How many are making mistakes in this matter! they are waiting for God to put repentance and faith into them, and entirely overlooking the fact of its being an exercise of their own minds. Again: Another difficulty, and another reason, why persons are not saved is this-they profess to be waiting for the Holy Spirit, while in fact they are resisting the Holy Spirit. They pretend that they are waiting for the Holy Spirit to save them and convert them: now, mark, every moment they wait they are grieving and resisting the Holy Spirit. Now, what do they mean by waiting, when they ought to be acting? From the beginning and end He is the teacher. "No man can come unto me, except the Father which sent me draw him." "They shall all be taught of the Lord." "He shall take of the things of mine and show them unto you." Now, the Bible represents the Holy Spirit in this way as a teacher, and those who do not yield when the truth is presented to them, are resisting and grieving the Spirit. You remember the words of our Saviour to the Jews, "Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did, so do ye."

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 19 - HOLINESS ESSENTIAL TO SALVATION. paragraph 31

But I cannot continue this train of observation, and will therefore conclude with some remarks. First, no person has any right to hope for eternal life, unless he is conscious of possessing the spirit of Christ within him-unless he is free from those sinful tempers which are indulged in by wicked men-unless he is free from a self-seeking spirit of doing business which characterizes the men of the world. How can a man in such a condition expect or hope for eternal life? How can any man suppose that he is justified before he is sanctified? I do not mean to say, that a man is not in any sense justified before he is sanctified; but, as a matter of fact, a man is not safe for eternity unless he is saved from sin. He has no right to expect to get to heaven unless the work of sanctification is going on in his soul. Again, it is easy to see from what has been said, that many persons regard the doctrine of justification by faith, as the whole gospel. It is the gospel, in their conception of it!

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 19 - HOLINESS ESSENTIAL TO SALVATION. paragraph 35

Now, while I know that the gospel presents salvation from punishment, and the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ, I know that its chief relation to men, is to save them from their sins-to become their sanctification. Again: the true state of men is always known by the great absorbing idea which is in their minds. A man's character is as is the end for which he lives. Now, a man who lives in any sin, any form of self-pleasing, and self-seeking, cannot be a Christian; for the true idea of the gospel is, that, for a man to be a Christian he must be devoted to God, and thoroughly withdrawn from all forms of sin and iniquity. He must be devoted to God, living for God, living for the same end that God lives; sympathizing with Christ, and with everything that is good. This is the character of every true Christian. This is the true conception of Christianity, and just in proportion as individuals approach to this standard have they a good hope of salvation, and just in proportion as they recede from this standard they fail of salvation. Again: there are a great many persons whose aim is to get peace of mind, and who are constantly crying "peace" to others, when there is no peace.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 27 - THE INFINITE WORTH OF THE SOUL. paragraph 25

Suppose we take any child that is here tonight; when that child has gone forward so far in existence, that he has absolutely enjoyed or suffered more than all the creation of God has done up to this time, why he has not got one particle the less to enjoy or suffer than when he began; he is not the slightest possible particle nearer the close of it than at the earliest moment. Suppose he is happy, the time will come when he will know more of God, and have more experience of his government--when he will have lived longer than the entire created universe now has--and when he can look round and say, "my age is now greater than the aggregate age of all God's creatures previous to my birth; I am older, have more experience, have enjoyed more than all had before I was buried." What then? Why he will live on and on, and on and on till he has enjoyed myriads and myriads of times more and more and more until all finite conception is overwhelmed and swallowed up. But has he any the less to live or enjoy after all this? Oh, no! Why he has only begun, and he is no nearer the end of his existence than at the very first moment, for it has no end; he rolls onward and onward and onward on the tops of the waves of eternal life.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 27 - THE INFINITE WORTH OF THE SOUL. paragraph 32

A few remarks must conclude what I have to say, and the first remark is this--how little men think of the infinite value of the human soul and what eternal life and death is! How little is this realized, even by those who profess to believe the Bible! Now is it not one of the greatest of all wonders, that men so generally admit that this life is short, and that it may close at any moment, they know not when; and yet, with this admission on their lips, that if they die in their sins they must lose their souls, and that they are liable to die in their sins at any moment--that they must exist to all eternity--and yet, infinitely strange to say! where can there be any such thing found in the universe? what so infinitely wonderful, as the little thought men give to the value of their souls? I have sometimes been obliged to turn my mind away from a thought so horrible, or it might have absolutely thrown my intellect off its balance. I have set my children before me, and reflected on their destiny, till I have said to myself, that if I should see one of them die in their sins, I should die myself immediately. What! The thought of one of my children losing his soul! It seems to swallow up everything else, and nothing seems to be of any importance in comparison with it. If their souls are saved, what else need they care for? I have often thought of how little consequence it was to lay up money for them. I have always let my children understand that, from the nature of my occupation, I have no money to leave them. I have told them that I have no desire to do so. I have given them as good an education as I could, and all I desire for them, is, that they may save their own souls, and the souls of others. To give them worldly goods, except with a view to extend their spiritual usefulness, always seemed to me to be the extreme of madness.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 27 - THE INFINITE WORTH OF THE SOUL. paragraph 34

For example: the Bible represents this world's good as a most ensnaring thing and that it is an extremely difficult matter for a rich man to be saved; it everywhere warns men against efforts to enrich themselves and their offspring; but I have remarked that very many persons act as if the exact opposite of this had been declared in the Bible--as if it had said that prosperity in this world was essential to eternal life. The good things of this world are not, however, to be despised; but when they are allowed to stand in the way of securing the salvation of the soul, the madness is absolutely infinite.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 31 - THE SPIRIT CEASING TO STRIVE. paragraph 31

Again: when the Spirit strives it is the most solemn point of the sinner's existence. The judgment-day will disclose things which are done in time, but the sinner's destiny is settled here. When the Spirit strives with men he settles with them personally. The work is done up one way or the other, and becomes a matter of record. The leaf is folded and laid aside till the day of judgment; but here is the time and place in which the thing is done--this is the world on which hangs suspended the eternal life or death of immortal souls. But not only is the matter finally settled in this world, but there must be some turning point at which the settlement takes place. What an hour is that! Christian! Do you realize that when the Spirit is striving with your children, they are then at a moment more important to them than any other moment of their whole existence. Are you asleep over it? Do you see them honest on religious subjects, or do they creep to the house of God hardly willing to let you know it? Do you see already indications that the Spirit of God has been with them? Are you not looking after this? If you see this interest in their countenances--oh! what are you doing? Are you watching unto prayer? Do you feel how great their danger is? Do you feel that their crisis is infinitely more solemn than a fever would be, provided they were Christians? The eternal destinies may hang on that moment, and what are you doing? God is solemn and in earnest, angels are solemn and in earnest, devils are solemn and in earnest, the Holy Spirit is solemn and in earnest--and do you trifle? Who are you that you should trifle? Why the very one that heaven and hell are earnest about! Oh! sinner what are you doing? Professor of religion what are you doing? Who can come with his hand upon his breast and say, "Oh, Lord Jesus thou knowest that I love thee, that in my life I acknowledge thee, and that I do this in remembrance of thee, and will show forth thy death till thou comest?" Are you prepared to come and partake of these elements, and prepared to come in such a sense that those who know you feel that you are such a person that you have a right to come? Or do they say of you, What Mr. ------! why I should never have thought that he was a member! What! does he come to the Communion? Is that woman a professor? Why, I have seen them in such places, and under such circumstances that I should never have thought it!

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 33 - THE WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD. paragraph 18

Now mark! God has committed to each of you one of these immortal souls; and made provision for its eternal life, although it was doomed to die, and he has enjoined it upon each one to take care of his soul. He asks you, "what will you give in exchange for your soul?" "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" In every way he expresses his own idea of the infinite value of the soul. He has charged every man to look to make it his first business to secure it from eternal death. "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness;" and those who do this he promises shall lose nothing by it" And all other things shall be added unto you;" everything else that you need shall be thrown in, if you will only be careful not to lose your soul! "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness." This is the charge that is given to every man! This is the solemn charge that is given to every woman! I commit to you an immortal soul; take care you do not lose it! I prize it infinitely. I have given my Son to die for it. I love it with an everlasting love!But I cannot save it without your concurrence; I must have your consent; I must have your heart;I must have your sympathy. Take care that you do not lose it; but it is impossible, from the nature of the case, to save it without your consent. Take care that you set about its salvation! Let this be your first, your great, your perpetual concern the saving of your soul. O take care of this soul!

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 36 - NOT FAR FROM THE KINGDOM OF GOD. paragraph 30

     Again, when business causes us so entirely to engross the mind, and religion is set in such a light, as that the business cannot wholly engross the mind, and, in or out of business, you are pressed solely with the great question of Salvation. I recollect the time when I myself sat down to examine a point of law, and in spite of myself, I could not read the page half down before the subject of religion was so pressing upon me, that I could not get on--I could not possibly engross myself so wholly with my professional duties. I dismissed it again and again, but it came up as often as I dismissed it. When religion gets such a hold on the mind as this--that a man cannot engross himself with his business, and feels that his business is but a trifle compared with eternal life--when this appears to the mind, that the business lasts but a few days, and where am I? when the mind comes into such an attitude--when the Spirit of God presses the subject in this manner--you are not far from the Kingdom of God.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 36 - NOT FAR FROM THE KINGDOM OF GOD. paragraph 47

     This leads me to say when persons are brought close along upon the verge of the Kingdom of God--of the peace and joy of believing in Christ--so close that they can look over--that there is nothing but a single step between them and laying hold on eternal life--how very near they are to the Kingdom of God! If you could take a map of your life, some of you would see that, at some period of it the Spirit had directed your crooked way along till--there! see your place on the map! You are on the very margin of the stream! Its waters are flowing at your very feet. One step is all that is between you and eternal life, which is holding out all its charms; but, alas! where are you now? Oh! where are you now? As you have gone back to be engrossed with business, cares, and pleasures--oh! what a lengthened way there now is between that point and your present position--what a way you are from these fair fields on whose borders, with your "almost persuasion" you then stood. You have not yet taken your reckoning to discover your position. It was once said of you, "that man is not far from the Kingdom of God."

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 36 - NOT FAR FROM THE KINGDOM OF GOD. paragraph 55

     Sinner, how is it? Oh! how is it? Will you decide to-night one way or the other? How is it? Oh! how will you decide to-night? How? How? HOW? If there is rejoicing in the presence of the Almighty over one sinner that repenteth, what quivering must there be over your present indecision! Oh! if those ministering angels who are waiting to carry the results of your decision to the Courts above, were permitted to break their silence, how they would cry out. Oh sinner, sinner, sinner--oh! decide aright, and have eternal life!

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 33 - Moral Government C continued (Part II) paragraph 77 What constitutes the sanctions of law . . There can be no law without sanctions . . In what light sanctions are to be regarded . . The end to be secured by law, and the execution of penal sanctions . . By what rule sanctions ought to be graduated . . God's law has sanctions . . What constitutes the remuneratory sanctions of the law of God . . The perfection and duration of the remuneratory sanctions of the law of God . . What constitutes the vindicatory sanctions of the law of God . . Duration of the penal sanctions of the law of God . . Inquire into the meaning of the term infinite . . Infinites may differ indefinitely in amount . . I must remind you of the rule by which degrees of guilt are to be estimated . . That all and every sin must from its very nature involve infinite guilt in the sense of deserving endless punishment . . Notwithstanding all sin deserves endless punishment, yet the guilt of different persons may vary indefinitely, and punishment, although always endless in duration, may and ought to vary in degree, according to the guilt of each individual . . That penal inflictions under the government of God must be endless . . Examine this question in the light of revelation

     3. The rewards of holiness, and the punishment of sin, are described in the Bible in figurative language. The rewards of virtue are called eternal life. The punishment of vice is called death. By life, in such a connexion, is intended, not only existence, but that happiness that makes life desirable, and without which it would be no blessing. By death is intended, not annihilation, but that misery which renders existence an evil. It is the opposite of happy existence, called eternal life, and is, therefore, denominated eternal death.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 34 - Atonement. paragraph 68 I will call attention to several well established governmental principles . . Define the term atonement . . I am to inquire into the teachings of natural theology, or into the priori affirmations of reason upon this subject . . The fact of atonement . . The design of the atonement . . Christ's obedience to the moral law as a covenant of works, did not constitute the atonement . . The atonement was not a commercial transaction . . The atonement of Christ was intended as a satisfaction of public justice . . His taking human nature, and obeying unto death, under such circumstances, constituted a good reason for our being treated as righteous

     I will now cite some passages that establish the fact of the vicarious death of Christ, and redemption through his blood. "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."--Isaiah liii. 5, 6. "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."--Matt. xx. 28. "For this is my blood of the new testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins."--Matt. xxvi. 28. "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."--John iii. 14, 15. "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."--John vi. 51. "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."--Acts xx. 28. "Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. To declare, I say, at this time, his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Therefore, as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."--Rom. iii. 24-26; v. 9-11, 18, 19. "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: for I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures."--1 Cor. v. 7; xv. 3. "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."--Gal. ii. 20; iii. 13, 14. "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour."--Eph. ii. 13; v. 2. "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many: and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."--Heb. ix. 12-14, 22-28. "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."--Heb. x. 10-14. "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which he has consecrate for us through the vail, that is to say, his flesh," &c.--Heb. x. 19, 20. "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."--1 Pet. i. 18, 19. "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed."--1 Pet. ii. 24. "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit."--1 Peter iii. 18. "But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."--1 John i. 7. "And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin."--1 John iii. 5. "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."--1 John iv. 9, 10.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 35 - Extent of Atonement. paragraph 24 For whose benefit the atonement was intended . . Objections answered . . Remarks on the atonement

     Virtue consists in benevolence. God requires benevolence; threatens all his subjects with punishment if they are not benevolent, and promises them eternal life if they are. All this has power. But his example, his own benevolence, his own disinterested love, as expressed in the atonement, has a vastly higher moral influence than his word, or any other of his manifestations.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 40 - Moral Depravity--Continued (Part III) paragraph 27 Further examination of the arguments adduced in support of the position that human nature is in itself sinful

     But what grace could there be in saving them from a sinful constitution, that is not exercised in saving them from circumstances that would certainly result in their becoming sinners, if not snatched from them? In neither case do they need pardon for sin. Grace is unearned favour--a gratuity. If the child has a sinful nature, it is his misfortune, and not his crime. To save him from this nature is to save him from those circumstances that will certainly result in actual transgression, unless he is rescued by death and by the Holy Spirit. So if his nature is not sinful, yet it is certain that his nature and circumstances are such, that he will surely sin unless rescued by death or by the Holy Spirit, before he is capable of sinning. It certainly must be an infinite favour to be rescued from such circumstances, and especially to have eternal life conferred as a mere gratuity. This surely is grace. And as infants belong to a race of sinners who are all, as it were, turned over into the hands of Christ, they doubtless will ascribe their salvation to the infinite grace of Christ.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 40 - Moral Depravity--Continued (Part III) paragraph 29 Further examination of the arguments adduced in support of the position that human nature is in itself sinful

     All that can be justly said in either case is, that if infants are saved at all, which I suppose they are, they are rescued by the benevolence of God from circumstances that would result in certain and eternal death, and are by grace made heirs of eternal life. But after all, it is useless to speculate about the character and destiny of those who are confessedly not moral agents. The benevolence of God will take care of them. It is nonsensical to insist upon their moral depravity before they are moral agents, and it is frivolous to assert, that they must be morally depraved, as a condition of their being saved by grace.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 51 - Gracious Ability. paragraph 36 What is intended by the term . . This doctrine as held is an absurdity . . In what sense a gracious ability is possible

     But it is urged in support of the dogma of natural inability and of a gracious ability, that the Bible everywhere represents man as dependent on the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit for all holiness, and consequently for eternal life. I answer, it is admitted that this is the representation of the Bible, but the question is, in what sense is he dependent? Does his dependence consist in a natural inability to embrace the gospel and be saved? or does it consist in a voluntary selfishness--in an unwillingness to comply with the terms of salvation? Is man dependent on the Holy Spirit to give him a proper ability to obey God? or is he dependent only in such a sense that, as a matter of fact, he will not embrace the gospel unless the Holy Spirit makes him willing? The latter, beyond reasonable question, is the truth. This is the universal representation of scripture. The difficulty to be overcome is everywhere in the Bible represented to be the sinner's unwillingness alone. It cannot possibly be anything else; for the willingness is the doing required by God. "If there is but a willing mind, it is accepted according to what a man hath, and not according to what he hath not."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 55 - Faith and Unbelief. paragraph 34 What evangelical faith is not . . What it is . . What is implied in it . . What unbelief is not . . What it is,--What is implied in it . . Conditions of both faith and unbelief . . The guilt and desert of unbelief . . Natural and governmental consequences of both faith and unbelief

     11. It implies hope, as soon as the believing soul considers what is conveyed by the gospel, that is, a hope of eternal life in and through Christ. It is impossible that the soul should embrace the gospel for itself, and really accept of Christ, without a hope of eternal life resulting from it by a necessary law.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 56 - Justification. paragraph 45 What justification is not . . What it is . . Conditions of gospel justification

     John iii. 14. "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15. That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 56 - Justification. paragraph 82 What justification is not . . What it is . . Conditions of gospel justification

     1 John v. 10. "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself; he that believeth not God hath made him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 11. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life; and this life is in his Son. 12. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life. 13. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 56 - Justification. paragraph 106 What justification is not . . What it is . . Conditions of gospel justification

     Rom. ii. 4. "Who will render to every man according to his deeds." 7. "To them who by patient endurance in well-doing seek for glory, and honour, and immortality; eternal life."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 56 - Justification. paragraph 118 What justification is not . . What it is . . Conditions of gospel justification

     8. Christ has taught the saints to pray for forgiveness, which implies that when they sin they are condemned. There can be no pardon except there be condemnation. Pardon, as has been said, consists in setting aside the execution of the penalty of law upon the sinner. If therefore the law and the lawgiver do not condemn him, it is absurd to pray for pardon. The fact therefore that inspired saints prayed repeatedly for the pardon of sin committed subsequent to their regeneration; that Christ taught his disciples to pray for forgiveness; that it is natural to saints to pray for pardon when they have sinned; also, that the Bible expressly asserts that if a righteous man forsake his righteousness and sin, his righteousness shall not be remembered, but he shall be condemned for sin; and also that the human intellect affirms that this must be so: these facts render it plain, that perseverance in faith and obedience must be a condition of final justification and of eternal life.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 56 - Justification. paragraph 134 What justification is not . . What it is . . Conditions of gospel justification

     6. Christ, the second person in the glorious Trinity, is represented in scripture, as taking so prominent a part in this work, that the number of offices and relations which he sustains to God and man in it are truly wonderful. For example, he is represented as being: 1. King. 2. Judge. 3. Mediator. 4. Advocate. 5. Redeemer. 6. Surety. 7. Wisdom. 8. Righteousness. 9. Sanctification. 10. Redemption. 11. Prophet. 12. Priest. 13. Passover, or Lamb of God. 14. The bread and water of life. 15. True God and eternal life. 16. Our life. 17. Our all in all. 18. As the repairer of the breach. 19. As dying for our sins. 20. As rising for our justification. 21. As the resurrection and the life. 22. As bearing our griefs and carrying our sorrows. 23. As he, by whose stripes we are healed. 24. As the head of his people. 25. As the bridegroom or husband of his church. 26. As the shepherd of his flock. 27. As the door by which they enter. 28. As the way to salvation. 29. As our salvation. 30. As the truth. 31. As being made sin for us. 32. That we are made the righteousness of God in him. 33. That in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead. 34. That in him all fulness dwells. 35. All power in heaven and earth are said to be given to him. 36. He is said to be the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 37. Christ in us the hope of glory. 38. The true vine of which we are the branches. 39. Our brother. 40. Wonderful. 41. Counsellor. 42. The mighty God. 43. The everlasting Father. 44. The prince of peace. 45. The captain of salvation. 46. The captain of the Lord's host.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 63 - Sanctification (Part 7) paragraph 33 Condition of its attainment--continued . . Relations of Christ to the believer

     (viii.) As the Propitiation for our sins, to offer himself as a propitiatory or offering for our sins. The apprehension of Christ as making an atonement for our sins seems to be indispensable to the entertaining of a healthy hope of eternal life. It certainly is not healthy for the soul to apprehend the mercy of God, without regarding the conditions of its exercise. It does not sufficiently impress the soul with a sense of the justice and holiness of God, with the guilt and desert of sin. It does not sufficiently awe the soul and humble it in the deepest dust, to regard God as extending pardon, without regard to the sternness of his justice, as evinced in requiring that sin should be recognized in the universe, as worthy of the wrath and curse of God, as a condition of its forgiveness. It is remarkable, and well worthy of all consideration, that those who deny the atonement make sin a comparative trifle, and seem to regard God's benevolence or love as good nature, rather than, as it is, "a consuming fire" to all the workers of iniquity. Nothing does or can produce that awe of God, that fear and holy dread of sin, that self-abasing, God-justifying spirit, that a thorough apprehension of the atonement of Christ will do. Nothing like this can beget that spirit of self-renunciation, of cleaving to Christ, of taking refuge in his blood. In these relations Christ must be revealed to us, and apprehended and embraced by us, as the condition of our entire sanctification.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 64 - Sanctification (Part 8) paragraph 9 Relations of Christ to the believer--continued Part II

     (xxix.) The soul needs also to know Christ as the true God, and the eternal life. "No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, save by the Holy Spirit." The proper divinity of Christ is never, and never can be, held otherwise than as a mere opinion, a tenet, a speculation, an article of creed, until he is revealed to the inner man by the Holy Spirit. But nothing short of an apprehension of Christ, as the supreme and living God to the soul, can inspire that confidence in him that is essential to its established sanctification. The soul can have no apprehension of what is intended by his being the "eternal life," until it spiritually knows him as the true God. When he is spiritually revealed as the true and living God, the way is prepared for the spiritual apprehension of him as the eternal life. "As the living Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself." "In him was life, and the life was the light of men." "I give unto them eternal life." "I am the way, the truth, and the life." "I am the resurrection and the life." These and similar passages the soul needs spiritually to apprehend, to have a spiritual and personal revelation of them within. Most professors seem to me to have no right idea of the condition upon which the Bible can be made of spiritual use to them. They seem not to understand, that in its letter it is only a history of things formerly revealed to men; that it is, in fact, a revelation to no man, except upon the condition of its being personally revealed, or revealed to us in particular by the Holy Spirit. The mere fact, that we have in the gospel the history of the birth, the life, the death of Christ, is no such revelation of Christ to any man as meets his necessities; and as will secure his salvation. Christ and his doctrine, his life, and death, and resurrection, need to be revealed personally by the Holy Spirit, to each and every soul of man, to effect his salvation. So it is with every spiritual truth; without an inward revelation of it to the soul, it is only a savour of death unto death. It is in vain to hold to the proper divinity of Christ, as a speculation, a doctrine, a theory, an opinion, without the revelation of his divine nature and character to the soul, by the Holy Spirit. But let the soul know him, and walk with him as the true God, and then it will no longer question whether, as our sanctification, he is all-sufficient and complete. Let no one object to this, that if this is true, men are under no obligation to believe in Christ, and to obey the gospel, without or until they are enlightened by the Holy Spirit. To such an objection, should it be made, I would answer,--

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 64 - Sanctification (Part 8) paragraph 12 Relations of Christ to the believer--continued Part II

     (xxx.) But be it remembered, that it is not enough for us to apprehend Christ as the true God and the eternal life, but we need also to lay hold upon him as our life. It cannot be too distinctly understood, that a particular and personal appropriation of Christ, in such relations, is indispensable to our being rooted and grounded, established and perfected in love. When our utter deficiency and emptiness in any one respect or direction, is deeply revealed to us by the Holy Spirit, with the corresponding remedy and perfect fulness in Christ, it then remains for the soul, in this respect and direction, to cast off self, and put on Christ. When this is done, when self in that respect and direction is dead, and Christ is risen, and lives and reigns in the heart in that relation, all is strong, and whole, and complete, in that department of our life and experience. For example, suppose we find ourselves constitutionally, or by reason of our relations and circumstances, exposed to certain besetments and temptations that overcome us. Our weakness in this respect we observe in our experience. But upon observing our exposedness, and experiencing something of our weakness, we begin with piling resolution upon resolution. We bind ourselves with oaths and promises, and covenants, but all in vain. When we purpose to stand, we invariably, in the presence of the temptation, fall. This process of resolving and falling brings the soul into great discouragement and perplexity, until at last the Holy Spirit reveals to us fully, that we are attempting to stand and to build upon nothing. The utter emptiness and worse than uselessness of our resolutions and self-originated efforts, is so clearly seen by us, as to annihilate for ever self-dependence in this respect. Now the soul is prepared for the revelation of Christ to meet this particular want. Christ is revealed and apprehended as the soul's substitute, surety, life, and salvation, in respect to the particular besetment and weakness of which it has had so full and so humiliating a revelation. Now, if the soul utterly and for ever casts off and renounces self, and puts on the Lord Jesus Christ, as he is seen to be needed to meet his necessity, then all is complete in him. Thus far Christ is reigning within us. Thus far we know what is the power of his resurrection, and are made conformable to his death.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 64 - Sanctification (Part 8) paragraph 14 Relations of Christ to the believer--continued Part II

     Apprehending and embracing Christ as our life implies the apprehension of the fact, that we of ourselves are dead in trespasses and in sins, that we have no life in ourselves, that death has reigned, and will eternally reign in and over us, unless Christ become our life. Until man knows himself to be dead, and that he is wholly destitute of spiritual life in himself, he will never know Christ as his life. It is not enough to hold the opinion, that all men are by nature dead in trespasses and sins. It is not enough to hold the opinion, that we are, in common with all men, in this condition in and of ourselves. We must see it. We must know what such language means. It must be made a matter of personal revelation to us. We must be made fully to apprehend our own death, and Christ as our life; and we must fully recognize our death and him as our life, by personally renouncing self, in this respect, and laying hold on him as our own spiritual and eternal life. Many persons, and, strange to say, some eminent ministers, are so blinded as to suppose, that a soul entirely sanctified does not any longer need Christ, assuming that such a soul has spiritual life in and of himself; that there is in him some foundation or efficient occasion of continued holiness, as if the Holy Spirit had changed his nature, or infused physical holiness or an independent holy principle into him, in such a sense that they have an independent well-spring of holiness within, as a part of themselves. Oh, when will such men cease to darken counsel by words without knowledge, upon the infinitely important subject of sanctification! When will such men--when will the church, understand that Christ is our sanctification; that we have no life, no holiness, no sanctification, except as we abide in Christ, and he in us; that, separate from Christ, there never is any moral excellence in any man; that Christ does not change the constitution of man in sanctification, but that he only, by our own consent, gains and keeps the heart; that he enthrones himself, with our consent, in the heart, and through the heart extends his influence and his life to all our spiritual being; that he lives in us as really and truly as we live in our own bodies; that he as really reigns in our will, and consequently in our emotions, by our own free consent, as our wills reign in our bodies? Cannot our brethren understand, that this is sanctification, and that nothing else is? that there is no degree of sanctification that is not to be thus ascribed to Christ? and that entire sanctification is nothing else than the reign of Jesus in the soul? nothing more nor less than Christ, the resurrection and the life, raising the soul from spiritual death, and reigning in it through righteousness unto eternal life? I must know and embrace Christ as my life; I must abide in him as a branch abides in the vine; I must not only hold this as an opinion; I must know and act on it in practice. Oh, when the ministry of reconciliation all know and embrace a whole Christ for themselves; when they preach Jesus in all his fulness and present vital power to the church; when they testify what they have seen, and their hands have handled of the word of life--then, and not till then, will there be a general resurrection of the dry bones of the house of Israel. Amen. Lord, hasten the day!

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 65 - Sanctification (Part 9) paragraph 19 Relations of Christ to the believer--continued Part III

     Observe, he is not a mere teacher of the way, as some vainly imagine and teach. Christ is truly "the way" itself, or he is himself "the way." Works are not the way, whether these works are legal or gospel works, whether works of law or works of faith. Works of faith are a condition of salvation; but they are not "the way." Faith is not the way; faith is a condition of entering and abiding in this way, but it is not "the way." Christ is himself "the way." Faith receives him to reign in the soul, and to be its salvation; but it is Christ himself who is "the way." The soul is saved by Christ himself, not by doctrine, not by the Holy Spirit, not by works of any kind, not by faith, or love, or by anything whatever, but by Christ himself. The Holy Spirit reveals and introduces Christ to the soul, and the soul to Christ. He takes of the things of Christ and shows them to us. But he leaves it to Christ to save us. He urges and induces us to accept of Christ, to receive him by appropriating faith, as he reveals him to us. But Christ is the way. It is his being received by us, that saves the soul. But we must perceive the way; we must enter this way by our own act. We must proceed in this way. We must continue in this way to the end of life, and to all eternity, as the indispensable condition of our salvation. "Whither I go ye know, and the way ye know," said Christ. "Thomas said unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest, and how can we know the way?" "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me ye should have known my Father also, and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father, and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?" Here Christ so identifies himself with the Father as to insist, that he who had seen one had seen the other. When therefore he says, no man cometh to the Father but by him, we are to understand, that no man need expect to find the true God elsewhere than in him. The visible Christ embodied the true Godhead. He is the way to God, for and because he is the true God, and the eternal life, and salvation of the soul. Many seem to understand Christ in this relation as nothing more than a teacher of a system of morality, by the observance of which we may be saved. Others regard this relation as only implying, that he is the way, in the sense of making an atonement, and thus rendering it possible for us to be forgiven. Others still understand this language as implying, not only that Christ made an atonement, and opened up a way of access, through his death and mediation, to God; but also that he teaches us the great truths essential to our salvation. Now all this, in my apprehension, falls entirely, and I may say, infinitely short of the true spiritual meaning of Christ, and the true spiritual import of this relation. The above is implied and included in this relation, no doubt, but this is not all, nor the essential truth intended in Christ's declaration. He did not say, I came to open the way, nor to teach the way, nor to call you into the way, but "I am the way." Suppose he had intended merely, that his instructions pointed out the way, or that his death was to open the way, and his teaching point it out, would he not have said,--What! have I so long taught you, and have you not understood my doctrine? Would he not have said, I have taught you the way, instead of saying, I am the way? The fact is, there is a meaning in these words, more profoundly spiritual than his disciples then perceived, and than many now seem capable of understanding. He is himself the way of salvation, because he is the salvation of the soul. He is the way to the Father, because he is in the Father, and the Father in him. He is the way to eternal life, because he is himself the very essence and substance of eternal life. The soul that finds him needs not to look for eternal life, for it has found it already. These questions of Thomas and Philip show how little they really knew of Christ, previous to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Vast multitudes of the professed disciples of the present day seem not to know Christ as "the way." They seem not to have known Christ in this relation as he is revealed by the Holy Spirit. This revelation of Christ as "the way" by the Comforter is indispensable to our so knowing him as to retain our standing in the hour of temptation. We must know, and enter, and walk, and abide in this true and living way for ourselves. It is a living way, and not a mere speculation.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 65 - Sanctification (Part 9) paragraph 20 Relations of Christ to the believer--continued Part III

     Do you, my brother, know Christ by the Holy Spirit as the "living way?" Do you know Christ for yourself, by a personal acquaintance? Or do you know him only by report, by hearsay, by preaching, by reading, and by study? Do you know him as in the Father, and the Father as in him? Philip seemed not to have had a spiritual and personal revelation of the proper deity of Christ to his own soul. Have you had this revelation? And when he has been revealed to you, as the true and living way, have you by faith personally entered this way? Do you abide steadfast in it? Do you know by experience what it is to live, and move, and have your very being in God? Be ye not deceived; he that does not spiritually discern, and enter this way, and abide in it unto the end, cannot be saved. Do see to it, then, that you know the way to be sanctified, to be justified, to be saved. See to it that you do not mistake the way, and betake yourself to some other way. Remember, works are not the way. Faith is not the way. Doctrine is not the way. All these are conditions of salvation, but Christ in his own person, is "the way." His own life, living in and united to you, is the way, and the only way. You enter this way by faith; works of faith result from, and are a condition of, abiding in this way; but the way itself is the indwelling, living, personally embraced and appropriated Christ, the true God and the eternal life. Amen, Lord Jesus! the way is pleasant, and all its paths are peace.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 67 - Sanctification (Part 11) paragraph 22 Relations of Christ to the believer--continued Part V

     (e.) Giving us eternal life and happiness.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 68 - Sanctification (Part 12) paragraph 128 Objections answered

     Rom. v. 12: "That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 68 - Sanctification (Part 12) paragraph 145 Objections answered

     (3.) The consecration is designed to be entire, and everlasting; that is, the consecrated soul does not enlist as an experiment, nor for a limited time; but true consecration or devotion to God is comprehensive, so far as present intention goes, of all the future. This consecration to be real is comprehensive of all future duration, and of all space; that is, the soul in the act of true consecration, enlists in the service of God for life, to be wholly God's servant in all places, at all times, and to all eternity. These are the true elements of all acceptable consecration to God. The soul in the act of consecration makes no reserves of time, or place, or powers; all are surrendered to God. It does not intend nor expect to sin at the moment of consecration. It fully intends to be, and remain wholly the Lord's. It chooses the great end upon which benevolence fixes, and designs to relinquish it no more for ever. But experience teaches the Christian his own weakness, and that, if left to himself, he is easily overcome by temptation. His sensibility has been so little developed in its relations to eternal realities; his will has so long been in the habit of being led by the feelings and desires of the sensibility, that when the propensities are strongly excited, he finds to his confusion and unspeakable grief, that he is weak; and that if left to himself, he invariably yields to temptation; or that he is at least very liable to do so, and that he frequently sins. Now, the question is, Is there no ground of rational hope that he may attain such an established state as uniformly to have the victory over temptation? Is there no ground of rational hope in this respect, until after this life? Has grace made no such provision, as to render it rational in the true saints, to expect or hope to gain so complete a victory that Rom. v. 21, shall be realized in their own experience: "That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord;" Also, vi. 14: "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under law, but under grace." Also, Thess. v. 23, 24: "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God your whole soul, &c., faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." Also, Jeremiah xxxii. 40: "And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good, but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me." Also, Col. iv. 12: "That you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God." I say, the true question is, Is there no hope for the Christian, that these and such-like passages shall be fulfilled to him, and realized in his own experience in this life? Can he not rationally hope, that the developements of his sensibility may be so corrected, that he may be thoroughly and constantly enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and enjoy so constant and so deep an anointing, may be so baptized into Christ, and made so thoroughly acquainted with him, in his various offices and relations, as to break effectually and permanently the power of temptation; and so confirm the soul in its consecration as that, through the indwelling of Christ by his Spirit, he shall be more than conqueror in every conflict with the world, the flesh, and Satan? Is there no hope? This is the agonizing inquiry of every soul who has felt the galling and fascinating power of temptation. Observe, in the case supposed, the soul is at present willing, and deeply solicitous to avoid all sin in future. Thus far grace has prevailed; the soul has committed itself to God. Is there no hope that it can abide in this state of committal? Is it irrational for it, in the midst of its anxieties, to stand fast for ever; to hope that it shall ever in this life find itself practically able to do so? If not, what do the scriptures mean? If I may not rationally hope to stand in every hour of temptation, what can this passage mean? 1 Cor. x. 13: "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." Does this only mean, that we shall have the natural ability to bear temptation? Does it not mean, that such Divine help shall be vouchsafed, as that we may rationally hope and expect to stand in the hour of trial? Indeed it does.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 69 - Sanctification (Part 13) paragraph 15 Tendency of the denial that Christians have valid grounds of hope that they should obtain a victory over sin in this life

     Whatever therefore tends to prevent hope, tends to prevent religion. There is, as every one must see, a difference between a hope of eternal life, founded upon a consciousness of being a christian, and a hope founded upon the mere offer of salvation. The difference however does not consist in the nature of hope, but only in the evidence upon which expectation is based. The offer of salvation, as has been said, lays a good foundation for a rational hope, that we shall be converted and saved. But finding ourselves in the way of obedience, and drawn by the Holy Spirit, we have a higher evidence upon which to base expectation. Both desire and expectation are greatly increased in the latter case, but they may justly exist in a lower degree, in the former case.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 74 - Election paragraph 43

     Acts xiii. 48: "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord; and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 74 - Election paragraph 70

     1. It is admitted that God is infinitely benevolent and wise. It must follow that election is founded in some reason or reasons; and that these reasons are good and sufficient; reasons that rendered it obligatory upon God to choose just as he did, in election. Assuming, as we must, that God is wise and good, we are safe in affirming that he could have had none but benevolent reasons for his election of some to eternal life, in preference to others. Hence we are bound to affirm, that election was not based upon, nor does it imply partiality in God, in any bad sense of that term. Partiality in any being, consists in preferring one to another without any good or sufficient reason, or in opposition to good and sufficient reasons. It being admitted that God is infinitely wise and good, it follows, that he cannot be partial; that he cannot have elected some to eternal salvation and passed others by, without some good and sufficient reason. That is, he cannot have done it arbitrarily. The great objection that is felt and urged by opposers of this doctrine is, that it implies partiality in God, and represents him as deciding the eternal destiny of moral agents by an arbitrary sovereignty. But this objection is a sheer and altogether unwarrantable assumption. It assumes, that God could have had no good and sufficient reasons for the election. It has been settled, that good is the end upon which God set his heart; that is, the highest well being of himself and the universe of creatures. This end must be accomplished by means. If God is infinitely wise and good, he must have chosen the best practicable means. But he has chosen the best means for that end, and there can be no partiality in that.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 74 - Election paragraph 106

     3. His saving some is no discouragement to others, but should rather encourage them to lay hold on eternal life.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 74 - Election paragraph 116

     If I understand this objector, there is another non sequitur in his objection. I understand him to say, that upon the supposition that the elect and the non-elect have the same measure of gracious influence, and that the reason why the elect are saved, and the non-elect not saved is, that the elect yield to, and the non-elect resist this influence: the whole question resolves into free will, and there is no election about it. If this is his meaning, as I think it must be, it is a plain non sequitur. Suppose God foresaw that this would be so, and in view of this foreseen fact elected those who he foresaw would yield both to the privileges and gracious influence to which he foresaw they would yield, and to salvation as a consequence of this influence and yielding. And suppose he foresaw that the non-elect, although ordained or elected to enjoy the same measure of gracious influence, would resist and reject salvation, and for this cause rejected or reprobated them in his eternal purpose. Would not this be election? To be sure, in this case the different results would turn upon the fact that the elect yielded, and the non-elect did not yield, to the same measure of gracious influence. But there would be an election of the one to eternal life, and a rejection of the other. I cannot see how this objector can say, that in this case there could be no election, unless in his idea of election there is the exercise of an arbitrary sovereignty. I suppose that God bestows on men unequal measures of gracious influence, but that in this there is nothing arbitrary; that, on the contrary, he sees the wisest and best reasons for this; that being in justice under obligation to none, he exercises his own benevolent discretion, in bestowing on all as much gracious influence as he sees to be upon the whole wise and good, and enough to throw the entire responsibility of their damnation upon them if they are lost. But upon some he foresaw that he could wisely bestow a sufficient measure of gracious influence to secure their voluntary yielding, and upon others he could not bestow enough in fact to secure this result. In accordance with this foreknowledge, he chose the elect to both the gracious influence and its results, eternal life. In all this there was nothing arbitrary or unjust. He does all for all that he wisely can. He does enough for all to leave them without excuse. If the non-elect would yield to that measure of gracious influence which he can and does bestow upon them, which is the best he can do without acting unwisely, and of course wickedly, they would be saved. To this they might yield. To this they ought to yield. God has no right to do more than he does for them, all things considered; and there is no reason of which they can justly complain why they are not saved. They can with no more reason complain of his not giving them more gracious influence than that he created them, or that he made them free agents, or that he did not restrain them from sin altogether, or do anything else which it had been unwise, and therefore wrong to have done. Nor is the fact that God does not bestow on them sufficient grace to secure their yielding and salvation, a "reason back of their obstinacy to which their not being saved is to be ascribed," any more than any one of the above-named things is such a reason.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 74 - Election paragraph 126

     1. Foreknowledge and election are not inconsistent with free agency. The elect were chosen to eternal life, upon condition that God foresaw that in the perfect exercise of their freedom, they could be induced to repent and embrace the gospel.*

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 74 - Election paragraph 131

     4. This doctrine lays no foundation for a controversy with God. But on the other hand, it does lay a broad foundation for gratitude, both on the part of the elect and non-elect. The elect certainly have great reason for thankfulness, that they are thus distinguished. Oh, what a thought, to have your name written in the book of life, to be chosen of God an heir of eternal salvation, to be adopted into his family, to be destined to enjoy his presence, and to bathe your soul in the boundless ocean of his love for ever and ever. Nor are the non-elect without obligations of thankfulness. You ought to be grateful, if any of your brethren of the human family are saved. If all were lost, God would be just. And if any of this dying world receive the gift of eternal life, you ought to be grateful, and render everlasting thanks to God.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 74 - Election paragraph 137

     10. Lastly, God requires you to give all diligence to make your calling and election sure. In choosing his elect, you must understand that he has thrown the responsibility of their being saved upon them; that the whole is suspended upon their consent to the terms; you are all perfectly able to give your consent, and this moment to lay hold on eternal life. Irrespective of your own choice, no election could save you, and no reprobation can damn you. The "Spirit and the Bride say, Come: let him that heareth say, Come; let him that is athirst come; and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." The responsibility is yours. God does all that he wisely can, and challenges you to show what more he could do that he has not done. If you go to hell, you must go stained with your own blood. God is clear, angels are clear. To your own Master you stand or fall; mercy waits; the Spirit strives; Jesus stands at the door and knocks. Do not then pervert this doctrine, and make it an occasion of stumbling, till you are in the depths of hell.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 75 - Reprobation paragraph 56

     Rom. ii. 6: "Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7. To them who, by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, honour, and immortality, eternal life; 8. But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath; 9. Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10. But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good; to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11. For there is no respect of persons with God."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 75 - Reprobation paragraph 76

     Is it not just in God to let men have their own choice, especially when the highest possible motives are held out to them as inducements to choose eternal life. What! is it not just to reprobate men when they obstinately refuse salvation--when every thing has been done that is consistent with infinite wisdom and benevolence to save them? Shall not men be willing to be either saved or lost? What shall God do with you? You are unwilling to be saved; why then should you object to being damned? If reprobation under these circumstances is not just, I challenge you, sinner, to tell what is just.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 75 - Reprobation paragraph 129

     4. Reprobates are bound to praise God. He has created and given you many blessings, sinner, and offers you eternal life; and will you refuse to praise him?

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 75 - Reprobation paragraph 138

     You only show that you are determined to harden your hearts, and resist God, and thus compel the holy Lord God to reject you. There is no doctrine of the Bible that can save you, if you persevere in sin, and none that can damn you, if you repent and believe the gospel. The blood of Christ flows freely. The fountain is open. Sinner, what say you? Will you have eternal life? Will you have it now, or will you reject it? Will you trample the law under foot, and stumble over the gospel to the depths of hell?

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 78 - Perseverance of Saints paragraph 35 Notice the different kinds of certainty . . What is not intended by the perseverance of the saints

     But here it should be distinctly remembered, as was said, that there is a difference between a certainty and a knowledge of it. It is one thing for an event to be really certain, and another thing for us to have a knowledge of it as certain. Everything is really equally certain, but many things are not revealed to us as certain. Those that are revealed as certain, are no more really so than others, but with respect to future things, not in some way revealed to us, we know not how they will prove to be. The fact that a thing is revealed to us as certain does not make it certain, nor is it really any the less uncertain because it is revealed to us as certain, unless the revelation tends to secure the certainty. Suppose the ultimate salvation of all the saints is certain, and that this certainty is revealed to us; unless this revelation is the means of securing their salvation, they are in just as much real danger of ultimately failing of eternal life, as if no such revelation had been made. Notwithstanding the certainty of their salvation, and the fact that this certainly is revealed to them, there is just as much real, though unknown, certainty or uncertainty, in respect to any future event whatever, as there is in respect to this. All events are certain with some kind of certainty, and would be whether any being whatever knew the certainty or not. So all events, consisting in or depending upon the free acts of free agents, are really as uncertain as any event can be, and this is true whether the certainty is revealed or not. The salvation of the saints then, is not certain with any higher certainty than belongs to all future events that consist in, or are conditionated upon, the free acts of free will, though this certainty may be revealed to us in one case, and not in the other.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 79 - Perseverance of Saints proved paragraph 33

     Here Jesus says, that all who are given to him by the Father shall come to him, and that of those that come to him, it is his Father's will that he should lose none, but that he should raise them up, (that is, to eternal life,) at the last day. He does not say here, that none do come to him who are not given to him by the Father, but this is plainly implied, for he says, 37th. "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." What he means by not casting them out, is plain from verse 39. That is, "It is the Father's will that of all that shall come to me I should lose nothing." By not casting them out, then, he intended that he should surely save them, that is, all that came to him. But if he saves them, they must have been given to Christ and have been elected, or they were not. If they were not elected, or given to Christ by the Father, they will never be saved, unless some are saved without God's designing or choosing to save them. If any are saved, God saves them, through or by Christ. If he saves them, he does it designedly, and not without design. But if he ever does, or will design it, he has from eternity designed it. So then, it appears, that all who come to Christ were given to him of the Father; and that he will lose none of them, but will raise them up at the last day. My object at present, however, is not to insist that no one that comes to Christ will be lost, but only that all who come to Christ are of the number that were given to him of the Father, or are of the elect.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 79 - Perseverance of Saints proved paragraph 41

     John x. 26: "But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. 29. My Father which gave them me, is greater than all; and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 80 - Perseverance of Saints III paragraph 27 Further objections considered

     John xvii. 2: "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 6. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them to me; and they have kept thy word. 7. Now they have known that all things, whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee; 8. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. 9. I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me, for they are thine. 10. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. 11. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 12. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 20. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. 21. That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22. And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one. 23. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me. 24. Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 80 - Perseverance of Saints III paragraph 29 Further objections considered

     (i.) Verse 2, "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 80 - Perseverance of Saints III paragraph 62 Further objections considered

     Here he expressly teaches, as we have before seen, that it is his Father's will, that all believers, or all who at any time believe, (for this is plainly his meaning,) shall be saved; that he should lose none of them, but as we have seen, John xvii. 2, should give them eternal life. Then he claims ability to keep and save them, agreeably to his Father's will. This, remember, respects all believers, or all who are given to Christ, who, we have learned, are the same persons.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 80 - Perseverance of Saints III paragraph 63 Further objections considered

     Again: John x. 27: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. 29. My Father which gave them me, is greater than all: and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 80 - Perseverance of Saints III paragraph 67 Further objections considered

     But again, it is said, that although no one else can pluck the sheep out of the Father's hand, yet we can do it ourselves. I grant, that we can, by natural possibility; but this objection is good for nothing, for Christ expressly says, John x. 27: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. 29. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 80 - Perseverance of Saints III paragraph 68 Further objections considered

     Not only is no one able to pluck them out of his Father's hand, but Christ gives unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish. This implies, that while they might or are able to apostatize and be lost, yet, as a matter of fact, they never will. What could be made out of all he says of himself as a shepherd in this passage, if, after all, he loses some of his sheep? Let any one ponder the whole chapter, and see.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 80 - Perseverance of Saints III paragraph 74 Further objections considered

     Acts xiii. 48. "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord; and as many as were ordained to eternal life, believed."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 80 - Perseverance of Saints III paragraph 78 Further objections considered

     Those who believe are represented as already having eternal life, as not coming into condemnation, but as having passed from death unto life. The following passages are specimens of the manner in which the scriptures speak upon this subject.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 80 - Perseverance of Saints III paragraph 85 Further objections considered

     Acts xiii. 48. "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life, believed."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 80 - Perseverance of Saints III paragraph 88 Further objections considered

     Now it seems to me, that this numerous class of passages strongly imply that there is a certain connexion of some sort between coming to Christ, receiving Christ, &c., and eternal life. Observe, I do not contend that perseverance in faith and obedience is not also a condition of salvation, but on the contrary, that it actually is. Nor do I contend that such like representations as the above, settle the question that all who at any time repent, believe, or come to Christ, will be saved. The thing which I here intend is, that this class of texts is just what we might expect, if the fact of regeneration were certainly connected with salvation, and just what it seems they ought not to be, in case this were not true.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 80 - Perseverance of Saints III paragraph 136 Further objections considered

     That is, he shall never perish for lack of this Spirit or water, but it shall abide in him, and spring up into eternal life. The Spirit shall remain in him, and secure him against falling and perishing. The fact that the Spirit shall abide with and in all who ever receive him, and shall prevail to secure their salvation, seems to be plainly taught in this passage.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 80 - Perseverance of Saints III paragraph 147 Further objections considered

     False theories are represented as permitted to test the piety of true and false professors. 1 Cor. xi. 19: "For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you." Those that are of the elect, or are true children of God, will not follow heresies. Christ says, John x. 4, 6: "And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep will follow him; for they know his voice. 9. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 27. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 81 - Perseverance of Saints IV paragraph 35 Consideration of principal arguments in support of the doctrine

     1 Tim. vi. 12: "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 81 - Perseverance of Saints IV paragraph 41 Consideration of principal arguments in support of the doctrine

     Rom. ii. 6: "Who will render to every man according to his deeds; 7. To them who, by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory, and honour, and immortality, eternal life."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 81 - Perseverance of Saints IV paragraph 51 Consideration of principal arguments in support of the doctrine

     I find no instance in the Bible in which the saints are enjoined or exhorted to fear that they shall actually be lost; but, on the contrary, this kind of fear is everywhere, in the word of God, discountenanced and rebuked, and the saints are exhorted to the utmost assurance that Christ will keep and preserve them to the end, and finally bestow on them eternal life. They are warned against sin and apostacy, and are informed that if they do apostatize they shall be lost. They are expressly informed, that their salvation is conditioned upon their perseverance in holiness to the end. They are also called upon to watch against sin and apostacy; to fear both, lest they should be lost.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 81 - Perseverance of Saints IV paragraph 66 Consideration of principal arguments in support of the doctrine

     Now, it is the design of the sanctions of law in all worlds to produce hope on the one hand, and fear on the other; in holy beings the hope of reward, and the fear to sin lest they should perish. This hope and fear in a being duly influenced by them, is not selfishness. It is madness and desperate wickedness not to be influenced by them. Our reason affirms that we ought to be influenced by them, that our own salvation is of infinite value, and that our damnation were an infinite evil. It therefore affirms that we ought to secure the one and to avoid the other. This is law both on earth and in heaven. This we are not to do selfishly, that is, to seek our own salvation, or to avoid our own damnation, exclusively or only, but to seek to save as many as possible; to love our neighbour as ourselves, and ourselves as our neighbour. In all worlds the sanctions of law ought to have their influence, and with holy beings they have. Holy beings are really subjects of fear, to sin, and to be lost, and are the only beings who have the kind of fear which God requires, and which it is the design of the sanctions of law and of the gospel to inspire. What! are we to be told that a certainty of safety is wholly inconsistent with every kind and degree of fear? What, then, is the use of law in heaven? Must a man on earth or in heaven doubt whether he shall have eternal life, in order to leave room for the influence of moral law, and of hope, and of fear? or in order to leave play for the motives of moral government? There is room for the same fear in heaven that ought to be on earth. No one had a right to expect to violate the precept, and thereby incur the penalty of law. But every one was bound to fear to do so. The penalty was never designed on earth, any more than it is in heaven, to beget a slavish fear, or a fear that we shall sin and be damned; but only a fear to sin and be damned. A fear to sin and to be lost, will, to all eternity, no doubt, be a means of confirming holy beings in heaven. The law will be the same there as here. Free agency will be the same there as here. Perseverance in holiness will be a condition of continued salvation there as really as here. There may, and doubtless will be, temptations there as well as here. They will, therefore, need there substantially the same motives to keep them that they need and have here. There will there be laws and conditions of continued bliss as here. There will be the same place, and in kind, if not in degree, the same occasion for fear there that there is here. I say again, that the objection we are considering, overlooks both the true philosophy of mind, and of the influence of the sanctions of moral law.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 82 - Perseverance of Saints V paragraph 17 Perseverance proved

     But if it be still urged, that the fact of election is not revealed in any case to the individuals who compose the elect; that if the fact of election were revealed to any one, to him threatenings and warnings would be out of place; I reply, that this is only saying, that if certainty is revealed as such at any time, and in respect to anything, then warnings, and threatenings, and fears, are wholly out of place. But this is not true, as we have seen in the case of the shipwreck. Here the certainty was revealed to the individuals concerned, and accredited. Christ also revealed to his apostles the fact of their election, as we have seen, also to Paul. Can any one reasonably call in question the fact, that the apostles understood well their election of God, not only to the apostleship, but also to eternal life? John directs one of his epistles as follows: "The elder to the elect lady and her children." Observe again, what Paul says in writing to the church at Ephesus, in the passage which has just been quoted.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 82 - Perseverance of Saints V paragraph 28 Perseverance proved

     Now, a natural possibility always exists in respect to the falling and final destruction of the saints; and in most cases at least, the circumstances are such, that humanly speaking, and aside from the grace of God, there is not only real danger, but a certainty that they will fail of eternal life. There are, humanly speaking, many chances to one that they will fall and be lost. Now, this danger is as real as if nothing of certainty had been revealed. The event would have been as certain without the revelation of the certainty as with it, unless it be true, which I suppose in many cases is the fact, that the revelation of the certainty helps to secure their perseverance.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), APPENDIX Reply to Dr. Duffield paragraph 150

     Is not this teaching of the Doctor as plainly contrary to the Bible as possible? "But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned; in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die." Ezek. xviii. 24. "When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousness shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it." xxxiii. 13. "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." John xv. 6. "Who will render to every man according to his deeds; to them, who by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, and honour, and immortality, eternal life." Rom. ii. 6, 7. "For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end." Hebrews iii. 14.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), APPENDIX Reply to Dr. Duffield paragraph 161

     "There is a deterioration of our moral and intellectual, as well as our physical powers, consequent on the fall, so that the most exact obedience any mortal man ever rendered, comes far short of the demands which the law of God made on our great progenitor, who was created in the image of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, and in the full developement and perfection of all his moral powers. Uninterrupted obedience is the only obedience that can satisfy the claims of the law. To continue in his obedience, as perfect as God had made him, agreeably to the test which He had instituted, was the condition required for his justification, and to which the promise of eternal life was annexed. This, then, is the standard by which we are to judge of moral perfection, and not the fluctuating standard of the different degrees of moral power in different individuals--the endlessly deteriorated varieties of human ability, developed in man's fallen nature. Whoever is thus perfect, as Adam was required to be, will be justified by his own obedience to the law, and entitled to eternal life, as having perfectly kept the commandments of God. This, and this only, is perfection in the eye of God and of His law."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), APPENDIX Reply to Dr. Duffield paragraph 176

     "There is a deterioration of our moral and intellectual, as well as our physical powers, consequent on the fall, so that the most exact obedience any mortal man ever rendered, comes far short of the demands which the law of God made on our great progenitor, who was created in the image of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, and in the full developement and perfection of all his moral powers. Uninterrupted obedience is the only obedience that can satisfy the claims of the law. To continue in his obedience, as perfect as God had made him, agreeably to the test which he had instituted, was the condition required for his justification, and to which the promise of eternal life was annexed. This, then, is the standard by which we are to judge of moral perfection, and not the fluctuating standard of the different degrees of moral power in different individuals, the endlessly deteriorated variety of human ability, developed in man's fallen nature."

 

 


POWER FROM ON HIGH - CHAPTER 4 - Enduement Of Power From On High paragraph 11

Many professors of religion suppose it belongs especially and only to such as are called to preach the Gospel as a life-work. They fail to realize that all are called to preach the Gospel, that the whole life of every Christian is to be a proclamation of the glad tidings. A third want is an earnest faith in the promise of this enduement. A vast many professors of religion, and even ministers, seem to doubt whether this promise is to the whole Church and to every Christian. Consequently, they have no faith to lay hold of it. If it does not belong to all, they don't know to whom it does belong. Of course they cannot lay hold of the promise by faith. A fourth want is that persistence in waiting upon God for it that is enjoined in the Scriptures. They faint before they have prevailed, and, hence, the enduement is not received. Multitudes seem to satisfy themselves with a hope of eternal life for themselves. They never get ready to dismiss the question of their own salvation, leaving that, as settled, with Christ. They don't get ready to accept the great commission to work for the salvation of others, because their faith is so weak that they do not steadily leave the question of their own salvation in the hands of Christ; and even some ministers of the Gospel, I find, are in the same condition, and halting in the same way, unable to give themselves wholly to the work of saving others, because in a measure unsettled about their own salvation. It is amazing to witness the extent to which the Church has practically lost sight of the necessity of this enduement of power. Much is said of our dependence upon the Holy Spirit by almost everybody; but how little is this dependence realized. Christians and even ministers go to work without it. I mourn to be obliged to say that the ranks of the ministry seem to be filling up with those who do not possess it. May the Lord have mercy upon us! Will this last remark be thought uncharitable? If so, let the report of the Home Missionary Society, for example, be heard upon this subject. Surely, something is wrong.

 

 


POWER FROM ON HIGH - CHAPTER 7 - How To Win Souls paragraph 46

40th. Assure him that "God has given to him eternal life, and this life is in His Son"; that "Christ is made unto him wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption"; and that from first to last he is to find his whole salvation in Christ.

 

 


POWER FROM ON HIGH - CHAPTER 12 - The Psychology Of Faith paragraph 9

When we firmly trust in His person, and commit our souls to Him by an unwavering act of confidence in Him for all that He is affirmed to be to us in the Bible, this is faith. We trust Him upon the testimony of God. We trust Him for what the doctrines and facts of the Bible declare Him to be to us. This act of trust unites our spirit to Him in a union so close that we directly receive from Him a current of eternal life. Faith, in consciousness, seems to complete the divine galvanic circle, and the life of God is instantly imparted to our souls. God's life, and light, and love, and peace, and joy seem to flow to us as naturally and spontaneously as the galvanic current from the battery. We then for the first time understand what Christ meant by our being united to Him by faith, as the branch is united to the vine. Christ is then and thus revealed to us as God. We are conscious of direct communion with Him, and know Him as we know ourselves, by His direct activity within us. We then know directly, in consciousness, that He is our life, and that we receive from Him, moment by moment, as it were, an impartation of eternal life.

 

 


POWER FROM ON HIGH - CHAPTER 12 - The Psychology Of Faith paragraph 11

From personal conversation with hundreds and I may say thousands of Christian people, I have been struck with the application of Christ's words, as recorded in the fifth Chapter of John, to their experience. Christ said to the Jews: "Ye do search the Scriptures [for so it should be rendered]; for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of Me; and ye will not come unto Me that ye might have life." They stopped short in the Scriptures. They satisfied themselves with ascertaining what the Scriptures said about Christ, but did not avail themselves of the light thus received to come to Him by an act of loving trust in His person. I fear it is true in these days, as it has been in the days that are past, that multitudes stop short in the facts and doctrines of the Gospel, and do not by any act of trust in His person come to Him, concerning whom all this testimony is given. Thus the Bible is misunderstood and abused.

 

 


POWER FROM ON HIGH - CHAPTER 12 - The Psychology Of Faith paragraph 13

This is certainly Christian experience. This is receiving from Christ the eternal life which God has given us in Him. This is saving faith.

 

 


POWER FROM ON HIGH - CHAPTER 12 - The Psychology Of Faith paragraph 14

There are many degrees in the strength of faith, from that of which we are hardly conscious to that which lets such a flood of eternal life into the soul as to quite overcome the strength of the body. In the strongest exercise of faith the nerves of the body seem to give way for the time being under the overwhelming exercise of the mind. This great strength of mental exercise is perhaps not very common. We can endure but little of God's light and love in our souls and yet remain in the body. I have sometimes felt that a little clearer vision would draw my soul entirely away from the body, and I have met with many Christian people to whom these strong gales of spiritual influence were familiar. But my object in writing thus is to illustrate the nature or psychology and results of saving faith.

 

 


POWER FROM ON HIGH - CHAPTER 12 - The Psychology Of Faith paragraph 19

The testimony of God respecting Him is designed to secure our confidence in Him. If it fails to secure the uniting of our souls to Him by an act and state of implicit trust in Him--such an act of trust as unites us to Him as the branch is united to the vine--we have heard the Gospel in vain. We are not saved. We have failed to receive from Him that impartation of eternal life which can be conveyed to us through no other channel than that of implicit trust.

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 3 - The Wages of Sin paragraph 40

You will also observe that in our text the "gift of God" which is "eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord," is directly contrasted with death, the wages of sin. This fact may throw light on the question respecting the nature of this death. We must look for the antithesis of "eternal life."

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 3 - The Wages of Sin paragraph 41

Now this eternal life is not merely an eternal existence. Eternal life never means merely an eternal existence, in any case where it is used in Scripture; but it does mean a state of eternal blessedness, implying eternal holiness as its foundation. The use of the term "life" in Scripture in the sense of real life -- a life worth living i.e., real and rich enjoyment, is so common as to supersede the necessity of special proof.

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 4 - The Savior Lifted Up, and the Look of Faith paragraph 2

"As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." -- John iii. 14, 15.

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 4 - The Savior Lifted Up, and the Look of Faith paragraph 5

This is the transaction to which Christ alluded in the text. The object in both cases was to save men from the bite of the serpent; its influence being unchecked, is the death of the body: the effects of sin, unpardoned and uncleansed from the heart, are the ruin of the soul. Christ is lifted up, to the end that sinners, believing in Him, may not perish, but may have eternal life. In such a connection, to perish cannot mean annihilation, for it must be the antithesis of eternal life, and this is plainly much more than eternal existence. It must be eternal happiness -- real life in the sense of exquisite enjoyment. The counterpart of this, eternal misery, is presented under the term "perish." It is common in the Scriptures to find a state of endless misery contrasted with one of endless happiness.

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 4 - The Savior Lifted Up, and the Look of Faith paragraph 47

Yet the analogy afforded in our text is complete. Men are to look to Jesus that they may not perish, but may have eternal life. And who does not know that eternal life involves entire sanctification?

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 4 - The Savior Lifted Up, and the Look of Faith paragraph 49

6. There is a wonderful and most alarming state of things in many churches abroad: almost no Christ in their experience. It is most manifest that He holds an exceedingly small space in their hearts. So far from knowing what salvation is as a thing to be attained by simply believing in Christ, they can only give you an experience of this sort. How did you become a Christian? I just made up my mind to serve the Lord. Is that all? That's all. Do you know what it is to receive eternal life by simply looking to Jesus? Don't know as I understand that. Then you are not a Christian. Christianity, from beginning to end, is received from Christ by simple faith. Thus, and only thus, does the pardon of sin come to the soul, and thus only can come that peace of God, passing all understanding, which lives in the soul with faith and love. Thus sanctification comes through faith in Christ.

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 4 - The Savior Lifted Up, and the Look of Faith paragraph 58

It is easy for us all to see the analogy between the manner of looking and the reasons for not looking at the brazen serpent and to Christ the Saviour. I need not push the analogy into its minute particulars any further. But the question for you all now is: Do you really believe that as "Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so is the Son of man lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but shall have eternal life." Do you understand the simple remedy of faith? Perhaps you ask -- What were they to believe? This, that if they really looked at the brazen serpent on the pole, they should certainly experience the needed healing. It was God's certified remedy, and they were so to regard it. And what are you now to believe? That Christ is the great antitype of that serpent lifted up in the wilderness, and that you are to receive from Him by simple faith all the blessings of a full and free salvation. By simple faith, I say, and do you understand this? Do I hear you say to these things -- What, may I, a sinner, just fix my eye in simple faith on Jesus? Who -- who may do this? Is it I? How can it be that I should have this privilege?

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 5 - The Excuses of Sinners Condemn God paragraph 87

15. But another says, "There is no salvation for me." Do you mean that Christ has made no atonement for you? But He says, He tasted death for every man. It is declared that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whomsoever believeth on Him shall have eternal life. And now do you affirm that there is no salvation provided and possible for you? Are you mourning all your way down to hell because you cannot possibly have salvation? When the cup of salvation is placed to your lips, do you dash it away, saying, That cannot be for me? And do you know this? Can you prove it even against the word of God Himself? Stand forth, then, if there be such a sinner on this footstool of God -- speak it out, if you have such a charge against God, and if you can prove it true. Ah, is there no hope? none at all? Oh, the difficulty is not that there is no salvation provided for and offered to you, but that there is no heart for it. "Wherefore is there a price put into the hands of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart for it?"

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 10 - Conditions of Being Saved paragraph 92

8. You must believe the record God hath given of His Son. He that believes not does not receive the record -- does not set to his seal that God is true. "This is the record, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son." The condition of your having it is that you believe the record, and of course that you act accordingly. Suppose here is a poor man living at your next door, and the mail brings him a letter stating that a rich man has died in England, leaving him 100,000 pounds sterling, and the cashier of a neighbouring bank writes him that he has received the amount on deposit for him, and holds it subject to his order. Well, the poor man says, I can't believe the record. I can't believe there ever was any such rich man; I can't believe there is 100,000 pounds for me. So he must live and die as poor as Lazarus, because he won't believe the record.

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 10 - Conditions of Being Saved paragraph 93

Now, mark; this is just the case with the unbelieving sinner. God has given you eternal life, and it waits your order; but you don't get it because you will not believe, and therefore will not make out the order, and present in due form the application.

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 10 - Conditions of Being Saved paragraph 95

Now, sinner, you must understand this. Why should you be lost when eternal life is bought and offered you by the last will and testament of the Lord Jesus Christ? Will you not believe the record and draw for the amount at once! Do for mercy's sake understand this and not lose heaven by your own folly!

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 10 - Conditions of Being Saved paragraph 112

The promises were made to be believed, and belong to any one who will believe them. They reach forth their precious words to all, and whoever will, may take them as his own. Now will you believe that the Father has given you eternal life? This is the fact declared; will you believe it?

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 16 - The Spirit Not Always Striving paragraph 35

Now this change is the work of the Spirit. Our Saviour mentions it as one of the effects wrought by the Spirit, that He shall "reprove the world of sin, because they believe not on me." And in fact we find that this is one of the characteristic works of the Spirit. In conversing recently with a man who has been for many years a professor of religion, but living in the seventh chapter to the Romans, he remarked "I have been thinking of this truth, that God cares for me and loves me, and has through Jesus Christ offered me eternal life; and now I deserve to be damned if I do not believe." Stretching out his pale hand, he said with great energy, "I ought to go to hell if I will not believe." Now all this is the work of the Spirit -- this making a man see the guilt and hell-desert of unbelief -- this making a sinner see that everything else is only straw compared with the eternal rock of God's truth.

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 16 - The Spirit Not Always Striving paragraph 95

O what a world is this! Throughout all its years and centuries we can not see one moment on whose tender point, there hangs not a balancing of the question of eternal life or eternal death! And is this a place to trifle? This a place to be mad and foolish and vain? Ah, no! it were more reasonable to trifle in any other world than in this. The awful destinies of the soul are being determined here. Heaven sees it and hell too, and all are filled with solicitude, swelling almost to agony; but you who are the subjects of all this anxiety -- you can trifle and play the fool and dance on the brink of everlasting woe. The Psalmist says:

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 23 - Death to Sin through Christ paragraph 3

THE connection of this passage will help us to understand its meaning. Near the close of the previous chapter Paul had said, "The law entered that the offence might abound; but where sin abounded, grace did much more abound, that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord." He speaks here of sin as being a reigning principle or monarch, and of grace also as reigning. Then, in chapter vi., he proceeds, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."

 

 


WAY OF SALVATION, SERMON 6 - Conscience and the Bible in Harmony paragraph 52

But such fears may come too late! The door perhaps is shut, and the soul is lost! Alas, that you should lose eternal life for a reason so poor, for a compensation so insignificant!

 

 


WAY OF SALVATION, SERMON 8 - The Salvation of Sinners Impossible paragraph 50

And what should you do? Like Bunyan's Christian pilgrim, put your fingers in both ears, and run, shouting, Life! life! eternal LIFE! How many of you are sliding along on the smooth, deceitful stream, above, yet only just above, the awful rapids and the dreadful cataract of death! What if, this night, delirium should seize upon you? Or what if the Spirit should leave you for ever, and it should be said of you, "He is joined to his idols, let him alone?"

 

 


WAY OF SALVATION, SERMON 9 - Any One Form of Sin Persisted In is Fatal to the Soul paragraph 53

6. Many profess to be Christians, and are indulging the hope of eternal life, who know that they never have forsaken all forms of sin; that in some things they have always fallen short of complying with the demands of their own consciences. They have indulged in what they call little sins; they have allowed themselves in practices, and in forms of self-indulgence, that they cannot justify; they have never reformed all their bad habits, and have never lived up to what they have regarded as their whole duty. They have never really intended to do this; have never resolutely set themselves in the strength of Christ, to give up every form of sin, both of omission and commission; but, on the contrary, they know that they have always indulged themselves in what they condemn. And yet they call themselves Christian! But this is as contrary to the teaching of the Bible as possible. The Bible teaches, not only that men are condemned by God if they indulge themselves in what they condemn; but, also, that God condemns them if they indulge in that the lawfulness of which they so much as doubt. If they indulge in any one thing the lawfulness of which is in their own estimation doubtful, God condemns them. This is the express teaching of the Bible. But how different is this from the common ideas that many professors of religion have!

 

 


WAY OF SALVATION, SERMON 9 - Any One Form of Sin Persisted In is Fatal to the Soul paragraph 79

How are we to understand the great mass of professors? How are we to understand the great body of religious teachers, if they do not leave the impression, after all, on the churches, that they can be accepted of God while their habitual obedience is only very partial; while, in fact, they pick and choose among the commandments of God, professing to obey some, while they allow themselves in known disobedience of others. Now, if in this respect the church has not a false standard; if the mass of religious instruction is not making a false impression on the churches and on the world in this respect, I am mistaken. I am sorry to be obliged to entertain this opinion, and to express it; but what else can I think? How else can the state of the churches be accounted for? How else is it that ministers hope that the great mass of their churches are in a safe state? How else is it that the great mass of professors of religion can have any hope of eternal life in them, if this is not the principle practically adopted by them, that they are justified while only rendering habitually but a very partial obedience to God; that they are really forgiven and justified while they only pick and choose among the commandments, obeying those which it costs them little to obey, and are not disagreeable and not unpopular; while they do not hesitate habitually to disobey where obedience would subject them to any inconvenience, require self-denial, or expose them to any persecution?

 

 


WAY OF SALVATION, SERMON 14 - God Has No Pleasure in the Sinner's Death paragraph 13

Positively, the death spoken of must be the opposite of the life here referred to. This life cannot be natural life; for all, both saint and sinner, are conceived of as being alike in natural life. Of course, the life must be salvation -- eternal life -- that blessedness which saints enjoy in the favour and love of God, begun here, prolonged for ever hereafter. Now, if such be the life alluded to, the death, being in contrast with it, must be eternal death; the misery experienced by all God's enemies. As the life referred to here is not a mere state of existence, but a state of positive blessedness; so the death placed over against it cannot be annihilation, the natural opposite of mere existence, but must be misery, the natural opposite, of blessedness.

 

 


WAY OF SALVATION, SERMON 24 - On Prayer for the Holy Spirit paragraph 4

1. Remarking upon this text, I first observe that, when we rightly understand the matter, we shall see that the gift of the Holy Ghost comprehends all we need spiritually. It secures to us that union with God which is eternal life. It implies conversion, which consists in the will's being submitted to God's control. Sanctification is (1) this union of the will to God perfected and perpetuated; (2) the ascendancy of this state of the will over the entire sensibilities, so that the whole mind is drawn into union and sympathy with the mind and heart of God.

 

 


CHARLES G. FINNEY TESTIMONIAL OF REVIVALS, CHAPTER XVIII. - REVIVALS AT WILLWINGTON AND PHILADELPHIA. paragraph 38 Mr. Gilbert - New School preaching and its effect - Beginning in Philadelphia - Theology at Philadelphia - Hopkinsianism - Conversion of a desperate man - Of a despairing young woman - Fondness for dress - Interest among the lumbermen - Mr. Patterson.

When she heard my preaching, and found that all her refuges of lies were torn away, and saw that she should have given her heart to God long before, and all would have been well; she saw that she herself had been entirely to blame, and that the instructions of her father on all those points had been entirely wrong; and remembering, as she did, how she had blamed God, and what a blasphemous attitude she had maintained before Him, she very naturally despaired of mercy. I reasoned with her, and tried to show her the long suffering of God, and encouraged her to hope, to believe, and to lay hold upon eternal life. But her sense of sin was so great, that she seemed unable to grasp the promise, and sunk down deeper and deeper into despair, from day to day.

 

 


CHARLES G. FINNEY TESTIMONIAL OF REVIVALS, CHAPTER XIX. - REVIVAL AT READING, PENNSYLVANIA. paragraph 25 Unsound teaching - Arrangement for balls - Inquiry meeting - Death of Dr. Greer - Conviction of Mr. B. - False counsel to inquirers - Conversion of Mr. O B. - His death - Preaching to the editors - Labor at Lancaster - Conversion of Elder K. - Fatal delay.

I asked him if he did not feel this urgency upon himself, in these truths revealed in his own mind; and a call, now to submit, to believe, to make himself a new heart. "Oh yes!" he said, "Oh yes! I see and feel all this. But am I not given up of God? Is not my day of grace past?" I said to him, "No! It is plain the Spirit of God is still calling you, still urging you to repentance; you acknowledge that you feel this urgency in your own mind." He inquired, "Is this, then, what the Spirit of God is doing, to show me all this?" I assured him that it was; and that he was to understand this as a divine call, and as evidence conclusive that he was not abandoned, and had not sinned away the day of grace, but that God was striving to save him still. I then asked him if he would respond to the call, if he would come to Jesus, if he would lay hold upon eternal life then and there.

 

 


CHARLES G. FINNEY TESTIMONIAL OF REVIVALS, CHAPTER XXVII. - ANOTHER WINTER IN BOSTON. paragraph 15 Second-Adventism - The church in Marlborough Chapel - A false prophet - A chapter of personal experience - A new consecration - Experiences in connection with the death of Mrs. F. - Experiences not appreciated - Need in Boston.

What has appeared strange to me is this, that I could not get hold of my former hope; nor could I recollect, with any freshness, any of the former seasons of communion and divine assurance that I had experienced. I may say that I gave up my hope, and rested everything upon a new foundation. I mean, I gave up my hope from any past experience, and recollect telling the Lord, that I did not know whether He intended to save me or not. Nor did I feel concerned to know. I was willing to abide the event. I said that if I found that He kept me, and worked in me by His Spirit, and was preparing me for heaven, working holiness and eternal life in my soul, I should take it for granted that He intended to save me; that if, on the other hand, I found myself empty of divine strength and light and love, I should conclude that He saw it wise and expedient to send me to hell; and that in either event I would accept His will. My mind settled into a perfect stillness.