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THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1849 paragraph 7 TABLE OF CONTENTS ...

Lecture II. God's Anger Against the Wicked

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1849 paragraph 75 74 Lecture II. God's Anger Against the Wicked ...

God's Anger Against the Wicked
Lecture II
January 31, 1849

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1849 paragraph 96 74 Lecture II. God's Anger Against the Wicked ...

Some suppose that these results of the excited sensibility against wrong would not develop themselves if our hearts were right. This is a great mistake. The nearer right our hearts are, the more certainly shall we disapprove wrong, the more intensely shall we feel opposed to it, and the greater will be our displeasure against the wrong-doer. Hence we must not only suppose that God is angry in the sense of a will opposed to sin, but in the further sense of a sensibility enkindled against it. This must be the case if God is truly a moral agent.

4. God is not angry merely against the sin abstracted from the sinner, but against the sinner himself. Some persons have labored hard to set up this ridiculous and absurd abstraction, and would fain make it appear that God is angry at the sin yet not at the sinner. He hates the theft, but loves the thief. He abhors adultery, but is pleased with the adulterer. Now this is supreme non-sense. The sin has not moral character apart from the sinner. The act is nothing apart from the actor. The very thing that God hates and disapproves is not the mere event--the thing done in distinction from the doer; but it is the doer himself. It grieves and displeases Him that a rational moral agent, under His government, should array himself against his own God and Father, against all that is right and just in the universe. This is the thing that offends God. The sinner himself is the direct and the only object of His anger.

So the Bible shows. God is angry with the wicked--not with the abstract sin. If the wicked turn not, God will whet His sword; He hath bent His bow and made it ready; not to shoot the sin however, but the sinner--the wicked man who has done the abominable thing. This is the only doctrine of either the Bible or of common sense on this subject.

5. The anger of God against the wicked implies all that properly belongs to anger when it exists with good reason. We know by our own experience that when we are angry with good reason, we have strong opposition of will and also strong feelings of displeasure and disapprobation against the wrong-doers. Hence we may infer that the same is true of God under the same circumstances.

IV. The reasons of God's anger against the wicked next demand our attention.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1849 paragraph 103 74 Lecture II. God's Anger Against the Wicked ...

It is plain that the degree of God's anger against the wicked ought to be equal to the degree of their wickedness, and must be if God is what He should be. The times of heathen ignorance and darkness "God winked at"--the degree of their guilt being less by as much as their light is less than that of such cities as Chorazin and Bethsaida. God does not hold them innocent absolutely, but relatively they might almost be called innocent, compared with the great guilt of sinners in gospel lands. Against those who sin amid the clearest light, His anger must burn most intensely; for example, against sinners in this place and congregation. You may be outwardly a decent and moral man, respected and beloved by your friends; but if you are a selfish, impenitent sinner the pure and holy God loathes and abhors you. He sees more real guilt in you than in ten thousand of those dark-minded heathen who are bowing down to idol gods, and whose crimes you read of with loathing and disgust. Think of it. God may be more angry against you for your great wickedness than against a nation of idolaters whose ignorance He winks at, while He measures your light and consequent guilt in the balances of His own eternal justice. O are you living here amid the blazing sun-light of truth--knowing your duty every day and every day refusing to do it; do you not know that in the eye of God you are one of the wickedest beings out of hell, or in hell either, and that God's hatred against your sin is equal to your great guilt? But you say perhaps, Am I not moral and honest? Suppose you are moral. For whose sake are you moral, and for what reason? Is it not for your reputation's sake only? The devil might be as moral for such a purpose as you are. Mark, it is not for God's sake, not for Christ's sake, that you are a moral man, but because you love yourself. You might be just as moral if there were no God, or if you were an atheist. Of course if so, you are saying in your heart let there be no fear of God before my eyes--no love of God in my heart. Let me live and have my own way as if there were no God. And all this you do not under the darkness of heathenism, but amid the broadest sun-light of heaven's truth blazing all around you. Do you still ask, What have I done? You have arrayed yourself against God, rejected the gospel of His Son, and done despite to the Spirit of His grace. What heathen has ever done this, or anything that could compare with this in guilt? The vilest heathen people that ever wallowed in the filth of their own abominations are pure compared with you. Do you start back and rebel against this view of your case? Then let us ask again, By what rule are we to estimate guilt? You pass along the street and you see the lower animals doing what you would be horrified to see human beings do, but you never think of them as guilty. You see those dogs try to tear each other to pieces; you will try perhaps to part them, but you will not think of feeling moral indignation or moral displeasure against them; and why? Because you instinctively judge of their guilt by their light, and by their capacity of governing themselves by light and reason. On nearly the same principle you might see the heathen reeking in their abominations, quarreling, and practicing the most loathsome forms of vice and selfishness--but their guilt is only a glimmering taper compared with yours, and therefore you can not but estimate their guilt as by so much less than your own as their light is less! Your reason demands that you should estimate guilt on this principle, and you know that you can not rightly estimate it on any other. For the very same reason you must conclude that God estimates guilt on the same principles, and that His anger against sin is in proportion to the sinners' guilt, estimated in view of the light he enjoys and sins against. The degree of God's anger against the wicked is not measured by their outward conduct, but by their real guilt as seen by Him whose eye is on the heart.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1849 paragraph 104 74 Lecture II. God's Anger Against the Wicked ...

VI. As to the duration of God's anger against the wicked, it manifestly must continue as long as the wickedness itself continues.

 

 


WAY OF SALVATION, SERMON 4 - God's Anger Against the Wicked paragraph 0
GOD'S ANGER AGAINST THE WICKED

 

 


WAY OF SALVATION, SERMON 4 - God's Anger Against the Wicked paragraph 1

IV. GOD'S ANGER AGAINST THE WICKED.

 

 


WAY OF SALVATION, SERMON 4 - God's Anger Against the Wicked paragraph 33

IV. The reasons of God's anger against the wicked.

 

 


WAY OF SALVATION, SERMON 4 - God's Anger Against the Wicked paragraph 47

It is plain that the degree of God's anger against the wicked ought to be equal to the degree of their wickedness, and must be if God is what he should be. The times of heathen ignorance and darkness "God winked at;" the degree of their guilt being less, by as much as their light is less, than that of such cities as Chorazin and Bethsaida. God does not hold them innocent absolutely; but relatively they might almost be called innocent, compared with the great guilt of sinners in gospel lands. Against those who sin amidst the clearest light, his anger must burn most intensely; for example, against sinners in this place and congregation. You may be outwardly a decent and moral main, respected and beloved by your friends; but if you are a selfish, impenitent sinner, the pure and holy God loathes and abhors you. He sees more real guilt in you than in ten thousand of those dark-minded heathen who are bowing down to idol gods, and whose crimes you read of with loathing and disgust. Think of it. God may be more angry against you for your great wickedness than against a nation of idolators whose ignorance he winks at, while he measures your light and consequent guilt in the balances of his own eternal justice. Oh! are you living here amid the blazing sunlight of truth; knowing your duty every day and every day refusing to do it; do you not know that in the eye of God you are one of the wickedest beings out of hell, or in hell, either, and that God's hatred against your sin is equal to your great guilt? But you say perhaps, Am I not moral and honest? Suppose you are moral. For whose sake are you moral, and for what reason? Is it not for your reputation's sake only? The devil might be as moral for such a purpose as you are. Mark, it is not for God's sake, not for Christ's sake, that you are a moral man, but because you love yourself. You might be just as moral if there were no God, or if you were an atheist. Of course if so, you are saying in your heart, Let there be no fear of God before my eyes, no love of God in my heart. Let me live, and have my own way, as if there were no God. And all this you do, not under the darkness of heathenism, but amid the broadest sunlight of heaven's truth blazing all around you. Do you still ask, What have I done? You have arrayed yourself against God, rejected the gospel of his Son, and done despite to the Spirit of his grace. What heathen has ever done this, or anything that could compare with this in guilt? The vilest heathen people that ever wallowed in the filth of their own abominations are pure compared with you. Do you start back and rebel against this view of your case? Then let us ask again, by what rule are we to estimate guilt? You pass along the street and you see the lower animals doing what you would be horrified to see human beings do, but you never think of them as guilty. You see those dogs try to tear each other to pieces; you will perhaps try to part them; but you will not think of feeling moral indignation or moral displeasure against them; and why? Because you instinctively judge of their guilt by their light, and by their capacity for governing themselves by light and reason. On nearly the same principle you might see the heathen reeking in their abominations, quarrelling, and practising the most loathsome forms of vice and selfishness; but their guilt is only a glimmering taper compared with yours, and therefore you cannot but estimate their guilt as by so much less than your own as their light is less! Your reason demands that you should estimate guilt on this principle, and you know that you cannot rightly estimate it on any other. For the very same reason you must conclude that God estimates guilt on the same principles, and that his anger against sin is in proportion to the sinner's guilt, estimated in view of the light he enjoys and sins against. The degree of God's anger against the wicked is not measured by their outward conduct, but by their real guilt as seen by him whose eye is on the heart.

 

 


WAY OF SALVATION, SERMON 4 - God's Anger Against the Wicked paragraph 48

VI. The duration of God's anger against the wicked.