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REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE X. - TO WIN SOULS REQUIRES WISDOM. paragraph 53 How Christians should deal with careless sinners - How they should deal with awakened sinners, and with convicted sinners.

By a convicted sinner, I mean one who feels himself condemned by the law of God, as a guilty sinner. He has so much instruction as to understand something of the extent of God's law, and he sees and feels his guilty state, and knows what his remedy is. To deal with these often requires great wisdom.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON I. SINNERS BOUND TO CHANGE THEIR OWN HEARTS paragraph 39 Ezek. 18-31.--"Make you a new heart, and a new spirit, for why will ye die?"

3. I come now to the third and last inquiry, viz: How is this requirement, to "make to yourself a new heart," consistent with the often repeated declarations of the Bible, that a new heart is the gift and work of God. The Bible ascribes conversion, or a new heart, to four different agencies. Oftentimes it is ascribed to the Spirit of God. And if you consult the Scriptures, you will find it still more frequently ascribed to the truth; as, "Of his own will begat he us by the word of truth" -- "The truth shall make you free" -- "Sanctify them through thy truth" -- "The law of God is perfect, converting the soul." It is sometimes ascribed to the preacher, or to him who presents the truth; "He that winneth souls is wise: " Paul says, "I have begotten you through the Gospel" -- "He that converteth a sinner from the error of his ways, shall save a soul from death, and hide a multitude of sins." Sometimes it is spoken of as the work of the sinner himself: thus the apostle says, "Ye have purified yourselves by obeying the truth;" "I thought on my ways," says the Psalmist, "and turned unto the Lord." Again he says, "When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart replied, Thy face, Lord, will I seek." Now the question is, Are all these declarations of Scripture consistent with each other? They are all true; they all mean just as they say; nor is there any real disagreement between them. There is a sense in which conversion is the work of God. There is a sense in which it is the effect of truth. There is a sense in which the preacher does it. And it is also the appropriate work of the sinner himself.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON I. SINNERS BOUND TO CHANGE THEIR OWN HEARTS paragraph 48 Ezek. 18-31.--"Make you a new heart, and a new spirit, for why will ye die?"

The Spirit's agency is not needed to give him power, but to overcome his voluntary obstinacy. Some persons seem to suppose that the Spirit is employed to give the sinner power -- that he is unable to obey God, without the Spirit's agency. I am alarmed when I hear such declarations as these; and were it not, that I suppose there is a sense in which a man's heart may be better than his head, I should feel bound to maintain, that persons holding this sentiment, were not Christians at all. I have already shown that a man is under no obligation to do what he has no ability to do; in other words that his obligation, is only commensurate with his ability. That he cannot blame himself for not having exerted a power, that he never possessed. If he believes, therefore, that he has no power to obey his Maker, it is impossible that he should blame himself for not doing it. And if he believes that the Spirit's agency is indispensable to make him able; consistency must compel him to maintain, that without this superadded agency, he is under no obligation to obey. This giving the sinner power, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to obey God, is what the Arminians call a gracious ability, which terms are a manifest absurdity. What is grace? It is undeserved favor; something to which we have no claim in justice. That which may be withheld without injustice. If this is a true definition, it is plain that a gracious ability to do our duty is absurd. It is a dictate of reason, of conscience, of common sense, and of our natural sense of justice, that if God require of us the performance of any duty or act, he is bound in justice to give us power to obey; i. e. he must give us the faculties and strength to perform the act. But if justice require this, why call it a gracious ability. Natural ability to do our duty cannot be a gracious ability. To call it so, is to confound grace and justice as meaning the same thing. The sin of disobedience then must lie, not in his having broken the law of God, but solely in his not having complied with the striving of the Spirit. Accordingly the definition of sin should be, upon these principles, not that "sin is a transgression of the law," but that it consists in not yielding to the influence of the Spirit. While therefore he is not sensible that the Spirit is giving him power, he can feel under no obligation to be converted; nor can he, upon any principles of reason, blame himself. How, I would ask, is it possible that with these views he can repent? And how, upon these principles, is he to blame for not having repented and turned to the Lord?

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON II. HOW TO CHANGE YOUR HEART paragraph 30 Ezek. 18-31.--"Make you a new heart, and a new spirit, for why will ye die?"

A third class of motives that influence the will, are connected with conscience. Conscience is the judgment which the mind forms of the moral qualities of actions. When the will is decided by the voice of conscience, or a regard to right, its decisions are virtuous. When the mind chooses at the bidding of principle, then, and only then, are its decisions according to the law of God.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON II. HOW TO CHANGE YOUR HEART paragraph 49 Ezek. 18-31.--"Make you a new heart, and a new spirit, for why will ye die?"

But again look at the utility of benevolence. It is a matter of human consciousness that the mind is so constituted that benevolent affections are the source of happiness, and malevolent ones the source of misery. God's happiness consists in his benevolence. Wherever unmingled benevolence is, there is peace. If perfect benevolence reigned throughout the universe, universal happiness would be the inevitable result. The happiness of heaven is perfect, because benevolence is there perfect. They love God with all their heart, and soul, and mind, and strength, and their neighbors as themselves; and who that knows the joy there is in holy love, does not know that the full tide of benevolence is but another name for the full tide of happiness? Perfect benevolence to God and man would at once give us a share in all the happiness of earth and heaven. Benevolence is good will, or willing good to the object of it. If we desire the happiness of others, their happiness will increase our own, according to the strength of our desire. If we desire their welfare as much as we do our own, we are made as happy by good, known to be conferred on them as upon ourselves; and nothing but selfishness prevents our tasting the cup of every man's happiness, and sharing equally with him in all his joys. If we supremely desire the happiness and glory of God, the fact that he is infinitely and immutably happy and glorious, and that he will glorify himself, and that "the whole earth shall be full of his glory," will constitute our supreme joy. It will be to us a never failing source of pure, and high, and holy blessedness. And when we look abroad upon men, and see all the wickedness of earth; when, through the page of inspiration, we survey as with a telescope the deep caverns of the pit; when we listen to its wailings, and behold the lurid flashes of its fires, and contemplate the gnawings of the deathless worm; in all this we see only the legitimate results of selfishness. Selfishness is the discord of the soul: it is the jarring. and dissonance, and grating of hell's eternal anguish. Benevolence, on the other hand, is the melody of the soul. In its exercise, all the mental powers are harmonized, and breathe the sweetness of heaven's charming symphonies. To be happy, then, you must be benevolent. Selfishness, you see, is neither reasonable nor profitable. Its very nature is at war with happiness. It renders you odious to God, the abhorrence of heaven, the contempt of hell. It buries your good name, your ultimate self- esteem, your present and future happiness, in one common grave, and that beyond the hope of resurrection, unless you turn, renounce your selfishness, and obey the law of God.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON III. TRADITIONS OF THE ELDERS paragraph 6 Matthew, 15-6.-"Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect, by your tradition."

God's moral government is made up of considerations, and inducements designed and calculated to influence the minds of in-telligent creatures, to pursue that course of conduct, which will in the highest manner, promote the glory of God, their own interest, and the happiness of the universe. It lays down a definite and perfect rule of feeling and of action. Its precept marks with the clear light of sun-beams, the exact course of duty. Its sanctions hold out on the one hand, all the blessedness of everlasting life; and on the other denounces against offenders, all the pains of everlasting death. Thus holding before the sinner's feet, the clear lamp of truth, and in its awful penalty, gathering around him on every hand, over his head, and beneath his feet, all the moving considerations that heaven, and earth, and hell can present, to hold his mind in an exact course of obedience. The law of God was clearly revealed to the Jews, but its power was often broken, its influence over mind paralyzed and destroyed, by a variety of oral traditions, which were handed down from one generation to another; which were held as of equal authority with the written law. They were often the corrupt glosses of the Jewish doctors, and not unfrequently mere-evasions of the spirit, and meaning of the written law. We have an instance of this, in the verses connected with the text.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON III. TRADITIONS OF THE ELDERS paragraph 21 Matthew, 15-6.-"Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect, by your tradition."

But all these designs have been defeated in multitudes of instances by the traditions of men. Pharisees, both of the ancient and modern stamp, have defeated these designs, by virtually altering the precept. Some of them have made obedience to consist in mere outward conformity to the law of God, regardless of the state of the heart but the law principally regards the heart. It is the heart, or the design with which an action is performed, of which the law takes cognizance. It gives no credit for the outward action unless it proceed from a right design. It must be the promptings of love, that gives existence to the action. It must be at the bidding of holy principle that the action is performed to be recognized as virtue by the law of God. Does the man pray, or preach, or give alms to the poor, or read his bible, or go to church? unless these or any other actions are prompted by the love of God in the heart, they are not obedience, they are not virtue, for still the law thunders forth its claims, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind, and with all thy strength, and thy neighbour as thyself. No outward conduct then however sanctimonious or precise, is to be regarded as obedience to the law of God, unless it flow from love. It must be manifest, therefore, that to make outward morality constitute obedience to this law, is to defeat one of its principal designs. Instead of convicting of sin, it is calculated to foster pride. Instead of exhibiting the true character of God, it holds him forth merely as the promoter of cold, dry morality. Instead of making men humble, showing them their need of a Saviour, it leads to self-complacency; to stumble at the doctrine of atonement; to misunderstand, and reject the gospel.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON III. TRADITIONS OF THE ELDERS paragraph 23 Matthew, 15-6.-"Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect, by your tradition."

Again there are others, who make the law of God of no effect, by regarding it simply as of a negative character, as designed to prohibit the outbreakings of positive selfishness, rather than as requiring the existence and practice of all positive benevolence and virtue. These, content themselves with declaiming against out-breaking sins, regarding the law, simply, as prohibitory, they employ themselves in resisting the tide of corruption as it flows from the deep fountain of the heart, without enjoining and insisting upon the positive character of the law, as requiring every creature of God to devote all his powers to his service and giving himself up to doing good and promoting the interest of Christ's kingdom.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON III. TRADITIONS OF THE ELDERS paragraph 24 Matthew, 15-6.-"Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect, by your tradition."

The religion of these individuals, of course, corresponds with their view of the law. It is of a merely negative character; inasmuch as they do nothing very bad, as they abstain from those outbreaking sins that would disgrace them in the eyes of men; they imagine themselves to be Christians. They are aware that they do not give themselves up to acts of benevolence, that they do not deny themselves, take up their cross daily and follow Christ; that they do not hold all their possessions as stewards, account their time and talents and all they have and are as belonging to Christ, and to be used only for his glory. They know that they effect little or no good in the world, but that they content themselves with doing nothing very bad. Now this imagination that this is true religion, and that they are Christians, is founded upon their sad and fundamental mistake of the nature of the law of God. Right views of the law, would annihilate these false hopes, would at once sweep away their refuge of lies, and bring them to a better acquaintance with God and with themselves. But it is manifest that much of what is called religion in the present age, is this spurious negative kind of piety, that contents itself with doing nothing openly wrong, without doing what is right. Ask such a professor whether he is doing any good, he will tell you no, not that he knows of--but that he is doing nothing very bad. Thus the high claims of the law are set aside, its design is perverted and the hypocrite rests quietly in his sins.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON III. TRADITIONS OF THE ELDERS paragraph 25 Matthew, 15-6.-"Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect, by your tradition."

Again, the Antinomians make void the commandment of God, by setting it aside as a rule of action. Antinomian is a compound word signifying without law. The sect originated in the days of the apostles. Their peculiarity lies in supposing that the gospel was designed to release Christians from their obligation to obey the moral law, it grew out of a perversion of the doctrine of justification by faith. The Jewish doctors had taught that men were to be saved only by yielding a perfect outward conformity to the moral and ceremonial laws. In opposition to this, Paul taught, that by the works of the law, no flesh can be justified; for two reasons, first, because all men had broken the law already, and secondly, because no subsequent obedience however perfect, could make restitution for past disobedience. That all men are, therefore, already condemned by the law. Justification, in the New Testament, is synonimous with pardon and acceptance. The atonement of Christ, is therefore, the only ground of pardon, and those who are saved, are justified, solely, by faith in Christ, irrespective of any real righteousness of their own. This sentiment was soon perverted by the Antinomians who maintained that if men are justified by faith alone without the works of the law, that good works were unnecessary, that faith in Christ is substituted for obedience to the law of God; overlooking the fact, that without personal holiness no man shall see the Lord.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON III. TRADITIONS OF THE ELDERS paragraph 27 Matthew, 15-6.-"Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect, by your tradition."

Again, others make void the law of God, and render it of no effect, by denying its penalty. There are two kinds of Universalists, who hold traditions that nullify the power of moral government. The penalty of a law, is the motive held out by the lawgiver, to induce obedience to the precept; the greater the penalty, the more weighty, and influential is the motive to obedience. The less the penalty, the feebler, and the more inoperative are the motives. Destroy the penalty entirely, and you destroy all motive to obedience, except what is contained in the nature of the precept. If indeed the penalty is destroyed or taken away, it is no longer a law; it is a virtual repeal of the law, for the precept without a penalty is only advice, which may be received or rejected at pleasure.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON III. TRADITIONS OF THE ELDERS paragraph 28 Matthew, 15-6.-"Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect, by your tradition."

The two kinds of Universalists, to which I have adverted, are, no hell-ites, and limitarians, or restorationists. The former maintain, that men neither deserve, nor receive, any other punishment for sin, than what they receive in this life. The latter, that there will be a limited punishment in a future world; that when they have been punished according to their sins, they will be translated from hell to heaven. Both sects, agreeing in the alleged fact, that all mankind will be saved. The no hell-ites set aside entirely the penalty of the law of God, and regard the sufferings of this life as the natural and only evil consequences of sin to man. The latter fritter away the penalty, and reduce it to an indefinable something, the amount or duration of which they do not pretend to know. If it be not eternal, however, it is but a finite, instead of an infinite sanction. However long it may be, if it has an end, it is infinitely less than eternal. If it be but temporary, it is infinitely less solemn, awful, impressive, commanding, and influential, than an eternal penalty.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON III. TRADITIONS OF THE ELDERS paragraph 30 Matthew, 15-6.-"Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect, by your tradition."

The Universalists, seem desirous to relieve the world of its anxieties, either by wholly denying or infinitely mitigating the penalty of the law of God. But it is most manifest that could they succeed in producing universal conviction of the truth of their sentiments, they would completely annihilate the power of moral government. Could they convince the world, that God never threatened men with eternal death; that the sufferings of this world are all, or nearly all that sin deserves; that God never designed to punish in a future world; is this sentiment calculated to promote obedience to the law of God? As well might you say, that to take away the penalties of human laws is calculated to secure obedience to their precepts. Is annihilating the motives to obedience, calculated, as a matter of philosophy, to secure obedience? Suppose a statesman should go through the country, maintaining that penalties attached to laws were wholly unnecessary, that it was quite as well or better not to threaten men with evil in case of disobedience. That to exhibit the amiableness of virtue, the mildness and humanity of the government, was all that was required. That the penalty against murder was entirely unnecessary; and that the accusations of his own conscience, and the pains, and trouble, and distresses, that the remembrance of a crime would bring upon its perpetrator, were as much as the crime deserved: that to exhibit other penalties was wholly unnecessary, inexpedient, and unjust. Would he not be regarded as a madman, as a fit subject for bedlam? Would not every man regard his doctrine as dangerous, or, if innocent, only so, because it was incredible and ridiculous? Would he do the world a favour by persuading them to act upon this principle; to strike out the penalties of all their laws? Would he not rather be regarded as the common enemy of man, as aiming to open the flood-gates of iniquity, and inundate the world with crime.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON III. TRADITIONS OF THE ELDERS paragraph 33 Matthew, 15-6.-"Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect, by your tradition."

We have before us a striking illustration of the death-blow given by Universalist sentiments to the law of God. Their preaching universal salvation never makes men holier and better; never convinces of sin and promotes revivals of religion; never engages men in prayer, and effort for the enlightening of the world, and the salvation of immortal souls. Who ever knew the law of God, robbed of its penalty as exhibited by the Universalists, to reform a drunkard, rebuke and reclaim a debauchee; to bring the high-handed sinner upon his knees, and humble him as a little child. Who has not seen a case of this kind. A member of an orthodox church had been a praying man; attended church, was sober, honest, virtuous, and apparently religious. But by-and-by, he absented himself from the meetings for prayer, next he fled the sanctuary on the Sabbath; on inquiry, it was found that he neglected prayer in his family; on further search it was found he drank too much; he began to doubt whether there was an eternal hell; and on being excommunicated he became a Universalist.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON III. TRADITIONS OF THE ELDERS paragraph 37 Matthew, 15-6.-"Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect, by your tradition."

Some have viewed the gospel, as merely a system of mercy, as offering a pardon for sin, irrespective of its design and tendency to make men holy. They have talked, and preached and prayed about the mercy of God; they have exhibited it as a remedy, without convincing the sinner that he was diseased; have urged him to accept a pardon without convincing him of sin; and thus by overlooking the holiness which the gospel inculcates, and enjoins; exhibiting the pardon of the gospel without requiring its duties, they have made the gospel of no effect. The gospel, thus perverted, has no tendency to save mankind, overlooking its morality, its mercy and its pardon can never save the souls of men; justification without sanctification, forgiveness without holiness, is not only absurd, but salvation upon such conditions is impossible. These, to be sure, lay great stress upon the atonement, admit the divinity of Jesus Christ, and exalt a dead faith even above obedience to the law of God. This class of professors may in general be known by their great zeal for what they term sound doctrine, and at the same time a manifest reluctance to hearing the self-denying duties of the gospel forcibly inculcated. The doctrines of God's sovereignty, the perseverance of the saints, and their kindred doctrines, are the only truth which they relish, and only a distorted and perverted view of these can feed them. They lay much more stress on doctrine than on that practice which it is the sole object of doctrine to produce. It is clear that they rest on the shadow and reject the substance. They are only hearers, but not doers of the word, deceiving their own selves, who shall utterly perish in their own corruption.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON III. TRADITIONS OF THE ELDERS paragraph 53 Matthew, 15-6.-"Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect, by your tradition."

1. You see, from this subject, why some deny total depravity. The principal reasons are two. The first, is founded on inattention to the spirituality of God's law, confining their attention to the prohibitory applications of it, as contained in the ten commandments, and considering it as designed merely to restrain outbreaking sins; overlooking the absolute, positive perfection that it enjoins, in thought, word, and deed, they in reality substitute another rule of conduct, in the place of the law of God. Thus comparing themselves with a false standard, they of course mistake their own character. Instead of closely weighing their thoughts, their affection, and all the movements of their minds, in the delicate scales of the sanctuary: instead of bringing all their heart and all their soul under the clear blaze of the law of God; they weigh themselves in the corrupt scale of their own imaginings, and sink down to death.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON III. TRADITIONS OF THE ELDERS paragraph 58 Matthew, 15-6.-"Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect, by your tradition."

6. You see from this subject, why it is that some professors of religion, when they are pressed up to holy living, their sins pointed out, and they are required to obey the law of God; cry out, this is not the gospel; this is preaching the law; tell us of the mercy of God; we want to hear about Christ, not about the law. The fact is, such persons are Antinomians. They regard the gospel simply as a system of pardon, and overlook the great design of its making them holy, and bringing them back to perfect obedience of the law of God.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON V. TOTAL DEPRAVITY paragraph 3 Romans, 6:7.--"The carnal mind is enimity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."

ROMANS viii. 7. "The carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON V. TOTAL DEPRAVITY paragraph 4 Romans, 6:7.--"The carnal mind is enimity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."

THE law, spoken of here, is the moral law; or that law, which requires men to love God with all their heart, and their neighbour as themselves. The facts affirmed by the Apostle are, that the carnal mind is enmity against God, and for that reason, is not subject to the law of God that is, it does not obey the law of God, neither of course, can it obey this law, while it continues to be enmity against God. The apostle does not affirm, that a sinner cannot love God, but that a carnal mind cannot love God; for, to affirm that a carnal mind can love God, is the same as to affirm that enmity itself, can be love. In speaking from these words, I design 1st, to show,

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON V. TOTAL DEPRAVITY paragraph 65 Romans, 6:7.--"The carnal mind is enimity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."

13th. While sinners remain in impenitence, they yield to God no sort of obedience, any more than the devil does. Their carnal mind is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. In this state of mind, until the supreme preference of their mind is changed, until they have given up minding the flesh, and obey God, it is in vain to talk of obedience. The first act of obedience that you ever will or can perform, is to cease minding the flesh, and give your heart to God.

 

 


IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON VI. WHY SINNERS HATE GOD paragraph 48 John, 15:25.--"They have hated me without a cause."

All experience shows, that from the laws of our constitution we are influenced in our conduct directly or indirectly by the supreme preference of our minds. In other words, when we desire a thing supremely, it is natural to us to pursue this object of desire; we may have desires for an object which we do not pursue. But it is a contradiction to say that we do not pursue the object of supreme desire. Supreme desire is nothing else than a supreme or controlling choice, and as certain as the will controls the actions; so certainly, and so naturally, shall we pursue that object which we supremely desire. The fact therefore, that sinners adopt the principle of supreme selfishness, renders it certain and natural, while their selfishness continues to be predominant, that they will sin, and only sin, and this is in strict accordance with, or rather the result of the laws of their mental constitution. While they maintain their supreme selfishness, obedience is impossible. This is the reason why "the carnal mind, or the minding of the flesh, is not subject to the law of God neither indeed can be." No wonder therefore, that sinners, whose supreme preference is selfish, should find it very natural for them to sin, and extremely difficult to do anything else than sin. This being a fact of universal observation, has led mankind to ascribe the sins of men to their nature; and a great deal of fault has been found with nature itself; when the fact is, that sin is only an abuse of the powers of nature. Men have very extensively overlooked the fact; that a deep seated, but voluntary preference for sin, was the foundation and fountain and cause of all other sins. The only sense in which sin is natural to men is, that it is natural for mind to be influenced in its individual exercises by a supreme preference or choice of any object. It will therefore, always be natural for a sinner to sin, until he changes the supreme preference of his mind, and prefers the glory of God and the interests of his kingdom to his own separate and opposing interests.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1836, LECTURE III - Doubtful Actions are Sinful paragraph 23

     The word rendered damned means condemned, or adjudged guilty of breaking the law of God. If a man doubts whether it is lawful to do a thing, and while in that state of doubt he does it, he displeases God, he breaks the law and is condemned whether the thing be in itself right or wrong. I have been thus particular in explaining the text in its connection with the context, because I wished fully to satisfy your minds of the correctness of the principle laid down.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1836, LECTURE IV - Reproof, a Christian Duty paragraph 34

     The language of the text is, in the original, exceedingly strong. The word is repeated, which is the way in which the Hebrew expresses a superlative, so as to leave no doubt on the mind, not the least uncertainty as to the duty, nor any excuse for not doing it. There is not a stronger command of God in the Bible than this. God has given it the greatest strength of language that He can. "Thou shalt in any wise rebuke him,"---that is, without any excuse, "and not bear his sin," not be accessory to his ruin. It is a maxim of law, that if a man knows of a murder about to be committed and does not use means to prevent it, he shall be held accessory before the fact. If he knows of murder which has been done, and does not endeavor to bring the criminal to justice, he is accessory after the fact. So by the law of God, if you do not endeavor to bring a known transgressor to repentance, you are implicated in the guilt of his crime, and are held responsible at the throne of God.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1836, LECTURE IV - Reproof, a Christian Duty paragraph 36

     And you cannot do this without being faithful in the reproof of sin. A man does not live conscientiously, towards God or man, unless he is in the habit of reproving transgressors who are within his influence. This is one grand reason why there is so little conscience in the church. In what respect are professors of religion so much in the habit of resisting their consciences, as in regard to the duty of reproving sin? Here is one of the strongest commands in the Bible, and yet multitudes do not pay any attention to it at all. Can they have a clear conscience? They may just as well pretend to have a clear conscience, and get drunk every day. No man keeps the law of God, or keeps his conscience clear, who sees sin and does not reprove it. He has additional guilt, who knows of sin and does not reprove it. He breaks two commandments. First, he becomes accessory to the transgression of his neighbor, and then he disobeys an express requirement by refusing to reprove his neighbor.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1836, LECTURE VI - Legal Religion paragraph 19

     They satisfy themselves, mostly, with doing nothing that is very bad. Having no spiritual views, they regard the law of God chiefly as a system of prohibitions, just to guard men from certain sins, and not as a system of benevolence fulfilled by love. And so, if they are moral in their conduct, and tolerably serious and decent in their general deportment, and perform the required amount of religious exercises, this satisfies them. Their conscience harasses them, not so much about sins of omission as sins of commission. They make a distinction between neglecting to do what God positively requires, and doing what He positively forbids. The most you can say of them is, that they are not very bad. They seem to think little or nothing of being useful to the cause of Christ, so long as they cannot be convicted of any positive transgression.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1836, LECTURE VII - Religion of Public Opinion paragraph 5

     There is a plain distinction between self-love, or the simple desire of happiness, and selfishness. Self-love, the desire of happiness and dread of misery, is constitutional, it is a part of our frame as God made us and as He intended us to be; and its indulgence, within the limits of the law of God, is not sinful. Whenever it is indulged contrary to the law of God, it becomes sinful. When the desire of happiness or the dread of misery becomes the controlling principle, and we prefer our own gratification to some other greater interest, it becomes selfishness. When to avoid pain or procure happiness, we sacrifice other greater interests, we violate the great law of disinterested benevolence. It is no longer self-love, acting within lawful bounds, but selfishness.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1836, LECTURE VII - Religion of Public Opinion paragraph 20

     All those sins that are reprobated by public opinion this class of persons abstain from, but they do other things just as bad which are not thus frowned on. They do those duties which are enforced by public opinion, but not those that are less enforced. They will not stay away from public worship on the Sabbath, because they could not maintain any reputation for religion at all if they did. But they neglect things that are just as peremptorily enjoined in the word of God. Where an individual habitually disobeys any command of God, he knowing it to be such, it is just as certain as his soul lives, that the obedience he appears to render, is not from a regard to God's authority, or love to God, but from other motives. He does not, in fact, obey any command of God. The Apostle has settled this question. " Whosoever," says he, " Shall keep the whole law and offend in one point is guilty of all," i. e. does not truly keep any one precept of the law. Obedience to God's commands implies an obedient state of the heart, and therefore nothing is obedience that does not imply a supreme regard to the authority of God. Now, if a man's heart is right, then whatever God enjoins he regards as of more importance than anything else. And if a man regards anything else of superior weight to God's authority, that is his idol. Whatever we supremely regard, that is our God---whether it be reputation, or comfort, or riches, or honor, or whatever it is that we regard supremely, that is the God of our hearts. Whatever a man's reason is for habitually neglecting anything he knows to be the command of God, or that he sees to be required to promote the kingdom of Christ, there is demonstration absolute that he regards that as supreme. There is nothing acceptable to God in any of his services. Rest assured, all his religion is the religion of public sentiment. If he neglects anything required by the law of God, because he can pass along in neglect, and public sentiment does not enjoin it, or if he does other things inconsistent with the law of God, merely because public opinion does require it, it is a simple matter of fact, that it is public sentiment to which he yields obedience, in all his conduct, and not a regard to the glory of God.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1836, LECTURE VII - Religion of Public Opinion paragraph 21

     How is it with you, beloved? Do you habitually neglect any requirement of God, because it is not sustained and enforced by public sentiment? If you are a professor of religion, it is to be presumed you do not neglect any requirement that is strongly urged by public sentiment.---But, how is it with others? Do you not habitually neglect some duties? Do you not live in some practices reputable among men, that you know to be contrary to the law of God? If you do, it is demonstration absolute that you regard the opinions of men more than the judgment of God. Write down your name HYPOCRITE.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1836, LECTURE VII - Religion of Public Opinion paragraph 42

     12. They refuse to confess their sins, in the manner which the law of God requires, lest they should lose reputation among men.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1836, LECTURE VIII - Conformity to the World paragraph 75

     By falling in with the world in politics, Christians are guilty of setting up rulers over them by their own vote, who do not fear nor love God, and who set the law of God at defiance, break the Sabbath, and gamble, and commit adultery, and fight duels, and swear profanely, and leave the laws unexecuted at their pleasure, and that care not for the weal or woe of their country, so long as they can keep their office. I say Christians do this. For it is plain that where parties are divided, as they are in this country, there are Christians enough to turn the scale in any election. Now let Christians take the ground that they will not vote for a dishonest man, or a Sabbath breaker, or gambler, or whoremonger, or duelist, for any office, and no party could ever nominate such a character with any hope of success. But on the present system, where men will let the laws go unexecuted, and give full swing to mobs, or lynch-murders, or robbing the mails, or anything else, so they can run in their own candidate who will give them the offices, any man is a dishonest man that will do it, be he professor or non-professor. And can a Christian do this and be blameless?

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1836, LECTURE VIII - Conformity to the World paragraph 129

     I answer, first, It is so now. Christians, as such, have no influence. There is not a Christian principle adopted because it is Christian, or because it is according to the law of God.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1836, LECTURE X - Dishonesty in Small Matters inconsistent with Honesty in any thing paragraph 25

     2. It is certain that, if an individual is dishonest in small matters, he is not actuated by love to God. If he was actuated by love to God, he would feel that dishonesty in small matters is just as inconsistent as in great. It is as real a violation of the law of God, and one who truly loves God would no more act dishonestly in one than in the other.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1836, LECTURE X - Dishonesty in Small Matters inconsistent with Honesty in any thing paragraph 26

     3. It is certain that he is not actuated by real love to his neighbor, such as the law of God requires. If he loved his neighbor as himself, he would not defraud him in small things any more than in great. Nay, he might do it in great things, where the temptation to swerve from his integrity was powerful. But where the temptation is small, it cannot be that one who truly loves his neighbor would act dishonestly. See the case of Job. Job truly loved God, and you see how far he went, and what distress he endured, before he would say a word that even seemed disparaging or complaining of God. And when the temptation was overwhelming, and he could see no reason why he should be so afflicted, and his distress became intolerable, and his soul was all in darkness, and his wife set in and told him to curse God and die, he would not do it then, but said, "Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What! shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?" Do you suppose Job would have swerved from his integrity in little things, or for small temptations? Never. He loved God. And if you find a man who truly loves his neighbor, you will not see him deceiving or defrauding his neighbor for trifling temptations.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1836, LECTURE XI - Bound to know your True Character paragraph 26

     The law of God is a true standard by which to try our characters. We know exactly what that is, and we have therefore an infallible and an invariable rule by which to judge of ourselves. We can bring all our feelings and actions to this rule, and compare them with this standard, and know exactly what is their true character in the sight of God, for God himself tries them by the same standard.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE I - True and False Conversions paragraph 18

     Benevolence is holiness. It is what the law of God requires: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart and soul and strength, and thy neighbor as thyself." Just as certainly as the converted man yields obedience to the law of God, and just as certainly as he is like God, he is benevolent. It is the leading feature of his character, that he is seeking the happiness of others, and not his own happiness, as his supreme end.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE II - True Submission paragraph 22

     Suppose a civil ruler were to set himself to promote the general happiness of his nation; and should enact laws wisely adapted to this end, and should embark all his own resources in this object; and that he should then require every subject to do the same. Then suppose an individual should go and set up his own private interest in opposition to the general interest. He is a rebel against the government, and against all the interest which the government is set to promote. Then the first idea of submission, on the part of the rebel, is giving up that point, and falling in with the ruler and the obedient subjects in promoting the public good. Now, the law of God absolutely requires that you should make your own happiness subordinate to the glory of God and the good of the universe. And until you do this, you are the enemy of God and the universe, and a child of hell.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE III - Selfishness not True Religion paragraph 33

     3. To regard our own happiness as the supreme object of pursuit is contrary to the law of God.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE III - Selfishness not True Religion paragraph 37

     Thus we see that the sum of the law of God is to exercise benevolence towards God and all beings, according to their relative value, and complacency in all that are holy. Now I say, that to regard our own happiness supremely, or to seek it as our supreme end, is contrary to that law, to its letter and to its spirit. And,

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE III - Selfishness not True Religion paragraph 62

     2. The law of God must be altered. If a supreme regard to our own happiness is religion, then the law should read, "Thou shalt love thyself with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength, and God and thy neighbor infinitely less than thyself."

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE III - Selfishness not True Religion paragraph 76

     Suppose man could find happiness, only by pursuing his own happiness. Then each individual would have only the happiness that himself had gained, and all the happiness in the universe would be only the sum total of what individuals had gained, with the offset of all the pain and misery produced by conflicting interests. Now mark! God has so constituted things, that while each lays himself out to promote the happiness of others, his own happiness is secured and made complete. How vastly greater then is the amount of happiness in the universe, than it would have been, had selfishness been the law of Jehovah's kingdom. Because each one who obeys the law of God, fully secures his own happiness by his benevolence, and the happiness of the whole is increased by how much each receives from all others.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE IV - Religion of the Law and Gospel paragraph 12

     There have been many, in modern times, called Perfectionists, who held that they were not under obligation to obey the law. They suppose that Christ has delivered them from the law, and given them the Spirit, and that the leadings of the Spirit are now to be their rule of life, instead of the law of God. Where the Bible says, sin shall not have dominion over believers, these persons understand by it, that the same acts, which would be sin if done by an unconverted person, are not sin in them. The others, they say, are under the law, and so bound by its rules, but themselves are sanctified, and are in Christ, and if they break the law it is no sin. But all such notions must be radically wrong. God has no right to give up the moral law. He cannot discharge us from the duty of love to God and love to man, for this is right in itself. And unless God will alter the whole moral constitution of the universe, so as to make that right which is wrong, He cannot give up the claims of the moral law. Besides, this doctrine represents Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost as having taken up arms openly against the government of God.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE IV - Religion of the Law and Gospel paragraph 17

     There is a multitude of things that address our hopes and fears; such as character, interest, heaven and hell, &c. These may produce external obedience, or conformity to the law. But filial confidence leads men to obey God from love. This is the only obedience that is acceptable to God. God not only requires a certain course of conduct, but that this should spring from love. There never was and never can be, in the government of God, any acceptable obedience but the obedience of faith. Some suppose that faith will be done away in heaven. This is a strange notion! As if there were no occasion to trust God in heaven, or no reason to exercise confidence in Him. Here is the great distinction between the religion of law and gospel religion. Legal obedience is influenced by hope and fear, and is hypocritical, selfish, outward, constrained. Gospel obedience is from love, and is sincere, free, cheerful, true. There is a class of legalists, who depend on works of law for justification, who have merely deified what they call a principle of right, and have set themselves to do right; it is not out of respect to the law of God, or out of love to God, but just because it is right.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE VI - Sanctification by Faith paragraph 4

     The apostle had been proving that all mankind, both Jews and Gentiles, were in their sins, and refuting the doctrine so generally entertained by the Jews, that they were a holy people and saved by their works. He showed that justification can never be by works, but by faith. He then anticipates an objection, like this, "Are we to understand you as teaching that the law of God is abrogated and set aside by this plan of justification?" "By no means," says the apostle, "we rather establish the law." In treating of this subject, I design to pursue the following order:

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE VI - Sanctification by Faith paragraph 12

     The gospel requires repentance, as the condition of salvation. What is repentance? The renunciation of sin. The man must repent of his breaches of the law of God, and return to obedience to the law. This is tantamount to a requirement of obedience.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE VI - Sanctification by Faith paragraph 19

     In support of the proposition that justification by faith produces true obedience to the law of God, my first position is, that sanctification never can be produced among selfish or wicked beings, by the law itself, separate from the considerations of the gospel, or the motives connected with justification by faith.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE VII - Legal Experience paragraph 25

     A moral agent is one who possesses understanding, will, and conscience. Conscience is the power of discerning the difference of moral objects. It will not be disputed that a moral agent can be led to see the difference between right and wrong, so that his moral nature shall approve of what is right. Otherwise, a sinner never can be brought under conviction. If he has not a moral nature, that can see and highly approve the law of God, and justify the penalty, he cannot be convicted. For this is conviction, to see the goodness of the law that he has broken and the justice of the penalty he has incurred. But in fact, there is not a moral agent, in heaven, earth, or hell, that cannot be made to see that the law of God is right, and whose conscience does not approve the law.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE VII - Legal Experience paragraph 27

     This is one great source of self-deception. Men view the law of God in the abstract, and love it. When no selfish reason is present for opposing it, they take pleasure in viewing it. They approve of what is right, and condemn wickedness, in the abstract. All men do this, when no selfish reason is pressing on them. Whoever found a man so wicked, that he approved of evil in the abstract? Where was a moral being ever found that approved the character of the devil, or that approved of other wicked men, unconnected with himself? How often do you hear wicked men express the greatest abhorrence and detestation of enormous wickedness in others. If their passions are in no way enlisted in favor of error or of wrong, men always stand up for what is right. And this merely constitutional approbation of what is right may amount even to delight, when they do not see the relations of right interfering in any manner with their own selfishness.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE VII - Legal Experience paragraph 28

     6. In this constitutional approbation of truth and the law of God, and the delight which naturally arises from it, there is no virtue.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE VII - Legal Experience paragraph 29

     It is only what belongs to man's moral nature. It arises naturally from the constitution of the mind. Mind is constitutionally capable of seeing the beauty of virtue. And so far from their being any virtue in it, it is in fact only a clearer proof of the strength of their depravity, that when they know the right, and see its excellence, they do not obey it. It is not then that impenitent sinners have in them something that is holy. But their wickedness is herein seen to be so much the greater. For the wickedness of sin is in proportion to the light that is enjoyed. And when we find that men may not only see the excellence of the law of God, but even strongly approve of it and take delight in it, and yet not obey it, it shows how desperately wicked they are, and makes sin appear exceeding sinful.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE VII - Legal Experience paragraph 53

     2. It would have been entirely irrelevant to his purpose, to state the experience of a Christian as an illustration of his argument. That was not what was needed. He was laboring to vindicate the law of God, in its influence on a carnal mind. In a previous chapter he had stated the fact, that justification was only by faith, and not by works of law. In this seventh chapter, he maintains not only that justification is by faith, but also that sanctification is only by faith. "Know ye not brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? So then, if while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man." What is the use of all this? Why, this, "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God." While you were under the law you were bound to obey the law, and hold to the terms of the law for justification. But now being made free from the law, as a rule of judgment, you are no longer influenced by legal considerations, of hope and fear, for Christ to whom you are married, has set aside the penalty, that by faith ye might be justified before God.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE VII - Legal Experience paragraph 58

     "I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present within me." Here he speaks of the action of the carnal propensities, as being so constant and so prevalent that he calls it a "law." "For I delight in the law of God after the inward man." Here is the great stumbling-block. Can it be said of an impenitent sinner that he "delights" in the law of God? I answer, yes. I know the expression is a strong one, but the apostle was using strong language all along, on both sides. It is no stronger language than the prophet Isaiah uses in chapter lviii. He was describing as wicked and rebellious a generation as ever lived. He says, "Cry aloud, spare not; lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." Yet he goes on to say of this very people, "Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God; they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they TAKE DELIGHT in approaching to God." Here is one instance of impenitent sinners manifestly delighting in approaching to God. So in Ezekiel xxxiii. 32. "And lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not." The prophet had been telling how wicked they were. "And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness." Here were impenitent sinners, plainly enough, yet they loved to hear the eloquent prophet. How often do ungodly sinners delight in eloquent preaching or powerful reasoning, by some able minister! It is to them an intellectual feast. And sometimes they are so pleased with it, as really to think they love the word of God. This is consistent with entire depravity of heart and enmity against the true character of God. Nay, it sets their depravity in a stronger light, because they know and approve the right, and yet do the wrong.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE VII - Legal Experience paragraph 59

     So, notwithstanding this delight in the law, he says, "But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Here the words, "I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord," are plainly a parenthesis, and a brake in upon the train of thought. Then he sums up the whole matter, "So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin."

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE VII - Legal Experience paragraph 60

     It is as if he had said, My better self, my unbiased judgment, my conscience, approves the law of God; but the law in my members, my passions, have such a control over me that I still disobey. Remember, the apostle was describing the habitual character of one who was wholly under the dominion of sin. It was irrelevant to his purpose to adduce the experience of a Christian. He was vindicating the law, and therefore it was necessary for him to take the case of one who was under the law. If it is Christian experience, he was reasoning against himself, for if it is Christian experience, this would prove, not only that the law is inefficacious for the subduing of passion and the sanctification of men, but that the gospel also is inefficacious. Christians are under grace, and it is irrelevant, in vindicating the law, to adduce the experience of those who are not under the law, but under grace.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE VII - Legal Experience paragraph 62

     Then, in the beginning of the 8th chapter, he goes on to say, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the law of sin and death." He had alluded to this in the parenthesis above, "I thank God," &c. "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Who is this, of whom he is now speaking? If the person in the last chapter was one who had a Christian experience, whose experience is this? Here is something entirely different. The other was wholly under the power of sin, and under the law, and while he knew his duty, never did it. Here we find one for whom what the law could not do, through the power of passion, the gospel has done, so that the righteousness of the law is fulfilled, or what the law requires is obeyed. "For they that are after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace: because the carnal mind is enmity to God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." There it is. Those whom he had described in the 7th chapter, as being carnal, cannot please God. "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." But here is an individual whose body is dead. Before, the body had the control, and dragged him away from duty and from salvation; but now the power of passion is subdued.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE VII - Legal Experience paragraph 66

     (3.) It is plain that the point he wished to illustrate was the vindication of the law of God, as to its influence on a carnal mind.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE VIII - Christian Perfection I paragraph 19

     It is perfect obedience to the law of God. The law of God requires perfect, disinterested, impartial benevolence, love to God and love to our neighbor. It requires that we should be actuated by the same feeling, and to act on the same principles that God acts upon; to leave self out of the question as uniformly as He does, to be as much separated from selfishness as He is; in a word, to be in our measure as perfect as God is. Christianity requires that we should do neither more nor less than the law of God prescribes. Nothing short of this is Christian perfection. This is being, morally, just as perfect as God. Everything is here included, to feel as He feels, to love what He loves, and hate what He hates, and for the same reasons that He loves and hates.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE VIII - Christian Perfection I paragraph 41

     The first doubt which will arise in many minds, is this; "Does God really will my sanctification in this world?" I answer: He says He does. The law of God is itself as strong an expression as He can give of His will on the subject, and it is backed up by an infinite sanction. The gospel is but a republication of the same will, in another form. How can God express His will more strongly on this point than He has in the text? "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." In the Thessalonians iv. 3, we are told expressly, "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification." If you examine the Bible carefully, from one end to the other, you will find that it is everywhere just as plainly taught that God wills the sanctification of Christians in this world, as it is that He wills sinners should repent in this world. And if we go by the Bible, we might just as readily question whether He wills that men should repent, as whether He wills that Christians should be holy. Why should He not reasonably expect it? He requires it. What does He require? When He requires men to repent, He requires that they should love God with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength. What reason have we to believe that He wills they should repent at all, or love Him at all, which is not a reason for believing that He wills they should love Him perfectly? Strange logic, indeed! to teach that He wills it in one case, because He requires it, and not admit the same inference in the other. No man can show, from the Bible, that God does not require perfect sanctification in this world, nor that He does not will it, nor that it is not just as attainable as any degree of sanctification.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE X - Way of Salvation paragraph 13

     Originally, the human race was put on the foundation of law for salvation; so that, if saved at all, they were to be saved on the ground of perfect and eternal obedience to the law of God. Adam was the natural head of the race. It has been supposed by many, that there was a covenant made with Adam such as this, that if he continued to obey the law for a limited period, all his posterity should be confirmed in holiness and happiness forever. What the reason is for this belief, I am unable to ascertain; I am not aware that the doctrine is taught in the Bible. And if it is true, the condition of mankind now, does not differ materially from what it was at first. If the salvation of the race originally turned wholly on the obedience of one man, I do not see how it could be called a covenant of works so far as the race is concerned. For if their weal or woe was suspended on the conduct of one head, it was a covenant of grace to them, in the same manner, that the present system is a covenant of grace. For according to that view, all that related to works depended on one man, just as it does under the gospel; and the rest of the race had no more to do with works, than they have now, but all that related to works was done by the representative. Now, I have supposed, and there is nothing in the Bible to the contrary, that if Adam had continued in obedience forever, his posterity would have stood forever on the same ground, and must have obeyed the law themselves forever in order to be saved. It may have been, that if he had obeyed always, the natural influence of his example would have brought about such a state of things, that as a matter of fact all his posterity would have continued in holiness. But the salvation of each individual would still have depended on his own works. But if the works of the first father were to be so set to the account of the race, that on account of his obedience they were to be secured in holiness and happiness forever, I do not see wherein it differs materially from the covenant of grace, or the gospel.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE X - Way of Salvation paragraph 15

     On this covenant of redemption was founded the covenant of grace. In the covenant of redemption, the Son stipulated with the Father, to work out an atonement; and the Father stipulated that He should have a seed, or people, gathered out of the human race. The covenant of grace was made with men and was revealed to Adam, after the fall, and more fully revealed to Abraham. Of this covenant, Jesus Christ was to be the Mediator, or He that should administer it. It was a covenant of grace, in opposition to the original covenant of works, under which Adam and his posterity were placed at the beginning; and salvation was now to be by faith, instead of works, because the obedience and death of Jesus Christ were to be regarded as the reason why any individual was to be saved, and not each one's personal obedience. Not that His obedience was, strictly speaking, performed for us. As a man, He was under the necessity of obeying, for Himself; because He had not put Himself under the law, and if He did not obey it He became personally a transgressor. And yet there is a sense in which it may be said that His obedience is reckoned to our account. His obedience has so highly honored the law, and His death has so fully satisfied the demands of public justice, that grace (not justice,) has reckoned His righteousness to us. If He had obeyed the law strictly for us, and had owed no obedience for Himself, but was at liberty to obey only for us, then I cannot see why justice should not have accounted His obedience to us, and we could have obtained salvation on the score of right, instead of asking it on the score of grace or favor. But it is only in this sense accounted ours, that He, being God and man, having voluntarily assumed our nature, and then voluntarily laying down His life to make atonement, casts such a glory on the law of God, that grace is willing to consider His obedience in such a sense ours, as, on His account, to treat us as if we were righteous.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE X - Way of Salvation paragraph 50

     When the mind duly recognizes Christ, and receives Him, in His various relations; when the faith is unwavering and the views clear, there will be nothing left in the mind contrary to the law of God.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE XI - Necessity of Divine Teaching paragraph 16

     A man, by his reason, may understand the law of God. He can understand that it requires him to exercise perfect love, towards God and all other beings. He can see the ground of his obligation to do this, because he is a moral being. He knows by experience what love is, for he has exercised love towards different objects. And he can, therefore, form or comprehend the idea of love, so far as to see the reasonableness of the requirement. He can understand the foundation and the force of moral obligation, and see, in some measure, the extent of his obligation to love God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 12 TABLE OF CONTENTS ...

Lecture V. The Law of God 1

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 13 TABLE OF CONTENTS ...

Lecture VI. The Law of God 2

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 99 70 Lecture II. Faith ...

12. It is the only proper answer, because faith is the only exercise that receives Christ with all His powerfully sanctifying influences into the heart. The Bible every where represents the sanctified soul, as being under the influence of an indwelling Christ. Now the exercise of faith is that opening of the door by which Christ is received to reign in the heart. Who will pretend that any works are properly good, or that any true faith exists in the mind, except as the result of the operation or influence of Christ in the mind. Now if this is so, the proper direction plainly is, to do that which receives Christ. If this is done, all else will be done. If this is neglected, all else will be neglected, of course.

III. I am to show, that under other circumstances another answer might, with propriety, have been given.

1. The careless, unawakened sinner, who knows nothing of his depravity, or helplessness, it might be important and proper to direct to the law of God as the rule of his duty. Not with the expectation of directly promoting holiness thereby, but of convicting him of sin. Thus we find Christ requiring the young man who was wrapped up in self-righteousness, "to keep the commandments," and taking such a course as to bring out before his mind his supreme love of the world. This produced regret and discouragement in him; and when required to "part with all that he had," and follow Christ, he "went away sorrowful."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 289 234 Lecture IV. True and False Religion ...

Now, while under this delusion, it is vain to expect their eyes to be opened, and to anticipate a real and thorough conversion to God.

7. All who have left their first love, are again entangled in the yoke of bondage. If any of you have known what it was to love God with all your heart, you have known what it was to be free. You know, by your own consciousness, that your religion was then the essence of true liberty. But if you have laid aside your love, no matter by what other principles you are actuated, you are "entangled again in the yoke of bondage." Your religion has ceased to be liberty, and you have become a slave.--Now I ask you, "Where is the blessedness" you once spoke of? Have you that great peace that they possess who love the law of God? Does the peace of God rule in your hearts? Is Christ's joy fulfilled in you? Or are you lashed along by your conscience, actuated by hope and fear, and any, and every other principle than love?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 293 292 Lecture V. The Law of God 1 ...

The Law of God-1
Lectures V
February 27 & March 13, 1839

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 301 292 Lecture V. The Law of God 1 ...

2. In Rom. 13:8-10, it is said, "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, thou shalt not commit adultery--thou shalt not kill--thou shalt not steal--thou shalt not bear false witness--thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, viz. thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." Here it is declared, that love, with corresponding action, of course, comprises our whole duty to our fellowmen.

Reason affirms that there is no virtue without love, and that perfect love to God and man, with its natural fruits, is the consummation, and the whole of virtue. This is also agreeable to the dictates of conscience and common sense.

3. The law of God is the standard of right and wrong. The whole law of God is summed up in these two precepts. Consequently, obedience to these is the whole of virtue or true religion. In other words, it is the whole of what God requires of man. But I need not insist at large upon this, as it will not probably be denied or doubted.

II. I am to show what constitutes true obedience.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 302 292 Lecture V. The Law of God 1 ...

Love is the sum of the requirement. But I may, and should be asked what is the kind of love required by these commands? I shall consider:

1. The kind of love to be exercised towards God.
 

(1) It is to be love of the heart, and not a mere emotion. By the heart I mean the will. Emotions, or what are generally termed feelings, are often involuntary states of mind; i.e. they are not choices, or volitions, and of course do not govern the conduct. Love, in the form of an emotion, may exist in opposition to the will; e.g. we may exercise emotions of love contrary to our conscience, and judgment, and in opposition to our will. Thus the sexes often exercise emotions of love towards those to whom all the voluntary powers of their mind feel opposed, and with whom they will not associate. It is true, that, in most cases, the emotions are with the will. But they are sometimes, nay, often opposed to it.

Now, it is a voluntary state of mind that the law of God requires; i.e. it lays its claims upon the will. The will controls the conduct. And it is, therefore, of course, the love of the heart or will, that God requires.

(2) Benevolence is one of the modifications of love, which we are to exercise towards God. Benevolence is good will. And certainly we are bound to exercise this kind of love to God. It is a dictate of reason, of conscience, of common sense, and of immutable justice, that we should exercise good, and not ill-will to God. It matters not whether he needs our good will, or whether our good, or ill will, can, in any way, affect Him.--The question does not respect the necessities but deserts.

God's well-being is certainly an infinite good in itself, and consequently, we are bound to desire it--to will it--to rejoice in it--and to will it, and rejoice in it, in proportion to its intrinsic importance. And as his well-being is certainly a matter of infinite importance, we are under infinite obligation to will it with all our hearts.

(3) Another modification of this love, is that of complacency or esteem. God's character is infinitely good. We are therefore bound, not merely to love him, with the love of benevolence; but to exercise the highest degree of complacency in his character. To say that God is good and lovely is merely to say that he deserves to be loved. If he deserves to be loved, on account of his goodness and love, then he deserves to be loved in proportion to his goodness and loveliness. Our obligation, therefore, is infinitely great to exercise towards him the highest degree of the love of complacency, of which we are capable.

These remarks are confirmed by the Bible, by reason, by conscience, and by common sense.

(4) Another peculiarity of this love, which must, by no means, be overlooked, is, that it must be disinterested; i.e. that we should not love him for selfish reasons. But that we should love him for what he is--with benevolence, because his well-being is an infinite good--with complacency; because his character is infinitely excellent--with the heart; because all virtue belongs to the heart. It is plain, that nothing short of disinterested love is virtue. The Savior recognizes and settles this truth, in Luke 6:32-34: "For if ye love them who love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again." These words epitomize the whole doctrine of the Bible on this subject, and lay down the broad principle, that to love God, or anyone else, for selfish reasons, is not virtue.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 303 292 Lecture V. The Law of God 1 ...

(5) Another peculiarity of this love is that it must be in every instance supreme. The text plainly requires this. Besides, anything less than supreme love to God, must be idolatry. If anything else is loved more, that is our God.

Observe, that God lays great stress upon the degree of love. So that the degree is essential to the kind of love. If it be not supreme in degree, it is wholly defective and in no sense acceptable to God.

2. I will consider the kind of love to be exercised towards our fellowmen.
 

(1) It must be the love of the heart, and not mere desire or emotion. It is very natural to desire the good of others--to pity the distressed--and to feel strong emotions of compassion towards those who are afflicted. But these emotions are not virtue. Unless we will their good, as well as desire it, it is of no avail. James 2:15, 16: "If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food. And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be you warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?"

Now here the Apostle fully recognizes the principle, that mere desire for the good of others, which of course will satisfy itself with good words, instead of good deeds, is not virtue. If it were good willing, instead of good desiring, it would produce corresponding action; and unless it is good willing, there is no holiness in it.

(2) Benevolence to men is a prime modification of holy love. This is included in what I have said above, but needs to be expressly stated and explained.

It is a plain dictate of reason, of conscience, of common sense, and immutable justice, that we should exercise good will towards our fellowmen--that we should will their good, in proportion to its importance--that we should rejoice in their happiness, and endeavor to promote it, according to its real value in the scale of being.

(3) Complacency towards those that are virtuous is another modification of holy love. I say towards those that are virtuous, because while we exercise benevolence towards all, irrespective of their character, we have a right to exercise complacency towards those only who are holy.

To exercise complacency towards the wicked is to be as wicked as they are. But to exercise entire complacency to those that are holy, is to be ourselves holy.

(4) This love is to be in every instance equal. By equal I do not mean that degree of love which selfish beings have for themselves, for this is supreme. There is a grand distinction between self-love and selfishness. Self-love is that benevolence to self, or regard for our own interest, which its intrinsic importance demands. Selfishness is the excess of self-love: i.e. it is supreme self-love--it is making our own happiness the supreme object of pursuit, because it is our own. And not attaching that importance to other's interests, and the happiness of other beings, which their importance demands. A selfish mind is therefore in the exercise of the supreme love of self.

Now the law of God does not require or permit us to love our neighbor with this degree of love, for that would be idolatry. But the command, "to love our neighbor as ourselves," implies,

(a) That we should love ourselves less than supremely, and attach no more importance to our own interests and happiness than they demand.--So that the first thing implied in this command is that we love ourselves less than supremely, and that we love our neighbor with the same degree of love which it is lawful for us to exercise towards ourselves.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 308 292 Lecture V. The Law of God 1 ...

Now to decide the character of any act, we are to bring it into the light of the law of God. If agreeable to this law, it is obedience--it is right--wholly right. If it is in any respect, different from what the law of God requires, it is disobedience--it is wrong--wholly wrong. Consequently,

3. It is supposed that a person may be partly holy, and partly sinful, in the same act and exercise.

I was formerly of this opinion myself; and I believe in some one of my reported lectures it is expressed. I formerly reasoned in this way; that an exercise might be put forth, in view of several motives, some of which were right, and some wrong. And that the exercise, therefore, had the complex character of the motives that produced it. But I am now persuaded that this philosophy is false. Whatever may have preceded a given exercise, that may have led the way to its being put forth, is not the question; nor does it alter the character of that exercise. For whenever the exercise is put forth, it must be in view of some one consideration, which the mind contemplates at the instant. If the reason which the mind has for the exercise be disinterested, the action is holy. If otherwise, it is sinful. By disinterested I do not mean that the mind must necessarily feel that it has no personal interest in the thing. But that the degree of self-interest that is felt should not be disproportioned to the interest which the mind takes in the matter, on account of its own intrinsic importance. In other words, if the mind's interest in it is selfish, the action or exercise, whatever it may be, is sinful. If it be not selfish, it is holy, although there may be a suitable regard to our own interest, at the moment of decision.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 310 292 Lecture V. The Law of God 1 ...

But here let it be understood that it cannot be defective in degree, and yet be holy, unless it can be holy without being agreeable to the law of God. It must be supreme in degree to have the character of holiness at all. It must be disinterested in opposition to selfish or it is wholly sinful. If, therefore, it is disinterested in kind, and supreme in degree, it is wholly a right affection. Otherwise, it is wholly wrong.

4. Another mistake is, that holiness may be deficient in degree as well as in permanency.

This is only another form of expressing nearly the same idea. But I aim at perspicuity; and I choose to reassert the mistake in this form, (viz.) that holiness may be real, while deficient in degree, as well as in permanency.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 311 292 Lecture V. The Law of God 1 ...

Now, holiness is love. To say therefore, that holiness may be deficient in degree, is the same as to say that love may be true, acceptable love to God, while it is less than supreme in degree, which is plainly contrary to both the letter and spirit of the law of God; or, in other words, it may be acceptable to God, while we love something else more, and are in fact idolaters.

5. That we may be conscious of loving God less than something else, and yet have some genuine love, and some true religion.

Now love, to be genuine, must possess all the attributes which the law of God requires. And as God lays great stress upon its being supreme, if we are conscious that we love other things more than God, it is impossible that we should be in the exercise of any true religion.

6. That emotions of love, while the heart or will is selfish is true religion.

Now that there may be emotions, and strong emotions of love to a being, or thing, to which our will is opposed, is the experience of every day. And I see not why emotions of love to God, as well as emotions of gratitude to God, may not exist, while the will is selfish, and therefore the heart entirely depraved. I know from my own experience, that such emotions can exist in an unconverted mind; and it appears to me, that herein consists the grand delusion of vast multitudes of professors of religion, as well as of those who are professedly impenitent. When some flashes of light, in regard to some of the attributes of God are witnessed--when he is exhibited in certain relations--and his feelings of compassion are thrown out before the mind, as exhibited in the death of Christ, I think I know by experience, and I see not why it is not in accordance with true philosophy, that there should be a gush of emotion, which may be, and often is taken for true religion, while the heart or will is entirely selfish. This is illustrated in the character of those who, in revivals and seasons of religious excitement, will manifest a high degree of religious emotion, while in their business operations they prove to be completely selfish.

7. That some degree of selfishness may co-exist with some degree of holiness.

I say co-exist. I do not mean to deny, that a mind may be selfish at one time, and benevolent at another. But I do deny, that a mind can be selfish and benevolent at one and the same time; or that any degree of holiness can exist in the mind, in the exercise of selfishness. Selfishness, as we have already seen, is the supreme love of self. It is always the supreme affection of the mind, and cannot be exercised in any one instance, in any other form than that of supreme regard to self. It is what God expressly forbids. Every exercise of it, therefore, not only implies that we love ourselves more than we love our neighbor; but as it is a violation of the law of God, it is loving ourselves more than we respect the authority of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 313 292 Lecture V. The Law of God 1 ...

Now there can be no doubt that multitudes are radically deceived upon this point. They mistake their kind feelings, which are merely constitutional, for that love which the law of God requires them to exercise. Hence they will be very pitiful and benevolent in word but not in deed.

9. That a man can be selfish in his business, both in its design and in the manner of performing it, and yet be truly, though defectively religious--that in establishing himself in business, he may have a supreme regard to his own interest--that it is neither love to God nor man, that mainly actuates him, in the establishment of his business--but that his great object may be to make property for himself and family, and yet be truly religious--that the transaction of his business may be on the same principle upon which it was established--that in his dealings with men, he may aim mainly at promoting his own interest, and may consult his own side of the bargain, with very little reference to the individual with whom he is trading, or the community in which he lives.

I believe this to be a sad and ruinous mistake. A man's business is that in which he is engaged, or at least is supposed to be engaged, six days in seven of his whole life. It is that which mainly occupies his time, and thoughts, and energies. Now, if in this he is selfish, either in his object, or manner of performing it, it is as impossible that he should have any degree of true religion, as that he should be supremely selfish and religious at the same time.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 314 292 Lecture V. The Law of God 1 ...

It is supposed by many, that selfish love to God is true religion. In my lecture to Christians, published in the last volume of my Sermons, is a whole discourse, devoted expressly to the discussion of this question. As you can consult that, I will not dwell upon it here.

10. That selfish, or partial love to man is true religion.

There are many who cannot speak peaceably of an enemy, who are nevertheless, very affectionate to their friends--who seem to have adopted the corrupt maxim of the Jews: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy," which Jesus Christ so severely reprobates. Christ insists, that, to be like God, we must "love our enemies," "do good to them that hate us," and "pray for those that despitefully use us." Here also, doubtless, many make a ruinous mistake. They have a great affection to individuals, who are friendly to them--of their own sect, or party, or way of thinking--while they exhibit and manifest any thing but love towards those that differ from them.

11. That entire holiness implies a high, and constant, and, of course insupportable degree of excited emotion.

Whatever may be true of the mind, when separated from the body, it is certain, while it acts through a material organ, that a constant state of excitement is impossible. When the mind is strongly excited, there is of necessity, a great determination of blood to the brain. A high degree of excitement cannot long continue, certainly, without producing inflammation of the brain, and consequent insanity. And the law of God does not require any degree of emotion, or mental excitement, that is inconsistent with life and health.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 318 292 Lecture V. The Law of God 1 ...

Excitement is often important and indispensable. But the vigorous actings of the will are infinitely more important. And this state of mind may exist in the absence of highly excited emotions.

12. That entire conformity to the law of God implies, that the attention of the mind is continually and exclusively directed to God. So that God is the direct object of thought, volition, and feeling.

Now holiness implies no such thing. The law of God requires supreme love of the heart. By this is meant, that the mind's supreme preference should be of God--that God should be the great object of its supreme love, and delight. But this state of mind is perfectly consistent with our engaging in any of the necessary business of life-- giving to that business that attention--and exercising about it all those affections and emotions, which its nature and importance demand.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 322 292 Lecture V. The Law of God 1 ...

In this statement, I take it for granted, that the brain, together with all the circumstances of the constitution are such, that the requisite amount of thought, feeling, &c. are possible. If the constitution, physical, or mental, be in such a state of exhaustion as to be unable to put forth that amount of exertion which the nature of the subject might otherwise demand, even in this case, the languid efforts, though far below the importance of the subject, would be all that the law of God requires. --Whoever, therefore, supposes that a state of entire sanctification, implies a state of entire abstraction of mind, from everything but God, labors under a grievous mistake. Such a state of mind is as inconsistent with duty, as it is impossible, while we are in the flesh.

13. That entire holiness implies an equal degree of strength in the affections of the mind, at all times.

Now, this is neither consistent with duty, nor possible. Every particular duty to which we are called, does not demand the same degree of mental action. Nor, as I have already said, is the brain, the physical organ through which the mind acts, capable of sustaining the same degree of mental affections. If, in performing any work for God, the affections be as high as the nature of the particular subject requires in order to its right performance, and in every case where the action of the mind is equal in strength to the present capacity of the brain, or physical organ through which the mind acts, it is all that the law of God requires. Here it should be distinctly remembered, that the holiness of the mind, when some kind of business, or labor for God is the object of the mind's attention, does not consist, so much in the strength of those particular affections, which may be more or less energetic, as the state of the brain may admit, or the nature of the subject may require. But it does consist in the supreme preference of the mind--in that state of supreme devotedness to God, that has called the mind to the performance of this particular work, and for this particular reason, (i.e.) for the glory of God.

14. That a state of entire holiness implies equal strength in all the volitions of the mind.

But this is absurd. It is neither requisite, nor possible. All volitions do not need the same strength. They cannot have equal strength, because they are not produced by equally powerful reasons.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 326 292 Lecture V. The Law of God 1 ...

Nor does it imply that we exercise the same strength, or consistency of holy affection, that we might have done had we never sinned. If we love him with what strength we have, be it more or less, however debilitated our powers may be, it is all that the law of God requires.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 327 292 Lecture V. The Law of God 1 ...

Nor does it imply, that we love him as much as we should, were we not so ignorant, or had we as much knowledge of Him as we might have had, had we improved our time, and opportunities of gaining information. The law of God requires, nothing more than the right use of our powers, as they are, without respect to whatever might, and would have been, had we never sinned.

18. That a state of entire holiness is inconsistent with the existence, and exercise of our constitutional susceptibilities.

A great portion of the temptations to which the mind is subject, consists in the excited state of the susceptibilities of the body and mind, that are purely constitutional. All the susceptibilities of our nature, Christ must have had, or he could not have been "tempted in all points like as we are." It was the excitement of Adam's constitutional appetites and susceptibilities, that led him to sin. But his sin consisted not, either in the existence of these susceptibilities and appetites, or in their being excited, but in consenting to gratify them in a prohibited manner. If our constitutional susceptibilities were annihilated, our activity would cease. So that if anyone supposes, that to be sanctified "wholly, body, soul and spirit," implies the extinction of any appetite, or susceptibility that is purely constitutional, he is deceived. A state of sanctification consists in subordinating all these to the will of God, and not in their annihilation.

19. That it implies a cessation of spiritual warfare.

If, by this, they mean a war with our selfishness, they are right. But if they mean that our war with the world, the flesh and the devil, will ever cease in this life, they are mistaken.

20. That it is inconsistent with growth in grace.

I suppose that saints will continue to grow in grace to all eternity, and in the knowledge of God. But this does not imply, that they are not entirely holy, when they enter heaven, or before.

21. That it is entirely inconsistent with any sorrow, or mental suffering. It was not so with Christ. Nor is it inconsistent with our sorrowing for our own past sins, and sorrowing that we have not now the health and vigor, and knowledge, and love, that we might have had, if we had sinned less; or sorrow for those around us--sorrow in view of human sinfulness, or suffering. These are all consistent with a state of entire sanctification, and indeed are the natural results of it.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 335 292 Lecture V. The Law of God 1 ...

3. True religion does not abrogate the law of God, but fulfills it.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 339 292 Lecture V. The Law of God 1 ...

I design to continue this subject in my next lecture, and shall then show more particularly, that the law of God can never be repealed, or altered.
 
 

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 343 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

THE LAW OF GOD--No. 2

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 358 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

(5) It prohibits apathy and indifference, with regard to the well being of our fellow men.
 

2. I will show what the law requires.
 

(1) It requires the practical recognition of the fact, that all men are brethren--that God is the great Parent--the great Father of the universe--that all moral agents, every where, are His children--and that he is interested in the happiness of every individual, according to its relative importance. He is no respector of persons. But so far as the love of Benevolence is concerned, He loves all moral beings, in proportion to their capacity of receiving, and doing good.

Now the law of God evidently takes all this for granted; and that "God hath made of one blood all nations of men, to dwell on all the face of the earth."

(2) It requires that every being, and interest should be regarded and treated, by us, according to its relative value; (i.e.) that we should recognize God's relation to the universe--and our relation to each other--and treat all men as our brethren--as having an inalienable title to our good will, and kind offices--as citizens of the same government--and members of the great family of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 371 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

And let me begin by saying, that it is one of the first principles of common law, that whatever is contrary to the law of God is not law, (i.e.) is not obligatory upon men. So that the difference between human laws, and the law of God, is not that they are contrary, the one to the other, for, properly speaking, any human enactment, that is contrary to the law of God, is, after all, not law.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 373 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

2. They only prohibit outward acts of selfishness, or the open violation of other men's rights, and do not require even outward benevolence. They leave every man to be as selfish as he will, provided he restrains his selfish conduct within certain limits. Now it is easy to see, that all this falls entirely short of the spirit and letter of the law of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 374 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

3. The law of God is positive. It not only restrains outward, but all inward selfishness. It not only prohibits outward selfish acts, but the inward selfish thoughts and feelings. It regards the outward act as crime, and deserving of punishment, only because it is the result of the inward feelings and affections of the mind. Hence, it aims its prohibitions at the heart, and spreads out its claims over all the movements of the mind.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 376 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

5. Another difference is, that perfect obedience to human laws, would not necessarily secure one particle of happiness. It would only lessen the amount of misery. As we have just seen, there might be perfect obedience to human laws, and yet supreme selfishness exist in every mind. So that perfect obedience, to the wisest and best of human enactments, may consist with a vast amount of individual and public misery.

But, on the other hand, perfect and universal obedience to the law of God, as we have seen, would secure the greatest amount of individual, and public happiness.

VI. I am to show, that every violation of this rule is fraud, and injustice.

1. Because this is the only rule of right. Remember that it is not by human law, but by his own law, that God will judge the world. The question is not, what is fraud, and dishonesty, in the light of human laws; but what is real fraud--what is real injustice? This can only be known, by a reference to the law of God. And every violation of this rule wears upon its front the seal of God's eternal reprobation. It is not enough, in the light of the law of God, that you abstain from trespassing upon your neighbor's possessions. If you do not actually love him, and love him as you do yourself, you as actually invade his rights and deny him that which is his due, as if you should steal his property. He has as absolute a right to your equal love, as he has to any article of property, which he may have in possession. And you have no more right to withhold the one, than to take the other. You are as much bound to consult his interest, in your dealings with him, as your own; and he has as actual a right to expect you to consult his interests, as well as to consult your own, as he has to expect that you will not steal his money. And to omit the former, is as absolute fraud, and injustice, as to do the latter.

Every violation of this law is injustice, fraud, and dishonesty towards God, and toward every individual in the universe. It is setting aside the rights, and authority of God, and trampling upon the rights of our neighbor. And as all mankind are one family, and have one common interest, to defraud one, is to injure the whole.

VII. I am to show, that the public, and private conscience, is formed on the principles of commercial justice.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 378 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

In proof of this position, I observe, that men generally satisfy themselves with acting legally, and at most equitably. But the courts, both of law and equity, lay down rules for the government of human conduct, as we have seen, that fall entirely short of the law of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 381 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

VIII. I am to show, that the transaction of business upon principles of commercial justice merely, is a violation of this law--rebellion against God--and in a professor of religion is real apostasy.

1. Because it is setting aside the law of God, and establishing another rule of action.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 385 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

And what is still worse, it adds shameless hypocrisy to apostasy; for while men really apostatize in heart, instead of openly avowing, as in all honesty they ought to do, their rejection of the law of God, they remain in the Church, and keep up a hypocritical show of obedience.

IX. I am to show, that restitution must be made in all practicable cases where this law has been violated, or there is no forgiveness.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 387 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

Now I beseech you to remember, that the restitution demanded of you, is not merely where you have defrauded men at common law, but in every case, so far as you can remember where you have not acted agreeably to the law of God. Wherever you have not consulted your neighbor's interest, equally with your own, in your business transactions, you have been guilty of fraud. God's law has pronounced that transaction dishonest, and unjust, and has aimed its eternal thunders at your head.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 389 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

1. The Church can compel the world to transact business upon the principles of the law of God. The Church members often excuse themselves, in the transaction of their worldly business, by saying, that they cannot compete with worldly men, without dealing upon the same principles with them. To this I answer,

(1) That if this were true, then worldly business cannot be engaged in, by men, without absolute ruin to their souls.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 390 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

(2) But this is not true. It is as far from the truth as possible. Now suppose that professors of religion were universally to transact their business upon the principles of the law of God--consulting, in every instance, the real good of those with whom they deal, as much as they do their own. This would immediately result, in their doing the entire business of the world, or in compelling worldly men to follow their example; for who would trade with a selfish man, who would consult only his own interest, while those were at hand, with whom he might trade with the assurance, that he should not be over-reached, but that the business would be transacted upon principles of entire benevolence?

2. Almost any individual of any calling, may compel those in the same business to conduct their affairs upon the principles of God's law. Let him but adopt this principle, in his own dealings, and he would soon force others to come to the same standard, or drive them to bankruptcy, through loss of business.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 393 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

5. That the government of God is very little understood in this world. And human law, instead of the law of God, has come to be very generally regarded as the rule of right. This has blinded the world, and the Church, in regard to what real religion is. So that much passes current, among men, for true religion, that is, after all, an entire violation of the law of God. Multitudes in the Christian Church, are regarded as pious men, who are daily transacting business upon principles of entire selfishness.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 396 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

8. In the light of this law, how perfectly obvious is it, that slavery is from hell. Is it possible, that we are to be told, that slavery is a divine institution? What! Such a barefaced, shameless, and palpable violation of the law of God authorized by God himself? And even religious teachers, gravely contending that the Bible sanctions this hell-begotten system ?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 403 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

and then contend that this is in keeping with the law of God, which, on pain of death, requires that every man should love his neighbor as himself! This is certainly, to my mind, one of the most monstrous and ridiculous assertions ever made. It is no wonder that slaveholders are opposed to the discussion of this subject. It cannot bear the light-- it retires from the gaze, and inspection, and reprobation of the law of God, as darkness retires before the light.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 404 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

9. We see the true character of those speculations in provisions, and in the necessaries of life, with which the land is becoming filled. The custom of buying up the necessaries of life, so as to control the market, and raise the price of provisions, while there is an abundance of them in the country, is a plain and manifest violation of the law of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 406 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

In speaking of this speculation in provisions, I have taken it for granted, that they were not in reality scarce; but merely rendered so by speculators controlling the market. But suppose they were really scarce; suppose that a great drought, such as we have had the past summer, should extend throughout the whole land, and produce a universal scarcity of provisions. In this case, it is contrary to the law of God, for those who have them to spare, to increase their price, simply because they are scarce. I say simply because they are scarce, for cases may occur, in which the raising of them may have cost more than in ordinary seasons. I have, for many years, known one man, of whom it is said, that he has practically recognized the principle of the government of God, in his transactions upon this point. When there has been a scarcity of provisions, and of course the prices were greatly increased, he would receive no more than the common prices of articles, when there was no scarcity. If questioned, in regard to the reasons of his conduct, he would simply answer, that they cost him no more than formerly, and what his family did not want, the consumers might have at former prices.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 407 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

Now the corrupt maxim of businessmen is this, that an article is worth all that it will bring in market; and they will cause it to bring in market just what the necessities of people may compel them to give. So that if the scarcity of an article will permit, they make no conscience of demanding any price for it. Now the real question should not be, what, under the circumstances, may you compel a man to give; but what did it cost, and how cheap can you afford it to him, without injuring yourself more than you will benefit him? For it should be borne in mind, that the law of love requires, that we should afford every thing as cheap as we can, instead of getting as much as we can. The requirement is, that we do all the good we can, to others, and not that we get all we can ourselves. The law of God is, sell as cheap as you can--the business maxim, as dear as you can.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 410 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

To illustrate this, suppose that you had purchased a piece of land, under the impression that it contained a mine of gold--that it was sold to you in good faith, both you and the seller supposing that this was the matter of fact. If, afterwards, it should prove that you were deceived--that no such mine existed--and that, therefore, the land is of no more value than any other land, it were contrary to the law of God, for him to insist upon the fulfillment of this bargain--and that you should pay what, under the circumstances, you had agreed to pay.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 413 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

But for all this, there are many hypocritical excuses urged. Many pretend to be making money for God. This is truly a strange manner of serving God; to rob his children to give to him--to violate the law of God--to set aside God's authority, for the sake of making money for him.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 415 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

But if it were true, as it sometimes may be, that they really intend to appropriate money, obtained in this way, to build up the kingdom of God, still the manner of getting it can never be justified, by the law of God, and can never be acceptable in his sight. Will the end sanctify the means?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 417 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

12. It is very obvious, that many persons have involved themselves in a snare, from which probably they never will escape. They plunged into a series of speculations, and at the time, no doubt, were so blinded by public sentiment, that its utter inconsistency with the law of God, was not seen; and now, when the test is applied, and the law comes to pour its light upon them, they will either hide away in darkness, and strive to conceal the true character of their conduct even from their own eyes; or, seeing it, they will "go away sorrowful, because they have great possessions," and will not make the restitution that the law of God demands.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 419 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

14. It is objected, that the adoption of this principle, in the present state of human society, is impossible. To this I reply,

(1) That it is the law of God, and must be adopted, and practiced by you, or you must be damned.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 421 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

16. I said that the government of God was very little understood, in this world. Now it is plain, that a leading object of Jesus Christ, was to put the world in possession of the true spirit and meaning of the law of God. It is astonishing to see how slow of heart, a selfish mind is, to understand the law of God, and the nature of true religion. For a mind, whose whole object is to get, and appropriate to itself all it can, it is difficult to conceive of the nature of that religion which finds its happiness in giving, instead of getting.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 427 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

17. It is naturally impossible that a selfish church should ever succeed in converting the world. They cannot possibly make the world understand the gospel. The light which they hold up is darkness. Their "salt has lost its savor"--their benevolence is selfishness--their religion is rebellion against God. Suppose Jesus Christ had come, as the Jews expected, as a great temporal prince--living, and reigning in mighty earthly splendor--overawing and subduing the nations--and exterminating his enemies by the sword. Could he, by any precepts whatever, have put the world in possession of the true spirit of religion? Could they have possibly received from him the idea of what constitutes obedience to the law of God? Certainly not. Nor could the Apostles, and primitive Christians, have possibly possessed the world with the right idea of religion, in any other manner, than by offering themselves up a living sacrifice for their salvation. And never can the world be converted--never can missionary enterprises succeed, until true religion is taught in the lives of its professors--until benevolence, and not selfishness, is exhibited by the church.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 428 342 Lecture VI. The Law of God 2 ...

18. I beg of you to remember, that this law is to be the rule of judgment, by which all the secrets of your heart, and soul, and life, shall be judged. Do therefore, I beseech you, bring yourselves to the true test--examine yourselves by this rule--decide your former life, and your present character, by inspecting it in the light of this law. You have never embraced the gospel, any further than you are under the practical influence of the law of God. The gospel was designed to annihilate selfishness--to produce true obedience. If it does not produce this result in you, you are lost forever.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 473 432 Lecture VII. Glorifying God ...

9. You see how absurd and wicked it is, to engage in any business, that is dishonorable to God, for the purpose of paying debts. Because it is dishonorable to God to be in debt, some persons will engage in employments that violate the law of love, and trample on God's commandments, for the sake of getting money to pay their debts. Now why not as well steal to pay your debts, or engage in highway robbery, or piracy? It is as absolute a violation of the law of God, to obtain property by any selfish means, as to steal, or engage in piracy.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 480 432 Lecture VII. Glorifying God ...

That no man has a right to live, by business, by which he cannot support himself, and transact it, upon the principle of the law of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 481 432 Lecture VII. Glorifying God ...

I was asked, the other day, this question: Suppose a certain man, in the employment of an immense capital, should conduct his business upon the principle of the law of God; and, in consulting his customers' interests as much as his own, should undersell those of smaller capital, or sell at prices so low that they would become bankrupt, in attempting to support their families, at these prices? Now, in this case, it is said the man of great capital, would ruin the business of all the rest. To this I reply,

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 482 432 Lecture VII. Glorifying God ...

It is every man's duty to benefit the public as much as possible. And if one man can supply the market, at a lower rate, than others, he ought to supply it, and no others have a right to complain. Individuals, and their families, are not to be supported at the expense of public, and higher interests. If other individuals cannot afford to act upon the law of love, their business ought to cease. And they are bound to engage in some employment, in which they can conform themselves to the law of God. The very question I have been answering, is founded upon the supposition, that every man has a right to engage in any particular calling, and support his family by it, whether consistent, or inconsistent with the public good. But this is the direct reverse of the truth.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 484 432 Lecture VII. Glorifying God ...

Another question has been proposed, (viz.) If persons are to sell, as cheap as they can, without injuring themselves, more than they benefit those with whom they deal, would not their profits be so small as to prevent their accumulating property with which to do good? Now this is indeed a strange question. If a man is living, and conducting business, upon the principles of the law of God, or of love, he is all the time, doing good upon the largest scale possible. And can it be imagined, that he would really do more good, by overreaching his customers, for the sake of giving his property to others? Shall a man do injustice to one man, and violate the law of God, for the sake of giving to another man? As well might a man steal, to give to the poor, or support the gospel, under the pretense of doing good, as in any other respect, to violate the law of love, for the sake of acquiring property, to do good with. It should be understood, that the man who lives, and feels, and acts, and transacts business upon the principles of the law of God, is continually doing all the good in his power. He is diffusing more happiness, by far, than if he were grinding the faces of his customers one day, to give to some benevolent object the next.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 522 517 Lecture VIII. True and False Peace ...

II. What it is to love the law of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 524 517 Lecture VIII. True and False Peace ...

IV. That nothing shall offend them, that love the law of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 530 517 Lecture VIII. True and False Peace ...

II. I am to show, what it is to love the law of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 536 517 Lecture VIII. True and False Peace ...

This is far from being a mere negative, or quiescent state of mind, which is often mistaken for peace. It is a positive, active, and heavenly state of mind. It is a wakeful, and deep composure of the soul, like the deep, pure, calm ocean; clear, composed, and heavenly. It is a state of mind far better understood, by experience, than described in words. It is "the peace of God, that passeth understanding." This peace have they, that love the law of God. To show this, let me observe,

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 539 517 Lecture VIII. True and False Peace ...

IV. I am to show, that nothing shall offend, or stumble those that love the law of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 543 517 Lecture VIII. True and False Peace ...

So they may, on the other hand, be painful, and agonizing, without breaking up, or affecting the deep repose of the will, as was manifestly the case with Christ. When the will is at rest in the will of God, the emotions will sweetly acquiesce, unless it be in cases of strong temptation and trial, as in the case of Christ, and David, just mentioned. But in such cases, a Christian's sorrows may be stirred, and yet their peace, properly speaking, remain unbroken. So a Christian, who loves the law of God, may be exercised with great compassion for sinners--with deep travail of soul for Zion--with distress, and indignation at sin--and in many ways the surface of the mind, as it were, may be ruffled, while, like the ocean, its deep fountains are unmoved.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 545 517 Lecture VIII. True and False Peace ...

To love the law, or will of God, is to have our will submerged in his will--to have no will of our own, separate from his; but to will with all our heart, that his will should be done. Now this state of mind absolutely precludes a state of discontent, resistance, repining, or disappointment at the revealed will of God. Nothing certainly can occur, which is not, upon the whole, according to the will of God; (i.e.) he has either actively brought it about by his own agency, or seen it wise, upon the whole, not to prevent its being accomplished, by the agency of others. So that whatever is, is upon the whole, "according to the counsel of his own will;" (i.e.) he, upon the whole, prefers its being just as it is, to such an alteration of his providential, and moral government, as to have brought about a different result. The enlightened Christian that knows this, and every Christian who can be truly said to love the law of God, is enlightened enough to know this, will find, as a matter of fact. that nothing shall offend, or stumble him.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 551 517 Lecture VIII. True and False Peace ...

Now the true distinction between this state of mind, and that peace, which they have who love the law of God is this. Instead of enforcing submission to the performance of some particular duty, the mind apprehends and loves the character of God--the will yields not to the biddings of conscience--or force of circumstances--or selfish considerations; but the mind, being diverted from all selfishness, looks away to God, and Christ, and sweetly yields to, and acquiesces in, his will.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 562 517 Lecture VIII. True and False Peace ...

4. From what observation I have been able to make, I cannot but fear, that only a comparatively few of the visible church are converted to God. It is a matter of fact, that they have not the peace expressly promised, in the text, to those that love the law of God. Indeed, I should not say that this peace is promised--it is expressly declared to be the state, in which they now are, who love the law of God: "Great peace HAVE they, that love thy law."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 563 517 Lecture VIII. True and False Peace ...

Now have you this peace? Have the church this peace, as a matter of fact? As God is true, they only love the law of God, who do, as a matter of fact, have this peace.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 566 517 Lecture VIII. True and False Peace ...

6. And now I must conclude, by pressing home upon you, the solemn inquiry, are you a Christian? Do you love the law of God? Is the will of God your rule of action? Or do you merely acknowledge, that it ought to be, while, as a matter of fact, you do not make it so?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 569 517 Lecture VIII. True and False Peace ...

Beloved souls, be ye not deceived. To love the law of God, is to love the will of God--to prefer his will to your own will. Now do you, as a matter of fact, find your mind to be in this state? Or is it true of you, that instead of yielding your own will to the will of God, without debate, or distress, you only yield after a severe conflict, and are compelled by conscience, rather than sweetly constrained by love?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 570 517 Lecture VIII. True and False Peace ...

Now just mark what this text says--not that they may have--ought to have--or shall have great peace, that love the law of God; but that they actually DO HAVE great peace.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 588 577 Lecture IX. Dominion Over Sin ...

Sin is a state of mind, which is the opposite of the law of God. As I have shown, in a former lecture, the whole of true religion consists in obedience to this law, which requires supreme disinterested love to God, and disinterested and equal love to our neighbor. This is the opposite of selfishness or a supreme regard to our own interest. Selfishness therefore, under all its forms, is sin, and there is no form of sin, that is not some modification of selfishness.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 646 634 Lecture X. Carefulness A Sin ...

II. I am to show, that this kind of carefulness is sin.

1. It is sin because it is expressly forbidden by God himself. Not only does the text forbid it; but it is expressly, or impliedly forbidden in all the texts I have quoted, where it is used in a bad sense. It is, therefore, as much a violation of the law of God as profanity, drunkenness, or any other abomination. It is as expressly forbidden, and as diametrically opposed to the command of God, as a lustful, covetous, thievish, or licentious state of mind.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 854 804 Lecture XIII. Being In Debt ...

(2) Let the public sentiment be what it might among businessmen, still the law of God cannot be altered, and by this unchanging law it is a sin to be in debt. And as "sin is a disgrace to any people," it is both a sin and a shame to be in debt.

6. The rule laid down in this text is applicable, not only to individuals, but to corporations, and nations, and all bodies of men assuming pecuniary responsibilities.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 917 901 Lecture XV. The Covenants ...

(2) Where parties covenant to do what was not before obligatory, but the whole obligation arises out of their mutual promise. This kind of covenant may be dissolved by the consent of all parties. In regard to those laws and institutions which require only what is obligatory on the principles of natural justice, they cannot be repealed or set aside by either or by both parties, e.g. the law of God requiring his creatures to love him with all the heart can never be repealed by him, or its obligation in any way dispensed with, because it is plainly right in itself, and a dictate of natural justice. Those laws and institutions which are of a ceremonial character, and are not in their own nature obligatory, may be set aside at any time, at the will of the lawgiver. Let it be understood then, that in the sense of diatheke, all laws, institutions and ordinances are covenants, and imply the mutual consent of the sovereign and subjects, and mutual obligations devolve upon each. In this sense the laws and ordinances of God are covenants.

III. I will notice some of the covenants of God with men.

1. The Adamic covenant, or the covenant made with Adam. This must have been in substance the moral law, as epitomized by the Savior in the two great commandments. The test of this covenant was the refusing the forbidden fruit. If he abstained wholly from this fruit, it was sufficient evidence that his love to God was supreme, and that he regarded the authority of God above the indulgence of his constitutional appetites. But if he partook of this fruit it was conclusive evidence, that his regard to God was not supreme; but that the indulgence of appetite was with him superior to the authority of God. That this was properly a covenant and consented to by Adam, is manifest from the fact, that for a time he obeyed it.

This was strictly and properly a covenant of works, and proposed to save him on the ground of his perfect and perpetual obedience to God.

2. Passing by the covenant with Noah, I notice the covenant made with Abraham, as recorded in the 12, 15, and 17 chapters of Genesis. This was a covenant of grace in opposition to the Adamic covenant. It proposed a new way of salvation. Salvation by works of the law had become impossible, as Adam and all his posterity had disobeyed the law. God therefore, in the Abrahamic covenant, proposed to save mankind by grace through faith. The substance of this had been intimated to Adam immediately after the fall, and was, no doubt, understood and embraced by all the saints from Adam to Abraham. We find Abel offering a sacrifice in faith, and his sacrifice was typical of the Atonement of Christ. This covenant, made more fully with Abraham, is said by the Apostle in Gal. 3:8 to be the gospel: "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, in thee shall all nations be blessed." That it was a covenant of grace in opposition to a covenant of works is evident from the passage just quoted, and from the 16th verse of the same chapter: "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds as of many, but as of one, 'And to thy seed,' which is Christ." Also from Rom. 4:13, 16: "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not unto Abraham, or his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be of grace; to the end the promise might be sure to the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all." These and many other passages show that this covenant with Abraham was a gracious, in opposition to a legal, covenant or a covenant of works.

We have an account of the solemn ratification of this covenant, according to the custom of those times by dividing beasts and the parties passing between the pieces, in Gen. 15:8-12, 17: "And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? And he said unto him, take me an heifer of three years old, and a she-goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another; but the birds divided he not. And when the fowls came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away. And when the sun was going down a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and lo, a horror of great darkness fell upon him. And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces." Here the lamp is the symbol of the divine presence. In the 17th chap. we have an account of the seal's being added to the covenant to which Abraham fully consented on his part, by circumcising himself and all the males of his household. This covenant was made with Abraham and with all believers in the God of Israel whether Jews or Gentiles. If they would receive this covenant they were to acknowledge his authority by affixing its seal to themselves and all the males of their household. Thus the proselytes to the Jew's religion, before they were allowed to eat of the Passover, were required to be circumcised with all their males. Ex. 12:48, 49: "And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. One law shall be to him that is home born, and to the stranger who sojourneth among you."

3. The Sinai covenant, or the law given at Mount Sinai. It appears that all the laws and ordinances given at Mount Sinai taken together, made up this covenant. In the following passages the Ten Commandments are called the covenant. Heb. 9:4: "Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant--"; Ex. 34:28, "And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments." Deut. 9:9, 11, 15: "When I was gone up into the mount, to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the Lord made with you, then I neither did eat bread nor drink water. And it came to pass at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the Lord gave me the two tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant. So I turned and came down from the mount, and the mount burned with fire; and the two tables of the covenant were in my hands."

These commandments however were only a part of the covenant as other passages clearly show, Heb. 9:18-20 compared with Ex. 24:3-8.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 1120 1087 Lecture XIX. Legal and Gospel Experience ...

1. Great multitudes of souls are in the horrible pit of miry clay. From my own observation, I am convinced that the great mass even of those who are called the most pious in the churches, are in a state of legal bondage, and have gone no further in religion than to find themselves in a state of almost continual condemnation. They have conviction enough to make them miserable. They are driven and dragged by their consciences and the law of God--are struggling and resolving, but are under the influence of so much selfishness as to be continually crying out, as in the case supposed by the Apostle in the seventh of Romans, "When I would do good, evil is present with me." "I find a law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity." "O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 1157 1132 Lecture XX. How to Prevent Our Employments from Injuring Our Souls ...

2. It is also plainly implied in the law of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 43 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

By entire sanctification, I understand the consecration of the whole being to God. In other words it is that state of devotedness to God and his service, required by the moral law. The law is perfect. It requires just what is right, all that is right, and nothing more. Nothing more nor less can possibly be Perfection or entire Sanctification, than obedience to the law. Obedience to the law of God in an infant, a man, an angel, and in God himself, is perfection in each of them. And nothing can possibly be perfection in any being short of this, nor can there possibly be any thing above it.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 48 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

As the law of God is the standard and the only standard by which the question in regard to what is not, and what is implied in entire Sanctification is to be decided, it is of fundamental importance that we understand what is and what is not implied in entire obedience to this law. It must be apparent to all that this inquiry is of prime importance. And to settle this question is one of the main things to be attended to in this discussion. The doctrine of the entire sanctification of believers in this life can never be satisfactorily settled until it is understood. And it cannot be understood until it is known what is and what is not implied in it. Our judgment of our own state or of the state of others, can never be relied upon till these inquiries are settled. Nothing is more clear than that in the present vague unsettled views of the Church upon this question, no individual could set up a claim to having attained this state without being a stumbling block to the Church. Christ was perfect, and yet so erroneous were the notions of the Jews in regard to what constituted perfection that they thought him possessed with a devil instead of being holy as he claimed to be. It certainly is impossible that a person should profess this state without being a stumbling block to himself and to others unless he and they clearly understand what is not and what is implied in it. I will state then what is not implied in a state of entire sanctification, as I understand the law of God. The law as epitomized by Christ, "thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy mind and with all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thyself," I understand to lay down the whole duty of man to God and to his fellow creatures. Now the questions are what is not, and what is implied in perfect obedience to this law? Vague notions in regard to these questions seem to me to have been the origin of much error on the subject of entire sanctification. To settle this question it is indispensable that we have distinctly before our minds just rules of legal interpretation. I will therefore lay down some first principles in regard to the interpretation of law, in the light of which, I think we may safely proceed to settle these questions.

Rule 1. Whatever is inconsistent with natural justice is not and cannot be law.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 62 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

Rule 14. Law is to be so interpreted as to recognize all the attributes and circumstances of both body and soul. In the application of the law of God to human beings, we are to regard their powers and attributes as they really are, and not as they are not.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 66 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

2. What is implied in perfect obedience to the law of God, or in entire sanctification.

1. Entire sanctification does not imply any change in the substance of the soul or body, for this the law does not require, and it would not be obligatory if it did, because the requirement would be inconsistent with natural justice. Entire sanctification is the entire consecration of the powers, as they are, to God. It does not imply any change in them, but simply in the use of them.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 67 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

2. It does not imply any annihilation of constitutional traits of character, such as constitutional ardor or impetuosity. There is nothing certainly, in the law of God that requires such constitutional traits to be annihilated, but simply that they should be rightly directed in their exercise.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 68 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

3. It does not imply the annihilation of any of the constitutional appetites, or susceptibilities. It seems to be supposed by some, that the constitutional appetites and susceptibilities, are in themselves sinful, and that a state of entire sanctification would imply their entire annihilation. And I have often been astonished at the fact that those who array themselves against the doctrine of entire sanctification in this life, assume the sinfulness of the constitution of men. And I have not been a little surprised to find that some persons who I had supposed were far enough from embracing the doctrine of physical depravity, were, after all, resorting to this assumption to set aside the doctrine of entire sanctification in this life. But let us appeal to the law. Does the law any where, expressly or impliedly, condemn the constitution of man, or require the annihilation of any thing that is properly a part of the constitution itself? Does it require the annihilation of the appetite for food, or is it satisfied merely with regulating its indulgence? In short, does the law of God any where require any thing more than the consecration of all the appetites and susceptibilities of the body and mind, to the service of God?

In conversing with a brother, upon this subject, not long since, he insisted that a man might perpetually obey the law of God and be guilty of no actual transgression, and yet not be entirely sanctified: for he insisted that there might be that in him which would lay the foundation for his sinning at a future time. When questioned in regard to what that something in him was, he replied, "that which first led him to sin at the beginning of his moral existence." I answered that that which first led him to sin, was his innocent constitution, just as it was the innocent constitution of Adam, to which the temptation was addressed, that led him into sin. Adam's innocent constitutional appetites, when excited by the presence of objects fitted to excite them, were a sufficient temptation to lead him to consent to prohibited indulgence, which constituted his sin. Now just so it certainly is with every human being. This constitution, the substance of his body and soul, cannot certainly have any moral character. But when these appetites which are essential to his nature and have no moral character in themselves are excited, they lead to prohibited indulgence, and in this way every human being is led into sin. Now if a man cannot be entirely sanctified until that is annihilated which first occasioned his sin, it does not appear that he ever can be entirely sanctified while he possesses either body or soul. I insist upon it, therefore, that entire sanctification does not imply the annihilation of any constitutional appetite or susceptibility, but only the entire consecration of the whole constitution as it is, to the service of God.

4. Entire sanctification does not imply the annihilation of natural affection or resentment. By this I mean that certain persons may be naturally pleasing to us. Christ appears to have had a natural affection for John. By natural resentment I mean, that , from the laws of our being, we must resent or feel opposed to injustice or ill treatment. Not that a disposition to retaliate or revenge ourselves is consistent with the law of God. But perfect obedience to the law of God, does not imply that we should have no sense of injury or injustice, when we are abused. God has this, and ought to have it, and so does every moral being. To love your neighbor as yourself does not imply, that if he injure you, you feel no sense of the injury or injustice, but that you love him and would do him good, notwithstanding his injurious treatment.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 70 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

6. It does not imply that any organ or faculty is to be at all times exerted to its full strength. This would soon exhaust and destroy any and every organ of the body. Whatever may be true of the mind, when separated from the body, it is certain, while it acts through a material organ, that a constant state of excitement is impossible. When the mind is strongly excited, there is of necessity a great determination of blood to the brain. A high degree of excitement cannot long continue, certainly, without producing inflammation of the brain, and consequent insanity. And the law of God does not require any degree of emotion, or mental excitement, that is inconsistent with life and health. Our Lord Jesus Christ does not appear to have been in a state of continual excitement. When he and his disciples had been in a great excitement for a time, they would turn aside "and rest awhile."

Who, that has ever philosophized on this subject, does not know that the high degree of excitement which is sometimes witnessed in revivals of religion, must necessarily be short, or that the people must become deranged. It seems sometimes to be indispensable, that a high degree of excitement should prevail for a time, to arrest public and individual attention, and to draw people off from other pursuits, to attend to the concerns of their souls. But if any suppose that this high degree of excitement is either necessary, or desirable, or possible, to be long continued, they have not well considered the matter. And here is one grand mistake of the Church. They have supposed that the revival consists mostly in this state of excited emotion, rather than in conformity of the human will to the will of God. Hence, when the reasons for much excitement have ceased, and the public mind begins to grow more calm, they begin immediately to say that the revival is on the decline; when, in fact, with much less excited emotion, there may be vastly more real religion in the community.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 71 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

Excitement is often important and indispensable. But the vigorous actings of the will are infinitely more important. And this state of mind may exist in the absence of highly excited emotions.

7. Nor does it imply that the same degree of emotion, volition, or intellectual effort, is at all times required. All volitions do not need the same strength. They cannot have equal strength, because they are not produced by equally powerful reasons. Should a man put forth as strong a volition to pick up an apple, as to extinguish the flames of a burning house? Should a mother, watching over her sleeping nursling, when all is quiet and secure, put forth as powerful volitions, as might be required to snatch it from the devouring flames? Now, suppose that she was equally devoted to God in watching her sleeping babe, and in rescuing it from the jaws of death. Her holiness would not consist in the fact that she exercised equally strong volitions, in both cases; but, that in both cases, the volition was equal to the accomplishment of the thing required to be done. So that persons may be entirely holy, and yet continually varying in the strength of their affections, according to their circumstances-- the state of their physical system-- and the business in which they are engaged.

All the powers of body and mind are to be held at the service and disposal of God. Just so much of physical, intellectual, and moral energy are to be expended in the performance of duty as the nature and the circumstances of the case require. And nothing is further from the truth, than that the law of God requires a constant, intense state of emotion and mental action on any and every subject alike.

8. Entire sanctification does not imply that God is to be at all times the direct object of attention and affection. This is not only impossible in the nature of the case, but would render it impossible for us to think of or love our neighbor or ourselves: Rule 9.

Upon this subject in a former lecture, I used the following language. The law of God requires the supreme love of the heart. By this is meant, that the mind's supreme preference should be of God-- that God should be the great object of its supreme love and delight. But this state of mind is perfectly consistent with our engaging in any of the necessary business of life-- giving to that business that attention-- and exercising about it all those affections and emotions which its nature and importance demand.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 75 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

In this statement, I take it for granted, that the brain, together with all the circumstances of the constitution are such, that the requisite amount of thought, feeling, &c. are possible. If the physical constitution, be in such a state of exhaustion as to be unable to put forth that amount of exertion which the nature of the subject might otherwise demand, even in this case, the languid efforts, though far below the importance of the subject, would be all that the law of God requires. Whoever, therefore supposes that a state of entire sanctification, implies a state of entire abstraction of mind, from every thing but God, labors under a grievous mistake. Such a state of mind is as inconsistent with duty, as it is impossible, while we are in the flesh.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 80 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

13. Nor does it imply a perfect knowledge of all our relations: rule 7. Now such an interpretation of the law, as would make it necessary, in order to yield obedience, for us to understand all our relations, would imply in us the possession of the attribute of omniscience; for certainly there is not a thing in the universe to which we do not sustain some relation. And a knowledge of all these relations, plainly implies infinite knowledge. It is plain that the law of God cannot require any such thing as this; and that entire sanctification or entire obedience to the law of God therefore implies no such thing.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 85 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

18. It does not imply the same amount of service that we might have rendered, had we never sinned. The law of God does not imply or suppose that our powers are in a perfect state; that our strength of body or mind is what it would have been, had we never sinned. But it simply requires us to use what strength we have. The very wording of the law is proof conclusive, that it extends its demands only to the full amount of what strength we have. And this is true of every moral being, however great or small.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 87 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

(2.) The law of God makes no such demand either expressly or impliedly.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 94 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

The most violent opposition that I have ever seen manifested to any persons in my life, has been manifested by members of the Church, and even by some ministers of the gospel, towards those whom I believe were among the most holy persons I ever knew. I have been shocked, and wounded beyond expression, at the almost fiendish opposition to such persons, that I have witnessed. I have several times of late observed that writers in newspapers were calling for examples of Christian Perfection or entire sanctification. Now I would humbly inquire, of what use it is to point the Church to examples, so long as they do not know what is, and what is not implied in a state of entire sanctification? I would ask, are the Church agreed among themselves in regard to what constitutes this state? Are any considerable number of ministers agreed among themselves as to what is implied in a state of entire sanctification? Now does not everybody know that the Church and the ministry are in a great measure in the dark upon this subject? Why then call for examples? No man can possess this state without being sure to be set at nought as a hypocrite, and a self-deceiver.

30. It is not implied in this state that the sanctified soul will himself always at the time be sure that his feelings and conduct are perfectly right. Cases may occur in which he may be in doubt in regard to the rule of duty; and be at a loss, without examination, reflection, and prayer, to know whether in a particular case he has done and felt exactly right. If he were sure that he understood the exact application of the law of God to that particular case, his consciousness would invariably inform him whether or not he was conformed to that rule. But in any and every case where he has not a clear apprehension of the rule, it may require time and thought, and prayer, and diligent inquiry to satisfy his mind in regard to the exact moral quality of any particular act or state of feeling; e.g. A man may feel himself exercised with strong indignation in view of sin. And he may be brought into doubt whether the indignation, in kind or degree, was not sinful. It may therefore require self-examination and deep searching of heart to decide this question. That all indignation is not sinful is certain. And that a certain kind and degree of indignation at sin is a duty, is also certain. But our most holy exercises may lay us open to the assaults of Satan. And he may so turn our accuser as for a time to render it difficult for us to decide in regard to the real state of our hearts. And thus a sanctified soul may be "in heaviness through manifold temptations."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 95 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

31. Nor does it imply the same strength of holy affection that Adam may have exercised before he fell, and his powers were debilitated by sin. It should never be forgotten that the mind in this state of existence, is wholly dependent upon the brain and physical system for its development. In Adam, and in any of his posterity, any violation of the physical laws of the body, resulting in the debility and imperfection of any organ or system of organs, must necessarily impair the vigor of the mind, and prevent its developing itself as it otherwise might have done. It is therefore entirely erroneous to say that mankind are or can be, in this state of existence, perfect in as high a sense as they might have been had sin never entered the world, and had there been no such thing as a violation of the laws of the physical constitution. The law of God requires only the entire consecration of such powers as we have. As these powers improve our obligation is enlarged, and will continue to be to all eternity. For myself, I have very little doubt that the human constitution is capable of being very nearly, if not entirely renovated or recovered from the evils of intemperance, by a right understanding of, and an adherence to the laws of life and health. So that after a few generations the human body would be nearly if not entirely restored to its primitive physical perfection. If this is so, the time may come when obedience to the law of God, will imply as great strength and constancy of affection as Adam was capable of exercising before the fall. But if on the other hand, it be true that any injury of the physical constitution can never be wholly repaired-- that the evils of sin in respect to its effect upon the body, are, in some measure at least, to descend with men to the end of time, then no such thing is implied in a state of entire sanctification, as the same strength and permanency of holy affection in us that Adam might have exercised before the fall.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 96 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

32. Nor does it imply the formation of such holy habits as shall secure obedience. Some have said that it was absurd to profess a state of entire sanctification, on the ground that it implies not only obedience to the law of God, but such a formation and perfection of holy habits as to render it certain that we shall never again sin. And that a man can no more tell when he is entirely sanctified, than he can tell how many holy acts it will take to form holy habits of such strength that he will never again sin. To this I answer,
 

(1.) The law of God has nothing to do with requiring this formation of holy habits. It is satisfied with present obedience. It only demands at the present moment the full devotion of all our powers to God. It never in any instance complains that we have not formed such holy habits as to render it certain that we shall sin no more.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 101 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

In all the discussions I have seen upon this subject, while it seems to be admitted that the law of God is the standard of perfection, yet in defining what constitutes Christian perfection or entire sanctification, men entirely lose sight of this standard, and seldom or never raise the distinct inquiry; what does obedience to this law imply, and what does it not imply. Instead of bringing every thing to this test, they seem to lose sight of it. On the one hand they bring in things that never were required by the law of God of man in his present state. Thus they lay a stumbling block and a snare for the saints, to keep them in perpetual bondage, supposing that this is the way to keep them humble, to place the standard entirely above their reach. Or, on the other hand, they really abrogate the law, so as to make it no longer binding. Or they so fritter away what is really implied in it, as to leave nothing in its requirements, but a kind of sickly, whimsical, inefficient sentimentalism, or perfectionism, which in its manifestations and results, appears to me to be any thing else than that which the law of God requires.
 
 

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 109 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

Under this head, I shall refer to and repeat some things (as I have already done) which I said a number of months since in my lectures on the law of God.

1. Love is the sum of all that is implied in entire Sanctification. But I may and should be asked what is the kind of love implied? I shall consider the kind of love to be exercised towards God.
 

(1.) It is to be love of the heart, and not a mere emotion. By the heart I mean the will. Emotions, or what are generally termed feelings, are always involuntary states of mind, and no further than they are indirectly under the control of the will, have they any moral character; i.e. they are not choices or volitions, and of course do not govern the conduct. Love, in the form of an emotion, may exist in opposition to the will; e.g. we may exercise emotions of love contrary to our conscience and judgment, and in opposition to our will. Thus the sexes often exercise emotions of love towards those to whom all the voluntary powers of their mind feel opposed, and with whom they will not associate. It is true, that in most cases, the emotions are with the will. But they are sometimes, nay often opposed to it.

Now, it is a voluntary state of mind that the law of God requires; i.e. it lays its claims upon the will. The will controls the conduct. And it is, therefore, of course, the love of the heart or will that God requires.

(2.) Benevolence is one of the modifications of love which we are to exercise towards God. Benevolence is good will. And certainly we are bound to exercise this kind of love to God. It is a dictate of reason, of conscience, of common sense, and of immutable justice, that we should exercise good and not ill-will to God. It matters not whether he needs our good will or whether our good or ill-will can in any way affect him-- the question does not respect his necessities, but deserts.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 113 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

(6.) Another peculiarity of this love is that it must be in every instance supreme. Any thing less than supreme love to God, must be idolatry. If any thing else is loved more, that is our God.

I have been surprised to learn that some understand the term supreme in a comparative sense, and not in a superlative sense. They suppose therefore that the law of God requires more than supreme love. Webster's definition of supreme and supremely is "in the highest degree," "to the utmost extent." I understand the law to require as high a state of devotion to God, of love and actual service as the powers of body and mind are capable of sustaining.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 117 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

Now the law of God does not require or permit us to love our neighbor with this degree of love, for that would be idolatry. But the command, "to love our neighbor as ourselves," implies

(a) That we should love ourselves less than supremely, and attach no more importance to our own interests and happiness than their relative value demands-- so that the first thing implied in this command is that we love ourselves less than supremely, and that we love our neighbor with the same degree of love which it is lawful for us to exercise towards ourselves.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 128 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

9. It does imply the subjugation of all our appetites and passions to the will of God. I have already said that the sin of Adam consisted in preferring the gratification of his appetites to the will of God. This is the sin of all men. This is the substance and the history of selfishness. Now entire obedience to the law of God does imply that no appetite or susceptibility of body or mind shall be gratified in opposition to the known will of God. But on the other hand, that "the whole body, soul and spirit" shall be held in a state of entire consecration to God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 132 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

He did so. And the reason is very obvious. The people possessed but very limited means of information. Copies of the law were very scarce and utterly inaccessible to the great mass of the people. So that while He held them sufficiently responsible to engage their memories to retain a knowledge of their duty and to search it out with all diligence, yet it is plain that He held them responsible in a vastly lower sense that He does those who have higher means of information. The responsibility of the heathen was less than that of the Jews-- that of the Jews less than that of Christians-- and that of Christians in the early ages of the Church, before the canon of scripture was full and copies multiplied, much less than that of Christians at the present day.

11. It implies the complete annihilation of selfishness under all its forms, and a practical and hearty recognition of the rights and interests of our neighbor. Let me point out in a few particulars what the law of God prohibits and what it requires in these particulars, as stated in a former lecture.
 

(1.) It prohibits all supreme self-love, or selfishness. The command, "love thy neighbor as thyself," implies, not that we should love our neighbor supremely, as selfish men love themselves; but that we should love ourselves, in the first place, and pursue our happiness, only according to its real value, in the scale of being. But I need not dwell upon this; as it will not probably be doubted, that this precept prohibits supreme self-love.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 137 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

(6.) It requires the practical recognition of the fact, that all men are brethren-- that God is the great Parent-- the great Father of the universe-- that all moral agents, every where , are his children-- and that he is interested in the happiness of every individual, according to its relative importance. He is no respecter of persons. But so far as the love of Benevolence is concerned, He loves all moral beings, in proportion to their capacity of receiving, and doing good. Now the law of God evidently takes all this for granted; and that "God hath made of one blood all nations of men, to dwell on all the face of the earth."
(7.) It requires that every being, and interest should be regarded and treated, by us, according to their relative value; (i.e.) that we should recognize God's relation to the universe-- and our relation to each other-- and treat all men as our brethren-- as having an inalienable title to our good will, and kind offices-- as citizens of the same government-- and members of the great family of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 152 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

VI. That entire sanctification is attainable in this life.

1. It is self-evident that entire obedience to God's law is possible on the ground of natural ability. To deny this is to deny that a man is able to do as well as he can. The very language of the law is such as to level its claims to the capacity of the subject, however great or small that capacity may be. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength." Here then it is plain, that all the law demands, is the exercise of whatever strength we have, in the service of God. Now, as entire sanctification consists in prefect obedience to the law of God, and as the law requires nothing more than the right use of whatever strength we have, it is of course, forever settled that a state of entire and permanent sanctification is attainable in this life on the ground of natural ability.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 171 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

(18.) Another rule of interpreting and applying the promises which has been extensively overlooked is this, the promises are all "yes and amen in Christ Jesus." They are all founded upon and expressive of great and immutable principles of God's government. God is no respecter of persons. He knows nothing of favoritism. But when He makes a promise, He reveals a principle of universal application to all persons in like circumstances. Therefore the promises are not restricted in their application to the individual or individuals to whom they were first given, but may be claimed by all persons in similar circumstances. And what God is at one time, He always is. What He has promised at one time or to one person, he promises at all times to all persons under similar circumstances. That this is a correct view of the subject is manifest from the manner in which the New Testament writers understood and applied the promises of the Old Testament. Let any person with a reference Bible read the New Testament with a design to understand how its writers applied the promises of the Old Testament, and he will see this principle brought out in all its fulness. The promises made to Adam, Noah, Abraham, the Patriarchs, and to the inspired men of every age, together with the promises made to the church, and indeed all the promises of spiritual blessings,--it is true of them all, that what God has said and promised once, He always says and promises, to all persons and at all times, and in all places, where the circumstances are similar.

Having stated these rules, in the light of which we are to interpret the language of the promises, I will say a few words in regard to when a promise becomes due, and on what conditions we may realize its fulfillment. I have said some of the same things in the last volume of the Evangelist. But I wish to repeat them in this connection, and add something more.

(1.) All the promises of sanctification in the Bible, from their very nature necessarily imply the exercise of our own agency in receiving the thing promised. As sanctification consists in the right exercise of our own agency, or in obedience to the law of God, a promise of sanctification must necessarily be conditioned upon the exercise of faith in the promise. And its fulfillment implies the exercise of our own powers in receiving it.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 180 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

Let me first, however, recall your attention to what this blessing is. Simple obedience to the law of God is what I understand to be present, and its continuance to be permanent sanctification. The law is and forever must be the only standard. Whatever departs from this law on either side, must be false. Whatever requires more or less than the law of God, I reject as having nothing to do with the question.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 181 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

It will not be my design to examine a great number of scripture promises, but rather to show that those which I do examine, fully sustain the position I have taken. One is sufficient, if it be full and its application just, to settle this question forever. I might occupy many lectures in the examination of the promises, for they are exceedingly numerous, and full, and in point. But as I have already given several lectures on the promises, my design is now to examine only a few of them, more critically than I did before. This will enable you to apply the same principles to the examination of the scripture promises generally.

1. I begin by referring you to the law of God, as given in Deut. 10:12: "And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul." Upon this passage I remark:
 

(1.) It professedly sums up the whole duty of man to God--to fear and love Him with all the heart, and all the soul.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 278 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

(d) He keeps up the personal pronoun and passes into the 8th chapter; at the beginning of which, he represents himself or the person of whom he is speaking, as being not only in a different but in an exactly opposite state of mind. Now if the seventh chapter contains Paul's experience, whose experience is this in the eighth chapter? Are we to understand them both as the experience of Paul? If so, we must understand him as first speaking of his experience before and then after he was sanctified. He begins the eighth chapter by saying, "There is now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit;" and assigns as a reason, that "the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus had made him free from the law of sin and death." The law of sin and death was that law in his members, or the influence of the flesh, of which he had so bitterly complained in the seventh chapter. But now it appears that he has passed into a state in which he is made free from this influence of the flesh--is emancipated and dead to the world, and to the flesh, and in a state in which "there is no condemnation." Now if there was no condemnation in the state in which he was, it must have been, either because he did not sin; or, if he did sin, because the law did not condemn him; or because the law of God was repealed or abrogated. Now if the penalty of the law was so set aside in his case, that he could sin without condemnation, this is a real abrogation of the law. For a law without a penalty is no law, and if the law is set aside, there is no longer any standard, and he was neither sinful nor holy. But as the law was not and cannot be set aside, its penalty was not and cannot be so abrogated as not to condemn every sin. If Paul lived without condemnation, it must be because he lived without sin.

To me it does not appear as if Paul speaks of his own experience in the seventh chapter of Romans, but that he merely supposes a case by way of illustration, and speaks in the first person and in the present tense, simply because it was convenient and suitable to his purpose. His object manifestly was, in this and in the beginning of the eighth chapter, to contrast the influence of the law and of the gospel--to describe in the seventh chapter the state of a man who was living in sin, and every day condemned by the law, convicted and constantly struggling with his own corruptions, but continually overcome,--and in the eighth chapter to exhibit a person in the enjoyment of gospel liberty, where the righteousness of the law was fulfilled in the heart by the grace of Christ. The seventh chapter may well apply either to a person in a backslidden state, or to a convicted person who had never been converted. The eighth chapter can clearly be applicable to none but to those who are in a state of entire sanctification.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 339 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

But aside from the facts, what is the foundation of all the errors of the modern perfectionists? Every one who has examined them knows that they may be summed up in this, the abrogation of the moral law. And now I would humbly inquire, what possible tendency can there be to their errors, if the moral law be preserved in the system of truth? In these days a man is culpably ignorant of that class of people, who does not know that the "head and front of their offending," and falling, is the setting aside the law of God. The setting aside the Christian ordinances of baptism and the Lord's supper, proceeds upon the same foundation, and manifestly grows out of the abrogation of the law of God. But retain the law of God, as the Methodists have done, and as other denominations have done, who from the days of the Reformation have maintained this same doctrine, and there is certainly no tendency to Antinomian perfectionism.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 345 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

8. Again, it is objected against our professing a state of entire sanctification, on the ground that it not only implies present obedience to the law of God, but such a formation and perfection of holy habits, as to render it certain that we shall never again sin. And that a man can no more tell when he is entirely sanctified, than he can tell how many holy acts it will take to form holy habits of such strength that he will never again sin. To this I answer:
 

(1.) The law of God has nothing to do with requiring this formation of holy habits. It is satisfied with present obedience, and only demands at every present moment, the full devotion of all our powers to God. It never, in any instance, complains that we have not formed such holy habits that we shall sin no more.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 351 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

(2.) Let any Christian do his whole duty to the Church and the world in their present state--let him speak to them and of them as they really are, and he would of course incur the charge of censoriousness. It is therefore the most unreasonable thing in the world to suppose that the Church, in its present state, should not accuse any perfect Christian of censoriousness. Entire sanctification implies the doing of all our duty. But to do all our duty, we must rebuke sin in high places and in low places. Can this be done with all needed severity, without in many cases giving offence, and incurring the charge of censoriousness? No; it is impossible; and to maintain the contrary, would be to impeach the wisdom and holiness of Jesus Christ Himself.
 

12. It is objected that this doctrine lowers the standard of holiness to a level with our own experience. It is not denied that in some instances this may have been true. Nor can it be denied, that the standard of Christian perfection has been elevated much above the demands of the law, in its application to human beings in our present state of existence. It seems to have been forgotten, that the inquiry is, what does the law demand?--not of angels, and what would be entire sanctification in them; nor of Adam, previously to the fall, when his powers of body and mind were all in a state of perfect health; not what will the law demand of us in a future state of existence; not what the law may demand of the Church in some future period of its history on earth, when the human constitution, by the universal prevalence of correct and thorough temperance principles, may have acquired its pristine health and powers;--but the question is, what does the law of God require of Christians of the present generation; of Christians in all respects in our circumstances, with all the ignorance and debility of body and mind which have resulted from the intemperance and abuse of the human constitution through so many generations?

The law levels its claims to us as we are, and a just exposition of it, as I have already said, under all the present circumstances of our being, is indispensable to a right apprehension of what constitutes entire sanctification.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 352 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

To be sure, there may be danger of frittering away the claims of the law and letting down the standard. But I would humbly inquire whether, hitherto, the error has not been on the other side, and whether as a general fact, the law has not been so interpreted as naturally to beget the idea so prevalent, that if a man should become holy he could not live in this world? In a letter lately received from a beloved, and useful, and venerated minister of the gospel, while the writer expressed the greatest attachment to the doctrine of entire consecration to God, and said that he preached the same doctrine which we hold to his people every Sabbath, but by another name, still he added that it was revolting to his feelings, to hear any mere man set up the claim of obedience to the law of God. Now let me inquire, why should this be revolting to the feelings of piety? Must it not be because the law of God is supposed to require something of human beings in our state, which it does not and cannot require? Why should such a claim be thought extravagant, unless the claims of the living God be thought extravagant? If the law of God really requires no more of men than what is reasonable and possible, why should it be revolting to any mind to hear an individual profess, through the grace of God, to have attained that state? I know that the brother to whom I allude, would be almost the last man deliberately and knowingly to give any strained interpretation to the law of God; and yet, I cannot but feel that much of the difficulty that good men have upon this subject, has arisen out of a comparison of the lives of saints with a standard entirely above that which the law of God does or can demand of persons in all respects in our circumstances.

13. Another objection is, that as a matter of fact the grace of God is not sufficient to secure the entire sanctification of saints in this life. It is maintained, that the question of the attainability of entire sanctification in this life, resolves itself after all into the question, whether the Church is, and Christians are sanctified in this life. The objectors say that nothing is sufficient grace that does not as a matter of fact, secure the faith and obedience and perfection of the saints; and, therefore, that the provisions of the gospel are in fact to be measured by the results; and that the experience of the Church decides both the meaning of the promises and the provisions of grace. Now to this I answer:

If this objection be good for any thing in regard to entire sanctification, it is equally true in regard to the spiritual state of every person in the world. If the fact that men are not perfect, proves that no provisions are made for their perfection, their being no better than they are proves that there is no provision for their being any better than they are, or that they might have aimed at being any better, with any rational hope of success. But who, except a fatalist, will admit any such conclusion as this? And yet I do not see but this conclusion is inevitable from such premises.

14. Another objection to this doctrine is, that it is contrary to the views of some of the greatest and best men in the Church,--that such men as Augustine, Calvin, Doddrige, Edwards, &c., were of a different opinion. To this I answer:
 

(1.) Suppose they were;--we are to call no man father in such a sense as to yield up to him the forming of our views of Christian doctrine.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 355 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

(2.) With the law of God before us as our standard, the testimony of consciousness in regard to whether the mind is conformed to that standard or not, is the highest evidence which the mind can have of a present state of conformity to that rule.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 356 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

(3.) It is a testimony which we cannot doubt any more then we can doubt our existence. How do we know that we exist? I answer: by our consciousness. How do I know that I breathe, or love, or hate, or sit, or stand, or lie down, or rise up--that I am joyful or sorrowful--in short, that I exercise any emotion or volition, or affection of mind--how do I know that I sin, or repent, or believe? I answer: by my own consciousness. No testimony can be "so direct and convincing as this."

Now in order to know that my repentance is genuine, I must intellectually understand what genuine repentance is. So if I would know whether my love to God or man, or obedience to the law is genuine, I must have clearly before my mind the real spirit, and meaning, and bearing of the law of God. Having this rule before my mind, my own consciousness affords "the most direct and convincing evidence possible" of whether my present state of mind is conformed to the rule. The Spirit of God is never employed in testifying to what my consciousness teaches, but in setting in a strong light before the mind the rule to which I am to conform my life. It is His business to make me understand, to induce me to love and obey the truth; and it is the business of consciousness to testify to my own mind, whether I do or do not obey the truth when I apprehend it. A man may be mistaken in regard to the correctness of his knowledge of the law or truth of God. He may therefore mistake the character of his exercises. But when God so presents the truth as to give the mind assurance, that it understands His mind and will upon any subject, the mind's consciousness of its own exercises in view of that truth, is "the highest and most direct possible" evidence of whether it obeys or disobeys.

(4.) If a man cannot be conscious of the character of his own exercises, how can he know when and of what he is to repent? If he has committed sin of which he is not conscious, how is he to repent of it? And if he has a holiness of which he is not conscious, how could he feel that he has peace with God?

But it is said a man may violate the law not knowing it, and consequently have no consciousness that he sinned, but that afterwards a knowledge of the law may convict him of sin. To this I reply, that if there was absolutely no knowledge that the thing in question was wrong, the doing of that thing was not sin, inasmuch as some degree of knowledge of what is right or wrong is indispensable to the moral character of any act. In such a case there may be a sinful ignorance which may involve all the guilt of those actions that were done in consequence of it; but that blame-worthiness lies in the ignorance itself, and not at all in the violation of the rule of which the mind was at the time entirely ignorant.

(5.) The Bible every where assumes, that we are able to know, and unqualifiedly requires us to know what the moral state of our mind is. It commands us to examine ourselves, to know and to approve our own selves. Now how can this be done but by bringing our hearts into the light of the law of God, and then taking the testimony of our own consciousness, whether we are or are not in a state of conformity to the law? But if we are not to receive the testimony of our consciousness in regard to our sanctification, are we to receive it in respect to our repentance or any other exercise of our mind whatever? The fact is that we may deceive ourselves, by neglecting to compare ourselves with the right standard. But when our views of the standard are right, and our consciousness is a felt, decided, unequivocal state of mind, we cannot be deceived any more than we can be deceived in regard to our own existence.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 360 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

Again, the objection that consciousness cannot decide in regard to the strength of our powers, and whether we really serve God with all our strength, seems to be based upon the false supposition that the law of God requires every power of body and mind to be excited at every moment to its full strength, and that too without any regard to the nature of the subject about which our powers are for the time being employed. In the first lecture on this subject, I endeavored to show and trust I did show, that perfect obedience to the law of God requires no such thing. Entire sanctification is entire consecration. Entire consecration is obedience to the law of God. And all that the law requires is, that our whole being be consecrated to God, and that the amount of strength to be expended in His service at any one moment of time, must depend upon the nature of the subject about which the powers are for the time being employed. And nothing is further from the truth than that obedience to the law of God requires every power of body and mind to be constantly on the strain, and in the highest possible degree of excitement, and activity. Such an interpretation of the law of God as this, would be utterly inconsistent with life and health; and would write MENE, TEKEL upon the life and conduct of Jesus Christ Himself; for His whole history shows that He was not in a state of constant excitement to the full extent of His powers.

16. Again it is objected that, if this state were attained in this life, it would be the end of our probation. Probation, since the fall of Adam, or those points in which we are in a state of probation or trial, are:
 

(1.) Whether we will repent and believe the gospel;

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 389 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

4. Not by any efforts to obtain grace by works. In my lecture on Faith, in the last volume of the Evangelist, I said the following things:
 

(1.) Should the question be proposed to a Jew, "What shall I do that I may work the works of God?"--in other words, how shall I obtain a state of entire obedience to the law of God, or entire sanctification?--he would answer, keep the law, both moral and ceremonial, i.e. keep the commandments.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 648 609 Lecture XIII. A Willing Mind Indispensable to a Right Understanding of Truth ...

3. The opinions of a speculator or worldly minded man are not at all worthy of credit in respect to the application of the law of God to the business transactions of this world. Upon this subject he is not, and remaining a speculator, cannot be in a candid state of mind.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 734 708 Lecture XV. The Gospel the Savor of Life or of Death ...

4. The damnation of the wicked, as rejecters of the gospel, will give to the law of God great power. The death of Christ has magnified the law, and made it honorable, has manifested God's great regard for it, and demonstrated that, sooner than repeal it, or suffer it to be trampled under foot, he would have his own Son to die, that a way might be opened for setting aside its penalty in consistency with the honor of its precept. The damnation of the wicked, will greatly strengthen the power of his law, by showing that so high is God's regard for it, that when so costly an expedient for setting aside its penalty had failed to subdue the sinner, he would execute his penalty upon him notwithstanding his love and compassion for him, were infinitely great.

REMARKS.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 764 754 Lecture XVI. Christians the Light of the World ...

(2.) That every law has its letter and its spirit: i.e. the general statement of its propositions in words is its letter; the true intent and meaning of it, in its real application to every state of facts, is its spirit. Now the world are in total darkness in respect to the true meaning of the law of God. E.g. The first commandment is, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Now this command has both its letter and its spirit. And so has every commandment of God. Its letter prohibits all idolatrous worship. Its spirit requires supreme, disinterested, universal, perpetual love to God, with every holy affection carried out in every holy action.

As a farther illustration, take the commandment, "Thou shalt not steal." The letter of this commandment, prohibits the secret taking of another's property, and using it as if it were our own, without intention of returning it. But the spirit of this commandment forbids all covetousness and requires us to love our neighbor as ourselves. It prohibits our using our neighbor's good, selfishly, whether with or without his consent. It prohibits every form of fraud, speculation, and taking any advantage in business, that is inconsistent with the royal rule, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Now who does not know that unconverted sinners are in the dark in regard to the spirituality of these and every other command of God. What horrible conviction and consternation would fill the world if sinners but thoroughly understood the spirituality of God's law.

3. Sinners are ignorant of themselves. They know very little of their own constitution, and in most cases still less of their character. This ignorance of their own character is a natural consequence of their ignorance of the law of God. Being ignorant of the true intent and meaning of the standard with which they are to compare themselves, they are of course utterly mistaken in regard to their true character. Judging of themselves only in the light of the letter, and overlooking the breadth of the spirit of the law, they of course form an estimate of their character altogether different from the true one.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 778 754 Lecture XVI. Christians the Light of the World ...

8. In his good works in a most strict regard to the universal law of love. As Christ did, so does the Christian. His life is a commentary upon the law of God. He is giving continual illustrations in his own tempter and spirit and life, of the spirituality, the true intent and meaning of the law of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 851 808 Lecture XVII. & XVIII. Communion with God - No.'s 1 & 2 ...

7. Communion with God is just as important as that we should have peace of mind. Nothing so recommends the gospel to mankind, as the exhibition of that great peace of mind which they have who love the law of God. To our own happiness, to our own usefulness, to the honor of God, to the interests of the church and the world around us, our own peace of mind is of vast importance--that we should be able to pass through the storms and trials that keep the world and the great mass of the Church in a state of great fermentation and distress, in calmness and unbroken peace, is a most desirable and infinitely important thing. But this cannot be without communion with God. When storms arise, the soul must be in such a state as to take refuge in the very bosom of God; whence it can look out upon the warring elements, with the keenest composure of mind. God's heart is always calm. It is a great and infinite ocean of eternal love and peace. Infinitely serene, and calm, and pure; never disturbed by any event, nor thrown into a state of fermentation, by any or by all the occurrences of the universe.

Now nothing can calm our own minds, amidst the shocks, vicissitudes, and trials of life, but continual communion with the infinitely calm and peaceful mind of God. O when the soul has been disquieted by the occurrences of life, and takes a deep plunge into the ocean of eternal love--when it steals away from all human eyes, and holds a protracted and soul calming interview with God, how peacefully does it look about upon those occurrences that are throwing the world into fermentation around it.

8. Communion with God is just as important as we should have any grace or religion at all. No man, be his pretensions or professions what they may, has one particle of religion in exercise, any farther than he lives in communion with God. Christ says, "I am the vine, and ye are the branches." Now communion with God is just as indispensable to the life of religion in the soul, as the sap of the vine is to the life of the branches.

V. How to secure and perpetuate Communion with God.

1. It must be sought. God will be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do those things for them which they need. The soul must desire communion with God. It must seek it. It must prize it above all price.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 1154 1125 Lecture XXIV. Salvation Always Conditional ...

6. Selfish minds are influenced wholly by hope and fear; or in other words, the motives that influence them to attempt obedience to God, are purely legal; that is--those that are presented in the sanctions of the law of God. This state of mind is sin.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 1165 1125 Lecture XXIV. Salvation Always Conditional ...

2. It is a capital mistake, and a dangerous error, to maintain, that one act of faith brings the soul into a state of unconditional and permanent justification. That this view of justification cannot be true, is manifest from the following considerations:

(1.) If the believer is so justified, as not to come under condemnation if he sins, it must be because the law of God is abrogated. Some have maintained, that the penalty of the law is for ever set aside in his case, on the exercise of the first act of faith. Now if this is true, then, as it respects him, the law if in fact abrogated; for a law without a penalty is no law. If the penalty is, as to him, for ever set aside, in such a sense that he may sin, and yet not be condemned, and subject to that penalty, to him there is no law. The precept is only counsel or advice, as distinguished from law. But if the law is set aside he has no rule of action--no obligatory standard of duty with which to compare himself; and he can, therefore, be neither sinful nor holy, any more than the brute.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 1190 1125 Lecture XXIV. Salvation Always Conditional ...

11. Sanctification, justification, and final salvation, are all put upon the same ground. And it cannot be true, that men are justified, any farther than they are sanctified; or that they are, or ever can be saved, any farther than they are cleansed from sin. Gospel justification is generally defined to be pardon and acceptance. But can a man be pardoned, any farther than he is penitent? Can the soul be accepted any farther than it is obedient? Certainly it cannot be, unless Antinomianism is true, and the law of God is abrogated. The distinction, then, that is commonly made, (which I, following the current of the Church, without sufficient examination, once held myself,) between instantaneous justification and progressive sanctification, must be without foundation. Every man feels that he is condemned, and not justified, when he sins, and that he is kept out of condemnation only by keeping out of sin. This is the doctrine of the Bible. It is the doctrine of conscience and of common sense. And that is certainly a most licentious view of the doctrine of justification, that maintains that justification is perfected while sanctification is imperfect; that justification is instantaneous, while sanctification is progressive.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 34 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

But I am saying, and do mean to say, that upon the supposition, that any one is so circumstanced as to render it necessary for God to inflict the pains of hell upon him, that it is his bounden duty to be supremely acquiescent it. Suppose that a man has committed the unpardonable sin, or a sin of such a nature that it cannot consistently be forgiven, can it be right for that sinner to be unwilling to have justice take its course in this case? Can it be right for him to make himself miserable, because the supreme good of the universe demands his damnation? Of his own folly he may complain. Of his sin he may and ought to repent, and be unutterably ashamed; but with being thus disposed of for the promotion of the highest interests of God's kingdom, he ought to be supremely pleased. Why, he was made to glorify God. It was always his duty, to desire, above all things, that God might be glorified and the universe benefitted, to consecrate his whole being to the promotion of this end. In this he was always bound to find his supreme happiness. And now, because of his own voluntary wickedness, he has placed himself in such a situation, that the glory of God and the best interests of his kingdom demand, that he should be put in hell, rather than in heaven, has he a right to demur to this--to refuse to be used for the glory of God--to refuse to consecrate his whole being to that which will, in the highest degree, promote this infinitely desirable end? I say again, and do insist, that in such circumstances he is solemnly bound, to consecrate his whole being to the glory of God, and the support of his government, in this particular way, and willingly to lie down upon the bed of eternal death, and give up his whole being to suffering the penalty of the law of God.

7. True submission includes a deep and continual longing of soul, that the whole will of God should be done on earth as it is done in heaven. This is the state of mind that God requires, and that Christ directed to be exercised and expressed in prayer to God. This is to be the daily constant language of our souls, "Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven."

II. Some things that are implied in submission.

1. It implies the actual forsaking of all known sin. It is absurd to say, that an individual has any degree of true submission to God, and still indulges in the commission of any known sin. To suppose that true submission is consistent with any degree of known sin, is to overlook the very nature of submission. Submission belongs to the will, and consists in the supreme devotion of the heart to the whole known will of God. Now how manifestly absurd it is to say, that a man can be supremely devoted, or submissive to the will of God, and still indulge in some things, or even in one thing that is inconsistent with God's will. Whoever, therefore, among you, lives in the indulgence of any known sin, of heart or life, has not one particle of true religion. This is not a rhetorical flourish. It is not a random, hap-hazard assertion. It is the unalterable truth of God. By this I do not mean, that if a man is sometimes overcome by temptation, and falls into occasional sins, that this demonstrates that his character is that of an unregenerate sinner. But I do mean, that where any form or degree of sin is indulged, where it is habitual, connived at, allowed, and practiced by the mind, there is not one vestige of true religion.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 102 79 Lecture XXVII. Love Worketh No Ill ...

5. It is benevolence or good-willing; the exact opposite of selfishness. Selfishness is the supreme preference or choice of self-gratification, as the grand end of life. It is a choosing or willing our own gratification. This is the foundation of all sin, and the carryings out of this consist in those volitions, states of mind, emotions, and bodily actions that make up the history of wicked men. The love mentioned in the text, and that constitutes true religion, is that state of mind demanded by the law of God. Hence, it is said in the text, that "love is the fulfilling of the law." It is the mind's supreme election or choice, of the universal good of being, as the supreme end of existence. And it respects the good of all beings capable of doing or enjoying good. This supremely respects the being of God, as He is capable of doing and enjoying infinitely more good than all other beings. It therefore prefers his good, happiness, and glory, to all other things in the universe. Remember, it is benevolence in God and not complacency in God, that constitutes the foundation of all true religion. Complacency in God is virtue, when it is produced by a virtuous state of the will, but not otherwise. Complacency in the character of God, is often mentioned in the Bible as constituting virtue; but it should always be remembered, that emotions of complacency in God and other holy beings, when they are virtuous at all, instead of constituting the foundation and essence of virtue, are virtue only in its lowest form. I repeat it, the foundation of all virtue is benevolence to God and to the universe. It is good willing and doing, in opposition to mere good feeling. I wish to get this idea distinctly before your minds, because there are so many mistakes upon this subject.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 112 79 Lecture XXVII. Love Worketh No Ill ...

(7.) As it consists in good-willing, or in choosing the universal good of being as the supreme end of life, it will of course beget those volitions and actions, that will promote the good of all around us, and especially of those who are near, and most immediately affected by our conduct.

In the 13th chapter of first Corinthians, the Apostle describes this love as the foundation and sum of all virtue; and after asserting in the strongest language, that no faith or work is of any value without it, he mentions several of its prominent characteristics, with the manifest design of distinguishing that which constitutes true religion from every thing else.

Our translation calls it charity. The original word is the same as that which is rendered love in this text. The same word is uniformly used in the original for that state of mind that constitutes true religion, or the love required by the law of God. This love, He says, is "patient and long suffering." And who does not know, that we are naturally very patient and long suffering towards those whose happiness is very dear to us, and toward whom we feel truly benevolent. Mere complacency is fitful and evanescent, and depends so much upon the particular exhibition made to our mind at the time, as to be transitory from its very nature. See the complacency that parents have in their children. When they are sweet, and smiling, and lovely, the parent is exceedingly delighted with them. But if they become ill-natured, and hateful, here another exhibition is made to the mind, which, instead of exciting complacency, begets impatience and fretfulness. Just so a mere complacency in God will often be exceedingly fitful and of short duration, as the ever varying course of his providence exhibits Him to our minds as robed in smiles or clothed with frowns. But benevolence is not subject to these changes; because it has not its foundation in the moral character, in the naturally pleasing or displeasing manifestations that are made to the mind; but it is good-willing. It is a patient, persevering, supreme disposition to promote the good of its object.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 169 146 Lecture XXVIII. Self Denial ...

2. Self-denial implies disinterested love to men. If we deny ourselves for the sake of promoting their happiness, whenever their happiness is a greater good than our own, it shows that we love them according to the requirement of the law of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 368 357 Lectures XXXI. & XXXII. A Seared Conscience- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

2. It is not the mere knowledge of whether we do or do not, have or have not done, or been, or said, or felt right or wrong.

II. What conscience is.

1. Conscience may be regarded, either as a power or as an act of the mind. In the former case, it is that power of the mind that affirms and enforces moral obligation, and that pronounces upon the desert of obedience or of disobedience. Conscience is not a legislator that makes law, but a judge that convicts of guilt, passes sentence, in respect to the past, and decrees and enforces moral obligation to obey law, in regard to the future. Conscience, as a judge, smiles upon obedience, and frowns upon disobedience.

As an act of the mind, conscience is an affirmation or testifying state of the reason, in respect--

(1.) To the agreement or disagreement of the will with the law of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 369 357 Lectures XXXI. & XXXII. A Seared Conscience- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

(2.) With respect to the moral character of this agreement or disagreement of the will with the law of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 452 357 Lectures XXXI. & XXXII. A Seared Conscience- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

27. By transacting business on worldly principles. No man can adopt the common business maxims of the world, and act upon them with a clear conscience. The law of God requires you to love your neighbor as yourself. Who then can adopt the principle of making the best bargain possible, consulting only self-interest, without deeply and rapidly searing his conscience?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 465 357 Lectures XXXI. & XXXII. A Seared Conscience- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

4. A false peace, or mistaking a mere apathy on moral subjects and in respect to the moral quality of your actions, for that peace which they have who love the law of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 483 357 Lectures XXXI. & XXXII. A Seared Conscience- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

2. Their having no conscience on such questions, is no proof that they are not guilty in the sight of God, and that their practices are not contrary to the law of God. Their consciences are seared, and, for the time being, maintain an indignant silence. But does this prove, that what they are doing is not displeasing to God?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 497 357 Lectures XXXI. & XXXII. A Seared Conscience- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

16. You can see the grand secret of the barrenness of many ministers. Having a seared conscience they know not how to bring the Church under conviction for their sins. They do not know how to develop the conscience, either of saints or sinners. They know not how to enter into the secret workings of the human heart, and ferret out the various forms of iniquity that are lurking there. They do not know how to carry the light of the law of God into every department of human action, and so to develop conscience as to send a thrill of agony along every fibre of the moral nature, while indulging in any form of sin. The fact is, that if a man would get at the conscience of others, he must have a conscience himself. And again, I say, a minister with a seared conscience is "a blind leader of the blind."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 500 357 Lectures XXXI. & XXXII. A Seared Conscience- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

19. We see that it is utterly in vain to talk so loud and boastingly about a thorough course of training for the ministry, while so much sin is allowed among the young men in the course of training, and so little pains are taken to develop and quicken their consciences and sanctify their hearts. As a matter of fact, the present courses of education for the ministry are, to a great extent, a failure. It is in vain to deny this. It is worse than in vain--it is arrant wickedness, to deny it. "Facts are stubborn things." And the average rate of ministerial usefulness, throughout the whole of Christendom, affords a demonstration of this truth, that ought to alarm and agonize the Church, and cause those of us who are engaged in educating ministers to tremble, and inquire upon our knees before the blessed God, what it is that makes so great a majority of the young men who are trained under those influences so nearly useless in the Church of God. Will this be called censoriousness? It is the solemn truth. I say it with pain and agony; but say it I must, and say it I would, if I knew it would cost me my life. Why, beloved brethren, unless there is more conscience in the Christian ministry--a broader, deeper, more efficient, and practical knowledge of the claims of the law of God--a deeper, quicker, more agonizing insight into the depths of iniquity of the human heart--a greater abhorrence of every form of sin--a more insupportable agony in view of its existence in every form and in every degree--the world and the Church too, will sink down to hell, under our administration. I appeal to you, my brethren, who are already in the ministry; I appeal to your churches; I appeal to the lookers on; I appeal to angels and to God, and inquire, how many forms of sin are allowed to exist in you, and in your churches, without any thing like that pointed rebuke which the nature of the case demands? Why, my brethren, do not many of you satisfy yourselves simply with preaching against sin, while you are afraid so much as to name the different forms of sin that exist among those to whom you are preaching? Do you not preach against sin in the abstract, with very little or no descending to particulars? Do you arraign selfishness in all the various forms that it exists among your people? Do you rebuke their pride, self-indulgence, vanity, luxury, speculations, party spirit; and, indeed, my brethren, do you name and bring the law and gospel of God fully to bear upon the various forms of iniquity, in the detail, that exist among your people? Or are the consciences of some of you so seared, as to render you almost blind to any thing like the details of sin as they exist around you? Said a discerning man in my hearing, not long since, Our minister preaches against sin; but he does not tell what sin is. He preaches against sin in general; but never against any particular sin. He denounces it in the aggregate; but never meddles with it in the detail, as it exists among his people. I do not give the words, but the substance of his remarks. Now, my beloved brethren, of how many of us could such a testimony as this be borne with truth? And how many such ministers, think you, would it require to convert the world? Of what use is it, I pray you, to preach against sin, or in favor of holiness, in the abstract, without so far entering into the detail as to possess our people of the true idea of what sin and holiness are?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 504 357 Lectures XXXI. & XXXII. A Seared Conscience- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

23. You see the importance of self-examination, in regard to the real state of our consciences, whether they are fully awake to the whole circle of moral duties and obligations, or whether they are asleep and seared, on a great many questions that come within the cognizance of the law of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 510 357 Lectures XXXI. & XXXII. A Seared Conscience- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

29. We see what the spiritual state of those must be who manifest an unwillingness to have this doctrine true. There are those who manifest the greatest want of candor in weighing the evidences in its favor, and seem disposed to resort to any shift to disprove it. It were easy to show that their writings and their sayings have every mark of an utter unwillingness to have this doctrine true. Now I ask what must their spiritual state be? What is the state of their conscience? How much do they sympathize with the inhabitants of heaven in regard to the exceeding sinfulness of sin? Do they feel horror-stricken at the idea of sinning against God? Do they know what it is to have the perspiration flow like rain when they fall into the slightest sin? Are they crying out in their prayers for a deliverance? No, but they are denouncing those that do, and who are reaching after and expecting a full salvation, as heretics and fanatics, and as explaining away the law of God!

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 512 357 Lectures XXXI. & XXXII. A Seared Conscience- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

31. It is amazing that tobacco-chewing ministers can (as they have in some instances, as I have been informed,) find fault with others for letting down the claims of the law. They seem at the same breath to find fault with others, for insisting upon physiological and dietetic reform, and indeed, for pressing the subject of reform so extensively as they do, and yet complain that their teaching is letting down the claims of the law of God. One of the eastern papers, but a few months since, in reviewing one of my sermons, protested in the most earnest manner against my extending the claims of the law too far. The writer said the law of God was itself strict enough, and that he must protest against its being extended beyond its real meaning. My beloved brethren, what consistency is there in maintaining at the same time two such opposite sentiments as are often maintained upon this subject? But let me say again that until the conscience of the ministry and of the church of God is thoroughly quickened upon the subject of universal reformation, the world can never be converted.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 513 357 Lectures XXXI. & XXXII. A Seared Conscience- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

How is it possible that ministers can waste God's money, set such an example to the church, and abuse their own bodies and souls by the habitual use of tobacco, one of the most hurtful and disgusting practices that ever disgraced mankind, without compunction of conscience, and yet complain of any body's letting down the claims of the law of God, and even go so far as to write pastoral letters against the heresy of letting down the law of God, while they have no conscience on the subject of such practices. How can men be so engaged to defend the purity, the strictness, and the honor of the law of God while in the very face of their churches and in the face of heaven, they can indulge in such things as these. I would say this, with the utmost kindness and yet faithfulness to them and to God, to the church, and to my own soul. I must say it though with unutterable grief.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 514 357 Lectures XXXI. & XXXII. A Seared Conscience- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

32. It is strange that so many churches who are living in the habitual indulgence of so many forms of sin, can manifest so much alarm at the idea of letting down the claims of the law of God. They hardly seem to have ever thought of practicing any self-denial, keeping their bodies under, crucifying and mortifying the flesh. Almost innumerable forms of sin are allowed to exist among them without their blushing or being at all ashamed of them. And yet they manifest a great degree of alarm lest the claims of the law should be let down, and some forms of sin allowed to escape detection, and pass without rebuke. There are many things in the present day that strongly remind one of the conduct of the scribes and Pharisees, whose fears were greatly excited on the subject of our Lord Jesus Christ's letting down the law of God. They accused him of violating the Sabbath, having a wicked spirit, and of even being possessed of the devil, and seemed to be horrified with his loose notions of the claims of the law of God. They were exceedingly zealous, and cried out with great vehemence and bitterness against his want of principle and firm adherence to the law of God. I would not on any account make any such allusions as this, or say one word unnecessarily to wound the feelings of any one. But it seems to be important at the present time to call the attention of the church to the great inconsistency of exclaiming against this letting down the law of God, while they are indulging with so little remorse in great multitudes of most manifest and even flagrant violations of the law. And while we contend for universal reformation, and obedience to the law of God, they are opposing us on the one hand for our strictness, and on the other for our looseness. Nor can they contend that our strictness extends only to some subjects of minor importance, for we do insist upon universal obedience to the law of God, in heart and life.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 515 357 Lectures XXXI. & XXXII. A Seared Conscience- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

33. It is impossible for me to understand how persons should really be in love with the law of God, earnestly and honestly engaged in supporting it in all the length and breadth of its claims, and yet indulge in so many forms of violating it with so little compunction. Is there not, my beloved brethren, some delusion in the thing? Can any man be deeply and thoroughly honest in defending the purity and strictness of that law that says--"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," who can hold slaves, use or vend alcohol as an article of common use, and encourage the church in using tobacco and other worse than useless narcotics and filthy things, to the great injury of their health, and to the robbing of the treasury of the Lord?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 522 357 Lectures XXXI. & XXXII. A Seared Conscience- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

40. You see why many persons cry out upon many branches of reform as legal, as self-righteousness, as something which overlooks the gospel. Here it is of the utmost importance to remember, that to do any thing from a mere constrained compliance with the demands of conscience without a love to what is right for its own sake, is by no means obedience to the law of God. Conscience enforces moral obligation and love complies with it. Conscience decrees oughtness, or that you ought to do thus and thus, and benevolence walks up, joyfully and instantly, to meet the imposed responsibility. It should never be forgotten or overlooked that love is the substance of all obedience to the law of God, and that whenever the dictates of conscience are outwardly complied with for other than disinterestedly benevolent reasons, this is in reality regarding neither the demand of conscience nor of God; for conscience demands that right shall be done, and done from love to God and love to right. Whatever is not of love is not obedience to God. But again I must say, that love or benevolence, without a most strict regard to the injunctions of conscience, is a downright absurdity. Benevolence, without universal obedience, is absurd. If there is love, there will be a most punctilious wakefulness to every affirmation of conscience. And I do not hesitate to say, that he who can call this a legal, instead of a gospel righteousness, is an Antinomian. He is guilty of a fundamental and soul-destroying error.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 660 608 Lecture XXXIV. National Fast Day ...

4. In popular or elective governments, every man having a right to vote, and every human being who has moral influence, is bound to exert that influence in the promotion of virtue and happiness. And as human governments are plainly indispensable to the highest good of man, he is bound to exert his influence to secure a legislation that is in accordance with the law of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 762 608 Lecture XXXIV. National Fast Day ...

5. I call your attention to the national desecration of the Sabbath, especially by the Post Office Department. In this department of our government, our nation has literally "framed iniquity by a law," and absolutely legislated in direct opposition to the law of God. It is by no means wonderful that this department is so often crippled in its movements--that its accounts are so often embarrassed.--The curse of God is upon it. This is just what might be expected, for it is managed by a host of Sabbath breakers. If this department of government be not yet more sorely rebuked than it has been, and if the government should in general continue in its present form--if the Post Office Department continue its shameless violation of the Sabbath, I shall be disappointed if God does not mark it yet more signally with his curse.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 763 608 Lecture XXXIV. National Fast Day ...

6. Again, I notice the national love of money, which is the root and foundation of this public desecration of the Sabbath. This nation has seemed to be ready to go almost any length in obtaining wealth, and to set aside the law of God whenever it has interfered with its grasping after worldly goods.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 50 13 Lecture I. Thy Will Be Done ...

It cannot consist in acts or states of the Intelligence, or in acts or states of the Sensibility, but must consist in the sovereign power of willing or choosing in any direction, in view of an object of choice.

IV. To what acts and states of mind moral responsibility extends.

1. The law of God is the rule of moral action, and the measure of its claims is the measure of moral responsibility.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 51 13 Lecture I. Thy Will Be Done ...

2. The law of God levels its claims to the present ability of every subject of God's moral government. Its language is "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as thyself." The true meaning of this law is that every moral being shall consecrate all his powers, whatever they are, at the present moment, to the service of God. Our consciousness informs us that by willing we control the acts and states of the Intellect--that we think, reason, judge, and affirm by voluntarily controlling the attention of our mind. Consciousness also testifies that we feel by directing our attention to objects calculated to excite feeling, and that we act by willing to act. Thus by legislating over the voluntary power of the mind, the lawgiver proposes to secure the entire consecration of the whole being to the great ends of benevolence.

But the thought which I wish to impress here is, that the law levels its claims to present ability. The law does not say, love the Lord thy God with the strength you possessed when you was [sic.] a child, and serve Him only with the powers you then had, but with all the powers you at present have. If your capacity to serve God, and to promote the great ends of benevolence, has been increased, either by the grace of God or by their diligent use and development in the exercise of your own agency, the law does not satisfy itself with claiming the measure of obedience you might have rendered before this increase of ability, but requires that all your present strength and power shall be completely and unreservedly consecrated to God. So on the other hand, if your ability has been in any way diminished, either by your own act or in any other way, the law requires of you nothing more than that whatever power is left should be consecrated unreservedly and perfectly to God. If your ability has been abridged by your own fault, you are guilty for thus abridging it, and for this you may be punished. But you cannot be held responsible for not doing what you are no longer able to do. For example, suppose it were my duty last week to visit and warn a certain sinner to flee from the wrath to come, but the man is now dead and beyond my reach. For not warning him when I had opportunity I am guilty. But I am now under no obligation to warn him, for the simple reason that I am naturally unable to do so. I may justly be punished for my former neglect, but I cannot be held responsible for not warning him at the present time. If I cut off a hand, I can no longer be required to use it, though I may be guilty for cutting it off, and held responsible for that. In such cases, God requires repentance for the act that abridged our capacity, but in no case requires that which has become naturally impossible.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 55 13 Lecture I. Thy Will Be Done ...

It is maintained by some that the law of God does not limit its claims to present ability, but that it requires the same degree of service now, the same amount of love and zeal, and consequent usefulness in us that it might have required had we never curtailed our ability by sinning, but on the contrary had fully developed our powers by perfect and perpetual obedience. To this I answer,

(1.) That it must be, and so far as I know is admitted by those who hold this doctrine, that to render this degree of service is naturally impossible, in this state of existence.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 57 13 Lecture I. Thy Will Be Done ...

(3.) If the same degree of service could be required now that might have been rendered had we never sinned, obedience to the law of God is naturally impossible in this state. But there is no reason from the Bible or philosophy to believe, that that obedience, in the case of those who have lived in sin any portion of their lives, will ever be possible. Every one understands that men know much less of God, and are therefore naturally able to love Him much less and to render Him a much less effectual service than they might have done had they always employed their powers of moral agency aright. And if any one affirms that the saint in heaven will not be correspondingly unable to render the same amount of service that he might have done had he never sinned, the burden of proof is wholly upon him who makes the affirmation.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 61 13 Lecture I. Thy Will Be Done ...

Do you believe in the doctrine of natural ability--that men are able to do all that God requires of them? Yes, he replied, and I insist as much as you do, upon their doing all their duty and being entirely holy. I asked again--Do you believe that doing their whole duty and being entirely holy implies entire obedience to the law of God? Yes, be sure I do. And you believe that men are naturally able to do this? Yes, was his reply, and I insist upon it as much as you do. I then asked, "Do you believe that the law of God levels its claims to the present ability of men, so that men are entirely able perfectly to obey? No, he replied, and I think there is your error. You so explain the law as to bring it down to the present ability of man. How else, I asked, should I do? If I insist upon man's natural ability perfectly to obey it, am I not bound so to expound it as to level its claims to their natural ability? But what do you do? Do you believe that the law of God requires of a man just that degree of love and service and efficiency that he might have rendered had he never sinned? Yes, said he, and this is the very point where we differ. I exalt the law, and maintain that God requires that every moral agent, however long he has sinned, however ignorant he may be, and how much soever he may have curtailed his natural ability by sin, should render the same degree of service he would have done had he never sinned; while you, he continued, still addressing me, so expound the law as to level its claims to the creature's present natural ability. And, my brother, I asked, which is most consistent. I so expound the law as to level its claims to the present natural ability of the subject, and then consistently urge him up to immediate and perfect obedience. You maintain that he is able perfectly to obey, but yet that the law requires that which you confess to be naturally impossible, and then absurdly call upon him to perform that which is by your own thus showing naturally impossible. Now what consistency or candor is there in your professing to believe in his natural ability to do all his duty, and then maintain that the law requires natural impossibilities, and all at the same breath denounce him for not keeping the whole law; maintaining that he is able to keep it, and yet inconsistently contending that it requires that which you confess to be naturally impossible? You are bound, as an honest man, to give up the doctrine of natural ability; to publish to the world that men are entirely unable to obey the law of God; and no longer insult their intelligence and outrage their sense of justice, by requiring them to perfectly obey it; or else so to interpret it as to bring obedience within the limit of their natural ability, and cease to denounce those as heretics who consistently and conscientiously do this. I say that you are bound to do this.

And here let me ask, if it is not a shame and a sin for persons to hold and teach the doctrine of natural ability perfectly to obey the law--that the law requires natural impossibilities--call upon men to universally and perfectly to obey the law on pain of eternal death--and accuse those of being heretics and far gone in error, who are consistent enough, while they maintain the doctrine of natural ability, to maintain also that the law levels its claims to the present ability of men, and for this reason call upon all men, every where, unreservedly and perfectly to obey it?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 65 13 Lecture I. Thy Will Be Done ...

4. But he is responsible for their guidance, control and subjection to the law of God so far as they are subject to the control of the will.

But to the law and the testimony. The law of God is the rule, and by it we know to what acts and states of mind moral responsibility extends.

1. The law of God is in spirit a unit. Love, or benevolence, is the fulfilling of the whole law. This is repeatedly asserted in the Bible, that all the law is fulfilled in one word.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 66 13 Lecture I. Thy Will Be Done ...

2. The love which constitutes obedience to the law of God is an act or state of the will, and consists in supreme, disinterested benevolence. This is all that the law requires; and man is responsible, and can be responsible only for this state of the will. If he is perfectly, and universally, and disinterestedly benevolent, he perfectly obeys the law of God. Whatever emotions, thoughts, acts, or states of mind do not follow from this state of the will, as its natural and necessary sequence, are naturally impossible to him, and therefore moral obligation cannot extend to them. Whatever thoughts, emotions, acts, or states of mind come to pass, notwithstanding this perfectly benevolent state of the will, he has no power to avoid, and therefore such acts, emotions, and states of mind, can have no moral character. To maintain the contrary of these positions, is not only to set all true philosophy aside, but is also a flat denial of the Bible itself.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 68 13 Lecture I. Thy Will Be Done ...

4. Every mind is to be guided by its own best judgment in respect to the relative value of different interests, except where God has revealed their relative value; in which case, this revelation is to decide us. But in applying the great principle of the law of God to human conduct, we are manifestly to be guided, not by the views which God has, nor which angels have, nor which any other beings except ourselves have, of the relative value of different interests. But we must judge for ourselves, under the best light afforded us, what is the relative value of the different interests with which we are surrounded, and how the law of God requires us to demean ourselves in respect to them. And every being wills right, or just as the law of God requires him to will, when he regards and treats every interest just as its relative value, as understood by his own mind, demands. When he wills every good for its own sake, and the promotion of every interest according to its relative value in his own best judgment, he fully obeys the law of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 70 13 Lecture I. Thy Will Be Done ...

6. We have seen, and know by our own consciousness, that man is free and sovereign. He is, therefore, responsible for any act or state of mind that can be produced or avoided, directly or indirectly by willing and endeavor, and for nothing more or less. For the plain reason that every thing, more or less, is naturally impossible to him. Hence, the law of God makes all virtue to consist in benevolence. And if the Bible did not represent all virtue as consisting in benevolence, a correct philosophy, as learned from our own consciousness, would compel us to reject its authority.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 71 13 Lecture I. Thy Will Be Done ...

7. If the will, then, is conformed to the law of God nothing can be morally wrong for the time being. For whatever does not follow by natural necessity, from this state of the will, is naturally impossible to us. So, on the other hand, if the will is wrong, nothing can be morally right; for, whatever acts or states of mind result from a wrong choice, by a natural necessity, have the same character, so far as they have any character at all, with the choice that produced them. This is the philosophy of total depravity. We truly say, that if a man's heart is wrong every thing that he does is wrong. By his heart we mean his choice, intention, purpose. If his intention or choice be selfish, nothing can be morally right; because his character is as his intention is; and it is naturally impossible that the emotions and actions which follow from a selfish intention should be morally right. If this is not true philosophy, then the doctrine of the total depravity of the unregenerate is not true.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 76 13 Lecture I. Thy Will Be Done ...

4. I now observe, that motives are addressed to the mind, either through the Intelligence or the Sensibility, and in no other way. By this I mean that by the use of the Intellect, or through the medium of the feelings, does the mind perceive any thing which it accounts an object of choice. The Sensibility or feelings, invite the will or mind to seek the gratification of the appetites or propensities as an end, or for the mere sake of the gratification. The Intelligence points to God, and his law, and the Reason affirms that the mind ought to obey God, rather than to seek the gratification of the Sensibility. Through the Intelligence is revealed to the mind the existence, character, and claims of God. And the law of universal benevolence is seen by the Intelligence to be obligatory. Now to will in accordance with the impressions of the Sensibility, and seek as the great end of life the gratification of the propensities, is what the Bible denominates the "carnal mind," or "minding of the flesh." This is the very essence of sin. It is enmity against God. Let it be understood, then, that sin consists in the committal of the will, or in the devotion by the will of the whole being to self-interest or self-gratification. This choice of our own gratification as the supreme end of life is the wicked heart, and all the forms of sin are only developments, and necessary results of this supreme choice or intention of the mind. This is total moral depravity--enmity against God--entire consecration to self-gratification.

VI. What holiness is.

1. It is, in a word, the obedience of the will or heart to the law of God as this law lies revealed in the Intelligence. I have just said that sin consists in the supreme devotion of the will, and consequently of all the powers of the mind to self-gratification. On the contrary, holiness consists in the supreme devotion of the will, and consequently of the whole being to the glory of God, and the good of the universe. This entire consecration to the glory of God and the good of the universe is the whole of virtue in any being, and in every world.

I now come to a direct examination of the text, and inquire,

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 95 13 Lecture I. Thy Will Be Done ...

13. This state of mind is not a submission to the will of God as an abstraction, but is true disinterested benevolence. It is the very state of mind required by the law of God.

X. Nothing short of a state of mind that can and does offer this petition sincerely, is true religion.

1. Nothing short of this state of will or heart is conformity to the nature of things.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 128 115 Lecture II. Danger of Delusion ...

5. But true religion does consist in obedience to the law of God, or in living in conformity with our nature and relations. Universal reason affirms, and no one can doubt, that men are under a moral obligation to understand, as far as possible, their nature and relations, and to conform to them.

Reason also affirms the obligation of all moral beings to exercise disinterested benevolence. By disinterested benevolence is intended the willing of the highest good of being in general, for its own sake--that every good is to be regarded, willed, and treated, according to its relative value, so far as we are able to understand its value. Disinterested benevolence constitutes that which is required by the law of God, and is expressed in the term love. It is choice as distinguished from mere desire. It is willing, as distinguished from mere emotion or feeling. It is willing good for its own sake, as distinguished from willing the good of others for some selfish reason, that is, it is willing them good of being as an end, and not as a means of promoting our own good. It is willing universal good as opposed to willing partial good. It is willing every interest according to its relative value, because it is the willing of good for its own sake, and on account of its intrinsic value. It is synonymous with ultimate intention. By ultimate intention is intended the subjective motive of the mind, or the mind's choice of an ultimate end, to the promotion of which it devotes itself.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 143 115 Lecture II. Danger of Delusion ...

12. The words that represent the Christian graces are seldom understood by those that use them; for example, the term love, as used in the law of God, is generally spoken of, as if it meant a mere emotion, or feeling of the mind. Humility is spoken of, as if it consisted in a deep sense of unworthiness, whereas it consists in no such thing. Love, as we have seen, as used in the law of God, means disinterested benevolence. If humility consisted in a sense of unworthiness, the devil might be humble, and doubtless is. Convicted sinners might also be humble, and doubtless are, if this is humility. I scarcely ever in my life, heard a minister speak of humility as if he had any definitely developed idea of what it is. Humility must consist in a willingness to be known and appreciated according to our real character. The same mistakes are made in regard to repentance and faith. Repentance is generally spoken of as if it consisted in emotions of sorrow, whereas it consists in a change of mind, choice, or ultimate intention, and is precisely synonymous with a change of heart. Faith is very commonly spoken of as consisting either in mere intellectual conviction, or in a felt assurance of the truth of a proposition, whereas it consists in an act of the will, or in confiding, or committing the whole being to the influence of truth.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 156 115 Lecture II. Danger of Delusion ...

5. Unconverted men are universally committed to the indulgence of their feelings rather than swayed by the affirmations of their reason, and decisions of their conscience. Consequently there is a strong tendency in them to consider religion as consisting in strongly excited feelings, rather than in conformity to the law of God as revealed in the reason.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 165 115 Lecture II. Danger of Delusion ...

5. Be sure that you neglect no duty. Remember that neglect is just as absolutely a violation of the law of God, as any positive crime is.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 198 194 Lecture III. Ability and Inability ...

In this discussion, I shall

I. Point out the distinction between the different kinds of ability and inability to obey the law of God, which have been insisted on by different classes of philosophers and divines.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 202 194 Lecture III. Ability and Inability ...


I. Distinction between the different kinds of ability and inability to obey the law of God, which have been insisted on by different classes of philosophers and divines.

1. Natural ability, according to them, is to do as you will, irrespective of the question of ability to will in any direction in view of motive. In their definition of natural ability, they keep entirely out of view, the doctrine which they hold to be true, that the will is invariably and inevitably determined by motives. Some state the doctrine of natural ability, to be the possession of the faculties of a moral being, with the power to use them whenever, and as you are disposed or choose to use them, leaving out of view the how it comes to pass that we are disposed to use them.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 206 194 Lecture III. Ability and Inability ...

6. Another class of philosophers reject these distinctions, and deny both natural and moral ability, but maintain a gracious ability to conform to the claims of God. Their gracious ability consists in this, that through the atonement of Christ, God, by his Spirit, and gracious influences, has removed inability of every kind, and made it possible for men, through this gracious aid, to obey the law of God.

Without this aid they maintain, that fallen or sinful beings have no kind of ability to obey God. Hence consistency drives them to maintain, that but for the atonement and gracious divine influence, men after the fall, would have been under no obligation to obey God, and that those in hell, from whom the gracious influence is withdrawn, are under no such obligation. It is easy to see, also, that if consistent, they must deny that Satan has ever sinned since his fall, or can sin, unless the atonement and gracious ability extend to him.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 230 194 Lecture III. Ability and Inability ...

5. Since the doctrine of entire sanctification in this life has been so much and so pointedly insisted on, multitudes of ministers and others who have heretofore professed to believe and teach the doctrine of ability in every moral agent to do his whole duty, are retiring back to the ranks of those who deny the doctrine of ability. They see and acknowledge that the doctrine of entire obedience to the law of God, or in other words, of entire consecration and sanctification, is only the legitimate application of the doctrine of ability to all the conduct of Christians; that if men are able to obey God perfectly, there is no reason why they should not, nor any ground for the affirmation that they will not. But let not those brethren think to find a resting place, or an apology for sin under the doctrine of inability, for it is abundantly easy to show that of all the absurd doctrines that ever were broached, not one is more contrary to the Bible and to common sense, and more easily refuted than the doctrine of inability.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 246 235 Lecture IV. God Under Obligation to Do Right ...

Right expresses the moral quality of disinterested benevolence. Benevolence is good willing or willing the highest good of being. Disinterested benevolence is willing the good of being as an end, or for its own sake, or, in other words, on account of its intrinsic value. A thing is good, that is, naturally good, because it is valuable in itself.--Such, for instance, is happiness. Happiness is a good in itself, that is, it is valuable. Every moral being knows by his own certain knowledge, that happiness is valuable, is good. To will, therefore, the highest happiness or the highest good of being for its own sake, is benevolence. Benevolence, then, consists in willing according to the nature and relations of things. Reason universally affirms that to will thus, to will good for its own sake, to will it impartially or disinterestedly, or in other words, to will every good of every being according to its relative value, is right. Right is the term by which we express the moral quality of disinterested benevolence. The terms right, virtue, holiness, &c., express the same thing. They denote the moral quality of disinterested benevolence or of that love that constitutes obedience to the law of God. Let it be understood, then, that disinterested benevolence is always right, and that nothing else is right, and that whatever is right or virtuous, is only a modification of disinterested benevolence. Nothing is virtue or right that is not in compliance with the law of disinterested benevolence.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 354 306 Lecture V. Ordination ...

8. See that you understand the true spirit and meaning of the law of God. The real intent and meaning of the law is that every interest is to be regarded and treated by every moral being according to its relative value, so far as that value can be understood by the mind. Now, brethren, remember that this is the rule and the only rule of action for moral beings. It is the sum of the law of God. It is of universal application. The rule is plain, and your business is to make an application of it, and to show how it is to be applied to every concern of life. Remember, brethren, there is a vast want of practical preaching. You may preach faith and repentance, and repentance and faith, sanctification, consecration, or whatever you choose to call it, but unless you descend in the detail, into the practical application of the law of love to all the concerns of life, you will leave your people after all to blunder on under the influence of many gross and injurious mistakes.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 397 371 Lecture VI. Wisdom Justified of Her Children ...

8. A third, and much larger class, are antinomian anti-perfectionists. They expect to be saved by imputed righteousness. They are far enough from intending or expecting to be holy or sanctified, in their own persons. They disclaim all pretensions to any thing more of personal holiness, than barely enough to support a faint hope that they have been regenerated. If they have been regenerated, with them, it is clear, that they are in a state of perpetual justification, on account of their once having exercised faith in Christ. They do not pretend to obey the law of God themselves, but as they understand it, Christ obeyed it for them, and his personal obedience is imputed to them. They acknowledge the law to be obligatory upon them, indeed, but suppose themselves to be justified by the gospel, while they live in disobedience to the law. Instead of regarding the gospel, as the means of inducing entire obedience to the law, they regard it as opposed to the law, in such a sense, as really to justify one who continues to disobey the law.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 404 371 Lecture VI. Wisdom Justified of Her Children ...

15. To another class Christian forbearance means nothing more than that you are to appeal to the civil law, instead of the bayonet or the fist, to secure your selfish ends. While to the wise, the doctrine of Christian forbearance, is nothing more than the true application of the law of universal benevolence to human conduct. There is a considerably large class of persons, the attitude of whose minds is such, that they put such a construction upon particular precepts of Christ, as to make them flatly contrary to the spirit of the law as expounded by Himself. Christ has summed up the requirements of the moral law, and included all moral obligation in the two great precepts; "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as thyself." Now, it is agreed, so far as I know, on all hands, that the true spirit and meaning of the law of God, as thus explained by Christ, is, that every interest shall be regarded and treated according to its relative value. Consequently, that a less interest should always be sacrificed to a greater--that, of two evils, the least is to be preferred, and whenever a less interest comes in conflict with a greater, the less is to be given up, and the greater secured. This is the principle, upon which all just governments are administered. And no power in the universe can render it unlawful to inflict penalties by physical force, where the highest good demands it. But this class of persons would understand the precept, "resist not evil," to require so much, as that governments are not to suppress mobs, or rebellion, by physical force, or that evil should be resisted under any circumstances, and in cases where we have all the evidence we can have, that resistance is indispensable to the public good. Thus they array Christ against Himself, represent Him as giving such an exposition of the moral law, as to require every interest to be regarded and treated according to its relative value, and at the next breath, as saying that whatever the public good may demand, and whatever interest may demand it, evil is not to be resisted.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 409 371 Lecture VI. Wisdom Justified of Her Children ...

4. Those who have been truly convicted of sin, and have seen the spirituality of the law of God, and are truly converted, if they fall back, generally fall into a state of legality, and find themselves in grievous and iron bondage, while others who have only been excited but not truly slain by the law and converted, will, when they fall from this excitement almost always fall into latitudinarian antinomianism. This last is much the largest class of professors of religion.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 411 371 Lecture VI. Wisdom Justified of Her Children ...

6. Whenever the mind has fallen into a misapprehension of any doctrine, and has consequently received a wrong bias, any attempt to correct that bias by the exhibition of the truth will shock prejudice, and give pain. For example: let one who has embraced the ultra doctrine of the non-resistants listen to a correct exhibition of the rights, necessity, and duties of government, the true principle of self-defense and self-preservation, and he will feel almost as much shocked as if he should witness the fighting of a duel. So let one who has embraced the idea of the doctrine of self-denial, which has been entertained in different ages of the Church by many persons, as requiring little less than a system of mendicancy--let such a one listen to a discourse on the doctrine of Christian liberty, and he will feel almost as much shocked as if you were granting indulgences to extravagance. So let one who has imbibed wrong notions on the subject of Christian retrenchment, that it requires Christians to give up every thing but the mere necessaries of life, with whom it is a violation of Christian principle to use elliptic springs upon his wagon, or a top, or boot--to build a cornice on a house--to have a button on your coat where you do not need to use it--who will not allow that any thing is due to the eye or the ear--with such an one, improvements in the arts, the cultivation of music, painting, poetry, improvements in the style of building, in orders of architecture, in short almost all improvement in the physical condition of mankind, are regarded with jealousy if not with pain. He would listen to a discourse in which a true application of the law of God should be made to all such things, with unutterable pain, principally because of the perverted state of his mind, by a false view of the subject.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 104 74 Lecture II. Nature of True Virtue ...

14. Therefore the law of God must require it, and would be unjust if it did not. It cannot be otherwise than unjust not to require all moral beings to act according to the nature and relations of things.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 144 129 Lecture III. Selfishness ...

3. The law of God is revealed and imposed by the Reason. Man is, in a certain sense, his own law-giver; or, as Paul expressed it, he "is a law to himself." If the grand principal of the law of God did not lie revealed in our reason, we could never be influenced by any outward precepts, and could never perceive obligation, simply because we should have no standard of either truth or morality. We could not know whether the Bible is the word of God or a lying fable, because we should have no possible way of testing it--In short, if our reason did not reveal and impose the great principle of the law of God, all religion and morality would be to us naturally impossible. All precept and instruction therefore are valid to moral beings, only because, when addressed to them, their reason recognizes their truth, and imposes obligation to conform to them; and whatever the Reason will not thus recognize as true, cannot be obligatory. All the commands, and truth of God are addressed to moral beings through their reason. I should perhaps say here, that by reason, I mean that power of the mind which affirms all necessary and absolute truth: or, in other words, the intuitive faculty. All moral influences then come to the Will through the Reason, and all virtue consists in the conformity of the will to its requirements.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 150 129 Lecture III. Selfishness ...

2. Now what is selfishness? As we have already seen, under the previous head, it is also an ultimate intention. In other words it is the preference of self-gratification to the law of the reason, that is, to benevolence. Instead of willing every good according to its perceived value, it is willing one good more than all other goods. Whenever an individual prefers his own gratification to the demands of his own reason, he does it in the face of the law of God, and in defiance of his authority.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 175 129 Lecture III. Selfishness ...

Remember that selfishness consists in obeying the propensities, appetites, passions, and desires.--This devotion to self gratification developes itself in a great variety of ways without changing its character. With one, one propensity predominates, with another, another. One for example is an epicure. His desire for pleasant dishes predominates over everything else, and he does not value money only as it contributes to his gratification. Another is a miser, and is entirely too much devoted to the desire of wealth to be an epicure. Indeed, he thinks his ruling passion contemptible. One is fond of dress, and values money only as it contributes to the gratification of this desire. This is his form of selfishness. He thinks of it all the year round, and labors with his eye on self gratification in this form. Right over against this, another is fond of power or influence to such an extent as to wonder that any can be fond of such a trifling gratification as dress affords. But he is as much enslaved by his desire of power as the other by his devotion to dress, and is equally selfish. Again, some are so fond of reputation, as to do anything that public sentiment requires, rather than to fail of popularity. This is their form of selfishness.--Their reputation is preferred to the well-being of the universe. But others have such a large development of some appetite or passion as to sacrifice reputation for it. For example: the drunkard.--He regards his appetite for intoxicating drinks above everything else, and his character weighs not a straw when brought into competition with this. Now each of these different forms of selfishness is a violation of the law of God. One just as much so as the other. They all lord it over the will.--And yet those devoted to one form take great credit to themselves because they are not devoted to all the others. The truth is in all cases the sin lies in the indulgence of any appetite, desire or propensity whatever, in opposition to the law of love.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 181 129 Lecture III. Selfishness ...

5. A vain man or a vain woman, can no more be saved, than a licentious man or a licentious woman. They prefer the gratification of their vanity, to the end of life which the law of God requires, while a licentious man or woman prefers the self gratification afforded them, in this grosser form, to the same end.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 183 129 Lecture III. Selfishness ...

7. To suppose religion to consist in obeying any feeling whatever, merely as feeling, is a most ruinous error. And yet multitudes know no other religion than this. They suppose happy feelings to be religion, and generally do just as they feel, irrespective of the demands of their reason. Now these persons have never yet apprehended the true idea of religion, namely that it consists in the entire consecration of the will to the law of God, as it is regarded and imposed by their reason. Feeling is not that to which the will should bow, for it is blind; but reason, as it perceives the law of God with its intuitive eye, should be heeded in its faintest whisper respecting the application of that law.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 185 129 Lecture III. Selfishness ...

9. Selfishness is the first sin of every human being. Children come into the world in perfect ignorance both of the law of God and of the tendency of their sensibility. Now what is the process by which they sin. See the little child. At first it can scarcely turn its head or open its eyes. It is hardly conscious of any thing. Soon its sensibility begins to be developed, and foremost its appetite for food. As soon as you give it any thing, no matter what, it puts it right into the mouth. Gradually other appetites are awakened, equally constitutional, and therefore without moral character. At what age their reason begins to be developed we cannot know. But it is doubtless very early. But as soon as it is developed and affirms obligation then its very next is a moral act. Hence the appetites, desires, and propensities of its sensibility which have previously been developed, and its perception of obligation are both placed before its will, and it prefers the former to the latter. This is its first sin, and this is the first sin of every human being. But why does it always choose wrong? Because previously to the development of its reason, its will has constantly been under the control of its appetites, and it has acquired a habit of consenting to them. On the contrary the first affirmations of its reason are necessarily feeble. He therefore chooses self-gratification in opposition to it.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 217 193 Lecture IV. Christian Character ...

4. Sin is the exact opposite of this, and consists in the consecration, by the will or heart, of the whole being to the gratification of self. This is selfishness, which we have already endeavored to show is the substance of all the sin in the universe.--Whatever, in the action of the will or heart, is not conformed to the law of love, as perceived by the reason, is sin, whether it be omission of duty or the commission of that which is positively prohibited. Entire conformity of heart and life, therefore, to all known truth is holiness, and nothing short of this is, or can be. If persons deny this, it is because they do not know what they say, and have not the idea of holiness before their mind at all. The law of God is one--a unity, and to talk of being partly conformed to it, and partly not, is to overlook the very nature both of the law and of conformity to it. The law of God requires perfect conformity of life and heart to all the truth perceived, and this is moral perfection in any being, and is the only sense in which any being can be morally perfect in any world. Suppose there is a moral pigmy whose standard of truth is No. 1. Now if he fully conforms to that, he does his whole duty. So you may increase the scale to 2, 5, 10, 20, and moral perfection will still consist in conformity to the light possessed. Suppose you ascend the scale to ten thousand or a million, it is still the same until you arrive at God Himself, and this is just what constitutes the moral perfection of God. All the truths in the universe are known to Him with absolute certainty, and He conforms to all He knows. Since his knowledge admits of no increase, his holiness admits of none, while that of all finite beings does and will to all eternity. Angels doubtless sustain innumerable relations of which they are totally ignorant, and to which they are not morally conformed, but their state of will is such, that as fast as they learn them they conform to them , and hence their holiness is constantly increasing; and so it must be from the lowest to the highest degree of moral capacity. Every thing, then, short of living up to the light we have, is sin, and every moral act is either right or wrong.

III. What to be born of God is not.

1. Regeneration does not consist in the creation of any new faculties. We have faculties enough, more than we use well, and do not need any more.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 225 193 Lecture IV. Christian Character ...

2. It is not love nor any other holy exercise. In other words, it is not religion at all. Religion is voluntary conformity to the law of God, and to say that this remains in the Christian could have no meaning. The truth is, the Apostle, in the text, is asserting why this voluntary conformity is continued. It then cannot be the seed.

 

 


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

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

II. In what the Christian warfare does consist.

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

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 298 249 Lecture V. Christian Warfare ...

6. We can see, from this subject, why sinners often doubt the reality of temptation, and when they hear Christians talk of their temptations, they think that Christians must be worse than they, for they do not experience such. But the reason why they are not conscious of temptations is because they have not attempted to regulate their propensities by the law of God. A man floating on a current is not conscious of its strength until he turns round and attempts to stem it. The same principle applies to those professors of religion who entertain the same doubts. Talk about temptation! Why, they say, I am not so tempted. Indeed! Perhaps you have never done any thing else but to yield to it.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 426 413 Lecture VIII. What Attainments Christians May Reasonably Expect to Make in This Life ...

2. Sanctification, then, is holiness, purity, or benevolence. Benevolence, as we have seen in former lectures, is good willing, and is the ultimate intention of the mind; in other words, it is obedience to the requirements of the law of God; it is what the Bible means by love, which it declares to be the fulfilling of the law.

II. What is not implied in it.

1. It does not imply any change in the constitution.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 434 413 Lecture VIII. What Attainments Christians May Reasonably Expect to Make in This Life ...

9. Nor does it imply a constant, and great excitement. The idea that a great excitement of the emotions is essential to sanctification, has arisen out of a radical mistake respecting the nature of religion. It has been supposed that the love required by the law of God, consists in the highest possible state of the emotions. Now, if this is so, or if emotion constitutes any part of religion, then Christ was often in sin, for He did not exhibit any more excitement than other men. Those who maintain this sentiment, then, overlook the fact that religion consists in benevolence, and that emotion is no part of it.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 437 413 Lecture VIII. What Attainments Christians May Reasonably Expect to Make in This Life ...

12. Nor does it imply a state of mind of which we cannot be certain by consciousness. It would be strange legislation indeed which should require such a mysterious, intangible state of mind as that. The truth is, it is naturally impossible that such a state should be required by an intelligible law. Indeed, how could one repent, or know it if he did, under such a requirement, or perform any other duty?

III. What is implied in it.

1. It does imply present obedience to the law of God, that is, benevolence. Benevolence, consists in regarding and treating every known interest according to its relative value, and as I have shown in a former lecture, it is a unit--a simple choice--a choosing good for its own sake.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 585 573 Lecture XI. Justification ...

(2.) Legal justification is out of the question, as all the world has become guilty before God. And to maintain that a soul is perpetually justified by once believing, is antinomianism, and one of the worst forms of error. It is to maintain, that as it respects Christians, the law of God is abrogated. The law is made up of precept and penalty, and if either is detached, it ceases to be law. It matters not whether it be maintained that the precept be set aside, or the penalty, it is to maintain an abrogation of the law, and is a ruinous error. It is the nature of a pardon, to set aside the execution of the penalty due to past violations of the law, and to restore the person to governmental favor, during good behavior. More than this, it cannot do, without giving an indulgence to sin. If no future sins can incur the penalty, it follows that the Christian could not be in danger of hell, however many or gross sins he might commit, or even should he die in a state of the foulest apostasy. What an abomination is such a doctrine!

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 603 573 Lecture XI. Justification ...

2. But to walk after the Spirit, is to obey the Spirit of Christ--it is to obey the law of God.

V. None except those who walk after the Spirit are in a justified state.

1. By this I do not intend to say that they never were justified. For it is true that individuals who once obeyed, and were of course justified, have fallen. This is the case with the angels who kept not their first estate, and Adam and Eve. These were justified in the legal sense before they sinned. But many have also fallen into grievous iniquity, who have once been justified in the gospel sense.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1844 paragraph 7 TABLE OF CONTENTS ...

Lectures II. & III.The Eyes Opened to the Law of God- No.'s 1 & 2

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1844 paragraph 62 61 Lectures II. & III.The Eyes Opened to the Law of God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

The Eyes Opened to the Law of God- No.'s 1 & 2
Lectures II & III
July 17, 1844

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1844 paragraph 77 61 Lectures II. & III.The Eyes Opened to the Law of God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

3. That the Psalmist knew very well that there were wonderful things concealed from his spiritual eye in the absence of spiritual light. He knew some of the things contained in the Scriptures doubtless. His eyes had been opened perhaps, and more than once. Indeed, no spiritual man can read the 119 Psalm with any good degree of attention, and not feel that he who wrote it had drank, and that deeply, into the spirit of God's holy law. Every verse almost, any every verse but two, expresses in some way his love for God's law, the importance of God's law, or the glory of God's law. And the knowledge he already had gained had ravished his heart and made him cry out more earnestly to have his eyes fully opened, that he might be able to see clearly the glories of the Scriptures. The Psalmist had without doubt been enabled to get in some degree, behind the veil of types and shadows of the Old Testament, he had taken a peep beneath the drapery, and had seen Christ revealed and the wonderful things of salvation; he had looked through and beyond the outward types and shadows and the sight had so enraptured his soul, that he prayed with agonizing earnestness and importunity--"Open mine eyes. O Lord open Thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law." The wonders are in the Bible if we could only see them. We might be walking in the midst of the splendors of nature, and see nothing if there were not light. What are the glories of vision to a blind man? He may encircle the globe, go over its mountains and through its valleys, cross its oceans and its continents, pass among all it beauties and its luxuriance, and yet see nothing. Without eyes they are nothing; or with eyes if there be no light, all is midnight darkness. It is so as to spiritual things. Read the Bible, pass through its paragraphs, go over its pages, and you may after all see nothing of its beauties--like a man traversing a country in a stage-coach at midnight, he can get nothing of its scenery, how picturesque so ever it may be. When men with eyes not opened in the sense of the text read the Bible, they do not see its beauties, do not behold the wondrous things which are nevertheless contained therein, and they should with all earnestness make the prayer of the Psalmist. He prayed because he felt there were things in the law of God which he had never seen.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1844 paragraph 93 61 Lectures II. & III.The Eyes Opened to the Law of God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

THE EYES OPENED TO THE LAW OF GOD--No. 2

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1845 paragraph 91 81 Lecture II. Governing the Tongue ...

3. The Scriptures recognize this truth. "But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." Idle words in the sense of this text are useless words, words not spoken to edification, nor with a design to glorify God and benefit man. Some commentators over-looking the rule by which the tongue is to be governed, have supposed by idle words in this passage, are meant slanderous, or false, or censorious, or bitter words. But the language is plain, and should be understood in its plain natural sense; for then and only then does it come up to the manifest rule by which the tongue is to be governed. That the tongue is to be governed by the rule of universal love, or entire consecration to God, none can rationally doubt. All words then spoken for any other end than to promote the good of being are idle words, and are sin against God. To bridle the tongue then is to so check and rein it in, and control it, as that its use shall be wholly conformed to the law of God.

II. The conditions upon which it may be governed.

1. The first condition indispensable to the government of the tongue in accordance with the rule as above stated, is perfect love in the heart, or in other words, that the will should be in a benevolent attitude--that the glory of God and the good of being should be its supreme aim, design, or choice. I have said that the tongue is governed by the will, by a law of necessity. The will is free, but the tongue is not free. It is connected by a physical or necessary law, with the action of the will. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth not only does but must speak, if it speaks at all. All our physical powers so far as they are directly under our control at all, are connected with the action of the will, by a law of necessity. At the bidding of the will they move, or cease to move. Now where there is perfect benevolence of heart, no power that is under the control of the will can be used in any other than a benevolent manner. When the heart is in the attitude of supreme, disinterested benevolence, the tongue is used and cannot but be used for the glory of God and the good of being. But if this be not the state of the heart, the tongue cannot be used benevolently. All use of the tongue is idle and sinful when the heart is not in a benevolent state. No matter how much the tongue might edify men or glorify God, its use is an idle use so far as the speaker is concerned, if his aim be not benevolent. A man might teach mathematics, philosophy, or theology with a selfish heart, in which case the use of his tongue is sin, because his intention is sin. It is not conformed to the law of love, but is under the influence of selfishness. If God overrules this selfish use of the tongue to promote His won glory, no thanks to him who thus uses his tongue, for he means no such thing. His object is to glorify himself, to get a good name or a piece of bread. It should always be understood that any use of the tongue is sinful when the heart is not in a perfectly benevolent state.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1845 paragraph 100 81 Lecture II. Governing the Tongue ...

2. It is not intended that an occasional fall in the use of the tongue, proves that one has never been converted and is at no time truly religious; but that when he does not govern his tongue, he has at that time no true conformity to the law of God, and consequently no true religion. His heart is not then in the attitude of benevolence. It if were he could not misuse his tongue. But if he be not benevolent, he is not at the time truly religious. Again,

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1845 paragraph 117 81 Lecture II. Governing the Tongue ...

14. From this subject we can see the great evil and the great sin of what are termed social visits. Who does not know that it is almost impolite to talk otherwise than idly on those occasions? To introduce and confine yourself to religion or any other topic of serious import, designed for the glory of God and the general good of man, would be considered excessively ill-timed and out of place. The fact is, that social parties are designed for the unrestrained indulgence of the tongue. They would soon cease to be attended if no other conversation were allowed than what is for the glory of God and the good of man. How often, think you, would the gay and thoughtless multitude assemble in social parties, if no other conversation were allowed but such as is in accordance with the law of God?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1845 paragraph 531 520 Lecture XII. Having a Good Conscience ...

II. What is implied in having a good conscience.

1. That it be enlightened. Some persons hold such exalted or rather such perverse views of the sufficiency of human reason that they see no need of any divinely revealed light. Another class speak of conscience as being itself the light of God in the soul, and they deem this of itself amply sufficient for the perfect guidance of the human heart and life. Now, in opposition to both of these views, it is quite plain that we need the aid of a written revelation, and the yet additional aid of the Spirit of God to give its revealed truth efficiency upon the heart.

Especially is it essential to a good conscience, that there should be in the mind a well-developed idea of the spirit of the law of God. If the mind errs on this point, or has defective views, there must of course be what is called an evil conscience. For example, suppose a man has no idea of the rule of duty, except as it respects outward conduct; he does not regard it as reaching the heart at all; then his conscience is not enlightened, and cannot be a good conscience. Its decisions must fail in a most fundamental point. It is only when the true idea of the law as a rule of duty is well developed, that a man can have a good conscience.

2. It is implied in a good conscience that it be quick and tender. There may be a well developed idea of law, and this one important condition of a good conscience may be present, and yet the mind may be so sluggish and apathetic in respect to its moral relations that the conscience becomes almost perfectly inefficient. There may be various moral states which the mind does not notice at all. For example, it may not notice indulgence of appetite; feelings of envy; violations of the law of love in business transactions. Now it is essential to a good conscience that it be quick to notice any and every departure from the law of love; in fact, it should notice instantaneously all our moral acts and states of mind. It should be in an active state of attention, incessantly comparing the mind's states and acts with the rule of duty--always on the alert to know whether every thing we say, do, or even think is pleasing to God.

A child may understand its parent's requirements well, and yet may be so negligent as not only to fail to do the things required, but he may fail even to notice his own negligence, and may not be really conscious that he is neglecting a most important filial duty. Now this, as every one must see, is a deplorable defective state of the moral faculties. The conscience of such a child is utterly wrong.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1845 paragraph 532 520 Lecture XII. Having a Good Conscience ...

The same defects of conscience are often exceedingly apparent in our relations to God. The mind may understand the law of God, and yet may be so little disposed to attend to its own moral states and compare them with that law, that the man might as well have no conscience at all. In such a state the reason performs none of the functions that belong properly to the conscience.

3. It is essential to a good conscience that it be persevering. I may perhaps illustrate what I mean under this head by alluding to the will. Some individuals have a great will; a will so resolute and persevering that they never give up anything they undertake. If their will is set upon any object, they never relinquish it till it is gained.

There is something extremely analogous to this in the conscience of some men. Their conscience will never rest till its demands are yielded. It persists in its work until it gains the ascendancy, and the desired change is effected.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1846 paragraph 75 65 Lecture II. The Rule by Which the Guilt of Sin is Estimated ...

Before leaving this topic, let me remark that very probably, no two creatures in the moral universe may have precisely the same degree of intelligence respecting the value of the end they ought to choose; yet shall moral obligation rest upon all these diverse degrees of knowledge, proportioned evermore in degree to the measure of this knowledge which any mind possesses. God alone has infinite and changeless knowledge on this point.

II. I come now to speak of the rule by which the guilt of refusing to will or intend according to the law of God must be measured.

1. Negatively, guilt is not to be measured by the fact that God who commands is an infinite being. The measure of guilt has sometimes been made to turn on this fact, and has been accounted infinite because God whose commands it violates is infinite. But this doctrine is inadmissible. It lies fatally open to this objection, that by it all sin is made to be equally guilty, because all sin is equally committed against an infinite being. But both the Bible and every man's intuitive reason proclaim that all sins are not equally guilty. Hence the measure or rule of their guilt cannot be in the fact of their commission against an infinite being.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1846 paragraph 151 133 Lecture III. On Divine Manifestations ...

Full obedience, we have seen, is the condition of God's favor; but we have still to look for the conditions of this obedience itself. How shall we obey? Under what influence and motives and efforts may we hope to yield this obedience?

1. Faith. It has often struck my mind forcibly in reading the seventh and eighth chapters of Romans that the Apostle is here illustrating the impossibility of obeying the law of God without faith in Christ; not the impossibility of obeying it at all; but of obeying it under legal motives. Hence he shows that the law when it comes in contact with a depraved heart, the cross not being present, only provokes resistance and stirs up the depths of the heart's depravity. And the utmost that can be effected is to elicit ineffectual struggles between the reason and conscience on the one hand, and imperious lusts on the other. But faith coming in gives the victory.

Such is manifestly the strain of his illustration in these chapters.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1846 paragraph 668 633 Lecture X. The Blessedness of Enduring Temptation ...

Now such persons need to consider that holiness is not some substance created in us, but is a voluntary conformity of heart and life to the law of God and to the laws of our own nature. It implies that we willingly and cheerfully consecrate ourselves to the very ends demanded in the law of God. This and nothing else but this, is true holiness.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1847 paragraph 84 10 Lectures I. & II.All Things for Good to Those that Love God-- and All Events Ruinous to the Sinner- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

Far otherwise with you, sinner. In fact, you never know what it is to be benefited by any conduct, good or bad, of your fellow-beings. All works only evil to you. Indeed, every thing works out evil and only evil to you. The law of God--the gospel of God--the smiles of providence or its frowns; all possible conduct of your fellow-men and all possible varieties in the course of the Lord towards you--rain or sunshine--storm or calm--prosperity or adversity--each and all serve only the one dreadful end with you--that of augmenting your guilt, and of course your final doom of misery.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 22 13 Lecture I. Refuges of Lies ...

This also is a selfish religion, but of a different form from the preceding, and it manifests itself in a different way. The man of this kind of religion is governed by his sensibility, or in other words, by his feelings, and not by the law of God as revealed to his intelligence. He thinks himself very religious because he has so much feeling. He supposes himself to be very sincere, for he is conscious of having much feeling and many strong desires, and of being exercised by these feelings and desires. And as he assumes this to be religion, he infers that he has real religion, and has it in an unusual degree.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 35 13 Lecture I. Refuges of Lies ...

Now there is embodied here one of the most common forms of delusion--one of the most common and also the most perfectly fatal. It overlooks the fact that unless the mind be consecrated to God, there can be no real honesty at all; that unless a man treat his fellow men right for God, in view of the claims of God, and as obedience to God, it is no right doing at all. For how does God require you to treat your brother man? Does He ask only that you would not cheat him in business? Does God ask nothing more than this? Does not the law of God require that you should love your neighbor as yourself? And is it not also implied that you are to love him as one of God's created children, and in the spirit as to yourself of a dutiful and affectionate son towards God? Your love to him must therefore be that of a dutiful brother in the great family of God--a brother whom God, your Father, requires you to love as yourself.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 156 138 Lecture III. The Excuses of Sinners Condemn God ...

But you take the ground that no man can obey the law of God. As the Presbyterian Confession of Faith has it, "No man is able, either by himself, or by any grace received in this life, perfectly to keep the commandments of God; but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed." Observe, this affirms not only that no man is naturally able to keep God's commands, but also that no man is able to do it "by any grace received in this life;" thus making this declaration a libel on the gospel, as well as a palpable misrepresentation of the law, of its Author, and of man's relations to both. It is only moderate language to call this assertion from the Confession of Faith a libel. If there is a lie, either in hell or out of hell, this is a lie, or God is an infinite tyrant. If reason be allowed to speak at all, it is impossible for her to say less or otherwise than thus. And has not God constituted the reason of man for the very purpose of taking cognizance of the rectitude of all his ways?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 166 138 Lecture III. The Excuses of Sinners Condemn God ...

But the dogma is an utter absurdity. For, pray, what is sin? God answers--"transgression of law." And now you hold that your nature is itself a breach of the law of God--nay, that it has always been a breach of God's law, from Adam to the day of your birth; you hold that the current of this sin came down in the veins and blood of your race--and who made it so? Who created the veins and blood of man? From whose hand sprang this physical constitution and this mental constitution? Was man his own creator? Did sin do a part of the work in creating your physical and your mental constitution? Do you believe any such thing? No; you ascribe your nature and its original faculties to God, and upon Him, therefore, you charge the guilty authorship of your "sinful nature."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 173 138 Lecture III. The Excuses of Sinners Condemn God ...

But you say--"I can't get out of my circumstances." I reply, you can;--you can get out of the wickedness of them; for if it is necessary in order to serve God, you can change them; and if not, you can repent and serve God in them.

7. The sinner's next excuse is that his temperament is peculiar. "Oh," he says, "I am very nervous;" or "my temperament is very sluggish; I seem to have no sensibility." Now what does God require? Does He require of you another or a different sensibility from your own? Or does He require only that you should use what you have according to the law of love?

But such is the style of a multitude of excuses. One has too little excitement; another, too much; so neither can possibly repent and serve God! A woman came to me, and pleaded that she was naturally too excitable, and dared not trust herself; and therefore could not repent. Another has the opposite trouble--too sluggish--scarce ever sheds a tear--and therefore could make nothing out of religion if he should try. But does God require you to shed more tears than you are naturally able to shed? Or does He only require that you should serve Him? Certainly this is all. Serve Him with the very powers He has given you. Let your nerves be ever so excitable, come and lay those quivering sensibilities over into the hands of God--pour out that sensibility into the heart of God! This is all that He requires. I know how to sympathize with that woman, for I know much about a burning sensibility; but does God require feeling and excitement? Or only a perfect consecration of all our powers to Himself?

8. But, says another, my health is so poor that I can't go to meeting, and therefore can't be religious.

Well, what does God require? Does He require that you should go to all the meetings, by evening or by day, whether you have the requisite health for it or not? Infinitely far from it. If you are not able to go to meeting, yet you can give God your heart. If you can not go in bad weather, be assured that God is infinitely the most reasonable being that ever existed. He makes all due allowance for every circumstance. Does He not know all your weakness? Indeed He does. And do you suppose that He comes into your sick-room and denounces you for not being able to go to meeting, or for not attempting when unable, and for not doing all in your sickness that you might do in health? No, not He; but He comes into your sick-room as a Father. He comes to pour out the deepest compassions of His heart in pity and in love; and why should you not respond to his loving-kindness? He comes to you and says--"Give me your heart, my child." And now you reply--"I have no heart." Then He has nothing to ask of you--He thought you had; and thought, too, that He had done enough to draw your heart in love and gratitude to Himself. He asks--"What can you find in all my dealings with you that is grievous? If nothing, why do you bring forward pleas in excuse for sin that accuse and condemn God?"

9. Another excuse is in this form, "My heart is so hard, that I can not feel." This is very common, both among professors and non-professors. In reality it is only another form of the plea of inability. In fact, all the sinner's excuses amount only to this--"I am unable"--"I can't do what God requires." If the plea of a hard heart is any excuse at all, it must be on the ground of real inability.

But what is hardness of heart? Do you mean that you have so great apathy of the sensibility that you can not get up any emotion? Or, do you mean that you have no power to will or to act right? Now on this point, it should be considered that the emotions are altogether involuntary. They go and come according to circumstances, and therefore are never required by the law of God, and are not, properly speaking, either religion itself, or any part of it. Hence, if by a hard heart you mean a dull sensibility, you mean what has no concern with the subject. God asks you to yield your will, and consecrate your affections to Himself, and He asks this, whether you have any feeling or not.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 196 138 Lecture III. The Excuses of Sinners Condemn God ...

This excuse assumes that there is not grace enough provided and offered, to sustain the soul in a Christian life. The doctrine is, that it is irrational to expect that we can, by any grace received in this life, perfectly obey the law of God. There is not grace and help enough afforded by God! And this is taught as BIBLE THEOLOGY! Away with such teaching to the nether pit whence it came!

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1851 paragraph 117 104 Lecture III. Jesus Christ Doing Good ...

(2.) The subjective reasons or motives are no other than the internal reasons -- the grounds of benevolent action as they existed in the mind of Jesus Christ.
 

2. Negatively, the reason why He went about doing good was not His salvation. It was in His case no part of His object to secure or even use the means to secure the salvation of His own soul. There is no intimation that this was any part of His object.

Nor was He forced into this labor by a sense of duty. He did not move under the goading of conscience, pressing Him on in an up-hill business with the perpetual appliance -- you must do this -- you must do all you can. Not so did He labor. He went forward not because commanded; not because He feared any threatening: -- not because some dreaded penalty hung in terror over his head.

3. It is no doubt true that Christ had respect to the fact that the law of His intelligence and the law of God also, required of Him benevolence . But mark;--it was not law merely that pressed Him up to this--not merely any external law;--I mean, external to His own mind and apart from the ruling purpose of His own will. The simple truth is, He had chosen benevolent action as the course of His life and as the law of His own voluntary existence. He determined to do this, and as I might say, He had voluntarily determined to love the doing of good to all beings, and thus had made this the governing law of His voluntary action.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1851 paragraph 310 284 Address to the Graduating Classes of Oberlin College.

Finally, show yourselves to be men of principle in these trying times when the question is gravely raised whether the law of God is above the law of man, whether human institutions and laws are to set aside the authority of God. Under these searching questions, where will you be found? Will you be so conservative as to turn recreant to every principle of right, and evade every question that calls you in the face of persecution and even of death, to establish the right and rebuke the wrong? My dear pupils, when Conventions are called to assert the right, to stand up for the oppressed--when in ecclesiastical Conventions or bodies your opinion shall be demanded, shall it, or shall it not be said of you that you are men of principle, that you are found on the right side, neither afraid nor ashamed to rebuke iniquity in high places or low places, in Church or in State? If there ever was a time since this nation existed when educated men, and especially ministers of the gospel were emphatically called upon to show themselves to be men of God, men of right principles, fearless, God-honoring men, this is the time. Yes, this is the time and these the circumstances to try men's souls; and in these days of trial, will you quail before the enemy? Will you abandon the right? Will you shuffle, and apologize for sin, yea, even for slavery, and the fugitive slave bill, for I cannot call it law? I trust you will not. If you do, surely you will show yourselves to be anything but pious, God-fearing men.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1852 paragraph 488 478 Lecture X. Christ Tempted, Suffering, and Able to Succor The Tempted ...

The law of God requires that the will of His subjects be given up supremely to the doing of His will. This is precisely what the law requires and what it expresses in the language -- "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy strength and with all thy mind."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1853 paragraph 223 215 Lecture V. God's Love for A Sinning World ...

The law of God must not be dishonoured by anything He shall do. It has been dishonoured by the disobedience of man; hence the more need that God should stand by it, to retrieve its honour. The utmost dishonor is done to law by disowning, disobeying, and despising it. All this, sinning man has done. Hence, this law being not only good but intrinsically necessary to the happiness of the governed, it becomes of all things most necessary that the law-giver should vindicate his law. He must by all means do it.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1853 paragraph 292 282 Lecture VI. Alive Without the Law, Slain Thereby ...

Here let us make a distinction which is somewhat important in reference to this subject. There is a natural consciousness; a moral consciousness, and also a spiritual consciousness. The natural is exercised upon things merely natural and worldly--external and not in regard to their moral relations. The moral relates to things of a moral nature, and when distinguished from spiritual, should refer to our relations to fellow-beings, while the term spiritual may be applied to our relations to God. An active spiritual consciousness keeps the mind awake to the presence of God, as naturally, we are conscious of the presence of each other. It keeps us alive to all that is embraced in our relations to God. Moral consciousness respects moral questions, yet, in the strict sense, only as they lie between ourselves and our fellow-beings. The difficulty with Paul was that his moral and spiritual eyes being closed, he entirely overlooked his own subjective state of mind, the very thing which God's law primarily regards.

II. I am now to speak of the consequences of being in this sense "alive without the law."

1. Paul was in a state of both moral and spiritual delusion. He supposed himself to be performing his duty to his fellow men, when really he was doing no such thing. He had only the idea of objective justice, justice viewed in its outward relations. If he did not cheat a man, it mattered in his view little or nothing how much he coveted his goods, or how utterly void his heart might be of true love to his neighbor. Consequently he never performed the duty which the law required of him, towards his fellow men.

The same was true of his spiritual relations to God. He regarded simply what the law required externally; went round and round with the routine of his outside duties, while his heart all this time was dead and cold, and as it showed itself subsequently, bitter as hell itself, towards the lovely and innocent Son of God.

2. Another consequence was a false hope. Supposing himself to be complying with the law of God, he expected to be saved as much as he expected anything whatever. Yet this expectation was altogether unfounded, for although he was very zealous yet he was also very bitter in his spirit, showing that his zeal sprang from any other source, rather than real benevolence. Indeed he showed that his spirit was bitter as the bitterness of the pit. How then can it be supposed that his hope of heaven was anything better than a delusion?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1854 paragraph 377 364 Lecture X. The Wages of Sin ...

All the objections I have ever heard amount only to this, that it is unjust. They may be expressed in somewhat various phraseology, but this is the only idea which they involve, of any moment at all.


(1.) It is claimed to be unjust because "life is so short."

How strangely men talk! Life so short, men have not time to sin enough to deserve eternal death! Do men forget that one sin incurs the penalty due for sinning? How many sins ought it to take to make one transgression of the law of God? Men often talk as if they supposed it must require a great many. As if a man must commit a great many murders before he has made up the crime of murder enough to fall under the sentence of the court! What! shall a man come before the court and plead that although he has broken the law to be sure, yet he has not lived long enough, and has not broken the law times enough to incur its penalty? What court on earth ever recognized such a plea as proving any other than the folly and guilt of him who made it?


(2.) It is also urged that "man is so small, so very insignificant a being that he cannot possibly commit an infinite sin." What does this objection mean? Does it mean that sin is an act of creation, and to be measured therefore by the magnitude of that something which it creates? This would be an exceedingly wild idea of the nature of sin. Does the objection mean that man cannot violate an obligation of infinite strength? Then his meaning is simply false, as every body must know. Does he imply that the guilt of sin is not to be measured by the obligation violated? Then he knows not what he says, or wickedly denies known truth. What! man so little that he cannot commit much sin! Is this the way we reason in analogous cases? Suppose your child disobeys you. He is very much smaller than you are! But do you therefore exonerate him from blame? Is this a reason which nullifies his guilt? Can no sin be committed by inferiors against their superior? Have sensible men always been mistaken in supposing that the younger and smaller are sometimes under obligations to obey the older and the greater? Suppose you smite down the magistrate; suppose you insult, or attempt to assassinate the king; is this a very small crime almost too excusable to be deemed a crime at all, because forsooth, you are in a lower position and he in a higher? You say, "I am so little, so very insignificant! How can I deserve so great a punishment?" Do you reason so in any other case except your own sins against God? Never.
 
(3.) Again, some men say, "Sin is not an infinite evil." This language is ambiguous. Does it mean that sin would not work infinite mischief if suffered to run on indefinitely? This is false, for if only one soul were ruined by it, the mischief accruing from it would be infinite. Does it mean that sin is not an infinite evil, as seen in its present results and relations? Suppose this admitted; it proves nothing to our purpose, for it may be true that the sum total of evil results from each single sin will not all be brought out in any duration less than eternity. How then can you measure the evil of sin by what you see to day?

But there are still other considerations to show that the penalty of the law must be infinite. Sin is an infinite natural evil. It is so in this sense, that there are no bounds to the natural evil it would introduce if not governmentally restrained.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1854 paragraph 382 364 Lecture X. The Wages of Sin ...

1. We hear a great many cavils against future punishment. At these we should not so much wonder, but for the fact that the gospel assumes this truth, and then proposes a remedy. One would naturally suppose the mind would shrink from those fearful conclusions to which it is pressed when the relations of mere laws are contemplated; but when the gospel interposes to save, then it becomes passing strange that men should admit the reality of the gospel, and yet reject the law and its penalties. They talk of grace; but what do they mean by grace? When men deny the fact of sin, there is no room and no occasion for grace in the gospel. Admitting nominally the fact of sin, but virtually denying its guilt, grace is only a name. Repudiating the sanctions of the law of God and laboring to disprove their reality, what right have men to claim that they respect the gospel? They make it only a farce--or at least a system of amends for unreasonably severe legislation under the legal economy. Let not men who so traduce the law assume that they honour God by applauding his gospel!

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1855 paragraph 224 200 Lecture VI. Conscience and The Bible in Harmony ...

There never was a Catholic who had been through all their ceremonies, and afterwards, being converted to faith in Christ alone, experienced the deep peace of the gospel, who did not see the wide difference between his experience as a papist and his experience as a gospel believer. His conscience so completely accepts his faith in the latter case, and gives him such deep, assured peace;--while in the former case there could be nothing of this sort.

12. The Bible and conscience agree in affirming the doctrine of endless punishment. Conscience could teach nothing else. At what period in the lapse of future ages of suffering would conscience say, "He has suffered enough. The law of God is satisfied; his desert of punishment for sin is now exhausted, and he deserves no more"? Those who know anything about the decisions of conscience on this point, know very well that it can conceive of no limitations of ill-desert for sin. It can see no end to the punishment which sin deserves. It can conceive of the man who has once thus sinned, as being nothing else but a sinner before God, since the fact of his having sinned can never cease to be a fact. If you have been a thief, that fact will always be true, and in that sense you must always be a thief in the eye of law. You cannot make it otherwise. Your suffering can make no sort of satisfaction to an offended law. Conscience will see more and more guilt in your course of sin, and your sense of guilt must increase to all eternity. You can never reach the point where conscience will say--"this suffering is enough; this sinner ought to suffer no longer." The Bible teaches the same.

Yet each agree in teaching that God can forgive the penitent through faith in Christ, but can extend forgiveness to no sinner on any other ground.

REMARKS.

 

 


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 1858 paragraph 301 284 Lectures VIII. - X. The Blessedness Of The Merciful- No. 1 -- Blessedness Of The Pure In Heart- No. 2 -- Blessed Are The Persecuted- No. 3 ...

2. Pardon under any government sets aside the legal disabilities which the offence created. But in our private capacity, it is only a loving spirit and cheerful manifestations of favor, good-will. Suppose you have been wronged. What does mercy in your case then imply? That you try to reform the offender; and try to save him from the penalty of the law of God under which he must sink to hell unless he repents. Persistent efforts to do him good comprise the true idea. This is our duty to personal enemies. So Christ teaches us to bless those who curse us, to do good to them that do ill to us. To do this, and to persevere in loving efforts to save them, is mercy.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1858 paragraph 302 284 Lectures VIII. - X. The Blessedness Of The Merciful- No. 1 -- Blessedness Of The Pure In Heart- No. 2 -- Blessed Are The Persecuted- No. 3 ...

3. Our Lord urges on His people the exercise of mercy in many forms and with wonderful energy and fulness. "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say unto you that ye resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." He insists that we shall not avenge ourselves, or retaliate, but go the full length of mercy.

In these beatitudes, Christ enjoined those forms of virtue which are among the most difficult for depraved human nature. If we compare these with other forms of what we call virtue, we shall see the force of this remark. For example, we regard hatred of sin, a sense of justice and an approval of retribution, as forms of virtue. But they are almost natural, even to depraved hearts. It is natural to hate sin -- all but our own, and perhaps those; certainly we cannot approve them. Men never can love sin for its own sake. They love it for the good, though transient, which they hope to realize from it. Who can have any complacency in the character of the devil? No man can approve of real malignity. This is the reason why you see outbreaks of violence and summary proceedings under lynch law. A striking example was afforded a few years since in a case where a steamboat captain violated a young lady entrusted to his care. When his trial came on at Buffalo, his defence seemed determined to make very light of his crime, and even the magistrate was thought to connive at this policy; whereupon public indignation was so aroused that the people threatened to tear down his office, and did compel him to administer justice in the case. That sort of crime, men could scarcely be found who would tolerate. The virtue implied in such indignation against sin, is comparatively easy. But these virtues, commended in Matthew 5, are real and difficult. Perhaps they are the only sure tests of a regenerate heart. If these are absent, the evidence must be deficient.

4. There is a species of compassion for the offender which apologizes for sin, looking after the protection of the criminal from punishment, and not after the protection of society from outrage. It cares much to screen the guilty, little to promote the interests of peace and purity. Such a spirit we often see among Universalists. All their sympathies are wont to go with the sinner. They throw their influence in the way of the administration of justice. Where Universalism prevails, it often happens that you cannot get a jury to convict for a capital crime. Manifestly, this spirit is not with, but against, the law of God. It is easy and natural enough for those who mean and hope to escape from all punishment themselves, to take sides with criminals.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1858 paragraph 318 284 Lectures VIII. - X. The Blessedness Of The Merciful- No. 1 -- Blessedness Of The Pure In Heart- No. 2 -- Blessed Are The Persecuted- No. 3 ...

11. The gospel is an illustration of the spirit of the law, for the law requires the exercise of mercy because it requires perfect benevolence, and this of course involves mercy. In His death for sinners, Christ gave us the true meaning of the law of God in its spirituality.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1859 paragraph 101 90 Lecture III. On Self-Denial ...

Hence we are thrown into a state of warfare. Constant appeals are made to us to arouse our propensities to indulgence; and over against these, constant appeals are made by the law of God and the voice of our reason, urging us to deny ourselves and find our highest good in obeying God. God and reason require us to withstand the claims of appetite sternly and firmly. Note here that God does not require this withstanding, without vouchsafing His aid in the conflict. It is remarkable how the resolute opposition of any appetite, in the name of Christ and under the demands of conscience will readily overcome it. Cases often occur in which the most clamorous and despotic of these artificial appetites are ruled down by the will, under the demands of conscience and with the help of God. At once they lie, all subdued, and the mind remains in sweet peace.

3. Here let us consider more attentively that we are conscious of having a spiritual and moral nature as well as a physical. We have a conscience, and we have affections correlated to God, as truly as we have affections correlated to earthly things. There is a beauty in holiness, and there are things correlated to our spiritual tastes as truly as to our physical. Under proper care and effort, our religious nature may be developed towards God, even as our physical nature is towards earthly objects. We are social beings in our earthly relations and not less so in our spiritual nature. We are social spiritually as well as physically, though we may not be aware of it, because our spiritual sociality may have been utterly uncultivated and undeveloped. But we really need divine communion with God and social fellowship with our Infinite Maker. Prior to regeneration this moral capacity of ours is a waste. All men have a conscience and may be aware of it, but they have no spiritual affections towards God, and hence they assume that religion must be a very dry thing. They cannot see how they can enjoy God's presence and prayer. They are all awake to earthly fellowship and friendship, but dead to fellowship and friendship with God. Their love in the form of affection has been drawn out towards man but not towards God. They seem not aware that they have a nature capable of being developed in loving affections towards their divine Father. Hence they do not see how they can ever enjoy religion and religious duties. The coldness of death comes over their souls when they think of it.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1859 paragraph 142 119 Lecture IV. The Way That Seems Right, But Ends In Death ...

3. So selfish men go to the house of God to please themselves and not to please God. They have no heart in it. This seems to them to be right, but it seems so, only because they are selfish, and do not deeply consider the matter. They do not ask themselves -- Would I be pleased with such service from my wife or from my children? Would I be satisfied if my servants thought only of the outward appearance and had no proper respect for my feelings and wishes?

This kind of service is all wrong, however right it may seem. It does not answer the demands of the law of God. This law demands the homage of the heart, and can accept of nothing less. How then can it accept that which is wholly selfish?

VI. This sort of obedience is not the way to heaven.

1. It does not make the heart mellow, humble, holy; indeed it has no such influence at all, but rather the opposite. It only makes the heart vain, proud, hard and yet more selfish.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1860 paragraph 60 9 Lectures I. & II.On Loving God- No. 1 -- On Love To Our Neighbor- No. 2 ...


I. The love required toward our neighbor is certainly not complacency in his character.

1. Complacency is approbation and delight in character; but our Lord makes no distinction between the good and the bad, and therefore He requires us to love them all. But it cannot be that He requires us to approve and delight in the character of bad men; and hence we must conclude that the love of complacency is not in His mind, and is not the thing He requires. To have complacency in the character of wicked men as wicked, is to be as bad as they. This no reasonable man can suppose to be what the Savior requires, or what He interprets the law of God to require.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1860 paragraph 66 9 Lectures I. & II.On Loving God- No. 1 -- On Love To Our Neighbor- No. 2 ...

2. There can be no doubt that the law of God demands good-will towards all mankind, always, under all circumstances; but there are circumstances which forbid such modes of expressing it as would be proper at other times. A criminal, suffering the just sentence of human law, must not have from us the same acts of good-will as would be fitting after his sentence is served out, or if he were not under sentence at all. The relation which sinners come to sustain towards God under the sentence of His law is such as forbids Him to bless them. It is not that He has ceased to love them in the sense of a deep, intense interest in their happiness; but He loves all the rest of His intelligent creatures, no less, and their interests demand of Him that He should execute His righteous law against the wicked. Hence He cannot give them even so much good as a cup of cold water.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1860 paragraph 111 91 Lectures III. & IV.Spiritual Delusion- No. 1 -- On Leaving One's First Love- No. 2 -- (This 2-part sermon was listed in the Table of Contents of the "Oberlin Evangelist" as "Spiritual Declension") ...

Or you may study the devotion of the father and the mother to their child. They live their life over in the little one. How many are living and toiling all their lives to get something for their children.

2. The essential element of this love to Christ is voluntary. It implies voluntary consecration, giving one's self up to the promotion of the highest good of the person loved. This good-will carries with it the affections. Such is the relation of the will to the sensibility that when the will is fixed, the sensibilities are borne along in harmony with it.

Voluntary love is in this respect entirely different from natural affection. In voluntary good-willing, the will acts first, takes the lead, and carries the sensibility after it. The affections and sensibilities do not lead the will, but follow it.

3. But in natural affection, this order is reversed. The natural impulses go forward and take the lead. In the conjugal relation, the taste is gratified and leads on to the devotion of the will. Hence this devotion is not obedience to the law of God -- that is, it may exist without any thought of God's law. It is often controlled by the tastes and the sensibilities only.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 98 82 Lecture II. Christ Our Advocate ...

He is employed to plead the cause of sinners, not at the bar of justice; not to defend them against the charge of sin, because the question of their guilt is already settled. The Bible represents them as condemned already; and such is the fact, as every sinner knows. Every sinner in the world knows that he has sinned, and that consequently he must be condemned by the law of God. This office, then, is exercised by Christ in respect to sinners; not at the bar of justice, but at the throne of grace, at the footstool of sovereign mercy. He is employed, not to prevent the conviction of the sinner, but to prevent his execution; not to prevent his being condemned, but being already condemned, to prevent his being damned.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 107 82 Lecture II. Christ Our Advocate ...

Now observe: Christ is the compassionate friend of sinners, a friend in the best and truest sense. He does not sympathize with your sins, but his heart is set upon saving you from your sins. I said he must be the compassionate friend of sinners; and his compassion must be stronger than death, or he will never meet the necessities of the case.

5. Another qualification must be, that he is able sufficiently to honor the law, which sinners by their transgression have dishonored. He seeks to avoid the execution of the dishonored law of God. The law having been dishonored by sin in the highest degree, must either be honored by its execution on the criminal, or the law-giver must in some other way bear testimony in favor of the law, before he can justly dispense with the execution of its penalty. The law is not to be repealed; the law must not be dishonored. It is the law of God's nature, the unalterable law of his government, the eternal law of heaven, the law for the government of moral agents in all worlds, and in all time, and to all eternity. Sinners have borne their most emphatic testimony against it, by pouring contempt upon it in utterly refusing to obey it. Now sin must not be treated lightly; this law must be honored.

God may pour a flash of glory over it by executing its penalty upon the whole race that have despised it. This would be the solemn testimony of God to sustain its authority and vindicate its claims. If our advocate appears before God to ask for the remission of sin, that the penalty of this law may be set aside and not executed, the question immediately arises, But how shall the dishonor of this law be avoided? What shall compensate for the reckless and blasphemous contempt with which this law has been treated? How shall sin be forgiven without apparently making light of it?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 285 261 Lectures V. - VII. Hardness Of Heart- No. 1 -- Harden Not Your Heart- No. 2 -- Tender-Heartedness- No. 3 ...

But the law of God is positive. His duty was to love his neighbor as himself; to make all possible effort to save the soul of his neighbor; to warn, reprove, persuade, and use all possible moral influence to arouse his neighbor to secure the salvation of his soul. All this he has neglected, and perhaps has neglected many around him that are already dead, and have gone down to hell; and yet he does not feel that he has totally neglected his duty. His duty was to love his neighbor positively; to do his neighbor all the good he could; and especially, if possible, to save his soul. All that he can truly say, is, that he has abstained from directly and positively injuring his neighbor by his every-day acts; but to say that he has done his duty to his neighbor is absurd. He has performed no duty to his neighbor. His duty was to love, and to express this love in every way. This he has totally neglected; hence he has performed no duty to his neighbor, and no duty to God. But his heart is so hard that all this he does not feel, this he does not realize; and thus he is acting under a gross delusion, ruinous and damning, because his heart is so hard.

9. The same is true of directly neglecting God. When the heart is hard one of its effects and manifestations will be, God will be neglected; prayer will be neglected; praise will be neglected; obedience will be neglected; love will be withheld; confidence will be withheld; gratitude will be withheld; obedience from the heart will be withheld; and nothing will be present but cold formality and religious affectation, at the most. And yet this neglect will not be keenly felt as a sin against God; it will not be realized as deserving damnation. Such a soul is so hardened toward God that it cares not for His rights, or for His well-being in any respect. It can see Him dishonored without feeling it; it can hear His name even blasphemed without just and holy indignation; it can see His rights invaded, His authority spurned, His feelings outraged, His law trampled on and despised, and yet not feel it. The feelings are locked up as cold and dead as an Arctic ocean.

In short, when the heart is hard, there will be a general unfeelingness toward God. The thought of God does not melt the sensibility. Talk to such a soul of the justice of God, His abhorrence of sin, His righteous indignation, and you will hardly excite its fears. It girds itself, and scorns to be made afraid. But, turn the subject over, and represent His loving-kindness, slowness to anger, and readiness to forgive, His vast compassion, and spread out before such a soul all the tenderness there is in God's heart, and you will not arouse the feelings. Such a soul will still complain, "I do not feel, I know it- it is all true; but I cannot feel it."

10. Another effect and manifestation of hardness of heart is uncharitableness. Where the will is dishonestly committed against the claims of God, the mind is uncharitable in the sense of lacking confidence in God, and in everybody else.

You will almost always observe when the heart is hard that there is a censorious spirit, a disposition to find fault, to judge God and man censoriously. Such a mind can see little that is good in God or anybody else; it naturally dwells upon the dark side; is keen to discern the faults, real or supposed, of men; and prone to censure in God whatever it cannot understand.

11. Another manifestation of hardness of heart is a self-justifying spirit. If accused of wrong, such a mind will immediately fall to excuse-making. If it cannot deny the fact charged, it will immediately seek either wholly to justify, or to palliate and extenuate the guilt. If it has a controversy with another, it is blind to but one side of the question. And you will observe if two persons, both of whose hearts are hard, have a controversy, you cannot get them to see alike. Each will justify himself and condemn the other; and try as you may, while their hearts are hard, each will think the other most in fault. Neither can see that he is the guilty party; and consequently the controversy will be perpetuated while their hearts are hard. Soften their hearts, and they will soon come together.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 833 803 Lectures XIV. & XV.Holding The Truth in Unrighteousness- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

What is sanctification but full obedience to God? And can you make God believe that you are a sincere Christian, while you are careless about rendering to him, in all things, a full obedience?

5. The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all whose religion is of the negative rather than of the positive kind.

The law of God is positive. It requires supreme love to God and equal love to man. It requires action toward God and man, intense action, energetic devotion to God and man. Now there are many who seem to suppose that this is the doing nothing bad, as they say.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 870 803 Lectures XIV. & XV.Holding The Truth in Unrighteousness- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

But again, you have neglected your whole duty to man as well as to God. The law of God and the law of your own conscience, requires you to love your neighbor as yourself; to regard and treat his interests as your own; to be careful of his reputation as of your own, of his feelings as of your own, of his interests as of your own. Now, have you done this? You satisfy yourself by saying you have not wronged him.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 887 803 Lectures XIV. & XV.Holding The Truth in Unrighteousness- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

5. How little stress is laid upon the neglect of duty as a sin. Now it should always be remembered that the law of God is positive. God is never satisfied with a man's doing nothing; He requires him to act, and that with all his heart, and soul, and mind, and strength. And now when God is totally neglected, when men are ungodly and unrighteous, neglecting their duty both to God and man, how strange it is that this neglect should be so little regarded as a great and abominable sin against God, and as indeed the essence of all sin.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 941 908 Lecture XVI. Any One Form of Sin Persisted In Is Fatal To The Soul ...

Now there are many that entirely overlook the real nature of sin. The law of God is positive. It commands us to consecrate all our powers to His service and glory; to love Him with all our heart and our neighbor as ourself. Now to neglect to do this is sin; it is positive transgression; it is an omission which always involves a refusal to do what God requires us to do. In other words, sin is the neglect to fulfill our obligations. If one neglects to pay you what he owes you, do you not call that sin, especially if the neglect involved necessarily the refusal to pay when he has the means of payment?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1862 paragraph 15 9 Lectures I. & II.Great Peace- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

II. What is it to love the law of God?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1862 paragraph 20 9 Lectures I. & II.Great Peace- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

3. The term law here manifestly includes both precept and penalty; every precept revealing God's will as to our duty, and also the penalty of violating it. Let no one think that to love the precept, and yet reject the penalty as unjust and cruel, is loving the law of God in the sense here intended.

II. The next enquiry is what is it to love the law of God?

1. I answer, It is more than approbation. The conscience of every moral agent, whether he be holy or sinful, approves the law of God. The wickedest of men are sometimes very conscious of strongly approving the great law of right, that is, the revealed will of God, as the rule of universal duty. Approbation belongs to the conscience. It is an intellectual state, and does not imply virtue or true religion. I think I can say myself that I as thoroughly approved the law of God before I was converted as after, so far as my conscience is concerned. This is no doubt a common experience of unconverted men.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1862 paragraph 21 9 Lectures I. & II.Great Peace- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

2. To love the law of God is more than admiration of it. Admiration is more than an intellectual state; it is the decided approval of the conscience, together with a corresponding state of the sensibility. It includes a real feeling.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1862 paragraph 22 9 Lectures I. & II.Great Peace- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

3. To love the law of God is more than delight in it. In Rom. 7, Paul, representing a legal experience, says -- "I delight in the law of God after the inner man." The state of mind here expressed doubtless includes approbation, admiration, and a very conscious delight or pleasure in the purity and moral beauty of God's law. Delight, by itself, is commonly intended to express a feeling of pleasure or satisfaction in a thing. It does not by any means always imply that this delight has the sympathy of the will -- the executive faculty of the soul. I think it is a common experience for persons to be pleased and very much affected in view of moral beauty, and of moral fitness and rightness in any thing. I know it was so with me before I was converted. I recollect that at one time, I wept with delight in view of an act of great moral beauty. I was conscious at the time, that I should not myself have done the thing that affected and delighted me so much. I seemed to be aware at the time, that such acts were not like me, and that my heart would not prompt me to them. Many persons seem to think that if they have a feeling of pleasure in hearing a sermon, or in reading of a good and noble act, or in the contemplation of a godly character, that this is evidence that they love goodness in the sense in which this text speaks of loving God's law. But this is a hasty conclusion. The prophet Isaiah represents the people of Israel as "seeking God daily," and delighting to know his ways as a nation that did righteousness; he even said "they take delight in approaching to God;" when in fact they were in a very apostate and rebellious state. The Lord said to Ezekiel -- "They come before thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a very pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument; for they hear thy words, but they do them not." Indeed I believe it is a common experience for the sensibility to sympathize, to a considerable extent, with the decisions of the conscience, and to take an intense feeling of pleasure in view of the purity of Christ's life, the excellence of his teachings, the spiritual beauty of the law of God, and the spiritual beauty of holy character in general. When the soul does not feel particularly pressed with a sense of personal obligation, it may and often does, feel a sense of satisfaction and delight in the contemplation of the law of God.

But let no one think that this feeling is true religion. It may and must exist where true religion is; but it may exist where true religion is not.

4. To love the law of God in the sense of the text, is to embrace it as the rule of our own lives. It is a cordial acceptance of it by the will, a cordial submission to its requirements, a cordial yielding of one's self to be governed by this universal and beautiful rule of duty. There is certainly in human experience a complacency of conscience, also a complacency of the sensibility, and a complacency of the will. We are all at times conscious of this distinction.

Complacency of the conscience is a purely intellectual state, and has no moral character. It is simply the intense approval, by the conscience, of that which is right.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1862 paragraph 23 9 Lectures I. & II.Great Peace- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

Complacency of the will is in itself moral rightness. It is the will cordially and intensely unifying itself with the law of right. It seems to me that people often misconceive what choice really is, and think of it as a mere dry decision, involving no fervor, no cordiality, nothing but a cold dry decision. Whereas the complacency of the will or choice is a deep preference. It involves an earnest cordiality, and intense embracing, a warm, ardent sympathizing with that which is right; for these words -- embracing, cordiality, sympathy, may be applied to the will as well as to the sensibility or to the intellect.

5. To love the law of God in the sense of this text, involves confidence in the Law-Giver, and sympathy with his views, aim, and state of mind. It is the union of our will with God's will, as expressed in his law, and requirements. It involves the devotion to God, which the law requires. It is nothing else indeed, but that love of God and man, which the law in its spirit requires. It is that state of mind which truly prays, "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." It is a state which accepts and conforms itself to the whole will of God, so far as that is known. It does this by a most cordial yielding and embracing; with a cordiality that really implies true enjoyment in doing and suffering the whole will of God.

III. The next enquiry is: What is the peace here spoken of?

1. It is not apathy of the soul -- is not a state of listlessness -- a lack of all interest in God or in divine things. Sometimes apathy that results from a seared conscience, is mistaken for peace.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1862 paragraph 29 9 Lectures I. & II.Great Peace- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

8. I said it is the opposite of strife. In this state of mind, all struggling against God, in any respect, has ceased, and the mind instead of struggling against God, cleaves to him with an intense cleaving of cordiality and affection. Instead of resisting his requirements, instead of any reluctance in obeying them, there is a cordiality, an embracing, a loving of his commandments, and a real satisfaction with them and in obeying them that distils [sic.] perpetual joy upon the soul, and it feels that in obedience and in this consciousness of cordial acquiescence in the whole will of God, there is a real life. It is a state of intense and loving quiet, and repose in God.

IV. The text asserts two facts.

1. First, that all who love the law of God have great peace. Now that this is a fact is evident.
 

(1.) From what has been already said. If they love the law of God, they certainly have peace within themselves. Their own powers all act harmoniously; the conscience, the will, and the sensibility, are all as one. They experience therefore, no internal friction, no jar; conscience does not condemn them. The will resists neither the dictates of conscience, nor the authority of God; the sensibility is drawn into sympathy with both the conscience and the will. Hence there is no inward warfare. There may be a struggle against temptation, but there is no struggle against conscience by the will, and no condemnation of the will by the conscience. Hence if there is pain or any kind of struggle by the sensibility, it is not properly a conflict with self. The man is at peace with himself while he loves the law of God. So long as he is conscious of loving the law of God, in the sense explained, he does not condemn his present state of mind, that is, he has no sense of remorse or self-condemnation in view of his present state. Hence thus far he has peace and must have.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1862 paragraph 30 9 Lectures I. & II.Great Peace- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

(2.) While he thus loves the law of God, God must be at peace with him, that is, with his present state of mind. This state of mind which I have described as constituting this love to the law of God, is really obedience to this law. It complies with all present known obligation, both outward and inward. With this state of mind, while it lasts, God must be at peace. While we have this love, there can be no friction between God's Spirit and our souls. Remember, we accept God's whole will, so far as known; therefore between us and God, there is a state of profound, present peace. The will has ceased to reject his commands. It cordially accepts them all.

It cordially accepts the will of God as revealed in providence. Therefore the peace of the soul in this state is great. It is not only peace, but great peace; profound, deep, flowing, conscious peace.

(3.) To one in this state of mind, God reveals a sense of pardon. Indeed the very peace itself involves a sense of being accepted by God, else a sense of controversy will still continue. Although we had no controversy with God, still if He really had a controversy with us, we could not have peace. There would be conscious condemnation. We should realize that God is displeased with us, even though we are pleased with him, unless he reveals it to us that he is pacified and propitiated, and does not frown but smiles upon our soul. It is a curious fact that when the love of God's law possesses the soul, we are pardoned before we are aware of it, and the sense of peace filling the soul gives us the mind of God in relation to us, and suggests to us the fact of pardon and acceptance. I think that in every marked case of conversion, thoughtful, self-reflecting minds observe this -- they have a sense of God's being no longer angry or displeased with them. Their former sense of remorse, their struggle and agony, their fearful forebodings, are gone; and in their place is a state of mind that spontaneously cries -- My Father, my reconciled God and Father! I know thou are reconciled; I know thou dost forgive me; I know thy sweet smile rests on my soul, for all is great peace within.

Oftentimes this sense of acceptance comes in connection with some passage of Scripture, which suggests that God has accepted or does accept us; but in every case, this sense of acceptance involved in this great peace is no doubt the inward witness of the Spirit. By this I mean, it is God himself revealing to us his own state of mind towards us. We become in some way inwardly aware that God is pacified and at peace with us, and the spirit of adoption, by which we cry Father, Father, is often a matter of intense consciousness.

(4.) This love of the law of God inevitably results in a state, the opposite of conflict, remorse, self-condemnation. To my mind the fact that we are justified by faith, becomes a simple matter of consciousness. Whoever has true faith, has this love of God's law. And now he finds in fact that he is justified in the sense of being at peace with God and God at peace with him. This is just what the Bible teaches. It is an all-important fact, that whenever we put the truth of the Bible to the test of experience and consciousness, we find it verified. That our text is true, every real Christian can testify from his own consciousness. It is equally true of hundreds and thousands of texts in the Bible. Whenever we put God's word to the test, by complying with the conditions on which he gives us promises, we realize in our experience that his promises are true. By this means Christians know that the Bible is true. It is not with them a matter of speculation; it is not a fact that needs support from historical evidence or from any other merely outward evidence; its truth has become to them a matter of consciousness.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1862 paragraph 31 9 Lectures I. & II.Great Peace- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

(5.) This peace is the opposite of dissatisfaction with God in any respect. So long as we are dissatisfied with any thing God says or does, we cannot have peace. So long, there will be friction and collision between us and him.

But suppose that all manifest resistance should cease, and we should fall into apathy and not think of God at all. Suppose his providence should move in such channels as not to disturb us, and we should remain without feeling or any thought of God:-- this would not be peace. Peace is not the mere absence of dissatisfaction and opposition to God. It is positive acquiescence, a cordial embracing of his will. It implies, as already shown, complacency in God's whole will and in all his ways.

(6.) This state of mind would have peace in hell, provided hell did not imply a sense of God's present displeasure. Provided there were no conflict between God's mind and ours -- that we have no friction against his will and he no displeasure to manifest against us -- then no degree of pain on our part would forbid this peace of soul. Therefore, if the pains of the second death could be inflicted on us while in this state of loving the law of God, it could not destroy our peace. I do not suppose the thing is possible, but I wish to make the impression that nothing can disturb the repose of the soul while this peace remains.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1862 paragraph 45 9 Lectures I. & II.Great Peace- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

But it is not so with any who love God's law all such accept every event as occurring under God's providence, and they consequently exclaim -- These are but parts of thy ways: they are mysterious; I cannot explain them, yet I cordially accept them. I do not ask God to explain to me his reasons for them prematurely. I know there must be good and sufficient reasons for them. In due time I shall know what these reasons are. At present I do not care to know. I prefer to trust. I want room left for faith. I would feel myself, and would have God see that I can trust him, however mysterious his present providences may be.

(7.) He that loves the law of God will not be stumbled with the sins of good men. Those who do not love are greatly stumbled if a good man is overcome with temptation. They are ready to think there is no truth in religion. They seem to be glad that professedly good men sin, that they may have an excuse for their unbelief.

But one who loves God's law will be greatly grieved with the sins of good men, yet it will not cause him to fall, but will rather make him cry out -- Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall. It will inspire him with awe and fear, and cause him to cling more closely to the cross.

(8.) Nor will such men be stumbled by the arguments of skeptics, though they cannot answer them. They know the truth of religion by an experience of its power and a consciousness of the love of God, which no arguments against religion can ever shake. Skeptics may baffle and confound him with their sophistry, but he is just as sure that religion is true and is from God as he was before.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1862 paragraph 48 9 Lectures I. & II.Great Peace- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

2. How opposite is this experience to the Antinomian experience of many who profess to be Christians. Antinomians talk about loving the law of God, but they do not wish to hear about duty. They want to hear about "doctrine," -- by which they mean justification in sin, and by a faith that does not sanctify. By "doctrine" they mean that by one act of faith, men are brought into such a state of perpetual justification, that however they may live afterwards they are still saved. Justification by an unjustifying faith, is their doctrine. You do not hear them exclaiming -- "Oh how love I they law!" How I love duty! How I love all God's commandments! How I love the obligation of every requirement of God! Ah! preaching duty to them is not edifying: it is legal to them; it is not comforting; it is not gospel. They want to be told that they are justified by their one act of faith while they are living in sin.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1862 paragraph 51 9 Lectures I. & II.Great Peace- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

4. To hear duty preached is always very agreeable and edifying to those who love God's law. Herein a minister will soon find on whom he can depend as true Christians. Let him bring forth the preceptive parts of the Bible, and he will find at once who love the law of God. There are many who will appear to be greatly edified if you preach to them simply justification by faith, leaving out of view the requirements of God. While you only hold up Christ as a justifying Savior, they seem to be greatly delighted, and say -- how precious he is! But when you urge upon them his most express requirements, they are not pleased. They think this is legal. It is not gospel!

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1862 paragraph 52 9 Lectures I. & II.Great Peace- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

5. From what has been said, it is easy to see how God's revealed will often detects false hopes. His will revealed in providence will often detect professors of religion in being the enemies, not the friends, of God. They seem to be his friends while every thing goes to suit them; but if God's providence or will runs across their path and interferes with their selfish schemes, he touches them; they rebel; they stumble; they are too much tried; they begin to complain, and you see that they do not love the law of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1862 paragraph 54 9 Lectures I. & II.Great Peace- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

Now, so far as my observation extends, it is a remarkable fact that this class of persons, who have become skeptics under such circumstances, never manifested a loving zeal in religion. Their religion never seemed to be love. Their zeal was rather legal than loving and of the gospel. So far as I have known it, their religion was rather of the head than of the heart. They have stumbled; but there is no good reason to think that they loved the law of God, for if they had, their experience and consciousness would have put it out of the question for them to give up religion itself, the Bible, prayer, and communion with God. Not even if tens of thousands should stumble all around them, yet with their experience of the truth of religion, and of the love of God and of his law, it would seem that they could never give up the Bible as God's word and the religion of Jesus as from heaven.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1862 paragraph 66 63 Lectures II. & III.Moral Depravity- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

Text.--Rom. 8:7: "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1862 paragraph 76 63 Lectures II. & III.Moral Depravity- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

3. When we speak of manners as crooked, we of necessity refer to something strait with which the manners are compared. A thing may have a natural crookedness, or a physical crookedness, or a moral crookedness. Moral crookedness is a deviation from the strait rule of action prescribed by the moral law. It is crooked when compared with the moral straitness of the law of God.

Again, moral depravity lies entirely back of individual actions and volitions, and is the source from which these actions and volitions spring.

II. It behoves us to enquire into the attributes or qualities of moral depravity.

1. As already intimated, unlawfulness is a quality or attribute of moral depravity. This depravity must be a thing prohibited by the moral law. If it were not, it would not be morally crooked. Whatever has moral character, must be either in accordance with moral law or in violation of it.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1862 paragraph 83 63 Lectures II. & III.Moral Depravity- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

8. You will observe that moral depravity consists in moral manners, that is, in mental action, and is no part or quality of soul or body. Whatever belongs to the essence or substance of either soul or body, must of necessity be in its nature physical; and if depraved, therefore, its depravity must be physical and not moral. It is plain that whatever is strictly constitutional in the sense of being an attribute, quality or part of soul or body, cannot have the distinctive characteristics of moral depravity. For example, it cannot be unlawful or contrary to the law of God, for the law legislates over man's mental activities, and not over the essential qualities of either body or mind.

Again, that which is a part or attribute of either soul or body, cannot be a violation of moral obligation. Nor can any attribute of body or mind be a violation of conscience. It cannot be a violation of duty; it cannot be instantly abandoned; it cannot be blame-worthy.

9. Again, moral depravity cannot consist in things created or transmitted, such as the appetites, passions, propensities. These have none of the attributes of moral depravity. They are not contrary to moral law. It is only their unreasonable indulgence that is contrary to moral law, and not the appetites or propensities themselves. They are not blame-worthy. They cannot be immediately abandoned so as to exist no longer. Their existence is no violation of moral obligation. Consequently, the existence in the constitution of these appetites and propensities is not moral depravity, is not bad manners.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1862 paragraph 106 63 Lectures II. & III.Moral Depravity- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

Text.--Rom. 8:7: "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be."

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 23 - FOUNDATION OF MORAL OBLIGATION paragraph 34 FOUNDATION OF MORAL OBLIGATION. Moral Obligation defined; Conditions of Moral Obligation; Foundation of Moral Obligation.

1. Some affirm that the will of God is the foundation of Moral Obligation; and that moral beings are under obligation to conform themselves to the law of God, simply and only because such is his will.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 27 - LAW OF GOD paragraph 4 LAW OF GOD. What is intended by the Law of God. The commandments declaratory; The Ten Commandments illustrations of this; Sanctions of the Law; First Commandment. Its true meaning. Second Commandment. Reasons for it; what it prohibits. Third Commandment. Its true spirit; Reasons for this Commandment.

FIRST. Show what is intended by the Law of God.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 27 - LAW OF GOD paragraph 7 LAW OF GOD. What is intended by the Law of God. The commandments declaratory; The Ten Commandments illustrations of this; Sanctions of the Law; First Commandment. Its true meaning. Second Commandment. Reasons for it; what it prohibits. Third Commandment. Its true spirit; Reasons for this Commandment.

FOURTH. Consider the sanctions of the Law of God.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 27 - LAW OF GOD paragraph 8 LAW OF GOD. What is intended by the Law of God. The commandments declaratory; The Ten Commandments illustrations of this; Sanctions of the Law; First Commandment. Its true meaning. Second Commandment. Reasons for it; what it prohibits. Third Commandment. Its true spirit; Reasons for this Commandment.

First. What is intended by the Law of God.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 27 - LAW OF GOD paragraph 12 LAW OF GOD. What is intended by the Law of God. The commandments declaratory; The Ten Commandments illustrations of this; Sanctions of the Law; First Commandment. Its true meaning. Second Commandment. Reasons for it; what it prohibits. Third Commandment. Its true spirit; Reasons for this Commandment.

4. By the Law of God is intended that rule of universal benevolence, which is obligatory upon him as being in accordance with the laws of his own being.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 27 - LAW OF GOD paragraph 13 LAW OF GOD. What is intended by the Law of God. The commandments declaratory; The Ten Commandments illustrations of this; Sanctions of the Law; First Commandment. Its true meaning. Second Commandment. Reasons for it; what it prohibits. Third Commandment. Its true spirit; Reasons for this Commandment.

5. The Law of God is that rule, to which he invariably conforms all his actions, or that law of his being which he himself obeys.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 27 - LAW OF GOD paragraph 14 LAW OF GOD. What is intended by the Law of God. The commandments declaratory; The Ten Commandments illustrations of this; Sanctions of the Law; First Commandment. Its true meaning. Second Commandment. Reasons for it; what it prohibits. Third Commandment. Its true spirit; Reasons for this Commandment.

6. The Law of God is that rule of universal, perfect benevolence, which it is both his right and his duty to declare and enforce upon all moral agents for their good and his glory.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 27 - LAW OF GOD paragraph 15 LAW OF GOD. What is intended by the Law of God. The commandments declaratory; The Ten Commandments illustrations of this; Sanctions of the Law; First Commandment. Its true meaning. Second Commandment. Reasons for it; what it prohibits. Third Commandment. Its true spirit; Reasons for this Commandment.

7. By the Law of God is intended that rule of universal benevolence to which himself and all moral beings are under immutable obligations, to conform their whole being.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 27 - LAW OF GOD paragraph 16 LAW OF GOD. What is intended by the Law of God. The commandments declaratory; The Ten Commandments illustrations of this; Sanctions of the Law; First Commandment. Its true meaning. Second Commandment. Reasons for it; what it prohibits. Third Commandment. Its true spirit; Reasons for this Commandment.

8. The Law of God then is a unit. It is one, and only one principle. It is the one grand rule that every moral being shall regard and treat every being, interest, and thing, according to its relative value.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 29 - FIFTH COMMANDMENT paragraph 55 FIFTH COMMANDMENT. Reasons for this Commandment; What it implies; What it prohibits. Sixth Commandment. What its letter prohibits; Its true spirit; What is, and what is not prohibited by its spirit; What its spirit requires; Reasons for it; Violations of it.

(4.) There are several species of crime, for which the Law of God not only allows the punishment of death, but absolutely makes or did make such punishment obligatory.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 30 - SEVENTH COMMANDMENT paragraph 13 SEVENTH COMMANDMENT. What it implies; What it prohibits; Reasons for it. Eighth Commandment. What it implies; What it prohibits; Reasons for it; When it is violated.

4. All marriages and consequent carnal commerce between persons within those degrees of consanguinity, whose marriage is prohibited by the law of God. This is not only adultery but incest.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 30 - SEVENTH COMMANDMENT paragraph 14 SEVENTH COMMANDMENT. What it implies; What it prohibits; Reasons for it. Eighth Commandment. What it implies; What it prohibits; Reasons for it; When it is violated.

5. All marriages, and consequent carnal commerce, between unmarriageable persons, such as persons already having a husband or wife living, from whom they have not been properly divorced. Such as have been put away, or divorced, are considered by the law of God as unmarriageable persons:

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 32 - SANCTIONS OF LAW paragraph 51 SANCTIONS OF LAW. What constitutes sanctions; There can be no Law without them; In what light they are to be regarded; The end to be secured by law and the execution of penal Sanctions; Rule for graduating them.

5. Under moral government there can be no small sin, as every sin is a breach of the whole and only law of benevolence, i.e. it is a violation of the principle which constitutes the law of God.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 33 - SANCTIONS OF GOD'S LAW paragraph 6 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.

SECOND. What constitutes the remuneratory Sanctions of the law of God.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 33 - SANCTIONS OF GOD'S LAW paragraph 7 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.

THIRD. The perfection and duration of the remuneratory Sanctions of the law of God.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 33 - SANCTIONS OF GOD'S LAW paragraph 8 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.

FOURTH. What constitutes the vindicatory Sanctions of the law of God.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 33 - SANCTIONS OF GOD'S LAW paragraph 16 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.

Second. The remuneratory sanctions of the law of God.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 33 - SANCTIONS OF GOD'S LAW paragraph 20 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.

Third. The perfection and duration of the remuneratory Sanctions of the Law of God.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 33 - SANCTIONS OF GOD'S LAW paragraph 26 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.

Fourth. The vindicatory sanctions of the law of God.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 33 - SANCTIONS OF GOD'S LAW paragraph 27 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.

1. The misery naturally and necessarily connected with, and the result of disobedience to moral law. Here again let it be understood that moral law is nothing else than that rule of action which accords with the nature and relations of moral beings. Therefore the natural vindicatory sanction of the law of God is misery resulting from the violation of man's own moral nature.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 33 - SANCTIONS OF GOD'S LAW paragraph 30 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.

Fifth. The duration of the penal Sanctions of the Law of God.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 33 - SANCTIONS OF GOD'S LAW paragraph 31 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.

Here the inquiry is, what kind of death is intended where death is denounced against the transgressor as the penalty of the law of God?

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 33 - SANCTIONS OF GOD'S LAW paragraph 42 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.

2. To make a state of entire sinfulness the penalty of the law of God, would be to make the penalty and the breach of the precept identical.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 33 - SANCTIONS OF GOD'S LAW paragraph 44 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.

III. But the penal sanction of the law of God is eternal death or that state of suffering which is the natural and governmental result of sin or spiritual death.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 33 - SANCTIONS OF GOD'S LAW paragraph 80 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.

5. That the penal sanctions of the law of God are endless, is evident from the fact that a less penalty would not exhibit as high motives as the nature of the case admits, to restrain sin and promote virtue.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 33 - SANCTIONS OF GOD'S LAW paragraph 83 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.

8. Unless the penal sanctions of the law of God are endless, they are virtually and really no penalty at all. If a man be threatened with punishment for one thousand, or ten thousand, or ten millions, or ten hundred millions of years, after which he is to come out, as a matter of justice, and go to heaven, there is beyond an absolute eternity of happiness. Now there is no sort of proportion between the longest finite period that can be named, or even conceived, and endless duration. If, therefore, limited punishment, ending in an eternity of heaven, be the penalty of God's law, the case stands thus: Be perfect, and you live here forever. Sin, and receive finite suffering, with an eternity of heaven. This would be, after all, offering reward to sin.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 35 - THE ATONEMENT paragraph 14 Its Intention; The Atonement necessary.

6. The fact that the execution of the law of God on rebel angels had not and could not arrest the progress of rebellion in the universe, proves that something more needed to be done, in support of the authority of law, than the execution of its penalty upon rebels could do. While the execution of law may have a strong tendency to prevent the beginning of rebellion, and to awe and restrain rebellion, among the rebels themselves; yet penal inflictions, do not as a matter of fact, subdue the heart, under any government, whether human or divine.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 35 - THE ATONEMENT paragraph 15 Its Intention; The Atonement necessary.

7. As a matter of fact, the law, without Atonement, was only exasperating rebels, without confirming holy beings. Paul affirmed that the action of the law upon his own mind, while in impenitence, was, to beget in him all manner of concupiscence. One grand reason for giving the law was, to develop the nature of sin, and to show that the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. The law was, therefore, given that the offense might abound, that thereby it might be demonstrated, that without an Atonement there could be no salvation for rebels under the government of God.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 37 - WHAT CONSTITUTES THE ATONEMENT paragraph 37 WHAT CONSTITUTES THE ATONEMENT. Not Christ's obedience to law as a covenant of works; His sufferings and death constitute the Atonement; His taking human nature and obeying unto death a reason for our being treated as righteous: Nature and kind of his sufferings; Amount of his sufferings; The Atonement not a commercial transaction; The Atonement a satisfaction of public justice.

2. He could not have endured the literal penalty of the law of God, for this we have seen in a former skeleton was eternal death.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 39 - INFLUENCE OF THE ATONEMENT paragraph 37

29. It has given a standing illustration of the true interest, meaning, and excellency of the law of God. In the Atonement God has illustrated the meaning of his law by his own example.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 40 - OBJECTIONS TO THE ATONEMENT ANSWERED paragraph 43

1. The execution of the law of God on rebel angels must have created great awe in heaven.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 41 - HUMAN GOVERNMENTS I paragraph 59 HUMAN GOVERNMENTS a part of the Moral Government of God. Human Governments a necessity of human nature; This necessity will continue as long as men exist in the present world; Human Governments recognized in the Bible as a part of the Government of God; Whose right and duty it is to govern; In what cases human legislation imposes moral obligation, It is the duty of all men to aid in the establishment and support of Human Government; 'The supposition that Human Government can ever be dispensed with in this world, a ridiculous and absurd dream; Objections answered

4. In popular or elective governments, every man having a right to vote, and every human being who has moral influence, is bound to exert that influence, in the promotion of virtue and happiness. And as human governments are plainly indispensable to the highest good of man, they are bound to exert their influence to secure a legislation that is in accordance with the law of God.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 4 - THE KINGDOM OF GOD UPON EARTH. paragraph 21

     And here let me say that it was not part of the design of our Lord Jesus to give his disciples merely a form of prayer, the words of which they might repeat without knowing or caring what they meant or said; he did not give this prayer to be repeated over as a ceremony merely, without significance or interest. There is no greater profanity in the universe than to gabber it over in such a manner as it is frequently used. The Lord Jesus gave this prayer to be understood, and that the petition should be offered with sincerity and with faith, and in a certain state of mind. Who can doubt this? Did he intend to teach his disciples and his people in after-ages to be hypocrites? No, indeed! Did he intend them to offer insincere worship? No, indeed! Then he must have designed that they should offer these petitions with sincerity. Now, the question is, what is implied in sincerity? When is a man sincere in offering this petition to God? What are the characteristics and elements of sincerity? What is implied in being sincere? 1. I observe, first, that a sincere and acceptable offering of this petition implies repentance of past sins,--for sin rejects God, and tramples down his laws. No man who lives in sin can offer this prayer without gross hypocrisy--that's very clear; the man who rejects Christ and tramples on his laws, lives in sin, and cannot offer such a prayer as this acceptably. It implies, then, repentance and renunciation of all sin. 2. It implies confidence in God: observe, it is a petition to God, that his kingdom may come. Now, if an individual have not implicit confidence in the character and wisdom of God, in the perfection of his government, and in all the provisions of his kingdom, why should he pray it may come? Now, it is not enough that a man believes as a mere speculation that God is good, that his law is good, that his kingdom is what it should be; the devil knows this as well as anybody else. It is not enough that a man should admit intellectually that these things are so, but he must confide in God with his whole heart: to offer this petition acceptably he must really have heart-confidence in God's existence, in his wisdom, in his universal right to legislate for the world, in the perfection and wisdom of his government; he must have full confidence in God, I say, ere he can offer this petition acceptably--this is very certain. 3. Another thing implied in the acceptable offering of this petition is, that the heart obeys the law of God. An individual, for example, who does not in his heart submit to God's law, cannot pray that his kingdom may come, for what would he mean by that? That others may obey it, that others may submit to Christ's authority, that God's law may be set up in others' hearts, but not in his own. He cannot pray acceptably thus. The petitioner must have the law of God set up in his own heart, and his own life must be governed by it. But this leads me to say, 4. That, inasmuch as man's outward life is always of necessity, by a law of his nature, as his heart is, it implies an obedient life as well as an obedient heart. The term "heart" is used in various senses in the Scriptures--but whenever it is used in the sense that implies virtue, it means the Will. We say of those whose will is devoted to God, that their hearts are right--they are devoted to God, consecrated to him. Now, if we consider the heart as the will--and that is the sense in which I now use the term--the will governs the outward life; and if this will, or heart, devotes itself to the will of God, and yields itself up to obedience to the law of God, the outward life must be in conformity with the law of God, so far as it is understood. Let no man say, then, that his heart is better than his life. Let no man say that his heart has received the kingdom of God, while his outward life disobeys it. 5. Sincerity in offering this petition implies universal sympathy with God. By this I mean, first, that the petitioner really does sympathise with the great end which God is endeavouring to secure through the instrumentality of his law, and by the government of his kingdom. Now, government, remember, is not an end, but a means; neither is God's government an end, but a means. He proposes to ensure certain great ends by means of his government and his kingdom. Now, when a man prays that God's kingdom may come, to be sincere in his petition, he must fully sympathise with the end which is sought to be accomplished, and on which God has set his heart, which is his own glory, and the interests of his kingdom. A man, to offer this petition acceptably--"thy kingdom come," must understand this to be the great end, and set his heart upon it; to this he must consecrate his being, as the end on which God has set his heart. But it also implies, secondly, sympathy with God in reference to the means by which he is endeavouring to secure this great and glorious end. Again, sympathy with God implies a real and hearty aversion to all that stands in the way of the progress of his kingdom--all sin, in every form and in every shape. The individual that is not deeply and thoroughly opposed to sin, does not want God's kingdom to come; for God's kingdom would destroy all the works of the devil, would destroy sin in every form and degree. Those who offer this petition in sincerity, virtually pray that all sin may cease. Now, how can a man who does not cease from sin himself present such a petition as this? How can he pray for God's kingdom to come, while he is violating the known laws of that kingdom? If a man be not opposed to all sin, he cannot offer this petition acceptably. 6. It is plain that sincerity in offering this petition must imply supreme attachment to the King, his law and government. Observe, the petition does not express a partial attachment to the kingdom of God, but is an expression of entire agreement with God in reference to his kingdom--a universal submission, a universal attachment to the King and his entire administration. Every one, I think, will say that no man is or can be sincere in offering this petition, if he is not heartily and devotedly attached to the King and his government--to every principle and precept of his holy law and Gospel, and to his entire administration. 7. A sincere offering of this petition implies a sympathy with all the means that are used to establish this kingdom in the earth--to establish it in the hearts and souls of men. Now, if an individual prays that this kingdom may come, he prays that men may be made holy, as the condition of their being made happy, and of their being saved. Now, the man who does not truly love the souls of men, and desire their salvation, never offers this petition in sincerity; in order to do this, he must care for the souls of men. 8. It implies a supreme desire that God's kingdom may come. It is one thing for an individual to say "thy kingdom come," and another thing for him supremely to desire that it may come. It is common for a man to ask in words for what he does not deeply and sincerely desire; but I said that a man, to offer this prayer acceptably, must deeply, and sincerely, and supremely desire that God's kingdom may come. But, if a man is in bondage to his own lusts, and desires their gratification supremely, no one in this house, I presume, would affirm that such a man could offer this petition acceptably. Now, I suppose that, to offer this petition acceptably, there must be a supreme desire for the object prayed for; that no desire shall be allowed to prevail over this; that no merely selfish enjoyment or selfish indulgence shall have a chief place in the heart. Let me ask any one of you this question,--Suppose you should see a man on his knees offering this petition, and if you knew, at the same time, that he was a self-indulgent man, not willing to make any sacrifices, or hardly any, to promote the interests of this kingdom, spending ten times more on his own lusts than he gave to the cause of Christ, how could any of you believe that such a man was sincere in offering such a prayer? Such a man, if he uses this petition, virtually says,--"Lord, let thy kingdom come without my exercising any self-denial; let Providence enrich me, but let me keep all I get: let thy kingdom come, but let me seek my own gratifications." Now, if a man should pray in words in this way, you would say it is little less than blasphemy! But he might not say this in words for very shame; yet, suppose he said, "let thy kingdom come," and acted quite the opposite to any such desire, would his prayer be any the better? 9. But not only does an acceptable offering of this petition imply supreme desire--that is, without more influence than other desires--but it implies also, that the mind is supremely devoted to the end for which it prays; the voluntary power of the will devotes itself, and devotes the whole being, to the promotion of this end. Now, suppose we should hear a man pray in this way--"Lord, let thy kingdom come, if it can come without my being devoted to its interests; let thy kingdom come, if it can come without my ever giving my heart, time, energies, property, possessions, sympathies, and prayers, to promote it; I will say let thy kingdom come, but I will go on in my own way, and do nothing to promote it or hasten its approach:" you would say that this is not an acceptable offering of this petition. I suppose that none of you are disposed to deny that an acceptable offering of this petition does really imply that the heart is truly and sincerely devoted to the kingdom of God. 10. An acceptable offering of this petition must imply self-denial. Now, please to understand what I mean by self-denial; remember, it is not the forsaking of one gratification for another: it sometimes happens that men forsake the gratification of one appetite in order that they may gratify another. Persons may deny themselves in a great many respects, and yet be guilty of much selfishness. Suppose a man be avaricious, and love money, his heart is supremely set upon acquiring it, and hoarding it up. That man may be very frugal in his expenditure--he may be very much disgusted with many who spend money for their own gratification; this avaricious man may deny himself many things; he may go so far as to deny himself the comforts of life, as misers do, and berate everybody who do otherwise; but the man is selfish nevertheless: the love of money prevails over the love of everything else--his heart is set upon that. What people call self-denial, is often no self-denial at all; self-love is very frequently at the bottom, after all. But real self-denial consists in this--an individual's refusing to live to please himself; to promote his own profit and interests, as distinguished from God's kingdom; who refuses to do anything simply and entirely for self. It implies that an individual ceases from self and consecrates himself to God; lives to please God and not himself, and sympathises with nothing whose ultimate end is not to serve and glorify God. Now, when a man who does not deny himself offers this petition to God, what does he mean? He is a rebel against God, opposed to his law. Why does he want God's kingdom to come? Let no selfish man, then--no man who lives in any form of self-pleasing, suppose that he can offer this prayer acceptably. 11. It implies, on the part of those who offer this prayer, a real and whole-hearted embarking of their all with God in this great enterprise. If we offer it sincerely, it implies that we have come into such sympathy with him as to embark ourselves, body and soul, for time and eternity, our characters and affections, our all, in making common cause with God in the advancement of the interests of his kingdom. Now, I think it cannot be doubted that all this is included in a sincere offering of the prayer, "thy kingdom come." Take the case of an earthly prince desiring to establish a kingdom--true patriotism consists in sincerely seeking the promotion of the aim of the prince. The fact is plain, that the acceptable offering of this petition must imply that those who offer it have given themselves up to the promotion of this object; that they have embarked their all in this great enterprise; that for this end thy live, move, and have their being. 12. Let me say again, that it implies a fear towards whatever would be calculated to retard the progress of this kingdom. Persons in a right state of mind hate everything that would hinder the advancement of this kingdom, because they have set their hearts on its establishment. Sin and every form of evil is loathsome to them, because it retards the establishment of the kingdom of God on the earth. It is a law of man's being which makes him quiveringly, tremblingly alive to any interests on which he has set his heart, and causes him to be keen-sighted, and ever on the watch to remove anything that stands in the way of the progress of that upon which his hopes are so deeply set. Now, be it remembered this law of mind invariably shows itself in religious, as well as in worldly matters; it does do so, and must. 13. I observe, in the next place, that those who offer this petition sincerely, manifest grief and indignation at whatever is contrary to God's will. If they see an error, but which does not involve sin, they are grieved; but if it involves sin, they feel indignation. I do not mean malicious indignation, but a benevolent, a holy, a compassionate indignation. 14. Lastly, under this head, I observe that a right offering of this petition implies the joyful exercise of an economy in our lives, whether of time, talents, influence, or whatever else we possess; there is a joyful economising of everything for the promotion of this end. Now, who does not know that when men set their hearts upon any great object, that just in proportion to their attachment to that object will be their devotedness to it--just in that proportion are they cheerful, eager, and ready in using every economy for the promotion of this object--they husband everything for the promotion of that end. As an illustration of this, let me notice an affecting circumstance that occurred within my own knowledge. A woman, who was a slave in one of the southern states of America, had escaped from her bondage, but she had left her husband and children in slavery: the master of these individuals offered to sell them their time, and let them go free. This poor woman gave herself up to earn the money to redeem them; and it was very affecting to see how she toiled, and denied herself even the necessaries of life, in order to secure their liberty. Nothing daunted her; no hardship discouraged her; in the cold, when the snow was on the ground, you might see her working, with but little clothing, and her feet bare; if you gave her a pair of shoes or a garment, she would soon sell them, to get money to increase the fund which was to secure the liberation of her husband and children. Now, this poor creature practised economy for the promotion of the great end she had in view; I do not say that was wise economy in her case, for she nearly sacrificed her own life to it. Now, you mothers can understand and appreciate this woman's conduct; if you had husbands, sons, or daughters in slavery, would you not do as she did? This woman had no love for money, or for anything, only as it sustained a relation to the one great end on which her heart was set. This circumstance illustrates, I say, most powerfully this great principle, that whenever our hearts are supremely set upon any object, we count everything dear as it sustains a relation to, and secures that object; and he, therefore, who prays sincerely, "thy kingdom come," must have his heart so set upon the object as to exercise a joyful and perpetual economy, with an especial reference to that end.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 6 - CHRIST MAGNIFYING THE LAW. paragraph 17

     II. Why he should magnify the law and make it honourable; and what law is this? 1. Here let me remark, that very much of the infidelity and scepticism in the world has originated in this fact, that so many men have never attained to clear conceptions of what the law of God really is, and its relation to themselves; they generally look no farther than the letter of the law, entirely overlooking its spirit; and regarding it as emanating simply from the arbitrary will of God, and that he can dispense with the execution of it at pleasure. To make myself understood, I must give you my idea of the true nature of the moral law which is here spoken of. We have the letter of this law in the table of what are called the ten commandments; and indeed all the preceptive parts of the Bible may be regarded as simply explanatory of this law, as the principle contained in it applies to the outward conduct of human life. A just conception of the spirit of the moral law will show us that it originated in the eternal and immutable nature of God. From all eternity, God necessarily possessed an existence, and with that existence certain attributes--natural attributes. He possessed omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, and so forth. Now, there must have been some way in which it became him, from his very nature, to use these attributes; these attributes he possessed necessarily, and eternally, and there must be some way in which his intelligence must affirm that these attributes ought to be used. Now, observe, when we understand truly the spirit of the moral law, our reason affirms that all creatures are under obligation to exercise universal obedience to it. The moral law, then, is this--the eternal affirmation of God's own mind in respect to what course of conduct is proper in himself and in all moral agents; it is the eternal and necessary affirmation of the Divine reason and conscience as to how the attributes of any moral agent ought to be used. It is a necessary idea in God's mind, and in the mind of all moral agents: for example, no man can doubt that God's eternal reason must have affirmed that he ought to be benevolent. Who can doubt that selfishness or malevolence in God would have been sin in him? If God had been selfish and malevolent instead of being benevolent, that would have been sin in him; and why? Because God is a moral agent. Men are moral agents, and they have a nature which necessarily leads them to affirm this. The benevolence of God is really his virtue: and why? Because the exercise of benevolence is in compliance with that rule of conduct which was becoming in God to pursue; his reason affirmed his own obligation to it. Now, I have thought sometimes, that persons entirely overlook the fact that God is himself a moral agent, and the subject of moral obligation as really as they are. Some people startle at this, lest it should be thought derogatory to God's character; but if this were not so, God could not be virtuous: as he is a moral agent, he must be under moral obligation. The moral law was not given to God by any other being, for he is "a law unto himself"--his own eternal reason and conscience affirming that the carrying out of the principles of benevolence would be right in him, and of course the opposite wrong. When, therefore, God acts according to the moral law, he acts in compliance with an eternal law of his own nature, by which he was led to determine his own conduct, as the condition of his own happiness, and as the condition of the happiness of all moral agents. Let it be understood, then, that the moral law did not originate in God's arbitrary will; it lay further back--in a necessary law of his own eternal consciousness; as a rule of action it was prescribed to him by his own consciousness. This law is also prescribed to us by our own consciousness as well as enforced by the authority of God; and if we possessed none to legislate for us, and while possessing the same nature that we now do, our consciousness would have prescribed this rule of action to us--affirming that we ought to be benevolent. If the arbitrary will of God had originated this law, he could dispense with it at his pleasure; he could change the nature of virtue and vice, he could make that which is now virtue vice, and that which is now vice virtue, simply by altering his law; but does any one think that God could do this? Now, God never can change the nature of virtue and vice, and he claims no such power. This law having originated thus, and not by God's arbitrary will, it is binding upon us, as moral agents, by the very laws of our being. God created us moral agents like himself, and thus made this law obligatory upon us, enjoined it upon us by his own authority, and made it obligatory, also, by a law of our own nature. Now, the spirit of this law requires universal and perfect benevolence to God and man. By benevolence I mean love, with reference to the law of God and to the universe; this is what God's law requires of all moral agents. Now, observe, this law is as unalterable as God's own nature is--he did not create it, neither can he alter it in the least degree; he did not create it any more than he created himself--it never began to be any more than God did himself. Originating in his own self-existing nature, his own reason must have eternally recognised it as the course of action to be pursued by him; and thus it is plain that this law can never be repealed by him, and made less obligatory in reference to himself, or us--it can never undergo any change in its requirements, and can never be dispensed with in any case whatever. 2. Again: this law is infinitely valuable in the ends which it aims to secure. It is naturally impossible for moral agents to be happy unless they are virtuous, and virtue consists in obeying this eternal law. All virtue consists in perfect love--this is virtue in all moral agents. Now, in no further than this law is conformed to can there be happiness amongst men. Virtue is the basis of happiness, properly so called, in God or in anybody else. This law, then, aims to secure and promote all that creates happiness, as the condition of the happiness of God and of his creatures. I suppose that the things which I am affirming this morning will be admitted by all who hear me as self-evident truth; the mind of every moral agent must affirm them to be true, by a law of our own nature we affirm it, that they are true, that they must be true; for example, benevolence was proper and becoming in God, therefore obligatory upon him; and the opposite course would have been wrong--mind, I am not supposing that such a thing ever was or ever will be; but I am only supposing that if such a thing were possible, that God was not a good but a wicked being. Hence every moral agent will affirm that the moral law is a law which God imposed upon himself, and that it did not originate in his own arbitrary will--that its obligations can never be dispensed with in any case, neither repealed nor altered in any particular. Again: every moral agent, also, must affirm that this law must be of infinite value, because it aims to secure an infinitely valuable end. 3. The true spirit of this law can never be violated. There may be exceptions to the letter of the law, but not to the Spirit--nobody possesses any power to make the slightest exceptions to the spirit of the moral law; but as I just now said, to the letter of the law there may be exceptions. The law prohibits any work being done on the Sabbath, and yet the priests were allowed to do the work of the sanctuary on that day without violating the spirit of the command. All labour was prohibited, but works of necessity and mercy were nevertheless allowed, and even required. These were exceptions to the letter of the moral law, but not to its spirit; to which there can be no exception. Again: the transgression of the moral law by any human being, is a public denial of its obligation. It is a denial of the propriety, necessity, or justice of its being law at all, and that it is unworthy of being so. 4. Again: let us look at the necessity that Christ should magnify the law and make it honourable. Mankind had denied the obligation of this law, publicly and most blasphemously denied it. Now, observe, if any other than a public act, for forgiving sin, and setting aside the penalty of this law, had been adopted, if no regard had been paid to its vindication, God would have sanctioned and completed the dishonour. The law had been denied, man had denied its justice, and now suppose God should come forth and set aside the execution of the law, and make a universal offer of pardon without taking any notice of this dishonour to the law by any public act whatever, would not this have been to dishonour the law. Now, man in a most direct and emphatic manner had come right out in the face of the whole universe and denied that it was obligatory, that it was just, proper, necessary, and reasonable; and let me say that by their actual transgression they had denied the power of the law in a higher sense than they could by mere words. Now, if God very good-naturedly had said, "Well, no matter, I will forgive you, only be sorry," and had taken no notice of the dishonour that had been done to the law, would this have been to magnify the law and make it honourable? would it not have been rather, on the part of God, by a most public and emphatic act, just to sanction the horrible dishonour that had been done to his law? To have thus acted, every one will see, would have been unjust to himself, unjust to the law, and unjust to the universe, and ruinous to all parties--and therefore it never could be. 5. Again: two things, then, must be done if men were to be saved at all. First, something must be done to honour this law, and to honour it as thoroughly as it had been dishonoured: second, something must be done to restore men to obedience as a condition of their being pardoned; something that must restore them to that state of virtue, love, and confidence which the law required. These two things must be done, to save the law from dishonour and the universe from ruin. Observe, the law had been disgraced in some way, therefore the degraded law must be made honourable. Man had been rebellious, he must be made obedient as a condition of the first proposition. 6. This leads me to say that both precept and penalty must be vindicated: both had been denied, both had been dishonoured. Now, it is easy to see that this could be done by no subject of the government; a mere creature could not magnify either the precept or the penalty of this law. It is easy to see that the lawgiver must provide for both, as the condition of its being proper in him to set aside the execution of the penalty in the case of sinners. Now, this law may be honoured either by its penalty being executed on the offender, or it may by honoured by some substitute taking the sinner's place, if one could be found. 7. Again, I inquire, how can God honour the law? Here again, we have an important light shed upon the two natures of our Lord Jesus Christ, and upon the necessity of his possessing two natures in order to perform the work that was assigned him. The obedience of any mere creature could not be a sufficient vindication of this law. Great multitudes of the whole race had denied its propriety and justice. Now, if any mere creature had come forth and obeyed it, this would not have been to sufficiently honour the law which had been dishonoured by myriads. Now, it is very easy to see that if Christ possessed two natures, human and Divine, that he would be precisely in a position to magnify the law and make it honourable. Officially, and before the universe, he obeyed the law in both his natures; recognising its obligation as respects God and all moral agents. It is thus shown to be the rule of God's conduct, as well as the rule of our conduct; it is a rule which God imposed upon himself, and as really obligatory upon himself as upon us. Now, no mere creature, by obeying this law, could show its obligation upon Jehovah himself. But when man denied its obligation, Jehovah himself came forth, in the presence of the universe, and acknowledged its obligation, by recognising it in his two natures--one the nature of man, who had denied its obligation; and in this nature he obeyed every jot and tittle of it--"Heaven and earth," he said, "shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Heaven and earth were not so steadfast as this law. Thus we see that in these two natures Christ fully obeyed the law, and though it had been trampled upon and degraded, lifted it up high as the throne of Jehovah. 8. Again: we say that the suffering of one who sustained no other relation to God than that of a mere creature, could not vindicate the justice of the law, or the penalty that it denounced against sin; but the Lord Jesus Christ, by taking two natures, and by the public sacrifice of the human nature on the altar of public justice, in vindication of this law, and as a substitution for the execution of its penalty, for the legitimate subject of it, did what none but himself could do. Christ, we say, suffered the penalty of this law, but in some sense he suffered it not as sinners would--as they must have done; he could not feel the bitterness and remorse which is a part of the lawful penalty awarded to those who commit sin; but he magnified this law, and made it honourable, for he sustained at once a relation to the lawgiver, and to those who had denied the obligation of the law. How beautifully, then, in these two natures united, could he vindicate the law, and thoroughly honour it in every particular.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 6 - CHRIST MAGNIFYING THE LAW. paragraph 18

     There is great difficulty in any government exercising mercy towards rebels, and this is especially felt in such a government as that of God; and a little reflection on this will lead to the conclusion that an atonement was absolutely necessary. 9. Our Lord Jesus Christ by his life completely illustrated the true spirit of the law. He must magnify the law and make it honourable; and he asserted its universal obligation in his life, which was a perpetual illustration of what the law required of human beings. He ever manifested the true spirit of this law. He thus lived among mankind, taught them what they ought to be, and what they would be if they thoroughly obeyed the law of God; what sort of a thing society would be if all men obeyed the law of God; what men would be; what children and youth would be--how obliging, and kind, and holy. Now, by his life he calls upon us, and says, "Suppose all men were as you see me; suppose all men possessed the same simple-heartedness, the same truthfulness, the same regard for God's honour, and regard for the happiness of others,--would society be what it is? The whole race have denied the propriety of this law; but I give you a proof of its excellency by showing in my life what the state of society would be if it were obeyed. I obey it in every respect. You deny the propriety and goodness of this law; but if it were illustrated in each individual life as it is in mine, what would there be lacking in any society in heaven or upon earth?" Thus, then, God, by this his living teacher, condemns sin, shows the importance of the law, and its absolute perfection. 10. Again: Christ thus, by his life, declared and illustrated the great and unspeakable necessity of this law. He not only expounded its meaning, and gave himself up to teach the Jews and the world its real meaning, but in every way he contended for its reasonableness, beauty, necessity, and immutability in all things. Thus Christ illustrated, both in his life and preaching, this Divine and immutable law of God. Who can doubt that he was all the law required him to be? 11. Again: we may say that he taught, that mercy without satisfaction being made to its insulted majesty was not possible; and he undertook the work of satisfaction--to magnify the law and make it honourable. I cannot enlarge further on this part of the subject.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 12 - TOTAL ABSTINENCE A CHRISTIAN DUTY. paragraph 11

The question may be viewed in a great many aspects; it may be argued in a vast variety of ways. It may be discussed, for example, as a scientific question; and, in America, it has been extensively regarded in this light. I do not intend to take up this point to-night; I shall examine simply the religious bearings of the question. I am well aware that the scientific view is extremely important; it is easy enough, however, to proceed to the discussion of it as a religious question, without entering very fully into the scientific department of it. My position, then, is not that the use of intoxicating drinks in any quantity, and under all circumstances, is necessarily sinful; nor do I take the ground that any use of it is wrong, independently of the circumstances under which it is used, and the reasons which have prompted such use. I do not take the ground that any use of it is wrong, irrespective of the circumstances under which, and the reasons for which it is used; for I can conceive of circumstances under which it may be supposed to be the duty of an individual to drink--even in quantities sufficiently copious to produce intoxication--in order to meet some constitutional emergency. Physicians maintain this ground, and patients may think it necessary; under such circumstances, therefore, it is taken innocently; the thing is right or wrong according to the reasons and circumstances which demand its use. Strictly speaking, nothing is right in itself, but that love which the law of God commands; nothing is wrong, in itself, but the opposite state of mind. But it is not my purpose to discuss this question, but only to say that when we would inquire into the lawfulness of any particular act, such as the use of alcohol, we must understand the circumstances under which, and the reasons for which it is used, in order to understand whether it is right or wrong in an individual case. Again, the question is not whether it may or may not be used as a medicine when recommended by a competent physician. I do not deny that it may be used as a medicine under certain circumstances; nor do I say that it is wrong to use wine at the table of the Lord. The Temperance Question has suffered much from the controversy on this point; for if Christ has ordered the use of wine on that occasion, and as matters are left so that it cannot be positively ascertained whether his wine was alcoholic or not, the question need not be discussed; inasmuch as the quantity used at such times is so very small. Again, Paul enjoined Timothy to "Drink no longer water but take a little wine for his stomach's sake, and his often infirmities." It was lawful, therefore, for him to take a little. The Apostle did not require him to take much; nor is it necessary or usual to take much at the Communion Table, so that this part of the question does not strictly belong to the Temperance Reformation. Again, the question is not whether or not it is necessary in any case, or whether it is or is not an indispensable article of diet in any case; I would take the negative view, but, at present, I cannot make this issue, as it would carry me too far from my main design; nor do I mean just now to affirm, even, that it is in no case useful to persons in robust health, as is commonly supposed. Neither, since I cannot now enter into the scientific bearings of the question, do I mean to determine whether its use is or is not necessary or beneficial to persons in feeble health. I must make the question one of self-denial for the sake of others. I should like to discuss the question of their real necessity or utility under any circumstances; but I must content myself on this occasion with the assumption that, under some circumstances the moderate use of these drinks is useful. I will take up the matter, then, in this way, Is it your duty to forego the use of these drinks as an act of self-denial for the sake of others? I love to discuss the question in this light; because, if these drinks are useful, it affords the Church an opportunity of manifesting her love for the Savior by the sacrifice.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 17 - THE USE AND PREVALENCE OF CHRIST'S NAME. paragraph 19

     But, even when men come to be Christians, they do not come into such a relation to God, as to have no more need of coming to him through Christ. An unconverted man stands condemned; he is under sentence of eternal death. Suppose such an one is convinced of sin--convicted by his own conscience as well as by the law of God--the sentence is gone out against him; how is such an individual to appear in God's presence? Why, he cannot have even access to God! How can an individual, who has been remanded to prison under sentence for a capital crime, have any connexion with the government of his country? He is governmentally dead; and it behoves the government to treat him as such; while in such a position, he can have no relation to government but as a dead man. Yet the head of the government may have no ill-will or wrong feeling towards him; he might even be disposed, if he could be in a position, to treat with him; as in individual, the head of the government might regard him as a living man, and as one for whom he had great affection. This he might do in his individual capacity; but, as the head of a government, he has necessarily a public as well as a private character to sustain, and this he must not overlook. He must not act as a mere private individual, public reasons forbid him to do so; and whatever his private relations and feelings may be, he must remember his public relations and character for the sake of the public good.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 17 - THE USE AND PREVALENCE OF CHRIST'S NAME. paragraph 37

     Our relations to God's government, when viewed out of Christ, are really those of sinners under sentence for a capital crime--"condemned already," governmentally regarded as dead. There are two senses in which sinners are represented in the Bible: "dead in trespasses and sins"--that is unconverted persons; secondly, they are civilly dead--viewed governmentally, they are outlaws under sentence of death. These are facts which no one can dispute. If a man is a sinner the law of God has condemned him, and the sentence is already out against him; and a man can no more deny this than he can deny his own existence. There is not a moral agent in the world that does not know that, as far as God's law is concerned, he is regarded as an outlaw and a rebel; he can no more doubt or deny it than he can doubt or deny his own existence. These facts are not only revealed in the Bible, but are most clearly manifest to our own consciousness; our very conscience testifies to their truthfulness.

 

 


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

Now observe, if a man is saved at all he must consent to it; his will must acquiesce in the arrangement; and the will is not moved by physical force. A man must voluntarily consent to be saved, or Jesus himself cannot possibly save him. Man is a moral agent, and he is addressed by God as such, and therefore, in order to his salvation, he must voluntarily consent to relinquish sin, and have his mind brought into obedience with the law of God.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 19 - HOLINESS ESSENTIAL TO SALVATION. paragraph 28

Now, it is very common for men to overlook this great truth, and fall into the worldly mindedness and sinful practices of the those around them. Again: multitudes are not saved because they regard the gospel as an abrogation of the moral law-a virtual repeal of it. Now, the gospel does not repeal the moral law. What saith the Apostle? "Do we make void the law through faith? God forbid! Yea, we establish the law." Now, it is true that the gospel was designed to set aside the penalty of the law, upon all who should be persuaded to come back to its precepts, and yield that love and confidence which the law requires. Now, it is frequently the case, if ministers begin to say anything about obedience to the law, the people call out against it as legal preaching! If they are roused up and urged to do that which the law of God requires of them, they tell you they want the gospel. Now, such people know nothing at all of the gospel! They make Christ the minister of sin! They seem to think that Christ came to justify them in their sin, instead of saving them from it.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 19 - HOLINESS ESSENTIAL TO SALVATION. paragraph 29

Let me say, once more, that another reason why men are not saved from sin is, that they have really come to regard justification in sin, as a means to save them from it! In support of this monstrous idea, they will even appeal to the Scriptures. They found justification on the atonement; now, this work of Christ can never be imputed to any man in such a sense as to justify him while he remains in sin! Justification in sin is a thing impossible! Now, how can a man be pardoned and justified, before he repents and believes! It is impossible! He must be in a state of obedience to the law of God before he can be justified! The fact is, there is a very great mistake among many people on this subject. They think that they must persuade themselves that they are justified, but they are not, and never can be, till they forsake sin, and do their duty.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 21 - THE SABBATH SCHOOL - CONDITIONS OF SUCCESS. paragraph 51

What is meant by the promise? Simply this,--that if you do what is commanded in the right spirit, the promised results shall follow, from which it may be plainly inferred that the connection between conversion and the use of means, on the part of the church, and of those who instruct the people, is invariable. What else can it mean? Now, whatever people may say about God's sovereignty, one thing is certain--that if religious teachers take heed to themselves and to the doctrine, and continue in them in so doing, they shall both save themselves and those who hear them. This is the law of God's government; it is God's absolute truth, and is as true as God is true.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 22 - THE CHRISTIAN'S RULE OF LIFE. paragraph 14

The term "glory," as it is here used, means renown, reputation. To do everything to the glory of God, is to have this end in view in all that we do; whether we eat or drink or whatsoever we do, 'this to be done for the glory of God: to secure the universal respect and confidence of his subjects; to do those things that shall set his character in the strongest and most attractive light, and that shall lead men thoroughly to understand and appreciate His character; and thus endeavor to win for God the confidence and the hearts of all of his subjects. It is the same thing as to win souls; to endeavor in all our ways to win souls to God, to win souls to Christ, by showing forth the character of Christ in our example, in our tempers, in our spirit, and in all that we do. It is to be our chief aim to set forth His will, His law, and His whole government as perfect, and to make it so lovely and desirable as to draw the hearts of men to Himself, to confide in Him, to love Him, and to obey Him. I repeat, that to do whatever we do to glorify God is to have this great end in view in all our ways, to make ourselves living mirrors reflecting the image of God. Suppose a man should come from America to England, and profess to be a devoted friend of the American Government, but should totally misrepresent it in all that he did. If instead of representing the true spirit of the government--the true Republican spirit,--he should himself be a despot in his spirit and character, and in every respect quite contrary to the real spirit of the American Government, and did not that, in any of his actions, which would truly represent it, what should we say of him? Now, suppose an individual should profess to be a disciple of Christ, should profess to love and obey his government, and to respect and revere his character, and yet he himself in all his ways misrepresented the character of God; that in his spirit and temper, and in his general deportment, he should hold forth a false light, and create a false impression of what the character and government of God really are, what should we say of such professors? Now, suppose a citizen of this country should go forth among the savage tribes of Africa, or any other part of the world, with the avowed object of recommending to them a species of government which, in his estimation, would secure their well-being, if adopted by them. Now, suppose he should profess great admiration of the British Government, but in all his ways and actions should misrepresent it; what would be the effect? Would not the savages think that any governmental constitution was better than such a hideous monster? But, suppose this individual was really sincere and benevolent, suppose that he really felt and believed that the British Constitution would greatly conduce to their well-being, of course he would by all his conduct endeavor to recommend the government; he would seek to show in his own person what kind of a man such a government was calculated to make; his aim would be in all things that he did to recommend the government to the people; he would always have this in view in everything that he either did or said; in all his ways, and by all his actions, he would seek to recommend the government of his country so as to induce those among whom he sojourned to adopt it. Apply this to the government of God. Suppose that those who profess to be the subjects of God's government manifest anything else than the true spirit of that government? For example, suppose, that--instead of showing that they are universally benevolent, and thus exhibit the law of God in it's true spirit, they should manifest a selfish spirit--who does not see that such persons would greatly and grievously misrepresent the true spirit and nature of the character of God's government? But suppose in all things an individual makes his whole life a mirror that shall reflect the pure character of God--the self-denial of Christ, the love of the Father, the purity and excellency of His law, and the perfection of His Government, and thus secure the glory of God, by living a life of universal peace and holiness. I pass now, in the next place, briefly to notice,--and as I am so exceedingly hoarse, I must be very brief; perhaps I shall not make myself understood; I will try, and you may expect nothing more of me--

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 26 - CHRIST APPEARING AMONG HIS PEOPLE. paragraph 19

My present design is to notice the characteristics of a genuine appearing of Christ among the people to revive his work -- the revival of religion among them. There are many other passages of scripture in various parts of the Bible which reveals the same principle. It is said of Christ, you recollect, that when He came his fan was to be in his hand and that he should thoroughly purge his floor, gathering the wheat into his garner, and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire. It is often of the greatest importance that men should consider well what are the true characteristics of Christ coming among his people -- what are the indications and evidences of it? There are a great many reasons why people should understand how such an appearing may be known, some of which reasons I shall have occasion to point out this morning. Before Christ personally appeared among the Jews he sent his messenger to prepare the way. John the Baptist was sent, you know, to call the attention of the people to the near approach of the Messiah, and to prepare them to receive him. Now this is a principle of the divine government, that when Christ is about to appear to revive his work among His people he sends a messenger to prepare his way. Nay! it is a curious fact that when he comes to judge and to condemn men he often sends them warning -- he sends a messenger to prepare his way, whether he comes in judgment or in mercy: this is a very common thing and has been in all times; when he comes in judgment he warns men in order to put them on their guard, if by any means he may bring them to repentance; and when he comes in mercy he prepares them for such a visitation also -- therefore, in the first instance, when the Lord comes to revive his work, somebody will be stirred up to call the attention of the people to the real condition of things and the necessity for a reformation among them. You will find this to be uniformly the fact, that when Christ is about to appear somebody will be stirred up to consider the spiritual wants of the people, and will do more or less to prepare the way for the coming of Christ by calling the attention of the people to their necessities. Sometimes it will be the pastor of the church, and this will generally be the case, or the leading members of the church, or other instrumentalities, will call the attention of the people to their spiritual wants, and then after this has been done, the Lord will suddenly come to his temple. There is first the seeking after the Lord, then a calling upon his name in earnest supplications for him to revive his work, and then the Lord whom they seek will suddenly come to his temple. The Lord's temple is his true church on earth, of which the temple at Jerusalem was only a type; and doubtless reference is made in this passage to the people of God and not merely to the temple at Jerusalem. In the second verse it is said, "But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire and like fuller's soap." Now what did Christ do when he first appeared amongst men? And here let me say that what he did then he does substantially now under similar circumstances, and for the same reason -- because of the necessity for it; now it is always to be assumed when Christ comes to revive his work that such a revival is needed. But what is implied in such a necessity as a visitation for a revival? There is a great deal implied in the necessity for such a visitation; for this reason, whenever he comes to revive his work in any place there is a great need for it. It implies that there is much that is wrong, and that there is therefore much need for a reformation, -- this is always implied in a reformation of religion. In the first place some are stirred up to see that such things are needed; they look and seek for a reformation and after a time the Lord suddenly comes. "But who shall abide the day of his coming"? What is his object in coming? what will he say? what will he do? "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness." Of course then whenever a revival is needed, this may be expected that when Christ comes there will first be a tremendous searching among the people. When he did come what did he do? "Think not," he says, "I am come to bring peace on earth, but a sword; for I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-inlaw against her mother-in-law: and a man's foes shall be they of his own household." What did he do? Why he began at the fundamental difficulty; he began by upturning the foundations of their hopes; all their self-righteous expectations. He brought to bear upon them a searching ministry. Observe, by his searching ministry, he threw them into the utmost distress, and agony of mind; he revealed to them the spirituality of God's law -- of the whole Bible as it then existed; and brought so much truth to bear upon them as to search them out. Now this is what he always does: this is his first work. He must try the metal to see what dross there is in it: he must see what chaff there is with the wheat, and then fan it away. He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver and gold: he must put them into the fiery furnace, by bringing truth to bear upon them in such a manner, as to purge the dross from the pure gold. But let me say again: in such processes as this, it will very generally be found that certain classes of persons are peculiarly affected. We find in the present case, that Christ took in hand chiefly the Pharisees, the leaders of the church, and in a most unsparing manner searched and tried them; reproved their errors; contradicted them, and turned their false teaching completely upside down. To be sure this greatly offended them; very greatly tried them. But it is easy to see that this must have been the first work with him, for he came to purify the Jewish Church, and he must do this, by teaching them their errors and misconceptions -- their errors of doctrine and their misconceptions of the law of God. Now what he did then, he always does with all churches and all people, when he comes to revive his work; whatever errors and misconceptions they may be labouring under he must set himself to correct. If he find them with superficial views of the spirituality of God's law, he must correct them: if they have superficial views of the depravity of the human heart, they must be corrected -- if they have Antinomian views on the one hand, or legal self-righteous views on the other, they must be corrected. He must cast light on all the dark places, search the nooks and corners; and dispel all errors by the powerful light of truth: this must always be the case. And here let me say, that it is almost always true, that when the church or religion wants reviving in any community, much of the difficulty lies -- when perhaps people are little aware of it -- in their having settled down into some false conception of things, and mistaken their own spiritual state, and have thus betaken themselves, to various forms of error, more or less serious and fatal; so that after all they are not in that state in which Christ wishes them to be, but yet persuade themselves, that they are in a state which is acceptable to God. Now all this must be corrected; consequently when he takes hold of any community, any church, any people, any nation, you will always find that he begins in high places: he will begin among the leaders of Israel; among the heads of the people, and he will give them a terrible searching; he will try their spirits, their teaching, their lives, and he will most severely try them. It is very common -- I have always witnessed it -- for Christ when he comes to revive his work, to begin by trying the ministers themselves; "he will purify the sons of Levi" -- this he always does in all places. Indeed he needs to try them, that they may be instrumental in trying others: he needs to search them, that they be instrumental in searching others. He is going to work by them and through them, and therefore he will first give them a most tremendous sifting and searching; their motives will be searched, all their springs of action will be laid bare, and he will bring them to see their errors, and feel them too. I have many times known such terrible searchings to take possession of even ministers themselves in revivals of religion, that they would for a time almost despair, indeed I have known them quite do so for a time. Now this, I say, may be expected.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 27 - THE INFINITE WORTH OF THE SOUL. paragraph 26

But reverse the picture. Shall we dare to look upon it? The period will arrive when, if unhappy, you will be able to say, "I have known more sorrow, remorse, bitterness, and agony than all the creatures in God's universe had when I came here." What then? Let him go on and multiply this to any possible extent till he can say, "Why no creature, that existed when I began to suffer, could then have conceived of the amount of misery that I have now suffered, and yet, I am no nearer the termination than when I first came here." Indeed the mind is wholly swallowed up in the contemplation of so incomprehensible a subject. Who can understand or conceive anything of eternal existence?--of what it is, to roll on and on, through an endless cycle of years, in happiness or misery, with a mind capable of the keenest enjoyment and of the most intense anguish forever and forever. Individual capacities in this world are extremely diversified; take for example that little child; it weeps, but while the tears stand on its little cheeks, its mother smiles, wipes them away, and it drops quietly to sleep. By and bye, it grows up and becomes a philosopher, it has read, studied, thought, and violated the law of God. Now remorse begins, but he wanders on in error and crime, and ascends the heights of science, as Byron did, looking down from those heights with a kind of disdain upon the ignorant multitudes beneath him. But the more he knows and the more he has abused his knowledge, the greater is his capacity for misery, till by and bye, although he sits on a high elevation of knowledge, he is racked with the keenest agony--an agony which an ignorant mind knows nothing about. There are opened in his bosom springs of the most intense misery, with which, in his earliest years he was perfectly unacquainted. Every step in the scale of intellectual development has only opened up the floodgates of wretchedness upon his soul. See him grow pale and wretched, till at length he curses the hour which brought him into existence. But if he could only escape from his own recollection--if he could only escape from the gaze of his murdered hours, opportunities neglected--what a blessing it would be to him! But mark, there they all stare at him--all his sins, his talents and acquirements troop around him to be his tormentors forever and forever.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 28 - PURITY OF HEART AND LIFE. paragraph 24

But let me say again: a keeping of this resolution implies a taking up of the stumbling blocks, and a making everything right as if preparing for the judgment. Just suppose that we knew, that in one week the judgment was to sit and all the preparation we should be permitted to make must be made in that space of time! Would you not at once be thoroughly upright and honest? Well you must be as honest now as you would be then! To be sure, I do not say that you must take the same course now as you would then, in all respects, for if you knew that the affairs of the world were so soon to be wound up, you would not think it necessary to continue your worldly business any longer; and many other things that you ought now to do would not be needful then; but the keeping of this resolution implies that you be as thoroughly upright and honest now as you would be then, in making confession, and as far as possible, restitution. We must remove all stumbling blocks out of the way. Suppose we look around us and see sundry things which offend, and hinder the salvation of our fellow men, what must we do? What does Christ say? "When thou bringest thy gift to the alter, and rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee, leave there thy gift; first go and be reconciled to thy brother and then come and offer thy gift." Do not offer it, for if you do it will not be accepted. Go first and remove the stumbling block and then come and offer thy gift. Here is the very principle for which we are contending laid down by Christ. Some men seem to suppose that the gospel dispensation is a very lenient one, compared with the Old Testament dispensation. The exact opposite of this is the truth. The New Testament dispensation is the same as the Old; but while the one related chiefly to the outward life, the other comes right home to the heart. Take Christ's sermon on the Mount, in which he tells you that unless there be obedience to the law of God in the heart, there is no obedience at all. He taught us also to exercise a forgiving spirit, or else when we prayed God would not hear us; unless we are upright and honest when we pray, and make our peace with those whom we have offended, we cannot approach unto God.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 38 - LITTLE SINS. paragraph 20

In the next place; the moral law, or the law of God, requires supreme love to God, and equal love to man. The whole of the law is summed up in these two requirements -- love to God and love to man. And this love must not be a mere emotion: the whole being must be devoted to the end to which God is devote: it must be a voluntary devotion to God because of the end which he seeks. In other words -- it is good-will within; it is the mind in a voluntary state yielding itself up, not to self-interest, but the glory of God, and the good of all beings.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 38 - LITTLE SINS. paragraph 25

This leads me to remark again; that the true spirit and meaning of what the apostle says, is as obviously and strongly asserted by reason as it is by revelation. What the apostle asserts is this -- if a man should do any or all of the things required in the decalogue, or ten commandments, in the letter, and yet should violate the true Spirit of one law, he would prove that he did not keep any of them from a right motive -- that he did not really obey the law at all in its true spirit and meaning. If I should keep those which did not cost me much self-denial, or keep them in the letter, but violate them in the spirit, this would prove that none of them were kept from a right motive. Hence, if any one indulges in the commission of any one sin, and yet appears in everything else to be virtuous, you may know that he has not true religion in his hear, that he is only religious in appearance. From what the apostle says in this passage it is plain, that if men pretend to have faith, and pretend to have love, and yet do not obey God, that they are deceiving themselves, and are violating the spirit of the whole of God's law. You can thus see, my dear hearers, that if the heart is right the conduct must be, and if the heart is wrong the conduct is wrong, whatever it may appear outwardly. The conduct is sinful, because it does not proceed from right intention. If the law of God is not obeyed in the spirit of it, it is disobeyed, whatever the outward life may be. If there is no reverence for the authority of God, no supreme devotedness to God, and not equal love for our neighbours, the law is violated. This leads me to say again -- if the spirit of the law is violated, -- for the spirit of the law is the spirit of the gospel, and the spirit of the gospel is the spirit of the law -- and both are the spirit of heaven; both are the spirit of God, and both are found in heaven; therefore, whatsoever falls short of obeying the spirit of the law, also falls short of obedience to the gospel.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 38 - LITTLE SINS. paragraph 26

Some remarks must close what I have to say this morning. First: viewed in relation to God's government of men there are no little sins. A great many persons have wondered, in reading the Old Testament, why certain sins were punished with death, which in the present day are hardly regarded as sins at all. The penalties for breaking the law under Moses were very different to what they are now in governments generally. The fact is, that under that dispensation it was peculiarly necessary for the infliction of a severe penalty against sin; and there were peculiar reasons why the law of the Sabbath should have been so rigidly enforced upon the Jews. But if you reflect for a moment you will see that there are no little sins, because every sin is a rejection of God's authority: every sin is a renunciation, for the time being, of allegiance to the Divine government. Of course there can be no little sins, for every sin involves a breach of the whole law, in the spirit of it; every one of them involves a refusal to love God with all the heart, and our neighbours as ourselves; every one of them involves a setting up of our own interests above that of Jehovah. There are no little sins then under the government of God; for everyone one of them involves rebellion against his authority. When we come to look at human society, and judge of the actions of men only as they effect it, we get comparative ideas of sin; but when we come to look at sin as a violation of the law of God, then we can see that every one who commits sin, in any degree as judged by human society, is an open enemy of God.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 39 - THE SINNER'S SELF-DESTRUCTION. paragraph 33

Again. persons often run to men for advice instead of to God. Some years since, at Detroit, in America, there lived a gentleman who belonged to one of the highest families in the place, and who was surrounded by a large circle of the very uppermost class of society. He was deeply convicted of his sins, very anxious about his soul, at length he became so intensely anxious that he could no longer refrain from speaking to me on the subject. I pressed him to submit. "I cannot do it," said he "without consulting my friends, without which I never take any important step, as they would think it unkind and ungenerous of me." "But are you going to consult unconverted men about your soul?" "Oh! Yes." "But I am certain if you do this, you will tempt the Spirit of God." But he "thought he should not." I pressed him for half an hour to make at once his peace with God. But no, he persisted to the last that his relations must be consulted; and so important a step must not be taken without their consent. Persons often thus consult their friends, and virtually commit themselves to their advice, rather than follow the dictates of their own conscience, their sense of right, and the law of God. They want no advice where the path of duty is so plain; but the fact is, they are afraid to displease their friends, and they therefore go on displeasing God! What a foolish and fatal course is this! -- flesh and blood before God!

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 2 - Moral Government paragraph 31 Definition of the term law . . Distinction between physical and moral law . . The essential attributes of moral law . . Subjectivity . . Objectivity . . Liberty, as opposed to necessity . . Fitness . . Universality . . Impartiality . . Justice . . Practicability . . Independence . . Immutability . . Unity . . Equity . . Expediency . . Exclusiveness

     "One point is what you say of the claims of the law, in the 'Oberlin Evangelist,' vol. ii. p. 50:--'the question is, what does the law of God require of Christians of the present generation, in all respects in our circumstances, with all the ignorance and debility of body and mind which have resulted from the intemperance and abuse of the human constitution through so many generations?' But if this be so, then the more ignorant and debilitated a person is in body and mind in consequence of his own or ancestors' sins and follies, the less the law would require of him, and the less would it be for him to become perfectly holy--and, the nearer this ignorance and debility came to being perfect, the nearer would he be to being perfectly holy, for the less would be required of him to make him so. But is this so? Can a person be perfectly sanctified, while particularly that 'ignorance of mind,' which is the effect of the intemperance and abuse of the human constitution, remains? Yea, can he be sanctified at all, only as this ignorance is removed by the truth and Spirit of God; it being a moral and not a physical effect of sinning? I say it kindly, here appears to me, at least, a very serious entering wedge of error. Were the effect of human depravity upon man simply to disable him, like taking from the body a limb, or destroying in part, or in whole, a faculty of the mind, I would not object; but to say, this effect is ignorance, a moral effect wholly, and then say, having this ignorance, the law levels its claims according to it, and that with it, a man can be entirely sanctified, looks not to me like the teachings of the bible."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 2 - Moral Government paragraph 33 Definition of the term law . . Distinction between physical and moral law . . The essential attributes of moral law . . Subjectivity . . Objectivity . . Liberty, as opposed to necessity . . Fitness . . Universality . . Impartiality . . Justice . . Practicability . . Independence . . Immutability . . Unity . . Equity . . Expediency . . Exclusiveness

     2. It has always been separated entirely from the exposition which I have given of the law of God in the same lectures; with which exposition, no one, so far as I know, has seen fit to grapple.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 2 - Moral Government paragraph 37 Definition of the term law . . Distinction between physical and moral law . . The essential attributes of moral law . . Subjectivity . . Objectivity . . Liberty, as opposed to necessity . . Fitness . . Universality . . Impartiality . . Justice . . Practicability . . Independence . . Immutability . . Unity . . Equity . . Expediency . . Exclusiveness

     6. I inquire, does not the very language of the law of God prove to a demonstration, that God requires no more of man than, in his present state, he is able to perform? Let us hear its language: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and will all thy strength. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Now here, God so completely levels his claims, by the very wording of these commandments, to the present capacity of every human being, however young or old, however maimed, debilitated, or idiotic, as, to use the language or sentiment of Prof. Hickok, of Auburn Seminary, uttered in my hearing that, "if it were possible to conceive of a moral pigmy, the law requires of him nothing more, than to use whatever strength he has, in the service and for the glory of God."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 2 - Moral Government paragraph 51 Definition of the term law . . Distinction between physical and moral law . . The essential attributes of moral law . . Subjectivity . . Objectivity . . Liberty, as opposed to necessity . . Fitness . . Universality . . Impartiality . . Justice . . Practicability . . Independence . . Immutability . . Unity . . Equity . . Expediency . . Exclusiveness

     I wish to be distinctly understood. I maintain, that present ignorance is present natural inability, as absolutely as that the present want of a hand is present natural inability to use it. And I also maintain, that the law of God requires nothing more of any human being, than that which he is at present naturally able to perform, under the present circumstances of his being. Do my brethren deny this? If they do, then they have gone back to Dr. Wilson's ground. If they do not, why am I accounted a heretic by them, for teaching what they themselves maintain?

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 2 - Moral Government paragraph 54 Definition of the term law . . Distinction between physical and moral law . . The essential attributes of moral law . . Subjectivity . . Objectivity . . Liberty, as opposed to necessity . . Fitness . . Universality . . Impartiality . . Justice . . Practicability . . Independence . . Immutability . . Unity . . Equity . . Expediency . . Exclusiveness

     13. Will my brethren of the new school, to avoid the conclusiveness of my reasonings in respect to the requirements of the law of God, go back to old schoolism, physical depravity, and accountability based upon natural inability, and all the host of absurdities belonging to its particular views of orthodoxy? I recollect that Dr. Beecher expressed his surprise at the position taken by Dr. Wilson, to which I have alluded, and said he did not believe that "many men could be found, who could march up without winking to the maintenance of such a proposition as that." But to be consistent, I do not see but that my brethren with or "without winking," are driven to the necessity, either of "marching up" to maintaining the same proposition, or they must admit that the objectionable paragraph in my lecture is the truth of God.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 4 - Moral Government--Continued (Part III) paragraph 61 Man a subject of moral obligation . . Extent of moral obligation . . Shown by an appeal to reason, or to natural theology, to what acts and states of mind moral obligation cannot directly extend . . Shown to what acts and states of mind moral obligation must directly extend . . To what acts and mental states moral obligation indirectly extends

     4. Moral obligation, indirectly, extends also to the states of the intellect; consequently the Bible, to a certain extent, and in a certain sense, holds men responsible for their thoughts and opinions. It everywhere assumes that if the heart be constantly right, the thoughts and opinions will correspond with the state of the heart, or will; "If any man will do his will he shall know the doctrine whether it be of God." "If thine eye be single thy body shall be full of light." It is, however, manifest that the word of God every where assumes that, strictly speaking, all virtue and vice belong to the heart or intention. Where this is right, all is regarded as right; and where this is wrong, all is regarded as wrong. It is upon this assumption that the doctrine of total depravity rests. It is undeniable that the veriest sinners do many things outwardly, which the law of God requires. Now unless the intention decides the character of these acts, they must be regarded as really virtuous. But when the intention is found to be selfish, then it is ascertained that they are sinful notwithstanding their conformity to the letter of the law of God.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 5 - Foundation of Moral Obligation paragraph 36 What is intended by the foundation of moral obligation . . The extent of moral obligation . . Remind you of the distinction between the ground and conditions of obligation . . Points of agreement among the principal parties in this discussion . . Wherein they disagree . . That the sovereign will of God is not the foundation of moral obligation . . The theory of Paley . . The utilitarian philosophy

     17. That this consecration is really demanded by the law of God, as revealed in the two great precepts laid down by Christ, and that this benevolence, when perfect, is in fact a compliance with the entire spirit of the law.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 5 - Foundation of Moral Obligation paragraph 84 What is intended by the foundation of moral obligation . . The extent of moral obligation . . Remind you of the distinction between the ground and conditions of obligation . . Points of agreement among the principal parties in this discussion . . Wherein they disagree . . That the sovereign will of God is not the foundation of moral obligation . . The theory of Paley . . The utilitarian philosophy

     The law of God, or the moral law, requires that God shall be loved with all the heart and our neighbour as ourselves. Now it is agreed by the parties in this discussion, that the love required is not mere emotion, but that it consists in choice, willing, intention--i.e., in the choice of something on account of its own intrinsic value, or in the choice of an ultimate end. Now what is this end? What is that which we are to choose for its own intrinsic value? Is it the will or command of God? Are we to will as an ultimate end, that God should will that we should thus will? What can be more absurd, self-contradictory, and ridiculous than this? But again: what is this loveing, willing, choosing, intending, required by the law? We are commanded to love God and our neighbour. What is this--what can it be, but to will the highest good or well-being of God and our neighbour? This is intrinsically and infinitely valuable. This must be the end, and nothing can possibly be law that requires the choice of any other ultimate end. Nor can that, by any possibility, be true philosophy, that makes anything else the reason or foundation of moral obligation.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 5 - Foundation of Moral Obligation paragraph 110 What is intended by the foundation of moral obligation . . The extent of moral obligation . . Remind you of the distinction between the ground and conditions of obligation . . Points of agreement among the principal parties in this discussion . . Wherein they disagree . . That the sovereign will of God is not the foundation of moral obligation . . The theory of Paley . . The utilitarian philosophy

     (1.) The law. Does this require us to love God and our neighbour, because loving God and our neighbour tends to the well-being either of God, our neighbour, or ourselves? Is it the tendency or utility of love that makes it obligatory upon us to exercise it? What! will good, not from regard to its value, but because willing good will do good! But why do good? What is this love? Here let it be distinctly remembered that the love required by the law of God is not a mere emotion or feeling, but willing, choosing, intending, in a word, that this love is nothing else than ultimate intention. What, then, is to be intended as an end or for its own sake? Is it the tendency of love, or the utility of ultimate intention, that is the end to be intended? It must be the latter, if utilitarianism is true.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 5 - Foundation of Moral Obligation paragraph 112 What is intended by the foundation of moral obligation . . The extent of moral obligation . . Remind you of the distinction between the ground and conditions of obligation . . Points of agreement among the principal parties in this discussion . . Wherein they disagree . . That the sovereign will of God is not the foundation of moral obligation . . The theory of Paley . . The utilitarian philosophy

     But the supposition that the law of God requires love to God and man, or the choice of their good, on account of the tendency of love to promote their well-being, is absurd. It is to represent the law as requiring love, not to God and our neighbour as an end, but to tendency as an end. The law in this case should read thus: "Thou shalt love the utility or tendency of love with all thy heart," &c.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 5 - Foundation of Moral Obligation paragraph 114 What is intended by the foundation of moral obligation . . The extent of moral obligation . . Remind you of the distinction between the ground and conditions of obligation . . Points of agreement among the principal parties in this discussion . . Wherein they disagree . . That the sovereign will of God is not the foundation of moral obligation . . The theory of Paley . . The utilitarian philosophy

     Again, this theory is absurd, because if the law of God requires ultimate intention, it is a contradiction to affirm that the intention ought to terminate on its own tendency as an end.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 6 - Foundation of Moral Obligation. False Theories. paragraph 9 The theory that regards right as the foundation of moral obligation

     Subjective right is synonymous with righteousness, uprightness, virtue. It consists in, or is an attribute of, that state of the will, which is conformed to objective right, or to moral law. It is a term that expresses the moral quality, element, or attribute of that ultimate intention which the law of God requires. In other words still, it is conformity of heart to the law of objective right, or, as I just said, it is more strictly the term that designates the moral character of that state of heart. Some choose to regard subjective right as consisting in this state of heart, and others insist that it is only an element, attribute, or quality of this state of heart, or of this ultimate intention. I shall not contend about words, but shall show that it matters not, so far as the question we are about to examine is concerned, in which of these lights subjective right is regarded, whether as consisting in ultimate intention conformed to law, or, as being an attribute, element, or quality of this intention.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 6 - Foundation of Moral Obligation. False Theories. paragraph 28 The theory that regards right as the foundation of moral obligation

     (1.) In the light of the moral law. The whole law is expressed by the great Teacher thus: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, with all they might, and with all thy strength; and thy neighbour as thyself." Paul says: "All the law is fulfilled in one word--love: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." Now it is admitted by this philosophy, that the love required by the law is not a mere emotion, but that it consists in willing, choice, intention; that it consists in the choice of an ultimate end, or in the choice of something for its own sake, or, which is the same thing, for its intrinsic value. What is this which the law requires us to will to God and our neighbour? Is it to will something to, or respecting, God and our neighbour, not for the sake of the intrinsic value of that something to them, but for the sake of the relation of rightness existing between choice and that something? This were absurd. Besides, what has this to do with loving God and our neighbour? To will the something, the good, for example, of God, and our neighbour, for the sake of the relation in question, is not the same as to love God and our neighbour, as it is not willing the good, for its own sake. It is not willing their good out of any regard to them, but solely out of regard to the relation of fitness existing between the willing and the object willed. Suppose it be said, that the law requires us to will the good, or highest blessedness of God and our neighbour, because it is right. This is a contradiction and an impossibility. To will the blessedness of God and our neighbour, in any proper sense, is to will it for its own sake, or as an ultimate end. But this is not to will it because it is right. To will the good of God and our neighbour for its own sake, or for its intrinsic value, is right. But to will it, not for the sake of its intrinsic value to them, but for the sake of the relations in question, is not right. To will the good because it is good, or the valuable because it is valuable, is right, because it is willing it for the right reason. But to will it, not for its value, but for the sake of the relation of fitness between the willing and the object, is not right, because it is not willing it for the right reason. The law of God does not, cannot, require us to love right more than God and our neighbour. What! right of greater value than the highest well being of God and of the universe? Impossible. It is impossible that the moral law should require anything else than to will the highest good of universal being as an ultimate end, i.e. for its own sake. It is a first truth of reason, that this is the most valuable thing possible or conceivable; and that could by no possibility be law, that should require anything else to be chosen as an ultimate end. According to this philosophy, the revealed law should read: "Thou shalt love the right for its own sake, with all thy heart and with all thy soul." The fact is, the law requires the supreme love of God, and the equal love of our neighbour. It says nothing, and implies nothing, about doing right for the sake of the right. Rightarianism is a rejection of the divine revealed law, and a substituting in its stead an entirely different rule of moral obligation: a rule that deifies right, that rejects the claims of God, and exalts right to the throne.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 6 - Foundation of Moral Obligation. False Theories. paragraph 38 The theory that regards right as the foundation of moral obligation

     The law of God, then, is not, and cannot be, developed in the mind of a child who has no knowledge or idea of the valuable, and who has, and can have, no reference to the good of any being, in obedience to his parents.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 7 - Foundation of Moral Obligation. False Theories. II paragraph 30 The theory that the goodness or moral excellence of God is the foundation of moral obligation

     (a.) It is admitted, that good, or the intrinsically valuable to being, must be the foundation of moral obligation. The law of God requires the choice of an ultimate end. This end must be intrinsically valuable, for it is its intrinsic value that imposes obligation to will it. Nothing, then, can be the foundation of moral obligation but that which is a good, or intrinsically valuable in itself.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 7 - Foundation of Moral Obligation. False Theories. II paragraph 40 The theory that the goodness or moral excellence of God is the foundation of moral obligation

     (i.) The Bible may assign, and does assign the goodness of God as a reason for loving him, but it does not follow, that it affirms, or assumes, that this reason is the foundation, or a foundation of the obligation. The inquiry is, in what sense does the Bible assign the goodness of God as a reason for loving him? Is it that the goodness of God is the foundation of the obligation, or only a condition of the obligation to will his actual blessedness in particular? Is his goodness a distinct ground of obligation to love him? But what is this love that his goodness lays us under an obligation to exercise to him? It is agreed, that it cannot be an emotion, that it must consist in willing something to him. It is said by some, that the obligation is to treat him as worthy. But I ask, worthy of what? Is he worthy of anything? If so, what is it? For this is the thing that I ought to will to him. Is he merely worthy that I should will his worthiness for its own sake? This must be, if his worthiness is the ground of obligation, for that which is the ground of obligation to choose must be the object of choice. Why, he is worthy of blessing, and honour, and praise. But these must all be embraced in the single word, love! The law has for ever decided the point, that our whole duty to God is expressed by this one term. It has been common to make assertions upon the subject, that involve a contradiction of the Bible. The law of God, as revealed in the two precepts, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbour as thyself," covers the whole ground of moral obligation. It is expressly and repeatedly taught in the Bible, that love to God and our neighbour, is the fulfilling of the law. It is, and must be, admitted, that this love consists in willing something to God and our neighbour. What, then, is to be willed to them? The command is, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." This says nothing about the character of my neighbour. It is the value of his interest, of his well-being, that the law requires me to regard. It does not require me to love my righteous neighbour merely, nor to love my righteous neighbour better than I do my wicked neighbour. It is my neighbour that I am to love. That is, I am to will his well-being, or his good, with the conditions and means thereof, according to its value. If the law contemplated the virtue of any being as a distinct ground of obligation, it could not read as it does. It must, in that case, have read as follows: "If thou art righteous, and thy neighbour is as righteous as thou art, thou shalt love him as thyself. But if he is righteous and thou are not, thou shalt love him, and not thyself. If thou are righteous, and he is not, thou shalt love thyself, and not thy neighbour." How far would this be from the gloss of the Jewish rabbies so fully rebuked by Christ, namely, "Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you; and pray for them that despitefully use and persecute you. For if ye love them that love you, what thank have ye? Do not even the publicans the same?" The fact is, the law knows but one ground of moral obligation. It requires us to love God and our neighbour. This love is good-will. What else ought we to will, or can we possibly will to God and our neighbour, but their highest good, or well-being, with all the conditions and means thereof? This is all that can be of any value to them, and all that we can, or ought to, will to them under any circumstances whatever. When we have willed this to them, we have done our whole duty to them. "Love is the fulfilling of the law." We owe them nothing more absolutely. They can have nothing more. But this the law requires us to will to God and our neighbour, on account of the intrinsic value of their good, whatever their character may be, that is, this is to be willed to God and our neighbour, as a possible good, whether they are holy or unholy, simply because of its intrinsic value.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 7 - Foundation of Moral Obligation. False Theories. II paragraph 48 The theory that the goodness or moral excellence of God is the foundation of moral obligation

     If the benefactor has in the benefaction obeyed the law of love, if he has done his duty in sustaining this relation, I am under obligation to exercise gratitude toward him. But what is gratitude? It is not a mere emotion or feeling, for this is a phenomenon of the sensibility, and, strictly speaking, without the pale both of legislation and morality. Gratitude, when spoken of as a virtue and as that of which moral obligation can be affirmed, must be an act of will. An obligation to gratitude must be an obligation to will something to the benefactor. But what am I under obligation to will to a benefactor, but his actual highest well-being? If it be God, I am under obligation to will his actual and infinite blessedness with all my heart and with all my soul. If it be my neighbour, I am bound to love him as myself, that is, to will his actual well-being as I do my own. What else can either God or man possess or enjoy, and what else can I be under obligation to will to them? I answer, nothing else. To the law and to the testimony; if any philosophy agree not herewith, it is because there is no light in it. The virtuous relation of benefactor modifies obligation, just as any other and every other form of virtue does, and in no other way. Whenever we perceive virtue in any being, this supplies the condition upon which we are bound to will his actual highest well-being. He has done his duty. He has complied with obligation in the relation he sustains. He is truthful, upright, benevolent, just, merciful, no matter what the particular form may be in which the individual presents to me the evidence of his holy character. It is all precisely the same so far as my obligation extends. I am, independently of my knowledge of his character, under obligation to will his highest well-being for its own sake. That is, to will that he may fulfil all the conditions, and thereupon enjoy perfect blessedness. But I am not under obligation to will his actual enjoyment of blessedness until I have evidence of his virtue. This evidence, however I obtain it, by whatever manifestations of virtue in him or by whatever means, supplies the condition upon which I am under obligation to will his actual enjoyment or highest well-being. This is my whole obligation. It is all he can have, and all I can will to him. All objections of this kind, and indeed all possible objections to the true theory and in support of the one I am examining, are founded in an erroneous view of the subject of moral obligation, or in a false and anti-scriptural philosophy that contradicts the law of God, and sets up another rule of moral obligation.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 8 - Foundation of Moral Obligation. False Theories. III paragraph 25 The philosophy which teaches that moral order is the foundation of moral obligation . . The theory that maintains that the nature and relations of moral beings is the true foundation of moral obligation . . The theory that teaches that moral obligation is founded in the idea of duty . . That philosophy which teaches the complexity of the foundation of moral obligation

     A man may resolve to serve God without any just idea of what it is to serve him. If he had the idea of what the law of God requires him to choose, clearly before his mind--if he perceived that to serve God, was nothing less than to consecrate himself to the same end to which God consecrates himself, to love God with all his heart and his neighbour as himself, that is, to will or choose the highest well-being of God and of the universe, as an ultimate end--to devote all his being, substance, time, and influence to this end;--I say, if this idea were clearly before his mind, he would not talk of resolving to consecrate himself to God--resolving to do his duty, to do right--to serve God--to keep a conscience void of offence, and such-like things. He would see that such resolutions were totally absurd and a mere evasion of the claims of God. It has been repeatedly shown, that all virtue resolves itself into the intending of an ultimate end, or of the highest well-being of God and the universe. This is true morality, and nothing else is. This is identical with that love to God and man which the law of God requires. This then is duty. This is serving God. This is keeping a conscience void of offence. This is right, and nothing else is. But to intend or resolve to do this is only to intend to intend, instead of at once intending what God requires. It is resolving to love God and his neighbour, instead of really loving him; choosing to choose the highest well-being of God and of the universe, instead of really choosing it. Now this is totally absurd, and when examined to the bottom will be seen to be nothing else than a most perverse postponement of duty and a most God-provoking evasion of his claims. To intend to do duty is gross nonsense. To do duty is to love God with all the heart, and our neighbour as ourselves, that is, to choose, will, intend the highest well-being of God and our neighbour for its own sake. To intend to do duty, to aim at doing duty, at doing right, at discharging obligation, &c. is to intend to intend, to choose to choose, and such-like nonsense. Moral obligation respects the ultimate intention. It requires that the intrinsically valuable to being shall be willed for its own sake. To comply with moral obligation is not to intend or aim at this compliance as an end, but to will, choose, intend that which moral law or moral obligation requires me to intend, namely, the highest good of being. To intend obedience to law is not obedience to law, for the reason that obedience is not that which the law requires me to intend. To aim at discharging obligation is not discharging it, just for the reason that I am under no obligation to intend this as an end. Nay, it is totally absurd and nonsensical to talk of resolving, aiming, intending to do duty--to serve the Lord, &c. &c. All such resolutions imply an entire overlooking of that in which true religion consists. Such resolutions and intentions from their very nature must respect outward actions in which is no moral character, and not the ultimate intention, in which all virtue and vice consist. A man may resolve or intend to do this or that. But to intend to intend an ultimate end, or to intend to choose it for its intrinsic value, instead of willing and at once intending or choosing that end, is grossly absurd, self-contradictory, and naturally impossible. Therefore this philosophy does not give a true definition and account of virtue. It is self-evident that it does not conceive rightly of it. And it cannot be that those who give such instructions, or those who receive and comply with them, have the true idea of religion in their minds. Such teaching is radically false, and such a philosophy leads only to bewilder, and dazzles to blind.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 8 - Foundation of Moral Obligation. False Theories. III paragraph 26 The philosophy which teaches that moral order is the foundation of moral obligation . . The theory that maintains that the nature and relations of moral beings is the true foundation of moral obligation . . The theory that teaches that moral obligation is founded in the idea of duty . . That philosophy which teaches the complexity of the foundation of moral obligation

     It is one thing for a man who actually loves God with all his heart and his neighbour as himself, to resolve to regulate all his outward life by the law of God, and a totally different thing to intend to love God or to intend his highest glory and well-being. Resolutions may respect outward action, but it is totally absurd to intend or resolve to form an ultimate intention. But be it remembered, that morality and religion do not belong to outward action, but to ultimate intentions. It is amazing and afflicting to witness the alarming extent to which spurious philosophy has corrupted and is corrupting the church of God. Kant and Cousin and Coleridge have adopted a phraseology, and manifestly have conceived in idea, a philosophy subversive of all true love to God and man, and teach a religion of maxims and resolutions instead of a religion of love. It is a philosophy, as we shall see in a future lecture, which teaches that the moral law or law of right, is entirely distinct from and may be opposite to the law of benevolence or love. The fact is, this philosophy conceives of duty and right as belonging to mere outward action. This must be, for it cannot be confused enough to talk of resolving or intending to form an ultimate intention. Let but the truth of this philosophy be assumed in giving instructions to the anxious sinner, and it will immediately dry off his tears, and in all probability lead him to settle down in a religion of resolutions instead of a religion of love. Indeed this philosophy will immediately dry off, (if I may be allowed the expression,) the most genuine and powerful revival of religion, and run it down into a mere revival of a heartless, Christless, loveless philosophy. It is much easier to persuade anxious sinners to resolve to do their duty, to resolve to love God, than it is to persuade them really to do their duty, and really to love God with all their heart and with all their soul, and their neighbour as themselves.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 8 - Foundation of Moral Obligation. False Theories. III paragraph 31 The philosophy which teaches that moral order is the foundation of moral obligation . . The theory that maintains that the nature and relations of moral beings is the true foundation of moral obligation . . The theory that teaches that moral obligation is founded in the idea of duty . . That philosophy which teaches the complexity of the foundation of moral obligation

     Now we have seen that the will of God cannot be the foundation of moral obligation. Moral obligation must be founded in the nature of that which moral law requires us to choose. Unless there be something in the nature of that which moral law require us to will that renders it worthy or deserving of choice, we can be under no obligation to will or choose it. It is admitted that the love required by the law of God must consist in an act of the will, and not in mere emotions. Now, does this love, willing, choice, embrace several distinct ultimates? If so, how can they all be expressed in one word--love? Observe, the law requires only love to God and our neighbour as an ultimate. This love or willing must respect and terminate on God and our neighbour. The law says nothing about willing right for the sake of the right, or truth for the sake of the truth, or beauty for the sake of beauty, or virtue for the sake of virtue, or moral order for its own sake, or the nature and relations of moral agents for their own sake; nor is, nor can any such thing be implied in the command to love God and our neighbour. All these and innumerable other things are, and must be, conditions and means of the highest well-being of God and our neighbour. As such, the law may, and doubtless does, in requiring us to will the highest well-being of God and our neighbour as an ultimate end, require us to will all these as the necessary conditions and means. The end which the revealed law requires us to will is undeniably simple as opposed to complex. It requires only love to God and our neighbour. One word expresses the whole of moral obligation. Now certainly this word cannot have a complex signification in such a sense as to include several distinct and ultimate objects of love, or of choice. This love is to terminate on God and our neighbour, and not on abstractions, nor on inanimate and insentient existences. I protest against any philosophy that contradicts the revealed law of God, and that teaches that anything else than God and our neighbour is to be loved for its own sake, or that anything else is to be chosen as an ultimate end than the highest well-being of God and our neighbour. In other words, I utterly object to any philosophy that makes anything obligatory upon a moral agent that is not expressed or implied in perfect good will to God, and to the universe of sentient existences. "To the word and to the testimony; if any philosophy agree not therewith, it is because there is no light in it." The revealed law of God knows but one ground or foundation of moral obligation. It requires but one thing, and that is just that attitude of the will toward God and our neighbour that accords with the intrinsic value of their highest well-being; that God's moral worth shall be willed as of infinite value, as a condition of his own well-being, and that his actual and perfect blessedness shall be willed for its own sake, and because, or upon condition, that he is worthy; that our neighbour's moral worth shall be willed as an indispensable condition of his blessedness, and that if our neighbour is worthy of happiness, his actual and highest happiness shall be willed. The fact is, that all ultimate acts of will must consist in ultimate choices and intentions, and the revealed law requires that our ultimate choice, intention, should terminate on the good of God and our neighbour, thus making the foundation of moral obligation simple, moral action simple, and all true morality to be summed up in one word--love. It is impossible, with our eye upon the revealed law, to make more than one foundation of moral obligation; and it is utterly inadmissible to subvert this foundation by any philosophisings whatever. This law knows but one end which moral agents are under obligation to seek, and sets at nought all so-called ultimate actions of will that do not terminate on the good of God and our neighbour. The ultimate choice with the choice of all the conditions and means of the highest well-being of God and the universe, is all that the revealed law recognizes as coming within the pale of its legislation. It requires nothing more and nothing less.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 11 - Foundation of Obligation. Summing up paragraph 50

     To this I reply; certainly, when we have willed the highest well-being of God and of the universe with the necessary conditions and means thereof, we have done our whole duty to him: for this is loving him with all our heart, and our neighbour as ourselves. Willing the highest well-being of God, and of the universe, implies worship, obedience, and the performance of every duty, as executive acts. The necessary conditions of the highest well-being of the universe are, that every moral being should be perfectly virtuous, and that every demand of the intelligence and of the whole being of God and of the universe of creatures be perfectly met, so that universal mind shall be in a state of perfect and universal satisfaction. To will this is all that the law of God does or can require.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 13 - Practical Bearings and Tendency of Rightarianism. paragraph 30 The philosophy which teaches that the divine goodness or moral excellence is the foundation of moral obligation . . The theory which teaches that moral order is the foundation of moral obligation . . The practical bearings of the theory that moral obligation is founded in the nature and relations of moral agents . . The theory which teaches that the idea of duty is the foundation of moral obligation . . The complexity of the foundation of moral obligation . . The practical bearings of what is regarded as the true theory of the foundation of moral obligation, viz. that the highest well-being of God and of the universe is the sole foundation of moral obligation

     (3.) If the foundation of moral obligation be not a unit, moral action or intention cannot be simple. If anything else than the intrinsically valuable to being is, or can be, the foundation of moral obligation, then this thing, whatever it is, is to be chosen for its own sake. If right, justice, truth, virtue, or anything else is to be chosen as an end, then just so much regard must be had to them, as their nature and importance demand. If the good or valuable to being be an ultimate good, and truth, and justice, and virtue are also to be chosen each for its own sake, here we meet with this difficulty, namely, that the good or valuable is one end to be chosen, and right another, and virtue another, and truth another, and justice another, and the beautiful another, and so on. Now if this be so, moral obligation cannot be a unit, nor can moral action be simple. If there be more ultimate considerations than one that ought to have influence in deciding choice, the choice is not right, unless each consideration that ought to have weight, really has the influence due to it in deciding choice. If each consideration has not its due regard, the choice certainly is not what it ought to be. In other words, all the things that ought to be chosen for their own sakes are not chosen. Indeed, it is self-evident that, if there is complexity in the ultimate end or end to be chosen, there must be the same complexity in the choice, or the choice is not what it ought to be; and if several considerations ought to influence ultimate choice, then there are so many distinct ultimate ends. If this is so, then each of them must have its due regard in every case of virtuous intention. But who then could ever tell whether he allowed to each exactly the relative influence it ought to have? This would confound and stultify the whole subject of moral obligation. This theory virtually and flatly contradicts the law of God and the repeated declaration that love to God and our neighbour is the whole of virtue. What! does God say that all the law is fulfilled in one word--love, that is, love to God and our neighbour? and shall a Christian philosopher overlook this, and insist that we ought to love not only God and our neighbour, but to will the right, and the true, and the just, and the beautiful, and multitudes of such like things for their own sake? The law of God makes and know only one ultimate end, and shall this philosophy be allowed to confuse us by teaching that there are many ultimate ends, that we ought to will each for its own sake?

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 14 - Moral Government paragraph 25 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Obedience cannot be partial in the sense that the subject ever does or can partly obey and partly disobey at the same time . . Can the will at the same time make opposite choices? . . The choice of an ultimate end is, and must be, the supreme preference of the mind . . An intelligent choice must respect ends or means . . No choice whatever can be made inconsistent with the present choice of an ultimate end . . Inquiry respecting the strength or intensity of the choice . . The law does not require the constant and most intense action of the will . . An intention cannot be right and honest in kind, and deficient in the degree of intensity . . Examination of the philosophy of the question, whether sin and holiness consist in supreme, ultimate, and opposite choices or intentions . . Objections to the foregoing philosophy considered . . This philosophy examined in the light of the scriptures

     But again: it is absurd to affirm that I choose an ultimate end, and yet do not consecrate to it all my strength. The choice of any ultimate end implies that that is the thing, and the only thing, for which we live and act; that we aim at, and live for nothing else, for the time being. Now what is intended by the assertion, that I may honestly choose an ultimate end, and yet with less strength or intensity than I ought? Is it intended that I can honestly choose an ultimate end, and yet not at every moment keep my will upon the strain, and will at every moment with the utmost possible intensity? If this be the meaning, I grant that it may be so. But I at the same time contend, that the law of God does not require that the will, or any other faculty, should be at every moment upon the strain, and the whole strength exerted at every moment. If it does, it is manifest that even Christ did not obey it. I insist that the moral law requires nothing more than honesty of intention, and assumes that honesty of intention will and must secure just that degree of intensity which, from time to time, the mind in its best judgment sees to be demanded. The Bible everywhere assumes that sincerity or honesty of intention is moral perfection; that it is obedience to the law. The terms sincerity and perfection in scripture language are synonymous. Uprightness, sincerity, holiness, honesty, perfection, are words of the same meaning in Bible language.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 14 - Moral Government paragraph 27 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Obedience cannot be partial in the sense that the subject ever does or can partly obey and partly disobey at the same time . . Can the will at the same time make opposite choices? . . The choice of an ultimate end is, and must be, the supreme preference of the mind . . An intelligent choice must respect ends or means . . No choice whatever can be made inconsistent with the present choice of an ultimate end . . Inquiry respecting the strength or intensity of the choice . . The law does not require the constant and most intense action of the will . . An intention cannot be right and honest in kind, and deficient in the degree of intensity . . Examination of the philosophy of the question, whether sin and holiness consist in supreme, ultimate, and opposite choices or intentions . . Objections to the foregoing philosophy considered . . This philosophy examined in the light of the scriptures

     But to return to the question:--does the law of God require simply uprightness of intention? or does it require not only uprightness, but also a certain degree of intensity in the intention? Is it satisfied with simple sincerity or uprightness of intention, or does it require that the highest possible intensity of choice shall exist at every moment? When it requires that we should love God with all the heart, with all the soul, with all the mind, and with all the strength, does it mean that all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, shall be consecrated to this end, and be used up, from moment to moment, and from hour to hour, according to the best judgment which the mind can form of the necessity and expediency of strenuousness of effort? or does it mean that all the faculties of soul and body shall be at every moment on the strain to the uttermost? Does it mean that the whole being is to be consecrated to, and used up for, God with the best economy of which the soul is capable? or does it require that the whole being be not only consecrated to God, but be used up without any regard to economy, and without the soul's exercising any judgment or discretion in the case? In other words, is the law of God the law of reason, or of folly? Is it intelligible and just in its demands? or is it perfectly unintelligible and unjust? Is it a law suited to the nature, relations, and circumstances, of moral agents? or has it no regard to them? If it has no regard to either, is it, can it be, moral law, and impose moral obligation? It seems to me that the law of God requires that all our power, and strength, and being, be honestly and continually consecrated to God, and held, not in a state of the utmost tension, but that the strength shall be expended and employed in exact accordance with the mind's honest judgment of what is at every moment the best economy for God. If this be not the meaning and the spirit of the law, it cannot be law, for it could be neither intelligible nor just. Nothing else can be a law of nature. What! does, or can the command, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy might, and with all thy strength," require that every particle of my strength, and every faculty of my being, shall be in a state of the utmost possible tension? How long could my strength hold out, or my being last, under such a pressure as this? What reason, or justice, or utility, or equity, or wisdom, could there be in such a commandment as this? Would this be suited to my nature and relations? That the law does not require the constant and most intense action of the will, I argue for the following reasons:--

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 14 - Moral Government paragraph 37 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Obedience cannot be partial in the sense that the subject ever does or can partly obey and partly disobey at the same time . . Can the will at the same time make opposite choices? . . The choice of an ultimate end is, and must be, the supreme preference of the mind . . An intelligent choice must respect ends or means . . No choice whatever can be made inconsistent with the present choice of an ultimate end . . Inquiry respecting the strength or intensity of the choice . . The law does not require the constant and most intense action of the will . . An intention cannot be right and honest in kind, and deficient in the degree of intensity . . Examination of the philosophy of the question, whether sin and holiness consist in supreme, ultimate, and opposite choices or intentions . . Objections to the foregoing philosophy considered . . This philosophy examined in the light of the scriptures

     "I must again remind you of that in which moral character consists, and occupy a few moments in repeating what I have already said, that moral character belongs solely to the ultimate intention of the mind, or to choice, as distinguished from volition. The law of God requires supreme disinterested benevolence; and all holiness, in the last analysis, resolves itself into some modification of supreme, disinterested benevolence, or good-willing. Benevolence, or good-willing, is synonymous with good-intending, or intending good. Now, the true spirit of the requirement of the moral law is this--that every moral being shall choose every interest according to its value as perceived by the mind. This is holiness. It is exercising supreme love or good-will to God, and equal love or good-will to our neighbour."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 14 - Moral Government paragraph 65 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Obedience cannot be partial in the sense that the subject ever does or can partly obey and partly disobey at the same time . . Can the will at the same time make opposite choices? . . The choice of an ultimate end is, and must be, the supreme preference of the mind . . An intelligent choice must respect ends or means . . No choice whatever can be made inconsistent with the present choice of an ultimate end . . Inquiry respecting the strength or intensity of the choice . . The law does not require the constant and most intense action of the will . . An intention cannot be right and honest in kind, and deficient in the degree of intensity . . Examination of the philosophy of the question, whether sin and holiness consist in supreme, ultimate, and opposite choices or intentions . . Objections to the foregoing philosophy considered . . This philosophy examined in the light of the scriptures

     (3.) Our intention is to be tried by the law of God, both in respect to its kind and degree.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 14 - Moral Government paragraph 66 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Obedience cannot be partial in the sense that the subject ever does or can partly obey and partly disobey at the same time . . Can the will at the same time make opposite choices? . . The choice of an ultimate end is, and must be, the supreme preference of the mind . . An intelligent choice must respect ends or means . . No choice whatever can be made inconsistent with the present choice of an ultimate end . . Inquiry respecting the strength or intensity of the choice . . The law does not require the constant and most intense action of the will . . An intention cannot be right and honest in kind, and deficient in the degree of intensity . . Examination of the philosophy of the question, whether sin and holiness consist in supreme, ultimate, and opposite choices or intentions . . Objections to the foregoing philosophy considered . . This philosophy examined in the light of the scriptures

     (4.) The law of God requires us to will, or intend the promotion of every interest in the universe, according to its perceived relative value, for its own sake; in other words, that all our powers shall be supremely and disinterestedly devoted to the glory of God, and the good of the universe.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 14 - Moral Government paragraph 83 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Obedience cannot be partial in the sense that the subject ever does or can partly obey and partly disobey at the same time . . Can the will at the same time make opposite choices? . . The choice of an ultimate end is, and must be, the supreme preference of the mind . . An intelligent choice must respect ends or means . . No choice whatever can be made inconsistent with the present choice of an ultimate end . . Inquiry respecting the strength or intensity of the choice . . The law does not require the constant and most intense action of the will . . An intention cannot be right and honest in kind, and deficient in the degree of intensity . . Examination of the philosophy of the question, whether sin and holiness consist in supreme, ultimate, and opposite choices or intentions . . Objections to the foregoing philosophy considered . . This philosophy examined in the light of the scriptures

     (21.) The fact is, virtue, holiness, uprightness, &c., signify a definite thing, and never anything else than conformity to the law of God. That which is not entirely conformed to the law of God is not holiness. This must be true in philosophy, and the Bible affirms the same thing. "Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." The spirit of this text as clearly and as fully assumes and affirms the doctrine under consideration, as if it had been uttered with that design alone.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 14 - Moral Government paragraph 101 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Obedience cannot be partial in the sense that the subject ever does or can partly obey and partly disobey at the same time . . Can the will at the same time make opposite choices? . . The choice of an ultimate end is, and must be, the supreme preference of the mind . . An intelligent choice must respect ends or means . . No choice whatever can be made inconsistent with the present choice of an ultimate end . . Inquiry respecting the strength or intensity of the choice . . The law does not require the constant and most intense action of the will . . An intention cannot be right and honest in kind, and deficient in the degree of intensity . . Examination of the philosophy of the question, whether sin and holiness consist in supreme, ultimate, and opposite choices or intentions . . Objections to the foregoing philosophy considered . . This philosophy examined in the light of the scriptures

     2. Whenever he sins, he must be condemned. He must incur the penalty of the law of God. If he does not, it must be because the law of God is abrogated. But if the law of God be abrogated, he has no rule of duty; consequently, can neither be holy nor sinful. If it be said that the precept is still binding upon him, but that, with respect to the Christian, the penalty is for ever set aside, or abrogated, I reply--that to abrogate the penalty is to repeal the precept; for a precept without penalty is no law. It is only counsel or advice. The Christian, therefore, is justified no longer than he obeys, and must be condemned when he disobeys; or Antinomianism is true.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 14 - Moral Government paragraph 134 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Obedience cannot be partial in the sense that the subject ever does or can partly obey and partly disobey at the same time . . Can the will at the same time make opposite choices? . . The choice of an ultimate end is, and must be, the supreme preference of the mind . . An intelligent choice must respect ends or means . . No choice whatever can be made inconsistent with the present choice of an ultimate end . . Inquiry respecting the strength or intensity of the choice . . The law does not require the constant and most intense action of the will . . An intention cannot be right and honest in kind, and deficient in the degree of intensity . . Examination of the philosophy of the question, whether sin and holiness consist in supreme, ultimate, and opposite choices or intentions . . Objections to the foregoing philosophy considered . . This philosophy examined in the light of the scriptures

     5. The common philosophy, that maintains the co-existence of both sin and holiness in the mind, at the same time, is virtually Antinomianism. It is a rejection of the law of God as the standard of duty. It maintains, that something is holiness which is less than supreme disinterested benevolence, or the devotion, for the time, of the whole being to God. Now any philosophy that makes regeneration, or holiness, consist in any thing less than just that measure of obedience which the law of God requires, is Antinomianism. It is a letting down, a rejection of the law of God.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 14 - Moral Government paragraph 135 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Obedience cannot be partial in the sense that the subject ever does or can partly obey and partly disobey at the same time . . Can the will at the same time make opposite choices? . . The choice of an ultimate end is, and must be, the supreme preference of the mind . . An intelligent choice must respect ends or means . . No choice whatever can be made inconsistent with the present choice of an ultimate end . . Inquiry respecting the strength or intensity of the choice . . The law does not require the constant and most intense action of the will . . An intention cannot be right and honest in kind, and deficient in the degree of intensity . . Examination of the philosophy of the question, whether sin and holiness consist in supreme, ultimate, and opposite choices or intentions . . Objections to the foregoing philosophy considered . . This philosophy examined in the light of the scriptures

     6. The very idea of sin and holiness co-existing in the same mind, is an absurd philosophy, contrary to scripture and common sense. It is an overlooking of that in which holiness consists. Holiness is obedience to the law of God, and nothing else is. By obedience, I mean entire obedience, or just that which the law requires. Any thing else than that which the law requires is not obedience and is not holiness. To maintain that it is, is to abrogate the law.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 15 - Moral Government--Continued (Part II) paragraph 22 In what sense we have seen that obedience to moral law cannot be partial . . In what sense obedience to moral law can be partial . . The government of God accepts nothing as virtue but obedience to the law of God . . There can be no rule of duty but moral law . . Nothing can be virtue or true religion but obedience to the moral law . . Nothing can be virtue that is not just what the moral law demands. That is, nothing short of what it requires can be in any sense virtue . . Uses of the term justification . . Fundamentally important inquiries respecting this subject . . Remarks

     And here I would observe, that the only sense in which obedience to moral law can be partial is, that obedience may be intermittent. That is, the subject may sometimes obey, and at other times disobey. He may at one time be selfish, or will his own gratification, because it is his own, and without regard to the well-being of God and his neighbour, and at another time will the highest well-being of God and the universe, as an end, and his own good only in proportion to its relative value. These are opposite choices, or ultimate intentions. The one is holy; the other is sinful. One is obedience, entire obedience, to the law of God; the other is disobedience, entire disobedience, to that law. These, for aught we can see, may succeed each other an indefinite number of times, but co-exist they plainly cannot.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 15 - Moral Government--Continued (Part II) paragraph 23 In what sense we have seen that obedience to moral law cannot be partial . . In what sense obedience to moral law can be partial . . The government of God accepts nothing as virtue but obedience to the law of God . . There can be no rule of duty but moral law . . Nothing can be virtue or true religion but obedience to the moral law . . Nothing can be virtue that is not just what the moral law demands. That is, nothing short of what it requires can be in any sense virtue . . Uses of the term justification . . Fundamentally important inquiries respecting this subject . . Remarks

     II. The government of God accepts nothing as virtue but obedience to the law of God.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 15 - Moral Government--Continued (Part II) paragraph 24 In what sense we have seen that obedience to moral law cannot be partial . . In what sense obedience to moral law can be partial . . The government of God accepts nothing as virtue but obedience to the law of God . . There can be no rule of duty but moral law . . Nothing can be virtue or true religion but obedience to the moral law . . Nothing can be virtue that is not just what the moral law demands. That is, nothing short of what it requires can be in any sense virtue . . Uses of the term justification . . Fundamentally important inquiries respecting this subject . . Remarks

     But it may be asked, Why state this proposition? Was this truth ever called in question? I answer, that the truth of this proposition, though apparently so self-evident, that to raise the question may reasonably excite astonishment, is generally denied. Indeed, probably nine-tenths of the nominal church deny it. They tenaciously hold sentiments that are entirely contrary to it, and amount to a direct denial of it. They maintain that there is much true virtue in the world, and yet that there is no one who ever for a moment obeys the law of God; that all Christians are virtuous, and that they are truly religious, and yet not one on earth obeys the moral law of God; in short, that God accepts as virtue that which, in every instance, comes short of obedience to his law. And yet it is generally asserted in their articles of faith, that obedience to moral law is the only proper evidence of a change of heart. With this sentiment in their creed, they will brand as a heretic, or as a hypocrite, any one who professes to obey the law; and maintain that men may be, and act pious, and eminently so, who do not obey the law of God. This sentiment, which every one knows to be generally held by those who are styled orthodox Christians, must assume that there is some rule of right, or of duty, besides the moral law; or that virtue, or true religion, does not imply obedience to any law. In this discussion I shall,--

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 15 - Moral Government--Continued (Part II) paragraph 53 In what sense we have seen that obedience to moral law cannot be partial . . In what sense obedience to moral law can be partial . . The government of God accepts nothing as virtue but obedience to the law of God . . There can be no rule of duty but moral law . . Nothing can be virtue or true religion but obedience to the moral law . . Nothing can be virtue that is not just what the moral law demands. That is, nothing short of what it requires can be in any sense virtue . . Uses of the term justification . . Fundamentally important inquiries respecting this subject . . Remarks

     It is in this last sense, that the advocates of this theory hold, that Christians are justified, that is, that they are pardoned, and accepted, and treated as just, though at every moment sinning, by coming short of rendering that obedience which the moral law demands. They do not pretend that they are justified at any moment by the law, for that at every moment condemns them for present sin; but that they are justified by grace, not in the sense that they are made really and personally righteous by grace, but that grace pardons and accepts, and in this sense justifies them when they are in the present commission of an indefinite amount of sin; that grace accounts them righteous while, in fact, they are continually sinning; that they are fully pardoned and acquitted, while at the same moment committing sin, by coming entirely and perpetually short of the obedience which, under the circumstances, the law of God requires. While voluntarily withholding full obedience, their partial obedience is accepted, and the sin of withholding full obedience is forgiven. God accepts what the sinner has a mind to give, and forgives what he voluntarily withholds. This is no caricature. It is, if I understand them, precisely what many hold. In considering this subject, I wish to propose for discussion the following inquiries, as of fundamental importance.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 15 - Moral Government--Continued (Part II) paragraph 62 In what sense we have seen that obedience to moral law cannot be partial . . In what sense obedience to moral law can be partial . . The government of God accepts nothing as virtue but obedience to the law of God . . There can be no rule of duty but moral law . . Nothing can be virtue or true religion but obedience to the moral law . . Nothing can be virtue that is not just what the moral law demands. That is, nothing short of what it requires can be in any sense virtue . . Uses of the term justification . . Fundamentally important inquiries respecting this subject . . Remarks

     (9.) Can there be such a thing as partial repentance of sin? That is, does not repentance imply present full obedience to the law of God?

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 15 - Moral Government--Continued (Part II) paragraph 67 In what sense we have seen that obedience to moral law cannot be partial . . In what sense obedience to moral law can be partial . . The government of God accepts nothing as virtue but obedience to the law of God . . There can be no rule of duty but moral law . . Nothing can be virtue or true religion but obedience to the moral law . . Nothing can be virtue that is not just what the moral law demands. That is, nothing short of what it requires can be in any sense virtue . . Uses of the term justification . . Fundamentally important inquiries respecting this subject . . Remarks

     (1.) How much sin may we commit, or how much may we, at every moment, come short of full obedience to the law of God, and yet be accepted and justified?

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 15 - Moral Government--Continued (Part II) paragraph 87 In what sense we have seen that obedience to moral law cannot be partial . . In what sense obedience to moral law can be partial . . The government of God accepts nothing as virtue but obedience to the law of God . . There can be no rule of duty but moral law . . Nothing can be virtue or true religion but obedience to the moral law . . Nothing can be virtue that is not just what the moral law demands. That is, nothing short of what it requires can be in any sense virtue . . Uses of the term justification . . Fundamentally important inquiries respecting this subject . . Remarks

     (8.) The next inquiry is, can there be such a thing as a partial repentance of sin? That is, does not true repentance imply a return to present full obedience to the law of God?

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 15 - Moral Government--Continued (Part II) paragraph 119 In what sense we have seen that obedience to moral law cannot be partial . . In what sense obedience to moral law can be partial . . The government of God accepts nothing as virtue but obedience to the law of God . . There can be no rule of duty but moral law . . Nothing can be virtue or true religion but obedience to the moral law . . Nothing can be virtue that is not just what the moral law demands. That is, nothing short of what it requires can be in any sense virtue . . Uses of the term justification . . Fundamentally important inquiries respecting this subject . . Remarks

     Yes, it is impossible for one to repent of present sin. To affirm that present sin is repented of, is to affirm a contradiction. It is overlooking both the nature of sin, and the nature of repentance. Sin is selfish willing; repentance is turning from selfish to benevolent willing. These two states of will, as has just been said, cannot possibly co-exist. Whoever, then, is at present falling short of full obedience to the law of God, is voluntarily sinning against God, and is impenitent. It is nonsense to say, that he is partly penitent and partly impenitent; that he is penitent so far as he obeys, and impenitent so far as he disobeys. This really seems to be the loose idea of many, that a man can be partly penitent, and partly impenitent at the same time. This idea, doubtless, is founded on the mistake, that repentance consists in sorrow for sin, or is a phenomenon of the sensibility. But we have seen that repentance consists in a change of ultimate intention,--a change in the choice of an end,--a turning from selfishness to supreme disinterested benevolence. It is, therefore, plainly impossible for one to be partly penitent, and partly impenitent at the same time; inasmuch as penitence and impenitence consist in supreme opposite choices.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 16 - Moral Government--Continued (Part III) paragraph 11 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Just rules of legal interpretation . . That actual knowledge is indispensable to moral obligation shown from scripture . . In the light of the above rules, inquire what is not implied in entire obedience to the law of God

     Since the law of God, as revealed in the Bible, is the standard, and the only standard, by which the question in regard to what is not, and what is, implied in entire sanctification, is to be decided, it is of fundamental importance, that we understand what is, and what is not, implied in entire obedience to this law. It must be apparent to all, that this inquiry is of prime importance. To settle this question is one of the main things to be attended to in this discussion. The doctrine of the entire sanctification of believers in this life can never be satisfactorily settled until it is understood. And it cannot be understood, until it is known what is, and what is not, implied in it. Our judgment of our own state, or of the state of others, can never be relied upon, till these inquiries are settled. Nothing is more clear than that, in the present vague unsettled views of the church upon this question, no individual could set up a claim of having attained this state, without being a stumbling-block to the church. Christ was perfect, and yet so erroneous were the notions of the Jews, in regard to what constituted perfection, that they thought him possessed with a devil, instead of being holy, as he claimed to be. It certainly is impossible, that a person should profess to render entire obedience to the moral law, without being a stumbling-block to himself and to others, unless he and they clearly understand what is not, and what is, implied in it. I will state then, what is not implied in entire obedience to the moral law, as I understand it. The law, as epitomized by Christ, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength, and thy neighbour as thyself,"--I understand to lay down the whole duty of man to God, and to his fellow creatures. Now, the questions are, what is not, and what is, implied in perfect obedience to this law? Vague notions, in regard to the proper answer to be given to these questions, seem to me to have been the origin of much error. To settle these questions, it is indispensable that we have distinctly before our minds just rules of legal interpretation. I will, therefore, lay down some first principles, in regard to the interpretation of law, in the light of which, I think, we may safely proceed to settle these questions.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 16 - Moral Government--Continued (Part III) paragraph 28 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Just rules of legal interpretation . . That actual knowledge is indispensable to moral obligation shown from scripture . . In the light of the above rules, inquire what is not implied in entire obedience to the law of God

     14. Moral law is to be so interpreted as to recognize all the attributes and circumstances of both body and soul. In the application of the law of God to human beings, we are to regard their powers and attributes as they really are, and not as they are not.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 16 - Moral Government--Continued (Part III) paragraph 32 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Just rules of legal interpretation . . That actual knowledge is indispensable to moral obligation shown from scripture . . In the light of the above rules, inquire what is not implied in entire obedience to the law of God

     II. What is not implied in entire obedience to the law of God.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 16 - Moral Government--Continued (Part III) paragraph 34 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Just rules of legal interpretation . . That actual knowledge is indispensable to moral obligation shown from scripture . . In the light of the above rules, inquire what is not implied in entire obedience to the law of God

     2. It does not imply the annihilation of any constitutional traits of character, such as constitutional ardour or impetuosity. There is nothing, certainly, in the law of God that requires such constitutional traits to be annihilated, but simply that they should be rightly directed in their exercise.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 16 - Moral Government--Continued (Part III) paragraph 35 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Just rules of legal interpretation . . That actual knowledge is indispensable to moral obligation shown from scripture . . In the light of the above rules, inquire what is not implied in entire obedience to the law of God

     3. It does not imply the annihilation of any of the constitutional appetites, or susceptibilities. It seems to be supposed by some, that the constitutional appetites and susceptibilities, are in themselves sinful, and that a state of entire conformity to the law of God implies their entire annihilation. And I have often been astonished at the fact, that those who array themselves against the doctrine of entire conformity to the law of God in this life, assume the sinfulness of the constitution of man. And I have been not a little surprised to find, that some persons who, I had supposed, were far enough from embracing the doctrine of physical moral depravity, were, after all, resorting to this assumption, in order to set aside the doctrine of entire sanctification in this life. But let us appeal to the law. Does the law any where, expressly or impliedly, condemn the constitution of man, or require the annihilation of any thing that is properly a part of the constitution itself? Does it require the annihilation of the appetite for food, or is it satisfied merely with regulating its indulgence? In short, does the law of God any where require any thing more than the consecration of all the powers, appetites, and susceptibilities of body and mind to the service of God?

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 16 - Moral Government--Continued (Part III) paragraph 36 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Just rules of legal interpretation . . That actual knowledge is indispensable to moral obligation shown from scripture . . In the light of the above rules, inquire what is not implied in entire obedience to the law of God

     4. Entire obedience does not imply the annihilation of natural affection, or natural resentment. By natural affection I mean, that certain persons may be naturally pleasing to us. Christ appears to have had a natural affection for John. By natural resentment I mean, that, from the laws of our being, we must resent or feel opposed to injustice or ill-treatment. Not that a disposition to retaliate or revenge ourselves is consistent with the law of God. But perfect obedience to the law of God does not imply that we should have no sense of injury and injustice, when we are abused. God has this, and ought to have it, and so has every moral being. To love your neighbour as yourself, does not imply, that if he injure you, you should feel no sense of the injury or injustice, but that you should love him and do him good, notwithstanding his injurious treatment.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 16 - Moral Government--Continued (Part III) paragraph 38 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Just rules of legal interpretation . . That actual knowledge is indispensable to moral obligation shown from scripture . . In the light of the above rules, inquire what is not implied in entire obedience to the law of God

     6. It does not imply that any organ or faculty is to be at all times exerted to the full measure of its capacity. This would soon exhaust and destroy any and every organ of the body. Whatever may be true of the mind, when separated from the body, it is certain, while it acts through a material organ, that a constant state of excitement is impossible. When the mind is strongly excited, there is of necessity a great determination of blood to the brain. A high degree of excitement cannot long continue, without producing inflammation of the brain, and consequent insanity. And the law of God does not require any degree of emotion, or mental excitement, inconsistent with life and health. Our Lord Jesus Christ does not appear to have been in a state of continual mental excitement. When he and his disciples had been in a great excitement for a time, they would turn aside, "and rest a while."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 16 - Moral Government--Continued (Part III) paragraph 39 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Just rules of legal interpretation . . That actual knowledge is indispensable to moral obligation shown from scripture . . In the light of the above rules, inquire what is not implied in entire obedience to the law of God

     Who that has ever philosophized on this subject, does not know that the high degree of excitement which is sometimes witnessed in revivals of religion, must necessarily be short, or that the people must become deranged? It seems sometimes to be indispensable that a high degree of excitement should prevail for a time, to arrest public and individual attention, and draw off people from other pursuits, to attend to the concerns of their souls. But if any suppose that this high degree of excitement is either necessary or desirable, or possible to be long continued, they have not well considered the matter. And here is one grand mistake of the church. They have supposed that the revival consists mostly in this state of excited emotion, rather than in conformity of the human will to the law of God. Hence, when the reasons for much excitement have ceased, and the public mind begins to grow more calm, they begin immediately to say, that the revival is on the decline; when, in fact, with much less excited emotion, there may be vastly more real religion in the community.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 16 - Moral Government--Continued (Part III) paragraph 42 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Just rules of legal interpretation . . That actual knowledge is indispensable to moral obligation shown from scripture . . In the light of the above rules, inquire what is not implied in entire obedience to the law of God

     All the powers of body and mind are to be held at the service and disposal of God. Just so much of physical, intellectual, and moral energy are to be expended in the performance of duty, as the nature and the circumstances of the case require. And nothing is further from the truth than that the law of God requires a constant, intense state of emotion and mental action, on any and every subject alike.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 16 - Moral Government--Continued (Part III) paragraph 44 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Just rules of legal interpretation . . That actual knowledge is indispensable to moral obligation shown from scripture . . In the light of the above rules, inquire what is not implied in entire obedience to the law of God

     The law of God requires the supreme love of the heart. By this is meant that the mind's supreme preference should be of God--that God should be the great object of its supreme regard. But this state of mind is perfectly consistent with our engaging in any of the necessary business of life--giving to that business that attention, and exercising about it all those affections and emotions, which its nature and importance demand.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 16 - Moral Government--Continued (Part III) paragraph 47 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Just rules of legal interpretation . . That actual knowledge is indispensable to moral obligation shown from scripture . . In the light of the above rules, inquire what is not implied in entire obedience to the law of God

     In making this statement, I take it for granted, that the brain, together with all the circumstances of the constitution are such that the requisite amount of thought, feeling, &c., are possible. If the physical constitution be in such a state of exhaustion, as to be unable to put forth that amount of exertion which the nature of the case might otherwise demand, even in this case, the languid efforts, though far below the importance of the subject, would be all that the law of God requires. Whoever, therefore, supposes that a state of entire obedience implies a state of entire abstraction of mind from everything but God, labours under a grievous mistake. Such a state of mind is as inconsistent with duty, as it is impossible, while we are in the flesh.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 16 - Moral Government--Continued (Part III) paragraph 55 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Just rules of legal interpretation . . That actual knowledge is indispensable to moral obligation shown from scripture . . In the light of the above rules, inquire what is not implied in entire obedience to the law of God

     Now such an interpretation of the law as would make it necessary, in order to yield obedience, for us to understand all our relations, would imply in us the possession of the attribute of omniscience; for certainly there is not a being in the universe to whom we do not sustain some relation. And a knowledge of all these relations plainly implies infinite knowledge. It is plain that the law of God cannot require any such thing as this; and that entire obedience to the law of God, therefore, implies no such thing.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 16 - Moral Government--Continued (Part III) paragraph 60 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Just rules of legal interpretation . . That actual knowledge is indispensable to moral obligation shown from scripture . . In the light of the above rules, inquire what is not implied in entire obedience to the law of God

     18. It does not imply the same amount of service that we might have rendered, had we never sinned. The law of God does not imply or suppose, that our powers are in a perfect state; that our strength of body or mind is what it would have been, had we never sinned. But it simply requires us to use what strength we have. The very wording of the law is proof conclusive, that it extends its demand only to the full amount of what strength we have. And this is true of every moral being, however great or small.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 16 - Moral Government--Continued (Part III) paragraph 67 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Just rules of legal interpretation . . That actual knowledge is indispensable to moral obligation shown from scripture . . In the light of the above rules, inquire what is not implied in entire obedience to the law of God

     (2.) The law of God makes no such demand, either expressly or impliedly.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 16 - Moral Government--Continued (Part III) paragraph 75 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Just rules of legal interpretation . . That actual knowledge is indispensable to moral obligation shown from scripture . . In the light of the above rules, inquire what is not implied in entire obedience to the law of God

     The most violent opposition that I have ever seen manifested to any person, has been manifested by members of the church, and even by some ministers of the gospel, towards those who, I believe, were among the most holy persons I ever knew. I have been shocked, and wounded beyond expression, at the almost fiendish opposition to such persons which I have witnessed. I have several times of late observed, that writers in newspapers were calling for examples of Christian perfection or entire sanctification, or, which is the same thing, of entire obedience to the law of God. Now I would humbly inquire, of what use is it to point the church to examples, so long as they do not know what is, and what is not, implied in entire obedience to moral law? I would ask, are the church agreed among themselves in regard to what constitutes this state? Are any considerable number of ministers agreed among themselves, as to what is implied in a state of entire obedience to the law of God? The church and the ministry are in a great measure in the dark on this subject. Why then call for examples? No man can profess to render this obedience, without being sure to be set at nought as a hypocrite or a self-deceiver.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 16 - Moral Government--Continued (Part III) paragraph 80 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Just rules of legal interpretation . . That actual knowledge is indispensable to moral obligation shown from scripture . . In the light of the above rules, inquire what is not implied in entire obedience to the law of God

     In all the discussions I have seen upon the subject of Christian holiness, writers seldom or never raise the distinct inquiry: What does obedience to the law of God imply, and what does it not imply? Instead of bringing everything to this test, they seem to lose sight of it. On the one hand, they include things that the law of God never required of man in his present state. Thus they lay a stumbling-block and a snare for the saints, to keep them in perpetual bondage, supposing that this is the way to keep them humble, to place the standard entirely above their reach. Or, on the other hand, they really abrogate the law, so as to make it no longer binding. Or they so fritter away what is really implied in it, as to leave nothing in its requirements, but a sickly, whimsical, inefficient sentimentalism, or perfectionism, which in its manifestations and results, appears to me to be anything but that which the law of God requires.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 16 - Moral Government--Continued (Part III) paragraph 84 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Just rules of legal interpretation . . That actual knowledge is indispensable to moral obligation shown from scripture . . In the light of the above rules, inquire what is not implied in entire obedience to the law of God

     29. Nor does it imply that the rightness or moral character of benevolence is, at all times, the object of the mind's attention. We may intend the glory of God and the good of our neighbour, without at all times thinking of the moral character of this intention. But the intention is not the less virtuous on this account. The mind unconsciously, but necessarily, assumes the rightness of benevolence, or of willing the good of being, just as it assumes other first truths, without being distinctly conscious of the assumption. First truths are those truths that are universally and necessarily known to every moral agent, and that are, therefore, always and necessarily assumed by him, whatever his theory may be. Among them, are the law of causality--the freedom of moral agents--the intrinsic value of happiness or blessedness--moral obligation to will it for or because of its intrinsic value--the infinite value of God's well-being, and moral obligation to will it on that account--that to will the good of being is duty, and to comply with moral obligation is right--that selfishness is wrong. These and many such like truths are among the class of first truths of reason. They are always and necessarily taken along with every moral agent, at every moment of his moral agency. They live in his mind as intuitions or assumptions of his reason. He always and necessarily affirms their truth, whether he thinks of them, that is, whether he is conscious of the assumption, or not. It is not, therefore, at all essential to obedience to the law of God, that we should at all times have before our minds the virtuousness or moral character of benevolence.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 16 - Moral Government--Continued (Part III) paragraph 100 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Just rules of legal interpretation . . That actual knowledge is indispensable to moral obligation shown from scripture . . In the light of the above rules, inquire what is not implied in entire obedience to the law of God

     32. Nor does it imply, that the benevolent mind always so much as thinks of the rightness of good willing. I surely may will the highest well-being of God and of men as an end, or from a regard to its intrinsic value, and not at the time, or at least at all times, be conscious of having any reference to the rightness of this love. It is, however, none the less virtuous on this account. I behold the infinite value of the well-being of God, and the infinite value of the immortal soul of my neighbour. My soul is fired with the view. I instantly consecrate my whole being to this end, and perhaps do not so much as think, at the time, either of moral obligation, or of the rightness of the choice. I choose the end with a single eye to its intrinsic value. Will any one say that this is not virtue?--that this is not true and real obedience to the law of God?

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 17 - Moral Government--Continued (Part IV) paragraph 9 What is implied in obedience to the moral law . . Call attention to certain facts in mental philosophy, as they are revealed in consciousness . . Point out the attributes of that love which constitutes obedience to the law of God . . Voluntariness . . Liberty . . Intelligence . . Virtuousness . . Disinterestedness . . Impartiality . . Universality

     II. Point out the attributes of that love which constitutes obedience to the law of God; and, as I proceed, call attention to those states of the intelligence and of the sensibility, and also to the course of outward conduct implied in the existence of this love in any mind, implied in it as necessarily resulting from it, as an effect does from its cause.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 17 - Moral Government--Continued (Part IV) paragraph 16 What is implied in obedience to the moral law . . Call attention to certain facts in mental philosophy, as they are revealed in consciousness . . Point out the attributes of that love which constitutes obedience to the law of God . . Voluntariness . . Liberty . . Intelligence . . Virtuousness . . Disinterestedness . . Impartiality . . Universality

     Now, inasmuch as the love required by the moral law consists in choice, willing, intention, as before repeatedly shown; and inasmuch as choice, willing, intending, controls the states of the intellect and the outward actions directly, by a law of necessity, and by the same law controls the feelings or states of the sensibility indirectly, it follows that certain states of the intellect and of the sensibility, and also certain outward actions, must be implied in the existence of the love which the law of God requires. I say, implied in it, not as making a part of it, but as necessarily resulting from it. The thoughts, opinions, judgments, feelings, and outward actions must be moulded and modified by the state of the heart or will.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 17 - Moral Government--Continued (Part IV) paragraph 18 What is implied in obedience to the moral law . . Call attention to certain facts in mental philosophy, as they are revealed in consciousness . . Point out the attributes of that love which constitutes obedience to the law of God . . Voluntariness . . Liberty . . Intelligence . . Virtuousness . . Disinterestedness . . Impartiality . . Universality

     Before I proceed to point out the attributes of benevolence, it is important to remark, that all the moral attributes of God and of all holy beings, are only attributes of benevolence. Benevolence is a term that comprehensively expresses them all. God is love. This term expresses comprehensively God's whole moral character. This love, as we have repeatedly seen, is benevolence. Benevolence is good-willing, or the choice of the highest good of God and the universe, as an end. But from this comprehensive statement, accurate though it be, we are apt to receive very inadequate conceptions of what really belongs to, as implied in, benevolence. To say that love is the fulfilling of the whole law; that benevolence is the whole of true religion; that the whole duty of man to God and his neighbour, is expressed in one word, love--these statements, though true, are so comprehensive as to need with all minds much amplification and explanation. Many things are implied in love or benevolence. By this is intended, that benevolence needs to be viewed under various aspects and in various relations, and its nature considered in the various relations in which it is called to act. Benevolence is an ultimate intention, or the choice of an ultimate end. But if we suppose that this is all that is implied in benevolence, we shall egregiously err. Unless we inquire into the nature of the end which benevolence chooses, and the means by which it seeks to accomplish that end, we shall understand but little of the import of the word benevolence. Benevolence has many attributes or characteristics. These must all harmonize in the selection of its end, and in its efforts to realize it. By this is intended that benevolence is not a blind, but the most intelligent, choice. It is the choice of the best possible end in obedience to the demand of the reason and of God, and implies the choice of the best possible means to secure this end. Both the end and the means are chosen in obedience to the law of God, and of reason. An attribute is a permanent quality of a thing. The attributes of benevolence are those permanent qualities which belong to its very nature. Benevolence is not blind, but intelligent choice. It is the choice of the highest well-being of moral agents. It seeks this end by means suited to the nature of moral agents. Hence wisdom, justice, mercy, truth, holiness, and many other attributes, as we shall see, are essential elements, or attributes, of benevolence. To understand what true benevolence is, we must inquire into its attributes. Not everything that is called love has at all the nature of benevolence. Nor has all that is called benevolence any title to that appellation. There are various kinds of love. Natural affection is called love. The affection that exists between the sexes is also called love. Our preference of certain kinds of diet is called love. Hence we say we love fruit, vegetables, meat, milk, &c. Benevolence is also called love, and is the kind of love, beyond all question, required by the law of God. But there is more than one state of mind that is called benevolence. There is a constitutional or phrenological benevolence, which is often mistaken for, and confounded with, the benevolence which constitutes virtue. This so called benevolence is in truth only an imposing form of selfishness; nevertheless it is called benevolence. Many of its manifestations are like those of true benevolence. Care, therefore, should be taken, in giving religious instruction, to distinguish accurately between them. Benevolence, let it be remembered, is the obedience of the will to the law of reason and of God. It is willing good as an end, for its own sake, and not to gratify self. Selfishness consists in the obedience of the will to the impulses of the sensibility. It is a spirit of self-gratification. The will seeks to gratify the desires and propensities, for the pleasure of the gratification. Self-gratification is sought as an end, and as the supreme end. It is preferred to the claims of God and the good of being. Phrenological, or constitutional benevolence, is only obedience to the impulse of the sensibility--a yielding to a feeling of compassion. It is only an effort to gratify a desire. It is, therefore, as really selfishness, as is an effort to gratify any constitutional desire whatever.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 17 - Moral Government--Continued (Part IV) paragraph 21 What is implied in obedience to the moral law . . Call attention to certain facts in mental philosophy, as they are revealed in consciousness . . Point out the attributes of that love which constitutes obedience to the law of God . . Voluntariness . . Liberty . . Intelligence . . Virtuousness . . Disinterestedness . . Impartiality . . Universality

     II. I will now proceed to point out the attributes of that love which constitutes obedience to the law of God.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 17 - Moral Government--Continued (Part IV) paragraph 23 What is implied in obedience to the moral law . . Call attention to certain facts in mental philosophy, as they are revealed in consciousness . . Point out the attributes of that love which constitutes obedience to the law of God . . Voluntariness . . Liberty . . Intelligence . . Virtuousness . . Disinterestedness . . Impartiality . . Universality

     1. Voluntariness. That is to say, it is a phenomenon of the will. There is a state of the sensibility often expressed by the term love. Love may, and often does exist, as every one knows, in the form of a mere feeling or emotion. The term is often used to express the emotion of fondness or attachment, as distinct from a voluntary state of mind, or a choice of the will. This emotion or feeling, as we are all aware, is purely an involuntary state of mind. Because it is a phenomenon of the sensibility, and of course a passive state of mind, it has in itself no moral character. The law of God requires voluntary love or good-will, as has been repeatedly shown. This love consists in choice, intention. It is choosing the highest well-being of God and the universe of sentient beings as an end. Of course voluntariness must be one of its characteristics. The word benevolence expresses this idea.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 17 - Moral Government--Continued (Part IV) paragraph 26 What is implied in obedience to the moral law . . Call attention to certain facts in mental philosophy, as they are revealed in consciousness . . Point out the attributes of that love which constitutes obedience to the law of God . . Voluntariness . . Liberty . . Intelligence . . Virtuousness . . Disinterestedness . . Impartiality . . Universality

     3. Intelligence. That is, the mind makes choice of this end intelligently. It not only knows what it chooses, and why it chooses, but also that it chooses in accordance with the dictates of the intellect, and the law of God; that the end is worthy of being chosen, and that for this reason the intellect demands that it should be chosen; and also, that for its own intrinsic value it is chosen.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 17 - Moral Government--Continued (Part IV) paragraph 31 What is implied in obedience to the moral law . . Call attention to certain facts in mental philosophy, as they are revealed in consciousness . . Point out the attributes of that love which constitutes obedience to the law of God . . Voluntariness . . Liberty . . Intelligence . . Virtuousness . . Disinterestedness . . Impartiality . . Universality

     Again: Because the conscience approves of this choice, therefore, there is and must be a corresponding state of the sensibility. There is and must be in the sensibility a feeling of happiness or satisfaction, a feeling of complacency or delight in the love that is in the heart or will. This love, then, always produces self-approbation in the conscience, and a felt satisfaction in the sensibility, and these feelings are often very acute and joyous, insomuch that the soul, in the exercise of this love of the heart, is sometimes led to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. This state of mind does not always and necessarily amount to joy. Much depends in this respect on the clearness of the intellectual views, upon the state of the sensibility, and upon the manifestation of Divine approbation to the soul. But where peace, or approbation of conscience, and consequently a peaceful state of the sensibility are not, this love is not. They are connected with it by a law of necessity, and must of course appear on the field of consciousness where this love exists. These, then, are implied in the love that constitutes obedience to the law of God. Conscious peace of mind, and conscious joy in God must be where true love to God exists.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 18 - Attributes of Love paragraph 6 Efficiency . . Penitence . . Faith . . Complacency

     WHAT IS IMPLIED IN OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW OF GOD.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 18 - Attributes of Love paragraph 14 Efficiency . . Penitence . . Faith . . Complacency

     10. Another characteristic or attribute of benevolence is Faith. Evangelical faith is by no means, as some have supposed, a phenomenon of the intelligence. The term, however, is often used to express states both of the sensibility and of the intellect. Conviction, or a strong perception of truth, such as banishes doubt, is, in common language, called faith or belief, and this without any reference to the state of the will, whether it embraces or resists the truth perceived. But, certainly, this conviction cannot be evangelical faith. In this belief, there is no virtue; it is essentially but the faith of devils. The term is often used, in common language, to express a mere feeling of assurance, or confidence. Faith, to be a virtue, must be a phenomenon of the will. It must be an attribute of benevolence or love. Faith, as an attribute of benevolence, is that quality that inclines it to trust in veracity and truth as the necessary condition of securing the good of being. It is a first truth, that truth, and obedience to truth, are conditions of the good of being. Hence, in the very act of becoming benevolent, the will embraces and commits itself to truth. The reason also affirms the veracity of God. Hence, in becoming benevolent, the mind commits itself to the veracity of God. Benevolence, be it remembered, is an intelligent choice, in obedience to the law of God. Of course its very nature implies confidence in God. Such is its nature that it will, of course, embrace and be influenced by the revealed will of God, and receive this revealed will as law, in all its efforts to secure its end. This quality reveals itself in specific acts. There is an important distinction between faith, as an attribute of benevolence, and faith as a volition, or special act. The first is the cause of the last. Faith, as an attribute, is a quality that belongs to the nature of benevolence. This quality reveals itself in particular acts, or in embracing and committing itself to the testimony and will of God, in resting in the promises and declarations of God, and in the word and work of Christ. It trusts in God, this is its nature. As has been said, in the very act of becoming benevolent, the mind commits itself to truth, and to the God of truth. It obeys the law of the intellect in the act of choosing the good of being, as an ultimate end. The intellect affirms the veracity of God, and the relations of this veracity and of truth to the good of being. Hence confidence in God belongs to the very nature of benevolence. As confidence in God is an attribute of benevolence, it will, of course, employ the intellect to ascertain the truth and will of God, and put forth appropriate expressions of confidence, in specific acts, as new truths shall be discovered. Particular acts of confidence in God, or in others, or in particular truths, are executive acts, and efforts to secure the end of benevolence. It also implies that state of the sensibility which is called faith. Both the state of the intellect and the state of the sensibility just expressed are implied in faith, though neither of them makes any part of it. Faith always begets a realizing state of the sensibility. The intellect sees the truth clearly, and the sensibility feels it deeply, in proportion to the strength of the intellectual perception. But the clearest possible perception, and the deepest possible felt assurance of the truth, may consist with a state of the utmost opposition of the will to truth. But this cannot be trust, confidence, faith. The damned in hell, no doubt, see the truth clearly, and have a feeling of the utmost assurance of the truth of Christianity, but they have no faith.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 19 - Attributes of Love--Continued (Part II) paragraph 6 Opposition to Sin . . Compassion

     WHAT IS IMPLIED IN ENTIRE OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW OF GOD.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 19 - Attributes of Love--Continued (Part II) paragraph 20 Opposition to Sin . . Compassion

     As this opposition to sin is plainly implied in, and is an essential attribute of, benevolence, or true love to God, it follows, that obedience to the law of God cannot be partial, in the sense that we both love God and sin as the same time.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 20 - Attributes of Love--Continued (Part III) paragraph 6 Mercy . . Justice . . Veracity

     WHAT IS IMPLIED IN OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW OF GOD.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 21 - Attributes of Love--Continued (Part IV) paragraph 19 Patience . . Meekness . . Long-suffering . . Humility

     It is delightful to contemplate the perfection and glory of that love which constitutes obedience to the law of God. As occasions arise, we behold it developing one attribute after another, and there may be many of its attributes and modifications of which we have as yet no idea whatever. Circumstances will call them into exercise. It is probable, if not certain, that the attributes of benevolence were very imperfectly known in heaven previous to the existence of sin in the universe, and that but for sin many of these attributes would never have been manifested in exercise. But the existence of sin, great as the evil is, has afforded an opportunity for benevolence to manifest its beautiful phases, and to develope its sweet attributes in a most enchanting manner. Thus the divine economy of benevolence brings good out of so great an evil.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 22 - Attributes of Love--Continued (Part V) paragraph 6 Self-denial . . Condescension . . Candour . . Stability . . Kindness . . Severity

     WHAT IS IMPLIED IN OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW OF GOD.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 22 - Attributes of Love--Continued (Part V) paragraph 9 Self-denial . . Condescension . . Candour . . Stability . . Kindness . . Severity

     Now the love required by the law of God, we have repeatedly seen to be good will, or willing the highest good of being for its own sake, or as an end.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 23 - Attributes of Love--Continued (Part VI) paragraph 6 Holiness, or Purity . . Modesty . . Sobriety . . Sincerity . . Zeal . . Unity . . Simplicity

     WHAT IS IMPLIED IN OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW OF GOD.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 23 - Attributes of Love--Continued (Part VI) paragraph 18 Holiness, or Purity . . Modesty . . Sobriety . . Sincerity . . Zeal . . Unity . . Simplicity

     Holiness, or moral harmony of character is, then, an essential attribute of disinterested love. It must be so from the laws of our being, and from the very nature of benevolence. In man it manifests itself in great purity of conversation and deportment, in a great loathing of all impurity of flesh and spirit. Let no man profess piety who has not this attribute developed. The love required by the law of God is pure love. It seeks to make its object happy only by making him holy. It manifests the greatest abhorrence of sin and all uncleanness. In creatures it pants, and doubtless ever will pant and struggle, toward infinite purity or holiness. It will never find a resting place in such a sense as to desire to ascend no higher. As it perceives more and more of the fulness and infinity of God's holiness, it will no doubt pant and struggle to ascend the eternal heights where God sits in light too intense for the strongest vision of the highest cherub.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 24 - Attributes of Love--Continued (Part VII) paragraph 6 Gratitude . . Wisdom . . Grace . . Economy

     WHAT IS IMPLIED IN OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW OF GOD.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 24 - Attributes of Love--Continued (Part VII) paragraph 31 Gratitude . . Wisdom . . Grace . . Economy

     There are many other attributes of benevolence that might be enumerated and enlarged upon, all of which are implied in entire obedience to the law of God. Enough has been said, I hope, to fix attention strongly upon the fact, that every modification of virtue, actual, conceivable, or possible, is only either an attribute or manifestation of benevolence; and where benevolence is, there all virtue is, and must be, and every form in which virtue does or can exist, must develope itself as its occasions shall arise.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 25 - Moral Government B paragraph 37 Revert to some points that have been settled . . Show what disobedience to moral law cannot consist in . . What disobedience to moral law must consist in

     5. It cannot consist in inaction: for total inaction is to a moral agent impossible. Moral agents are necessarily active. That is, they cannot exist as moral agents without choice. They must, by a law of necessity, choose either in accordance with, or in opposition to, the law of God. They are free to choose in either direction, but they are not free to abstain from choice altogether. Choose they must. The possession of free-will, and the perception of opposing objects of choice, either exciting desire, or developing the rational affirmation of obligation to choose, render choice one way or the other inevitable. The law directs how they ought to choose. If they do not choose thus, it must be because they choose otherwise, and not because they do not choose at all.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 25 - Moral Government B paragraph 47 Revert to some points that have been settled . . Show what disobedience to moral law cannot consist in . . What disobedience to moral law must consist in

     5. Disobedience to God's law must consist in the choice of self-gratification as an end. In other words, it must consist essentially in committing the will, and through the will committing the whole being, to the indulgence of self-love, as the supreme and ultimate end of life. This is selfishness. In other words, it is seeking to gratify the desire of personal good, in a manner prohibited by the law of God.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 25 - Moral Government B paragraph 48 Revert to some points that have been settled . . Show what disobedience to moral law cannot consist in . . What disobedience to moral law must consist in

     It consists in choosing self-gratification as an end, or for its own sake, instead of choosing, in accordance with the law of the reason and of God, the highest well-being of God and of the universe as an ultimate end. In other words still, sin or disobedience to the moral law, consists in the consecration of the heart and life to the gratification of the constitutional and artificial desires, rather than in obedience to the law of the intelligence. Or, once more, sin consists in being governed by impulses of the sensibility, instead of being governed by the law of God, as it lies revealed in the reason.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 26 - Moral Government B continued (Part II) paragraph 11 What constitutes disobedience . . What is not implied in disobedience to the law of God

     We have seen that all sin or disobedience to moral law is a unit, and that it consists in selfishness, or in the choice of self-gratification as an end; in other words, that it consists in committing the will to the impulses of the sensibility, to the desires, emotions, feelings, and passions, instead of committing it to the good of being in general, in obedience to the law of the reason, or to the law of God as it is revealed in the reason. Selfishness is the intention to gratify self as an end. It is the preference of self-interest to other and higher interests.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 26 - Moral Government B continued (Part II) paragraph 12 What constitutes disobedience . . What is not implied in disobedience to the law of God

     II. What is not implied in disobedience to the law of God.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 26 - Moral Government B continued (Part II) paragraph 17 What constitutes disobedience . . What is not implied in disobedience to the law of God

     Again: that disobedience to the law of God does not imply the choice of sin, or the wrong for its own sake, has been shown in a former lecture. But I must so far repeat as to say, that it is impossible that sin should be chosen as an end. Sin belongs to the ultimate intention. It either consists in, and is identical with, selfish intention, or it is the moral element or attribute of that intention. If it be identical with it, then to intend sin as an end, or for its own sake, were to intend my own intention as an end. If sin be but the moral element, quality, or attribute of the intention, then to intend sin as an end, I must intend an attribute of my intention as an end. Either alternative is absurd and impossible.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 26 - Moral Government B continued (Part II) paragraph 18 What constitutes disobedience . . What is not implied in disobedience to the law of God

     3. Disobedience to moral law does not imply, that the wrongness or sinfulness of the intention, is so much as thought of at the time the intention is formed. The sin not only need not be intended, but it is not essential to sin, that the moral character of the intention be at all taken into consideration, or so much as thought of at the time the intention is formed. The sinner ought to will the good of being. This he knows, and if he be a moral agent, which is implied in his being a sinner, he cannot but assume this as a first truth, that he ought to will the good of being in general, and not his own gratification, as an end. This truth he always and necessarily takes with him, in the form of an assumption of a universal truth. He knows, and cannot but know, that he ought to will the good of God and of the universe, as an end, instead of willing his own good as an end. Now, this being necessarily assumed by him as a first truth, it is no more essential to sin, that he should think at the time that a particular intention is or would be sinful, than it is essential to murder, that the law of causality should be distinctly before the mind, as an object of attention, when the murderer aims the fatal weapon at his victim. Murder consists in a selfish intention to kill a human being. I point a pistol at my neighbour's head with an intention to gratify a spirit of revenge or of avarice, or some such desire, by taking his life. I am, however, so exasperated, or so intent on self-gratification, as not to think of the law of God, or of God himself, or of my obligation to do otherwise. Now, am I hereby justified? No, indeed. I no more think of that law of causality which alone will secure the effect at which I aim, than I do of my obligation, and of the moral character of my intention. Nevertheless, I assume, and cannot but assume, those first truths at the moment of my intention. The first truths of reason are those, as has been repeatedly said, that are necessarily known and assumed by all moral agents. Among these truths are those of causality, moral obligation, right, wrong, human free agency, &c. Now, whether I think of these truths or not at every moment, I cannot but assume their truth at all times. In every endeavour to do anything, I assume the truth of causality, and generally without being conscious of any such assumption. I also assume the truth of my own free agency, and equally without being conscious of the assumption. I also assume that happiness is a good, for I am aiming to realize it to myself. I assume that it is valuable to myself, and cannot but assume that it is equally valuable to others. I cannot but assume also, that it ought to be chosen because of its intrinsic value, and that it ought to be chosen impartially, that is, that the good of each should be chosen according to its relative or intrinsic value. This is assuming my obligation to will it as an end, and is also assuming the rightness of such willing, and the wrongness of its opposite.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 27 - Attributes of Selfishness. paragraph 20 What constitutes disobedience to moral law . . What is implied in disobedience to moral law . . Attributes of Selfishness. Voluntariness . . Liberty . . Intelligence . . Unreasonableness . . Interestedness . . Partiality . . Impenitence . . Unbelief

     (2.) It implies knowledge of the end which a moral agent is bound to choose. We have seen that the moral law requires love, and that this love is benevolence, and that benevolence is the disinterested and impartial choice of the highest good of God and of being in general, as an end. Now it follows, that this end must be apprehended, before we can possibly choose it. Therefore, obligation to choose it implies the perception or knowledge of it. Disobedience to moral law, then, implies the developement in the reason of the idea of the good or valuable to being. A being therefore who has not reason, or the ideas of whose reason on moral subjects are not at all developed, cannot violate the law of God; for over such the moral law does not extend its claims.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 27 - Attributes of Selfishness. paragraph 31 What constitutes disobedience to moral law . . What is implied in disobedience to moral law . . Attributes of Selfishness. Voluntariness . . Liberty . . Intelligence . . Unreasonableness . . Interestedness . . Partiality . . Impenitence . . Unbelief

     By this it is intended, that the selfish choice is in direct opposition to the demands of the reason. The reason was given to rule, that is, to affirm obligation, and thus announce the law of God. It affirms law and moral obligation. Obedience to moral law, as it is revealed in the reason, is virtue. Obedience to the sensibility in opposition to the reason, is sin. Selfishness consists in this. It is a dethroning of reason from the seat of government, and an enthroning of blind desire in opposition to it. Selfishness is always and necessarily unreasonable. It is a denial of that divine attribute that allies man to God, makes him capable of virtue, and is a sinking him to the level of a brute. It is a denial of his manhood, of his rational nature. It is a contempt of the voice of God within him, and a deliberate trampling down the sovereignty of his own intellect. Shame on selfishness! It dethrones human reason, and would dethrone the divine, and place mere blind lust upon the throne of the universe.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 28 - Attributes of Selfishness--Continued (Part II) paragraph 6 Efficiency . . Opposition to benevolence or to virtue . . Cruelty . . Injustice

     WHAT IS IMPLIED IN DISOBEDIENCE TO THE LAW OF GOD.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 28 - Attributes of Selfishness--Continued (Part II) paragraph 22 Efficiency . . Opposition to benevolence or to virtue . . Cruelty . . Injustice

     viii. The carnal heart or mind cannot but sin; "it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be," because it is "enmity against God."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 29 - Attributes of Selfishness--Continued (Part III) paragraph 6 Oppression . . Hostility . . Unmercifulness . . Falsehood, or lying . . Pride

     WHAT IS IMPLIED IN DISOBEDIENCE TO THE LAW OF GOD.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 30 - Attributes of Selfishness--Continued (Part IV) paragraph 6 Enmity . . Madness . . Impatience . . Intemperance . . Moral recklessness . . Unity

     WHAT IS IMPLIED IN DISOBEDIENCE TO THE LAW OF GOD.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 31 - Attributes of Selfishness--Continued (Part V) paragraph 6 Egotism . . Simplicity . . Total moral depravity implied in selfishness as one of its attributes . . The scriptures assume and affirm it . . Remarks

     WHAT IS IMPLIED IN DISOBEDIENCE TO THE LAW OF GOD.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 33 - Moral Government C continued (Part II) paragraph 54 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

     II. What constitutes the remuneratory sanctions of the law of God.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 33 - Moral Government C continued (Part II) paragraph 55 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

     III. The perfection and duration of the remuneratory sanctions of the law of God.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 33 - Moral Government C continued (Part II) paragraph 56 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

     IV. What constitutes the vindicatory sanctions of the law of God.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 33 - Moral Government C continued (Part II) paragraph 64 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

     II. What constitutes the remuneratory sanctions of the law of God.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 33 - Moral Government C continued (Part II) paragraph 68 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

     III. The perfection and duration of the remuneratory sanctions of the law of God.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 33 - Moral Government C continued (Part II) paragraph 74 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

     IV. What constitutes the vindicatory sanctions of the law of God.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 33 - Moral Government C continued (Part II) paragraph 75 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

     1. The misery naturally and necessarily connected with, and resulting from, disobedience to moral law. Here again, let it be understood, that moral law is nothing else than that rule of action which accords with the nature and relations of moral beings. Therefore, the natural vindicatory sanction of the law of God is misery, resulting from a violation of man's own nature.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 33 - Moral Government C continued (Part II) paragraph 78 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

     V. Duration of the penal sanctions of the law of God.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 33 - Moral Government C continued (Part II) paragraph 112 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

     Here the inquiry is, what kind of death is intended, where death is denounced against the transgressor, as the penalty of the law of God?

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 33 - Moral Government C continued (Part II) paragraph 122 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

     (ii.) To make a state of entire sinfulness the penalty of the law of God, would be to make the penalty and the breach of the precept identical.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 33 - Moral Government C continued (Part II) paragraph 124 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.) But the penal sanction of the law of God is endless death, or that state of endless suffering which is the natural and governmental result of sin or of spiritual death.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 33 - Moral Government C continued (Part II) paragraph 142 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

     1. That the penal sanctions of the law of God are endless, is evident from the fact, that a less penalty would not exhibit as high motives as the nature of the case admits, to restrain sin and promote virtue.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 33 - Moral Government C continued (Part II) paragraph 145 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

     4. Unless the penal sanctions of the law of God are endless, they are virtually and really no penalty at all. If a man be threatened with punishment for one thousand, or ten thousand, or ten millions, or ten hundred millions of years, after which he is to come out as a matter of justice, and go to heaven, there is beyond an absolute eternity of happiness. Now, there is no sort of proportion between the longest finite period that can be named, or even conceived, and endless duration. If, therefore, limited punishment, ending in an eternity of bliss, be the penalty of God's law, the case stands thus: Be perfect, and you live here for ever; sin, and receive finite suffering, with an eternity of blessedness. This would be, after all, offering reward for sin.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 33 - Moral Government C continued (Part II) paragraph 149 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

     8. The law of God makes no provision for terminating future punishment.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 34 - Atonement. paragraph 131 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

     (23.) The fact, that the execution of the law of God on rebel angels had not arrested, and could not arrest, the progress of rebellion in the universe, proves that something more needed to be done, in support of the authority of law, than would be done in the execution of its penalty upon rebels. While the execution of law may have a strong tendency to prevent the beginning of rebellion among loyal subjects, and to restrain rebels themselves; yet penal inflictions do not, in fact, subdue the heart, under any government, whether human or divine.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 34 - Atonement. paragraph 132 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

     As a matter of fact, the law was only exasperating rebels, without confirming holy beings. Paul affirmed, that the action of the law upon his own mind, while in impenitence, was to beget in him all manner of concupiscence. One grand reason for giving the law was, to develope the nature of sin, and to show that the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. The law was therefore given that the offence might abound, that thereby it might be demonstrated, that without an atonement there could be no salvation for rebels under the government of God.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 35 - Extent of Atonement. paragraph 100 For whose benefit the atonement was intended . . Objections answered . . Remarks on the atonement

     1. The execution of the law of God on rebel angels must have created great awe in heaven.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 35 - Extent of Atonement. paragraph 143 For whose benefit the atonement was intended . . Objections answered . . Remarks on the atonement

     44. It has given a standing illustration of the true intent, meaning, and excellency of the law of God. In the atonement God has illustrated the meaning of his law by his own example.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 36 - Human Government. paragraph 56 The ultimate end of God in creation . . Providential and moral governments are indispensable means of securing the highest good of the universe . . Civil and family governments are indispensable to the securing of this end, and are therefore really a part of the providential and moral government of God . . Human governments are a necessity of human nature . . This necessity will continue as long as human beings exist in this world . . Human governments are plainly recognized in the Bible as a part of the moral government of God . . It is the duty of all men to aid in the establishment and support of human government . . It is absurd to suppose that human governments can ever be dispensed with in the present world . . Objections answered . . Inquire into the foundation of the right of human governments . . Point out the limits or boundary of this right

     (4.) In popular or elective governments, every man having a right to vote, every human being who has moral influence, is bound to exert that influence in the promotion of virtue and happiness. And as human governments are plainly indispensable to the highest good of man, they are bound to exert their influence to secure a legislation that is in accordance with the law of God.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 38 - Moral Depravity. paragraph 35 Definition of the term depravity . . Point out the distinction between physical and moral depravity . . Of what physical depravity can be predicated . . Of what moral depravity can be predicated . . Mankind are both physically and morally depraved . . Subsequent to the commencement of moral agency and previous to regeneration the moral depravity of mankind is universal . . The moral depravity of the unregenerate moral agents of our race, is total

     7. It cannot consist in anything back of choice, and that sustains to choice the relation of a cause. Whatever is back of choice, is without the pale of legislation. The law of God, as has been said, requires good-willing only, and sure it is, that nothing but acts of will can constitute a violation of moral law. Outward actions, and involuntary thoughts and feelings, may be said in a certain sense to possess moral character, because they are produced by the will. But, strictly speaking, moral character belongs only to choice, or intention.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 38 - Moral Depravity. paragraph 46 Definition of the term depravity . . Point out the distinction between physical and moral depravity . . Of what physical depravity can be predicated . . Of what moral depravity can be predicated . . Mankind are both physically and morally depraved . . Subsequent to the commencement of moral agency and previous to regeneration the moral depravity of mankind is universal . . The moral depravity of the unregenerate moral agents of our race, is total

     1. In those passages that represent all the unregenerate as possessing one common wicked heart or character. "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."--Gen. vi. 5. "This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead."--Eccl. ix. 3. "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?"--Jer. xvii. 9. "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."--Rom. viii. 7.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 39 - Moral Depravity--Continued (Part II) paragraph 68 Proper method of accounting for the universal and total moral depravity of the unregenerate moral agents of our race . . Moral depravity consists in selfishness, or in the choice of self-interest, self-gratification, or self-indulgence, as an end . . Dr. Wood's view of physical and moral depravity examined . . Standards of the Presbyterian Church examined

     (2.) That one passage is to be so interpreted as not to contradict another. But to make this text state that sin belongs, or may belong, to the substance of an unborn infant, is to make it flatly contradict another passage that defines sin to be a "transgression of the law of God."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 40 - Moral Depravity--Continued (Part III) paragraph 15 Further examination of the arguments adduced in support of the position that human nature is in itself sinful

     (1.) They are involuntary, and moral character can no more be predicated of them, on account of their being temptations, than it could of the fruit that was a temptation to Eve. They have no design to tempt. They are constitutional, unintelligent, involuntary; and it is impossible that moral character should be predicable of them. A moral agent is responsible for his emotions, desires, &c., so far as they are under the direct or indirect control of his will, and no further. He is always responsible for the manner in which he gratifies them. If he indulges them in accordance with the law of God, he does right. If he makes their gratification his end, he sins.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 41 - Moral Depravity--Continued (Part IV) paragraph 29 The proper method of accounting for moral depravity . . Pres. Edwards's views examined . . Summary of the truth on this subject . . Remarks

     (i.) We have more than once seen that the Bible has given us the history of the introduction of sin into our world; and that from the narrative, it is plain, that the first sin consisted in selfishness, or in consenting to indulge the excited constitutional propensities in a prohibited manner. In other words, it consisted in yielding the will to the impulses of the sensibility, instead of abiding by the law of God, as revealed in the intelligence. Thus the Bible ascribes the first sin of our race to the influence of temptation.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 41 - Moral Depravity--Continued (Part IV) paragraph 37 The proper method of accounting for moral depravity . . Pres. Edwards's views examined . . Summary of the truth on this subject . . Remarks

     (i.) It consists, remember, in the committal of the will to the gratification or indulgence of self--in the will's following, or submitting itself to be governed by, the impulses and desires of the sensibility, instead of submitting itself to the law of God revealed in the reason.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 42 - Regeneration. paragraph 39 The common distinction between regeneration and conversion . . I am to state the assigned reasons for this distinction . . I am to state the objections to this distinction . . What regeneration is not . . What regeneration is . . The universal necessity of regeneration . . Agencies employed in regeneration . . Instrumentalities employed in the work . . In regeneration the subject is both passive and active . . What is implied in regeneration

     (4.) The thing done implies the turning or activity of the subject. It is nonsense to affirm that his moral character is changed without any activity or agency of his own. Passive holiness is impossible. Holiness is obedience to the law of God, the law of love, and of course consists in the activity of the creature.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 43 - Regeneration--Continued (Part II) paragraph 37 Philosophical theories of regeneration . . The different theories of regeneration examined . . Objections to the taste scheme . . The divine efficiency scheme . . Objections to the divine efficiency . . The susceptibility scheme . . Theory of a divine moral suasion . . Objections to this theory . . Remarks

     This philosophy denies constitutional moral depravity, or original sin, and maintains that moral character belongs alone to the exercises or choices of the will; that regeneration does not consist in the creation of any new taste, relish, or craving, nor in the implantation or infusion of any new principles in the soul: but that it consists in a choice conformed to the law of God, or in a change from selfishness to disinterested benevolence; that this change is effected by a direct act of Divine power or efficiency, as irresistible as any creative act whatever. This philosophy teaches, that the moral character of every moral agent, whether holy or sinful, is formed by an agency as direct, as sovereign, and as irresistible, as that which first gave existence to the universe; that true submission to God implies the hearty consent of the will to have the character thus formed, and then to be treated accordingly, for the glory of God. The principal arguments by which this theory is supported, so far as I am acquainted with them, are as follow:--

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 44 - Regeneration--Continued (Part III) paragraph 38 Evidences of regeneration . . Introductory remarks . . Wherein the experience and outward life of saints and sinners may agree . . Remarks

     (11.) Moral agents constitutionally approve of what is right, and disapprove of what is wrong. Of course, both saints and sinners may both approve of and delight in goodness. I can recollect weeping at an instance of what, at the time, I supposed to be goodness, while, at the same time, I was not religious myself. I have no doubt that wicked men, not only often are conscious of strongly approving the goodness of God, but that they also often take delight in contemplating it. This is constitutional, both as it respects the intellectual approbation, and also as it respects the feeling of delight. It is a great mistake to suppose that sinners are never conscious of feelings of complacency and delight in the goodness of God. The Bible represents sinners as taking delight in drawing near to him. "Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God."--Isa. lviii. 2. "And lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not."--Ezek. xxxiii. 32. "For I delight in the law of God after the inward man."--Rom. vii. 22.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 44 - Regeneration--Continued (Part III) paragraph 40 Evidences of regeneration . . Introductory remarks . . Wherein the experience and outward life of saints and sinners may agree . . Remarks

     (13.) Saints and sinners agree in this, that they both disapprove of, and are often disgusted with, and deeply abhor, sin. They cannot but disapprove of sin. Necessity is laid upon every moral agent, whatever his character may be, by the law of his being, to condemn and disapprove of sin. And often the sensibility of sinners, as well as of saints, is filled with deep disgust and loathing in view of sin. I know that representations the direct opposite of these are often made. Sinners are represented as universally having complacency in sin, as having a constitutional craving for sin, as they have for food and drink. But such representations are false and most injurious. They contradict the sinner's consciousness, and lead him either to deny his total depravity, or to deny the Bible, or to think himself regenerate. As was shown when upon the subject of moral depravity, sinners do not love sin for its own sake; but they crave other things, and this leads to prohibited indulgence, which indulgence is sin. But it is not the sinfulness of the indulgence that was desired. That might have produced disgust and loathing in the sensibility, if it had been considered even at the moment of indulgence. For example: suppose a licentious man, a drunkard, a gambler, or any other wicked man, engaged in his favourite indulgence, and suppose that the sinfulness of this indulgence should be strongly set before his mind by the Holy Spirit. He might be deeply ashamed and disgusted with himself, and so much so as to feel a great contempt for himself, and feel almost ready, were it possible, to spit in his own face. And yet, unless this feeling becomes more powerful than the desire and feeling which the will is seeking to indulge, the indulgence will be persevered in, notwithstanding this disgust. If the feeling of disgust should for the time overmatch the opposing desire, the indulgence will be, for the time being, abandoned for the sake of gratifying or appeasing the feeling of disgust. But this is not virtue. It is only a change in the form of selfishness. Feeling still governs, and not the law of the intelligence. The indulgence is only abandoned for the time being, to gratify a stronger impulse of the sensibility. The will, will of course return to the indulgence again, when the feelings of fear, disgust, or loathing subside. This, no doubt, accounts for the multitudes of spurious conversions sometimes witnessed. Sinners are convicted, fears awakened, and disgust and loathing excited. These feelings for the time become stronger than their desire for their former indulgences, and consequently they abandon them for a time, in obedience, not to the law of God or of their intelligence, but in obedience to their fear, disgust, and shame. But when conviction subsides, and the consequent feelings are no more, these spurious converts "return like a dog to his vomit, and like a sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." It should be distinctly understood, that all these feelings of which I have spoken, and indeed any class or degree of mere feelings, may exist in the sensibility; and further, that these or any other feelings may, in their turns, control the will; and produce of course a corresponding outward life, and yet the heart be and remain all the while in a selfish state, or in a state of total depravity. Indeed, it is perfectly common to see the impenitent sinner manifest much disgust and opposition to sin in himself and in others, yet this is not principle in him; it is only the effect of present feeling. The next day, or perhaps hour, he will repeat his sin, or do that which, when beheld in others, enkindled his indignation.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 45 - Regeneration--Continued (Part IV) paragraph 23 Wherein saints and sinners or deceived professors must differ

     The saint chooses the good of being impartially; that is, he chooses the highest good of being in general for its own sake, and lays no greater stress upon his own, than is dictated by the law of his own intelligence. His duty is to will the greatest amount of good to being in general, and promote the greatest amount of good within his power. From the relation of things, every one's own highest well-being is committed to his particular keeping and promotion, in a higher sense than that of his neighbour is. Next to his own well-being, that of his own family and kindred is committed to his particular keeping and promotion, in a higher sense than that of his neighbour's family and kindred. Next the interest and well-being of his immediate neighbourhood and of those more immediately within the sphere of his influence, is committed to his keeping and promotion. Thus, while all interests are to be esteemed according to their intrinsic and relative value, the law of God requires, that we should lay ourselves out more particularly for the promotion of those interests that lie so much within our reach, that we can accomplish and secure a greater amount of good, by giving our principal attention and efforts to them, than could be secured by our practically treating the interests of every individual, of every family, and of every neighbourhood, as of equal value with our own. The practical judgment of all men always was, and necessarily must be, that the law of God demands, that every one should see to his own soul, and should provide for his own household, and that the highest good of the whole universe can best be promoted only by each individual, each family, each neighbourhood, and each nation, taking care to secure those interests more immediately committed to them, because more immediately within their reach. This is not selfishness, if the intention is to secure the highest good of being in general, and of these particular interests, as a part of the general good, and because it falls particularly to us to promote these particular interests, inasmuch as their promotion is particularly within our reach. The law of God, while it demands that I should will the highest good of being in general for its own sake, and esteem every interest known to me according to its intrinsic and relative value, demands also, that as a pastor of a church, I should give my time, and influence, and energies, more particularly to the promotion of the good of the people of my own charge. More good will, upon the whole, result to the world from pastors taking this course, than by their taking any other. The same is true of the family relation, and of all the relations of life. Our relations give us peculiar facilities for securing good, and impose on us peculiar responsibilities. Our relation to our own highest well-being imposes peculiar responsibilities on us, in regard to our own souls. So of our families, neighbourhoods, &c. It should be well considered then, that the precept, "Thou shalt love they neighbour as thyself," does not require every one to pay just the attention to his neighbour's soul that he does to his own, nor the same attention to his neighbour's children and family that he does to his own. He is bound to esteem his neighbour's interest according to its relative value, and to pursue his own interest, and the interest of his family and neighbourhood, and nation, in a manner not inconsistent with the interests of others, but in a manner as highly conducive to the promotion of their interests, as in his judgment will, upon the whole, secure the greatest amount of good. If I have a life to live, and a certain amount of time, and talent, and money, and influence, to lay out for God and souls, I am bound to use all in that manner that, in my honest judgment, will upon the whole secure the greatest amount of good to being. I am not, certainly, to divide the pittance of my possessions among all men of present and coming generations. Nor am I to scatter my time and talent over the face of the whole globe. But, on the contrary, benevolence dictates, that I should lay out my time, and talents, and influence, and possessions, where and when, and in a way, in my honest estimation, calculated to secure to being the greatest amount of good.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 45 - Regeneration--Continued (Part IV) paragraph 24 Wherein saints and sinners or deceived professors must differ

     I have said thus much, as might seem, by way of preparation; but, in fact, it is necessary for us to have these thoughts in mind, when we enter upon the discussion of the question before us; to wit: What are evidences of a truly benevolent state of mind? For example; suppose we should enter upon the inquiry in question, taking along with us the assumption, that true benevolence, that is, the disinterested love of God and our neighbour, implies that we should not only esteem, but also treat, all other interests of equal intrinsic value with our own, according to their intrinsic and relative value. I say, should we, in searching after evidence of disinterested benevolence, take along with us this false assumption, where should we find any evidence of benevolence on earth? No man does or can act upon such a principle. God has never acted upon it. Christ never acted upon it. Why did God select the particular nation of the Jews, and confine his revelations to them? Why did Christ preach the gospel to the Jews only, and say that he was not sent, save to the lost sheep of the house of Israel? Why has God always acted upon this principle of accomplishing the greatest practicable good under all the circumstances of the case? He esteems the good of all, and of each, of his creatures according to its intrinsic and relative value, but does good when and as he best can. If the greatest amount of ultimate good can be secured by choosing Abraham before all other men, and making him and his posterity the objects of peculiar effort and spiritual cultivation and the depositories of the holy oracles, which he intended should ultimately bless all nations, why then, he does it. He exercises his own discretion in his efforts to accomplish the greatest amount of good. Good is his end, and he does all the good he can. In securing this, he does many things that might appear partial to those who take but a limited view of things. Just so with all truly benevolent creatures. Good is their end. In promoting it, their intelligence and the law of God dictate, that they should bestow their particular efforts, attention, influence, and possessions upon those particular interests and persons that will, in their judgment, result in the highest good of being as a whole. The whole Bible everywhere assumes this as the correct rule of duty. Hence it recognizes all the relations of life, and the peculiar responsibilities and duties that grow out of them, and enjoins the observance of those duties. The relation of husband and wife, of parent and child, of ruler and subject, and indeed all the relations incident to our highest well-being in this life, are expressly recognized, and their corresponding obligations assumed by the inspired writers; which shows clearly, that they understood the law of supreme love to God and equal love to our neighbour, to imply an obligation to give particular attention to those interests which God had placed more particularly within the reach of our influence; always remembering that those interests are to be pursued impartially; that is, in consistency with the promotion of all other interests, by those to whom their promotion is particularly committed. For example: I am not to pursue my own good and that of my family, or my neighbourhood, or my nation, in a manner inconsistent with the interests of my neighbour, or his family, or neighbourhood, or nation. But I am to seek the promotion of all the interests particularly committed to me, in harmony with, and only as making a part of, the general interest of being.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 45 - Regeneration--Continued (Part IV) paragraph 32 Wherein saints and sinners or deceived professors must differ

     (2.) The saint is governed by reason, the law of God, or the moral law; in other words still, the law of disinterested and universal benevolence is his law. This law is not only revealed and developed in his intelligence, but it is written in his heart. So that the law of his intellect is the law of his heart. He not only sees and acknowledges what he ought to do and be, but he is conscious to himself, and gives evidence to others, whether they receive it and are convinced by it or not, that his heart, his will, or intention, is conformed to his convictions of duty. He sees the path of duty and follows it. He knows what he ought to will, intend, and do, and does it. Of this he is conscious. And of this others may be satisfied, if they are observing, charitable, and candid.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 46 - Regeneration--Continued (Part V) paragraph 70 In what saints and sinners differ . . What is it to overcome the world? . . Who are those that overcome the world? . . Why do believers overcome the world?

     (14.) The true saint overcomes the flesh. This term is sometimes used in the gospel to signify the sensibility, as distinguished from the intelligence, and at other times in a more literal sense, and signifies the bodily appetites and passions. The true saint is represented in the Bible as one who overcomes both his bodily appetites and passions, and also as overcoming the flesh, in the still wider sense of the sensibility. "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."--Gal. v. 16-24. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life."--Rom. vi. 1-4. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life, because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."--Rom. viii. 1-14.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 46 - Regeneration--Continued (Part V) paragraph 72 In what saints and sinners differ . . What is it to overcome the world? . . Who are those that overcome the world? . . Why do believers overcome the world?

     (15.) The sinner is overcome by the flesh. Self-indulgence is his law. Some one or more of the phrenological, or constitutional impulses always control his will. He not only "lives in the flesh, but walks after the flesh." He "fulfills the desires of the flesh and of the mind." He is "carried away with his own lusts, and enticed." "His God is his belly," and "he minds earthly things." He "is in bondage to the flesh." This is his unfailing characteristic, that he is governed, not by the law of God, but by his own desires. He is the creature of impulse, and a sinner, just because he is so. With him to conquer the flesh is a matter of duty, of opinion, of theory, and not of actual performance and experience. He holds that he ought to overcome, but knows that he does not. He acknowledges the obligation in theory, but denies it in practice. He knows what he ought to do, but does it not. He knows what a Christian ought to be, but is aware that he is not what a Christian ought to be. There seems to be an infatuation among sinners, those especially that profess to be Christians. They can profess to be Christians, and yet know and acknowledge that they are not what Christians ought to be, strangely assuming that a man can be and is a Christian, who is not what a Christian ought to be: in other words, that he can be a Christian without possessing just that which constitutes a Christian; to wit, a heart conformed to the intellect's apprehension of duty. This is just what makes a Christian; not his seeing and acknowledging what he ought to be, but his actually doing his duty, his actually embracing and conforming to the truth. The deceived professor knows, that he is not free, that he is in bondage to his flesh and his desires, but hopes on, because he thinks that this is common to all Christians. He sees and approves the truth, and often resolves to overcome his flesh, but, as in the seventh of Romans, he "finds a law in his members warring against the law of his mind, and bringing him into captivity to the law of sin in his members." He can resolve, but does not carry out his resolves. When he resolves to do good, evil is present with him, and conquers him. Of all this he is conscious, but he has taken up the fatal delusion that this was Paul's experience at the time he wrote this chapter, and consequently, that it must be the experience of all Christians. He does not run his eye along into the eighth chapter, and see the contrast between the experience there portrayed, and affirmed to be the experience of all Christians. He does not observe, that the apostle is designing in these two chapters to contrast a Christian, with a legal and self-righteous experience, but holds on to his delusion, and observes not, that the apostle begins the eighth chapter by the affirmation, that all who are in Christ Jesus are delivered from the bondage of which he was speaking in the seventh chapter, and no longer walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit; that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has actually made them free from the law of sin and death, which is in their members. How strange that these chapters are so misunderstood and perverted. And how monstrous and how melancholy the fact, that the great mass of professing Christians, to this day, recognize the seventh and not the eighth chapter of Romans, as their own experience! According to this, the new birth or regeneration does not break the power of the propensities over the will. The truth is, and must not be disguised, that they have not a just idea of regeneration. They mistake conviction for regeneration. They are so enlightened, as to perceive and affirm their obligation to deny the flesh, and often resolve to do it, but, in fact, do it not. They only struggle with the flesh, but are continually worsted and brought into bondage; and this they call a regenerate state. O! sad. What then is regeneration good for? What does it avail? The Bible represents regeneration as a "being born from above," "being born of God," and expressly affirms, that "whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world," and affirms, that "whosoever is born of God does not commit sin, and cannot sin, because his seed (God's seed) remaineth in him, so that he cannot sin, because he is born of God;" "that he is a new creature, that old things are passed away, and that all things are become new;" "that he is alive from the dead;" that he "has crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts;" that "he is dead to sin, and alive unto God," and many such like representations: and yet, infinitely strange to tell, the seventh chapter of Romans is recognized as a Christian experience, in the face of the whole Bible, and in opposition to the very nature of regeneration, and the experience of every true saint. The sinner is a sinner just, and only, because he knows his duty and does it not. He apprehends the law of the intelligence, but minds the impulses of his sensibility. This is the very character which the apostle is so graphically portraying in the seventh chapter of Romans. He could not possibly have given a more graphic picture of a sinner when he is enlightened, and yet enslaved by his propensities. It is a full-length portrait of a sinner, enlightened and struggling for liberty, and yet continually falling and floundering under the galling bondage of his own lusts. And that this should be considered the experience of a regenerate heart!

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 49 - Moral Ability paragraph 13 What constitutes moral inability according to the Edwardean school . . Their moral inability consists in real disobedience, and a natural inability to obey . . This pretended distinction between natural and moral inability is nonsensical . . What constitutes moral ability according to this school . . Their moral ability to obey God is nothing else than real obedience, and a natural inability to disobey

     From these quotations, and much more that might be quoted to the same purpose, it is plain that Edwards, as the representative of his school, holds moral inability to consist, either in an existing choice or attitude of the will opposed to that which is required by the law of God, which inclination or choice is necessitated by motives in view of the mind, or in the absence of such motives as are necessary to cause or necessitate the state of choice required by the moral law, or to overcome an opposing choice. Indeed he holds these two to be identical. Observe, his words are, "Or these may be resolved into one, and it may be said in one word, that moral inability consists in opposition or want of inclination. For when a person is unable to will or choose such a thing, through a defect of motives, it is the same thing as his being unable through the want of an inclination, or the prevalence of a contrary inclination, in such circumstances and under the influence of such views," that is, in the presence of such motives. If there is a present prevalent contrary inclination, it is, according to him: 1. Because there are present certain reasons that necessitate this contrary inclination; and 2. Because there are not sufficient motives present to the mind to overcome these opposing motives and inclination, and to necessitate the will to determine or choose in the direction of the law of God. By inclination Edwards means choice or volition, as is abundantly evident from what he all along says in this connexion. This no one will deny who is at all familiar with his writings.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 49 - Moral Ability paragraph 14 What constitutes moral inability according to the Edwardean school . . Their moral inability consists in real disobedience, and a natural inability to obey . . This pretended distinction between natural and moral inability is nonsensical . . What constitutes moral ability according to this school . . Their moral ability to obey God is nothing else than real obedience, and a natural inability to disobey

     It was the object of the treatise from which the above quotations have been made, to maintain that the choice invariably is as the greatest apparent good is. And by the greatest apparent good he means, a sense of the most agreeable. By which he means, as he says, that the sense of the most agreeable, and choice or volition, are identical. Vol. ii., page 20, he says, "And therefore it must be true in some sense, that the will always is as the greatest apparent good is." "It must be observed in what sense I use the term 'good,' namely, as of the same import with agreeable. To appear good to the mind, as I use the phrase, is the same as to appear agreeable, or seem pleasing to the mind." Again, pp. 21, 22, he says: "I have rather chosen to express myself thus, that the will always is as the greatest apparent good is, or as what appears most agreeable, than to say that the will is determined by the greatest apparent good, or by what seems most agreeable; because an appearing most agreeable to the mind and the mind's preferring, seem scarcely distinct. If strict propriety of speech be insisted on, it may more properly be said, that the voluntary action, which is the immediate consequence of the mind's choice, is determined by that which appears most agreeable, than the choice itself." Thus it appears that the sense of the most agreeable, and choice or volition, according to Edwards, are the same things. Indeed, Edwards throughout confounds desire and volition, making them the same thing. Edwards regarded the mind as possessing but two primary faculties--the will and the understanding. He confounded all the states of the sensibility with acts of will. The strongest desire is with him always identical with volition or choice, and not merely that which determines choice. When there is a want of inclination or desire, or the sense of the most agreeable, there is a moral inability according to the Edwardean philosophy. This want of the strongest desire, inclination, or sense of the most agreeable, is always owing; 1. To the presence of such motives as to necessitate an opposite desire, choice, &c.; and 2. To the want of such objective motives as shall awaken this required desire, or necessitate this inclination or sense of the most agreeable. In other words, when volition or choice, in consistency with the law of God, does not exist, it is, 1. Because an opposite choice exists, and is necessitated by the presence of some motive; and 2. For want of sufficiently strong objective motives to necessitate the required choice or volition. Let it be distinctly understood and remembered, that Edwards held that motive, and not the agent is the cause of all actions of the will. Will, with him, is always determined in its choice by motives as really as physical effects are produced by their causes. The difference with him in the connexion of moral and physical causes and effects "lies not in the nature of the connexion, but in the terms connected."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 49 - Moral Ability paragraph 45 What constitutes moral inability according to the Edwardean school . . Their moral inability consists in real disobedience, and a natural inability to obey . . This pretended distinction between natural and moral inability is nonsensical . . What constitutes moral ability according to this school . . Their moral ability to obey God is nothing else than real obedience, and a natural inability to disobey

     Strictly, this moral ability includes both this state of will required by the law of God, and also the cause of this state, to wit, the presence of such motives as necessitate the inclination, choice, volition, or sense of the most agreeable, that God requires. The agent is able thus to will because he is caused thus to will. Or more strictly, his ability, and his inclination or willing, are identical. Or still further, according to Edwards, his moral ability thus to will and his thus willing, and the presence of the motives that cause this willing, are identical. This is a sublime discovery in philosophy; a most transcendental speculation! I would not treat these notions as ridiculous, were they not truly so, or if I could treat them in any other manner, and still do them anything like justice. If, where the theory is plainly stated, it appears ridiculous, the fault is not in me, but in the theory itself. I know it is trying to you, as it is to me, to connect anything ridiculous with so great and so revered a name as that of President Edwards. But if a blunder of his has entailed perplexity and error on the church, surely his great and good soul would now thank the hand that should blot out the error from under heaven.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 51 - Gracious Ability. paragraph 18 What is intended by the term . . This doctrine as held is an absurdity . . In what sense a gracious ability is possible

     But that either Adam or his posterity lost their freedom or free agency by the first sin of Adam, is not only a sheer but an absurd assumption. To be sure Adam fell into a state of total alienation from the law of God, and lapsed into a state of supreme selfishness. His posterity have unanimously followed his example. He and they have become dead in trespasses and sins. Now that this death in sin either consists in, or implies the loss of free agency, is the very thing to be proved by them. But this cannot be proved. I have so fully discussed the subject of human moral depravity or sinfulness on a former occasion, as to render it unnecessary to enlarge upon it here.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 51 - Gracious Ability. paragraph 20 What is intended by the term . . This doctrine as held is an absurdity . . In what sense a gracious ability is possible

     4. If the doctrine in question be true, it follows, that from the moment of the withdrawal of the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit, man is no longer a subject of moral obligation. It is from that moment absurd and unjust to require the performance of any duty of him. Nay, to conceive of him as being any longer a subject of duty; to think or speak of duty as belonging to him, is as absurd as to think or speak of the duty of a mere machine. He has, from the moment of the withholding of a gracious ability, ceased to be a free and become a necessary agent, having power to act but in one direction. Such a being can by no possibility be capable of sin or holiness. Suppose he still possesses power to act contrary to the letter of the law of God: what then? This action can have no moral character, because, act in some way he must, and he can act in no other way. It is nonsense to affirm that such action can be sinful in the sense of blameworthy. To affirm that it can, is to contradict a first truth of reason. Sinners, then, who have quenched the Holy Spirit, and from whom he is wholly withdrawn, are no longer to be blamed for their enmity against God, and for all their opposition to him. They are, according to this doctrine, as free from blame as are the motions of a mere machine.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 53 - The Notion of Inability. paragraph 14 Proper mode of accounting for it

     3. A consciousness of the force of habit, in respect to all the acts and states of body and mind, has contributed to the loose holding of the doctrine of inability. Every one who is at all in the habit of observation and self-reflection is aware, that for some reason we acquire a greater and greater facility in doing anything by practice or repetition. We find this to be true in respect to acts of will as really as in respect to the involuntary states of mind. When the will has been long committed to the indulgence of the propensities, and in the habit of submitting itself to their impulses, there is a real difficulty of some sort in the way of changing its action. This difficulty cannot really impair the liberty of the will. If it could, it would destroy, or so far impair, moral agency and accountability. But habit may, and, as every one knows, does interpose an obstacle of some sort in the way of right willing, or, on the other hand, in the way of wrong willing. That is, men both obey and disobey with greatest facility from habit. Habit strongly favours the accustomed action of the will in any direction. This, as I said, never does or can properly impair the freedom of the will, or render it impossible to act in a contrary direction; for if it could and should, the actions of the will, in that case, being determined by a law of necessity in one direction, would have no moral character. If benevolence became a habit so strong that it were utterly impossible to will in an opposite direction, or not to will benevolently, benevolence would cease to be virtuous. So, on the other hand, with selfishness. If the will came to be determined in that direction by habit grown into a law of necessity, such action would and must cease to have moral character. But, as I said, there is a real conscious difficulty of some sort in the way of obedience, when the will has been long accustomed to sin. This is strongly recognized in the language of inspiration and in devotional hymns, as well as in the language of experience by all men. The language of scripture is often so strong upon this point, that, but for a regard to the subject-matter of discourse, we might justly infer a proper inability. For example, Jer. xiii. 23: "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil." This and similar passages recognize the influence of habit. "Then may ye who are accustomed to do evil:" custom or habit is to be overcome, and, in the strong language of the prophet, this is like changing the Ethiop's skin or the leopard's spots. But to understand the prophet as here affirming a proper inability were to disregard one of the fundamental rules of interpreting language, namely, that it is to be understood by reference to the subject of discourse. The latter part of the seventh chapter of Romans affords a striking instance and an illustration of this. It is, as has just been said, a sound and most important rule of interpreting all language, that due regard be had to the subject-matter of discourse. When "cannot," and such like terms, that express an inability are applied to physical or involuntary actions or states of mind, they express a proper natural inability; but when they are used in reference to actions of free will, they express not a proper impossibility, but only a difficulty arising out of the existence of a contrary choice, or the law of habit, or both. Much question has been made about the seventh of Romans in its relation to the subject of ability and inability. Let us, therefore, look a little into this passage, Romans vii. 15-23: "For that which I do, I allow not; for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." Now, what did the Apostle mean by this language? Did he use language here in the popular sense, or with strictly philosophical propriety? He says he finds himself able to will, but not able to do. Is he then speaking of a mere outward or physical inability? Does he mean merely to say, that the established connexion between volition and its sequents was disturbed, so that he could not execute his volitions? This his language, literally interpreted, and without reference to the subject-matter of discourse, and without regard to the manifest scope and design of the writer, would lead us to conclude. But whoever contended for such an interpretation? The apostle used popular language, and was describing a very common experience. Convicted sinners and backslidden saints often make legal resolutions, and resolve upon obedience under the influence of legal motives, and without really becoming benevolent, and changing the attitude of their wills. They, under the influence of conviction, purpose selfishly to do their duty to God and man, and, in the presence of temptation, they constantly fail of keeping their resolutions. It is true, that with their selfish hearts, or in the selfish attitude of their wills, they cannot keep their resolutions to abstain from those inward thoughts and emotions, nor from those outward actions that result by a law of necessity from a selfish state or attitude of the will. These legal resolutions the apostle popularly calls willings. "To will is present with me, but how to do good I find not. When I would do good, evil is present with me, so that the good I would I do not, and the evil I would not that I do. If then I do the evil I would not, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I delight in the law of God after the inner man. But I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members," &c. Now, this appears to me to be descriptive of a very familiar experience of every deeply convicted sinner or backslider. The will is committed to the propensities, to the law in the members, or to the gratification of the impulses of the sensibility. Hence, the outward life is selfish. Conviction of sin leads to the formation of resolutions of amendment, while the will does not submit to God. These resolutions constantly fail of securing the result contemplated. The will still abides in a state of committal to self-gratification; and hence resolutions to amend in feeling or the outward life, fail of securing those results.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 53 - The Notion of Inability. paragraph 19 Proper mode of accounting for it

     In future lectures I shall have occasion to enlarge much upon the subject of our dependence upon Christ and the Holy Spirit. But this dependence does not consist in a proper inability to will as God directs, but, as I have said, partly in the power of sinful habit, and partly in the great darkness of our souls in respect to Christ and his mediatorial work and relations. All these together do not constitute a proper inability, for the plain reason, that through the right action of our will which is always possible to us, these difficulties can all be directly or indirectly overcome. Whatever we can do or be, directly or indirectly, by willing, is possible to us. But there is no degree of spiritual attainment required of us, that may not be reached directly or indirectly by right willing. Therefore these attainments are possible. "If any man," says Christ, "will do his will," that is, has an obedient will, "he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God." "If thine eye be single," that is, if the intention or will is right, "thy whole body shall be full of light." "If any man love me, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come and make our abode with him." The scriptures abound with assurances of light and instruction, and of all needed grace and help, upon condition of a right will or heart, that is, upon condition of our being really willing to obey the light, when and as fast as we receive it. I have abundantly shown on former occasions, that a right state of the will constitutes, for the time being, all that, strictly speaking, the moral law requires. But I said, that it also, though in a less strict and proper sense, requires all those acts and states of the intellect and sensibility which are connected by a law of necessity with the right action of the will. Of course, it also requires that cleansing of the sensibility, and all those higher forms of Christian experience that result from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That is, the law of God requires that these attainments shall be made when the means are provided and enjoyed, and as soon as, in the nature of the case, these attainments are possible. But it requires no more than this. For the law of God can never require absolute impossibilities. That which requires absolute impossibilities, is not and cannot be moral law. For, as was formerly said, moral law is the law of nature, and what law of nature would that be that should require absolute impossibilities? This would be a mockery of a law of nature. What! a law of nature requiring that which is impossible to nature, both directly and indirectly! Impossible.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 56 - Justification. paragraph 83 What justification is not . . What it is . . Conditions of gospel justification

     4. Present sanctification, in the sense of present full consecration to God, is another condition, not ground, of justification. Some theologians have made justification a condition of sanctification, instead of making sanctification a condition of justification. But this we shall see is an erroneous view of the subject. The mistake is founded in a misapprehension of the nature both of justification and of sanctification. They make sanctification to consist in something else than in the will's entire subjection or consecration to God; and justification they regard as a forensic transaction conditionated on the first act of faith in Christ. Whole-hearted obedience to God, or entire conformity to his law, they regard as a very rare, and many of them, as an impracticable attainment in this life. Hence they conditionate justification upon simple faith, not regarding faith as at all implying present conformity of heart to the law of God. It would seem from the use of language that they lay very little stress upon personal holiness as a condition, not ground, of acceptance with God. But on the contrary, they suppose the mystical union of the believer with Christ obtains for him access and acceptance by virtue of an imputed righteousness, not making his present obedience a condition in the sense of a sine quà non, of his justification. A recent American writer (Dr. Duffield. See Appendix.) says, "It is not the believer's own personal obedience to the law, which, properly speaking, forms the condition of justification before God." "Some writers," he says, "use the term 'condition' in a philosophical sense, meaning by it simply the state or position in which things stand connected with each other, as when having said that faith and holiness are conditions of salvation; and when called upon to explain themselves, affirm that they by no means intend that these are the meritorious grounds, but merely that they will be found invariably connected with, as they are the indispensable evidences of, a state of justification." Here this writer confounds the distinction between the grounds and conditions of justification. And he does more, he represents present faith and holiness as merely the evidences, and not as a sine quà non of justification. So this writer cannot admit that faith is "a that without which" a sinner cannot be justified! I say that faith is not the meritorious ground, but insist that it is a proper condition or sine quà non, and not a mere evidence of justification. It is an evidence, only because it is a condition, of justification, and must therefore exist where justification is.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 56 - Justification. paragraph 91 What justification is not . . What it is . . Conditions of gospel justification

     Those who hold that justification by imputed righteousness is a forensic proceeding, take a view of final or ultimate justification, according with their view of the nature of the transaction. With them, faith receives an imputed righteousness, and a judicial justification. The first act of faith, according to them, introduces the sinner into this relation, and obtains for him a perpetual justification. They maintain that after this first act of faith it is impossible for the sinner to come into condemnation; that, being once justified, he is always thereafter justified, whatever he may do; indeed that he is never justified by grace, as to sins that are past, upon condition that he ceases to sin; that Christ's righteousness is the ground, and that his own present obedience is not even a condition of his justification, so that, in fact, his own present or future obedience to the law of God is, in no case, and in no sense, a sine quà non of his justification, present or ultimate.*

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 56 - Justification. paragraph 95 What justification is not . . What it is . . Conditions of gospel justification

     1. That it is antinomianism. Observe: they hold that upon the first exercise of faith, the soul enters into such a relation to Christ, that with respect to it the penalty of the Divine law is for ever set aside, not only as it respects all past, but also as it respects all future acts of disobedience; so that sin does not thereafter bring the soul under the condemning sentence of the law of God. But a precept without a penalty is no law. Therefore, if the penalty is in their case permanently set aside or repealed, this is, and must be, a virtual repeal of the precept, for without a penalty it is only counsel, or advice, and no law.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 57 - Sanctification. paragraph 59 An account of the recent discussions that have been had on this subject

     I regarded the perfection demanded by the text as consisting in entire obedience of heart and life to the law of God. And so I taught. I then proceeded to show, that this state of obedience is attainable in this life. The remainder of this and the following lecture were occupied in answering objections to the doctrine of the first discourse. These lectures were soon spread before thousands of readers. Whatever was thought of them, I heard not a word of objection to the doctrine from any quarter. If any was made, it did not, to my recollection, come to my knowledge.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 57 - Sanctification. paragraph 68 An account of the recent discussions that have been had on this subject

     Immediately upon the publication of the above-named works, the public journals opened a battery upon us, strangely, and I must say, unaccountably confounding our views with those of the antinomian perfectionists. What analogy was discernible between our views, as set forth in our writings, and those of the antinomian perfectionists, as expressed in their own formula of doctrine, as above given, I am utterly at a loss to understand. But it was insisted, that we were of that school and denomination, notwithstanding the greatest pains-taking on our part to make the public acquainted with our views. Many honest ministers and laymen, in this country and in Europe, were doubtless misled by the course pursued by the public press. Some of the leading religious journals refused to publish our articles, and kept their readers in ignorance of our real views. They gave to the public, oftentimes, the grossest misrepresentations of our views, and refused to allow our replies a place in their columns. The result for sometime was a good deal of misapprehension and alarm, on the part of many Christians who had been among our warmest friends. Soon after the publication of President Mahan's work, above alluded to, it was reviewed by Dr. Leonard Woods, of Andover Theological Seminary. Dr. Woods committed in his review four capital errors, which laid his review open to a blow of annihilation, which was in due time levelled against it by President Mahan. The president had defined what he intended by Christian perfection, or entire sanctification, and had also stated what he did not understand it as implying. He defined it to consist in a state of entire conformity of heart and life to the law of God, or in consecration of the whole being to God. He very expressly took issue upon the question of the attainability of this state in this life, and was at special pains to guard against the true point at issue being mistaken, and protested against any one's making a false issue. Dr. Woods noticed this, and his first error consisted in assuming, that the real point at issue between him and President Mahan was just what he, Dr. Woods, chose to make it. Hence, secondly, Dr. Woods proceeded to take issue with the author he was reviewing, not upon the possibility of attaining the state in question in this life, which was the proposition stated and defended by his author, but upon the fact of this state having been attained in this life. This was the doctor's second error. His third error consisted in the fact, that having made a false issue, he replied to the arguments of his opponent, as if they had been designed to establish, not the attainability, but the actual attainment of this state in this life.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 58 - Sanctification (Part 2) paragraph 7 Remind you of some points that have been settled in this course of study . . Definition of the principal terms to be used in this discussion

     1. The true intent and meaning of the law of God has been, as I trust, ascertained in the lectures on moral government. Let this point, if need be, be examined by reference to those lectures.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 58 - Sanctification (Part 2) paragraph 13 Remind you of some points that have been settled in this course of study . . Definition of the principal terms to be used in this discussion

     7. We have seen that holiness consists, not at all in the constitution of body or mind; but that it belongs, strictly, only to the will or heart, and consists in obedience of will to the law of God, as it lies revealed in the intellect; that it is expressed in one word, love; that this love is identical with the entire consecration of the whole being to the glory of God, and to the highest well-being of the universe; or in other words, that it consists in disinterested benevolence.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 58 - Sanctification (Part 2) paragraph 24 Remind you of some points that have been settled in this course of study . . Definition of the principal terms to be used in this discussion

     5. The inspired writers evidently used the terms which are translated by the English word sanctify, to designate a phenomenon of the will, or a voluntary state of mind. They used the term hagiazo in Greek, and kaudash in Hebrew, to represent the act of consecrating one's self, or anything else to the service of God, and to the highest well-being of the universe. The term manifestly not only represents an act of the will, but an ultimate act or choice, as distinguished from a mere volition, or executive act of the will. Thus the terms rendered sanctified are used as synonymous with loving God with all the heart, and our neighbour as ourselves. The Greek hagiasmos, translated by the word sanctification, is evidently intended to express a state or attitude of voluntary consecration to God, a continued act of consecration; or a state of choice as distinct from a mere act of choice, an abiding act or state of choice, a standing and controlling preference of mind, a continuous committal of the will to the highest well-being of God and of the universe. Sanctification, as a state differing from a holy act, is a standing, ultimate intention, and exactly synonymous or identical with a state of obedience, or conformity to the law of God. We have repeatedly seen, that the will is the executive or controlling faculty of the mind. Sanctification consists in the will's devoting or consecrating itself and the whole being, all we are and have, so far as powers, susceptibilities, possessions are under the control of the will, to the service of God, or, which is the same thing, to the highest interests of God and of being. Sanctification, then, is nothing more nor less than entire obedience, for the time being, to the moral law.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 58 - Sanctification (Part 2) paragraph 27 Remind you of some points that have been settled in this course of study . . Definition of the principal terms to be used in this discussion

     But since entire sanctification, as I understand the term, is identical with entire and continued obedience to the law of God, and since I have in lectures on moral government fully shown what is not, and what is, implied in full obedience to the law of God, to avoid much repetition in this place, I must refer you to what I have there said upon the topics just named.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 59 - Sanctification (Part 3) paragraph 8 Entire sanctification is attainable in this life

     1. It is self-evident, that entire obedience to God's law is possible on the ground of natural ability. To deny this, is to deny that a man is able to do as well as he can. The very language of the law is such as to level its claims to the capacity of the subject, however great or small that capacity may be. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind, and with all thy strength." Here then it is plain, that all the law demands, is the exercise of whatever strength we have, in the service of God. Now, as entire sanctification consists in perfect obedience to the law of God, and as the law requires nothing more than the right use of whatever strength we have, it is, of course, for ever settled, that a state of entire sanctification is attainable in this life, on the ground of natural ability.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 59 - Sanctification (Part 3) paragraph 9 Entire sanctification is attainable in this life

     This is generally admitted by those who are called moderate Calvinists. Or, perhaps I should say, it generally has been admitted by them, though at present some of them seem inclined to give up the doctrine of natural ability, and to take refuge in constitutional depravity, rather than admit the attainableness of a state of entire sanctification in this life. But let men take refuge where they will, they can never escape from the plain letter, and spirit, and meaning of the law of God. Mark with what solemn emphasis it says, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind, and with all thy strength." This is its solemn injunction, whether it be given to an angel, a man, or a child. An angel is bound to exercise an angel's strength; a man, the strength of a man; and a child, the strength of a child. It comes to every moral being in the universe, just as he is, and where he is, and requires, not that he should create new powers, or possess other powers than he has, but that such as his powers are, they should all be used with the utmost perfection and constancy for God. And to use again the language of a respected brother: "If we could conceive of a moral pigmy, the law levels its claims to his capacities, and says to him, 'Love the Lord thy God with all THY heart, and with all THY strength.'" And should a man by his own fault render himself unable to use one of his hands, one eye, one foot, or any power of body or mind, the law does not say to him, in such a case, use all the powers and all the strength you might have had, but only use what powers and what strength remain. It holds him guilty, and condemns him for that act or neglect which diminished his ability; but it no longer, in any instance, requires the use of that power of body or mind which has been destroyed by that act.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 59 - Sanctification (Part 3) paragraph 35 Entire sanctification is attainable in this life

     (1.) All the promises of sanctification in the Bible, from their very nature, necessarily imply the exercise of our own agency in receiving the thing promised. As sanctification consists in the right exercise of our own agency, or in obedience to the law of God, a promise of sanctification must necessarily be conditioned upon the exercise of faith in the promise. And its fulfilment implies the exercise of our own powers in receiving it.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 60 - Sanctification (Part 4) paragraph 17 Bible argument

     (1.) I begin by referring you to the law of God, as given in Deut. x. 12, "And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul?" Upon this passage I remark:--

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 61 - Sanctification (Part 5) paragraph 51 Paul entirely sanctified

     (iv.) He keeps up the personal pronoun, and passes into the eighth chapter; at the beginning of which, he represents himself, or the person of whom he is speaking, as being not only in a different, but in an exactly opposite state of mind. Now, if the seventh chapter contains Paul's experience, whose experience is this in the eighth chapter? Are we to understand them both as the experience of Paul? If so, we must understand him as first speaking of his experience before, and then after he was sanctified. He begins the eighth chapter by saying, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit;" and assigns as a reason, that "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." The law of sin and death was that law in his members, or the influence of the flesh, of which he had so bitterly complained in the seventh chapter. But now, it appears, that he has passed into a state in which he is made free from this influence of the flesh,--is emancipated and dead to the world and to the flesh, and in a state in which "there is no condemnation." Now, if there was no condemnation in the state in which he then was, it must have been, either because he did not sin, or, if he did sin, because the law did not condemn him; or because the law of God was repealed or abrogated. Now, if the penalty of the law was so set aside in his case, that he could sin without condemnation, this is a real abrogation of the law. For a law without a penalty is no law, and if the law is set aside, there is no longer any standard, and he was neither sinful nor holy. But as the law was not, and could not be set aside, its penalty was not and could not be so abrogated, as not to condemn every sin. If Paul lived without condemnation, it must be because he lived without sin.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 61 - Sanctification (Part 5) paragraph 76 Paul entirely sanctified

     2. That so many persons seem to have an entirely self-righteous view of the subject of sanctification. With respect to the first of these opinions, much pains has been taken to extend to the utmost the claims of the law of God. Much has been said of its exceeding and infinite strictness, and the great length, and breadth, and height, and depth of its claims. Multitudes are engaged in defending the claims of the law, as if they greatly feared that the purity of the law would be defiled, its strictness and spirituality overlooked, and its high and holy claims set aside, or frittered down somehow to the level of human passion and selfishness. But while engaged in their zeal to defend the law, they talk, and preach, and write, as if they supposed it indispensable, in order to sustain the high claims of the law, to deny the grace and power of the gospel, and its sufficiency to enable human beings to comply with the requisitions of the law. Thus they seem to me, unwittingly, to enter the lists against the grace of Christ, and with the utmost earnestness and even vehemence, to deny that the grace of Christ is sufficient to overcome sin, and to fulfil in us the righteousness of the law. Yes, in their zeal for the law they appear to me either to overlook, or flatly to deny, the grace of the gospel.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 68 - Sanctification (Part 12) paragraph 146 Objections answered

     There certainly is not in the philosophy of mind anything to forbid the entertaining of a rational hope of making the attainment in question; but, on the contrary, everything both in the Bible and in the philosophy of mind to warrant such an expectation. The mind only needs to be brought into such a state of developement, and to be so constantly under the influence of Divine illumination, as to set the Lord always before it; and so to have the sensibility developed in its relations to divine things, as to secure the uniform action of the will, in conformity with the law of God.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 68 - Sanctification (Part 12) paragraph 147 Objections answered

     The great difficulty with all classes of unsanctified persons is, that their desires are too strong for their reason. That is, their sensibility is so developed, that their excited propensities control their will, in opposition to the law of God, as it is revealed in the reason. Now, if a counter developement can be effected that shall favour, instead of oppose, the right action of the will, it will break the power of temptation, and let the soul go free. If desires to please God, if desires after spiritual objects, shall be developed, if the sensibility shall be quickened and drawn to God, and to all spiritual truths and realities, these desires, instead of tending to draw the will away from God, will tend to confirm the will in its consecration to God. In this case, the desires going in the same direction with the reason, the power of temptation is broken. The sensibility, in this case, rather favours the right action of the will. That such a developement of the sensibility is needed and possible, every Christian knows.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 69 - Sanctification (Part 13) paragraph 22 Tendency of the denial that Christians have valid grounds of hope that they should obtain a victory over sin in this life

     I know it is true, that the carnal or selfish mind is enmity against God. But what does this mean? Why it means, that the carnal heart is selfishness, that the will is committed to self-gratification, which is a state of heart, or an attitude of the will directly opposite to that which God requires. It is also true, that this selfish state of will does often beget emotions of opposition to God, when God is contemplated as opposed to the sinner, on account of his selfishness. But it is also true, that the human intelligence cannot but approve the character and government of God, when they are rightly apprehended; and further, when the true character of God, of his government and religion is properly represented to, and apprehended by the human mind, from a law of necessity, the mind pronounces the character of God to be lovely, and his government and religion infinitely desirable. Such being the nature of the human mind, the Holy Spirit, by thoroughly enlightening the intellect, arouses the desires, and developes the feelings in their relations to God. The desires thus come into harmony with the law of God, and favour the consecration of the will, and the whole man is renewed in the image and favour of God. Men are susceptible of conversion by the truth as presented by the Holy Spirit, upon condition of their nature being such, that a true representation of God rather attracts than repels them. But since I have dwelt so much at large upon this particular, in lectures on depravity and regeneration, I must not enlarge upon it in this place.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 72 - Sanctification (Part 16) paragraph 14 Objections--continued Part IV

     The law, as we have seen on a former occasion, levels its claims to us as we are, and a just exposition of it, as I have already said, must take into consideration all the present circumstances of our being. This is indispensable to a right apprehension of what constitutes entire sanctification. There may be, as facts show, danger of misapprehension in regard to the true spirit and meaning of the law, in the sense that, by theorizing and adopting a false philosophy, one may lose sight of the deepest affirmations of his reason in regard to the true spirit and meaning of the law; and I would humbly inquire, whether the error has not been in giving such an interpretation of the law, as naturally to beget the idea so prevalent, that, if a man should become holy, he could not live in this world? In a letter lately received from a beloved, and useful, and venerated minister of the gospel, while the writer expressed the greatest attachment to the doctrine of entire consecration to God, and said that he preached the same doctrine which we hold to his people every Sabbath, but by another name, still he added, that it was revolting to his feelings to hear any mere man set up the claim of obedience to the law of God. Now let me inquire, why should this be revolting to the feelings of piety? Must it not be because the law of God is supposed to require something of human beings in our state, which it does not and cannot require? Why should such a claim be thought extravagant, unless the claims of the living God be thought extravagant? If the law of God really requires no more of men than what is reasonable and possible, why should it be revolting to any mind to hear an individual profess to have attained to entire obedience? I know that the brother to whom I allude, would be almost the last man to deliberately and knowingly give any strained interpretation to the law of God; and yet, I cannot but feel that much of the difficulty that good men have upon this subject, has arisen out of a comparison of the lives of saints with a standard entirely above that which the law of God does or can demand of persons in all respects in our circumstances, or indeed of any moral agent whatever.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 72 - Sanctification (Part 16) paragraph 23 Objections--continued Part IV

     (2.) With the law of God before us as our standard, the testimony of consciousness, in regard to whether the mind is conformed to that standard or not, is the highest evidence which the mind can have of a present state of conformity to that rule.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 72 - Sanctification (Part 16) paragraph 25 Objections--continued Part IV

     Now, in order to know that my repentance is genuine, I must know what genuine repentance is. So if I would know whether my love to God and man, or obedience to the law is genuine, I must have clearly before my mind the real spirit, and meaning, and bearing of the law of God. Having the rule before my mind, my own consciousness affords "the most direct and convincing evidence possible," whether my present state of mind is conformed to the rule. The Spirit of God is never employed in testifying to what my consciousness teaches, but in setting in a strong light before my mind the rule to which I am to conform my life. It is his province to make me understand, to induce me to love and obey the truth; and it is the province of consciousness to testify to my own mind whether I do or do not obey the truth, when I apprehend it. When God so presents the truth, as to give the mind assurance, that it understands his mind and will upon any subject, the mind's consciousness of its own state in view of that truth, is "the highest and most direct possible" evidence of whether it obeys or disobeys.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 72 - Sanctification (Part 16) paragraph 28 Objections--continued Part IV

     (5.) The Bible everywhere assumes, that we are able to know, and unqualifiedly requires us to know, what the moral state of our mind is. It commands us to examine ourselves, to know and to prove our ourselves. Now, how can this be done, but by bringing our hearts into the light of the law of God, and then taking the testimony of our own consciousness, whether we are, or are not, in a state of conformity to the law? But if we are not to receive the testimony of our own consciousness, in regard to our present sanctification, are we to receive it in respect to our repentance, or any other exercise of our mind whatever? The fact is, that we may deceive ourselves, by neglecting to compare ourselves with the right standard. But when our views of the standard are right, and our consciousness bears witness of a felt, decided, unequivocal state of mind, we cannot be deceived any more than we can be deceived in regard to our own existence.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 72 - Sanctification (Part 16) paragraph 36 Objections--continued Part IV

     By some it is still objected, that consciousness alone is not evidence even to ourselves of our being, or not being in a state of entire sanctification, that the judgment of the mind is also employed in deciding the true intent and meaning of the law, and is therefore as absolutely a witness in the case as consciousness is. "Consciousness," it is said, "gives us the exercises of our own mind, and the judgment decides whether these exercises are in accordance with the law of God." So then it is the judgment rather than the consciousness, that decides whether we are, or are not, in a state of entire sanctification; and therefore if, in our judgment of the law, we happen to be mistaken, than which nothing is more common, in such case we are utterly deceived if we think ourselves in a state of entire sanctification. To this I answer:--

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 72 - Sanctification (Part 16) paragraph 39 Objections--continued Part IV

     (iii.) I deny that it is the judgment which is to us the witness, in respect to the state of our own minds. There are several powers of the mind called into exercise, in deciding upon the meaning of, and in obeying, the law of God; but it is consciousness alone that gives us these exercises. Nothing but consciousness can possibly give us any exercise of our own minds; that is, we have no knowledge of any exercise but by our own consciousness. Suppose then the judgment is exercised, the will is exercised, and all the involuntary powers are exercised. These exercises are revealed to us only and simply by consciousness; so that it remains an invariable truth, that consciousness is to us the only possible witness of what our exercises are, and consequently of the state of our own minds. When, therefore, I say, that by consciousness a man may know whether he is in a state of sanctification, I mean, that consciousness is the real and only evidence that we can have of being in this state.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 72 - Sanctification (Part 16) paragraph 40 Objections--continued Part IV

     Again: the objection that consciousness cannot decide in regard to the strength of our powers, and whether we really serve God with all our strength, seems to be based upon the false supposition, that the law of God requires every power of body and mind to be excited at every moment, in its full strength; and that, too, without any regard to the nature of the subject, about which our powers, for the time being, are employed. On a former occasion I endeavoured to show, and trust I did show, that perfect obedience to the law of God requires no such thing. Sanctification is consecration. Entire consecration is obedience to the law of God; and all that the law requires is, that our whole being be consecrated to God; and the amount of strength to be expended in his service at any one moment of time, must depend upon the nature of the subject about which the powers are for the time being employed. And nothing is farther from the truth than that, obedience to the law of God requires every power of body and mind to be constantly on the strain, and in the highest possible degree of excitement and activity. Such an interpretation of the law of God as this, would be utterly inconsistent with life and health, and would write MENE TEKEL upon the life and conduct of Jesus Christ himself; for his whole history shows, that he was not in a state of constant excitement, to the full extent of his powers.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 80 - Perseverance of Saints III paragraph 149 Further objections considered

     (11.) The eighth chapter of Romans seems to settle the question, or rather is, of itself a clear proof of the doctrine we are examining. We need to read and ponder prayerfully the whole chapter, to apprehend distinctly the scope of the apostle's teaching upon this subject. He had in the seventh chapter been dwelling upon and portraying a legal experience. He begins this eighth chapter by asserting, Rom. viii. 1: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; 4. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. 5. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life, because of righteousness. 11. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ: if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18. For I reckon, that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 81 - Perseverance of Saints IV paragraph 10 Consideration of principal arguments in support of the doctrine

     So the telling of a convinced and self-condemned sinner, that Christ has died for his sins, and offers freely and at once to forgive all the past, has no natural tendency to beget a spirit of perseverance in rebellion; but is on the contrary the readiest, and safest, and I may add, the only effectual method of subduing him, and bringing him to immediate repentance. But suppose, on the other hand, you tell him there is no forgiveness, that he must be punished for his sins at all events, what tendency has this to bring him to immediate and genuine repentance; to beget within him the love required by the law of God? Assuring him of punishment for all his sins might serve to restrain outward manifestations of a sinful heart, but certainly it tends not to subdue selfishness, and to cleanse the heart; whereas the offer of mercy through the death of Christ, has a most sin-subduing tendency. It is such a manifestation to the sinner of God's great love to him, his real pity for him, and readiness to overlook and blot out the past, as tends to break down the stubborn heart into genuine repentance, and to beget the sincerest love to God and Christ, together with the deepest self-loathing and self-abasement on account of sin. Thus the doctrines of the atonement and pardon through a crucified Redeemer, instead of being condemned by their legitimate tendency, are greatly confirmed thereby. These doctrines are no doubt liable to abuse, and so is every good thing; but is this a good reason for rejecting them? Our necessary food and drink may be abused, and often are, and so are all the most essential blessings of life. Should we reject them on this account?

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), APPENDIX Reply to "Princeton Biblical Repertory" paragraph 101

     "Mr. Finney cannot say, certain things are prohibited by the law of God, and are therefore wrong, no matter with what intention they are performed, because his doctrine is, that law relates only to the intention; its authority extends no further. The will of God, is not the foundation of any obligation. Here he has got into a deeper slough even than the Jesuits, for they hold that the law of God is not a mere declaration of what is obligatory; and so far as we know, they never substitute obedience to the intelligence as a synonymous expression with obedience to God."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), APPENDIX Reply to "Princeton Biblical Repertory" paragraph 128

     The difficulty in this reviewer's mind lies in his overlooking the attributes of benevolence. He regards it, manifestly, as having no attributes; as consisting in a mere blind choice of happiness, without any necessary regard to the means by which it can be secured. Now this, as I have shown in the work under consideration, is a radical error in respect to the nature of benevolence. I have there attempted to show, that the very nature and essence of benevolence implies and includes, a regard to all the laws of the constitution of sentient beings, and especially of moral agents; that therefore justice, truthfulness, righteousness, &c., were attributes of benevolence, and that therefore the law of benevolence could never sanction the violation of any of these, for the good reason, that they are essential attributes of benevolence. Benevolence is a choice in accordance with the law of the reason. Reason not only demands the choice of the highest happiness of being as an end, but at the same time, and just as absolutely, affirms that conformity to the laws of our being is the appropriate means, or is a condition of securing that end. The Creator has so constituted us, that our nature itself indicates and points out the conditions and indispensable means of our highest ultimate enjoyment. Moral law, or the law of nature, is nothing else than the indication of our natures, announced and enforced by the authority of God. Our body has its necessities, and is endowed with those appetences that indicate the means of its highest health and perfection. Food and drink are necessary means of its well-being. Hence appetites, terminating on those necessary means. So the soul has its wants. The reason indicates the means of meeting its necessities. The end demanded by the reason is the highest good of universal being, and so far as may be, of every being in particular. The means or conditions it affirms to be, universal conformity to the laws of our being, especially to moral law. The reason has its ideas of the intrinsically and the relatively valuable, of moral law, and moral obligation to will the intrinsically valuable, with the conditions and means to that end. It has also the idea of the moral rightness and justice of this willing, and of the wrongness of selfish willing. It also has the idea of the moral beauty, fitness, and propriety of benevolence, both as it respects the end upon which it terminates, and also as it respects the conditions or means by which its end is to be secured. Hence it has the idea of moral excellence, or of praise and blameworthiness; and affirms, that the benevolent ought to be at least ultimately happy; and that of this happiness he cannot be justly deprived but by his own consent; that the selfish man who refuses to will the good of being in general, deserves no good himself; and that on the contrary, he deserves to be deprived of good, and to be made miserable. The reason demands that he be made miserable, unless he becomes benevolent. These ideas are necessarily in the mind of a moral agent. Now let it be distinctly understood, that the reason affirms the moral obligation of all moral agents to conform their wills to these ideas, and God also commands the same. This is what is truly meant by moral law, or the law of nature. It is the law of God. It is the authoritative command of God and of reason, that the will of every moral agent be conformed to these ideas. This conformity both God and reason affirm to be the indispensable condition of the ultimate and highest enjoyment of moral agents.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), APPENDIX Reply to "Princeton Biblical Repertory" paragraph 152

     3. It involves a contradiction and an absurdity, to make these distinct grounds of moral obligation, in the sense that they impose obligation of themselves to choose themselves as ultimates. It is admitted, that the valuable is always to be chosen for its own sake. Now, if right and justice are not to be ascertained by reference to the law of benevolence, but by a law of right distinct from the law of benevolence, and always to be chosen for their own sake, here are distinct and often conflicting moral laws and duties. The laws of right and of justice demand the punishment of sinners, but the law of benevolence demands their pardon, upon condition of repentance, &c. Now, if you say, that upon these conditions the law of right and of justice also demand their forgiveness, you give up the ground that right and justice are distinct grounds of moral obligation; or that these are distinct moral laws, and merge them in the law of benevolence. Benevolence does not demand nor admit their forgiveness, except upon those conditions. The fact is, that right, justice, &c., are only words that express the moral attributes or qualities of benevolence. But suppose objective right and justice, &c., are distinct grounds of moral obligation. It follows, that there are distinct moral laws or precepts, and that these may come into conflict. In this case, which shall limit and restrain the other? Or shall they all remain in force. If all remain in force, then there are conflicting obligations at the same time. But this is absurd. If they come into conflict, one of these laws or precepts must be for the time being repealed. But this is inconsistent with the very nature of moral law. Moral law is the law of nature, and immutable as nature itself. But suppose otherwise, and that one might be for the time being repealed, or limited by the other. Shall the law of benevolence be limited and set aside? or shall the law of objective right or justice yield to the law of benevolence? Must we in such a case will the abstractly right, and the abstractly just? or the good, that is, the highest well-being of God and the universe? Shall we in such an emergency cease to will the good, and will the abstract right? But shall we will a mere abstraction, which can be of no possible value in itself, in preference to that which is infinitely valuable? Impossible that this should be obligatory. If you reply, that no case can occur in which objective right, or in which these supposed laws or precepts can come into conflict, you not only deny that they are distinct grounds of moral obligation, and distinct moral laws or precepts, but you fail utterly in making out your attempted reply to the Jesuit. If whatever is demanded by the law of benevolence must be demanded by the law of God, of right, of justice, &c., then the Jesuit turns upon you and says, this is plainly demanded by the law of benevolence, and therefore it must be right and just, &c., for these can never conflict with each other. This you admit upon the last made supposition. Now, where is you pretended answer to the Jesuits? Should you say, that although the law of right and the law of benevolence can never come into conflict, yet sometimes we are to be guided by the law of right instead of the law of benevolence, because we can tell what is right, but cannot, in a given case, tell what is demanded by the law of benevolence--should you say thus, you would talk nonsense. Both the law of right and the law of benevolence, if there be two such laws, have respect to, and demand certain ultimate intentions, and neither of them regards anything as right but these intentions, and those volitions that proceed and receive their character from them. If therefore you would know what is right, the law of right must answer, to will the right as an ultimate end, and the conditions and means of promoting this end. But this were nonsense. The law of benevolence must answer, to will the good as an ultimate end, and the conditions and means of promoting it, is right. You can therefore always as infallibly know what is right by reference to the law of benevolence, as by reference to the law of right. If these laws cannot come into conflict, it is always right and always safe to will the good, and in so doing you always will right. But to suppose the laws can come into conflict, involves an absurdity and a contradiction. Whenever one supposes himself to know what right demands, better than he knows what the law of benevolence demands, he is deceived. In the supposition, he supposes that there is a law of right distinct from, and which may be opposed to the law of benevolence, which is not true. And again. In the supposition he, is conceiving of moral obligation and moral character as belonging to some particular act, and not to the ultimate intention. It is common to hear people loosely say, I know that such and such a thing is right or wrong, when they can have respect only to the outward act, or to the volition that caused it; or, to say the most that can truly be said, they make the affirmation only of the proximate, and not of the ultimate intention. But it is certain, that if they affirm right or wrong of acts of will, without regard to ultimate intention, they deceive themselves; for with respect to acts of will at least, it is admitted, that right and wrong can strictly be predicated only of ultimate intention. But if we are to look to the ultimate intention for right and wrong, and if executive volitions receive their character from the ultimate intention, then we can always as certainly tell what is right or wrong by reference to the law of benevolence, as by reference to the law of right, if there be two moral laws. For suppose we would know what is right by consulting the law of right, the answer is, to intend the right as an end is right; and all volitions and actions proceeding from this intention, receive their character from this intention. Should we enquire what is right by consulting the law of benevolence, the answer would be, to will the good or the intrinsically valuable to being as an end, is always right; and all the volitions and actions which proceed from this intention receive their character from the intention. We can in no case decide what is right or wrong without reference to the ultimate intention, for in this all moral character properly resides. But if the end or the intention is right, whatever the end may be supposed to be, whether it be abstract right, or justice, or the will of God, or the valuable if the intention be right, the executive volitions and acts must be right as proceeding from a right intention. So that whatever be supposed to be the foundation of moral obligation, if it be granted, as it must be, that obligation respects ultimate intention, and that executive volitions and acts receive their character from the ultimate intention, it follows:--

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), APPENDIX Reply to "Princeton Biblical Repertory" paragraph 215

     2. He regards benevolence, as has been said, as possessing no attributes, but as consisting in the simple choice of the happiness of God and of being as an ultimate end, without taking into view the essential attributes of benevolence. He talks of squeezing down, and wire-drawing all virtue through a pin-hole, &c. He then regards the representation that benevolence is the love required by the law of God, and that it is, when properly defined, the whole of virtue, as squeezing down and wire-drawing virtue through a pin-hole! I had said in the work before him (see "Systematic Theology," Lecture XVII. I.):--

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), APPENDIX Reply to "Princeton Biblical Repertory" paragraph 216

     "Of this truth we shall be constantly reminded as we proceed in our investigations, for we shall find illustrations of it at every step of our progress. Before I proceed to point out the attributes of benevolence, it is important to remark, that all the moral attributes of God and of all holy beings, are only attributes of benevolence. Benevolence is a term that comprehensively expresses them all. God is love. This term expresses comprehensively God's whole moral character. This love, as we have repeatedly seen, is benevolence. Benevolence is good willing, or the choice of the highest good of God and the universe as an end. But from this comprehensive statement, accurate though it be, we are apt to receive very inadequate conceptions of what really belongs to and is implied in benevolence. To say that love is the fulfilling of the whole law; that benevolence is the whole of true religion; that the whole duty of man to God and his neighbour, is expressed in one word, love; these statements, though true, are so comprehensive, as to need with all minds much amplification and explanation. The fact is, that many things are implied in love or benevolence. By this is intended, that benevolence needs to be viewed under various aspects and in various relations, and its dispositions or willings considered in the various relations in which it is called to act. Benevolence is an ultimate intention, or the choice of an ultimate end. Now, if we suppose that this is all that is implied in benevolence, we shall egregiously err. Unless we inquire into the nature of the end which benevolence chooses, and the means by which it seeks to accomplish that end, we shall understand but little of the import of the word benevolence. Benevolence has many attributes or characteristics. These must all harmonize in the selection of its end, and in its efforts to realize it. Wisdom, justice, mercy, truth, holiness, and many other attributes, as we shall see, are essential elements or attributes of benevolence. To understand what true benevolence is, we must inquire into it attributes. Not everything that is called love, has at all the nature of benevolence. Nor has all that is called benevolence any title to that appellation. There are various kinds of love. Natural affection is called love. The affection that exists between the sexes is also called love. Our preference of certain kinds of diet is called love. Hence we say we love fruit, vegetables, meat, milk, &c. Benevolence is also called love, and is the kind of love, beyond all question, required by the law of God. But there is more than one state of mind that is called benevolence. There is a constitutional or phrenological benevolence, which is often mistaken for and confounded with the benevolence which constitutes virtue. This so-called benevolence is in truth only an imposing form of selfishness; nevertheless, it is called benevolence. Care, therefore, should be taken in giving religious instruction, to distinguish accurately between them. Benevolence, let it be remembered, is the obedience of the will to the law of the reason. It is willing good as an end, for its own sake, and not to gratify self. Selfishness consists in the obedience of the will to the impulses of the sensibility. It is a spirit of self-gratification. The will seeks to gratify the desires and propensities for the pleasure of the gratification. Self-gratification is sought as an end, and as the supreme end. It is preferred to the claims of God and the good of being. Phrenological or constitutional benevolence is only obedience to the impulse of the sensibility, a yielding to a feeling of compassion. It is only an effort to gratify a desire. It is therefore as really selfishness, as is an effort to gratify any constitutional desire whatever.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), APPENDIX Reply to "Princeton Biblical Repertory" paragraph 218

     I then proceed to point out and define strictly, thirty-two of the moral attributes of benevolence, as specimens and illustrations of the varieties or modifications under which benevolence developes and manifests itself. Could I here quote, entire, what I have written upon this subject in the work before him, perhaps the reader might wonder, as I have done, how an honest and a Christian man could represent me as squeezing down and wire-drawing through a pin-hole the love required by the law of God. But I cannot in a reply make the quotation, as it occupies sixty-four pages of the work reviewed. The object of writing so fully on the attributes of benevolence was, as the above extract shows, to prevent the very inference or mistake into which this writer has fallen. But this is only a painful specimen of his strange misapprehensions and misrepresentations of the work reviewed. I had shown that every form of virtue was resolvable in the last analysis into a modification of benevolence. But he represents me as squeezing down and wire-drawing through a pin-hole the love required by the law of God, instead of saying, as he was bound to do, that I amplified the meaning of the word, and understood it as being comprehensive of all those modifications of virtue of which we have been accustomed to hear and speak. Let any one read what I have written upon the attributes of benevolence, and then pronounce judgment upon this reviewer's representations. But as I said, what he has here done, is only a specimen of the manner in which he blundered through, or rather over the work he was reviewing. But I make all due allowance for his old-school eyes and prejudices, and would exercise all charity towards him.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), APPENDIX Reply to Dr. Duffield paragraph 64

     "Obedience to moral law, therefore, is made to consist in 'acting conformably with our nature and relations;' 'and sin in being governed by the sensibility instead of being governed by the law of God, as it lies revealed in the reason.' It teaches, that 'as the moral law did not originate in (God's) arbitrary will;' as 'He did not create it,' and cannot 'introduce any other rule of right among moral agents;' so, 'nothing is or can be obligatory on a moral agent, but the course of conduct suited to his nature and relations.'

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), APPENDIX Reply to Dr. Duffield paragraph 65

     "This, it is obvious, is very vague, and very liable to mislead. It is the very doctrine of the refined sensualist, who, in acting according to the demands of appetite and the dictates of affection and passion, claims that he is actuated by enlightened reason, and is fulfilling the law of God. The depravity of man has utterly perverted his nature, and his judgment as to his relations, and disqualified him to judge by his reason, as to what is duty and obligation. He needs a more distinct and definite rule. This, the Bible and our standards teach us, is the declared will of God."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), APPENDIX Reply to Dr. Duffield paragraph 72

     "The actual doing of what the moral law requires, and that too out of respect to the divine command, is that alone which the Saviour accepts as obedience. 'Ye are my friends,' says he, 'if ye do whatever I command you.' In like manner we are explicitly assured, that he alone is accepted 'that doeth the will of our Father which is in Heaven;' that 'not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law, shall be justified.' It is only 'he that doeth righteousness is righteous.' But 'cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.' The intention or will to do is of value in estimating our obedience, but it is not all. The law of God goes beyond the will, and looks also to the action; nor is obedience to it complete till that is consummated.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), APPENDIX Reply to Dr. Duffield paragraph 73

     "In opposition to this, the error we condemn teaches that moral obligation respects ultimate intention only, that the law of God requires only consecration to the 'right end.' By the ultimate intention is meant the choice of an end for its own sake, and by consecration to that end, the supreme controlling choice. The highest possible aim of a rational creature is affirmed to be the greatest good of the universe. The choice of this, for its own intrinsic value, that is, 'choosing every interest according to its value as perceived by the mind,' it teaches is the law, is the sum and perfection of obedience to the moral law. This it calls holiness, which it defines, 'to consist in the supreme ultimate intention, choice or willing the highest well-being of God and the highest good of His kingdom: and nothing else than this is virtue and holiness.' This, too, is what it calls the love which Christ says is 'the fulfilling of the law.' It avers that sincerity of choice, or honesty of intention, here, 'is moral perfection;' 'it is obedience to the law;' and 'insists that the moral law requires nothing more than honesty of intention.' But the Bible teaches, that sincerity in error, good intentions in wrong deeds, change not the character of the act."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), APPENDIX Reply to Dr. Duffield paragraph 84

     "The system of error against which we warn you, teaches, 'that moral law requires nothing more than honesty of intention,' and 'that sincerity or honesty of intention is moral perfection.' By this rule it graduates the claims of the law of God, so as to make it a most convenient sliding scale, which adapts itself to the ignorance and weakness of men. It utterly perverts men's notions of that high and absolute perfection which the law demands, and makes moral perfection a variant quantity, changing continually, not only in different persons, but in the same individual. It reasons as follows, namely: Moral law respects intention only. Honesty of intention, or sincerity, is moral perfection. But light, or knowledge of the ultimate end, is the condition of moral obligation. Consequently, the degree of obligation must be just equal to the mind's honest estimate of the value of the end! Thus to love God with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength, means nothing more than 'that the thoughts shall be expended in exact accordance with the mind's honest judgment of what is at every moment the best economy for God.'

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), APPENDIX Reply to Dr. Duffield paragraph 85

     "But the Bible teaches plainly, that the law of God reaches further than the ultimate intention, even to the actings of the moral agent, in the exercise of all the various faculties of the mind, in all the purposes, choices and intentions of the will, in all the inclinations and desires, the passions and affections of the heart, and in all the members of the body. So far from making obligation to vary with light or knowledge, and the moral ability of the individual, the law and word of God hold men responsible for their ignorance; and attribute the deeper degrees of depravity and obnoxiousness to punishment, to those who have blinded their minds and hardened their hearts, so as to have destroyed or lost all power of perceiving and feeling the truth. 'It is a people of no understanding, therefore He that made them will not have mercy on them, and He that formed them will show them no favour.' 'That servant which neither knew, nor did his Lord's will, was beaten, it is true, with fewer stripes than was he who knew it and did it not,' but he was beaten. His ignorance did not render him innocent. 'The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of Christ, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of faith.'"

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), APPENDIX Reply to Dr. Duffield paragraph 131

     "The eternal continuance of the true believer in a state of justification before God, and his perseverance in the way of faith and holiness, so as never to come under the damnatory sentence of the law of God, as a broken covenant of works, are essential points of faith.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), APPENDIX Reply to Dr. Duffield paragraph 133

     "But the system of error, against which we warn you, utterly repudiates such a release from the condemnation of the law, and such a filial relation to God, except in so far as it may exist simultaneously, and only in connection with what it calls, at one time, 'present full obedience,' at another, 'entire sanctification,' and again, 'moral perfection.' It affirms that the Christian 'is justified no farther than he obeys, and must be condemned when he disobeys, or antinomianism is true.' It does not distinguish between the offending Christian's displeasing God as his heavenly father, and the condemnation of the impenitent sinner by God as his lawgiver and judge; between God's parental discipline administered to his erring children, and the infliction of the penalty of the law as moral governor upon the guilty; between forgiveness as a father, and pardon as a prince. A system of parental chastisement which is disciplinary, reforming, and not penal, is very different from a moral government armed with penal sanctions. Chastisement aims to reform and save; penalty does not; but to protect society and promote the public good. This distinction is very important; but it is wholly lost sight of in the erroneous theory which we condemn. It identifies these things, and confounds all the gracious relations and offices of God through Jesus Christ, with that of the high executive functionary of moral governor of the universe, boldly affirming, that 'when the Christian sins, he must repent and do his first works, or he will perish; until he repent, he cannot be forgiven.' Whenever he sins he must, for the time being, cease to be holy; he must be condemned, he must incur the penalty of the law of God.'

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), APPENDIX Reply to Dr. Duffield paragraph 138

     If the Doctor admits, that the law of God's children has a penalty, I would ask whether his children incur this penalty when they sin? If the Doctor says no, I ask, why then do they need pardon, or how can they be pardoned, if not condemned? If he says yes, I inquire how this, that is, pardon, is consistent with the doctrine that Christians are justified, that is, pardoned, "once for all?" If justification consists in pardon and acceptance or a restoration to favour, how can it be "once for all," or perpetual, and yet pardon for subsequent sin be necessary or possible? Will the Doctor inform us? In this, as in all other cases, the Doctor has found it convenient to pass in silence my whole argument against his views of justification, with all the scriptures I have quoted to sustain my position.

 

 


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 174

     Here, then, he lays it down, that entire sanctification in his use of the term, implies uninterrupted and perfect obedience from the first moment of moral agency. That is, to be sanctified, in his sense of the term, one must have never sinned. If any moral agent has sinned, according to this, he can never be entirely sanctified in this nor in any other world. No saint in glory can be entirely sanctified, because he has sinned. He can never at any period of his existence perfectly obey the law of God, because his obedience has not "always been perfect, from the first moment of his moral existence." Marvellous! Brethren of the synod, do you accept and endorse this definition of entire sanctification?

 

 


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."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), APPENDIX Reply to Dr. Duffield paragraph 177

     It here appears, that all mankind, whatever their age, or education, or circumstances, or ability be, are according to him required by the law of God, to render the very same service to God, both in kind and degree, that was required of Adam, "created as he was in the image of God, in knowledge, and righteousness, and true holiness, in the full developement and perfection of all his moral powers." Notwithstanding that, "there is a deterioration of our moral and intellectual, as well as our physical powers;" so that the same obedience is impossible to us, yet the law still demands this impossible obedience of us all. And how does the Doctor know this? He has not informed us. Does the Bible teach it? No, indeed; that informs us that "if there first be a willing mind, it is accepted according to what a man hath," according to his ability, "and not according to what he hath not." The very language of the law as laid down by Christ restricts requirement to ability, whatever that may be. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and will all thy soul, with all thy might, and with all thy strength." Now every one can see, that the Doctor has taken no issue with me in respect to the attainability in this life of a state of entire sanctification in my sense of the term. And I take no issue with him on the attainability of such a state either in this or in any life, in his sense of the term. Nay, it is impossible for one who has ever sinned to attain in this sense entire sanctification, as we have seen. The only point at issue between us upon this subject respects the spirit of the requirement of God's law. He maintains, that he requires of man in his present state a natural impossibility; that it requires a degree of obedience that is no more possible to him, than to undo all he has done, or to make a world; that it threatens him with eternal death for not rendering this impossible obedience. I do not wonder that the Doctor vehemently opposes the idea, that "moral law is a rule of action, suited to the nature and relations of moral agents." Should he admit this, which reason and revelation equally affirm, he must of course give up his old-school dogma, that God requires of his creatures natural impossibilities. Brethren of the Synod, do you hold with Doctor D. the doctrine of natural inability? I supposed you did not. But it seems I am mistaken. Will all the new school Presbyterians go back with Dr. D. to all the absurdities of old schoolism, to escape from our conclusions? We shall see.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), APPENDIX Reply to Dr. Duffield paragraph 178

     Since the Doctor has given a definition of entire sanctification, and of entire obedience to the law of God differing toto cælo from mine, and indeed from any other I have ever heard or read, I will not follow him, nor trouble him with a reply. It will be time enough for me to reply when he undertakes to show, that entire sanctification, in my sense of the term, is unattainable in this life.

 

 


POWER FROM ON HIGH - CHAPTER 9 - Innocent Amusements paragraph 11

Now, in the light of this rule, it is plain that it is not innocent to engage in amusements merely to gratify the desire for amusement. We may not innocently eat or drink to gratify the desire for food or drink. To eat or drink merely to gratify appetite is innocent enough in a mere animal, but in a moral agent it is a sin. A moral agent is bound to have a higher ultimate motive to eat and drink--that he may be strong and healthy for the service of God. God has made eating and drinking pleasant to us; but this pleasure ought not to be our ultimate reason for eating and drinking. So amusements are pleasant, but this does not justify us in seeking amusements to gratify desire. Mere animals may do this innocently, because they are incapable of any higher motive. But moral agents are under a higher law, and are bound to have another and a higher aim than merely to gratify the desire for amusements. Therefore, no amusement is innocent which is engaged in for the pleasure of the amusement, any more than it would be innocent to eat and drink for the pleasure of it. Again, no amusement is innocent that is engaged in because we need amusements. We need food and drink; but this does not justify us in eating and drinking simply because we need it. The law of God does not say, "Seek whatever ye need because ye need it"; but, "Do all from love to God and man." A wicked man might eat and drink selfishly--that is, to make his body strong to execute his selfish plans--but this eating and drinking would be sin notwithstanding he needed food and drink.

 

 


POWER FROM ON HIGH - CHAPTER 9 - Innocent Amusements paragraph 17

Whatever is lawful in a moral agent or according to the law of God is right. If anyone, therefore, engages lawfully in any employment or in any amusement, he must do so from supreme love to God and equal love to his neighbor; and is, therefore, not an impenitent sinner, but a Christian. It is simply absurd and a contradiction to say that an impenitent soul does, or says, or omits anything with a right heart. If impenitent, his ultimate motive must necessarily be wrong; and, consequently, nothing in him is innocent, but all must be sinful. What, then, is an innocent amusement? It must be that and that only which not only might be but actually is engaged in with a single eye to God's glory and the interests of His kingdom. If this be not the ultimate and supreme design, it is not an innocent, but a sinful amusement. Now, right here is the delusion of many persons, I fear. When speaking of amusements, they say: "What harm is there in them?" In answering to themselves and others this question, they do not penetrate to the bottom of it. If on the surface they see nothing contrary to morality, they judge that the amusement is innocent. They fail to inquire into the supreme and ultimate motive in which the innocence or sinfulness of the act is found. But apart from the motive no course of action is either innocent or sinful, any more than the motions of a machine or the acts of a mere animal are innocent or sinful. No act or course of action should, therefore, be adjudged as either innocent or sinful without ascertaining the supreme motive of the person who acts.

 

 


POWER FROM ON HIGH - CHAPTER 10 - How To Overcome Sin paragraph 5

Sin is nothing else than that voluntary, ultimate preference or state of committal to self pleasing out of which the volitions, the outward actions, purposes, intentions, and all the things that are commonly called sin proceed. Now, what is resolved against in this religion of resolutions and efforts to suppress sinful and form holy habits? "Love is the fulfilling of the law." But do we produce love by resolution? Do we eradicate selfishness by resolution? No, indeed. We may suppress this or that expression or manifestation of selfishness by resolving not to do this or that, and praying and struggling against it. We may resolve upon an outward obedience, and work ourselves up to the letter of an obedience to God's commandments. But to eradicate selfishness from the breast by resolution is an absurdity. So the effort to obey the commandments of God in spirit--in other words, to attempt to love as the law of God requires by force of resolution is an absurdity. There are many who maintain that sin consists in the desires. Be it so. Do we control our desires by force of resolution? We may abstain from the gratification of a particular desire by the force of resolution. We may go further, and abstain from the gratification of desire generally in the outward life. But this is not to secure the love of God, which constitutes obedience. Should we become anchorites, immure ourselves in a cell, and crucify all our desires and appetites, so far as their indulgence is concerned, we have only avoided certain forms of sin; but the root that really constitutes sin is not touched. Our resolution has not secured love, which is the only real obedience to God. All our battling with sin in the outward life, by the force of resolution, only ends in making us whited sepulchers. All our battling with desire by the force of resolution is of no avail; for in all this, however successful the effort to suppress sin may be, in the outward life or in the inward desire, it will only end in delusion, for by force of resolution we cannot love.

 

 


POWER FROM ON HIGH - CHAPTER 11 - The Decay Of Conscience paragraph 4

Ministers have ceased, in a great measure, to probe the consciences of men with the spiritual law of God. So far as my knowledge extends, there has been a great letting down and ignoring the searching claims of God's law, as revealed in His Word. This law is the only standard of true morality. "By the law is the knowledge of sin." The law is the quickener of the human conscience. Just in proportion as the spirituality of the law of God is kept out of view will there be manifest a decay of conscience. This must be the inevitable result. Let ministers ridicule Puritanism, attempt to preach the Gospel without thoroughly probing the conscience with the divine law, and this must result in, at least, a partial paralysis of the moral sense. The error that lies at the foundation of this decay of individual and public conscience originates, no doubt, in the pulpit. The proper guardians of the public conscience have, I fear, very much neglected to expound and insist upon obedience to the moral law. It is plain that some of our most popular preachers are phrenologists. Phrenology has no organ of free will. Hence, it has no moral agency, no moral law and moral obligation in any proper sense of these terms. A consistent phrenologist can have no proper ideas of moral obligation, of moral guilt, blameworthiness, and retribution. Some years since a brother of one of our most popular preachers heard me preach on the text "Be ye reconciled to God." I went on to show, among other things, that being reconciled to God implied being reconciled to the execution of His law.

 

 


POWER FROM ON HIGH - CHAPTER 11 - The Decay Of Conscience paragraph 11

These are but different forms of affirming that true faith does, as a matter of fact, produce a holy life. If it did not, it would "make void the law." The true Gospel is not preached where obedience to the moral law as the only rule of life is not insisted upon. Wherever there is a failure to do this in the instructions of any pulpit, it will inevitably be seen that the hearers of such a mutilated Gospel will have very little conscience. We need more Boanerges or sons of thunder in the pulpit. We need men that will flash forth the law of God like livid lightning and arouse the consciences of men. We need more Puritanism in the pulpit. To be sure, some of the Puritans were extremists. But still under their teaching there was a very different state of the individual and public conscience from what exists in these days. Those old, stern, grand vindicators of the government of God would have thundered and lightened till they had almost demolished their pulpits, if any such immoralities had shown themselves under their instructions as are common in these days. In a great measure the periodical press takes its tone from the pulpit. The universal literature of the present day shows conclusively that the moral sense of the people needs toning up, and some of our most fascinating preachers have become the favorites of infidels, skeptics of every grade, Universalists, and the most abandoned characters. And has the offense of the Cross ceased, or is the Cross kept out of view? Has the holy law of God, with its stringent precept and its awful penalty, become popular with unconverted men and women? Or is it ignored in the pulpit, and the preacher praised for that neglect of duty for which he should be despised? I believe the only possible way to arrest this downward tendency in private and public morals is the holding up from the pulpits in this land, with unsparing faithfulness, the whole Gospel of God, including as the only rule of life the perfect and holy law of God.

 

 


POWER FROM ON HIGH - CHAPTER 11 - The Decay Of Conscience paragraph 13

Christ crucified for the sins of the world is the Christ that the people need. Let us rid ourselves of the just imputation of neglecting to preach the law of God until the consciences of men are asleep. Such a collapse of conscience in this land could never have existed if the Puritan element in our preaching had not in great measure fallen out.

 

 


POWER FROM ON HIGH - CHAPTER 13 - The Psychology Of Righteousness paragraph 15

Free action is a certain form of action of the will, and this is the only strictly free action. Christ has taught us by His own teaching and through His inspired Prophets and Apostles that the moral law requires love, and that this is the sum of its requirements. But what is this love? It cannot be the involuntary love of the sensibility, either in the form of emotion or affection; for these states of the mind, belonging as they do to the category of cause and effect, cannot be the form of love demanded by the law of God. The moral law is the law of God's activity, the rule in conformity to which He always acts. We are created in God's image. His rule of life is therefore ours. The moral law requires of Him the same kind of love that it does of us. If God had no law or rule of action, He could have no moral character. As our Creator and Lawgiver, He requires of us the same love in kind and the same perfection in degree that He Himself exercises. "God is love." He loves with all the strength of His infinite nature. He requires us to love with all the strength of our finite nature. This is being perfect as God is perfect. But what is this love of God as a mental exercise? It must be benevolence or good will. God is a moral agent. The good of universal being is infinitely valuable in itself. God must infinitely well appreciate this. He must see and feel the moral propriety of choosing this for its own sake. He has chosen it from eternity. By His executive volitions He is endeavoring to realize it. The law which He has promulgated to govern our activity requires us to sympathize with His choice, His benevolence, to choose the same end that He does, for the same reason--that is, for its own sake. God's infinite choice of the good of universal being is righteousness in Him, because it is the choice of the intrinsically and infinitely valuable for its own sake. It is a choice in conformity with His nature and the relations He has constituted. It must be a choice in conformity with His infinitely clear conscience or moral sense.

 

 


POWER FROM ON HIGH - CHAPTER 13 - The Psychology Of Righteousness paragraph 23

(e) By consciousness we know that this is obedience to the law of God as revealed in our nature, and that when we render this obedience we are so adjusted in the will of God that we have perfect peace. We are in sympathy with God. We are at peace with God and with ourselves. Short of this we cannot be so. This I understand to be the teaching both of our nature and the Bible. My limits will not allow me to quote Scripture to sustain this view.

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 1 - God's Love for a Sinning World paragraph 7

The law of God must not be dishonoured by anything He shall do. It has been dishonoured by the disobedience of man; hence, the more need that God should stand by it, to retrieve its honour. The utmost dishonour is done to law by disowning, disobeying, and despising it. All this, sinning man has done. Hence, this law being not only good, but intrinsically necessary to the happiness of the governed, it becomes of all things most necessary that the law-giver should vindicate his law. He must by all means do it.

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 3 - The Wages of Sin paragraph 46

How strangely men talk! Life so short, men have not time to sin enough to deserve eternal death! Do men forget that one sin incurs the penalty due for sinning? How many sins ought it to take to make one transgression of the law of God? Men often talk as if they supposed it must require a great many. As if a man must commit a great many murders before he has made up the crime of murder enough to fall under the sentence of the court! What? shall a man come before the court and plead that although he has broken the law to be sure, yet he has not lived long enough, and has not broken the law times enough, to incur its penalty? What court on earth ever recognized such a plea as proving any other than the folly and guilt of him who made it?

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 3 - The Wages of Sin paragraph 70

We hear a great many cavils against future punishment. At these we should not so much wonder, but for the fact that the Gospel assumes this truth, and then proposes a remedy. One would naturally suppose the mind would shrink from those fearful conclusions to which it is pressed when the relations of mere laws are contemplated; but when the Gospel interposes to save, then it becomes passing strange that men should admit the reality of the Gospel, and yet reject the law and its penalties. They talk of grace; but what do they mean by grace? When men deny the fact of sin, there is no room and no occasion for grace in the Gospel. Admitting nominally the fact of sin, but virtually denying its guilt, grace is only a name. Repudiating the sanctions of the law of God, and labouring to disprove their reality, what right have men to claim that they respect the Gospel? They make it only a farce -- or at least a system of amends for unreasonably severe legislation under the legal economy. Let not men who so traduce the law assume that they honour God by applauding His Gospel!

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 5 - The Excuses of Sinners Condemn God paragraph 25

But you take the ground that no man can obey the law of God. As the Presbyterian Confession of Faith has it, "No man is able, either by himself, or by any grace received in this life, perfectly to keep the commandments of God; but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed." Observe, this affirms not only that no man is naturally able to keep God's commands, but also that no man is able to do it "by any grace received in this life;" thus making this declaration a libel on the Gospel as well as a palpable misrepresentation of the law of its Author, and of man's relations to both. It is only moderate language to call this assertion from the Confession of Faith a libel. If there is a lie, either in hell or out of hell, this is a lie, or God is an infinite tyrant. If reason be allowed to speak at all, it is impossible for her to say less or otherwise than thus. And has not God constituted the reason of man for the very purpose of taking cognizance of the rectitude of all His ways?

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 5 - The Excuses of Sinners Condemn God paragraph 39

But the dogma is an utter absurdity. For, pray, what is sin? God answers, "transgression of law." And now you hold that your nature is itself a breach of the law of God -- nay, that it has always been a breach of God's law, from Adam to the day of your birth; you hold that the current of this sin came down in the veins and blood of your race -- and who made it so? Who created the veins and blood of man? From whose hand sprang this physical constitution and this mental constitution? Was man his own creator? Did sin do a part of the work in creating your physical and your mental constitution? Do you believe any such thing? No, you ascribe your nature and its original faculties to God, and upon Him, therefore, you charge the guilty authorship of your "sinful nature."

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 5 - The Excuses of Sinners Condemn God paragraph 59

They go and come according to circumstances, and therefore are never required by the law of God, and are not, properly speaking, either religion itself, or any part of it. Hence, if by a hard heart you mean a dull sensibility, you mean what has no concern with the subject. God asks you to yield your will, and consecrate your affections to Himself, and He asks this, whether you have any feeling or not.

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 5 - The Excuses of Sinners Condemn God paragraph 98

This excuse assumes that there is not grace enough provided and offered to sustain the soul in a Christian life. The doctrine is, that it is irrational to expect that we can, by any grace received in this life, perfectly obey the law of God. There is not grace and help enough afforded by God! And this is taught as BIBLE THEOLOGY! Away with such teaching to the nether pit whence it came!

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 17 - Christ Our Advocate paragraph 13

He is employed to plead the cause of sinners, not at the bar of justice; not to defend them against the charge of sin, because the question of their guilt is already settled. The Bible represents them as condemned already; and such is the fact, as every sinner knows. Every sinner in the world knows that he has sinned, and that consequently he must be condemned by the law of God. This office, then, is exercised by Christ in respect to sinners; not at the bar of justice, but at the throne of grace, at the footstool of sovereign mercy. He is employed, not to prevent the conviction of the sinner, but to prevent his execution; not to prevent his being condemned, but being already condemned, to prevent his being damned.

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 17 - Christ Our Advocate paragraph 28

5. Another qualification must be, that He is able sufficiently to honor the law, which sinners by their transgression have dishonored. He seeks to avoid the execution of the dishonored law of God. The law having been dishonored by sin in the highest degree, must either be honored by its execution on the criminal, or the Law-giver must in some other way bear testimony in favor of the law, before He can justly dispense with the execution of its penalty. The law is not to be repealed; the law must not be dishonored. It is the law of God's nature, the unalterable law of His government, the eternal law of heaven, the law for the government of moral agents in all worlds, and in all time, and to all eternity. Sinners have borne their most emphatic testimony against it, by pouring contempt upon it in utterly refusing to obey it. Now sin must not be treated lightly -- this law must be honored.

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 21 - Men Often Highly Esteem What God Abhors paragraph 10

But God's rule is, "Seek not thine own." His law is explicit, "Thou shalt love (not thyself, but) the Lord thy God with all thy heart." "Love is the fulfilling of the law." "Charity (this same love) seeketh not her own." This is characteristic of the love which the law of God requires -- it does not seek its own. "Let no man seek his own, but every man another's." 1 Cor. x. 24. "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." "For all seek their own, and not the things which are Jesus Christ's." Phil. ii. 4, 21. To seek their own interests and not Jesus Christ's, Paul regards as an entire departure from the rule of true Christianity.

 

 


WAY OF SALVATION, SERMON 1 - The Rule by Which Guilt of Sin is Estimated paragraph 14

II. I come now to speak of the rule by which the guilt of refusing to will or intend according to the law of God must be measured.

 

 


WAY OF SALVATION, SERMON 6 - Conscience and the Bible in Harmony paragraph 29

The Bible and conscience agree in affirming the doctrine of endless punishment. Conscience could teach nothing else. At what period in the lapse of future ages of suffering would conscience say, "He has suffered enough. The law of God is satisfied; his desert of punishment for sin is now exhausted, and he deserves no more?" Those who know anything about the decisions of conscience on this point, know very well that it can conceive of no limitations of ill-desert for sin. It can see no end to the punishment which sin deserves. It can conceive of the man who has once thus sinned, as being nothing else but a sinner before God, since the fact of his having sinned can never cease to be a fact. If you have been a thief, that fact will always be true, and in that sense you must always be a thief in the eye of law. You cannot make it otherwise. Your suffering can make no sort of satisfaction to an offended law. Conscience will see more and more guilt in your course of sin, and your sense of guilt must increase to all eternity. You can never reach the point where conscience will say, "This suffering is enough; this sinner ought to suffer no longer." The Bible teaches the same.

 

 


WAY OF SALVATION, SERMON 9 - Any One Form of Sin Persisted In is Fatal to the Soul paragraph 55

Now there are many that entirely overlook the real nature of sin. The law of God is positive. It commands us to consecrate all our powers to his service and glory; to love him with all our heart and our neighbour as ourself. Now to neglect to do this is sin; it is positive transgression; it is an omission which always involves a refusal to do what God requires us to do. In other words, sin is the refusal to do what God requires us to do. It is the neglect to fulfil our obligations. If one neglects to pay you what he owes you, do you not call that sin, especially if the neglect involves necessarily the refusal to pay when he has the means of payment?

 

 


WAY OF SALVATION, SERMON 19 - On Self Denial paragraph 11

Hence we are thrown into a state of warfare. Constant appeals are made to us to arouse our propensities to indulgence; and, over against these, constant appeals are made by the law of God and the voice of our reason, urging us to deny ourselves and find our highest good in obeying God. God and reason require us to withstand the claims of appetite sternly and firmly. Note here that God does not require this withstanding, without vouchsafing his aid in the conflict. It is remarkable how the resolute opposition of any appetite, in the name of Christ can hinder the demands of conscience, will readily overcome it. Cases often occur in which the most clamorous and despotic of these artificial appetites are ruled down by the will, under the demands of conscience and with the help of God. At once they lie all subdued, and the mind remains in sweet peace.

 

 


CHARLES G. FINNEY TESTIMONIAL OF REVIVALS, CHAPTER XII. - REVIVAL AT WESTERN. paragraph 25 The Western revivals - Afternoon prayer meeting - Praying of Mrs. H. - Conversion of the B children - The home of a convicted daughter - The hayloft - Adaptation of religious labor - Mr. Gale's new views and experience.

In my studies and controversies with Mr. Gale, I had maintained the opposite of this. I assumed that moral depravity is, and must be, a voluntary attitude of the mind; that it does, and must, consist in the committal of the will to the gratification of the desires, or as the Bible expresses it, of the lusts of the flesh, as opposed to that which the law of God requires. In consistency with this I maintained that the influence of the Spirit of God upon the soul of man is moral, that is persuasive; that Christ represented Him as a teacher; that His work is to convict and convert the sinner, by divine teaching and persuasion.

 

 


CHARLES G. FINNEY TESTIMONIAL OF REVIVALS, CHAPTER XXI. - REVIVAL IN ROCHESTER, 1830. paragraph 39 Selection of a field - Adjustment of differences - Conversion of Mrs. M. - The Anxious Seat - Panic in church - Work in the High School - Conversion of the merchant and his wife - Conversion of Mr. P. - The burden of prayer - Effect upon the morals of the city - Effect abroad.

One evening, I recollect, when I made a call for the anxious to come forward and submit, a man of influence in a neighboring town came forward himself, and several members of his family, and gave themselves to God. Indeed, the work spread like waves in every direction. I preached in as many places round about, as I had time and strength to do, while my main labors were in Rochester. I went to Canandaigua and preached several times. There the Word took effect, and many were converted. The pastor, Rev. Ansel Eddy, entered heartily into the work. A former pastor, an elderly man, an Englishmen by birth, also did what he could to forward the work. Wherever I went, the Word of God took immediate effect; and it seemed only necessary to present the law of God, and the claims of Christ, in such relations and proportions as were calculated to secure the conversion of men, and they would be converted by scores.

 

 


FINNEY ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 5 - THE UNDERSTANDING, JUDGMENT, AND FREEDOM OF THE WILL. paragraph 20 The understanding -- The judgment -- The will.

It appears to me that philosophers have greatly erred in maintaining that the will never acts except in obedience to desire. I am conscious that this is not true; and that I often act in opposition to all conscious desire. It has been common for philosophers to maintain that no presentations merely through the intellect excite the will's activity, or supply the conditions of its action; but that the will universally is dependent upon the excitement in the sensibility of some appetite, feeling or desire; and that whenever it acts it always obeys some desire. Now to this I object, first, that in my own case I am conscious that it is not true; that the moral law as given by my conscience is to me a rule of action; that it supplies the condition of the will's activity that I cannot but act in its presence whether there is desire or no desire, or whatever the desire may be. The law itself as subjectively revealed in my intellect actually necessitates action one way or the other, and my liberty consists in acting in accordance with or in opposition to this affirmed subjective law. This I as really know as I know my own existence. But secondly, I object to the doctrine in question, that if the will acts in obedience to desire, its actions are either sinful, or they have no moral character at all. Universally, feeling, desire, emotion, and all the states of the sensibility are blind. They are never the law or rule of action. The will ought never to act in conformity with them except as the law of the intelligence dictates that course of action; and in that case the virtue consists in its obeying the dictates of the intelligence, or the law, and not in its obeying the blind desire, which is never law. Indeed, herein is the distinction between saints and sinners; sinners obey their desires and saints their convictions. In other words, sinners follow the impulses of their sensibility, and to gratify them is their adopted law; but saints obey conscience, or the law of God as postulated by the conscience. I am conscious of this in my own case; and that when I act in accordance with the convictions of my conscience, I often at the same time act in opposition to the feelings of my sensibility. Indeed, in precisely this consists the Christian warfare -- in resisting the emotional and sensitive parts of our nature and not indulging the desires, appetites, and propensities, but in obeying the law of God as postulated and given in the conscience.

 

 


FINNEY ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 5 - THE UNDERSTANDING, JUDGMENT, AND FREEDOM OF THE WILL. paragraph 22 The understanding -- The judgment -- The will.

I perceive that Bishop Butler in his sermons affirms that virtue consists in obeying certain desires. He says that we have constitutionally the desire of our own good and happiness and the desire for the happiness of others. We have private desires and public desires; that is, desires for private good and desires for public good; that virtue consists in the gratification of these public desires; and he regards it virtuous thus to choose because the desire itself is virtuous. He thinks that the nature of the desire gives character to the choice to gratify it, or makes it virtuous to act in conformity with it. But I do not so read the convictions of my own mind. Constitutional desire is never virtuous or vicious. Desire as distinct from willing, or choice, or volition, has, and can have, no moral character. The desires for the public good are passive; and this Bishop Butler holds, if I understand him. They can therefore in no proper sense be virtuous or vicious desires; and to obey them is not virtue, or to disobey them is not vice. To choose the public good for its intrinsic value is virtue; but to choose it for its intrinsic value as affirmed by the reason is not to choose it because it is desired. To refuse the public good is sin, because we intuitively affirm that it ought to be chosen for its own sake and not to be refused. But the sin does not lie in denying the desire, but in refusing to obey the law of God as postulated in the conscience. It is true that the conscience could not affirm obligation to choose the public good except upon the condition that it is regarded as a good, and that experience of pleasure or pain in the sensibility is the chronological antecedent and the condition of our having the idea of the good or the valuable.