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IMPORTANT SUBJECTS - SERMON I. SINNERS BOUND TO CHANGE THEIR OWN HEARTS paragraph 29 Ezek. 18-31.--"Make you a new heart, and a new spirit, for why will ye die?"

Now this is the case with the sinner; God has established a government, and proposed by the exhibition of his own character, to produce the greatest practicable amount of happiness in the universe. He has enacted laws wisely calculated to promote this object, to which he conforms all his own conduct, and to which he requires all his subjects perfectly and undeviatingly to conform theirs. After a season of obedience, Adam changed his heart, and set up for himself. So with every sinner, although he does not first obey, as Adam did; yet his wicked heart consists in setting up his own interest in opposition to the interest and government of God. In aiming to promote his own private happiness, in a way that is opposed to the general good. Self-gratification becomes the law to which he conforms his conduct. It is that minding of the flesh, which is enmity against God. A change of heart, therefore, is to prefer a different end. To prefer supremely the glory of God and the public good, to the promotion of his own interest; and whenever this preference is changed, we see of course a corresponding change of conduct. If a man change sides in politics, you will see him meeting with those that entertain the same views and feelings with himself; devising plans and using his influence to elect the candidate which he has now chosen. He has new political friends on the one side, and new political enemies on the other. So with a sinner; if his heart is changed, you will see that Christians become his friends -- Christ his candidate. He aims at honoring him and promoting his interest in all his ways. Before, the language of his conduct was, "Let Satan govern the world." Now, the language of his heart and of his life is, "Let Christ rule King of nations, as he is King of saints." Before, his conduct said, "O Satan, let thy kingdom come, and let thy will be done." Now, his heart, his life, his lips cry out, "O Jesus, let thy kingdom come, let thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE I - True and False Conversions paragraph 71

     The other has only a partial faith, and only a partial submission. The devil has a partial faith. He believes and trembles. A person may believe that Christ came to save sinners, and on that ground may submit to Him, to be saved; while he does not submit wholly to Him, to be governed and disposed of. His submission is only on condition that he shall be saved. It is never with that unreserved confidence in God's whole character, that leads him to say, "Let thy will be done." He only submits to be saved. His religion is the religion of law. The other is gospel religion. One is selfish, the other benevolent. Here lies the true difference between the two classes. The religion of one is outward and hypocritical. The other is that of the heart, holy, and acceptable to God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 838 808 Lecture XVII. & XVIII. Communion with God - No.'s 1 & 2 ...

13. There is one more form of communion which I will mention, and that is, when the soul is swallowed up, and all its will and desire lost and merged in the will of God. In this state of mind, the soul feels as if it had not and could not have any will of its own, any wish or desire, that any thing in the universe should be in any respect different from what God would have it. It feels that it has and can have no interest of its own, aside from the interest and will of God. His interest, his kingdom, and his will are its all. If in any case it is uncertain what is the will of God, it feels as if it could make no other petition, in respect to that event, than "Thy will be done." It feels such an attachment to the will of God, such confidence in it, as infinitely right and benevolent, as to feel as if it never could have a wish, desire, or thought, inconsistent with the will of God, and to feel as if the least risings of opposition against the will of God--the least want of most entire resignation, and most entire acquiescence in his will--were more to be dreaded and more terrible than hell itself.

I must omit the remaining heads of this discourse till my next.
 
 

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 38 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

And now let me ask you, Christian, do you think that you do well, barely to keep away from downright murmuring and rebellion, when you are chastised by your heavenly Father. O, do you remember, how much more deeply you have afflicted Him than He has wounded you? Do you remember, how much it costs Him thus to smite you?--What! can He who loves you so much as to give his life for you, rebuke and distress you, without affliction? Of all the things that He as ever done for you, you are bound to be the most grateful for his stripes. For when He has been obliged to smite, He has been obliged to touch the apple of his own eye, and reach the deep fountains of compassion in his own heart. O how his heart has pitied you, when He has lifted up the rod. O, how his bowels yearned over you, when it fell upon you; and when you wept, how deeply did He sympathize with your grief. And as soon as you relented how instantly would He smile and wipe away your tears. O! how readily He forgave you. And as soon as the prodigal returned, "He saw you a great way off, and ran, and fell upon your neck, and wept, and kissed you." He took off your rags of shame and guilt. He clothed you in the robes of gladness, and by his love He chased away all your grief. Now can a spirit of true submission imply any thing less than deep gratitude to God for all his providential dealings, and the deepest of all, for those in which He so deeply wounded Himself in wounding you. And of what ought you in infinite measure to repent, if not of those idolatries and sins that lay upon Him such a necessity?

5. True submission to God implies, the absence of all carefulness or perplexing anxiety in regard to his future dealings with us. That man certainly cannot be reconciled to God--he cannot be perfectly willing that God should deal with him in future in all respects according to his own will, and at the same time be perplexed with anxieties, and carefulness, and fears, in respect to his future dealings. True submission leaves all such questions entirely in the hands of God, without distress, distrust, anxiety, or fear.

And furthermore, true submission rejoices in the fact, that the wisdom and goodness of God will meet out all his changes for him, in a way that best promotes his own glory and the highest good of the universe.

6. True submission also implies, that you have no will of your own except that "the will of God be done on earth as it is done in heaven." It is the constant language and breathings of a submissive soul, "thy will be done." And whenever, in any way, the will of God is known, the submissive soul not merely consents that it should be so, but rejoices in having it so; and would prefer, that this should take place, to any other possible course of events. Because it regards the will of God as supremely wise and good.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1847 paragraph 291 198 Lectures V. & VI. & VII.Conditions of Prevailing Prayer- No.'s 1 & 2 & 3 ...

But if in this latter hour you could know the state of his will, you would find that it is not such that he can pray acceptably--"Thy will be done." No, his will is so changed as to conform to what you see in his outward life.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 19 - HUMANITY OF CHRIST paragraph 84 HUMANITY OF CHRIST. Various opinions noticed; What is intended by the Humanity of Christ; Doctrine proved.

Matt. 26:38-42: "Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, IF it is POSSIBLE, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto his disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What! could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, IF this cup MAY not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done."

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 42 - ACCEPTABLE PRAYER. paragraph 67

He continued upon his knees, and the perspiration poured down him, because he was in such agony of mind. He now felt what the minister had said was true, and the question came up, Why am I not willing to be a Christian? He felt there was no reason why he should not, and no excuse that he could make for refusing any longer. If he was not willing to do as he ought, he felt he ought to go to hell, and be willing to go and take the consequences-that he ought to be sent there and have no disposition to open his mouth by way of objecting. He himself said, "I gathered up all my soul and energies, and rose up in my strength, and cried at the top of my voice, 'Thy will be done.' I know that my will went with my words; and then so great a calmness came over me that I can never express it, so deep a peace instantly took possession of me. It seemed as if all was changed; my whole soul justified God and took part against itself."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 80 - Perseverance of Saints III paragraph 40 Further objections considered

     Matt. xxvi. 37: "And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt. 40. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What! could ye not watch with me one hour? 41. Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 42. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. 43. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 44. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45. Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46. Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me."

 

 


WAY OF SALVATION, SERMON 21 - Conditions of Prevailing Prayer paragraph 47

But if in this latter hour you could know the state of his will, you would find that it is not such that he can pray acceptably, "Thy will be done." No; his will is so changed as to conform to what you see in his outward life.

 

 


CHARLES G. FINNEY TESTIMONIAL OF REVIVALS, CHAPTER XXVII. - ANOTHER WINTER IN BOSTON. paragraph 17 Second-Adventism - The church in Marlborough Chapel - A false prophet - A chapter of personal experience - A new consecration - Experiences in connection with the death of Mrs. F. - Experiences not appreciated - Need in Boston.

Just at evening, the question arose in my mind, "What if God should send me to hell, what then?" "Why, I would not object to it." "But can He send a person to hell," was the next inquiry, "who accepts His will, in the sense in which you do?" This inquiry was no sooner raised in my mind than settled. I said, "No, it is impossible. Hell could be no hell to me, if I accepted God's perfect will." This sprung a vein of joy in my mind, that kept developing more and more, for weeks and months, and indeed I may say, for years. For years my mind was too fall of joy to feel much exercised with anxiety on any subject. My prayer that had been so fervent, and protracted during so long a period, seemed all to run out into, "Thy will be done." It seemed as if my desires were all met. What I had been praying for, for myself, I had received in a way that I least expected. "Holiness to the Lord" seemed to be inscribed on all the exercises of my mind. I had such strong faith that God would accomplish all His perfect will, that I could not be careful about anything. The great anxieties about which my mind had been exercised, during my seasons of agonizing prayer, seemed to be set aside; so that for a long time, when I went to God, to commune with Him as I did very, very frequently I would fall on my knees, and find it impossible to ask for anything, with any earnestness, except that His will might be done in earth as it is done in heaven. My prayers were swallowed up in that; and I often found myself smiling, as it were, in the face of God, and saying that I did not want anything. I was very sure that He would accomplish all His wise and good pleasure; and with that my soul was entirely satisfied.