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REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE IV. - PREVAILING PRAYER. paragraph 33 What is effectual or prevailing prayer - Some of the most essential attributes of prevailing prayer - Some reasons why God requires this kind of prayer - That such prayer will avail much.

Take a case: David, when his child was sick, was distressed, and agonized in prayer, and refused to be comforted. He took it so much to heart that when the child died his servants were afraid to tell him. But as soon as he heard that the child was dead, he laid aside his grief, and arose, and asked for food, and ate and drank as usual. While the child was yet alive he did not know what was the will of God, and so he fasted and prayed, and said: "Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that my child may live?" He did not know but that his prayer, his agony, was the very thing on which it turned, whether the child was to live or not. He thought that if he humbled himself and entreated God, perhaps God would spare him this blow. But as soon as God's will appeared, and the child was dead, he bowed like a saint. He seemed not only to acquiesce, but actually to take a satisfaction in it. "I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me" (2 Samuel 12:15-23). This was true submission. He reasoned correctly in the case. While he had no revelation of the will of God he did not know but that the child's recovery depended on his prayer. But when he had a revelation of the will of God he submitted. While the will of God is not known, to submit, without prayer, is tempting God. Perhaps, and for aught you know, the fact of your offering the right kind of prayer may be the thing on which the event turns. In the case of an impenitent friend, the very condition on which he is to be saved from hell may be the fervency and importunity of your prayer for that individual.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XVIII. - DIRECTIONS TO SINNERS. paragraph 44 What is a proper direction to be given to sinners when they make inquiry for salvation - What is a proper answer to such inquiry - Several errors into which anxious sinners are apt to fall.

They need to be told what true submission is. Sometimes they think it means that they should be willing to be sent to perdition. Sometimes they place themselves in this attitude, and call it submission; they say that, if they are elected they will be saved; and if not, they will be lost. This is not submission. True submission is yielding obedience to God. Suppose a rebel, in arms against the Government, is called on to submit, what would he understand by it? Why, that he should yield the point, and lay down his arms, and obey the laws. That is just what it means for a sinner to submit to God. He must cease his strife and conflict against his Maker, and take the attitude of a willing and obedient child, willing to be and do whatever God requires. "Here am I" (1 Samuel 3:8); "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6.)

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE I - True and False Conversions paragraph 90

     Answer. Yes; but they require true repentance; that is, to forsake sin because it is hateful in itself. It is not true repentance, to forsake sin on condition of pardon, or to say, "I will be sorry for my sins, if you will forgive me." So they require true faith, and true submission; not conditional faith, or partial submission. This is what the Bible insists on. It says he shall be saved, but it must be disinterested repentance, and disinterested submission.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE II - True Submission paragraph 0
TRUE SUBMISSION

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE II - True Submission paragraph 2

TRUE SUBMISSION.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE II - True Submission paragraph 4

     The subject of this lecture is, "WHAT CONSTITUTES TRUE SUBMISSION?"

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE II - True Submission paragraph 10

     I. I shall show what is not true submission.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE II - True Submission paragraph 11

     II. Show what true submission is.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE II - True Submission paragraph 12

     I. I am to show what true submission is not.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE II - True Submission paragraph 13

     1. True submission to God is not indifference. No two things can be more unlike than indifference and true submission.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE II - True Submission paragraph 14

     2. It does not consist in being willing to be sinful for the glory of God. Some have supposed that true submission included the idea of being willing to be sinful for the glory of God. But this is a mistake. To be willing to be sinful is itself a sinful state of mind. And to be willing to do anything for the glory of God, is to choose not to be sinful. The idea of being sinful for the glory of God is absurd.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE II - True Submission paragraph 16

     If we were now in hell, true submission would require that we should be willing to be punished. Because then it would be certain that it was God's will we should be punished. So, if we were in a world where no provision was made for the redemption of sinners, and where our punishment was therefore inevitable, it would be our duty to be willing to be punished. If a man has committed murder, and there is no other way to secure the public interest but for him to be hung, it is his duty to be willing to be hung for the public good. But if there was any other way in which the murderer could make the public interest whole, it would not be his duty to be willing to be hung. So if we were in a world solely under law, where there was no plan of salvation, and no measure to secure the stability of government in the forgiveness of sinners, it would be the duty of every man to be willing to be punished. But as it is in this world, genuine submission does not imply a willingness to be punished. Because we know it is not the will of God that all shall be punished, but on the other hand, we know it is His will that all who truly repent and submit to God shall be saved.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE II - True Submission paragraph 18

     1. It consists in perfect acquiescence in all the providential dealings and dispensations of God; whether relating to ourselves, or to others, or to the universe. Some persons suppose they do acquiesce in the abstract, in the providential government of God. But yet, if you converse with them you see they will find fault with God's arrangements in many things. They wonder why God suffered Adam to sin? Or why He suffered sin to enter the universe at all? Or why He did this or that? Or why He made this or that thus or so? In all these cases, supposing we could assign no reason at all that would be satisfactory, true submission implies a perfect acquiescence in what ever he has suffered or done; and feeling that, so far as his providence is concerned, it is all right.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE II - True Submission paragraph 19

     2. True submission implies acquiescence in the precept of God's moral law. The general precept of God's moral law is, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Perhaps some will say, "I do acquiesce in this precept, I feel that it is right, and I have no objection to this law." Here I want you to make the distinction carefully between a constitutional approbation of God's law, and actual submission to it. There is no mind but what naturally, and by its own common sense of what is right, approves of this law. There is not a devil in hell that does not approve of it. God has so constituted mind, that it is impossible to be a moral agent, and not approve His law. But this is not the acquiescence I am speaking of. A person may feel this approbation to so great a degree as to be even delighted without having true submission to it. There are two ideas included in genuine submission, to which I wish your particular attention.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE II - True Submission paragraph 45

     3. True submission implies acquiescence in the penalty of God's law.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE II - True Submission paragraph 47

     4. True submission implies acquiescence in the sovereignty of God.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE II - True Submission paragraph 60

     III. It is an error to suppose that despair of mercy is essential to true submission.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE II - True Submission paragraph 62

     It is true that sinners sometimes do despair, before they obtain true peace. But what is the reason? It is not because despair is essential to true peace; but because of their ignorance, or of wrong instructions given to them, or misapprehension of the truth. Many anxious sinners despair because they get a false impression that they have sinned away their day of grace, or that they have committed the unpardonable sin, or that their sins are peculiarly aggravated, and the gospel provision does not reach them. Sometimes they despair for this reason---they know that there is mercy provided, and ready to be bestowed as soon as they will comply with the terms, but they find all their efforts at true submission vain. They find they are so proud and obstinate, that they cannot get their own consent to the terms of salvation. Perhaps most individuals who do submit, do in fact come to a point where they give up all as lost. But is that necessary? That is the question. Now, you see, it is nothing but their own wickedness drives them to despair. They are so unwilling to take hold of the mercy that is offered. Their despair, then, instead of being essential to true submission under the gospel, is inconsistent with it, and no man ever did embraced the gospel while in that state. It is horrid unbelief then, it is sin to despair; and to say it is essential to true submission, is saying that sin is essential to true submission.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE II - True Submission paragraph 63

     IV. True submission is acquiescing in the whole government of God.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE II - True Submission paragraph 70

     I suppose the error of attempting to convert men by the law, without the gospel, lies here; in the old Hopkinsion notion that men, in order to be saved must be willing to be damned. It sets aside the fact, that this world is, and since the fall always has been, under a dispensation of mercy. If we were under a government of mere law, true submission to God would require this. But men are not, in this sense, under the law, and never have been; for immediately after the fall, God revealed to Adam the intimations of mercy.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE II - True Submission paragraph 74

     There was a father who had a stubborn and rebellious son, and he tried long to subdue him by chastisement. He loved his son, and longed to have him virtuous and obedient. But the child seemed to harden his heart against his repeated efforts. At length the poor father was quite discouraged, and burst out into a flood of convulsive weeping---"My son! my son! what shall I do? Can I save you? I have done all that I could to save you; O! what can I do more?" The son had looked at the rod with a brow of brass, but when he saw the tears rolling down his father's furrowed cheeks and heard the convulsive sobs of anguish from his aged bosom, he too burst into tears, and cried out, "Whip me father! do whip me, as much as you please, but don't cry!" Now the father had found out the way to subdue that stubborn heart. Instead of holding over him nothing but the iron hand of law, he let out his soul before him; and what was the effect? To crush him into hypocritical submission? No, the rod did that. The gushing tears of his father's love broke him down at once to true submission to his father's will.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE III - Selfishness not True Religion paragraph 83

     VIII. You see, here, that all of you, who had no peace and joy in religion before you had a hope, are deceived. Perhaps I can give an outline of your experience. You were awakened, and were distressed, as you had reason to be, by the fear of going to hell. By and by, perhaps while you were engaged in prayer, or while some person was conversing with you, your distress left you. You thought your sins were pardoned. A gleam of joy shot through your mind, and warmed up your heart into a glow, that you took for evidence, and this again increased your joy. How very different is the experience of a true Christian! His peace does not depend on his hope; but true submission and benevolence produce peace and joy, independent of his hope.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE III - Selfishness not True Religion paragraph 88

     They are looking at their own guilt and danger. They are regarding God as an avenger, and shrinking from His terrors. This will render it impossible they should ever come at peace. While looking at the wrath of God, making them wither and tremble, they cannot love Him, they hide from Him. Anxious sinners, let me tell you a secret. If you keep looking at that feature of God's character, it will drive you to despair, and that is inconsistent with true submission. You should look at His whole character, and see the reasons why you should love Him, and throw yourself upon Him without reserve, and without distrust; and instead of shrinking from Him, come right to Him, and say, "O, Father in heaven, thou art not inexorable, thou art sovereign, but thou art good, I submit to thy government, and give myself to thee, with all I have and all I am, body and soul, for time and for eternity."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 565 517 Lecture VIII. True and False Peace ...

It appears to me to be impossible, that true religion, and true submission, should be produced in the mind, without pressing upon the attention the character of God, and of Christ, as presented in the Bible. Those great and commanding objects of love, and of faith, must be presented, and embraced: and there must be a yielding up of selfishness, through the power of truth, and the Holy Ghost, or there is no true religion in the soul. But if selfishness is subdued, you will not witness these perpetual conflictings, that are so common, when professors of religion are pressed up to duty.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 24 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

IV. Show that without true submission salvation is naturally impossible.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 25 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

V. Show that with true submission salvation is naturally inevitable.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 26 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...


I. What constitutes submission to God.

1. I begin by remarking, that submission belongs to the will; and that true submission consists in the will's being entirely subdued and under the control of God's will. It is just that attitude of will, or that voluntary state of the will that God requires. This includes,

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 27 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

2. A joyful acquiescence in all the providence of God. There is perhaps no man, however wicked, and perhaps no devil in hell, that is not pleased with some of the providences of God, because they may favor their ambitious and selfish schemes. The assassin, who prowls at midnight to plunge a dagger into his neighbor's heart, might be very willing that God's providence should favor him with a dark and stormy night, when few persons would be abroad to detect his foul deed of blood. The pirate, also, might rejoice in a fair wind, or in any other providence that might favor his diabolical designs. Satan himself might rejoice at some providential dispensation that may give him the opportunity of extending his rebellious operations against God. The farmer, though a wicked man, may rejoice in such weather as favors his peculiar occupation. And thus the worst, as well as the best of men, may be very much pleased with the providence of God, so long as it favors their particular designs. But there is no piety in this. One element of true submission, is, as I have said, a joyful acquiescence in the whole providence of God. A truly submissive soul cannot know what an adverse providence is; for it has no will of its own, only that the will of God shall be done. And consequently, whatever the weather is, whatever the providential occurrences with which he is surrounded may be, as these occurrences show what is upon the whole the will of God, he is well pleased with them, equally well, whatever they may be. If in any thing, the providence of God interferes with what the submissive soul had intended to do, it is just as well pleased as if the providence had been different; for the intention to do a certain thing, to go to a certain place, or attempt any thing whatever, is founded upon the supposition, that such is the will of God. But if the providence of God is found to be adverse to the carrying out any such intention, it is regarded by that soul as a revelation from God, that that intention was not according to his will; in which case he is just as well pleased to relinquish his design, and pursue any course that at present seems to be according to the will of God, as he would have been to have pursued the intended course, which has proved to be adverse to the providence and will of God. Having no other intention than to do the whole will of God, he is perfectly and supremely satisfied with whatever the providence of God may be. He has no interest of his own to promote, no ends of his own to accomplish--no ways, or schemes, or wishes, but such as he believes to be in accordance with the will of God. He, therefore, waits, in an attitude as yielding as air, to be led in a state of supreme sweetness and complacency, in any direction in which the will of God, as revealed in his providence, by his Spirit and word, shall lead him. Equally well pleased, to be sick or well--to be rich or poor--to live or die--to enjoy his friends or part with them--to be employed in any way, in any place, at any time, wherever the providence of God shall lead him.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 28 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

3. Another element of true submission is, a cordial, joyful, and actual obedience to all the known will of God. There is, perhaps, no man and no devil so wicked or in such circumstances as not to find it for their interest to do many things required by God. And although they do not do these things in obedience to the will of God, yet they give themselves credit for good behavior, as if they really did. And indeed, they are very well pleased, that God should require such things as these, because it so happens that the letter of these requirements coincides with what they find to be most agreeable to themselves, and most for their own interest, under the circumstances in which they are placed. Now in doing these things it is manifest that there is no virtue, from the fact that they do not do them because God requires them, but solely because this course of conduct is most in accordance, under the circumstances of the case, with the selfish ends they have in view. But true submission, let it be for ever understood, consists in a spirit of universal obedience to the whole will of God, because it is his will. It regards the will of God, on all subjects, as supremely good, and just as good on one subject as another. It is necessarily under the control of the will of God, and has no end in view, but in every thing to be directed by the will of God. Nothing is so dear, nothing so desirable, nothing so desired, as to have the whole will of God done on earth as it is done in heaven. Consequently, with a submissive soul there is no picking and choosing among the commandments of God, being better pleased with some than with others, and preferring obedience to one rather than another. To a submissive soul, the revealed will of God, however it may be revealed, whether by his word, providence, or Spirit, is the supreme and universal law, to which it yields a universal and joyful obedience.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 29 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

4. Consequently true submission includes the practical and joyful holding of ourselves and all our possessions and interests at the disposal of the divine will. I say a joyful holding of ourselves and our possessions at his disposal, in opposition to a reluctant yielding, in compliance with the stern demands of conscience, without in reality taking any pleasure in thus doing. I said, a practical holding of ourselves and possessions thus, in opposition to that state of fancied willingness, in which men often profess to be willing to do any thing, when in reality they will do nothing--in which they profess to hold themselves and all they possess at the disposal of God, but in reality will never suffer Him to dispose of themselves or their possessions, only as he disposes of them by sending them to hell, and of their possessions by putting them into the hands of those that will use them for his glory. By a practical and joyful holding of ourselves and our possessions at his disposal, then, I mean, that as a matter of fact, the whole body, soul, and spirit, time, talents, property, and all things over which we have control, are yielded up to the advancement of Christ's kingdom in the world; not grudgingly, or by constraint, but of a ready, willing, joyful mind; finding in this course our supreme joy, and, as a matter of fact, feeling it to be true in our own experience, that "it is more blessed to give than to receive."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 30 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

5. True submission includes an unconditional assent to be used all up, body and soul, both in time [and] eternity, for the promotion of the best interests of the universe, and the glory of God. God undoubtedly wills that the most should be made of the influence of every moral being, to promote his own glory and the interests of his kingdom; and nothing is submission short of an entire willingness and most intense desire thus to be used up, with the most divine economy, for the promotion of those vast interests upon which the heart of God is set.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 31 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

6. It includes a joyful willingness to have justice take its course with us, if the interests of the universe should demand it. Every sinner in the universe deserves to be in hell; and since it is a fact that sin exists, it is indispensable that there should be a hell, that the justice of God should be vindicated in sending those who sin to hell. And certainly, it is the duty of all who are in hell to be entirely reconciled to their condition.

By this I do not mean, that they are bound to be reconciled to live in sin; for they are able to repent, and are bound to repent, and to love God with all their heart, and with all their soul. But since the interests of the universe demand, and therefore it is the duty of God to send them to hell, they are bound supremely to rejoice in being there; that is--they are bound to be willing, and rejoice to be disposed of in the best possible manner, for the promotion of the interests of the kingdom of God. And since, under the circumstances of the case, the best thing that can be done with them, is to put them in hell, they are bound to be supremely acquiescent in it. Just so in the case of every sinner on earth. He deserves to be put in hell. And if, under the circumstances of the case, this is the best disposition that can be made of him, for the glory of God, and the advancement of his kingdom; if the moral government of God can be better supported by his punishment than by his forgiveness, he is bound not only to consent to be punished, but to be supremely pleased to let justice take its course. By this I do not mean to affirm, that the pains of hell can be chosen for their own sake, or that any pain whatever can or ought to be chosen for its own sake. It is contrary to the very nature of moral beings, and as contrary to the will of God, as it is to the moral constitution of man, that any degree of pain should be chosen for its own sake, either in this or any other world. But while the infliction of pain, on the part of God, is indispensable to the vindication of his character, and the support of his authority, whenever the endurance of pain is demanded by the same end, whether in this or in any other world, true submission consists in choosing and joyfully acquiescing in the endurance of pain, not for its own sake, but for the sake of the end to be accomplished by it. A man is just as much bound to be willing to endure the pains of hell, in vindication of the moral government of God, should the interests of the universe demand it, as he is to be willing to endure the pains of bodily disease when physical law has been violated, and the vindication of the ways of God demand that he should suffer bodily pain.

 

 


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 35 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

2. True submission implies a recognition of the universality of the providence of God. God is actually, or permissively, directly or indirectly concerned in all events; and many persons hide their enmity against God from their own view, by overlooking the fact, that God has in any sense any agency in the providence about which they vex themselves. They ascribe many things to Satan, and to wicked men, and seem to feel that they do right to be angry, and very rebellious, in view of many things that occur, because God has no agency of any kind in them. Now, a submissive spirit views God as so concerned in every thing, as to remain calm, undisturbed and joyful, amid all those occurrences that keep the ungodly in a state of constant fermentation.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 37 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

Now it should be universally understood, that true submission implies, an earnest desire to be convinced as it respects what is really the will of God--a diligent, honest inquiry after his will, and a perfect readiness to be decided and actuated by any reasonable degree of evidence, and to follow the slightest preponderance of evidence, to whatever self-sacrifice or self-denial it may lead.

4. It implies a thankful spirit, for all the past and present providential dealings of God with us. And especially a thankful spirit for those providences that have been and are most deeply afflicting to us. "God does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men." And in all the afflictions of his children, the tender heart of God is afflicted. People are very apt to suppose themselves to be thankful to God for those providential dealings that seem, at the time, matters of great joy to them; while they think themselves excused from being thankful for dispensations that greatly afflict them. Indeed, they suppose themselves to be very virtuous, if they fall short of going into downright rebellion at such providences. But now let us look at this, Mother; are you a Christian? Yes. And God has given you a little blooming babe. It lies smiling at your breast. You touch its little cheek and chirp as to a little bird; and it looks up and smiles, with such a look of love as to seduce your heart into an attitude of idolatrous attachment. You hang over it when it wakes and when it sleeps. It is in your thoughts at the earliest dawn, at midday, and at evening. All the mother is awake in your soul. And as its little opening powers develop themselves, day after day, your attachment grows stronger and stronger, until it is the object of your thoughts by day, and your dreams by night. You cannot pray, without the image of your babe before you. You cannot go to the church of God, without having your warmest affections clustering around your little nursling at home. In the solemn worship of the house of God, your thoughts are upon your little idol, and you are weary with the length of the exercises, because they separate you from your little charmer. Now mark; you suppose yourself very thankful, that God has committed to you this little treasure. God loves the little one--He loves its mother. But O! He sees that this sweet gift is too much for your piety. He loves to see you pleased and happy with it. But He cannot consent to see it ruin you. Nor can He willingly see you, through your idolatrous attachment, ruin it. He puts forth his hand and plucks it from your bosom. You open your eyes, and it is gone! And O! God, as it were, turns away his face when He strikes the blow. He feels the pang, as if it had touched the apple of his eye. It has cost Him much. Viewed by itself, it is grievous to his heart thus to afflict you. It has cost Him more self-denial than all the sweet and pleasant things He ever bestowed upon you. He would sooner have borne the pain Himself, than have inflicted it upon you, could it have answered the purpose, which He has proved to a demonstration, by sooner dying for you than to inflict death upon you. O! how you have grieved his parental heart, by forcing Him thus to smite you. Do you feel grieved, when you are obliged to chastise your children? And when you feel obliged to use the rod, to deprive them of their food, or take some prompt measures to subdue their wayward tempers--is it not a matter of grief to you? Are you not more tried and afflicted by it than by all your other pains to do them good. Would you not rather often take the blows yourself, could the same end be answered by it? Indeed, do you not consider it the very climax of parental kindness, self-denial, and love, to march up to the thorough infliction of chastisement when the good of those you love so well requires it at your hand? Now what would you say of a child who, when he had grown to manhood, should look back upon his life and say, I feel grateful to my mother for watching over my helpless infancy. I thank my father for the trouble and expense of my education, and for giving me a farm, and for all the good things of his providence. But, ah! there are many dark spots in the history of my father's dealings with me, to which I find it difficult to be reconciled, and for which I feel that I am far from having any cause to be thankful. At such and such a time he chastised me. This I do not like. I remember that he did it with tears. I recollect how he trembled when he took the rod. I recollect how he lifted up his streaming eyes to heaven. I remember well, that when he had repeated the blows, he turned him away and wept. I saw and knew, that it cost him much--that his heart was bleeding at every pore--that much sooner would he receive the blows himself than have inflicted them on me.

Now do let me ask, for what portion of parental kindness are children under so great obligations of gratitude, as for that needed discipline, which so deeply wrung the parent's heart? O, you will say, of all the trials that I have ever had with my children; of all that I have ever done for them; and of all their obligations to me; I feel that those are the greatest which compel me to the self-denial of inflicting wounds on them.

 

 


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 1841 paragraph 40 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

8. It implies the subjugation of all our appetites and passions to his will and glory. God requires, that "whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, we do all to the glory of God." And true submission implies, that this requirement be completely obeyed.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 41 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

9. It implies implicit confidence in God. It is certainly impossible that there should be true submission, when there is not true, real, heart-felt, and practical confidence in God. To submit, and rejoice in whatever He does, certainly implies the most implicit confidence that what He does is right and best to be done. Implicit faith is therefore always implied in true submission. And this faith must respect the goodness and power of God--that He is wise, and good, and powerful enough, to do in all respects that which is best to be done.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 42 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

10. It implies true repentance for sin. Repentance is that change of mind, that takes the part of God, against all sin--that condemns all sin under every form and in every degree--that fully and heartily justifies God in all the measure of his government. It is not a mere intellectual change of views, but a change of heart, a thorough radical change in the controlling disposition or affection of the soul, in regard to sin and the government of God. Therefore, true submission always implies and includes, in a sinner, true repentance, a thorough reformation of heart and life.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 43 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

11. It implies a cordial acceptance of the salvation of the gospel. And here, when I speak of the salvation of the gospel, I mean, not merely the acceptance of a pardon, on account of the Atonement of Christ; but an acceptance of Christ, as a risen, reigning Savior from sin--not merely an outward, but an inward Savior as a glorious deliverer from all iniquity. This is proffered in the gospel; and nothing is true submission short of a cordial and practical obedience to and acceptance of the gospel of the blessed God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 55 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

5. Many confound a foolish and wicked Antinomian state of mind with true submission. They have such absurd views of the sovereignty and agency of God, as to think it unnecessary to make any efforts to accomplish their own salvation, or the salvation of others. They suppose themselves to be truly submissive in respect to the salvation of their own children, while they make no more efforts to bring about their conversion or sanctification, than they would to produce a storm of thunder.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 61 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

11. Others deceive themselves, by supposing themselves to be pious, when in fact they do not possess even common honesty. They have been guilty of lying, fraud, and multitudes of sins, which have injured their neighbors; and yet they refuse to make confession and restitution. Even when they are in what they call their best frames of mind, they are overreaching and selfish in their dealings, and will perhaps defraud the Post-Office, by sending or receiving double letters, and paying single postage, or take any other selfish and unlawful means to promote their own interest, when they have the prospect of concealment and impunity.

IV. Without true submission salvation is naturally impossible.

1. Because God must and will govern the universe. This He will do, whether you consent to it or not. If He governs without your consent, and contrary to your will, you are of course rendered miserable by it; for his government will continually conflict with your own desires and intentions; and being in direct opposition to your will, it will be a source of continual vexation and annoyance to you.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 65 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

5. He cannot, by any possibility, save you, only as you are entirely conformed to his will. What is salvation? If salvation implies holiness and happiness, then it is self-evident, that He is entirely unable to save you in any other way, than by your being entirely conformed to his will. Suppose He should change his will, and for the sake of gratifying you, and to avoid a conflict between your will and his own, suppose he should submit to you, instead of your submitting to Him. This would do you no good; but would ruin Him and yourself too. The laws of his being would remain for ever the same; and He has no power to change them. He cannot by any possibility be happy any farther than He conforms to the laws of his own being. Supreme and universal benevolence, is in entire conformity with the laws of his being, and therefore naturally and necessarily constitutes his happiness. You are moral agents. If God should so alter your nature as to destroy your moral agency, He would render it impossible for you to be holy, or morally happy. But without a change in your very nature, happiness to you is as naturally impossible, without holiness, as it is to God. The fact is, there is but one possible rule of conduct, conformity to which can make a moral being happy, and that is the law of perfect and universal benevolence. As, therefore, God is love, or benevolence, it is absurd to say, that He can render a moral being happy, only so far as he is holy. For holiness is nothing else than exact conformity of heart and life to the nature and relations of moral beings.

V. With true submission salvation is naturally inevitable.

1. Because, let God do what He will with you, you cannot but be happy, if you are submissive. Let it be remembered, that submission is not a mere negative state of mind. It is by no means a passive state of the will. It is an active, joyful, supreme acquiescence and delight in the will of God. If, therefore, you are in a state of true submission to God, you are supremely pleased and delighted with whatever disposition God shall make of you and are therefore happy of course; whether in heaven or in hell, whether in heathen or in Christian lands, whether poor or rich, whether sick or in health. In whatever circumstances you may be, if you are truly submissive, your "peace is as a river, and your righteousness as the waves of the sea." You are supremely blessed, because supremely pleased, gratified, and delighted, with the will and providence of God respecting you. Now what is this but salvation? What other idea can you form of salvation, than what is implied in this state of mind?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 67 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

3. If then salvation consists in holiness and happiness, true submission will put you in actual possession of salvation in any world. So that God Himself could not prevent your happiness, were you truly submissive to Him, although you were in the depths of hell. For even there you would shout forth his praise, for putting you there, and would be supremely delighted that you were in circumstances, in which you would be of the greatest possible service to the universe. Now, if to do good is your delight--if truly and perfectly benevolent, so that you find it more blessed to give than to receive--if truly or supremely desirous to do the utmost good in your power, put you in any possible circumstances, in any possible world, with the knowledge that you are now in circumstances to do the greatest possible good that can be done by you, and you are supremely blessed, delighted, yea, supremely gratified, to be just in those circumstances. Talk then of making you miserable! Why, it is for ever naturally impossible, while you remain in that state of mind. Happiness is a state of mind. All happiness and all misery belong to the mind, and are the natural and necessary result of conformity or non-conformity to the laws of our being. When in all things we are submissive to God, the whole machinery of our minds works with a most divine sweetness, like an excellent machine, in which there is no friction, no jarring; but all is exquisitely balanced, and a most divine sweetness is shed over all the soul, in its harmonious results. It is like a sweet instrument, so exquisitely tuned and touched with such divine skill, that it breathes the very harmony of heaven. The mind, in a state of entire submission to God, not only harmonizes in all its own movements, but it also entirely harmonizes with the workings of all the machinery in the universe. God's mind, government, plans, and the minds of all holy beings, work together, with the most divine and exquisite harmony, whenever each mind exactly keeps its place; and the law of order is so fully realized, that there is not a point of friction, a note of discord, among all the holy minds in the universe. Why, we read of music in heaven. Do you suppose we shall need instruments there to create our music and feast us with their harmonies? Why, the true idea of music is this very harmony of mind with mind, of which I am speaking. Mind is so constituted, that when all its powers harmonize in action, and when all holy minds act precisely in accordance with their nature, it produces of necessity a universal harmony, a universal sweetness, and a ravishing delight, that needs not instruments and audible sounds to enable the mind to realize that which is intended by the music of heaven. Universal submission to God, is universal harmony, while on the other hand, opposition to the will of God is the friction and discord of the soul. There is an infernal grating, mutiny, and rebellion, of the mind, which naturally and necessarily produces misery. And while a holy soul is like an exquisite instrument that breathes forth nothing but the harmonies of heaven, a sinful soul is like a wretched discordant and infernal instrument, whose keys are touched with a diabolical agency, and groaning forth the very dissonance of hell.

REMARKS.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 68 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

1. There is no submission any farther than there is true peace and happiness. If this is true, and certainly it is self-evident, how little submission is there in the world! If all the unhappiness, vexation, and misery of earth, is owing to a want of true submission to God, then there is certainly very little true submission.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 69 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

2. A submissive soul can know what it is to agonize in prayer, and can know the pain of struggling with temptation; but these are not at all inconsistent with perfect peace in God, and with that happiness that is the natural result of holiness; because this agony in prayer, and this painful struggle with temptation, are only emotions of the mind, and not at all inconsistent with the deep repose of the will in God. But, on the contrary, are evidences that the will is in a state of true submission to God. For, if the will were not in a state of submission to God, this earnest resistance would not be made to temptation. Nor would there be an agonizing struggle in the soul for the salvation of sinners.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 71 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

4. An unsubdued will is conclusive evidence of an impenitent heart; or, to speak properly, I should say, an unsubdued will is nothing else than an impenitent heart. True submission and penitence, in a sinner, are the same thing. Now there are multitudes of professors of religion, who of course profess to be penitent, while at the same time, they continually manifest a very unsubdued will. They are not submissive either to God or man. They sometimes have emotions of sorrow. They weep and pray, and confess their sins; but to yield up their own will is out of the question. They know not what submission of will is. They are kept almost in a constant state of fermentation, rasping excitement, and distress, by the providence of God, and yet suppose themselves to be penitent. What oceans of delusion exist among professors of religion upon this subject!

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 72 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

5. This subject shows the immense importance of teaching children, at a very early period, lessons of true and unconditional submission to parental authority. Parents should remember, that they stand to very young children in the place of God. They should lay the hand of parental authority and influence upon the will at a very early period. If their will is not early subdued, it is not likely to be subdued at all. If unconditional and sweet submission to parental authority be not early learned, it will never be learned. And if submission to parental influence be not learned, it is almost certain, that no true submission to God or man will ever be attained. I have witnessed a great many cases of protracted seriousness and distress of mind on religious subjects, when, after all, there was not, and I fear is never like to be any thing of the peace and sweetness of unconditional submission to the will of God. On inquiry, I believe that I have found it to be universally true, that lessons of submission have never been learned by such persons, in early childhood.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 76 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

9. You see from this subject, the indispensable necessity of thorough discrimination in respect to what does and what does not constitute true Christian submission. Some persons have seemed to suppose, that true Christian submission consisted in a kind of dreamy, heartless indifference to what they call the mysterious sovereignty of God. They suppose that submission respects fore-ordination and decrees; and seem to have no idea, that true submission consists in voluntary conformity to the revealed will of God. This class of persons are never for making any efforts, to save and sanctify the souls of men. They think this is to be left with the sovereignty of God, and that submission respects rather the unrevealed, than the revealed will of God. Now it is impossible that we should submit to the unrevealed will of God, for the obvious reason, that we do not know what it is, and therefore cannot possibly submit to it. It is, therefore, a delusion, for the man who neglects scrupulously to conform himself to all the revealed will of God, to suppose himself submissive to the sovereignty of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 77 16 Lectures XXV. & XXVI. Submission to God- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

10. True submission, and entire consecration, are the same thing. In other words, no man is truly submissive to God, any farther than he is consecrated to God. And it is very obvious, that there can be no true submission, unless for the time being there is universal submission. A man certainly does not submit to God, as God in one thing, who at the same time refuses submission in something else. It is possible that the same mind may be submissive at one time and not at another. But it is certainly impossible that the same mind should both submit to and rebel against God, at the same time. Present submission then is present consecration; continued submission is continued consecration, and permanent submission is permanent consecration, or sanctification to God. Do you know what this is by your own experience?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 291 235 Lecture IV. God Under Obligation to Do Right ...

23. We see what true submission is. It consists in a willingness to have God do, in all things, with us and ours, through all the universe and to all eternity, just right--to dispose of all we have and are just as the highest good of the universe shall demand.

 

 


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:--