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REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XVII. - FALSE COMFORTS FOR SINNERS. paragraph 32 The necessity and design of instructing anxious sinners - Anxious sinners are always seeking comfort - The false comforts that are often administered.

Such advice, if it be truly conviction of sin that distresses the sinner, is, in no case, either safe or lawful. The strivings of the Spirit, to bring the sinner to Christ, will never hurt him, nor drive him crazy. He may make himself deranged by resisting; but it is blasphemous to think that the blessed, wise, and benevolent Spirit of God would ever act with so little care, as to derange and destroy the soul which He came to sanctify and save. The proper course to take with a sinner, when the striving of the Spirit throws him into distress, is, to instruct him, clear up his views, correct his mistakes, and make the way of salvation so plain, that he may see it right before him. Not to dismiss the subject, but to fall in with the Spirit, and thus hush all those dreadful agonies which are produced by resisting the Holy Ghost. REMEMBER, if an awakened sinner should voluntarily dismiss the subject once, probably he will never take it up again.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XVII. - FALSE COMFORTS FOR SINNERS. paragraph 80 The necessity and design of instructing anxious sinners - Anxious sinners are always seeking comfort - The false comforts that are often administered.

The sinner is mourning because there is no other way of salvation, because God is so holy that He requires him to give up all his sins, and he feels that the time has come, that he must either give them up, or be lost. Shall we tell him, he shall be comforted? Shall we tell the devil: "You mourn now; but the Bible says, you are blessed if you mourn; and you shall be comforted by and by!"

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XVII. - FALSE COMFORTS FOR SINNERS. paragraph 111 The necessity and design of instructing anxious sinners - Anxious sinners are always seeking comfort - The false comforts that are often administered.

Sometimes, in an anxious meeting, or when sinners have been called to the anxious seats, after the minister has made plain the way of salvation, and taken away all stumbling blocks out of the path, just when the sinners are ready to YIELD some one will be called on to pray, and instead of praying that they may repent now, he begins: "O' Lord, we pray that these sinners may be solemn, that they may have a deep sense of their sinfulness, that they may go home impressed with their lost condition, that they may attempt nothing in their own strength, that they may not lose their convictions, and that, in Thine own time and way, they may be brought into the glorious light and liberty of the sons of God."

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XVIII. - DIRECTIONS TO SINNERS. paragraph 4 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.

These are the words of the jailer at Philippi - the question which he put to Paul and Silas, who were then under his care as prisoners. Satan had, in many ways, opposed these servants of God in their work of preaching the Gospel, and had been as often defeated and disgraced. But here he devised a new and peculiar project for frustrating their labors. There was a certain woman at Philippi, who was possessed with a spirit of divination, or, in other words, the spirit of the devil, and brought her masters much gain by her soothsaying. The devil set this woman to follow Paul and Silas about the streets, and as soon as they had begun to gain the attention of the people, she would come in and cry: "These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation" (v. 17). That is, she undertook to second the exhortations of the preachers, and added her testimony, as if to give additional weight to their instructions.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XVIII. - DIRECTIONS TO SINNERS. paragraph 69 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.

1. The labor of ministers is greatly increased, and the difficulties in the way of salvation are greatly multiplied, by the false instructions that have been given to sinners. The consequence has been that directions which used to be plain are now obscure. People have been taught so long that there is something awfully mysterious and unintelligible about conversion, that they do not try to understand it.

 

 


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

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

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE II - True Submission paragraph 54

     (5.) To receive Christ as your mediator and advocate, your atoning sacrifice, your ruler and teacher, and in all the offices in which He is presented to you in God's word. In short, you are to be wholly acquiescent in God's appointed way of salvation.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE V - Justification by Faith paragraph 73

     Some suppose that an individual might exercise justifying faith, while denying the divinity and atonement of Jesus Christ. I deny this. The whole sum and substance of revelation, like converging rays, all center on Jesus Christ, His divinity and atonement. All that the prophets and other writers of the Old Testament say about salvation comes to Him. The Old Testament and the New, all the types and shadows point to Him. All the Old Testament saints were saved by faith in Him. Their faith terminated in the coming Messiah, as that of the New Testament saints did in the Messiah already come. In the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul shows what place he would assign to this doctrine: "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures." Mark that expression, "first of all." It proves that Paul preached that Christ died for sinners, as the "first" or primary doctrine of the gospel. And so you will find it, from one end of the Bible to the other, that the attention of men was directed to this new and living way, as the only way of salvation. This truth is the only truth that can sanctify men. They may believe a thousand other things, but this is the great source of sanctification, "God in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself." And this alone can therefore be justifying faith.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE V - Justification by Faith paragraph 91

     Do you say, "What must I believe?" Believe just what God says of his Son; believe any of those great fundamental truths which God has revealed respecting the way of salvation, and rest your soul on it, and you shall be saved. Will you now trust Jesus Christ to dispose of you? Have you confidence enough in Christ to leave yourself with Him, to dispose of your body and your soul, for time and eternity? Can you say


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE X - Way of Salvation paragraph 0
WAY OF SALVATION

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE X - Way of Salvation paragraph 2

WAY OF SALVATION.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE X - Way of Salvation paragraph 7

     II. Show the way of salvation.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE X - Way of Salvation paragraph 10

     II. The way of salvation.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE X - Way of Salvation paragraph 39

     The manner in which Faith puts the mind in possession of all these blessings is this: It annihilates all those things that stand in the way of our intercourse with Christ. He says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Here is a door, an obstacle to our intercourse with Christ, something that stands in the way. Take the particular of wisdom. Why do we not receive Christ as our wisdom? Because we depend on our own wisdom, and think we have ourselves some available knowledge of the things of God, and as long as we depend on this, we keep the door shut. That is the door. Now, let us just throw this all away, and give up all wisdom of our own, and see how infinitely empty we are of any available knowledge, as much so as a beast that perisheth, as to the way of salvation, until Christ shall teach us. Until we feel this, there is a door between us and Christ. We have something of our own instead of coming and throwing ourselves perfectly into the hands of Christ, we just come to Him to help out our own wisdom.

 

 


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 1842 paragraph 221 194 Lecture III. Ability and Inability ...

6. See also John 6:44, 45. "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." The 44th verse is often quoted in proof of the doctrine of natural or moral inability. But what inability is here intended? When the two verses are read together, we learn that no man is able to come to Christ unless he is enlightened or taught the way of salvation by Christ. It is certainly a plain truth that a man needs to be informed of the way of salvation by Christ in order to come to Christ. This text does not begin to teach any inability whatever, in those who have been taught, and understand the way of salvation by Jesus.

Here let me remark that so to explain these passages as to make them teach either a moral or a natural inability is to deny the freedom of the will. But that the will is free we have the testimony of our own consciousness. To come to Christ, to do our duty, in other words to be holy, consists in acts of will. Now to affirm an inability to will in any direction, in view of motives, is to affirm that as true which our consciousness teaches us to be false.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1842 paragraph 390 371 Lecture VI. Wisdom Justified of Her Children ...

(4.) To the truly wise, the law and gospel are one consistent scheme of revelation and salvation, and not contradictory and conflicting schemes. A truly pious person will behold at a glance the wisdom and benevolence of God, in the typical manner of teaching the gospel under the old Testament dispensation. He sees at once, that through those types and shadows, a future Christ, and justification by faith in Him, were taught. Truly pious persons see no difference in the way of salvation under the two dispensations--that they only differ in this, that in the old, Christ was presented through types and prophecies as a future sacrifice, while in the new He is presented in the simple form of history, as having lived and died, and thus set aside the necessity of the typical manner of teaching the gospel. To them God is the same in both dispensations and the spirit of all that He has ever done or said is one and the same.

III. Selfish minds will stumble at what is wise and true; and why they will do so.

1. Their state of mind, or the end for which they live, has a powerful tendency to beget misunderstanding. Being selfish, they naturally overlook the benevolence of God, as it is every where manifested in the works of creation. They have their eye upon the promotion of their own private interests, and see no benevolence in any thing that does not favor the particular end they have in view. They are often fretted with the providence of God. Like the owl in the fable, that wondered why the sun was created, with so much light that he could not see to catch a mouse, the selfish sinner looks upon every thing as very untractable, and ill-natured, that does not fall in with his peculiar ends and aims. In this state of mind, he naturally misunderstands almost every thing that God does and says. If God commands him to glorify Him, he is apt to understand God as being selfish and ambitious, just as the sinner knows himself to be. He does not understand that God is purely and disinterestedly benevolent in such a requirement. He naturally understands all God's commands, promises, and threatenings, as founded in selfishness. He knows his own to be, and therefore naturally thinks of God, as being altogether such an one as himself. Furthermore, when God promises reward to virtue, and threatens evil to vice, he understands these as appeals to his selfishness.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 401 370 Lecture VII. Way to Be Holy ...

1. From this subject, we may see why the gospel lays so much stress on faith. It is the only way of salvation.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 406 370 Lecture VII. Way to Be Holy ...

6. I said the doctrine of imputed righteousness, is another gospel, or no gospel at all. And here I would ask, is not this quite another way of salvation? According to this way, instead of imputing righteousness to them, God makes them righteous.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1845 paragraph 545 520 Lecture XII. Having a Good Conscience ...

4. A good conscience is essential to usefulness. Without it, you can have but little influence over others. Those men whose moral sentiments are loose will practice loosely wherever their interest prompts them to do so, and will surely lose the respect of the community. This once lost, the less they say about religion the better. The less they do to urge other men to be just and holy, the better. If their life and spirit is such that whenever they say a word to recommend religion, the thought rushes into everybody's mind, "Physician, heal thyself," that man may as well hold his peace. His first business should be to heal himself. Let him first set his own conscience right and live according to its dictates; then the time may come when people will hear and regard what he says.

When Paul and Silas were preaching the gospel at Phillippi, a sooth-saying woman was employed by the devil to frustrate their efforts. She had long been imposing upon the people until her character had become perfectly odious. Of course she was a good tool for the devil to use. He sends her after the Apostles, and just when they are getting the attention and the hearts of the people, he sets her a shouting--"These men are the servants of the Most High God, which show unto us the way of salvation." The people are at once repelled; they will not believe the best truth in the universe coming from such a quarter; they turn away, and the Apostles seem likely to be utterly nonplused in respect to introducing the gospel there. Paul is "grieved," and turning to the woman, commands the evil spirit in the name of Christ to come out of her. Then the word of the Lord had free course.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1846 paragraph 823 787 Lecture XII. Responsibility of Hearing the Gospel ...

Yet with what intense interest should you desire to understand it! Nothing in all the universe is so important to you as to understand this way of salvation. Your state of mind therefore by no means corresponds to your responsibilities, or to the subject you have to study; and how can you expect the Lord to bless you?

4. You must hear with candor, and be willing to know the worst of your case. Your heart must be really open to hear the whole truth.

Few persons have really come to understand how much importance is to be attached to this state of mind. Many seem not to be sensible of being prejudiced. Perhaps they have not even dreamed of being committed against the truth of God; but yet they are, full of committal--and most resolutely fixed in their false opinions. They are by no means candid.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 290 221 Lecture IV. Conditions of Being Saved ...

2. Take care that you do not sin willfully after having understood the truth concerning the way of salvation. Your danger of this is great precisely in proportion as you see your duty clearly. The most terrible damnation must fall on the head of those who "knew their duty, but who did it not." When therefore you are told plainly and truly what your duty is, be on your guard lest you let salvation slip out of your hands. It may never come so near your reach again.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 311 307 Lecture V. Substitution ...

The present occasion in which a large number of youth are about to unite with our church, together with the circumstance that many are still inquiring the way of salvation, seems to render the subject presented by this passage peculiarly appropriate for this day. In treating the subject here presented, I shall,

I. Show what is intended by Christ's being "made sin for us."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 348 307 Lecture V. Substitution ...

But you say--How can it be that simple faith is the only requisite to secure this inheritance? I am but too well aware that the simplicity of the way of salvation is a great stumbling-block to the world. The mass of men who hear the gospel are stumbled on this very rock, and turn aside and go about to work out some form of self-righteousness. It is too simple a thing in their esteem to have salvation for merely believing on Jesus Christ--not to say also that it is too humiliating. They do not so well like to come into such a possession without having it to say that they have paid well for it. Hence they pass over the simplicity of the gospel, and miss of heaven. Slow indeed are most men to see that it is by simple faith that we commit the soul to God, renounce self in all its forms, and cast ourselves upon the righteousness of God alone.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 349 307 Lecture V. Substitution ...

12. Unbelievers reject this way of salvation, and of course the unmitigated penalty of the law must fall on them. Although Christ has died for them, yet if they will not believe, they must be damned. So the Bible declares--"he that believeth not is condemned already"--"He that believeth not shall be damned." Be it so that they have been bought with blood; yet if they deny the Lord that bought them, they are not redeemed unto salvation, but on the contrary, bring upon themselves swift and more awful destruction. In the nature of the case this must be so. A pardon proposed to the consent of the prisoner, and by him rejected, becomes no pardon at all. The prisoner's rejection of it nullifies it utterly as to its reference to himself.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1852 paragraph 95 62 Lecture II. The Fearful Results of a Spiritual Relapse ...

6. Reaction is disastrous in proportion to the extent of the partial reformation. It was obviously so in the case of John's preaching. Those who learned from him most fully the way of salvation and who when Jesus came rejected Him were most deeply guilty and most awfully cursed by the returning power of other unclean spirits.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1853 paragraph 162 121 Lecture III. The Saviour Lifted up, and the Look of Faith ...

5. The natural man always seeks for some way of salvation that shall be altogether creditable to himself. He wants to work out some form of self-righteousness and does not know about trusting in Christ alone. It does not seem to him natural or philosophical.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1853 paragraph 174 121 Lecture III. The Saviour Lifted up, and the Look of Faith ...

You have doubtless had confused notions of the way of salvation, perhaps contriving and speculating, and working upon your own feelings. Now you pray, and having prayed, you say--Now let me watch and see if this prayer has given me salvation! This course is much as if the Hebrew people when bitten by serpents and commanded to look to the serpent of brass, had gone about to apply here a plaster, there a blister, and then a probe, all the time losing sight of just that one thing which God told them would infallibly cure. Oh! why should men forget, and why not understand that all good needed by us comes from God to simple faith? When we see any want, there is Christ, to be received by faith alone; and His promises leave no want unprovided for.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1853 paragraph 175 121 Lecture III. The Saviour Lifted up, and the Look of Faith ...

Now, if this is the way of salvation, how wonderful that sinners should look every other way but toward Christ, and should put forth all other sorts of effort except the effort to look at once in simple faith to their Saviour! How often do we see them discouraged and confounded, toiling so hard and so utterly in vain. No wonder they should be so greatly misled. Go round among the churches and ask, Did you ever expect to be saved from sin in this world? No;--but you expect to be saved at death. Inasmuch as He has been quite unsuccessful in his efforts to sanctify your soul during your life, you think He will send death on in season to help the work through!

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1854 paragraph 78 58 Lecture II. Christ Our Advocate with The Father ...

How very simple then is this! You need only to make up your mind to consent to God's way of salvation, and to renounce your own will and way, and shelter yourself under His advocacy. Hear Him cry--"How often would I have gathered you as a hen gathers he brood under her wings; but ye would not." How often thus does He propose to throw all round about you that shield of His advocacy! Will you accept it?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1854 paragraph 103 91 Lecture III. The Inner and The Outer Revelation ...

It is not long since I had interviews with a young lady of considerable intelligence who was a skeptic. She professed to believe in a God and in those great truths pertaining to his attributes which are embraced in Deism; but she quite rejected the Bible and all that pertains to a revealed way of salvation.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 6 - DIVINE AUTHORITY OF THE BIBLE paragraph 34 DIVINE AUTHORITY OF THE BIBLE. A farther revelation from God than that which is made in the works of nature and providence needed; Such a revelation possible; Such a revelation probable; 'The scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, a direct revelation from God.

2. The way of salvation for sinners could not be known by the light of nature, and consequently a revelation that would convey this knowledge was imperiously demanded.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 6 - CHRIST MAGNIFYING THE LAW. paragraph 19

     A few remarks and inferences will close what I have to say. 1. The intention of the Gospel is by no means to repeal the law. "Do we, then, make void the law through faith?" said the apostle; "God forbid; yea, we establish the law." By his life and death, Christ honoured the law; and thus himself furnished the means of rebuking the rebellious lives of sinners. The spirit of the law pervades the Gospel, and they infinitely mistake the subject who suppose that the moral law is not part of the Gospel. This is the way to make Christ the minister of sin. This is to array Christ against the moral law; for how could he by abrogating the law make it honourable? This would be to weaken the law. Do not mistake me: I do not mean that men are to be saved by their own righteousness--that they are to be restored to happiness by the law, as the ground of their acceptance with God. I mean no such thing as this; but what I do mean is, that this is a condition of their forgiveness, --they must break off their rebellion, and become submissive and obedient to its authority. A man who has once violated a law can never be justified by it; this is both naturally and governmentally impossible. But there must be obedience to the law as a condition of forgiveness for past sins and offences. 2. Again: this is implied in the exercise of saving faith. No faith is saving but that which works by love. No faith is justifying faith that is not sanctifying faith. No hope is a good hope but that which leads its possessor to purify himself even as Christ is pure. There are persons who suppose that the Gospel abrogates the moral law, and that they are going to be saved by faith without love; they are Antinomians, and they know nothing of the true way of salvation. They ought to understand at once that the law is an essential part of the Gospel. Let me be understood: I do not mean that universal and perfect obedience to the law is a condition of being saved by the Gospel; but I do mean that under the Gospel we have the same rule of life that they have in heaven. The law there is, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy strength," and this is as truly our rule of duty here as it is in heaven. The Gospel enjoins this love, and makes it obligatory upon us. That faith which is saving faith is the result of this love; and this love, when rightly understood, is indispensable to virtue. 3. Again: Christ still honours the law by continuing to require its fulfilment as a condition of saving those for whom he died. He requires them first to confess and renounce their sins, and thus acknowledge the propriety of the law. The law is not evil; and those who continue in sin dishonour the law. They must repent; they must justify the law, and condemn themselves; they must, by a public act, renounce their sins--the act of renunciation must be as public as the act of rebellion. They must reverence the law; they must subscribe to it; they must obey it; they must exercise the love that it requires;--this is his condition of saving those for whom he hath already died. Even in the days of the Apostles people began to have a wrong idea on this subject. The false idea that the law and the Gospel were opposed to each other, doubtless, took possession of their minds, because the Apostles so largely insisted upon the necessity of justification by faith. But the Apostles had no such meaning. The Jews had supposed that sinners were to be saved by obedience to the moral and ceremonial law; their religion was a religion of mere outward morality. That was the condition of the Jews as a nation. I do not mean that all the Jews had this view; for, doubtless, there were many who understood the true nature of the law--understood that the moral law required love and confidence in God; they also knew that the ceremonial law was figurative of the atonement, which was to be at some future day made clear to men; pious and devout men understood this, but the Jews, as a nation, almost without exception, had no idea of the spiritual character of the law, and their teachers taught a different doctrine altogether--they taught that men would be saved by mere outward morality, by abstaining from those things that were in the ceremonial law forbidden as wrong, and by keeping the letter of the commandments written in the two tables of stone. Now, observe, the Apostles sought to show them that they entirely misunderstood the conditions of salvation. Christ had taught this, and after Christ's ascension, the Apostles enlarged upon what he had taught--illustrating their position by his death and resurrection, the ceremonial law, the tabernacle, and so on, insisting upon it that men were to be saved by faith in Christ. Upon this there were some who misunderstood what he Apostles intended, which was this, that they were to be justified by faith in Christ, which works by love, as opposed to all legal works. The Apostle Paul, who wrote chiefly on this subject, did not mean to say that they would be saved without love to the law, for he insisted upon it that the faith which was essential to salvation was that "faith which works by love." "In Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature." He did not mean to say that a man could be saved without obedience to the law, without love. Men were, he said, to be justified by that faith in Christ which works by love, in opposition to any works of their own. He did not mean to teach that men were justified on the ground of love and obedience to the law, but he meant this, that they were justified entirely by Christ, by what Christ had done; that they were to expect forgiveness on the ground of what Christ had done; but upon the condition that they should believe in him and love him.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 6 - CHRIST MAGNIFYING THE LAW. paragraph 20

     Now, the mistake against which I am endeavouring to guard you, has prevailed, more or less, from the days of the Apostles till the present time. This mistake early began to develop itself, and James, by his Epistle, designed to correct this mistake. It has been thought that the Epistle of James contradicts the Epistle of Paul, but nothing is further from the truth. James insisted upon men having faith which works by love--practical faith, that makes them holy. The Apostle Paul says, men are not justified by works, but both agree that personal holiness is a condition of salvation--not a ground, but a condition. 4. Again: multitudes of persons, in every age of the Church, have been found, who have seemed to array the Gospel against the law, as if the moral law had been abrogated. Let me illustrate what I mean. In one of the cities of the United States, where a revival took place some few years since, a lady who belonged to an episcopal church in that city, came to me and said, "I am distressed with the state of things in our Church; the ladies of that Church are so conformed to the world in their habits of dress, and in their frivolous and light conduct, that I went to our minister about it, and told him how much I was grieved; and what do you think he said to me? 'I consider that these ladies are among the most pious members of my church; the reason why they act as they do is, they do not rely upon their own works, they expect to be saved alone by the merits of Christ.'" Now, what sort of an idea had these people, and this minister, of the Gospel, of the way of salvation? Just think of this; these people were living worldly, selfish, self-indulgent lives, and yet they expected to be saved by the merits of Christ. They supposed that the righteousness of Christ was imputed to them in such a sense; that they could personally conform to the world, and yet be saved. Personally, like all other sinners, and yet by an imputed righteousness that did not imply any personal holiness, they could be saved. What is this but Antinomianism? And what is this but the religion of great multitudes of persons? You urge them to holiness of life, and this is not preaching the Gospel to them; you urge them to obedience, to self-denial, and to live lives worthy of their high vocation, and this imply no Gospel,--this is urging men to a holiness of their own!

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 20 - THE SABBATH SCHOOL - COOPERATION WITH GOD. paragraph 25

But, again: He must possess the requisite skill. He must himself be divinely taught. He must know God's truth himself. He must understand what it is to be converted himself, or how can he labor for the conversion of others? What infinite folly for such a one to attempt to undertake the conversion of others! As well might a man with a beam in his own eye, attempt to pluck out the mote from his brother's eye; let him first cast out the beam from his own eye, and then he will see clearly to pluck the mote out of his brother's eye. He should have some knowledge by experience of what it is to be converted. If he is going to teach the sinner to obtain a new heart, let him understand what it is himself; for if he undertakes the work without knowing anything about it in his heart, he will prevent the work. So does a minister who pretends to point out the way of salvation, without himself having walked therein.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 20 - THE SABBATH SCHOOL - COOPERATION WITH GOD. paragraph 50

There was a case of this in New York. One of the principal physicians in the place was himself an infidel, but his wife was a Christian. They had a little girl between seven and ten years of age. There was a great revival in the church to which the lady belonged; and this little Hannah, one of the most beautiful little children I ever beheld--became seriously anxious about her soul. The father found this out and was bitterly opposed to the mother for cherishing it, and reprimanded her for it. He said he "could not understand it, and he did not believe the child could." He would not, therefore, have the mother encourage such a delusion. However, one day, some time after this, as he was on his way to a patient's house, he began to think seriously on the subject, and saw at a single glance his relation to the Savior; he altered his mind, went home and confessed to his wife that he saw his error--that his pride of intellect had led him to overlook what the child in her simplicity at once had seen. Now, who does not see that this is the true teaching of the Bible? There are truths in religion, which the more lofty men's minds are, the more will they be impressed by them; but the simple truth of the way of salvation is so simple, that they are less likely, as we have seen, to understand and receive them.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 21 - THE SABBATH SCHOOL - CONDITIONS OF SUCCESS. paragraph 17

Take heed, also, that you personally know Christ, so as not to be obliged to teach by hearsay, like the sons of Sceva, who attempted to cast out devils through Christ whom Paul taught, not through anything with which they themselves were connected. Satan, of course, has little difficulty in overcoming those who are preaching a hearsay gospel. They are but poorly prepared to urge it upon others, and they are themselves without any firm expectation of its being accepted. Without any personal communion with Christ on their part, how can they expect to persuade others? Be careful, then, that you know yourself the true way of salvation--how to come at the gospel--how to avail yourself of it--and how to teach others the manner in which they may avail themselves of it. There is a vast mistake among teachers on this subject; instead of teaching others how to avail themselves of the way of life, they teach them the exact opposite of what they ought to teach them.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 36 - NOT FAR FROM THE KINGDOM OF GOD. paragraph 34

     Again, when spiritual darkness gives way, so that persons come to see their relations to God as a reality--when they come to understand the gospel and the way of salvation--when they see it developed distinctly, so that they can easily understand it, and see their need of a Saviour--in short, when the truths of religion come to be revealed to the mind, so that the mind really conceives them in their relations--such persons may be said to be not far from the Kingdom of God. This was the case with the Scribe, and has often been the case with persons in these days. Many of you, doubtless, remember the time in your history, when you saw with a clearness of vision you never had before--perhaps you are in this state now--when you saw your relations to these truths, the motives and necessities of the plan of Salvation, and its suitability to your wants--then the word is nigh unto thee, even in thy mouth; and if thou believest on Jesus Christ, thou shalt be saved. Who has dispelled the mists around you? The Holy Ghost has done it. You stand within one step--the single act of committing yourself in confidence to these truths, will bring you within the Kingdom of God.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 39 - THE SINNER'S SELF-DESTRUCTION. paragraph 10

Paul and Silas were preaching the gospel at Philippi, and Satan, it appears took new ground with them at this place, which, for a time, served greatly to embarrass them. There was a woman there who was the subject of demoniacal possession, and when the apostles were preaching she followed them from place to lace, and called out after them -- "These are the servants of the Most High God, which show unto us the way of salvation;" and, of course, inasmuch as she was such a character, and so well-known Paul was very much grieved that she thus went after them, and bore testimony of this kind. He, therefore, cast the unclean spirit out of her in the name of Jesus Christ. This naturally gave great offence to those who made profit by her proceedings, and as they were influential persons they caused not small stir in the city. The brought them before the magistrates, and charged them with "turning the world upside down." After this they were sent to jail, and thrust into the inner prison, and, lest they should possibly escape, their feet were made fast in the stocks. At midnight they prayed and sang praises unto God, and all the prisoners heard them. There was a great earthquake, and the very foundations of the prison were shaken, the bars and bolts were removed, and the doors thrown open. This awoke the jailer, who was sleeping in a part of the same building. Coming from his room, and beholding the state of things around him, he concluded the prisoners had escaped; and knowing that he should be hardly dealt with, he was greatly excited, and drawing his sword, was about to destroy himself. This was observed by Paul, who cried out with a loud voice -- "Do thyself no harm: we are all here." Then the jailer called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 65 - Sanctification (Part 9) paragraph 18 Relations of Christ to the believer--continued Part III

     (xxxvi.) Christ is also the Way of salvation.

 

 


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

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

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 65 - Sanctification (Part 9) paragraph 21 Relations of Christ to the believer--continued Part III

     (xxxvii.) Christ is also "the Truth," and as such he must be apprehended and embraced, to secure the soul from falling in the hour of trial. In this relation many have known Christ merely as one who declared the truth, as one who revealed the true God and the way of salvation. This is all they understand by this assertion of Christ, that he is the truth.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 68 - Sanctification (Part 12) paragraph 35 Objections answered

     Again, the grounds of hope may be more or less strong, in proportion as hope is more or less strong. For example, an event which is dependent upon the exercise of our own agency, may be more or less likely to occur, in proportion to the strength or weakness of our hope that it will occur. Hope is compounded, as we have said, of desire and expectation. An event dependent upon our agency may be more or less likely to occur, in proportion as we desire its occurrence, and entertain the confident expectation that it will occur. In such a case, although the evidence may be really but slight upon which the expectation is at first founded, yet the very fact, that the mind has become confident that a strongly desired event will take place, which event depends upon the energetic and persevering exercise of our own agency; I say, the strength of the confidence, as well as the strength of the desire, may render the event all the more probable, and thus the grounds of hope may be increased by the increase of hope. For it should be remembered, that hope is possible and common when there are no good grounds for it, and the very fact, that a hope at present with slight grounds does exist, may increase the grounds of rational hope. Suppose, for example, that an Indian in our western forests, who had never heard the gospel, should come in some way to have the idea, and the desire, and expectation, of finding out a way of salvation. Now, before he had this hope, there could not be said to have been more than slight rational ground for it. But since he has the idea, the desire, and the expectation, he may from these facts have a rational ground of hope, that he shall discover a way of salvation. The desire and the expectation may render it highly probable, that he will in some manner discover the right way.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 71 - Sanctification (Part 15) paragraph 80 Objections--continued Part III

     But again, I say, that the very fact that a man feels shocked to hear a converted or a sanctified soul unqualifiedly thank God for the grace received, shows that down deep in his heart lies concealed a self-righteous view of the way of salvation, and that in his mind all holiness in Christians is a ground of boasting; and that, if persons have become truly and fully sanctified, they really have a ground of boasting before God. I know not how else to account for this wonderful prejudice. For my own part, I do not conceive it to be the least evidence of self-righteousness, when I hear a man sincerely and heartily thank God for converting and justifying him by his grace. Nor should I feel either shocked, horrified, or disgusted, to hear a man thank God, that he had sanctified him wholly by his grace. If in either or both cases I had the corroborative evidence of an apparently holy life, I should bless God, take courage, and feel like, calling on all around to glorify God for such an instance of his glorious and excellent grace.

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 4 - The Savior Lifted Up, and the Look of Faith paragraph 48

5. The natural man always seeks for some way of salvation that shall be altogether creditable to himself. He wants to work out some form of self-righteousness and does not know about trusting in Christ alone. It does not seem to him natural or philosophical.

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 4 - The Savior Lifted Up, and the Look of Faith paragraph 60

You have doubtless had confused notions of the way of salvation, perhaps contriving and speculating, and working upon your own feelings. Now you pray, and having prayed, you say, Now let me watch and see if this prayer has given me salvation! This course is much as if the Hebrew people when bitten by serpents and commanded to look to the serpent of brass, had gone about to apply here a plaster, there a blister, and then a probe, all the time losing sight of just that one thing which God told them would infallibly cure. Oh! why should men forget, and why not understand that all good needed by us comes from God to simple faith? When we see any want, there is Christ, to be received by faith alone; and His promises leave no want unprovided for.

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 4 - The Savior Lifted Up, and the Look of Faith paragraph 61

Now, if this is the way of salvation, how wonderful that sinners should look every other way but toward Christ, and should put forth all other sorts of effort except the effort to look at once in simple faith to their Saviour! How often do we see them discouraged and confounded, toiling so hard and so utterly in vain. No wonder they should be so greatly misled. Go round among the churches and ask, Did you ever expect to be saved from sin in this world? No; but you expect to be saved at death. Inasmuch as He has been quite unsuccessful in His efforts to sanctify your soul during your life, you think He will send death on in season to help the work through!

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 10 - Conditions of Being Saved paragraph 100

2. Take care that you do not sin willfully after saying you understood the truth concerning the way of salvation. Your danger of this is great precisely in proportion as you see your duty clearly. The most terrible damnation must fall on the head of those who "knew their duty, but who did it not." When, therefore, you are told plainly and truly what your duty is, be on your guard lest you let salvation slip out of your hands. It may never come so near your reach again.

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 14 - The Inner and The Outer Revelation paragraph 11

It is not long since I had interviews with a young lady of considerable intelligence who was a skeptic. She professed to believe in a God and in those great truths pertaining to His attributes which are embraced in Deism; but she quite rejected the Bible and all that pertains to a revealed way of salvation.

 

 


WAY OF SALVATION, PREFACE paragraph 0
THE WAY OF SALVATION

 

 


WAY OF SALVATION, PREFACE paragraph 1

THE WAY OF SALVATION

 

 


CHARLES G. FINNEY TESTIMONIAL OF REVIVALS, CHAPTER XI. - REVIVAL AT DE KALB. paragraph 16 Presbyterians falling - Visit of Mr. F. - The Catholic tailor - Elder S's new light - Effect upon the meeting - Going to Synod - Meeting with Mr. Gale - Spirit of prayer.

Very soon the Roman Catholic tailor, Mr. F, rose up, and said, "I must tell you what the Lord has done for my soul. I was brought up, a Roman Catholic; and I never dared to read my Bible. I was told that if I did, the devil would carry me off bodily. Sometimes when I dared to look into it, it seemed as if the devil was peering over my shoulder, and had come to carry me off. But," said he, "I see it is all a delusion." And he went on to tell what the Lord had done for him, just there on the spot--what views the Lord had given him of the way of salvation by Jesus Christ. It was evident to everybody that he was converted.

 

 


CHARLES G. FINNEY TESTIMONIAL OF REVIVALS, CHAPTER XVIII. - REVIVALS AT WILLWINGTON AND PHILADELPHIA. paragraph 47 Mr. Gilbert - New School preaching and its effect - Beginning in Philadelphia - Theology at Philadelphia - Hopkinsianism - Conversion of a desperate man - Of a despairing young woman - Fondness for dress - Interest among the lumbermen - Mr. Patterson.

An aged minister who had been somewhat acquainted with the state of things, related to me as an instance of what was going on there, the following fact. He said one man in a certain place, had a little shanty by himself where he slept nights, and was getting out his shingles during the day. He began to feel that he was a sinner, and his convictions increased upon him until he broke down, confessed his sins, and repented; and the Spirit of God revealed to him so much of the way of salvation, that he evidently knew the Savior. But he had never attended a prayer meeting, or heard a prayer, that he recollected, in his life. His feelings became such, that he finally felt constrained to go and tell some of his acquaintances, that were getting out lumber in another place, how he felt. But when he arrived, he found that they felt, a good many of them, just as he did; and that they were holding prayer meetings. He attended their prayer meetings, and heard them pray, and finally prayed himself; and this was the form of his prayer: "Lord you have got me down and I hope You will keep me down. And since You have had so good luck with me, I hope You will try other sinners."

 

 


CHARLES G. FINNEY TESTIMONIAL OF REVIVALS, CHAPTER XIX. - REVIVAL AT READING, PENNSYLVANIA. paragraph 21 Unsound teaching - Arrangement for balls - Inquiry meeting - Death of Dr. Greer - Conviction of Mr. B. - False counsel to inquirers - Conversion of Mr. O B. - His death - Preaching to the editors - Labor at Lancaster - Conversion of Elder K. - Fatal delay.

He had been at the meeting that evening, and the sermon had torn him to pieces. He went home in a terrible state of mind, his convictions and distress increasing till it overcame his bodily strength; and his family feared he would die. Although it was in the midst of such a terrific storm, they dispatched a messenger for me. We had to face the storm, and walked perhaps fifty or sixty rods. I heard his moanings, or rather howlings, before I got near the house. When I entered I found him sitting on the floor, his wife, I believe, supporting his head and what a look in his face! It was indescribable. Accustomed as I was to seeing persons under great convictions, I must confess that his appearance gave me a tremendous shock. He was writhing in agony, grinding his teeth, and literally gnawing his tongue for pain. He cried out to me, "Oh, Mr. Finney! I am lost! I am a lost soul!" I was greatly shocked and exclaimed, "If this is conviction, what is hell?" However, I recovered myself as soon as I could, and sat down by his side. At first he found it difficult to attend; but I soon led his thoughts to the way of salvation through Christ. I pressed the Savior upon his attention and upon his acceptance. His burden was soon removed. He was persuaded to trust the Savior, and he came out free and joyful in hope.

 

 


CHARLES G. FINNEY TESTIMONIAL OF REVIVALS, CHAPTER XXV. - LABORS IN BOSTON AND PROVIDENCE. paragraph 8 General excitement upon slavery - Marlborough chapel - A few weeks' preaching in Boston - Call to Providence - Two months' labor there - Interest of Rev. Dr. C.

One evening as I came to the close of my sermon, this venerable looking man rose up, and asked if he might address a few words to the people. I replied in the affirmative. He then spoke in substance as follows: "My friends and neighbors, you are probably surprised to see me attend these meetings. You have known my skeptical views, and that I have not been in the habit of attending religious meetings, for a long time. But hearing of the state of things in this congregation, I came in here; and I wish to have my friends and neighbors know that I believe that the preaching we are hearing, from night to night, is the Gospel. I have altered my mind," said he. "I believe this is the truth, and the true way of salvation. I say this," he added, "that you may understand my real motive for coming here; that it is not to criticize and find fault, but to attend to the great question of salvation, and to encourage others to attend to it." He said this with much emotion, and sat down.

 

 


CHARLES G. FINNEY TESTIMONIAL OF REVIVALS, CHAPTER XXXII. - REVIVAL IN ROCHESTER IN 1855. paragraph 8 Pressing invitation - Preaching to the lawyers - Prevailing interest - The University - Zeal of the ladies - Ingenious spirit - Restrictions in New England.

I continued to press this point upon their attention, until I felt that they were effectually shut up to Christ, and the revelations made in the Gospel, as their only hope. But as yet, I had not presented Christ, but left them shut up under the law, condemned by their own consciences, and sentenced to eternal death. This, as I expected, effectually prepared the way for a cordial reception of the blessed Gospel. When I came to bring out the Gospel as revealing the only possible or conceivable way of salvation for sinners, they gave way, as they had done under a former course of lectures, in former years. They began to break down, and a large proportion of them were hopefully converted.