||delphia > On Injustice To Character by Charles G. Finney from "The Oberlin Evangelist"
On Injustice To Character
Charles G. Finney
A Voice from the Philadelphian Church Age
by Charles Grandison Finney
Public Domain Text
Reformatted by Katie Stewart
from "The Oberlin Evangelist"
August 29, 1855
ON INJUSTICE TO CHARACTER
by the Rev. C. G. Finney
"Judge not, that ye be not judged, For with what
judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be
measured to you again, And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye,
but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye."
This passage forbids us to judge persons; and our first inquiry should be --
I. What is not intended in this prohibition?
II. What is intended?
III. Wherein does character consist?
IV. How is character revealed?
V. What is the rule of judgment?
VI. What are the sources of injustice to character?
VII. Consider our danger of falling into this sin.
VIII. The great wickedness of this sin.
IX. The results of injustice to character.
I. What is not intended in this prohibition?
- 1. It does not forbid forensic judgments, for this would make the passage forbid
what God elsewhere requires, and what is obviously essential to the ends of justice
- 2. Nor, does it prohibit all forming opinions as to others. If we have the means
of forming a correct opinion, and of circumstances render it fit and needful that
we should form an opinion, obviously it cannot be forbidden. Plainly it does not
prohibit the forming of righteous opinions whenever we have the means and it becomes
necessary to form an opinion.
II. What then does this passage mean?
I answer, it means to prohibit injustice to character. It forbids unjust judgments.
Here it becomes necessary to inquire --
III. Wherein does character consist?
I answer, in the voluntary state of mind of an active agent. I say by his state,
rather than by any individual volition. You must take the man and his acts as a whole
in order to estimate his character. His character is as the voluntary state of his
mind. If this be committed to good, such is his character; if not evil, his character
is to be estimated accordingly. Character always pertains to ultimate purpose and
intention, and should never be predicated on individual, abnormal acts, which are
aside from the general strain of a man's life.
IV. How is character revealed?
In the habitual life and temper, and not in any one individual act. Our Lord reveals
the true doctrine when he says -- "By their fruits ye shall know them,"
V. What is the rule of judgment?
Not to judge from single, insulated acts. To judge David only by his acts towards
Uriah and his wife, would do him great injustice. In that transaction, David acted
not in, but out of his general character. Hence, we are never to judge by occasional,
irregular acts; such are aside from the common course of one's life; but by its general
tenor. Some persons have their easily besetting sins, that do occasionally develop
themselves; yet their general character should not be judged altogether from these.
To do so, would greatly wrong them.
VI. What are the sources of injustice to character?
All prejudice towards character is injustice. It is prejudgment -- forming an opinion
in advance of adequate grounds for it. This is always wrong.
As to the sources whence unjust judgments arise, we may trace them,
- 1. To human selfishness. Men judge others by themselves. Being themselves selfish,
they judge others to be so likewise. Nothing is more common than for men to regard
others as selfish who will not give in to their own selfish demands. It is through
their own selfishness that sinners mis-estimate God and withhold from Him the credit
due for His loving-kindness. In the same manner they mis-estimate better men than
themselves. They mis-conceive everybody's motives if those motives are of a higher
moral grade than they are conscious of possessing.
- 2. In the same manner self-will leads men to mis-estimate others. Becoming offended
and irritated, they are in no state of mind to judge others fairly.
- 3. The selfish representations of others often mislead us into false judgments.
We are little aware how often and how sorely we are misled in this way. Others mistake,
and then lead us into the same false opinions. In such cases we are not responsible,
provided we use our best judgment in all candor and kindness, being duly on our guard
against being deceived and making all due allowance for this liability.
- 4. Another source is the absence of that love which would forbid us to do injustice
to character. It is unnatural to love to do injustice to others. Love in our hearts
secures us against this liability; but if love be wanting, we are almost sure to
err. The absence of love leads to a want of consideration as to the value and sacredness
of character. Often we see persons treat the character of others with a reckless
levity, as if they had no due regard to its value and sacredness. Such persons are
always inflicting wanton wrong on character.
- 5. Often persons misjudge because they form opinions without sufficient knowledge.
They judge before they have any right to judge. No man has any right to judge the
character of another until he has sufficient data. Especially should he cautiously
refrain from an unfavorable judgment, if compelled to form an opinion on slender
acquaintance. In such cases, let his mind by all means lean towards a favorable opinion
and not its opposite.
Again, men should never be impetuous and rash in forming judgments of others.
We sometimes see this in a most alarming degree. It is often a fruitful source of
- 6. Any form of dishonesty in us works mis-judgment in regard to others. A man
given to lying will have no confidence in other men's veracity. A hypocrite has no
confidence in other people's piety, but will have it that others are as hypocritical
as himself. The licentious man thinks others licentious; the ambitious man suspects
everybody else of ambition. If avaricious, he assumes that others are as much so;
if given to over-reaching, he suspects others of the same tendency. Thus any special
type of vice in his own character will surely affect his judgments of others.
Again, the state of one's feelings often prejudices the judgment. A wrong bias
in one's feelings almost always results in injustice towards others.
- 7. Existing prejudice begets new and additional prejudice. One prejudice begets
another. Under the influence of a first prejudice, it is almost impossible to avoid
a second. A man already prejudiced, is in great measure incapacitated from right
judgment, and consequently he goes on in one mistake and wrong after another, till
he surrounds himself with an ocean of prejudice.
VII. Let us next consider our danger of falling into this sin.
- 1. We are in danger of receiving too strong an impression from first acquaintance.
Some are proud to say that they can read anyone's character on an acquaintance of
five minutes. "Let me only see a person once -- hear a single remark -- I can
read him through and through." They seem to pride themselves on their discernment,
as if they had a superhuman power. But observe where you will, this is commonly a
Satanic discernment -- sure almost to be a false one, and to do injustice to character.
- 2. We shall almost certainly misjudge if we form our opinion from single facts.
Suppose men should judge David thus on the case of Uriah; how greatly would they
wrong him and themselves too? Yet there are persons who, having heard of one thing,
say, That is enough? I know him now. They refuse to hear anything more; but leap
to an unjust conclusion at once.
- 3. Often we suffer ourselves to be influenced by that which is no fact at all.
We accept it on testimony which would by no means, in our view, have condemned a
husband or a wife, a parent or a child, or any whom we love as ourselves. Then it
ought not to be accepted against a stranger.
- 4. Of course we are in danger of mis-judgment when we form opinions without knowing
all the essential facts in the case. We are specially culpable when we rush to a
conclusion without first learning all the important facts within our reach. For this
rash conduct, God will by no means hold us guiltless. Manifestly we ought to suspend
our judgment till we can and do know, and not be restive or rash. Some months since,
I was favorably impressed with the course of a gentleman of deservedly high standing,
to whom I had been presenting my views of the doctrine of sanctification. I had given
him the outlines of the doctrine and of the grounds of it as it lay in my mind, and
then asked him his opinion. He replied -- I have been a judge on the bench for many
years, and I have learned that it is never safe to form an opinion without hearing
the other side. In the present case, I have not thought on the subject enough to
form a reliable judgment. You have made out a fair case, but I want to hear all sides.
You may be right; but how can I say I think you are till I have given the subject
a thorough and all-sided investigation?
Now, in this case, it was, doubtless, important to hear all sides and give the
question a patient and full investigation. How much more, if the case had involved
- 5. Where the question turns on the quality of an individual act, we are in danger
of misjudging it by omitting to consider the individual's general character. For
example, here is a good man, whom you have known to be such, and it is now said he
has lied. Now, whether this be so or not so, you should certainly be very slow to
admit it, and should by all means give him the credit of his previous good character,
on the side of innocence. If there be testimony to outweigh this presumption, see
that you examine it candidly, and be sure there is enough of it.
- 6. Public men are liable to be placed in circumstances where they cannot give
to others the reason of their conduct. Suppose you were to judge such men without
regard to their general character, and without the means of knowing their reasons.
You surely would wrong them greatly.
- 7. Sometimes we are in great danger because we overlook our own state of mind.
In such cases we shall doubtless be misled. It is of the utmost importance that we
should be aware of our relation to the facts in the case, and the influence which
this relation may have on our own judgment. Disregarding this, we shall most surely
do injustice to character. For example, suppose a friend of ours is accused of crime.
Our friendship for him arouses our feelings, and must have a strong influence on
our judgment in the case.
- 8. Often we are biased by an undue regard to our own consistency. If we are not
aware of the influence which this feeling has on our minds, we shall most surely
be misled by it in the formation of our judgments.
- 9. I need not urge that we are in danger of being biased by those who themselves
make mistakes; or by those who are dishonest; or who are reckless; or by the general
injustice to character which prevails among mankind, in the midst of which we are
born and influence of which it must be exceedingly difficult for us entirely to escape.
VIII. I must now call your attention to the great wickedness of this sin.
- 1. Character, as a condition of happiness, is the most valuable treasure in the
universe. To each moral agent, his own character is the greatest good. If his character
be not intrinsically upright, it must be a scorpion sting in his bosom. If it be
bad in his own estimation, he can have no self-respect, and his very bosom becomes
a sort of hell. Every man's happiness and usefulness, therefore, depend on his own
character, and, to a great extent, on his reputation -- that is, on the estimate
that others shall form and express of his character. God, in His word, assumes that
His honor and great name are a most sacred treasure. How could He govern His moral
universe without it? Many persons forget that God has a character to sustain, and
that He must, therefore, most severely punish every insult and wrong inflicted upon
it. In like manner they forget that, out of sympathy with the slandered, if for no
other reason, God will surely take vengeance on those who traduce their neighbors.
- 2. Injustice to character is in every point of view a most detestable and infamous
crime. God hates and denounces it; it is an abomination in the eyes of all the good
in the universe. The stealing of money is nothing compared to it. "Who steals
my purse, steals trash; but he who steals my name steals that which nought enriches
him, but makes me poor indeed."
- 3. The greatest injury we can inflict on anyone is to rob him of his good name.
So, the greatest injustice we can do to God is to manifest want of confidence in
Him. It is like taking hold of the pillars of the universe and shaking them to their
foundations. Everywhere, this sin involves serious consequence beyond any other.
It inflicts the greatest evil on the wronged party; the greatest on society. Suppose
it falls on the character of one who devotes his utmost powers to doing good; then
it cripples his power, and wrongs the community out of the good he might otherwise
do in it. No mischief that any moral agent can do is greater than this.
IX. Next, let us notice some of the results of injustice to character, and
first -- to the authors of this injustice.
- 1. Those who commit this great wrong are sure to quench the Spirit. If they are
impenitent sinners, they are sure to grieve the Spirit away. God regards character
as sacred; -- that of His own people, is to Him as the apple of His eye. "Touch
not, says He, mine anointed, and do My prophets no harm." The Bible is full
of indications like this of God's regard to the reputation of His people. Hence,
we must infer that this sin is especially repugnant to the divine Spirit, who comes
under the gentle, loving emblem of a "dove."
- 2. This sin benumbs the religious sensibility. We should not wonder that one
guilty of stealing should benumb his moral sensibility; and if he could bring his
feelings to commit the crime of murder, we should expect him to be utterly callous
to all tender and kind emotions; but it is too much overlooked -- strangely indeed
-- that slanderers and all who can coolly inflict injustice on character, do utter
violence to their own sensibility. They so benumb it that it refuses to move and
act in its natural way. They become so hardened, they can sit under preaching that
might almost electrify the very seats they sit on, and yet nothing moves their sensibility
or their conscience. Go where you will among the churches, you see that this is one
of their sorest evils. This sin fearfully stifles the voice of conscience, and perverts
the moral judgment. Under its influence, men come to feel no compunction for this
sin, and they also seem to lose that nice perception of evidence under which an unperverted
mind judges uprightly of character. It is amazing to see of how slight evidence they
will take up an evil report against a neighbor, and how incapable they become of
Again it augments the selfishness of the will. It is wonderful to see how the
soul, under the sway of this sin, becomes committed to selfishness, loses all regard
to others' rights and interests, and thus shuts itself up to the eternal dominion
of the basest, purest selfishness. There cannot be a worse obstacle to conversion
or to sanctification than this.
- 3. It destroys one's influence. It wounds the feelings of others, and puts them
beyond the reach of your influence. What good can a minister do, or a deacon, if
they allow themselves to injure the good name of their people! Sometimes a whisper,
or even a look, will paralyze all the power and influence which a brother may have.
It may break the arm of its strength so that it shall ever after hang useless by
- 4. Wrong done to the moral government of the universe spreads its mischief far
and wide. Wrong done to the good name of God's people reaches indirectly His own
good name and influence of His cause in the world, and thus favors hell and wrongs
1. God sustains to the universe a very difficult and responsible position. The reasons
of His policy cannot be fully explained to His finite subjects, and, therefore, are
almost of necessity misunderstood. At least it is safe to say that His reasons for
His course will not ever be fully understood. He cannot explain if He would; and
often it may not be wise to explain all He could. On every side He has many and most
unreasonable prejudices to overcome. No earthly monarch ever had such opposition
to contend against; no, not all of them together have had so much trial, so much
grief, so much strange and blind opposition from this source as God has had. In part,
this is to be ascribed to human depravity, and in part to the relations of the Infinite
to finite minds. Christ had occasion to say to His friends, "What I do ye know
not now, but ye shall know hereafter." God often needs to say to His people
-- I cannot explain this to you now; you must have faith in Me.
2. This reveals the importance of faith in finite minds towards their Infinite Father.
We know God is infinitely wise, and makes no mistakes. We equally know Him to be
perfectly good, and, therefore, that He always acts with the best intentions; yet
we cannot know all His reasons -- cannot fathom all His plans. Here, then, is the
struggle -- here between unbelief and faith. Will you embrace all God's character
and ways, so as to give Him the fullest credit for all He is and for all He does?
This is the highest style of virtue; this most eminently pleases God.
3. As I have already said, no being in all the universe is the subject of so much
injustice to character as God. He has reason to complain of His subjects, and to
hold them responsible for their great sin in this thing. Rulers in all governments
are in a very trying position. Civil magistrates, parents, teachers, -- often have
their motives impugned. Often they have reason to feel that theirs is a thankless
position. They find it perhaps quite impossible to reconcile their convictions of
duty with the wishes and expectations of their subjects. Persons in such relations
must make up their minds to bear meekly all they are called to suffer. Every parent
has this class of trials more or less. Sometimes they are unable to make their children
appreciate their views.
Hence, both rulers and ruled should exercise great patience and forbearance, and
should be slow to judge unfavorably of each other, even though there should seem
to be real testimony looking towards an unfavorable decision.
4. Mutual love and consideration are demanded in all the relations of life. Everything
that may qualify the motives of others should be candidly considered. There should
be an abounding fullness of that love which hopeth all things, -- since only this
can prevent great injustice to character.
5. Violations of this precept are the greatest evils in general society. Who can
bear to read the political newspapers? Sometimes the same objection lies equally
against the religious papers. They are full of calumny; they reek with rankest abuse
of character. Never since I have been a Christian have I been able to read a daily
paper. I have never found one that was safe to read.
6. A great deal is said in professedly promoting reform which injures and retards
reform. I have always supposed that the injustice done to character in the great
reforms of the age has hindered these reforms more than everything else has done.
For this reason, God is displeased with these movements, and suffers them to be frustrated,
and truth, for the present, to fall to the ground; -- this being a less evil than
for Him to seem to sanction a spirit so utterly alien to genuine love.
7. This sin strengthens itself, and, therefore, is one of the hardest to overcome.
He who commits himself to evil speaking against a neighbor, will be strongly tempted
to carry it out. He has said that neighbor is a bad man; now he must prove it. He
must rake up more low and perhaps false scandal against him; -- else his own reputation
will suffer. So he plunges deeper and yet deeper into this sin. Perhaps if called
to account, he replies -- You think that statement of mine is not true; I will look
the matter all over and see." I tell you, he won't! He will do no such thing
as revise that opinion candidly. Far more likely his committal will blind him the
more and he will become only the more confirmed in his sin at every step.
8. Many are so hardened as not to realize the relation of what they say to God and
to the moral universes. They do not seem at all to appreciate the great evil of injustice
to character. What sinner ever realizes the nature of his unbelief towards God? God
says -- "He that believeth not, makes Him a liar!" How terrible to destroy
confidence in God! What an awful, mischievous, damning sin! Look at the wrong done
to Christ by the Scribes and Pharisees, and the mischief it did in the world. But
for their virulence and prejudice in rejecting Christ, the people would have embraced
Him as their Messiah. To all human view, if they had received Christ candidly, and
given Him their hearts, the nation would have been converted, and that nation, converted,
would have sent the gospel at once all over the world. Such was their location, and
such their relation to the nations of the earth, they would have given the gospel
to all nations in a single generation, and long ago, shouts of salvation would have
rolled over every mountain, and echoed through every valley in all the globe! Alas,
hell gloats over the misery and all nature groans under the evils, wrought by injustice
to character! Who can measure the depth, and length and breadth thereof!
If this sin were not so common, it would be universally disgraceful. If, according
to its real turpitude, it were in as low repute as other sins, who would dare commit
9. It is most painful to come near one who is in the habit of taking up evil reports
and casting them about him as "firebrands and arrows, saying -- Am I not in
sport?" You should avoid one who has this habit as you would a viper.
I have thought a mistake is working in community as to the manner in which we should
treat persons who wrong society and manifest no repentance for this sin. It is easy
and but too natural for us to put on a plaster where we should put in a probe. Certainly
we ought to mark the man who goes about slandering society. In this thing, there
are two extremes; one consists in treating such offenders without any compassion;
the other, in overlooking their great wickedness. Plainly we should try to avoid
How great is the cruelty of injuring the character of another, and especially, of
using an influence to crush it! Their words eat as doth a canker, annihilating those
on whom they fall! O how much does it become us to take care what we say of others'
It is most cruel towards God to injure the character of His children. God Himself
feels outraged by such abuse offered to those He loves. We who are parents know very
well how it affects us to have our children slandered, even though they may be wicked.
10. It is specially cruel to injure those who labor for our good. Ingratitude in
this case heightens to wrong.
What an awful amount of sin the conductors of the press have to answer for! Especially
for their course on the eve of an election. Then we cannot, often, believe a word
they say. It would almost seem that many of them lie then on principle and by system!
Perhaps the election is carried by such slander, and the men who rule us in the places
of civil power are there because their friends had superior skill in falsehood and
slander! Before high heaven, what a nation of slanderers! I have often had occasion
to say to editors who coin and pass on slanders just before election -- If you allow
a lie to go out from your press for election purposes, you must answer for it to
God! Are you prepared to meet God for this thing?
A man not just to character is not just to anything! He is a totally dishonest man,
and just to nothing. If he appears to be just, it is an appearance only. What an
appalling thought! There can be no stronger proof of radical dishonesty of character,
and unmitigated selfishness.
11. Some seem to regard confidence in those around us as a ridiculous weakness, if
not crime. This is most unfortunate, for how much is he to be pitied -- perhaps blamed
too -- who confides in no one, and lives in everlasting distrust of all mankind!
The Psalmist once said, "All men are liars;" but he said it "in his
haste," and we hope only when in haste.
When one shows a general want of confidence, he deserves none in himself. This is
obvious as an axiom.
12. Perhaps in no other thing is frequent self-examination more demanded than in
this matter of doing injustice to character. The temptation and tendency to violate
the law of love is so great, we need to overhaul our practice continually. Evermore
let us search our hearts and our words, asking -- Do I deal justly with others even
as I would have others do with me? Do I judge the motives of others only as I would
have another judge mine?
No department of self-examination is more difficult than this. Hence, it needs to
be pressed faithfully, with much self-distrust, and thoroughly, through all the circle
of our formed and expressed opinions as to others. On no point is there more danger
of delusion, and on none is this delusion more likely to prove fatal. Professed Christians
are but too apt to forget that this is radically a dishonest state of mind, and hence,
must be inevitably damning.
It is shocking to notice how evil reports are gotten up, spread abroad and received;
how a lie passes round and round, and how rarely it meets with one kind, honest,
loving heart, to impede its progress!
Men guilty of this sin, will die and be damned for it unless they are willing to
repent, confess and make restitution. Who does not say -- if a man steals but a horse
or a sheep, and dies without confession and restitution, he cannot be saved. How
much more must he die for such a sin as this, unrepented of and unforgiven!
This sin is so fearfully common, its great enormity is overlooked. Scarce anyone
estimates it according to its real malignity. But suppose a sin of this kind should
occur in heaven. Suppose one of the holy there should slander his brother unjustly!
What a sensation! How would those pure and loving hearts be paralyzed with horror!
And suppose society here were what it should be, how suddenly would men shut out
from their fellowship one who could recklessly or maliciously traduce his brother!
Is not this true? When we are really benevolent, what a shock comes over our feelings
to hear one belch out an avalanche of venom! We are horrified! What! We say, is not
this the spirit of hell?
In the great judgment God will show up this sin in its true light. Then He will place
him that loves and him that receives, on a par with him that makes, a lie. The spirit
of the act will give it its character then.
13. Where persons are really guilty, there is danger of doing them injustice. But
God never falls into this danger. His judgment is eternally and perfectly just. And
He would have us aim at entire justice. His word informs us that one of the loftiest
angels did not bring a railing accusation against even the devil -- but said -- "The
Lord rebuke thee." This example in high places stands for our admonition. We
should no more abuse and wrong an enemy than a friend.
We would be specially on our guard in cases where we differ from others in opinion.
Here pride of opinion comes in to heighten the danger of doing injustice to others.
14. Often, (as our text suggests) God visits retribution for this sin on men visibly
in the present life. He shapes His providence's so that those who judge others censoriously,
are themselves judged censoriously. But, if this retribution should not come down
on men in this world, it surely will, (and only the more surely for the omission
here,) in the world to come. God will judge those who thus judge their brother! And
what a judgment must that be!
of easily misunderstood terms as defined by Mr. Finney himself.
Compiled by Katie Stewart
- Complacency, or Esteem: "Complacency, as a state of will or heart,
is only benevolence modified by the consideration or relation of right character
in the object of it. God, prophets, apostles, martyrs, and saints, in all ages, are
as virtuous in their self-denying and untiring labours to save the wicked, as they
are in their complacent love to the saints." Systematic Theology (LECTURE
VII). Also, "approbation of the character of its object. Complacency is
due only to the good and holy." Lectures to Professing Christians (LECTURE
- Disinterested Benevolence: "By disinterested benevolence I do not
mean, that a person who is disinterested feels no interest in his object of pursuit,
but that he seeks the happiness of others for its own sake, and not for the sake
of its reaction on himself, in promoting his own happiness. He chooses to do good
because he rejoices in the happiness of others, and desires their happiness for its
own sake. God is purely and disinterestedly benevolent. He does not make His creatures
happy for the sake of thereby promoting His own happiness, but because He loves their
happiness and chooses it for its own sake. Not that He does not feel happy in promoting
the happiness of His creatures, but that He does not do it for the sake of His own
gratification." Lectures to Professing Christians (LECTURE I).
- Divine Sovereignty: "The sovereignty of God consists in the independence
of his will, in consulting his own intelligence and discretion, in the selection
of his end, and the means of accomplishing it. In other words, the sovereignty of
God is nothing else than infinite benevolence directed by infinite knowledge."
Systematic Theology (LECTURE LXXVI).
- Election: "That all of Adam's race, who are or ever will be saved,
were from eternity chosen by God to eternal salvation, through the sanctification
of their hearts by faith in Christ. In other words, they are chosen to salvation
by means of sanctification. Their salvation is the end- their sanctification is a
means. Both the end and the means are elected, appointed, chosen; the means as really
as the end, and for the sake of the end." Systematic Theology (LECTURE LXXIV).
- Entire Sanctification: "Sanctification may be entire in two senses:
(1.) In the sense of present, full obedience, or entire consecration to God; and,
(2.) In the sense of continued, abiding consecration or obedience to God. Entire
sanctification, when the terms are used in this sense, consists in being established,
confirmed, preserved, continued in a state of sanctification or of entire consecration
to God." Systematic Theology (LECTURE LVIII).
- Moral Agency: "Moral agency is universally a condition of moral obligation.
The attributes of moral agency are intellect, sensibility, and free will." Systematic
Theology (LECTURE III).
- Moral Depravity: "Moral depravity is the depravity of free-will,
not of the faculty itself, but of its free action. It consists in a violation of
moral law. Depravity of the will, as a faculty, is, or would be, physical, and not
moral depravity. It would be depravity of substance, and not of free, responsible
choice. Moral depravity is depravity of choice. It is a choice at variance with moral
law, moral right. It is synonymous with sin or sinfulness. It is moral depravity,
because it consists in a violation of moral law, and because it has moral character."
Systematic Theology (LECTURE XXXVIII).
- Human Reason: "the intuitive faculty or function of the intellect...
it is the faculty that intuits moral relations and affirms moral obligation to act
in conformity with perceived moral relations." Systematic Theology (LECTURE
- Retributive Justice: "Retributive justice consists in treating every
subject of government according to his character. It respects the intrinsic merit
or demerit of each individual, and deals with him accordingly." Systematic
Theology (LECTURE XXXIV).
- Total Depravity: "Moral depravity of the unregenerate is without
any mixture of moral goodness or virtue, that while they remain unregenerate, they
never in any instance, nor in any degree, exercise true love to God and to man."
Systematic Theology (LECTURE XXXVIII).
- Unbelief: "the soul's withholding confidence from truth and the God
of truth. The heart's rejection of evidence, and refusal to be influenced by it.
The will in the attitude of opposition to truth perceived, or evidence presented."
Systematic Theology (LECTURE LV).
RELATED STUDY AID:
Index for "The
Oberlin Evangelist": Finney:
Voices of Philadelphia