||delphia > Unbelief by Charles G. Finney from "The Oberlin Evangelist"
HOLINESS OF CHRISTIANS IN THE PRESENT LIFE --No. 12
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 2, 1843
by the Rev. C. G. Finney
we see that they could not enter in, because of unbelief."
In this discourse I shall notice,
I. What unbelief is not.
II. What it is.
III. Instances and evidence of unbelief.
IV. The tendency of unbelief.
V. The guilt of unbelief.
I. What unbelief is not.
- 1. It is not a negative state of mind. It is represented in the Bible as sin;
it cannot, therefore, be a mere negation.
- 2. Nor is it ignorance. Ignorance may be caused by unbelief, turning away the
attention from the objects of faith. But ignorance itself is not unbelief. Nor is
it absence of conviction. This is often an effect of unbelief.
II. What it is.
- 1. It is represented in the Bible as sin. It must then, be a voluntary state
of mind. It cannot belong either to the intelligence or the sensibility. For the
action of both these powers is necessary.
- 2. It is the opposite of faith. Faith is represented as voluntary. It cannot,
therefore, be conviction, since this belongs to the intelligence. It is trust or
confidence in God; it is a committing of the soul to Him; as Peter says, "Commit
the keeping of your soul to Him."
- 3. Generically, faith as distinguished from everything else, is confidence in
God; but specifically, it is confidence in Christ, or in any fact, doctrine, promise,
or threatening of the Bible. And I might add, in any truth whatever, historical,
philosophical, or mathematical; or even in error. If it respects the promises of
God, it is a confident assurance that they will be fulfilled. If it respects facts,
it is confidence in the truthfulness of the fact. Unbelief is the opposite of this.
It is a withholding of confidence from what God says; it is distrust; it is a refusal
to commit or give up the mind to the influence of a truth or promise; it is a rejection
of evidence. For example; take any of the facts recorded in the Bible. Unbelief,
is a refusal to credit their truthfulness, or to allow them that influence which
they deserve. For instance, look at the manner in which the Jews treated the miracles
of Christ. Christ claimed to be the Messiah, and in attestation of his claim, performed
many wonderful works. Here was evidence that He really was what He professed to be.
If He had not furnished such evidence, it would not have been unbelief to reject
his claim. He might have lived and died among them, without their incurring any guilt
by rejecting Him. But the works which He performed, were such as ought to have secured
the confidence of every beholder, and established his claim in every mind. But instead
of yielding to the evidence thus presented, they stedfastly resisted Him, and ascribed
his miracles to infernal agency; and it would seem, that their disposition to reject
Him was so strong, that no amount of evidence which He could place before them, could
overcome it. Now this was unbelief. We may apply the same principle to other things.
Take, for example, the doctrine of Phrenology. If an individual really lacks evidence
of its truth, it is not unbelief to reject it. On the contrary, to receive it without
such evidence, would be mere credulity. But just as far as he has evidence of its
truth, it is unbelief to refuse to treat it accordingly. So with the doctrines of
the Second Advent. If an individual has not such evidence of their truth, as to answer
the demands of his intelligence, it is not unbelief to reject them. But if he has
such evidence, then to reject them is unbelief. We might apply the same principle
to the doctrine of Sanctification, or any other doctrine whatever, whether true or
- 4. But especially is it unbelief, where individuals confess themselves convinced
and do not act accordingly. If an individual confesses himself convinced of the truth
of the doctrine of the Second Advent, if he does not commit his mind to the full
influence of that doctrine, it is unbelief; or if he admits the truth of the doctrine
of Entire Sanctification, and does not commit himself to it, and expect to realize
it in his own case, he is guilty of unbelief. And it is unbelief, whether he admits
it or not, if he has reasonable evidence of its truth, and yet does not yield his
whole being up to its influence.
III. Instances and evidences of unbelief.
- 1. A heathen who never heard the gospel, is not an unbeliever as respects Christ,
in any proper sense of the word; He knows nothing about it, and consequently, withholds
no confidence from it; but a man who lives under the gospel, and is not controlled
by it, is an unbeliever.
- 2. A want of assurance of salvation through Christ is unbelief. This must be
so, if the Atonement is general, and if faith consists in believing what is said
respecting it. The Apostle says, "that this is the record which God hath given
to us, eternal life, and this life is in his Son." Now if it be true that God
hath given eternal life to all, then not to possess an assurance of your own salvation
through Christ is unbelief.
- 3. Not being duly influenced by any perceived truth, is unbelief; no matter what
that truth is. Faith is a disposition to be influenced by it, or the committing of
the mind to its influence, in exact accordance with its perceived importance.
- 4. The absence of a firm confidence and expectation, that we shall realize the
truth of every promise given to us, is unbelief. For example, God has promised to
parents, to bless their children; then, not to have the most confident assurance
that He will do so, is unbelief. And the same is true respecting every promise, either
of justification or sanctification.
- 5. God has promised the salvation of all that believe; now, to doubt whether
we shall be saved, is both an evidence and an instance of unbelief. Remember too,
that the salvation promised, is salvation from both sin and hell. To this, it is
objected, that the promise of salvation is conditional; and, says the objector, I
have no right to believe that I shall be saved, until I have believed in Christ;
for faith, is the condition of the promise, and to require me to believe that I shall
be saved, before I believe in Christ, is to require me to believe a fact before it
is true. To this, I answer,
- (1.) By inquiring of the objector what I am to believe about Christ? Plainly,
I am to believe in Him, as the Savior. That is, that He tasted death for every man,
and that He hath given us eternal life. Two things, then, I must believe; first,
that He died for all, and of course, for me; and secondly, that He will save me.
Suppose an angel should believe that Christ died for all the world, would that be
faith in Christ? Certainly not, in the sense in which the Bible requires us to believe
in Him; and I do not believe, in any proper sense, unless I believe He died for me.
I must believe, not only, that He died for all, but for me; not only that justification
is offered to all, but to me; and true faith, is accepting of eternal salvation at
his hand. Now observe what the objection is; that the realization of the promise,
is conditioned on faith, and that the condition must be fulfilled, before I can believe
that the promise will be realized, and I shall be saved. This is a mere trick. It
is to suppose a promise given, but on a condition that nullifies it. Suppose a rich
father should give his son a promise in writing, and under oath, that he would supply
all his wants, and should send him abroad, but the condition demanded of the son,
was that he should exercise full faith in the promise. He must believe, that it will
secure for him a supply of money in any of the banks of Europe, according to the
tenor of the writing. Now, I want to know, if this is a condition that would nullify
the promise. Plainly not, since the condition is not arbitrary, but naturally essential
to its fulfillment. If he does not confide in the promise and expect its fulfillment,
it is naturally impossible that it should be fulfilled. On the contrary, how plain
it is, that faith in the promise naturally secures its fulfillment. God has given
the promise of eternal salvation to all that believe. The condition is not arbitrary,
but natural, so that the fulfillment of the promise to each individual necessarily
depends on his faith in it. Now is it faith to stand away back, and say, Christ died
for everybody else, and will save everybody else, if they will believe, and not believe
yourself? What a strange objection! The truth is, if this objection be good, it nullifies
every promise in the Bible. God has promised to convert the world, but the fulfillment
of this promise, is conditioned on the faith of Christians. For them to believe it,
is to deliver themselves up to it, and preach the gospel to them. Now does this condition
hinder faith? Is it a sly and artful means of evasion, put in by the promiser to
prevent the necessity of his ever fulfilling the promise? Nay, but the condition
is natural, and involves the expectation of the thing promised. So God has promised
to bless the children of believers, if they will believe; that is, if they will give
themselves up to this truth. Now to believe, is to fulfill the condition, and for
persons to take the ground of the objector, is to stumble themselves. The objection,
then, cannot be good.
- (2.) In every case, faith expects the fulfillment of the promise, and this expectation
is not founded upon the promise itself, but on the general character of the promiser.
When God gives any promise, if an individual does not believe in it, because he believes
in the general character of God, he cannot believe in it at all. Without confidence
in the benevolence and veracity of God, it is impossible to rely upon his promises;
but confidence in these, naturally secures such reliance.
- (3.) God has promised to justify and sanctify every believer, or every one who
will believe and expect this of Him. The condition is natural, and it is nonsense
to say, that we cannot expect to be justified and sanctified until after we have
believed; for to believe, is to expect. Not to expect, is unbelief; for to expect
in this case, is implied in faith. Much has been said about appropriating faith,
and I have been struck with the fact, that believers in a limited Atonement, have
much to say about appropriating faith. But a limited Atonement and appropriating
faith can't go together. If the former is true, the latter is impossible without
a new revelation. For if Christ died for only a part of mankind, and has not revealed
who they are, I would ask, how any one can appropriate Him to himself, without a
direct revelation that he is one of the elect. But right over against this class,
those who believe in a general Atonement, are consistent enough in holding the doctrine
of appropriating faith; for to appropriate, is simply to accept of Christ, as presented
in the gospel. If Christ died for all, then each may appropriate Him, and this is
faith. Whoever does not appropriate Him, just as He is presented, rejects; he is
- (4.) Finally, if this objection is true, salvation is impossible; for if I can
never expect to be saved by Christ until after I have believed, I can never expect
it at all; for I have said, true faith, and the expectation of salvation by Him,
IV. The tendency of unbelief.
- 1. It defeats all God's efforts to save those who exercise it. As I have said
already, faith is the natural condition of salvation, and is a voluntary exercise.
It cannot, therefore, be forced; and therefore, if an individual will not believe,
he must be damned.
- 2. It defeats all his efforts to sanctify us. Sanctification is nothing else
than delivering up the mind to the truth and promises of God. To think, then, that
we can be saved while we reject the promises, is to overlook the very nature of sanctification.
- 3. It renders heart obedience impossible, for "without faith, it is impossible
to please God."
- 4. It prevents the possibility of true peace. The unbeliever does not know what
true peace is. His condition, is in some respects, like that of a person in sleep,
who has terrible dreams, who supposes himself surrounded with dangers from flood,
or fire, or dreadful circumstances; perhaps suffering shipwreck, and just on the
point of being swallowed up in the waves. Perhaps he is struggling to escape from
devouring flames, or he walks a miserable outcast from society, troubled on every
side, and finding nothing on which he can repose, his agony is indescribable, but
in a moment he awakes, and behold, he is in a warm bed in his own secure dwelling.
He thanks God it is a dream. How great the contrast between his present state and
that in which his dreams placed him. So the convicted unbeliever is tossed with agitation,
he looks this way and that, but finds no rest. "He is like the troubled sea,
whose waters cast up mire and dirt." "There is no peace, saith my God,
to the wicked." Now mark; as soon as he believes, what a change comes over him.
It is like the sun breaking out in an ocean of storms. He sees promises on every
side, like the mountains round about Jerusalem. He sees provisions for all his wants,
and why should he be troubled any more. "Bless the Lord, O my soul," he
cries. What is this? Why here, instead of bondage, misery and death, is endless life
and peace; and the broad river of love, as pure as that which flows from under the
throne of God, begins to pour its current through my soul.
- 5. Unbelief renders it impossible for Christ to keep us from sin. The Bible,
however full of promises, may rot before him, and he go down to hell notwithstanding.
Unbelief nullifies them all, and leaves nothing to help him.
- 6. It delivers the soul over into the hands of the world, the flesh, and the
devil. There is no power in the universe can protect him against their influence,
without his own consent, for the very reason that he is a free being. Withholding
faith from God, and delivering himself up to their influence, he becomes the sport
and play of every temptation that besets him.
V. The guilt of unbelief.
- 1. It is the wilful rejection of the highest evidence God can give. Suppose you
had an enemy who always suspected you of an intention to injure him, and although
you had often tried to remove his suspicions, he should still hold this opinion.
Suppose he should fall into great difficulties, and you should take much pains to
help him out, you should relieve the wants of his family, and provide for his children,
but still he should suspect you had some sinister end in all this, which would eventually
come out; would you not think him vastly unreasonable and guilty in maintaining such
prejudices? But suppose, finally, his house should take fire, and he and his family
were in an upper story, while it was raging in every apartment below. No one can
afford help; there are no ladders and no means of escape. The floor beneath him begins
to give way, and the roof is about falling in; they stand at the windows and shriek
for help. Suddenly one rushes through the flames, from one flight of stairs to another,
with his hair and clothes on fire, till he reaches the miserable family. He instantly
seizes him with one strong arm, and his children with the other, and carries them
safely below. While he is doing this, the man swoons with terror. As soon as he opens
his eyes, he finds himself in the arms of his deliverer, who, with the utmost solicitude
and tenderness, is fanning him, and is using means to restore him; and whose first
exclamation is, "your children are all safe." He soon discovers that his
benefactor is no other than the object of his former suspicions. Now suppose he should
still not be convinced, what an abomination would this be. How every one would execrate
such a wilful and unreasonable rejection of the highest evidence you could give of
your benevolence towards him. But suppose farther, he were condemned to death, and
you should voluntarily step forward and die for him. What an amazing prejudice and
obstinacy would be manifest, if he should entertain suspicions of the sincerity of
your love. Now let me ask, what further evidence God could give of his love to mankind
than He has given? Besides crowning their life with as many blessings as their circumstances
render it possible to bestow, He adds the gift of his own Son to die for them; and
has thus given the highest possible evidence He could, of his good will towards them.
What damning guilt, then, must their unbelief be. Suppose the sovereign of an extensive
empire, is seeking to promote the highest possible good of his subjects, through
the administration of the most excellent laws. But one province of his empire goes
into rebellion. He has power to crush it at once. But suppose, that instead of marching
an army, bristling with bayonets, among them, and desolating them with fire and sword,
he should lay aside the robes of royalty, and in a most unassuming manner, go among
them, and attempt to teach them the nature of his own character and laws, and the
importance of conformity to his will, in order to their own highest good. But suppose
again, they would not believe him, but suspect him of some sinister motive, how astonishing
this would be; and if, to convince them of his love, he should even die for them,
who would not expect this to subdue the rebellion? Now see the blessed God administering
the law of benevolence impartially, throughout his universe. Our world rebels. He
comes in the person of his Son, in the humble guise of humanity; He goes about among
mankind, revealing to them the character and will of God, and endeavoring to secure
their confidence. And when they reject his instructions and will not believe, rather
than fail to accomplish his end, He dies for them on the cross. What higher evidence
could God give of his love to man than this? And how outrageous is the unbelief,
which wilfully rejects it all? What more could He do? Can you think of anything more?
How damning then, must be the guilt of unbelief!
- 2. It is treating God in the worst possible manner. We never do our friends a
worse injury, than when we distrust them without a cause. Should a husband become
jealous and distrustful of his wife, without a cause, what greater injury could he
do her? It would pierce like a dagger to her heart. Or, should a wife manifest unreasonable
suspicions respecting her husband, what more could she do to render him wretched?
He would say, have you any reasons for your suspicions? Let me ask that husband who
is conscious of his integrity, and has tender sensibilities--let me ask that wife,
who is virtuous, and values the confidence of her husband, as she should--how would
you feel? How would you expostulate in the circumstances supposed?--and what would
be more directly calculated to bring the blight of death upon the peace of a family,
than such unreasonable distrust, on the part of a husband or wife? Now look at God's
great family. What family ever had such cause of confidence, as God's has?--and what
father, ever had such cause of complaint? What husband was ever so distrusted, by
a wife, as the blessed God, by the Church which He has bought with his own blood?
See that husband; he is pouring his complaints all abroad, and loading down the air
with his sighs. Now, I ask again, if this want of confidence is not the worst possible
kind of treatment? Men naturally feel insulted, whenever their veracity and integrity
are called in question. And has God no sensibility? Is it no grief to Him to be treated
as a liar, the world over?
- 3. It is dishonoring God in the highest degree before others. Suppose a father
should send his son to a University, and should give him a book of checks, assuring
him, that they were good to supply all his wants. But suppose the son should show
that he had no confidence in it, and should be seen managing around to meet his expenses,
and to obtain his books. Would not this be to publish the worst things, in the most
effectual way about his father? What then does unbelief publish about God? See that
professor of religion, with the Bible in his hands, full of promises, going all about,
complaining and mourning over his spiritual poverty, when God has said, that He is
"more willing to give his Holy Spirit to them that ask it, than earthly parents
are to give good gifts to their children." And that "his grace shall be
sufficient for us." What is he doing? Why he is representing God in the worst
possible light, as guilty, not only of lying, but of lying under oath; for "God
willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his
counsel, confirmed it by an oath; that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible
for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay
hold upon the only hope set before us."
1. We see what to think of those, who say they cannot realize that the promises will
be fulfilled. Can't realize! Hark! Suppose your child should say, Pa, you promised
to give me a New Year's present, but I can't realize that you will. You would say,
my child, do you think I lie? Have I not given you my word, that I would give you
a present? What higher evidence can men have than the solemn word and oath of God?
What shall make it more sure? Who shall underwrite for Him? If what He has said does
not satisfy you, He can give no security. Can't realize! Horrible!
2. We see what to think of those who say they believe, but are not duly influenced
by their faith. They profess to believe in the necessity of salvation, and in the
eternity of hell torments; but then neither act respecting themselves or others,
as the magnitude of these truths demand. The fact is, they don't believe at all.
3. We see, that no doctrine is believed any farther than it influences the conduct.
What is faith? It is, as we have shown, the delivering of the mind up to the influence
of known truth. It follows, then, that there is no faith where the conduct remains
4. Heretical conduct proves heretical faith. The truth is, all heresy belongs to
the heart; and however holy a man's creed may be, if his conduct is wrong, he is
heretical in heart.
5. We see the wickedness of admitting that the gospel proffers entire sanctification
in this life, and yet not expecting it. There are those, as you know who admit that
the gospel proffers entire sanctification, on condition of faith--they admit that
its provisions are ample, and yet do not expect to possess it in this life. What
is that, but unbelief?
6. We see also the wickedness of saying, that the expectation of it is unreasonable
and erroneous. They say, that to believe we shall actually attain it in this life
is a great, and dangerous error. What is that but unbelief in its worst form?
7. Also the guilt of those, who teach men, that it is an error to expect sanctification
in this life, and raise the cry of heresy against those who do teach them to expect
it. If it is promised, it must be sheer unbelief and dreadful guilt to doubt it.
8. The good men who formerly rejected this doctrine, did not see, and admit, the
fulness of the provisions. President Edwards, for example, did not admit this, and
it is manifest, from the account which he gives of his wife's experience, as well
as from his writings generally, that he had no such idea before his mind.
9. But what shall we say of those who make this admission, and yet do not expect
the blessing? They do not seem to understand that this is unbelief. They say, they
do not distrust God, but they distrust themselves. This is a great mistake. If faith
is implicit confidence in God's promises, and if these promises cover full provisions
for sanctification, then there is no room left for self-distrust; and in that case,
self-distrust is distrust in God. Take, for example, this promise. "And the
very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul,
and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful
is He that calleth you, who also will do it." Here is a promise, covering the
wants of our whole nature. Now, I want to know what state of mind that is, which
does not expect its realization? Whether it is self-distrust, or distrust in God?
It is downright unbelief. It is virtually saying, Lord, Thou hast promised to "sanctify
me wholly in soul, body, and spirit," but I don't believe it. I don't believe
thou canst, I have such distrust in myself.
10. There is no consistency in making the admission of full provisions, and then
rejecting the expectation of being sanctified by them.
11. How can the expectation of being sanctified in this life, be rejected without
unbelief, in view of I Thess. 5:23, 24. Suppose I get up, and read over this promise--"And
the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and
soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it," and then turn round and
say, now brethren, I warn you against believing that He will sanctify you. But the
promise comes thundering back--"Faithful is He that calleth you who also will
do it." I rally again, and say, Edwards, and Payson, and Brainerd, were not
sanctified, and why should you expect to be? What would that differ from the course
adopted by most of the ministers at the present time? But here comes up the old cavil,
that although provisions are made, yet they are conditioned on faith, and I have
no right to expect sanctification till I believe. I answer, faith and expectation
are identical; and if you do not expect sanctification, you do not believe God, and
are making Him a liar.
12. To tell men not to expect to be wholly sanctified in this life, and preserved
blameless, is to warn them not to believe God.
13. You can see why you do not enter into rest. It is because you have no faith.
You have not cast your anchor within the vail. You are like a vessel, drifting along
the majestic Niagara, towards the falls, and already approaching destruction; but
will not let down its anchor, although it knows the rocks are within reach, upon
which it might fasten and be safe. Or, like a man in a dungeon, to whom a golden
chain is let down, and who is exhorted to lay hold and be drawn up, but will not.
14. It is wicked to expect to sin all our days. God has said, "Sin shall not
have dominion over you, for you are not under the law, but under grace." Therefore,
to expect to live, carrying about a load of sin, till you die, is abominable wickedness.
15. The Church is never like[ly] to be holy, while it is exhorted to unbelief, instead
of faith. It is a horrible thing, that much of the teaching of the present day, is
nothing else than teaching men not to believe God. And lest they should expect sanctification,
they are pointed back to those, who profess to come short of it--to antinomian perfectionism--and
to every thing which may bring the doctrine into disrepute, and are warned against
it, as if it were the pestilence. O, my soul, what is this! Is this the way the Church
is to be sanctified? My brethren if you mean to be kept from sin, and antinomianism
of every kind, and from every other delusion, take hold of these promises, and believe.
Expect them to be fulfilled, and they will be. But if you doubt you shall walk in
blindness. For says the Prophet, "If ye will not believe, ye shall not be established."
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