What Saith the Scripture?
The Old Man and The New
by Charles Grandison Finney
President of Oberlin College
Oberlin Evangelist" Publication of Oberlin College
May 21, 1845
Public Domain Text
Reformatted by Katie Stewart
"That ye put off, concerning the former conversation, the old man, which
is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your
mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness
and true holiness."
It will be my object in speaking upon this text to show,
I. What constitutes the old man.
II. What constitutes the new man.
III. What is implied in putting off the one and putting on the other.
IV. Sundry mistakes often made on this subject.
I. What constitutes the old man.
- 1. There are two sources from which all human activity, or in other words, all
mental life flows. I use the term, life, now, just as we do when we apply it to the
body. In the latter case we mean by it the activity, or rather the active state of
the various organs. This is life; its opposite, death, is the cessation of activity,
and a passing out of that state in which action is the law of our existence into
another in which absolute inaction is the law.
Applying the term life now to the mind, we mean to denote its active state; and
our remark is that there are two and only two ultimate causes or springs of all this
activity; one, fallen human nature; the other, the Spirit of God.
Mental activity is first developed through our connection with a physical body. The
new-born infant has constitutional wants; its appetites demand gratification; and
its mind is thus first aroused to exercise. Here human nature begins to develop mental
activity. We would not be understood to imply that this first action of the infant
is sinful; it manifestly is not unless the intelligence is so far developed as to
take cognizance of right and wrong;--the Bible every where assuming that some knowledge
of obligation must be present, or sin cannot be. All that we can say now on this
point is that our earliest mental activity is prompted by our connection with the
body; and that the constitutional demands of the body lead to indulgence which, though
not sinful before any knowledge of duty exists, yet becomes the main-spring of foul
selfishness when this knowledge is developed and in the very face of it we prefer
to please ourselves rather than God.
Another source of mental activity is the Spirit of God. We do not mean by this that
the Spirit is a necessary cause of mental action, in such a sense that the mind under
the Spirit's influence acts of necessity and not freely; we only mean that the Spirit
excites to action, and is the occasion of such action as would not take place without
the Spirit. Thus the Bible represents God as working in us to will and to do, and
Christians as walking with the Spirit, or after the Spirit and not after the flesh.
The Spirit begets a peculiar kind of action, the very opposite of that produced by
the workings of selfishness.
- 2. The old or first man, is the carnal mind, or principle of selfishness. It
begins with caring for the flesh even before its action can have any moral character,
and continues to care for the flesh ever after. Hence it is called a carnal mind,
or a minding of the flesh. Its characteristic feature is that its own gratification
is its supreme end.
- 3. It is called a "man" because it is the hidden source and cause of
outward activity. It would seem as if the Bible language contemplated a hidden agent,
working underneath the visible exterior of each individual, in the one class of character
producing selfish action and in the other class, the opposite. These inward-working
agents--the old man and the new--correspond to the ultimate intention of the will
and control all our proximate volitions in the same way that we see it done by the
ultimate intention. Indeed, they are but other names for the same thing. The ultimate
intention of course always governs all our voluntary conduct. We never can act without
intending something; and all our lesser subordinate volitions are only the necessary
result of our ultimate purpose, this ultimate purpose being always either to please
ourselves or to please God.
- 4. My last remarks substantially include my text; viz., that the "man"
in the sense of our text is the reigning disposition. It is that which the mind is
disposed, or rather which the mind voluntarily disposes and sets itself to do. The
mind deliberately chooses its great end of existence--chooses the kind of good it
will seek, and then of course sets itself to secure this kind of good by every means
in its power. Hence arises a disposition of the mind: the mind shaping its efforts--all
its mental activity to secure the good of its own ultimate end.
- 5. This is also an ultimate and efficient intention. In the form of the old man
it is a deep and hearty committal of the soul to self-gratification. It controls
all the activity of all unregenerate men. You do not see the old man with the external
eye, but by its ceaseless development we learn its character and omnipresent agency.
II. What constitutes the new man.
- 1. It is a spiritual mind, or a disposition to please God instead of self. It
is right over against the carnal selfish state. The mind is fully committed to pleasing
God, so that this becomes the chief end for which the individual lives and acts.
The new man is thoroughly committed to do the will of God just as the old man is
to do the bidding of his carnal impulses. The former lives for God; the latter for
Besides these two ultimate ends, no other can be conceived. All voluntary agents
will seek to please either God or themselves. All action, therefore, results from
one or the other of these ultimate intentions. And this is true not only of all men
but of all other intelligent beings--of angels and of devils.
- 2. These two dispositions divide all mankind into two classes. Hence there are,
as we often say, two sorts of men; and so the Bible says. The Bible represents all
men as either saints or sinners; holy or unholy; spiritual or carnal; children of
God or children of the devil. It makes them either old men or new men; born of the
flesh, or born of the Spirit. The old state is first in order, and all pass into
the channel of self-gratification which leads directly to it, unless some may be
enlightened and converted by the Spirit from the womb. With this exception all others
begin a course of self-gratification from their birth, which becomes sinful as soon
as they know that God forbids their making this the supreme end of their existence
and yet refuse to obey God.
The new man is born of the Spirit--born from above; the Spirit of God continually
begets his moral activity, leading him thoroughly to renounce self, and commit his
whole being to do the pleasure of God.
- 3. The old man is corrupt according to and in compliance with the deceitful lusts.
So says our text. By lust is meant in the scriptures all forms of sensual desire.
It includes the entire circle of our physical propensities. All these the old man
commits himself to obey. He lives for their gratification. They are called deceitful
for the obvious reason that the pleasure they promise in their gratification is always
delusive. They flatter only to destroy.
- 4. The new man is sometimes spoken of as being the Lord from heaven, or Christ
formed in the soul. So it is, not however in the sense of a physical creation, but
in this sense; Christ by His Spirit begets, produces, a state of mind in which we
voluntarily commit our whole being to God. Then we become like Christ, and it is
therefore as if Christ Himself were formed within us, His very Spirit and temper
now reigning in our hearts, so that it seems as if Christ Himself were there, and
indeed He is there by His spiritual and most efficient presence.
III. We are to inquire what is implied in putting off the one and putting on
- 1. Regeneration. This putting off the old man and putting on the new is precisely
what the Bible means by regeneration. This is the change of heart of which the Bible
- 2. Perseverance is also implied. We are to continue in this state. Paul is writing
to Christians and urges them to put off the old man with his deeds and put on the
new man. Of course he must mean that they should continue to do what they began to
do at their conversion, and maintain in constant vigor that activity which then commenced.
- 3. It implies the death of the old man. This does not mean the annihilation of
the appetites and the physical constitution: no, the former body still exists, and
you must eat and drink for its support no less than before. It only means that all
these appetites and propensities are held under the control of God's revealed will,
to be indulged only in accordance with that will. They are no longer our masters;
we have no master but God.
Some on this point have run into great confusion; some have stumbled into grievous
error. Holding the doctrine of physical depravity, they make the Apostle say--"Put
away your constitutional appetites, annihilate the flesh; literally crucify its constitutional
propensities." But the Apostle means only this: Let them not control your moral
activity. Hold them evermore subordinate to the will of God.
It should be observed that these physical appetites are not necessarily the source
of our activity. We may act from love and obedience to God, these appetites still
existing within us; for we may indulge them only because we rightly conclude that
this will please God, and only so far as this seems to be the case.
- 4. Putting off the old, and putting on the new man, implies entire consecration
to God. It is equivalent to putting away all selfishness, and acting only and alone
from real benevolence; renouncing the dominion of the flesh, and submitting to the
dominion of the Spirit. This, of course, is entire consecration to God. There is
no middle or third state. He who puts off the old man must put on the new man; for
the mind will have some spring of action, some ultimate end to gain, some prime source
of its activity. It must therefore turn from one of these to the other. In fact the
mind never puts off the old man except that it may put on the new. We never really
renounce self except when the Spirit draws us to choose God as our supreme portion.
- 5. Heavenly mindedness is implied. God and heavenly things are now its chosen
objects of supreme affection, so that the mind now runs towards its chief love, as
it did when this chief love was earthly good. There is now a heavenly state of mind
by the same law which before produced a carnal and earthly state, namely, "Where
the treasure is, there will the heart be also."
- 6. Consequently the conversation will be of heavenly things. Out of the abundance
of the heart the mouth speaks.
- 7. So will the thoughts also be of heaven. The mind turns toward God with delight.
O, how does it dwell on the great things of God in the night watches, reposing sweetly
on His universal providence, on His revealed promises, on the bosom of His ineffable
- 8. The treasure is in heaven. No longer does the soul seek its chief good here.
Its portion is above. A pilgrim and a stranger here, the new man seeks a better country,
even a heavenly. Content to forego earth for the sake of heaven, he lets off his
eager pursuit of things temporal; pursues them for a totally different end, so far
as it seems his duty to pursue them at all; and really has no other God but Jehovah.
His God is in heaven.
- 9. Selfishness is put away and Christ put on in all things. This is the very
essence of the Apostle's meaning. The new man put on, is the yoke of Christ taken,
the Spirit of Christ imbibed and acted out; the law of love, supreme to God, and
impartial to man, becomes supreme; a spirit of self sacrifice ensues, and the individual
no longer asks what will gratify me, but what will please God. Now he puts on Christ,
and grows up into Him in all things, studying continually to conform every thought
and act to the great law of his being--imitation of Christ and obedience to His will.
IV. We are to notice several mistakes into which persons are wont to fall.
- 1. They try to reform the old man, not considering that he admits of no reform
to any purpose. Just consider what the old man is--namely, a supreme intention to
please self; and you will see at once that this intention can admit of no reform
for the better. You may change its direction from one form of selfish indulgence
to another, but such reform as this, though very common, is yet perfectly useless,
for it leaves the heart as completely enslaved to sin as before. Thus, often men
change the form of their selfishness without in the least changing its moral quality.
A man removing from a community where one form of selfish indulgence is popular,
to another where it is unpopular, will probably adapt himself to his new circumstances,
and pursue the most productive form of selfish gratification. Why not? Selfish happiness
is his object; why shall he not make the most he can of it, and pursue it in the
most hopeful way? This change may seem to him perhaps to be conversion, especially
if he substitutes a more refined for a grosser form of selfishness; a form on which
moral and Christian society frown, for one on which they smile. Yet in this very
change he may be more thoroughly selfish than ever before; with this additional mischief
that he is now deceiving himself, and blinding his eyes for the fatal plunge into
perdition. All he has done, is just an attempt to reform the old man. It is no real
reformation. He may put on a new face--it is only a mask; a new coat, a Sunday suit,
but this changes not the hidden man of the heart.
- 2. The old and the new man in many things conduct externally alike. Both eat
and drink; both use the necessaries of life, but with this broad, fundamental distinction;
the one has no higher, and no other end than self gratification; while the other
both eats and drinks for the glory of God. The one aims only to please himself; the
other only to please God. Both may eat when hunger prompts; both may find pleasure
in the gratification of the demands of nature; but while the one has no higher end
than the gratification, the other finds a double relish in the gratitude of his heart
to God, the giver; eats, that thereby he may have strength to live for God; and takes
no more and no other food than he supposes God would have him. This makes the broadest
possible distinction between the old and new man.
- Again, the old man and the new man both equally may marry, and be given in marriage;
yet, observe, with this broad difference in the ultimate end had in view; the old
man does it to please himself, and the new man to please God. The old man, remaining
old, can do this from no other end than to please himself; the new man, "acting
in the spirit of a new creature," can possibly have no other end than to please
- Again, both attend apparently in the same way to the common business of life.
Both may be behind the same counter, selling off the same lot of goods, at the same
prices; yet one is there doing his own will, and the other doing God's will; the
one pleasing his own self--the other pleasing his Master. Or, both the old man and
the new may be following the plow, each to raise the same crop, yet each with a perfectly
opposite ultimate end in view; the one to gratify self, the other to gratify God.
Their motives and ultimate end are just as really different now as they will be when
one of them shall be in heaven and the other in hell. Then, as now, the real difference
will be only this; the one is supremely selfish; the other is supremely benevolent;
the one caring only to please himself, and the other only to please God.
There are two students, pursuing the same studies, in the same class, attending
the same recitation; they study equally well, and may appear externally in all points
alike; yet one is the old man and the other the new; the former, striving to mount
up over the heads of all his class-mates, panting for fame, seeking great things
for himself; but the other has bowed his whole heart to God's will, studies only
because God would have him, and seeks only to please God by doing all His will.
Or take still another view. There are two young men, both preaching the gospel; both
pray apparently much alike; both have the external air of piety; yet the Omniscient
Eye sees one of them supremely selfish, selfish and supremely so in his prayers,
for in all, his eye looks never beyond his own good. The other has crucified himself,
lives now for God and for the good of his race, preaches and prays out of love to
souls and love to Christ; this is a new man and the other is the old man.
- 3. Hence, the external developments being so similar, it is a common mistake
not to distinguish between them. It is often impossible to know the hearts of others
from mere external manifestations. For instance, you all come into this house of
God to worship, apparently alike; how can I tell who of you come in the spirit of
the old man and who in the spirit of the new?
Persons often fail to make this discrimination in their own case. They might know
their own hearts if they would honestly and deeply search themselves, and take cognizance
of their motives and of all the deep springs of their action; but often, very often
they do not, and hence deceive themselves. They never go to the bottom of their own
- 4. For want of making this discrimination, hypocrites are prone to flatter themselves
while yet in their own deep corruption. They put on a decent exterior and are often
comparing their life with the life of real, and spiritual Christians, inferring hence
that themselves are real Christians. Indeed they often take pride in making their
own external conduct quite unexceptionable, and hope to get a double reward for this
good life, the gratification of their pride here and heaven hereafter.
No mistake in religion is more common or more fatal than the one of which I am
speaking. Whole masses of professors go after the world in seasons of declension,
that is, as soon as they can do so without disturbing their hope of salvation. They
want to be as good as most others, and this they seem to suppose will bring them
up into heaven with the mass. This being secured, the more they get of this world
the better. How purely selfish! In a revival they wake themselves up, often tardily,
yet when they must, they yield to the general influence and come along; bustle perhaps
full enough for their credit and seem to reform, but this is only an attempt to reform
the old man and his deeds--nothing else.
- 5. You may see the mistake often made by sinners in condemning the conduct of
Christians. They condemn Christians for doing the same things as they themselves
are doing. They say, "You, professedly holy men, eat and drink, buy and sell,
plow and study, just as we do; wherein are you better than we?" The mistake
is, that the wicked do not consider that while the external course is the same, the
motive and the moral character of the course may be in the one case right, and in
the other utterly wrong. The wicked man has no right to assume that the Christian
acts from the same motives as himself, merely because he pursues the same business.
This may be, and often is arrant censoriousness.
- 6. Many mistake the apathy of the old man for the peace of the new man. The old
man sometimes becomes apathetic, vastly calm and indifferent to passing events, and
this seems to him like that deep calm which the Christian feels because his own Father
is at the helm. Nothing can be a greater mistake. The sinner's soul is a perfect
stranger to the Christian's deep heavenly, peace-begetting trust in God.
- 7. Many mistake the zeal and legal bustle of the old man for the holy fervor
of the new man. Legalists are wont to become very zealous; they strive hard to do
some great thing, and often make a splendid bustle, and you would think that verily
they were about to convert the world in a twelve-month; now they look back upon these
developments, and comparing themselves with active Christians they judge themselves
to have the holy fervor and divine love of apostles and martyrs. Yet in fact their
motives and spirit are just as unlike the real Christians as hell is unlike heaven.
They are the Jehus of the Church; "come, say they, come, see my zeal for the
Lord of hosts." Perhaps they really think that they outstrip most real Christians.
- 8. Often men mistake the impatience of the old man for the holy jealousy of the
new man. The old man frets at sinners because they sin, fells indignant at such horrible
wrong-doing; but point out to him his own sins, and press his conscience to repent
and confess, and O! he does not think that wrong under his circumstances; he has
nothing particular to confess. His heart is not quite so indignant against sin in
himself as against sin in others. In his own case he sees various extenuating circumstances
which more than alter, which quite reverse the case. Thus he reveals himself.
Yet he often takes credit to himself for holy indignation against sin. The real
Christian feels a holy indignation; Christ felt it and often could not repress it;
yet it was a holy jealousy for the honor of God, and not a fitful irritation against
wrong doing because it might injure some of his own interests, or because it offended
against his virtuous principles.
- 9. Often men fail to distinguish between the selfish sorrow of the old man and
the godly sorrow of the new.
The new man remembers his former sins with great sorrow; his soul is weighed down
within him and often his tears gush out in the very streets as he is reminded of
his past deeds of shame and guilt; but not so the old man. He has a sort of sorrow
for his old sins, especially if they have affected his reputation. But you do not
see him loathing himself in his own sight for all his secret abominations. Yet he
counts his own tears for sin, and things he has the sorrows of the real penitent.
- 10. Many mistake the selfish joys of the old man for the spiritual joys of the
new man. The former however begin and end in selfishness; the man is pleased when
good comes to himself, that is all. The latter rejoices in God, yea in God, his exceeding
joy. He is happy when others get good, though himself has none.
- 11. Often people mistake the hope of the old man, for the hope of the new man.
Each have their hopes. The sinner hopes to be happy in heaven--by what means is a
thing of small care or thought to him. The Christian's hope is beautifully sketched
by the apostle, "We know," he says, "that when Christ shall appear
we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this
hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure." The hope of the new man rests
on being holy, not merely nor directly on being happy. No. His glorious hope is that
he shall be perfectly, universally, eternally holy. Give him this, and you gratify
the ruling passion of his soul.
- 12. A mistake is often made of the turbulence and fanaticism of the old man for
the holy firmness and faithfulness of the new. See that man finding fault--how censorious,
how turbulent; he can denounce everything in most unmeasured terms, yet under the
self-soothing pretense of being faithful to his fellow men. He means to clear his
skirts of the blood of souls, so he traduces his brethren and measures off denunciations
in a most terrible manner. Yet ask him why he does this, and he will refer you to
Christ and to the prophets of old who had the word of the Lord shut up in their bones;
and he says, did not Christ denounce? Little is this man like Christ that is trying
to cast out devils through Beelzebub. With the very spirit of Satan, he would fain
drive Satan out of his brethren!
Not so the new man. He is firm and faithful, but his spirit breathes gentleness
and love. I do not say that every Christian is always bold and firm, nor that all
who have been converted continue through life to act out the new man and him only;
happy if it were so. But while they do act the new man, they are firm without malevolence;
faithful without bitter denunciation.
- 13. The effervescence of the old man is mistaken for the unction of the new man.
Yet the difference between the two is most radical. In each there is excitement,
yet while the one is the boiling up of a selfish heart, the other is a holy unction
- 14. The presumption of the old man is mistaken for the faith of the new. The
former often talks of his great faith, assumes to have more than his brethren, but
it is all presumption; he pursues such a life and has such a spirit that he has no
right to trust God for anything but damnation.
- 15. Many mistake the self-will of the old man for the conscientiousness of the
new man. They are obstinate, unyielding; yet it is only self-will--a committal of
the will, and not the demand of an enlightened conscience.
- 16. The constitutional tendencies of the old man are mistaken for the spiritual
developments of the new man. The natural humanity and kindness, for instance, of
the old man are mistaken for gospel benevolence; conscientiousness of natural character,
for that conscientiousness which is created, trained and expanded in the school of
1. None but a spiritual mind will really make the distinctions which I have been
pointing out. No others care to make them; and moreover, the qualities of the new
man can never be clearly apprehended without experience. Yet it is a vastly desirable
attainment to be able to distinguish between what originates with self, and what
originates with the Spirit of God. How rarely made! From my acquaintance with Christians,
I think this point is but feebly developed. They don't distinguish between pleasing
self and pleasing God. Yet no two things can be more opposite to each other, and
none should be more carefully distinguished. In eating, in all labor, in study, we
should be careful to know whether we are doing all to please God, or to please ourselves.
Some years since, my mind was greatly exercised on this point. Almost every waking
moment the question would press upon me--Why am I doing this and why that? This led
me to settle in my mind a thousand points of difficulty, and thus became of great
service to my soul. How can we labor together with the Spirit of God in our own sanctification,
unless we get hold of the real distinctions between holy consecration, and refined
2. On this subject sinners constantly deceive and flatter themselves. They take credit
for much that they do as good which is purely selfish. Thus they build themselves
up on self-righteousness, but on a foundation which the last flood will sweep away
and great will be the fall of it.
3. We see how and why sinners constantly misjudge Christians. They see Christians
doing some of the same things externally which themselves are doing, and then they
falsely judge that the Christian acts from the same motive as himself. Thus they
take a flattering unction to themselves, and wrong both their Christian neighbors
and their own souls.
4. The old man is constantly corrupt. There is nothing good in him. Paul might well
say of the old man, "I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good
thing." No good originates there. You can say no good thing of the old man.
He is wholly evil. You can place no confidence in him for anything really good. He
is wholly selfish, and will do anything to carry his selfish ends.
5. No evil can be said of the new man. Understanding by this term the new, regenerate
heart, it does nothing wrong. The converted person may sin, but if he does, it is
because the old man is not dead, but rises up and rules, gaining a temporary ascendancy.
6. The old man is exceedingly tenacious of life. It seems as if you might kill him
a thousand times and yet he lives. You gain the victory over him; you crush him down
and he seems breathless; you flatter yourself he is dead and buried, but ere long
up he comes--the old disgusting carcass, breathing out its fouled stench; your spiritual
strength becomes weakness, and perhaps under this baleful influence, you return like
the dog to his vomit. Ah! that old man, how he will live and keep coming up; and
so there will be a tendency to this more or less while we are in the flesh;; we must
watch, and often have to fight, and often kill our old man over and over again. Yet
through Christ we may come off more than conquerors.
This leads me to say that a spiritual man is exceedingly jealous of the old man.
He will always be watching his old enemy, and will never trust him at all. Yet, alas,
even the spiritual are sometimes deceived by the old man and are lured into a selfish
state before they are fully aware of it. But when they come to see it, O, how they
loath the abomination! I have known persons so deeply disgusted with themselves for
their own selfishness as actually to vomit. O, how horrid and how loathsome! That
young man goes out to preach. He has prepared his sermon. But when he was studying
it out and making it up, something whispered--"Now get in some choice and splendid
paragraphs--this very classical and elegant expression, that fine philosophical illustration--show
the people that you are a scholar and a genius." Well, he has made up his sermon
and goes to the pulpit--spouts it off--takes good care to make a good impression
for himself; at length returns to his home and his closet; there the truth flashes
upon him--serving myself--serving myself--none else but self--not Christ, but my
own great self! O! how he loathes this abomination! He is disgusted, and turns away
from himself as if he had met the very devil! He is ready to vomit or even spit in
his own face! O, young man, that is a bad business--such letting up of self--such
a resurrection of the old man in your heart. Beware!
The converted man falls into selfishness, but let him see it, and how he loathes
it! Horrible! Detestable! He would fain spue his very self out of his own soul!
Here you may see who is really the new man. No better test of the new life can be
had than this.
Beloved, how is this with you? Does the religion you possess make you new creatures
in Christ Jesus, or does it leave your old selfishness still reigning, only somewhat
dressed over perhaps, and fitted out sometimes in a Sunday suit; how is this? O,
there is nothing that so perils the souls of men in this Christian land and in this
passing age, as a refining the manners, and polishing the exterior of the old man,
till he shall pass for that new man which is truly born of God, and molded into His
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).
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