||delphia > Thanks for The Gospel Victory by Charles G. Finney from "The Oberlin Evangelist"
Thanks for The Gospel Victory
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"
January 30, 1856
THANKS FOR THE GOSPEL VICTORY
by the Rev. C. G. Finney
"I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Text.--1 Cor. 15:57: "Thanks
be to God who giveth us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord."
In both these passages Paul gives thanks for deliverance from a sinning and sinful
To bring this subject fully before us, I remark,
I. That unconverted men are morally and spiritually dead.
II. Moral death of sinners is a fact of experience.
III. There must be efficacious remedy for sin.
IV. This remedy is never in ourselves.
V. What the Bible thus declares, is true also in philosophy and in fact.
VI. Thanksgiving for victory over sin.
VII. Until the church is sanctified, the world cannot be converted.
I. The Bible everywhere teaches and facts prove that unconverted men are morally
and spiritually dead.
- 1. They live as if there were no God. They appreciate neither His rights nor
His feelings. To all intents and purposes, they are, towards God, as dead men. Considerations
concerning God have no influence on them. This is one of the most obvious facts in
human life. So true is it, that in fact we often find men pleading as their excuse
that they have no inclinations towards God. Thus they reveal their moral death, not
in their lives only, but in their very excuses; showing that they are conscious of
their moral apostasy and death, and but too well aware that they have no tendencies
in themselves towards God.
- 2. Christians, on the other hand, are represented as being alive but not in good
and perfect health, and not mature in their growth. At first they are new-born babes,
needing the pure milk of the word; then youth, needing counsel; then fathers and
mothers in Israel, of "full age," and "having their senses exercised
to discern both good and evil." Often the scriptures represent Christians as
being very weak, so that they have great liability to stumble and fall. This stumbling
and falling becomes a sad stumbling-block in the way of wicked men -- those men who
are prone to look for and seek stumbling-blocks for their excuse. They do not realize
the condition of Christians, only in part reclaimed from their death in sin. They
do not consider that though born, they are yet babes, or at best, but children. But
they are not disposed to make allowance for these circumstances -- a fact which only
serves to show how unreasonable sin is.
Returning to the fact that Christians are usually weak, I remark, this weakness
is moral, not natural. Natural weakness pertains to one's created faculties; moral,
to one's voluntary purposes. Weakness of nature is a misfortune; weakness of moral
purpose is a fault. Death in sin is simply a fault -- always and altogether, a fault.
This weakness in Christians is also a fault, because it results from a want of faith
in Christ, and love to His name.
II. This weakness and moral death of sinners is a fact of experience.
- 1. I have myself had but too much reason to know what it is. I found a total
discrepancy between my convictions and my actions. I could say, "So I ought
to do, but so I do not." When I questioned myself, asking -- Why is this so?
I could only say, It is wholly unaccountable. Wide awake on all other subjects, and
to all other interests, yet perfectly dead to this, I found myself in a strange state,
and if not a "wonder to many," I was at least to myself. In a wretched
state, I knew I had no disposition to get out of it. And every sinner who reflects
knows that this is just his state.
- 2. The spiritual weakness of Christians manifests itself in a conscious want
of promptness to act upon, and fully up to, their convictions of duty and sense of
obligation. They are more deeply conscious of these defects than sinners are, or
can be, of theirs. Sinners have little anxiety or trouble about their own moral death;
but not so with Christians. They recognize their obligations, and are unusually conscious
of being ready, prompt, and anxious to meet them, yet painfully aware that while
"the spirit is willing the flesh is weak." Sometimes they are strong in
the Lord, and their sense of weakness has passed away; anon, perhaps, they trust
to their own strength, and find out their weakness to their cost; they fall sadly
short, and come into darkness and trouble.
- 3. This state in both saints and sinners is among the most patent and obvious
facts in the world. Who can doubt that there is moral life in real Christians, and
moral death in sinners? This the Bible everywhere teaches or implies. It is a fact
that no man can doubt who has eyes to see, and a mind candid enough to apprehend
and admit a plain fact.
I often think it strange that unconverted men allow themselves to be so stumbled
by the weakness of professed Christians. I have met some impenitent men who had thought
candidly on this subject, and who seemed to appreciate fully the state and difficulties
of Christians, and consequently were not stumbled at all by any mistakes or errors
into which they might fall. They did not at all wonder that Christians are no better.
If I had not considered this matter, and had not ceased to stumble myself on the
imperfections of professed Christians, I never could have become a Christian. If
I had not seen that all this is according to the Bible and reason, I could not have
come into a state of mind towards God and Christianity in which my conversion from
sin would be possible. Usually, in a place where there are many Christians, there
will be some who stumble constantly upon them, as if utterly unable or unwilling
to apologize for their failures on the score of infant piety, superinduced upon long-standing
habits of sin.
III. If there be not some efficacious remedy for sin, in the soul, sinners
must be either annihilated, at death, or damned.
So of Christians, if there be not some efficacious remedy, giving them victory over
sin, they too must be lost. In my early life I was much more ready to doubt whether
any could be saved, than to believe that all would be. There seemed to me more reason
to suppose all would be damned, than all saved. The great inquiry was, How can any
be saved? It was never this, How can God damn any? Let any sensible man get a clear
and full idea of what salvation is, and he will see it can be no easy thing. He will
assume that the law must go into full execution against all, and that so, none can
be saved. My mind before my conversion ran on this text -- "If the righteous
scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" I could see
that even Christians must have mighty help from some quarter, being only babes in
Christ, and their salvation a work of many difficulties.
It has always been passing strange to me that any man could be a Universalist. Even
before my conversion it was a profound mystery. Why, said I then, does not everybody
see that men must become holy or be lost? If the Holy Ghost does not go down into
hell to convert sinners, surely they cannot be saved there. Unless there be some
efficacious remedy for sin, taking effect to the full extent of actually giving the
victory over it, salvation in heaven is impossible.
In Romans 7, Paul describes a state in which there is the greatest effort to get
rid of this state of sinfulness. There he cries out, "O wretched man that I
am! Who shall deliver me from this body of sin and death?" Then, the gospel
opening on his anxious eye, he thanks God for deliverance through Jesus Christ. He
saw the remedy.
IV. This remedy is never in ourselves.
Nowhere in the wide range of the material system all round us, can it be found; nowhere
outside of God. It might be demonstrated that in our own nature there is no efficacious
remedy. Yet by this I do not mean to say that if any man would use his powers right,
he could gain no relief; but I do mean to say that, apart from God, he never will
use his own powers right for this end. His own will is committed in an opposite direction.
He has fallen into the slough of his corrupt propensities. These propensities are
fearful adversaries to his being holy, and must be, until they are subdued. Hence
we are constantly pressed with the question -- Where is the power that can subdue
them and give us the victory?
- 1. Paul answers, thanking God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus
Christ. In Him we have it. Yet until men come to know the gospel by an inward apprehension,
it is to them dark, and almost without meaning. They feel but little if any interest
in it. But when the divine Spirit reveals Jesus to the mind, these dark things become
precious realities. Light breaks in, and illumines the chambers, so recently in thick
darkness. Under this influence gospel truth becomes intensely interesting, and even
exciting. Men who have been swept away by the influence of worldly objects, who would
not look at spiritual things, and were almost mad in their pursuit of objects which
appeal only to the senses, are now wonderfully changed. Christ reveals Himself so
clearly that He overbalances and overcomes these earthly excitements. Especially
is this the case when the Spirit reveals God as being truly love. This at once, takes
prodigious hold on us. Said one who had long professed Christ, and had known something
of the gospel in her own experience, "All at once, after so long walking in
comparative darkness, the Lord showed me that I had hitherto known Him but very imperfectly.
I did not know God was love, before. I did not see this in its own true sun-light.
I had opinions; I had notions; but it could not be said I had knowledge. I had heard
of Him by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye has seen Him, and my heart has
been ravished with His love."
From this time onward her whole soul seemed all glowing with love to God, and
radiant with the love of God, revealed to her. So it will always be when the Spirit
reveals Jesus to the soul, and we see why He died for us, and why He has in so many
ways done so much for us. When these things come up from the realms of theory, into
the position of fact, and of experience, apathy ceases; the sensibilities are no
longer stagnant; all is wakeful; slavish fear is gone; the soul approaches God freely,
and in the spirit of a child; he is no longer religious, because he must be, nor
reads the Bible because he must, nor does he pray, or give in benevolence, for such
reasons. All these forms of dead experience have passed away, and the mind looks
back on it as a loathsome abomination. While these views of Christ are before his
mind, he will make no more legal efforts -- will no more strive to gain the favor
of God by mere works of law. Christ, thus revealed, breaks the power of sin.
- 2. Turning now to my impenitent hearers, I ask you if you do not know and admit
that I have given a fair account of your case. You know that you have no proper regard,
practically, for God, no more than if your heart and intellect were separated, and
all mutual influence of one over the other were broken off. Your convictions of truth
are often clear and strong; but the response of your heart to this truth is utterly
withheld. The state of your affections and will seems to have no correspondence to
your own convictions of what they should be. Yet this strange discrepancy is altogether
within your power, and you ought to put an end to it at once. You have no right to
live on so; God asserting His claims, but your soul utterly disowning them. This
is precisely the state of the sinner; his conscience dissevered from his heart. When
his attention is turned to this, he is conscious of this utter disagreement and discordance.
In my days of sin, I was just as sensible of this as of my own existence.
Do you ask, What is the reason for this? Am I ever to become self-consistent?
Said one of the first lawyers in New York -- "There is no use in trying to vindicate
myself. I can make no defense; can offer no explanation. It avails nothing for me
to argue my case, for I have nothing to plead." So you know you have no reason
to offer for your course of sin. If I were to put it to you all, to say by a public
expression if this be not your case, you would at once, if honest, rise to give assent.
You are in a lost state. You feel, sometimes, a deep sense of this lostness. Is there
a remedy for you?
- 3. Some of you who profess religion are in great doubt whether you have any spiritual
life. Let me ask you if you have not been greatly tried with the fact of your own
spiritual impotence, and of your having so little rallying power in yourself? Are
you not surprised and troubled at your want of energy, your inefficiency in duty?
Have these things pressed you, and have you been led to inquire, anxiously, whether
there is a remedy? Do you want to get hold of one, if it be yet possible?
Our text gives us the true and only remedy. God in Christ is the only efficient
and all-sufficient power to reach and remedy this direst of all things, sin. Everywhere
else in the Bible, the condition of this victory over sin is declared to be faith
in Jesus Christ. "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even your faith."
Without faith the gospel never takes effect in us.
V. What the Bible thus declares, is true also in philosophy and in fact.
Goodness revealed has attractions over even sinners. It is its very nature to attract
all human hearts.
- 1. Some of you felt this attraction even when you were in your sins. Perhaps
you feel it somewhat even now. In my own case I recollect the circumstance of weeping
profusely at an instance of goodness. I thought then it came near to winning me over
to sympathy with goodness. I could not help crying out, This is not in me; I know
my heart is not in sympathy with God; -- so strangely did this manifestation of goodness
You who have read Uncle Tom's Cabin will remember the story of Topsy and little
Eva. Topsy seems never to have seen any manifestations of kindness and goodness towards
herself. Always beaten about, every influence only driving her the farther from goodness,
no wonder she became surly and morose. Little Eva approached her on one occasion
as she sat, and looking her mildly and sweetly in the eye, asked her if she could
not be good. Now, for the first time, she saw an interest manifested in her happiness,
and saw also, in contrast with Eva's spirit, what her own was. This is represented
as the first step before the great moral change.
- 2. No doubt this is true in philosophy. There is something in goodness which
strongly tends to draw a moral being into sympathy with itself.
- 3. Christians are made strong by the revelations which Christ makes of Himself
to their minds. "Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, (Jesus) they
are changed from glory to glory." The view of His own glory, which the Lord
gave to Moses when he prayed, "I beseech Thee show me Thy glory," and the
Lord answered, "I will make all My goodness pass before thee," this strengthened
Moses greatly. It seemed to cast the mantle of Jehovah upon him, and make him a new
and wonderful man.
- 4. When the Lord gains the confidence of a sinner so that He can reveal Himself,
the first step is to reveal His goodness. So we should expect, and so it is.
But this goodness must be believed. Confidence must be reposed in Christ, else
He cannot reveal His goodness in any saving manner.
- 5. A conscious victory over ourselves and sin is the only evidence of a saving
change. An apparent victory is the only evidence to others of our being savingly
changed. This victory consists in being saved from sin, and in becoming like God.
Nothing less than this is real salvation.
Love revealed to faith is the power of God unto salvation. Suppose one of you
comes into a state in which you have not a particle of confidence in any one who
tries to do you good; all that any friend should attempt to do for you, you ascribe
to some sinister motive. So long as you withhold confidence his love is not revealed
to your faith, for you have no faith to which it can be revealed. In this case, by
a natural law of mind, all the goodness he reveals to you only makes you more wicked
and only works out a deeper ruin.
The love of God revealed to faith, is the power of God to bring the soul out of its
bondage. But love manifested, yet through unbelief rejected, works ruin to the soul
by a natural law; and by the same law, the clearer the revelations of that love,
the more rapid and fearful the ruin wrought. The case of the Jews, taught by Christ
in person, is in point, a most striking and affecting example. The way they rejected
their Messiah served fearfully to deprave their hearts and to hasten the ruin of
the nation. Christ Himself said, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they
had not had sin, (that is, comparatively none) but now they have no cloak for their
sin." When Christ went through all Judea and Galilee, manifesting everywhere
the evidences of His being the Messiah, and bearing Himself with so much kindness,
dignity, and humility, it seems wonderful that the people in mass and their priests
and scribes especially, did not open their hearts to bid Him welcome. But when instead
of this, they withheld their confidence, and rejected Him in stern and wicked unbelief,
they became fearfully hardened. Every step in the process of this rejection, worked
only mischief and ruin. Suppose you have in your family a son whom you are trying
to save; but the more you labor for this result, so much the more does he withhold
his confidence, traduce your motives, and pervert to evil all your intended good.
Such a course as this on his part throws him fearfully into the power of Satan, and
he is led captive, by that arch-deceiver, at his will.
- 6. None can appreciate our texts, and other passages of this class, except those
who have had experience. "Thanks be to God," cries Paul, "who giveth
us the victory;" -- a song in which none can truly join but those who have gained
this victory, and know its power and blessedness. What can an impenitent man know
of such emotions? What can he say? Can he thank God for victory of which he knows
and experiences nothing? No; he has been only vanquished, and Satan sings the peans
of victory over the ruin of his soul.
To the Christian, really victorious, there is the utmost occasion for gratitude
and thanksgiving. He esteems this far above all his other mercies, that he finds
himself lifted above the power of temptation, his old chains broken, his religious
exercises and purposes become spontaneous, and religion the life and joy of his soul.
How earnestly does he bless the Lord who hath given him the victory!
VI. Thanksgiving for victory over sin.
- 1. It is sad to see how little there is, in our day, of this thanksgiving for
victory over sin. How rarely do you hear such thanks for grace received and victory
obtained! We have been in the habit here of having a thanksgiving meeting, for the
purpose of expressing our individual grounds of thanksgiving. When the next thanksgiving
day occurs shall we hear any offerings of praise to God for giving the victory over
sin? We used to hear thanks for grace received; shall we have such thanks again?
It was once, more common with us than thanks for temporal mercies; shall it be so
- 2. If the numbers who return to give thanks for this blessing are small, what
shall we infer? Is it not fearfully sad and perilous that the gospel should lose
its power, in any community?
Many seem not to be aware of their real state. It is hard to convince them that
they are not altogether right, yet they have no thanks for this victory. Yet if they
had gained this victory they surely would acknowledge it, and express their gratitude
to God for it. No other victors are more grateful than Christian victors. If they
find themselves victors, they will not conceal the blessed truth, but will naturally
wish to shout the praises of victorious grace!
- 3. Many professed Christians spend their time and breath in brooding over their
great weakness, talking it over, praying about it, and discouraging themselves and
others as if the Lord were a hard master, who imposed heavy tasks and allowed only
the least possible amount of grace to help His children perform them. Yet they do
not usually quite despair of help in themselves; do not cease from legal efforts;
are not dead to this class of efforts, as those who have utterly renounced them,
and who trust in Christ alone. They still think they shall gain the victory by some
work which they shall do in themselves. By efforts made without faith, they hope
to get faith, and so work out their own righteousness. But it is only when self is
really despaired of, that deliverance comes. When you see a sinner on the verge of
despair in himself, then you may know he is near the kingdom of grace and mercy.
When he has done everything he can do in himself, to save himself, and is compelled
to despair of doing anything more, then he is ready to trust in Jesus. Who of us
has not seen this experience in others, and felt it in ourselves? At first we thought
we could get religion with little effort; we started off self-righteously, made some
ineffectual struggles to pray, and soon learned that our case was far worse then
we had supposed. Before my conversion I had never prayed much. For a short time previous,
I used to lock my office door, stop the keyhole, and whisper out a short prayer in
the greatest perturbation lest somebody should hear my voice, or in some way learn
that I was praying. But this answered no purpose; I must pray better than this. I
seemed to be bound up and hemmed in on every side, and could not pray. But it occurred
to me that if I could get entirely away from everybody, and could meet God alone,
that then I could pray. So I went off into the woods, far beyond any danger of being
overheard, or seen. But even then I could not pray. My heart refused to pray; there
seemed to be no prayer in it. I felt fearfully faint -- said, All is over with me;
I never can pray. Despair came down on my heart for a moment; the last prop was knocked
out from under me, and there was nothing more I could do but to fall helpless at
Jesus' feet, and find mercy there!
- 4. Often persons talk and complain much of their weakness, but do not despair
of yet further efforts in their own strength. They are not so shut up to God that
they know they cannot take another step to purpose, in any other direction. They
seem little aware of the fact that Jesus Christ is knocking at the door of their
heart every moment, as He said, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock"
-- yet they do not bid Him enter with welcome. In fact, they even bolt the door against
A lady of my acquaintance, hopefully a Christian, felt her need of sanctifying
grace, and really exhausted her strength in efforts, after her own ideas of the matter,
to get the command of her temper. At length she fell into despair; said she was not
a Christian and could do no more, and would profess piety no longer. At this crisis
Jesus revealed Himself to her, and in a moment she found deliverance. She was completely
saved from the power of her giant temptation. Years after this, she said to me --
"I have no more expectation of committing those sins of temper than I have of
- 5. Real despair of help in one's self does not make men careless and lead them
to drop all efforts; on the contrary, the more they despair, the more their soul
reaches out on every side for help and hope.
VII. Until the church is sanctified, the world cannot be converted.
Until Christians can testify with their lips and lives, it cannot be expected that
the truth will take effect.
A man of much prominence in New York had a pious wife. When the subject of sanctification
came to be agitated here, some eighteen years since, she was enough of a Christian
to understand it, and to feel her need. She studied it and embraced it. When her
unconverted husband saw the astonishing change it wrought in her, he said, "the
church must have this. When they do, the world will understand the gospel. They will
have something intelligible to aim at." How true! Until the church gets the
victory, and, rejoicing in this victory, can show it to the world, she need not think
she is greatly recommending religion, or is likely to secure many converts.
- 1. Converts are likely to be converted only to the current standard of piety
in the church where they are. Often you see this illustrated in a very striking manner.
Although they have the Bible in their hand, and although they have excellent preaching,
yet their practical ideas of religion are usually drawn from the observed life and
spirit of their Christian friends. The living patterns have the practical power.
Hence, if young converts have before them high example, it puts them upon high aims
and efforts. They aspire to the standard of those whom they most esteem. O how precious
to them, to have high and holy examples for their imitation!
- 2. Church members are in their own light when they reproach converts, for they
only reproach themselves. They often do not consider that these converts are only
themselves reproduced; a mirror in which they can see the reflection of their own
faces. So, also, for the church to complain of each other is only to complain of
themselves. We are every one of us responsible in our measure, for the state of the
church, and to blame for its state being no better than it is. It is therefore of
no use for us to recriminate.
Some professors of religion say, "All this does not apply to me, for I don't
profess sanctification." A great mistake; for you have professed sanctification.
Scarcely could you make a more solemn profession than you made when you joined the
church. Then you publicly avouched the Lord Jehovah to be your God, Jesus to be your
Savior, and the Holy Ghost to be your sanctifier. You solemnly promised to abstain
from all ungodliness and every worldly lust, and if this is not a profession of entire
sanctification, what is? Certainly, your promise and profession went the whole length
of pledging yourself to full and whole-hearted obedience -- an obedience not so complete
as you may perhaps, render in after years, with more and better knowledge; for holy
obedience may progress with knowledge, onward through all time and all eternity.
But after such a covenant, it avails nothing to say that you have not committed yourself
to a life and a state of entire consecration to God.
Is it not the fact that some of you, instead of coming up to the gospel standard,
keep shy of it, more than willing to waive the question about entire consecration,
and really anxious to build up a new highway to heaven, which shall not be the "highway
of holiness"? Brethren, such building of other highways for the Christian life,
must be a fearful failure. There is perdition at the end of such a pathway, and there
ought to be. If God's redeemed people rebel against being constrained by redeeming
love, and insist that some little sin must be indulged and admitted into the standard
Christian life, ought not God to give them up to their own lusts? Nay more, will
He not do this as sure as He is holy, and as surely as He hates sin with utter hatred?
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