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the standard of duty. It maintains, that something is holiness which is less than supreme disinterested benevolence, or the devotion for the time of the whole being to God. Now any philosophy that makes regeneration, or holiness, consist in any thing less than just that measure of obedience which the law of God requires, is Antinomianism. It is a letting down, a rejection of the law of God.
6. The very idea of sin and holiness co-existing in the same mind, is an absurd philosophy, contrary to scripture and common sense. It is an overlooking of that in which holiness consists. Holiness is obedience to the law of God, and nothing else is. By obedience, I mean entire obedience, or just that which the law requires. Any thing else than that which the law requires is not obedience and is not holiness. To maintain that it is, is to abrogate the law.
I might go to great lengths in the examination of scripture testimony, but it cannot be necessary, or in these lectures expedient. I must close this lecture, with a few inferences and remarks.
1. It has been supposed by some, that the simplicity of moral action, has been resorted to as a theory by the advocates of entire sanctification in this life, as the only consistent method of carrying out their principle. To this I reply:
(1.) That this theory is held in common, both by those who hold and those who deny the doctrine of entire sanctification in this life.
(2.) The truth of the doctrine of entire sanctification does not depend at all upon this philosophical theory for its support; but may be established by Bible testimony, whatever the philosophy of holiness may be.
2. Growth in grace consists in two things:
(1.) In the stability or permanency of holy, ultimate in
(2.) In intensity or strength. As knowledge increases, Christians will naturally grow in grace, in both these respects.
3. The theory of the mixed character of moral actions, is an eminently dangerous theory, as it leads its advocates to suppose that in their acts of rebellion there is something holy, or more strictly, that there is some holiness in them while they are in the known commission of sin.
It is dangerous, because it leads its advocates to place the standard of conversion, or regeneration, exceedingly low; to make regeneration, repentance, true love to God, faith, &c.,
consistent with the known or conscious commission of present sin. This must be a highly dangerous philosophy. The fact is, that regeneration, or holiness, under any form, is quite another thing than it is supposed to be by those who maintain the philosophy of the mixed character of moral ac
4. There can scarcely be a more dangerous error than that while we are conscious of present sin we are or can be in a state acceptable to God.
5. The false philosophy of many leads them to adopt a phraseology inconsistent with truth, and to speak as if they were guilty of present sin when in fact they are not, but are in a state of acceptance with God.
6. It is erroneous to say that Christians sin in their most holy exercises, and it is as injurious and dangerous as it is false. The fact is holiness is holiness, and it is really nonsense to speak of a holiness that consists with sin.
7. The tendency of this philosophy is to quiet in their delusions those whose consciences assure them of present sin, as if this could be true and they in a state of acceptance with God notwithstanding.
I. IN WHAT SENSE OBEDIENCE TO MORAL Law can be pARTIAL.
II. THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD ACCEPTS NOTHING AS VIRTUE BUT OBEDIENCE TO MORAL LAW.
I. In what sense obedience to Moral Law can be partial.
In discussing this subject I must,
1. Remind you of the sense in which it has been shown that obedience can not be partial, and,
2. Show the sense in which it can be partial.
1. In what sense we have seen that obedience to moral law can not be partial.
(1.) Not in the sense that a moral agent can at the same time be selfish and benevolent. That is, a moral agent can not choose as an ultimate end the highest well-being of God and of the Universe, and, at the same time, choose an opposite end, namely, his own gratification. In other words he can not love God supremely and his neighbor as himself, and at the same time love himself supremely, and prefer his own gratification to the good of God and his neighbor. These two things, we have seen, can not be.
(2.) We have seen that a moral agent can not honestly choose the well-being of God and the universe as an ultimate end, that is, for and on account of its intrinsic value, and yet withhold the degree of intensity of choice which he sees the value of the end demands, and he is able to render. In other words, he can not be honest in knowingly and intentionally withholding from God and man their dues. That is, he can not be honestly dishonest.
(3.) We have seen that honesty of intention implies the esteeming and treating of every being and thing known to the mind according to its nature and relations, and every interest according to its estimated relative importance and our ability to promote it.
(4.) We have seen that neither of the following supposi
tions can be true.
It can not be true,
[1.] That an act or choice may have a complex character on account of complexity in the motives that induce it.
It can not be true,
 That the will or heart may be right while the emotions and affections are wrong in the sense of sinful.
It can not be true,
[3.] That a ruling, latent, but actually existing holy preference or intention, may co-exist with opposing volitions.
These things, we have seen, can not be, and therefore that the following is true, to wit, that obedience to moral law can not be partial in the sense that a moral agent can partly obey and partly disobey at the same time; that he can not be both holy and unholy in the same act; that he can not at the same time serve both God and mammon. This certainly is the doctrine both of natural and revealed theology. This summing up of what was taught in the last lecture conducts us to the discussion of the second inquiry, namely:
1. In what sense obedience to moral law can be partial.
And here I would observe that the only sense in which obedience to moral law can be partial is, that obedience may be intermittent. That is, the subject may sometimes obey and at other times disobey. He may at one time be selfish or will his own gratification because it is his own, and without regard to the well-being of God and his neighbor, and at another time will the highest well-being of God and the Universe as an end and his own good only in proportion to its relative value. These are opposite choices or ultimate intentions. The one is holy; the other is sinful. One is obedience and entire obedience, to the law of God; the other is disobedience and entire disobedience to that law. These for ought we can see may succeed each other an indefinite number of times, but co-exist they plainly can not.
II. The Government of God accepts nothing as virtue but obedience to the law of God.
But it may be asked, why state this proposition? Was this truth ever called in question? If such questions be asked, I must answer that the truth of this proposition, (though apparently so self-evident that the suggestion that it is, or can be called in question, may reasonably excite astonishment,) is generally denied. Indeed, probably nine-tenths of the nominal church deny it. They tenaciously hold sentiments that are entirely contrary to it, and amount to a direct denial of it. They maintain that there is much true virtue in the world, and yet that there is no one who ever for a moment obeys the law of God; that all christians are virtuous, and that they are truly religious, and yet not one on earth obeys the moral law of God; in short that God accepts as virtue
that which in every instance comes short of obedience to his law. And yet it is generally asserted in their articles of faith that obedience to moral law is the only proper evidence of a change of heart. With this sentiment in their creed, they will brand as a heretic or as a hypocrite any one who professes to obey the law, and maintain that men may be and are pious, and eminently so, who do not obey the law of God. This sentiment, which every one knows to be generally held by those who are styled orthodox Christians, must assume that there is some rule of right or of duty beside the moral law, or that virtue or true religion does not imply obedience to any law. In this discussion I shall,
1. Attempt to show that there can be no rule of right or duty but the moral law, and,
2. That nothing can be virtue or true religion but obedience to this law.
3. That the Government of God acknowledges nothing else as virtue or true religion.
There can be no rule of duty but the moral law.
Upon this proposition I remark,
(1.) That the moral law, as we have seen, is nothing else than the law of nature, or that rule of action which is founded, not in the will of God, but in the nature and relations of moral agents. It prescribes the course of action which is agreeable or suitable to our nature and relations. It is unalterably right to act in conformity with our nature and relations. To deny this is palpably absurd and contradictory. But if this is right nothing else can be right. If this course is obligatory upon us by virtue of our nature and relations, no other course can possibly be obligatory upon us. To act in conformity with our nature and relations, must be right and nothing more or less can be right. If these are not truths of intuition, then there are no such truths.
(2.) God has never proclaimed any other rule of duty, and should He do it, it could not be obligatory. The moral law did not originate in His arbitrary will. He did not create it, nor can He alter it, or introduce any other rule of right among moral agents. Can God make any thing else right than to love him with all the heart and our neighbor as ourselves? Surely not. Some have strangely dreamed that the law of faith has superseded the moral law. But we shall see that moral law is not made void but is established by the law of faith. True faith, from its very nature, always implies love or obedience to the moral law, and love or obedience to the