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that which is lacking in his repentance. It were to pronounce a public justification of his refusal to render full obedience.
5. But have we a right to ask forgiveness while we persevere in the sin of withholding a part of our heart from Him?
God has no right to forgive, and we have no right to desire him to forgive us while we keep back any part of the price. While we persist in defrauding God and our neighbor, we can not profess penitence and ask forgiveness without gross hypocrisy. And shall God forgive us while we can not without hypocrisy even profess repentance? To ask for pardon while we do not repent and cease from sin, is a gross insult to God. 6. But does the bible recognize the pardon of present unrepented sin?
Let the passage be found, if it can be, where sin is represented as pardoned or pardonable unless repented of and fully forsaken. No such passage can be found. The opposite of this always stands revealed expressly or impliedly on every page of Divine Inspiration.
7. Does the bible any where recognize a justification in sin? Where is such a passage to be found? Does not the law condemn sin, every degree of it? Does it not unalterably condemn the sinner in whose heart the vile abomination is found? If a soul can sin, and yet not be condemned, then it must be because the law is abrogated, for surely if the law still remains in force, it must condemn all sin. James most unequivocally teaches this: "If any man keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." What is this but asserting that if there could be a partial obedience, it would be unavailing, since the law would condemn for any degree of sin; that partial obedience, did it exist, would not be regarded as acceptable obedience at all? The doctrine that a partial obedience (in the sense that the law is not at any time fully obeyed,) is accepted of God, is sheer Antinomianism.What! a sinner justified while indulging in rebellion against God!
But it has been generally held in the church that a sinner must intend fully to obey the law as a condition of justification; that in his purpose, intention, he must forsake all sin; that nothing short of perfection of aim or intention can be accepted of God. Now, what is intended by this language? We have seen in former lectures that moral character belongs properly only to the intention. If, then, perfection of intention be an indispensable condition of justification, what is this but an admission after all that full present obedience is a con
dition of justification? But this is what we hold and they deny. What then can they mean? It is of importance to ascertain what is intended by the assertion repeated by them thousands of times that a sinner can not be justified but upon condition that he fully purposes and intends to abandon all sin and to live without sin; unless he seriously intends to render full obedience to all the commands of God. Intends to obey the law! What constitutes obedience to the law? Why, love, good willing, good intending. Intending to obey the law is intending to intend, willing to will, choosing to choose! This is absurd.
What then is the state of mind which is and must be the condition of justification? Not merely an intention to obey, for this is only an intending to intend, but intending what the law requires to be intended, to wit, the highest well-being of God and of the universe. Fully intending this, and not fully intending to intend this, is the condition of justification. But fully intending this, is full present obedience to the law.
But again: It is absurd to say that a man can intend fully to obey the law unless he actually fully intends what the law requires him to intend. The law requires him fully to intend the highest well-being of God and of the universe. And unless he intends this, it is absurd to say that he can intend full obedience to the law; that he intends to live without sin.Why, the supposition is that he is now sinning, that is, (for nothing else is sin) voluntarily withholding from God and man their due. He chooses, wills and intends this, and yet the supposition is, that at the same time he chooses, wills, intends fully to obey the law. What is this but the ridiculous assertion that he at the same time intends full obedience to the law and intends not fully to obey, but only to obey in part, voluntarily withholding from God and man their dues.
But again to the question, can man be justified while sin remains in him? Surely he can not either upon legal or gospel principles, unless the law be repealed. That he can not be justified by the law while there is a particle of sin in him, is too plain to need proof. But can he be pardoned and accepted, and then justified in the gospel sense, while sin, any degree of sin, remains in him? Certainly not. For the law, unless it be repealed and antinomianism be true, continues to condemn him while there is any degree of sin in him. It is a contradiction to say that he can be pardoned and at the same time condemned. But if he is all the time coming short of full obedience, there never is a moment in which the law is not
uttering its curses against him. "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them." The fact is, there never has been, and there never can be any such thing as sin without condemnation. "Beloved, if our own heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart," that is, he much more condemns us. "But if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence towards God." God can not repeal the law. It is not founded in his arbitrary will. It is as unalterable and unrepealable as his own nature. God can never repeal nor alter it. He can, for Christ's sake, dispense with the execution of the penalty when the subject has returned to full present obedience to the precept, but in no other case, and upon no other possible conditions. To affirm that he can, is to affirm that God can alter the immutable and eternal principles of moral law and moral government.
8. The next inquiry is, can there be such a thing as a partial repentance of sin? That is, does not true repentance imply a return to present full obedience to the law of God? In considering this question, I will state briefly,
(1.) What repentance is not.
(2.) What it is.
(3.) What is not implied in it. (4.) What is.
I shall in this place only state these points briefly, leaving their full consideration to their appropriate place in this course of instruction.
(1.) What repentance is not.
[1.] It is not a phenomenon of the intelligence. It does not consist in conviction of sin, nor in any intellectual views of sin whatever.
 It is not a phenomenon of the sensibility. It does not consist in a feeling of regret, or remorse, or of sorrow of any kind or degree. It is not a feeling of any kind.
(2.) What it is.
The primary signification of the word rendered repentance is, to think again, but more particularly, to change the mind in conformity with a second thought, or in accordance with a more rational and intelligent view of the subject. To repent is to change the choice, purpose, intention. It is to choose a new end, to begin a new life, to turn from self-seeking to seeking the highest good of being, to turn from selfishness to disinterested benevolence, from a state of disobedience to a state of obedience.
(3.) What is not implied in it.
[1.] It does not imply the remembrance of all past sin.This would be implied if repentance consisted, as some seem to suppose, in sorrowing over every particular sin. But as repentance consists in returning or turning to God, from the spirit of self-seeking and self-pleasing to the spirit of seeking the highest well-being of God and the universe, no such thing as the remembrance of all past sin is implied in it.
[2.] It does not imply a continual sorrowing for past sin; for past sin is not, can not be, ought not to be the subject of continual thought.
(4.) What is implied in it,
 An understanding of the nature of sin, that it consists in the spirit of self-seeking, or in selfishness. This is implied, as a condition upon which repentance can be exercised.
[2.] A turning from this state to a state of consecration to God and the good of the universe.
[3.] Sorrow for past sin when it is remembered. This and the following particulars are implied in repentance as necessarily following from it.
[4.] Universal, outward reformation. 5. Hatred of sin.
[6.] Self-loathing on account of sin.
Certainly if repentance means and implies any thing, it does imply a thorough reformation of heart and life. A reformation of heart consists in turning from selfishness to benevolence. We have seen in a former lecture that selfishness and benevolence can not co-exist in the same mind. They are the supreme choice of opposite ends. These ends can not both be chosen at the same time. To talk of partial repentance as a possible thing is to talk nonsense. It is to overlook the very nature of repentance. What! a man both turn away from and hold on to sin at the same time? Serve God and Mammon at one and the same time! It is impossible. This impossibility is affirmed both by reason and by Christ.
9. The ninth inquiry is: Must not that be a gross error that represents God as pardoning and justifying a sinner in the present willful commission of sin? I answer, yes,
(1.) Because it is antinomianism, than which there is scarcely any form of error more God-dishonoring.
(2.) Because it represents God as doing what He has no right to do, and therefore, as doing what He can not do without sinning himself.
(3.) Because it represents Christ as the minister of sin,
and as justifying his people in their sins, instead of saving them from their sins.
(4.) Because it represents God as making void instead of establishing the law through faith.
(5.) Because it is a prolific source of delusion, leading multitudes to think themselves justified while living in known sin. But perhaps it will be objected that the sin of those who render but a partial obedience, and whom God pardons and accepts, is not a voluntary sin. This leads to the tenth inquiry:
10. Can there be any other than a voluntary sin?
What is sin? Sin is a transgression of the law. The law requires benevolence, good willing. Sin is not a mere negation or a not willing, but consists in willing self-gratification. It is a willing contrary to the commandment of God. Sin as well as holiness consists in choosing, willing, intending. Sin must be voluntary. That is, it must be intelligent and voluntary. It consists in willing, and it is nonsense to deny that sin is voluntary. The fact is there is either no sin or there is voluntary sin. Benevolence is willing the good of being in general as an end, and of course implies the rejection of self-gratification as an end. So sin is the choice of self-gratification as an end, and necessarily implies the rejection of the good of being in general as an end. Sin and holiness naturally and necessarily exclude each other. They are eternal opposites and antagonists. Neither can consist with the presence of the other in the heart. They consist in the active state of the will, and there can be no sin or holiness that does not consist in choice.
12. Must not present sin be unrepented sin?
Yes, it is impossible for one to repent of present sin. To affirm that present sin is repented of is to affirm a contradiction. It is overlooking both the nature of sin and the nature of repentance. Sin is selfish willing; repentance is turning from selfish to benevolent willing. These two states of will, as has just been said, cannot possibly co-exist. Whoever, then, is at present falling short of full obedience to the law of God, is voluntarily sinning against God and is impenitent. It is nonsense to say that he is partly penitent and partly impenitent; that he is penitent so far as he obeys, and impenitent so far as he disobeys. This really seems to be the loose idea of many, that a man can be partly penitent and partly impenitent at the same time. This idea doubtless is founded on the mistake that repentance consists in sorrow for sin, or is a phenomenon of the sensibility. But we have seen that re