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before they know or have the idea of the good or of the valuable. But this is and must be a mistake. They may and do affirm obligation to obey their parents before they can express in language and before they would understand a philosophical statement of the grounds of their obligation. The idea however they do and must have or they could not affirm obligation. It is agreed and cannot be denied that moral obligation respects acts of will and not strictly outward action. It is agreed and can not be denied that obligation respects intelligent actions of will. It is also agreed and can not be denied that all intelligent acts of will and such as those to which moral obligation belongs must respect ends or means. If therefore one has any true idea of moral obligation it must respect acts of will or intentions. It must respect the choice of an end or of means. If it respect the choice of a means the idea of the end must exist. It can not justly affirm obligation of any thing but choice or intention for as a matter of fact obligation belongs to nothing else. The fact is the child knows that it ought to please its parent and seek to make its parent happy. This it knows that it ought to intend long before it knows what the word intention means. Upon this assumption it bases all its affirmations in respect to its obligation to obey its parents and others that are around it. It regards its own satisfaction or enjoyment as a good and seeks it before it knows what the words mean that express this state of mind. It also knows that the enjoyment of others is a good, and affirms not in word but in idea that it ought to seek the enjoyment of all. This idea is the basis upon which all affirmations of obligation rest, and if it be truly an idea of real obligation it is impossible that the idea of the good or of the value of enjoyment should not be its base. To assert the contrary is to overlook the admitted fact that moral obligation must respect choice and the choice of an end; that it must respect intention. It is absurd to suppose that a being can truly affirm moral obligation in respect to outward action before it has the idea of the obligation to will or intend an end. The idea of an end may not be developed in words, that is, the word expressive of the idea may not be understood, but the idea must be in the mind in a state of developement or there can be no affirmation of obligation. The fact is there is a logical connection between the idea of the good and the idea of moral obligation, of right and wrong, of praise and blame worthiness. These latter ideas can not exist without the first, and the existence of that necessitates the developement of
these. These are first truths of reason. In other words these ideas are universally and necessarily developed in the minds of moral agents and indeed their development is the -condition of moral agency. Most of the first truths are developed in idea long before the language in which they are expressed is or can be understood. Thus the ideas of space, of time, of causality, of liberty of will, or ability, of the good, of oughtness or obligation to will it, of right and wrong, of praise or blameworthiness and many others are developed before the meaning of those words is at all understood. Human beings come gradually to understand the words or signs that represent their ideas, and afterwards so often express their ideas in words that they finally get the impression that they got the idea from the word, whereas in every instance in respect to the first truths of reason they had the idea long before they understood or perhaps ever heard the word that represents it and was coined to express it.
9. They who maintain the sinfulness of the constitutional appetites, must of course deny that men can ever be entirely sanctified in this life, and must maintain, as they do, that death must complete the work of sanctification.
10. False notions of moral depravity lie at the foundation of all the objections I have seen to the doctrine of entire sanctification in this life.
11. A diseased nervous system is a fierce temptation. Some forms of disease expose the soul to much trial. Dyspeptic and nervous persons need superabounding grace.
12. Why sin is so natural to mankind. Not because their nature is itself sinful, but because the appetites and passions tend so strongly to self-indulgence. Besides, selfishness being the ruling passion of the soul, its manifestations are spon
13. The doctrine of original sin as held by its advocates must essentially modify the whole system of practical theology. This will be seen as we proceed in our investigations.
14. The constitution of a moral being as a whole when all the powers are developed, does not tend to sin, but strongly in an opposite direction, as is manifest from the fact that when reason is thoroughly developed by the Holy Spirit, it is more than a match for the sensibility and turns the heart to God.
15. The difficulty is that the sensibility gets the start of reason and engages the attention in devising means of selfgratification, and thus retards, and in a great measure pre
vents the development of the ideas of the reason which were designed to control the will.
16. It is this morbid development that the Holy Spirit is given to rectify, by so forcing truth upon the attention, as to secure the development of the intelligence. By doing this He brings the will under the influence of truth. Our senses reveal to us the objects correlated to our animal nature and propensities. The Holy Spirit reveals God and the spiritual world, and all that class of objects that are so correlated to our higher nature as to give Reason the control of the will. This is regeneration and sanctification as we shall see in its proper place.
In the examination of this subject I will,
I. POINT OUT THE COMMON DISTINCTION BETWEEN REGENERATION AND CONVERSION.
II. STATE THE ASSIGNED REASONS FOR THIS DISTINCTION.
III. STATE OBJECTIONS TO THIS DISTINCTION.
IV. SHOW WHAT REGENERATION IS NOT.
V. WHAT IT IS.
VI. ITS UNIVERSAL NECESSITY.
VII. AGENCIES EMPLOYED IN IT.
VIII. INSTRUMENTALITIES EMPLOYED IN IT.
IX. THAT IN REGENERATION THE SUBJECT IS BOTH ACTIVE
X. WHAT IS IMPLIED IN REGENERATION.
XI. PHILOSOPHICAL THEORIES OF REGENERATION.
XII. EVIDENCES OF REGENERATION.
I. I am to point out the common distinction between Regeneration and Conversion.
1. Regeneration is the term used by many theologians to express the Divine agency in changing the heart.
2. With them regeneration does not include and imply the activity of the subject, but rather excludes it. These theolo gians, as will be seen in its place, hold that a change of heart is first effected by the Holy Spirit, while the subject is passive, which change lays a foundation for the exercise, by the subject, of repentance, faith, and love.
3. Conversion with them expresses the activity and turning of the subject, after regeneration is effected by the Holy Spirit. Conversion with them does not include or imply the agency of the Holy Spirit, but expresses only the activity of the subject. With them the Holy Spirit first regenerates or changes the heart, after which the sinner turns or converts himself. So that God and the subject work each in turn. God first changes the heart, and as a consequence, the subject Thus the subafterwards converts himself or turns to God. ject is passive in regeneration, but active in conversion.
When we come to the examination of the philosophical theories of regeneration, we shall see that the views of these theologians respecting regeneration result naturally and necessarily from their holding the dogma of constitutional moral Until their depravity, which we have recently examined.
views on that subject are corrected, no change can be expected in their views of this subject. I said in a concluding remark, when upon the subject of moral depravity, that erroneous views upon that subject must necessarily materially affect and modify one's views upon most of the questions in practical theology. Let us bear this remark in mind as we proceed, not only in the discussions immediately before us, but also in all our future investigations, that we may duly appreciate the importance of clear and correct views on the subject of practical theology.
II. I am to state the assigned reasons for this distinction. 1. The original term plainly expresses and implies other than the agency of the subject.
2. We need and must adopt a term that will express the Divine agency.
3. Regeneration is expressly ascribed to the Holy Spirit. 4. Conversion, as it implies and expresses the activity and turning of the subject, does not include and imply any Divine agency, and therefore does not imply or express what is intended by regeneration.
5. As two agencies are actually employed in the regeneration and conversion of a sinner, it is necessary to adopt terms that will clearly teach this fact and clearly distinguish between the agency of God and of the creature.
6. The terms regeneration and conversion aptly express this distinction, and therefore should be theologically employed.
III. I am to state the objections to this distinction.
1. The original term gennao with its derivatives may be rendered, (1.) To beget. (2.) To bear or bring forth. (3.) To be begotten. (4.) To be born or brought forth.
2. Regeneration is in the Bible the same as the new birth. 3. To be born again is the same thing, as the Bible uses the terms, as to have a new heart, to be a new creature, to pass from death unto life. In other words, to be born again is to have a new moral character, to become holy. To regenerate is to make holy. To be born of God, no doubt, expresses and includes the Divine agency, but it also includes and expresses that which the Divine agency is employed in effecting, namely, making the sinner holy. Certainly a sinner is not regenerated whose moral character is unchanged. If he were, how could it be truly said that whosoever is born of God overcometh the world, doth not commit sin, can not sin, &c.? If regeneration does not imply and include a change