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LECTURES

ON

SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY,


EMBRACING

MORAL GOVERNMENT,

THE ATONEMENT, MORAL AND PHYSICAL DEPRAVITY,

NATURAL, MORAL, AND GRACIOUS ABILITY, REPENTANCE, FAITH,

JUSTIFICATION, SANCTIFICATION, &c.


BY THE

REV. CHARLES G. FINNEY,

PROFESSOR OF THEOLOGY IN THE OBERLIN COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE, OHIO, AMERICA.


THE WHOLE WORK REVISED, ENLARGED, AND PARTLY RE-WRITTEN BY THE AUTHOR,

DURING HIS LATE VISIT TO ENGLAND.


EDITED AND REVISED, WITH AN INTRODUCTION,

BY THE

REV. GEORGE REDFORD, D.D., LL.D,

OF WORCESTER


LONDON:

WILLIAM TEGG AND Co., 85, QUEEN STREET,

CHEAPSIDE.

1851.



The only source for these lectures came from the printed 1851 English edition of SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY by Charles Finney. This is 100% Finney with no deletions or additions. This version has been out of print for over 150 years. This version is the pure standard. All other versions of SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY are taken from this version.

These lectures would not exist without all the hard work of John, Terri and Aaron Clark.


PREFACE BY THE EDITOR.

PREFACE BY THE AUTHOR.


CONTENTS.



LECTURE I.

Various classes of truths, and how the mind attains to a knowledge of them

LECTURE II. -- Moral Government.

Definition of the term law . . Distinction between physical and moral law . . The essential attributes of moral law . . Subjectivity . . Objectivity . . Liberty, as opposed to necessity . . Fitness . . Universality . . Impartiality . . Justice . . Practicability . . Independence . . Immutability . . Unity . . Equity . . Expediency . . Exclusiveness

LECTURE III. -- Moral Government--Continued.

Definition of the term government . . Distinction between moral and physical government . . The fundamental reason of moral government . . Whose right it is to govern . . What is implied in the right to govern . . Point out the limits of this right . . What is implied in moral government . . Moral obligation . . The conditions of moral obligation . . Remarks

LECTURE IV. -- Moral Government--Continued.

Man a subject of moral obligation . . Extent of moral obligation . . Shown by an appeal to reason, or to natural theology, to what acts and states of mind moral obligation cannot directly extend . . Shown to what acts and states of mind moral obligation must directly extend . . To what acts and mental states moral obligation indirectly extends

LECTURE V. -- Foundation of Moral Obligation.

What is intended by the foundation of moral obligation . . The extent of moral obligation . . Remind you of the distinction between the ground and conditions of obligation . . Points of agreement among the principal parties in this discussion . . Wherein they disagree . . That the sovereign will of God is not the foundation of moral obligation . . The theory of Paley . . The utilitarian philosophy

LECTURE VI. -- Foundation of Moral Obligation. False Theories.

The theory that regards right as the foundation of moral obligation

LECTURE VII. -- Foundation of Moral Obligation. False Theories.

The theory that the goodness or moral excellence of God is the foundation of moral obligation

LECTURE VIII. -- Foundation of Moral Obligation. False Theories.

The philosophy which teaches that moral order is the foundation of moral obligation . . The theory that maintains that the nature and relations of moral beings is the true foundation of moral obligation . . The theory that teaches that moral obligation is founded in the idea of duty . . That philosophy which teaches the complexity of the foundation of moral obligation

LECTURE IX. -- Foundation of Obligation.

Another form of the theory that affirms the complexity of the foundation of moral obligation; complex however only in a certain sense

LECTURE X. -- Foundation of Obligation.

The intrinsic absurdity of various theories

LECTURE XI.

Summing up

LECTURE XII. -- Foundation of Moral Obligation. Practical Bearings of the Different Theories.

The theory that regards the sovereign will of God as the foundation of moral obligation . . The theory of the selfish school . . The natural and necessary results of utilitarianism

LECTURE XIII. -- Practical Bearings and Tendency of Rightarianism.

The philosophy which teaches that the divine goodness or moral excellence is the foundation of moral obligation . . The theory which teaches that moral order is the foundation of moral obligation . . The practical bearings of the theory that moral obligation is founded in the nature and relations of moral agents . . The theory which teaches that the idea of duty is the foundation of moral obligation . . The complexity of the foundation of moral obligation . . The practical bearings of what is regarded as the true theory of the foundation of moral obligation, viz. that the highest well-being of God and of the universe is the sole foundation of moral obligation

LECTURE XIV. -- Moral Government--Continued.

What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Obedience cannot be partial in the sense that the subject ever does or can partly obey and partly disobey at the same time . . Can the will at the same time make opposite choices? . . The choice of an ultimate end is, and must be, the supreme preference of the mind . . An intelligent choice must respect ends or means . . No choice whatever can be made inconsistent with the present choice of an ultimate end . . Inquiry respecting the strength or intensity of the choice . . The law does not require the constant and most intense action of the will . . An intention cannot be right and honest in kind, and deficient in the degree of intensity . . Examination of the philosophy of the question, whether sin and holiness consist in supreme, ultimate, and opposite choices or intentions . . Objections to the foregoing philosophy considered . . This philosophy examined in the light of the scriptures

LECTURE XV. -- Moral Government--Continued.

In what sense we have seen that obedience to moral law cannot be partial . . In what sense obedience to moral law can be partial . . The government of God accepts nothing as virtue but obedience to the law of God . . There can be no rule of duty but moral law . . Nothing can be virtue or true religion but obedience to the moral law . . Nothing can be virtue that is not just what the moral law demands. That is, nothing short of what it requires can be in any sense virtue . . Uses of the term justification . . Fundamentally important inquiries respecting this subject . . Remarks

LECTURE XVI. -- Moral Government--Continued.

What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Just rules of legal interpretation . . That actual knowledge is indispensable to moral obligation shown from scripture . . In the light of the above rules, inquire what is not implied in entire obedience to the law of God

LECTURE XVII. -- Moral Government--Continued.

What is implied in obedience to the moral law . . Call attention to certain facts in mental philosophy, as they are revealed in consciousness . . Point out the attributes of that love which constitutes obedience to the law of God . . Voluntariness . . Liberty . . Intelligence . . Virtuousness . . Disinterestedness . . Impartiality . . Universality

LECTURE XVIII. -- Attributes of Love.

Efficiency . . Penitence . . Faith . . Complacency

LECTURE XIX. -- Attributes of Love--Continued.

Opposition to Sin . . Compassion

LECTURE XX. -- Attributes of Love--Continued.

Mercy . . Justice . . Veracity

LECTURE XXI. -- Attributes of Love--Continued.

Patience . . Meekness . . Long-suffering . . Humility

LECTURE XXII. -- Attributes of Love--Continued.

Self-denial . . Condescension . . Candour . . Stability . . Kindness . . Severity

LECTURE XXIII. -- Attributes of Love--Continued.

Holiness, or Purity . . Modesty . . Sobriety . . Sincerity . . Zeal . . Unity . . Simplicity

LECTURE XXIV. -- Attributes of Love--Continued.

Gratitude . . Wisdom . . Grace . . Economy

LECTURE XXV. -- Moral Government.

Revert to some points that have been settled . . Show what disobedience to moral law cannot consist in . . What disobedience to moral law must consist in

LECTURE XXVI. -- Moral Government.

What constitutes disobedience . . What is not implied in disobedience to the law of God

LECTURE XXVII. -- Attributes of Selfishness.

What constitutes disobedience to moral law . . What is implied in disobedience to moral law . . Attributes of Selfishness. Voluntariness . . Liberty . . Intelligence . . Unreasonableness . . Interestedness . . Partiality . . Impenitence . . Unbelief

LECTURE XXVIII. -- Attributes of Selfishness--Continued.

Efficiency . . Opposition to benevolence or to virtue . . Cruelty . . Injustice

LECTURE XXIX. -- Attributes of Selfishness--Continued.

Oppression . . Hostility . . Unmercifulness . . Falsehood, or lying . . Pride

LECTURE XXX. -- Attributes of Selfishness--Continued.

Enmity . . Madness . . Impatience . . Intemperance . . Moral recklessness . . Unity

LECTURE XXXI. -- Attributes of Selfishness--Continued.

Egotism . . Simplicity . . Total moral depravity implied in selfishness as one of its attributes . . The scriptures assume and affirm it . . Remarks

LECTURE XXXII. -- Moral Government--Continued.

A return to obedience to moral law is and must be, under every dispensation of the divine government, the unalterable condition of salvation . . Under a gracious dispensation, a return to full obedience to moral law is not dispensed with as a condition of salvation, but this obedience is secured by the indwelling spirit of Christ received by faith to reign in the heart

LECTURE XXXIII. -- Moral Government--Continued.

What constitutes the sanctions of law . . There can be no law without sanctions . . In what light sanctions are to be regarded . . The end to be secured by law, and the execution of penal sanctions . . By what rule sanctions ought to be graduated . . God's law has sanctions . . What constitutes the remuneratory sanctions of the law of God . . The perfection and duration of the remuneratory sanctions of the law of God . . What constitutes the vindicatory sanctions of the law of God . . Duration of the penal sanctions of the law of God . . Inquire into the meaning of the term infinite . . Infinites may differ indefinitely in amount . . I must remind you of the rule by which degrees of guilt are to be estimated . . That all and every sin must from its very nature involve infinite guilt in the sense of deserving endless punishment . . Notwithstanding all sin deserves endless punishment, yet the guilt of different persons may vary indefinitely, and punishment, although always endless in duration, may and ought to vary in degree, according to the guilt of each individual . . That penal inflictions under the government of God must be endless . . Examine this question in the light of revelation

LECTURE XXXIV. -- Atonement.

I will call attention to several well established governmental principles . . Define the term atonement . . I am to inquire into the teachings of natural theology, or into the à priori affirmations of reason upon this subject . . The fact of atonement . . The design of the atonement . . Christ's obedience to the moral law as a covenant of works, did not constitute the atonement . . The atonement was not a commercial transaction . . The atonement of Christ was intended as a satisfaction of public justice . . His taking human nature, and obeying unto death, under such circumstances, constituted a good reason for our being treated as righteous

LECTURE XXXV. -- Extent of Atonement.

For whose benefit the atonement was intended . . Objections answered . . Remarks on the atonement

LECTURE XXXVI. -- Human Government.

The ultimate end of God in creation . . Providential and moral governments are indispensable means of securing the highest good of the universe . . Civil and family governments are indispensable to the securing of this end, and are therefore really a part of the providential and moral government of God . . Human governments are a necessity of human nature . . This necessity will continue as long as human beings exist in this world . . Human governments are plainly recognized in the Bible as a part of the moral government of God . . It is the duty of all men to aid in the establishment and support of human government . . It is absurd to suppose that human governments can ever be dispensed with in the present world . . Objections answered . . Inquire into the foundation of the right of human governments . . Point out the limits or boundary of this right

LECTURE XXXVII. -- Human Governments--Continued.

The reasons why God has made no form of civil government universally obligatory . . The particular forms of state government must and will depend upon the virtue and intelligence of the people . . That form of government is obligatory, that is best suited to meet the necessities of the people . . Revolutions become necessary and obligatory, when the virtue and intelligence or the vice and ignorance of the people demand them . . In what cases human legislation is valid, and in what cases it is null and void . . In what cases we are bound to disobey human governments . . Apply the foregoing principles to the rights and duties of governments and subjects in relation to the execution of the necessary penalties of law

LECTURE XXXVIII. -- Moral Depravity.

Definition of the term depravity . . Point out the distinction between physical and moral depravity . . Of what physical depravity can be predicated . . Of what moral depravity can be predicated . . Mankind are both physically and morally depraved . . Subsequent to the commencement of moral agency and previous to regeneration the moral depravity of mankind is universal . . The moral depravity of the unregenerate moral agents of our race, is total

LECTURE XXXIX. -- Moral Depravity--Continued.

Proper method of accounting for the universal and total moral depravity of the unregenerate moral agents of our race . . Moral depravity consists in selfishness, or in the choice of self-interest, self-gratification, or self-indulgence, as an end . . Dr. Wood's view of physical and moral depravity examined . . Standards of the Presbyterian Church examined

LECTURE XL. -- Moral Depravity--Continued.

Further examination of the arguments adduced in support of the position that human nature is in itself sinful

LECTURE XLI. -- Moral Depravity--Continued.

The proper method of accounting for moral depravity . . Pres. Edwards's views examined . . Summary of the truth on this subject . . Remarks

LECTURE XLII. -- Regeneration.

The common distinction between regeneration and conversion . . I am to state the assigned reasons for this distinction . . I am to state the objections to this distinction . . What regeneration is not . . What regeneration is . . The universal necessity of regeneration . . Agencies employed in regeneration . . Instrumentalities employed in the work . . In regeneration the subject is both passive and active . . What is implied in regeneration

LECTURE XLIII. -- Regeneration--Continued.

Philosophical theories of regeneration . . The different theories of regeneration examined . . Objections to the taste scheme . . The divine efficiency scheme . . Objections to the divine efficiency . . The susceptibility scheme . . Theory of a divine moral suasion . . Objections to this theory . . Remarks

LECTURE XLIV. -- Regeneration--Continued.

Evidences of regeneration . . Introductory remarks . . Wherein the experience and outward life of saints and sinners may agree . . Remarks

LECTURE XLV. -- Regeneration--Continued.

Wherein saints and sinners or deceived professors must differ

LECTURE XLVI. -- Regeneration--Continued.

In what saints and sinners differ . . What is it to overcome the world? . . Who are those that overcome the world? . . Why do believers overcome the world?

LECTURE XLVII. -- Regeneration--Continued.

Wherein saints and sinners differ

LECTURE XLVIII. -- Natural Ability.

Show what is the Edwardean notion of ability . . This natural ability is no ability at all . . What, according to this school, constitutes natural inability . . This natural inability is no inability at all . . Natural ability is identical with freedom or liberty of will . . The human will is free, therefore men have ability to do all their duty

LECTURE XLIX. -- Moral Ability.

What constitutes moral inability according to the Edwardean school . . Their moral inability consists in real disobedience, and a natural inability to obey . . This pretended distinction between natural and moral inability is nonsensical . . What constitutes moral ability according to this school . . Their moral ability to obey God is nothing else than real obedience, and a natural inability to disobey

LECTURE L. -- Inability.

What is thought to be the fundamental error of the Edwardean school on the subject of ability . . State the philosophy of the scheme of inability about to be considered . . The claims of this philosophy

LECTURE LI. -- Gracious Ability.

What is intended by the term . . This doctrine as held is an absurdity . . In what sense a gracious ability is possible

LECTURE LII. -- The Notion of Inability.

Proper mode of accounting for it

LECTURE LIII.

[There is no Lecture LIII in the printed book. The lectures are incorrectly numbered. In the Contents of the printed book, the next five lectures are numbered LIII-LVII. Then there are two entries for 'Entire sanctification is attainable in this life' numbered LVIII and LIX.]

LECTURE LIV. -- Repentance and Impenitence.

What repentance is not, and what it is . . What is implied in it . . What impenitence is not . . What it is . . Some things that are implied in it . . Some evidences of it

LECTURE LV. -- Faith and Unbelief.

What evangelical faith is not . . What it is . . What is implied in it . . What unbelief is not . . What it is,--What is implied in it . . Conditions of both faith and unbelief . . The guilt and desert of unbelief . . Natural and governmental consequences of both faith and unbelief

LECTURE LVI. -- Justification.

What justification is not . . What it is . . Conditions of gospel justification

LECTURE LVII. -- Sanctification.

An account of the recent discussions that have been had on this subject

LECTURE LVIII. -- Sanctification.

Remind you of some points that have been settled in this course of study . . Definition of the principal terms to be used in this discussion

LECTURE LIX. -- Sanctification.

Entire sanctification is attainable in this life

LECTURE LX. -- Sanctification.

Bible argument

LECTURE LXI. -- Sanctification.

Paul entirely sanctified

LECTURE LXII. -- Sanctification.

Condition of its attainment

LECTURE LXIII. -- Sanctification.

Condition of its attainment--continued . . Relations of Christ to the believer

LECTURE LXIV. -- Sanctification.

Relations of Christ to the believer--continued

LECTURE LXV. -- Sanctification.

Relations of Christ to the believer--continued

LECTURE LXVI. -- Sanctification.

Relations of Christ to the believer--continued

LECTURE LXVII. -- Sanctification.

Relations of Christ to the believer--continued

LECTURE LXVIII. -- Sanctification.

Objections answered

LECTURE LXIX. -- Sanctification.

Tendency of the denial that Christians have valid grounds of hope that they should obtain a victory over sin in this life

LECTURE LXX. -- Sanctification.

Objections--continued

LECTURE LXXI. -- Sanctification.

Objections--continued

LECTURE LXXII. -- Sanctification.

Objections--continued

LECTURE LXXIII. -- Sanctification.

Remarks

LECTURE LXXIV.

Election

LECTURE LXXV.

Reprobation

LECTURE LXXVI.

Divine Sovereignty

LECTURE LXXVII.

Purposes of God

LECTURE LXXVIII. -- Perseverance of Saints.

Notice the different kinds of certainty . . What is not intended by the perseverance of the saints

LECTURE LXXIX.

Perseverance of Saints proved

LECTURE LXXX. -- Perseverance of Saints.

Further objections considered

LECTURE LXXXI. -- Perseverance of Saints.

Consideration of principal arguments in support of the doctrine

LECTURE LXXXII. -- Perseverance of Saints.

Perseverance proved

[In the Contents of the printed book, there is no entry for Lecture LXXXIII.]

LECTURE LXXXIII. -- Perseverance of Saints.

Further objections answered

APPENDIX.

Reply to "Princeton Biblical Repertory" . . Reply to Dr. Duffield