What Saith the Scripture?


Phila delphia > "THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST" 1854 Lectures Index by Charles G. Finney

Voices From the
Church of Philadelphia

The Oberlin Evangelist

Charles G. Finney

1854 Index
Public Domain Texts

Official Publication of Oberlin College
Oberlin, Ohio

Sermons and Lectures
by Charles G. Finney,
president of Oberlin College
  Wisdom is justified.

Contents of the 1854 Lectures

"Converting Sinners A Christian Duty" ---New Window

Lecture I

I. Enquire into the true idea of a sinner. What constitutes a sinner?

II. What is conversion? What is it to "convert the sinner from the error of his ways?"

III. In what sense does man convert a sinner?

IV. We must next enquire into the kind of death of which the text speaks, "shall save a soul from death."

V. We now consider the importance of saving a soul from death.

VI. He who converts a sinner not only saves more misery, but confers more happiness than all the world has yet enjoyed, or even all the created universe.

"Christ Our Advocate with The Father" ---New Window

Lecture II

I. Explain the sense in which the term "advocate" is here used;

II. Show what is implied in the existence of this office;

III. Explain the essential qualifications of an advocate;

IV. State some of the conditions of his success.

"The Inner and The Outer Revelation" ---New Window

Lecture III

Probably no thoughtful man has ever read the Bible without noticing that there has been a previous revelation given in some way to man. It assumes many things as known already. I may have said in the hearing of some of you that I was studying in my law-office when I bought my first Bible, and that I bought it as one of my law-books. No sooner had I opened it than I was struck to see how many things it assumed as known, and therefore states with no attempt at proof. For instance, the first verse in the Bible--"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." This assumes the existence of God. It does not aim to prove this truth; it goes on the presumption that this revelation--the existence of a God--has been made already to all who are mature enough to understand it. The Apostle Paul also in his epistle to the Romans, asserts that the real Godhead and eternal power of the one God, though in some sense "invisible things," are yet "clearly seen," in the creation of the world, "being understood by the things that are made," so that all wicked men are without excuse. His doctrine is that the created universe reveals God. And if this be true of the universe without us, it is no less true of the universe within us. Our own minds--their convictions, their necessary affirmations--do truly reveal God and many of the great truths that respect our relations to Him and to his government.

"On Quenching The Spirit" ---New Window

Lecture IV

I. Show what it is to quench the Spirit;

II. How it is done;

III. Some of the consequences of doing it.

"What Men Highly Esteem, God Abhors" ---New Window

Lecture V
Text.--Luke 16:15: "Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men, is abomination in the sight of God."

Christ had just spoken the parable of the unjust steward, in which He presented the case of one who unjustly used the property of others entrusted to him, for the purpose of laying them under obligation to provide for himself after expulsion from his trust. Our Lord represents this conduct of the steward as being wise in the sense of forethoughtful and provident for self--a wisdom of the world, void of all morality. He uses the case to illustrate and recommend the using of wealth in such a way as to make friends for ourselves who at our death shall welcome us into everlasting habitations." Then going deeper, even to the bottom principle that should control us in all our use of wealth, He lays it down that no man can serve both God and Mammon. Rich and covetous men who were serving Mammon need not suppose they could serve God too at the same time. The service of the one is not to be reconciled with the service of the other.

"Variety in the Service Offered to God" ---New Window

Lecture VI

Among the people who profess to serve God are three distinct classes, distinguishable by obvious characteristics. It will be my present object to point out these classes and their distinctive marks.

I. The first class are bond-servants;

II. The next class may be called mercenaries;

III. The third and only acceptable class of servants are described in our text.

"License, Bondage and Liberty" ---New Window

Lecture VII

I. The spirit of license.

II. Some detail of those who have the spirit of bondage.

III. To consider the case of those who have the spirit of liberty.

"Living by Faith" ---New Window

Lecture VIII

I. I will first explain the sense in which all men live by faith; and

II. The sense in which the just live by faith.

"God's Commandments Not Grievous" ---New Window

Lecture IX

I. When a commandment may be said to be grievous.

II. When a commandment is not grievous.

III. I am next to consider in special the commandments of God, to see whether they can rightly be deemed grievous.

IV. What God's law does require.

"The Wages of Sin" ---New Window

Lecture X

I. Illustrate the nature of sin;

II. Specify some of the attributes of the penal sanctions of God's law;

III. Show what this penalty must be.

"The Wants of Man and Their Supply" ---New Window

Lecture XI

I. Man, in consciousness, is a wonderful being.

II. Man has also an intellectual nature.

III. Man has another side to his nature--the moral and spiritual department.

"Where Sin Occurs God Cannot Wisely Prevent It" ---New Window

Lecture XII

I. Sin is utterly inexcusable as to the sinner;

II. Then answer some objections, and conclude with remarks.

"The Ways of Sin Hard; Of Holiness, Pleasant" ---New Window

Lecture XIII

I. Enquire what true religion is;

II. What is implied in it;

III. What sin is;

IV. What a life of sin implies;

V. Show that religion is naturally easy and delightful;

VI. That on the contrary a course of sin is and must be, hard, oppressive, delusive and self-ruinous.

"The Indications and The Guilt of Backsliding" ---New Window

Lecture XIV

I. To show what lukewarmness is;

II. To present some unmistakable indications of this state of mind;

III. Show that it is a most guilty state;

IV. Explain the threatening--" I will spew thee out of my mouth;" and

V. Show that its folly is no less great than its sin.

"The Christian's Genuine Hope" ---New Window

Lecture XV
Text.--1 John 3:3: "Every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself even as He is pure."

The connection of this passage shows what its meaning must be. With admiring wonder the apostle calls our attention to that love bestowed on us by the Father in calling us sons of God. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called sons of God!" This is a present blessing. "Behold, now are we the sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." The thing known and present is our sonship -- that we are the sons of God; the thing future and not yet known pertains to what we shall be. This will come to light when Christ shall appear; because, then, seeing Christ as He is, we shall certainly, by the very laws of mind, and in accordance with the divine plan, be like Him. This is the thing we hope for. This precisely constitutes the Christian's hope -- that he shall see Christ as He is, and be eternally like Him.

"The Primitive Prayer-Meeting" ---New Window

Lecture XVI

I. The object of this prayer-meeting;

II. Its characteristics;

III. Its results.

  Wisdom is justified.

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  Wisdom is justified.


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