AFFECTIONS AND EMOTIONS OF GOD

SERMON BY CHARLES FINNEY

Text. Hosea, 11:8.--"How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? my heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together."

 

In discoursing upon this text I design to show,

I. THAT GOD IS A MORAL AGENT.

II. THAT HE REALLY EXERCISES ALL THE AFFECTIONS AND EMOTIONS ASCRIBED TO HIM IN THE BIBLE.

III. THAT IT IS A REAL AND GREAT GRIEF TO HIM TO ABANDON SINNERS TO DEATH.

IV. THAT THEY REALLY COMPEL HIM TO DO SO.

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How to Promote a Revival

"Break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness upon you." - Hosea 10:12.

The Jews were a nation of farmers, and it is therefore a common thing in the Scriptures to refer for illustrations to their occupation, and to the scenes with which farmers and shepherds are familiar. The prophet Hosea addresses them as a nation of backsliders; he reproves them for their idolatry, and threatens them with the judgments of God. I have shown in my first Lecture what a revival is not, what it is, and what are the agencies to be employed in promoting it; and in my second, when it is needed, its importance, and when it may be expected. My design in this Lecture is to show how a revival is to be promoted.

A revival consists of two parts: as it respects the Church, and as it respects the ungodly. I shall speak on this occasion of a revival in the Church. Fallow ground is ground which has once been tilled, but which now lies waste, and needs to be broken up and mellowed, before it is suited to receive grain. I shall show, as it respects a revival in the Church:

I. What it is to break up the fallow ground, in the sense of the text.

II. How it is to be performed.

I. WHAT IS IT TO BREAK UP THE FALLOW GROUND?

To break up the fallow ground is to break up your hearts, to prepare your minds to bring forth fruit unto God. The mind of man is often compared in the Bible to ground, and the Word of God to seed sown therein, the fruit representing the actions and affections of those who receive it. To break up the fallow ground, therefore, is to bring the mind into such a state that it is fitted to receive the Word of God. Sometimes your hearts get matted down, hard and dry, till there is no such thing as getting fruit from them till they are broken up, and mellowed down, and fitted to receive the Word. It is this softening of the heart, so as to make it feel the truth, which the prophet calls breaking up your fallow ground.

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Selfishness

Text.-- Hosea 10:1 : " Israel is an empty vine; he bringeth forth fruit unto himself ."

In this passage the Lord complains of the selfishness of Israel; and it is my present design to show,

I. What selfishness is not. 
  
II. What it is. 
  
III. That it cannot co-exist with holiness in the same mind. 
  
IV. Mention some evidences of selfishness. 
  
V. That one form of it is as inconsistent with salvation as another.

I. What selfishness is not.

1. It is not a desire of happiness, and dread of misery. This is perfectly constitutional in all moral beings. It is involuntary as we know by consciousness, and is, therefore, destitute of all moral character. 
  
2. It is not the desire of approbation. This desire, to whatever degree it may exist, so far forth as it is mere desire, is constitutional, involuntary, and without moral character. 
  
3. It does not consist in the desire of any personal good, nor in the dread of any personal evil. These are perfectly natural, and have no character. 

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