Of the Doctrine of Morality in Its Relation to the Grace of Redemption

General Books, 2013 - 76 Seiten
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1887 edition. Excerpt: ... LECTURE III. THE CONSCIENCE. IN the previous lecture, the conscience was named only as one of the parts of the soul which go to make the nature of man. It must now be investigated and exhibited more in detail. It is the conscience which gives to our nature one of its distinguishing marks. We define man as a moral being. It is this quality which makes him to be the being that he is. We ought, therefore, to have a very clear perception of its nature and of its functions. The moral nature of man is exhibited in the exercise of the conscience. If there was no conscience, there would be no moral nature. Man without the capacity to exercise this function might be a rational being, and all his actions then would be under the regulation of the reason as the highest and most important quality in his nature. But the capacity to exercise a conscience, and to have a "conscience void of offence toward God and toward man," implies that there is something higher in his nature than reason merely. There is a quality which elevates him above the character of a mere intellectual being, and which brings him into union with the divine. This character is designated the moral, and conformity of actions to that nature gives us a system of morality. The word had come fully into use when the New Testament was written, though it is somewhat remarkable that only St. Paul and St. Peter use it. St. John does not, unless we allow the genuineness of the first verses of the eighth chapter of his Gospel. But in the Old Testament it is heart, as the seat of the affections, which is considered the moral faculty. It is this word which St. John uses when he says, "If our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God" (i John iii. 21). But St. Paul makes constant...

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