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Memoirs of Elder J. N. Hall


The Work of the Spirit in the Salvation of the Sinner
By J. N. Hall


      The Scriptures teach, that in the conver­sion of sinners, there is a distinct, (from the writ­ten or spoken word) personal, (the Spirit himself acting) power of the Holy Spirit, on the sinner's heart.

Hall's First Speech.

      Mr. President, Brethren Moderators, Ladies and Gentlemen: —       I have a peculiar pleasure in coming before you this morning, for the purpose of investigating the proposition that has just been read in your hearing. I realize the fact, that our Heavenly Father has been very kind to us, in sparing our lives, giving us a reasonable portion of health, and surrounding us with circumstances so favor­able to a presentation, and hearing of the distinc­tive doctrines held by the people, whom my friend and myself, are here to represent. It affords me pleasure to appear before you in support of this proposition, because I believe that it is true, — that it is the clear, plain, and emphatic teaching of God's word, and therefore ought to be most cor­dially believed.
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      It affords me pleasure, because we are to stand in the presence of a large and intelligent jury, who are fully capable of weighing the argu­ments presented by my friend and by myself, and of deciding in their own minds, which is correct. I trust that no one who is present this morning, will leave until the close of the discission, but that all will remain, and hear all the arguments which may be offered on both sides, so that you may be able to form a just, impartial and intelligent con­clusion as to what is the truth, in regard to this proposition. It will be premature on your part, to form an opinion on the merits or demerits of the question, before you have heard the conclusion of all the arguments that may be presented by my friend, or myself, for, or against, the proposition.

      The question before us is a vital one, and af­fects the very foundation, upon which the whole superstructure of the system of doctrines, as held by each of us, reposes.

      If my friend is able to show, that the proposi­tion I affirm is false, then the entire fabric of my system of belief, must inevitably fall; while on the other hand, if I maintain my proposition, and show that it is taught by God's word, then the whole system of doctrines, as held by my friend, and the people whom he represents, must be equally false, and must surely crumble into dust, for they are diametrically opposed to each other. I am also glad to meet a man, who is so able to support and defend the doctrines which he be­lieves, and who is the chosen representative of his people, to uphold their cause in this discussion. For we must remember, that neither my friend

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nor myself, appear before you, simply as the rep­resentatives of his own peculiar notions and ideas, as to what the Scriptures teach respecting the question before us, but we each appear as the representative of the belief, and teaching of our res­pective brethren upon the subject under consider­ation. I am here as the representative of my brethren, to maintain and defend the truth of the proposition, that, 'The Scriptures teach, that in the conversion of sinner's, there is a distinct, (from the written or spoken word) personal, (the Spirit himself acting) power of the Holy Spirit, on the sinner's heart.'

     No doubt the reading of this proposition sounds somewhat strangely, when- read in your hearing, but it is on account of the definitions that are introduced to define, or explain the meaning of the terms. My friend, in our correspondence, (and that correspondence is here, and can be re­ferred to if necessary) refused to debate this pro­position, unless I would agree to insert these de­finitions. They are no part of the proposition it­self, and do not affect its meaning, but are merely thrown in as definitions, explanatory of the terms used, and the proposition would make complete sense, by leaving out these definitions, and would read:

     "The Scriptures teach, that in the conversion of sinners, there is a distinct, personal power of the Holy Spirit on the sinner's heart."

      That is the proposition as it stands, without those explanatory definitions, and that is the pro­position I am here to affirm. My friend denies it.

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You are to be the judge, as to which one of us, maintains his proposition.

      By the term "The Scriptures," I mean the ac­cepted word of God, the revealed, or written word. as contained in the Old and New Testaments.

      I define the word "conversion," to mean that change that is made in passing from a state of nature, to a state of grace, including every exer­cise of the sinner's mind, or heart, from the con­viction for sin, to the adoption into the heavenly family. Webster says: — "Conversion is a radical change of moral character; a change from the service of the world, to the service of God; a change of the ruling of the disposition of the soul, and the appropriate effect in transforming the outward life."

      I define the word "power," to mean ability to put forth action; an influence exerted; strength, force, energy in action; the employment of strength; the exercise of any kind of control; in­fluence; dominion; sway.

      By the word "distinct," I mean that the writ­ten and spoken word may be, and is used as a means, but in addition to the means, and distinct from them, in themselves considered, the Spirit displays his power. To be distinct, is to be so sep­arated from the means, as not to be confounded with them, not liable to be misunderstood.

      The first proposition as read by President McCall, is as follows:

      The Scriptures teach, &c.
      By "personal," I mean that which belongs, or pertains to a person. It implies that the work of the Spirit in the conversion of sinners, is the work

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of a person, not a thing, an essence, or a mere influence. It means that the Holy Spirit as a per­son, is active in the work of saving men.

      The "Holy Spirit." I understand the God­head to be a trinity, composed of three divine per­sons, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit, and that this term represents the divine character of one of the three persons. The term Holy Spirit is the Scriptural name for the third Person in the Trinity.

      The word "heart" is used for the soul, and all the powers hereof; as the understanding con­science, will, affections, and memory. I get this definition from Buck's Theological Dictionary, and I trust my worthy opponent will be satisfied with the definition thus given.

      By the term "Sinner's heart," I mean the heart of man, who has never been reconciled to God, by the death of Jesus Christ — an unsaved man.

      Now, I have defined my proposition so clearly that the least intelligent man in the congregation, cannot fail to understand it. Nor can any one fail to understand the issue between my friend and myself. I think I have made both so plain, that no one who has attended to what I have said, can fail to fully understand my position and the position of my friend.

      My proposition does not deny the use of means on God's part, to accomplish his purpose, and while I claim that the Holy Spirit can and does operate on the heart of the sinner, without means, and above all means, I do not ignore t

      he fact that He uses means. I believe in the use of

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all the means, which God has appointed for the conversion of the sinner. I believe in a preached Gospel, a living ministry and a witnessing Church, I believe that the "gospel is the power of God unto salvation, to everyone that believeth," and that "it hath pleased God by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe." I believe that God has called men by His Spirit, and has sent them forth to proclaim the "unsearchable riches of Christ." "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos,but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?" I believe that Jesus Christ has established his church, or king­dom here on earth, and has given to it doctrines, and ordinances which are to be commemorated until "He shall come again," and his doctrines, or­dinances and teachings are embodied in his writ­ten word, and that, not beyond, or without them, but in conjunction with them; there is a distinct personal power of the Holy Spirit.

      My proposition does not assert that the work of the Spirit is distinct from the written or spoken word, in the sense that he saves men, when there is no knowledge of Christ. But rather, it asserts that the work of the Spirit is in addition to the means used. This work of the Spirit may reach the sinner through the instrumentality of means, but its power is distinct from the power of means.

      As an Illustration of this power, I call your attention to Deuteronomy first chapter, and from the 41st to the 45th verses, inclusive: "Then ye answered and said unto me, We have sinned against the Lord, we will go up and fight accord­ing to all that the Lord our God commanded us.

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And when ye had girded on every man his weap­ons of war," — here are the means they were to use, — "ye were ready to go up into the hill. And the Lord said unto me, say unto them, Go not up, neither fight;" — Why? they had all the means neccessary? — "for I am not among you" — here was the reason, they had the means, but they lacked the power that was necessary to make the means effectual, God was not among them, — "Go not up, neither fight; for I am not among you; lest ye be smitten before your enemies. So I spake unto you; and ye would not hear, but rebelled against the commandment of the Lord, and went presumptiously up into the hill," — Here is a man that says that means are all that is necessary for the accomplishment of God's work; but his word says it is "presumpton." — "And the Armorites, which dwelt in that mountain, came out against you, and chased you, as bees do, and destroyed you in Seir, even unto Homah. And yet ye returned and wept before the Lord; but the Lord would not hearken to your voice nor give ear unto you." — Such was their presumption, going to battle, depending on means only.

      Again, Deuteronomy, 20th chapter, 1st to 4th verses": When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them." Why should they not be afraid of a people more than them, and better armed? "for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall ap­proach and speak unto the people, and shall say

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unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies; let not your hearts faint; fear not and tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them." Why not? "For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you, against your enemies, to save you." I quote these passages simply as illustrations of the kind of power that is used, and to show that the power is distinct from the means, while it works with and through the means. I and my brethren believe and teach that in the conversion of the sin­ner, God uses means, yet there is a power, called the power of the Holy Spirit, which is distinct from the means, yet works through the means. My friend contradicts this, and says there is no such power, and that it is all effected by the means — that all the power there is, is incorporated in the means themselves. I suppose he will not deny this, for it is the teaching of the leading preachers of the Current Reformation, and he will remember that while I am not here to present my own pecu­liar notions, but as the representative of the doc­trines held and taught by my brethren, he also stands as the representative of his brethren, and of course as I do not know what position he may take until he replies, and in the absence of any arguments direct from him, I must suppose him to be in sufficient harmony with his brethren of the Reformation, as to indorse their teachings, at least those of them who are acknowledged leaders of his denomination, such as Mr. Campbell, Mr. Lard, Mr. Sweeny, etc. They declare that there is no such distinct power.

      Let us hear what Mr. Campbell says upon the

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subject, and I suppose he will be accepted as good authority by my friend, since he is the founder of the distinctive doctrines, which characterize his denomination, and distinguish them from all otfter people. In his Christian System, page 267, he says, "All that is done in us before regeneration, God our Father, effects by the Word, or gospel as dictated and confirmed by the Holy Spirit."

      In his Millennial Harbinger, vol. 1, page 294, he says: "And when we think of the power of the Spirit of God exerted upon minds, or human spir­its, it is impossible for us to imagine that that power can consist in ANYTHING ELSE but WORDS, or ARGUMENTS." Again, Millennial Harbinger, vol. 2, page 295, he says, "As the spirit of man puts forth all its moral power in the words which it fills with its ideas, so the Spirit of God puts forth all its converting and sanctifying power in the words which it fills with its ideas."

      In Millennial Harbinger, vol. 2, page 297, and in Christianity Restored, page 362, he says, "All the moral power of God or of man, is exhibited in the truth which they propose. Therefore, we say, that if the light or the truth contain all the moral power of God, then the truth alone is all that is necessary to the conversion of men."

      Again, in Christianity Restored, page 350, "If the New and Old Testaments contain all the arguments which can be offered to reconcile man to God, and to purify them who fire reconciled, then all the power of the Holy Spirit which can operate on the human mind IS SPENT; and he that is not sanctified and saved by these, can not

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be saved by angels or spirits, HUMAN or DIVINE."

      I introduce another witness, Mr. Sweeny, who is one of the ablest defenders of the doctrines of the Current Reformation they have ever had. In the Sweeny and Crawford Debate, page 124, he said, "Let it be borne in mind that I believe the Divine power of the Holy Spirit overcomes the enmity of the human heart, by acting upon it through the medium of Divine Truth. That's my position. I contend for the SUFFICIENCY, there­fore, of the TRUTH to ACCOMPLISH the CONVER­SION of SINNERS."

      I introduce the testimony of another witness, Mr. Moses E. Lard, than whom there is not a fairer, clearer, or more candid and able writer among the people my friend represents, and he says, in Lard's Review of Campbellism Examined, page 83, "But what do we mean when we say, the Spirit operates through the truth? We mean that it operates by the truth; that is, that the di­vine truth is itself the vital power by which, in all cases, the Spirit effects conversion; in other words, that the Spirit spends on the mind of the sinner in conversion no influence except such as RESIDES in the truth as divine, as of the Spirit. And we shall further add, that neither in quantity nor in force, do we conceive that this influence can be increased and the human will be left free."

      Will you hear Mr. Lard? He says, that "there is NO nifluence of the Spirit on the mind of the sinner in conversion, except such as resides in the truth."

      Again, Mr. Lard states his proposition in his

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book, "Review of Campbellism Examined," thus, "The Holy Spirit operates in conversion through the truth only." What do you mean, Mr. Lard, when you and your people say, "The Spirit oper­ates through the truth?" Why, "we mean that it operates by the truth; I mean that truth oper­ates; that divine truth is itself the vital power, by which in all cases the Spirit effects conversion." Does the Holy Spirit use any other means, or in­strumentalities in conversion? No! "for the Holy Spirit operates in conversion through the truth only!" says Mr. Laird.

      Mr. Campbell's affirmative proposition, in the Rice-Campbell Debate reads as follows, "In con­version and sanctification, the Spirit of God op­erates on persons only through the word."

      Mr. Briney said in his debate with Brother Moody, of the Baptist Gleaner, last summer, "The personal power of the Spirit is not present with the word, in the conversion of the sinner," Again, he said, "The Scriptures teach that the gospel is sufficient for the conversion and sanctification of sinners." Mr. Briney here says in effect, that "I deny that there is any personal power of the Holy Spirit exerted upon the sinner's heart in conversion."

      Now, this is the position of my friend, or at least the position of the leading preachers and writers among the people whom he is here to rep­resent. Of course he may not indorse the doc­trines of his people, and thus escape the conse­quences of such a position, but that these are the doctrines of the Current Reformation, I have al­ready proven, and if necessary can bring additional

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proof to the same effect; and these are the doc­trines I am here to deny, and we have only to, wait and see, until my friend makes his first speech, to find out whether he indorses his brethren, whom he has apeared before you to represent, and to see whether he will take a position similar to that of his brethren upon this subject. Of course, he can refuse to indorse his brethren if he so pleases, and ignore their teachings, but that is his busi­ness and we will wait and see what his position is.

      I now address my self more fully to the sub­ject. I think the issue is clear cut between us, and amounts to just this: that in the conversion of the sinner, God works, and God does not work. I know there are a class of Scriptures, which taken by themselves and without reference to any other part of God's word, that seem to teach that the Spirit alone does the work. But there is another class of Scriptures which occupy a "golden mean" between the two, and which, when taken in all their bearings and relations completely harmonize God's word, and these Scriptures teach the doc­trine which I believe and teach, that it is not by the Word alone, or by the Spirit alone, but that it by both the Spirit and the Word, in conjunction with each other, each performing the work as­signed to each in the conversion of the sinner.

      The parable of the sower is a striking illustra­tion of these different classes. We are taught in this parable that the seed is the word of God.

      Now, suppose we are riding along the road, and I we come across a man in the woods sowing seed. Here he is, sowing the seed broadcast among the trees and bushes, and around over the logs and

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stumps, and brush — anywhere and everywhere sowing his seed. We.ride up and ask that man what he is doing? "Oh," says he, "I am sowing wheat!" "Sowing wheat?" we ask in astonishment, "why you don't expect to get a crop, do you, sowing around the logs and brush,?" etc "Why, yes, sir," says the man." This is a new kind of seed. You see there is a peculiar power in this seed that will clear up the ground, remove the logs, and trees, and brush, and break up the ground, and produce an abundant harvest. This is a splendid kind of seed, sir." (Laughter.) This is the man who believes that all the power is in the Word alone. But here is another man who goes to work and prepares the ground, and gets it in good condition for sowing, and then goes to his home, folds his arms, and sits quietly down, and expects a harvest. You ask him, "What he has prepared his ground for?" He says, that he "expects to raise a crop of wheat." "Well my friend, you have got your ground in mighty fine condition for sowing, and if you will plant the seed, you may expect a good harvest." "Oh," he says, "I don't need to sow any seed on this ground, it has a peculiar power or element in it, that all you have to do is to get it good condition, and it will produce an excellent harvest without sowing any seed on it at all." This is the man that be­lieves that all the power is in the Spirit alone, and that all a man has to do is to fold his arms, and in God's good time, he will do the work.

      Now, I am going to admit all the power God has placed in his Word, yet I believe that that power is exerted on the sinner's mind and heart,

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through the personal influence of the Holy Spirit. I do not believe that power is in the Word alone, or that it is in the Spirit alone,without the use of any other means whatever, but I believe that "God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through the sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth." Not one alone, without the other, but both together. We cannot lay stress on one, and exclude the other.

      My first argument in support of the proposi­tion is based on the fact, that MAN IN AN UNREGENERATED STATE, WILL NOT ACCEPT THE WORD OF GOD, WITHOUT THE DISTINCT INFLUENCE OF THE SPIRIT.

      I sub-divide this argument into two parts,
FIRST. The metaphorical allusions to man's condition, and,

      SECOND. The specific statements of Scripture showing man's condition.

      Under the head of "Metaphorical Allusions," the Scriptures represent the unregenerate man as being blind. In 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, we read: "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." Here we are taught they are blinded by the god of this world. In Ephesians 4:17-19, we find this language: "This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God,

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through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; Who being past feel­ing, have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness." Here the blindness of their hearts is said to be the cause of their alienation.

      In 1 John 2:11, we read: "But he that hateth his brother is in darkness and knoweth not whith­er he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes." Here we are told that the darkness of sin blinds the eyes of the sinner. From these, and other passages which we might quote, we are taught that man is spiritually blind. His inability to perceive the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and to see, and realize his own spiritual sight. Now sup­pose you have a boy who is blind. You take him to an occulist for treatment. He makes the boy sit down, and he proceeds to make a careful ex­amination of his eyes. When this examination is through, you ask the occulist, if he thinks he can cure him. "Oh, yes," says the doctor, "I can cure him easy enough, I know just what is the matter with his eyes,' and he takes a seat by the boy and proceeds to dilate upon the pleasure and happiness of seeing. He expatiates upon the beau­ties of nature, and shows him how light falls upon the retina, bearing with it. the images of beauty around us, and how it passes along the optic nerve to the brain, and produces the sensation of sight. He explains to the boy how he has lost this by the disease that has affected his eyes, and tells him that when this disease is removed that he will be able to see, and appreciate all the beauties of nature around him. After he has explained the

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nature of his disease fully, and has explained to him thoroughly the whole process of seeing, he asks him if he understands it all. "Oh, yes," says the boy, "I understand it very well." "Well then, SEE!" the doctor suddenly cries. "But I can't see; I am blind!" the boy replies, "open my eyes! apply your remedy! restore my sight! and then I can obey your command!"

      If it is absurd to suppose that a man physi­cally blind, could receive his sight, simply by hear­ing an occulist lecture upon the beauties of na­ture, and the process of seeing, it is equally ab­surd to suppose that a man can receive spiritual sight, merely by hearing a preacher explain the fall of man, and the process of his restoration, without any other power being exerted, except that which is in the written or spoken word. In Psalms 119:18 David realized his spiritual blind­ness, and he appealed to the proper source for re­lief. He cries, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." I tell you that if we would have this spiritual cataract removed, we must apply to the spiritual physician.

      In the second place, the Scriptures represent man as a CAPTIVE.

      In Isaiah 61:1 we read: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath annointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind' up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;" That this language does not refer to Jewish captivity, but does refer to spiritual bondage, and liberation ef­fected through the meditation of Christ, is shown

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by the fact, that our Saviour quoted this language, and applied it to himself, as recorded in Luke 4:18 and he was not merely to proclaim liberty, but also to open the prison to them that were bound. Again, in Isaiah 42:6-7, "I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light to the gentiles; to open the blind eys, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house." He is not merely to tell them of liberty, but he is to bring them out. In 2 Timothy 2:24-26, we find this language: "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle to all men, apt to teach, patient; in meekness instructing those who oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." Here we are taught that it is God that gives them repentance, which enables them to recover themselves. Thus we see that man is a captive, that he is taken captive by Satan at his will. Here is a man who is confined in a dungeon. You go to him, and tell him what a glorious thing it is to enjoy liberty. You tell him that it is the most delightful thing in this world to breathe the free air of heaven, and to be able to go where and when you please, to stay as long as you please, and to return when you please. You ask him why he does not come forth and enjoy alt this. He answers, "I cannot; I am bound! I am confined by this chain. If you will knock off these manacles and these chains I will gladly come forth
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but until you do this, it is perfectly useless, nay, it is absolute mockery, to come and tell me about the blessings of liberty." So it is with the man who is a spiritual captive. It is useless to pro­claim liberty to him, unless there is a power to break the bondage in which he is confined by Sa­tan, who is the "strong man armed," and it re­quires a stronger than he, even the personal power of the Spirit of Christ, to open the prison doors and let the prison be free.

      In the next place we have man represented as being sick. Numerous Scriptures were quoted to show this. Now take the figure and apply it. A man is sick. He sends his son for a physician. Instead of going to see the sick man he simply diagnoses the case, the sick man says this just what is the matter with me, and I know just how I came to get sick, I know the prescription, and a knowledge of all this, is all that is necessary. I believe the doctor, knows all about my case, and now all I have to do is to be quiet, and I shall soon be restored to prefect health."

      Now, the sinner is represented as being sick, and he not only needs to be informed of the na­ture of his disease, and that there is a remedy, but that remedy must be actually applied, else all his knowledge will never do him any good. Jesus Christ is the great physician, and his blood is the remedy, and that blood must be applied to the sin­ner's heart, to cleanse and purify it from sin, ere he can be restored to spiritual health. And as this is a spiritual work, it must require spiritual agency and power.

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      The Scriptures also represent man as being spiritually dead. In Ephesians 5:14, we read: "Wherefore he saith, awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." Romans 6:13: "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." Colossians 2:13: "And you, being dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses." John 5:25: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God;and they that hear shall live." In 2 Corinthians 5:14,15; 1 Peter 4:6, and Ephesians 2:1-7, we are taught that the unregenerate man is dead in trespass and sins.

      Now my friend may attach whatever mean­ing he pleases; to this idea of death, he may be wholly dead, or partly dead, but whatever inter­pretation he may place upon it, he cannot divest it of its real meaning. Death is the absence of life. A man who is dead is not alive, and so long as he has the least particle of life, in him, he is not dead. But when a man is dead, he is dead, he's got no life in him. Suppose you go and preach to a man who is dead, will your preaching do any good, unless there is some divine power to ac­company your words? Would this simple preach­ing of the prophet in the valley of dry bones, have accomplished anything had there been no exercise of divine power?

      You go and preach to these dry bones and

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see if they will live. It required something more than mere preaching to cause those dry bones to live. The prophet was commanded to go, and "Phophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. So I proph­esied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them above; but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, thus saith the Lord God: come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I proph­esied as he commanded," — here was the man preaching — here was the means employed, — "and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceeding great army." Here was God working—here was divine power displayed — a power distinct from the word — dis­tinct from the preaching, yet acompanying it, so that those dry bones became alive — an exceeding great army.

      What good would the preaching or the prophesying have done, had not God accompanied it with his divine power? There were some in the days of the apostles who thought that they could perform the same miracles that the apostles did, without this divine power, but they signally

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failed, and so must everyone fail, who attempts to raise dead sinners by his simple proclamation of the word, unless that word is accompanied by the distinct power of the Holy Spirit.

      My second argument under this head is: "The specific statements of Scripture show man's condition to be such that direct, distinct, spir­itual power is necessary for man's salvation.

      The Scriptures declare his very origin to be sinful. The Psalmist declares (Psalm 51:5), "Be­hold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." Again he says (Psalm 5.8:3-4), "The wickend are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear."

      In Genesis 8:21, he is said to be evil from his youth. "And the Lord said in his heart, I will not curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth." And in Genesis 6:5, it is,declared that God saw — he didn't hear it — that "God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart, was only evil continually." Not some im­aginations, but every imagination — not evil some­times and good at other times, but only evil con­tinually. From man's standpoint of observation, man's spiritual condition may not be so bad af­ter all, but let God look, and see, and tell us, just how it is. Psalm 14:2-3: "The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek

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God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." And God says in Jeremiah 17:9, that "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" And in Romans 3:9-18, God has given us a moral looking-glass, in which all men may behold their spiritual, or moral likeness.

      These Scriptures teach us that man is terri­bly wicked and sinful, and that it is utterly impos­sible for him to restore himself to the favor of God unless aided by the distinct, personal power of the Holy Spirit upon his heart.

      MY SECOND GENERAL ARGUMENT, is based on the prophetic promises of divine power in the salvation of men.

      In Deuteronomy 30:6, we read: "And the Lord thy God will sircumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live." Who is it that is to circumcise the heart? God does it. What is to be the result of this cir­cumcision? Why, they are to love God with all the heart and with all the soul, that they may live!


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[W. B. Barker, Memoirs of Elder J. N. Hall, 1907, pp. 225-246. This book was provided by Steve Lecrone, Burton, OH. — jrd]

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