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THREE DISPENSATIONS IN HISTORY AND IN THE SOUL..pdf

THREE DISPENSATIONS IN HISTORY AND IN THE SOUL..pdf

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY F. D. HUNTINGTON, D. D.,

ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM
FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS. THE LAW WAS GIVEN BY MOSES ; BUT
GRACE AND TRUTH CAME BY JESUS CHRIST. Gal. ill. 6; John i. 17.
BY F. D. HUNTINGTON, D. D.,

ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM
FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS. THE LAW WAS GIVEN BY MOSES ; BUT
GRACE AND TRUTH CAME BY JESUS CHRIST. Gal. ill. 6; John i. 17.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Mar 24, 2014
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THREE DISPENSATIONS IN HISTORY AND IN THE SOUL. BY F. D. HUNTINGTON, D. D.,ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS. THE LAW WAS GIVEN BY MOSES ; BUT GRACE AND TRUTH CAME BY JESUS CHRIST. Gal. ill. 6; John i. 17. THE spiritual growth of mankind has proceeded through three great stages. Each of these has been marked by the evolution of one predominating element, or salient principle of religious action. On examina tion, we shall be able to discover an impressive corre spondence between these successive epochs in the his tory of humanity at large, and the process of life in a well-disciplined, Christianized individual. This analogy is so thickly set with points of interest, as well as so fruitful of practical suggestions touching right religious ideas, and right living, that I shall let it fix the form, and be the subject of the discourse. That subject is: The threefold discipline of our spiritual experience, as compared ivith the threefold order in the expanding nurture of the human family. The three Biblical Dispensations are types of three great principles of conduct, or rather three schools of religious culture, under which we must pass as persons,
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 just as the race has passed in history, before we can be 64 THREE DISPENSATIONS. built up into the symmetrical stature of a Christian maturity. I. First, was the dispensation of natural religious feeling. The race was in childhood. It acted from im pulse. It obeyed no written code of moral regulations, but, so far as its life was right, it either followed some free religious instincts, or else depended on direct inti mations from the Deity, directing or forbidding each specific deed. The man chosen as the representative of this period was Abraham. The record of it is the book of Genesis. That writing is the first grand chapter in the biography of man ; and its very literary structure so dramatic in contents, and so lyrical in expression, so careless in the rules of art, so abounding in personal de tails and graphic groupings of incident, so like a child s story in its sublime simplicity answers to the spon taneous period it pictures. " The patriarchal age " we call it. The term itself intimates rude, unorganized politics ; the head of each family being the legislator for
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his tribe. But, in the absence of systematic statutes, every man, by a liberty so large as to burst often into license, was likely to do very much what was right in his own eyes. If he had strong passions, he would be a sensualist, like Shechem, or a petty tyrant, like Laban. If he were constitutionally gentle, he would be an in offensive shepherd, like Lot. Such were the first two brothers. Cain s jealousy made him a murderer ; Abel was peaceable, kept sheep, and the only voice he lifted up against outrage was when his blood cried from the ground. Some of these nomadic people, having devout temperaments, " called upon the name of the Lord," we are told, like Enoch and Noah. Others were bloated giants, mighty men in animal propensities, gross and THREE DISPENSATIONS. 65 licentious, given to promiscuous marriages ; so that presently God saw that the wickedness was so great, and the imaginations of men s hearts were so evil, that he must wash the unclean earth with a deluge. But there was no permanent restraining power ; no fixed standard of judicial command ; and so, when the flood dried, the tide of sin set in again, streaked only with
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