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Skeletons of a Course of
Theological Lectures

By Charles G. Finney

Lecture XXII.

Moral Government.--No. 1.



First. Define Moral Government.

1. Moral Government, when opposed to physical, is the government of mind in opposition to the government of matter.

2. It is a government of motive or moral suasion, in opposition to a government of force.

3. Moral Government is the influence of moral considerations over the minds of moral agents.

4. Moral Government, in its most extensive sense, includes the whole influence of God's character as revealed in his works, providence, and word, over the universe of moral beings. It includes whatever influence God exerts to control the minds of moral agents, in conformity with the eternal principles of righteousness.

Second. Show what is implied in Moral Government.

1. Moral Government cannot be an end, but a means; and therefore implies and end, to which it sustains the relation of a means.

2. All rightful Moral Government implies that the end to which it sustains the relation of a means is good.

3. Rightful Moral Government implies the mutual dependence of both the ruler and the subject upon this means for the promotion of the desired end.

4. Moral Government, therefore, implies a necessity for its existence.

5. It implies that both the ruler and the ruled are moral agents.

6. It implies the existence of moral law.

7. It implies that both the ruler and the ruled are under a moral obligation, to obey the law, so far as it is applicable to the circumstances of each.

8. It implies the existence of a ruler who has a right to enforce moral obligation.

9. It implies that the ruler is under moral obligation to do this.