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the Father. In the last parable, the parable of the prodigal son, and in the paragraph which was read as the one to be commented upon to-night, there are clearly presented certain fundamental doctrines of our Saviour, doctrines which he taught, doctrines which, if obeyed, lead the soul to eternal life. And the advantage of having them in this form is, that they are not here taught in the abstract, but are illustrated in life, an exemplification of the doctrines is presented so that you may look at them and clearly understand them, their necessity, their appropriateness and coincidence with reason as well as with the law of God.

You will also believe that he presents these doctrines not in their gracious cause in the mysterious and inscrutable work of the Spirit, but in their human aspects. The first doctrine taught is conviction of sin.

sin. You will observe that this prodigal son, as he is represented here, began to be in want. He saw the hopelessness and helplessness of his condition. In his mind he had reached the perishing point. “I perish here in want.” That part represents conviction of sin, when a man no longer relying upon himself, but recognizing the condition into which his own conduct has brought him, sees that his course is about to end in eternal death.

The next doctrine presented is the doctrine of repentance, where the mind changed toward God; when he says, “I will arise and go to my father, and

I will confess the sin of which I have been guilty.” Here is repentance illustrated. Repentance is a change of mind, a change of mind toward God, a change of mind toward God concerning sin. A man who has never sinned cannot repent in the Bible sense of that word. When a man sins, in his sin, in the act of it, his mind is at enmity against God, or he would not sin. He does not love God or he would not willfully transgress his law. In his heart he hates the government of God, or he would not trample the laws of that government under his feet. Now repentance is a change of mind in regard to sin toward the Father and is abundantly expressed here by the language, “I will arise and go to my father, and will say, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee."

Conversion or turning is represented by his doing what repentance resolves to do, when it is said " he arose and went.” Conversion means turning right about. It is that action of life which is induced by the internal change, by the change of mind; as it is expressed in the third chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, “Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.” Change your mind toward God and turn. Let the action correspond to the resolution. So he arose and went to his father."

Now, when he got to his father we come to another Bible doctrine, the doctrine of confession. Before this he had resolved in his mind to make the confession, and having turned about and forsaken his evil way, and gone back in a deep sense of humility and of consciousness of demerit, he does actually say to his father, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight and I am no more worthy to be called thy son.” Here, then, are these doctrines, conviction, repentance, conversion and confession, not abstractly taught, but exemplified in the action of this prodigal son. And then we have the attitude of the divine mind toward the penitent. We have the watchful love of the Father, looking out for that son. We have the readiness with which he meets the very first step of the sinner in coming to him, and we have the fullness of the forgiveness, the absolute blotting out of the iniquities, when he puts his arms around his neck and kisses him much and clothes him in a new robe and puts a ring upon his finger; and then we have the heavenly joy excited by this transformation of character.

Now, it did not fall within the province of this parable to discuss faith; that is implied; that is discussed in other connections. The precise point here is repentance and how repentance is illustrated and exemplified.

Now, I want to apply this briefly. What is presented in this parable is exactly what every sinner should do and it is what every sinner must do in order to be reconciled to God. There are two expressions used that will show you the necessity of it. One is, “When he came to himself," and the other is, “My son was dead.

My son was lost." Now, what is implied by this language? It certainly is implied by the first part quoted that when a man commits sin there is some kind of insanity in him; that it certainly is an unreasonable thing, that it is out of proper harmony with God, considering our relation to him, and that one cannot be at himself who does it; that he is going contrary to right reason, and that it is moral and spiritual insanity and sin.

As a proof that there is this change of mind as remarkable as is the actual change from insanity to sanity, take the judgment of men who have devoted a great part of their life to dissipation, to all forms of outbreaking sin, and then by the grace of God have been led to see the heinousness of these offenses and to repent, and who from the latter standpoint of reconciliation with God and the joy and peace that comes from righteous living, have looked back upon their past course and said: “When I did that I was beside myself. I was not governed by reason in that kind of life. It showed that I was a fool when in my heart I said, 'no God.' And I said it every time I sinned, ' no God.' I said it when I distrusted his Providence, 'no God.' I said it when I preferred the temporal and wicked things to the good and eternal things that he offered to me."

Now, this kind of insanity is everywhere characteristic of sin. I appeal to your own judgment about it, you men and you women, who are now living every day just as if there were no God. You are living just as if there was no life after death. You are living as if this world were all, and as if you had nothing better upon this earth to do than to follow pleasure with a species of insanity, to follow business with a species of insanity, money or fashions with a species of insanity.

Take a devotee of twentieth century fashion among the richer classes of this world. I look at such a woman and see how she devotes her time, where she goes, what her thoughts are about; and as you observe the ceaseless round which society exacts, and to which she conforms and which she makes virtually her God, you will see that there is no true God in her thoughts at all; that she does not live at all with any perception of her moral accountability for her life. When a mother will leave her children, when she will turn away from the best interests of her husband and instead of helping him to nobly fight the battle of life, she becomes absorbed in worldly amusements and

and entertainments and fashions, until she is really no wife to him at all, she is no mother to her children. Is not that insanity? Is such a woman at herself?

Now, for a man of intelligence, a man who has read and thought, for a man to devote 365 days of the year to his business, with no Sunday in it, with no Bible reading in it, with no prayer in it, with no thought of eternity in it, one exacting round of devotion to business, that man is mad. You know it as well as I know it, that a very large proportion of the

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