I continue to be impressed by the godly wisdom given to this man who lived 150 years ago.
[T]he theology of the first murderer (Cain) is that of a large and perpetually increasing school of our times. He neither denied the existence of God nor refused to worship Him. Nay, he recognized Him as the giver of all good things, and brought an offering of the fruits of the ground as an acknowledgement of His bounty. But he went no further than this; and, therefore, though he may have passed among those with whom he dwelt as a good and religious man, he failed to satisfy God. For being yet in his sins he presumed to approach the Holy One without the shedding of blood: he was willing to take the place of a dependent creature, but would not confess himself a sinner guilty of death, who could be saved only by the sacrifice of a Substitute. He is a type of the many in these times who will descant (discourse) upon the benevolence and love of the Creator, and are ever ready to laud Him for those attributes, and claim the benefit of them, without any reference to their own unworthiness and sinful condition, without a thought of that perfect holiness and justice which are as much elements of the mind of God as love itself. (p. 118)
When Moses asks what answer he shall return to the Israelites if they inquire the name of the God Who sent him, the Lord replies: “I AM THAT I AM” : “Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” (Exod. iii. 14). Now in the Hebrew not the present but the future of the verb “to be” is used; and from the future the name of Jehovah is derived. But the Hebrew future has a peculiar signification: it is often used to express a permanent state, that which exists and always will exist. Hence the words rendered “I AM THAT I AM” might be more intelligently translated “I EVER SHALL BE THAT WHICH I AM.” And thus Jehovah signifies the immutable God, the Same yesterday, today, and forever, Whose purposes no circumstance can affect, Whose promises can in no wise fail. (p. 122-123)
It is the natural result of the first error, the denial of our position as sinners before God, as doomed to destruction unless a ransom be found. Let the Church surrender that truth, and what hinders her from living in perfect accord with the World? If the practical teaching of religion be that God is fairly satisfied with our conduct, troubles but little about our sins, highly appreciates our works of virtue, even though pride be their mainspring, and looks with pleasure upon bold deeds and intellectual displays, why should such a theology clash with the cravings of fallen men? How could they hate a deity so like to themselves? (p. 143)