her mother. It is also used in the sense of a conscience giving approval. In this case it is the echo of the voice of God in those who by obeying hear? (Hershon?s Talmudic Miscellany, 2, note). This phrase, ?the echo of God?s voice,? is a correct description of conscience, and Wordsworth probably had it in mind when he spoke of duty as ?the daughter of the voice of God.? Robert Browning describes conscience as ?the great beacon light God sets in all? The worst man upon earth? knows in his conscience more Of what right is, than arrives at births In the best man?s acts that we bow before.? Jackson James Martineau, 134 ? The sense of obligation is ?a piercing ray of the great Orb of souls.? On Wordsworth?s conception of conscience, see A. H. Strong, Great Poets, 365-368.
Since the activity of the immanent God reveals itself in the normal operations of our own faculties, conscience might be also regarded as man?s true self over against the false self which we have set up against it. Theodore Parker defines conscience as? our consciousness of the conscience of God.? In his fourth year, says Chadwick, his biographer (pages 12, 13, 185), young Theodore saw a little spotted tortoise and lifted his hand to strike. All at once something checked his arm, and a voice within said clear and loud: ?It is wrong.? He asked his mother what it was that told him it was wrong.
She wiped a tear from her eye with her apron, and taking him in her arms said: ?Some men call it conscience, but I prefer to call it the voice of God in the soul of man. If you listen and obey it, then it will speak clearer and clearer, and will always guide you right but if you turn a deaf ear and disobey, then it will fade out little by little, and will leave you all in the dark and without a guide. Your life depends on your hearing this little voice.? R. T. Smith, Man?s Knowledge of Man and of God, 87, 171 ? ?Man has conscience, as he has talents. Conscience, no more than talent, makes him good. He is good, only as he follows conscience and uses talent? The relation between the terms consciousness and conscience, which are in fact but forms of the same word, testifies to the fact that it is in the action of conscience that man?s consciousness of himself is chiefly experienced.?
The conscience of the regenerate man may have such right standards and its decisions may be followed by such uniformly right action, that its voice, though it is not itself God?s voice, is yet the very echo of God?s voice. The renewed conscience may take up into itself and may express the witness of the Holy Spirit. ( <450901>Romans 9:1 ? ?I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience bearing witness with me in the Holy Spirit?; cf . 8:16 ? ?the Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that
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