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actor in the universe, and that man is but a machine in his hands: but it is fair to charge this upon his logic. His philosophy is purely fatalistic, and he escapes the conclusion of fatalism--that there is no such thing as holiness and sin-only by rejecting the legitimate consequences of his arguments.
Our author plausibly defended his belief in necessitated holiness by instancing “God's moral excellency as necessary, virtuous, and praiseworthy;" also, " The acts of the will of the human soul of Jesus Christ as necessarily holy, yet virtuous, praiseworthy, rewardable.” Doubtless the moral attributes of God are all natural attributes and not acquired virtues. How this is possible is indeed inexplicable to us.
But this is one of the mysteries of Theism, and such a mystery as we may expect to find, without mental shock or disturbance.
But the mystery of praiseworthiness in God is not at all a difficulty involved in the freedom of our moral agency. God is not a moral agent, a responsible being like ourselves. By no means does it follow from the uncreated holiness of God that he can create rewardable holiness in man. Reverently may it be said he could not create another independent being like himself. The argument for the freedom of man as inseparable from his accountability holds in its full force.
3. Our author was right in claiming a sovereign Providence over all men and all events. With but little qualification may it be said that this is the faith of all devout theists, as it unquestionably is a doctrine of the inspired word. Not that it accords with all the speculations of either Libertarians or Necessitarians. But to know the faith of a people we must not go to their theories, but mark the language in which they worship. It is here that all voices with substantial harmony acknowledge the universal sway of a paternal Providence, and at the same time on our part an accountable freedom. The true doctrine as to our freedom cannot be in conflict with this concord of faith in a heavenly Father's all-embracing care.
But a heavenly Father's providence over us, we must not forget, means not hinderance but help, not repression or coercion but freedom. Providence is for us, not against us. How God governs men within the province of natural law, as shown in a previous article, is not a mystery, nor does it directly concern the present subject. Freedom to choose and act for ourselves, and take hold upon God, is claimed only, and is possible only, where God gives us such freedoin.
That God has perfect knowledge of the future actions and volitions of men, ethical as well as non-ethical, with Arminians generally as well as with Calvinists admits not of question.* In support of the foreknowledge of God Edwards presents the argument, scriptural and logical, in its full force. Not only is the evidence abundant and decisive that the praiseworthy and blameworthy volitions and deeds of men are known to the onniscient One before they become actual, but also that he has a plan in the lives of men which implies minute direction and comprehensive arrangement extending to all the events with which we have to do.
But the conclusion of our author, that in his responsible character every man is what God had predestinated him to be, is not only self-destructive, but in spite of all protests involves the monstrons absurdity that God is the author of sin, and acquits those who are branded as sinners as the innocent victims of stupendous wrong. A guiding Providence over the plans of men, however, by no means involves these absurdities. Every inaster-mind among men, whether at the head of the family, the school, the club, the Church, the party, or the State, has wide sway over the outward actions of those under his lead, and of course over the antecedent thoughts, inclinations, and volitions from which they spring, and that without necessarily touching the moral principle upon which they act. The thousand men employed by a manufacturer carry into his service their own moral characters—the same characters they would carry into the service of another a hundred miles away under conditions radically different. Yet no particular act or volition of any one of these laborers is precisely the same as would have given expression to luis character in the employ of the other men. In like manner every human being has more or less to do in determining the actions of fellow-beings. It cannot then be incredible that the infinite God, who knows all men perfectly and has all power, silould be able to hold all men in his guiding care without interfering with their perfect freedom at the sources of all re
Dr. L. D. M'Cabe rejects the doctrine of the divine foreknowledge of future contingencies. The German theologians are not a unit touching this doctrine. —
sponsible character—the heart. How could this thought receive more apt expression than as we find it in the inspired word : “ There are many devices in a man's heart: nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand. A man's heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps ?”
The difficulty of foreķnowledge is simplified to this :* how it is possible for God to read the characters of men before they take form, and that is but a mystery, not an absurdity nor an ethical inonstrosity; and, as was said of the praiseworthiness of God, it is a mystery not of moral agency, but only a small part of the mystery of God, with which we have nothing to do, and about which it is folly to puzzle ourselves. Of course, a man's responsible character is his own work, or he could not be responsible for it. Surely it is not a burden upon faith that the all-seeing Eye is able to look into the hearts of men and shape his plans for them wisely in view of what he sees there.
4. Our author was right in his charge against the notion of liberty which he chiefly combated—that of a self-determining power in the will independent of motives--that it is not tenable. It is not possible to walk upon vacuity or breathie without air. No more is possible voluntary action without inotive. The im possibility of an act of the will without motive and its necessity in the presence of motive are truths too obvious to need or admit of proof. But this does not justify the conclusion of our author that in all cases “ motive is the cause of the act of the will ” (page 53)—that “the will in every instance acts by moral necessity, and is morally unable to act otherwise.”—- Page 102. It does not touch the question of freedom to choose between motives opposite in kind. Is it not in obvious harmony with our absolute freedom to choose for ourselves where the voice of God in our consciences calls on us to resist natural appetite or desire, and he holds us accountable for our choice?
Where the question before us is simply between rival natural inclinations, donbtless either inclination may be strengthened or weakened by an increase or decrease of motives, and here, as our author claims, “it is possible for motives to be set before the mind so powerful ... as to be invincible, and such as the mind cannot but yield to.”—Page 116. Not so when the
* The difficulty is larger than here stated. It includes the influences, divine as well as human, that produce character, as well as the result produced.—EDITOR.
issue is between God on the one side and inclination on the other side. Will any one be found to talk of the balancing of motives or the indifference of the soul on a question like this? Can reason think to weigh conscience in the scales with appe. tite or any natural desire of the mind ?* Does not the very notion of duty place it above all comparison with other motives that oppose it?
With a moral issue before us emphasized by the voice of God it is absurd to talk of the overbalancing of liberty by multiplying motives on either side. Double a man's intelligence of the right, and, other things being equal, the area of his liberty and responsibility will be doubled, but not his prospect for securing the favor of Heaven. It is impossible that it should be, under an administration of justice.
Against other current and historic notions of liberty—the original Edwardsian that made it to consist in one's power to do as he pleases or wills; the modified Edwardsian, that defines it to be the power to will as one pleases, and that which claims in all the actions of men freedom to alternatives, yet infers from the preponderance of motive what even the responsible choice will probably belie two common and decisive objections. First, they all overlook or treat vaguely the radical distinction between ethical and non-ethical action. To disregard a distinction so fundamental is to ignore the weightiest consideration involved. Second, the qualitied freedom which they offer cannot in justice be made the basis of moral accountability. Edwardsian liberty equally under both its forms, as Edwards frankly avowed, means absolute moral necessity. The merit of this doctrine is, that it carries with it its own antidote. Moral no less than natural necessity is inconsistent with responsibility. The other notion of liberty is more plausible from a surface view, but lacks coherency. If it is legitimate to infer probability in the responsible actions of men from the preponderance of motives, then on the same ground may we, when the motives are made strong enough, infer certainty.
5. Our author was right, with one notable exception, in restricting freedom to the power or opportunity one has to do as he pleases without power to do otherwise. His psychology will do for all the lower animals, so far as
* How, then, account for depravity ?-EDITOR. M59
we know them. Obviously they all have within their limits the power to do as they please—the bird to fly, the fish to swim, the hare to run, the worm to crawl-all to act out the inclinations of nature, and this is all the freedom they have, and all they have any occasion for. It would do for mankind with the power of conscience eliminated. Without consciousness of moral obligation what would the human race be but the most intelligent of the animal tribes?
Freedoin to do as one pleaşes is the freedom of infancy every-where, and of all those who from ill birth and ill training are not yet developed up to the estate of moral accountability. How far this may embrace the heathen world within and without geographical Christendom it is not for us to judge. But this we know, as we know enough to be accountable, that the righteous Father holds only those responsible whom he himself calls to this high trust.
Freedom to do as we please is the freedom of all men, the good alike with the bad, upon the myriad of questions where they properly act upon the plane of natural inclination, or, which is the same thing, within the domain and under the lead of natural law. Whether our choice be a sour apple or a sweet apple, a lunch of toast or leeks, a saddle or a carriage, a horse or a mule, a large hat or a small one, an atmosphere pure or impure, a temperature seventy above zero or forty below, if no other consideration enters, are to us no questions. In any such case the intervention of conscience alone can supply an alternative to inclination. So long as the case is purely one of natural appetite or desire the mind has no occasion to project itself in active volition antecedent to the executive act which causes the tongue, the hand, the foot, to do the bidding of its choice. Here our will or choice can be no other than our unavoidable preference. We have no immediate agency in determining it any more than whether the blood in our veins be Caucasian or African.
According to these conclusions, the realın of action within which the freedom of man is limited by necessity, just as Edwards claimed, to what he cannot help being his choice, is very broad, including numerically the great majority of human actions, and affording, therefore, large room for the sway of a divine Providence in the affairs of men. They leave all the activities