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represented by this philosophy, they are in fact no more agents than the planets are agents. If their exercises are all directly created by the power of God, it is ridiculous to call them agents.

7. If this theory is true, what we generally call moral beings and moral agents, are no more so than the winds and the waves or any other substance or thing in the universe.

8. Again: if this theory be true, no being but God has or can have moral character. No other being is the author of his own actions. He is the subject, but not the author of his actions. He is the passive subject, but not the active efficient cause of his own exercises. To affirm moral character of such a passive subject is truly ridiculous.

9. This theory obliges its advocates, together with all other necessitarians, to give a false and nonsensical definition of free agency. Free agency, according to them, consists in doing as we will, while their theory denies the power to will except as our willings are necessitated by God. But as we have seen in former lectures, this is no true account of freedom, or liberty. Liberty to execute my choices is no liberty at all. Choice is connected with its sequents by a law of necessity; and if an effect follow my volitions, that effect follows by necessity and not freely. All freedom of will must, as was formerly shown, consist in the sovereign power to originate our own choices. If I am unable to will I am unable to do any thing, and it is absurd and ridiculous to affirm that a being is a moral or a free agent who has not power to originate his own choices.

10. If this theory is true, God is more than the accomplice of the devil; for

(1.) Satan can not tempt us acccording to this theory, unless God by a direct divine efficiency moves him and compels him to do so.

(2.) We can not possibly yield to his temptation except as God compels us to yield or creates the yielding within us. This is a blasphemous theory surely that represents God as doing such things. That a philosophy like this could ever have been taught will appear incredible to many, I doubt not. But such is the fact, and such the true statement of the views of this class of theologians, if I can understand them.

11. But this theory is inconsistent with the bible, as we have seen.

12. It is also inconsistent with itself, for it both affirms and denies natural ability. Its advocates admit that we can not

act except as we will, and affirm that we can not will except as our willings are created by a direct divine efficiency. How absurd then it is to maintain that we have natural ability to do any thing. All that can truly be said of us upon the principles of this theory is that we have a susceptibility to be acted upon, and to be rendered the subjects of certain states immediately and irresistibly created by the power of God. But it is absurd to call this a natural ability to do our duty.

13. If this theory is true, the whole moral government of God is the merest farce and humbug that ever existed. The gospel is an insult to men in two respects at least:

(1.) Upon this theory men do not, can not deserve punish


(2.) If they do, the gospel is presented and urged upon their acceptance, when in fact they have no more power to accept it than they have to create a world.

14. Again: this theory overlooks and virtually denies the fundamentally important distinction between moral and physical power and moral and physical government. All power and all government upon this theory are physical.

15. Again: this theory renders repentance and self-condemnation impossible as a rational exercise.

16. This theory involves the delusion of all moral beings. God not only creates our volitions, but also creates the persuasion and affirmation that we are responsible for them. O, shame on such a theory as this!

III. The Susceptibility Scheme is next to be considered. 1. I shall state what this scheme is.

2. In what this theory agrees with the theory of Divine Moral Suasion.

3. In what those theories differ.

4. State the arguments by which this theory is defended. 5. State the difficulties with which it is encumbered 1. What this theory is.


This theory represents that the Holy Spirit's influences are both physical and moral; that He by a direct and physical influence excites the susceptibilities of the soul and prepares them to be affected by the truth; that He thereupon exerts a moral or persuasive influence by presenting the truth, which moral influence induces regeneration.

2. Wherein this and the Divine Moral Suasion theory agree.

(1.) In rejecting the Taste and Divine Efficiency Schemes

(2.) In rejecting the dogma of constitutional moral depravity.

(3.) In rejecting the dogma of physical regeneration; for be it remembered that this theory teaches that the physical influence exerted in exciting the susceptibilities is no part of regeneration.

(4.) They agree in maintainnig the natural ability or liberty of all moral agents.

(5.) That the constitutional appetites and passions have no moral character in themselves.

(6.) That when strongly excited they are the occasions of sin.

(7.) That sin and moral depravity are identical, and that they consist in a violation of the moral law.

(8.) That the moral heart is the ruling preference or ultimate intention of the mind.

(9.) That the carnal mind or heart is selfishness.

(10.) That the new or regenerate heart is benevolence.

(11.) That regeneration consists in a change from selfishness to benevolence, or from the supreme love of self to the supreme love of God and the equal love of our neighbor.

(12.) That this change is effected by the truth presented by the Holy Spirit or by a Divine moral persuasion.

3. Wherein they differ.

This philosophy maintains the necessity and the fact of a physical influence superadded to the moral or persuasive influence of the Holy Spirit as a sine qua non of regeneration. The Divine moral suasion theory regards regeneration as being induced alone by a moral influence. This theory also admits and maintains that regeneration is effected solely by a moral influence, but also that a work preparatory to the efficiency of the moral influence and indispensable to its efficiency in producing regeneration is performed by a direct and physical agency of the Holy Spirit upon the constitutional susceptibilities of the soul to quicken and wake it up and predispose it to be deeply and duly affected by the truth. The arguments by which that part of this theory which relates to a physical influence of the Holy Spirit is supported are, so far as I am acquainted with them, as follows:

(1.) It is maintained by the defenders of this scheme that the representations of the bible upon the subject of the Holy Spirit's agency in regeneration are such as to forbid the supposition that His influence is altogether moral or persuasive, and such as plainly to indicate that He also exerts a physical

agency in preparing the mind to be duly effected by the truth. In reply to this argument I observe,

[1.] That I fear greatly to disparage the work and agency of the Holy Spirit in the work of man's redemption from sin, and would by no means resist or deny, or so much as call in question any thing that is plainly taught or implied in the bible upon this subject.

[2] I admit and maintain that regeneration is always induced and effected by the personal agency of the Holy Spirit. The question now before us relates wholly to the mode and not at all to the fact of the Divine agency in regeneration. Let this be distinctly understood for it has been common for theologians of the old school, as soon as the dogma of a physical regeneration and of a physical influence in regeneration has been called in question, to cry out and insist that this is Pelagianism, and that it is a denial of divine influence altogether, and that it is teaching a self-regeneration independent of any divine influence. I have been ashamed of such representations as these on the part of christian divines and have been distressed by their want of candor. It should, however, be distinctly stated that, so far as I know, the defenders of the theory now under consideration have never manifested this want of candor towards those who have called in question that part of their theory that relates to a physical influence.

[3.] Since the advocates of this theory admit that the Bible teaches that regeneration is induced by a Divine moral suasion, the point of debate is simply whether the Bible teaches that there is also a physical influence exerted by the Holy Spirit in exciting the constitutional susceptibilities. We will now attend to their proof texts. "Then opened he their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures."Luke 24: 45. It is affirmed that this text seems to teach or imply a physical influence in opening their understandings. But what do we mean by such language as this in common life? Language is to be understood according to the subjectmatter of discourse. Here the subject of discourse is the understanding. But what can be intended by opening it? Can this be a physical prying, pulling, or forcing open any department of the constitution? Such language in common life would be understood only to mean that such instruction was imparted as to secure a right understanding of the Scriptures. Every one knows this, and why should we suppose and assume that any thing more is intended here? The context plainly indicates that this was the thing and the only

thing done in this case. "Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day."-Luke 24: 25-27, 46. From these verses it appears that he expounded the Scriptures to them, when in the light of what had passed, and in the light of that measure of Divine illumination which was then imparted to them, they understood the things which He explained to them. It does not seem to me that this passage warrants the inference that there was a physical influence exerted. It certainly affirms no such thing. "And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul."-Acts 16: 14. Here is an expression similar to that just examined. Here it is said that the Lord opened the heart of Lydia so that she attended, &c.; that is, the Lord inclined her to attend. But how? Why, say the advocates of this scheme, by a physical influence. But how does this appear? What is her heart that it should be pried, or pulled, or forced open? and what can be intended by the assertion that the Lord opened her heart? All that can be meant is that the Lord secured her attention and disposed her to attend, and so enlightened her when she did attend that she believed. Surely here is no assertion of a physical influence, nor, so far as I can see, any just ground for the inference that such an influence was exerted. A moral influence can sufficiently explain all the phenomena; and any text that can equally well consist with either of two opposing theories can prove neither.

Again, there are many passages that represent God as opening the spiritual eyes, and passages in which petitions are offered to God to do this. It is by this theory assumed that such passages strongly imply a physical influence. But this assumption appears to me unwarrantable. We are in the habit of using just such language and speak of opening cach other's eyes when no such thing is intended or implied as a physical influence, and when nothing more than a moral or persuasive influence is so much as thought of. Why then resort to such an assumption here? Does the nature of the case demand it? This I know is contended by those who

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