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we decidedly reject; and affirm, that this would be no advance, but a relapse only to Paganism and Judaism. According to our view, on the contrary, Christ is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end ; and all true progress, as we have before remarked, consists simply, in a more full appropriation continually of his divine human life, and a deeper understanding of his word, which is the absolute truth, and eternal life itself.” * * * * * *
“Particular periods, however, may be held up to our view, that seem wholly at variance with our affirmation" of continued progress; "periods in which religious life has almost entirely failed, and dark superstition, or daring unbelief, or both perhaps together, have reigned supreme in the Church. * * * * But here we refer to our previous exposition, in which we have shown that the development before us, is carried forward through diseases, that cause the vital energy to give way at times, for a season; only however that it may afterwards, as soon as the disease has been overcome display itself again, more actively than before.” * * * *
XI. “The last feature of the development of the Church, which we shall mention, is found in its Geographical course. ceeds in general, like that of the Sun, from East to West. The cradle of Christianity as also of History and civilization generally, is in the orient. Even in the time of the Apostles, it passed over from Palestine to Asia Minor, Greece and Italy.” Thence in the lapse of centuries it has advanced westward, until now it finds its home in Germany, England, and the United States of America. " From this country again, perhaps, when its civilization shall reach Oregon, may proceed principally the evangelization of China and India, still bearing the gospel westward in its sun-like course ; till it finally shall return, with the millenium, and the coming of the Lord in his glory, to the point from which it started on its circuit round the globe. At present, we lie in the birth-throes of a new creation. All still rolls in wild confusion. But the time is not far, when the divine word shall sound, Let there be light ! and a beautiful world shall rise from the midst of the struggling chaos."
We have thus endeavored to furnish a condensed view of some portions of Dr. Schaff's work. We feel that we have not done it full justice. We have closely adhered, in general to the author's words, but are conscious of having, in very many instances, contrary to our own wishes, deprived his style of the freshness and vigor, and his thoughts of the fulness and close connection which characterize them in the work itself. This, in fact, resulted almost necessarily from the method of abridgment pursued by us. By the process of dismemberment the original spirit of the book was destroyed, and however carefully the " disjecta membra” were joined together, the life that previously animated them could not be recalled. It would doubtless have been better on some accounts, to have adopted a different method, but many considerations, which we cannot here mention, pre vented us from doing this. Those who read the work will understand the difficulties with which we had to contend in our effort to condense. The subject is in fact, condensed by the author himself, into the smallest compass consistent with a clear exhibition. There is nothing superfluous. The illustrations, even where heaped upon each other, in great number, as they frequently are, not only illustrate but also add to the main thought. Hence farther condensation was not possible, without squeezing the very marrow and life itself from the book. Those who have not yet read the work, but who induced by our remarks may hereafter take it up, will, we are sure forget the roughness of the road by which we lead them, in their delight with the rich field of thought into which they will have arrived.
The concluding chapter of Dr. Schaf's treatise, exhibits “the practical importance of a right view of Church History," and ihe advantages of his own theory over those generally prevalent in this country. The length of cur article already, however, compels us to ccase from all farther comment or quotation. Upon a future occasion we may give expression to some thoughts upon the general idea that lies at the bottom of the theory of Historical Development. Norristown, Pa.
G. D. W.
HUMAN LIBERTY AND FREE AGENCY.
Scarcely any question, connected with thcology in general and the science of the buman mind in particular, is more important and intricate, than that which bas respect to the freedom of the will, or in more popular language) the free agency of man. The subject has employed the pens, and called forth ihe efforts, of the ablest writers and most profound thinkers; and yet still remains involved in much difficulty and contention. It is still a matter of controversy in what the free agency of man, or the freedom of the will, precisely and properly consists. That man, in so far as he is an accountable being, is a free agent, that is, one wlio decides and acts no otherwise than he chooses or wills, would seein to be universally conccded; ror can it well be de
that it may
nied that he is also in a sort a necessary agent, that is, the circumstances in which he is placed, and the causes and effects operating upon him, beyond his control, being such, be said, that he cannot choose or act otherwise than he does. To reconcile these apparently conflicting statements or facts, and to point out scientifically their consistency and harmony, is the great difficulty connected with the subject.
There are two main philosophical theories which are adopted and strenuously advocated in relation to the freedom of the will or the free agency of man. I. That which places the freedom of the will in the force of motives, the will of man always choos ing and determining one way or ihe other in any case, according to the strongest motive, or that which to the individual at the time appears the strongest motive.
strongest motive. According to this theory, , man is a free (moral) agent, because he never chooses or determines otherwise than he himself wills; but he is also in a sort a necessary agent, because his will is in all cases swayed and determined by the strongest, or that which seems to him the strongest motive. II. The other theory is that which affirms that ihe Will itself possesses, what is called a self-determining power (sometimes also denominated a liberty of indifference or contingency), in consequence of which it holds the preponderance or balance in its own hands, so that, in vier of the motives presented, it is able, to choose and decide of itse'f, independently, and even in a direction contrary to that to which the strongest motivos impel at the time. The former theory is that which is adopted and so strenuously advocated, in opposition to the latter, by “Edwards” in bis celebrated treatise " on the Will."
In calling further attention to this subject, I propose, as intelligibly and simply as possible, to ascertain and state the facts involved in the case ; and then to notice more particularly the philosophy and theology by which it is attempted scientifically to explain and harmonize these facts. The facts in the case are two: man's free agency and man's necessary agency.
The first prominent fact connected with our subject to which I call attention, is the fact of Man's free agency. And here and elsewhere in this article, I shall be content to adopi and make use of the common phraseology, as that which is most intelligible and level to the capacity of the grneral reader.
“ Philosophy itself,” (sars Locke Hum. Und. p. 162, vol. I) though it likes not a gandy dress, yet, when it appears in public must have so much complacency, as to be clothed in the ordinary fashion and language of the country, so far as it can consist with truth and perspicuity.”
By a free agent, I understand one, who has the power or capacity of doing or forbearing to do any thing, according to the preference of his own mind. Man is a free moral agent when he has the power, opportunity, or advantage of doing or leaving undone any thing, according as he wills or chooses. He is not a free moral agent when he is under such restraint, hindrance or impediment, that he is unable to do as he wills; or is necessitaled to act in a manner contrary to his will.
Locke, in his treatise on the Human Understanding, uses the following language in respect to Liberty in general (vol. I p. 158). “All the actions that we have any idea of, reduce themselves, as has been said to these two, viz: thinking and motion; so far as a man has a power to think, or not to think, to move, or not to move, according to the preference or direction of his own mind, so far is a man free. Wherever any performance or forbearance are not equally in a man's power: wherever doing or not doing will not equally follow upon the preference of his mind directing it, there he is not free, though perhaps the action may be voluntary. So that the idea of liberty is the idea of a power in any agent to do or forbear any particular action, according to the deterinination or thought of the mind, whereby either of them is preferred to the other; where either cf them is not in the power of the agent to be produced by him according to his volition, there he is not at liberty, that agent is under necessity. So that liberty cannot be where there is no thought, no volition, no will; but there may be will, there may be volition where there is no liberty."
Edwards in his work on the Will expresses himself in the folloving manner, p. 40. “But one thing more I would observe concerning what is vulgarly called Liberty; namely, that power and opportunity for one to do and conduct as he will, or according to his choice, is all that is meant by it; without taking into the meaning of the word anything of the cause or original of that choice; or at all considering how the parson came to have such a volition ; whether it was caused by some external motive or internal habitual bias; whether it was determined by some internal antecedent volition, or whether it was necessarily connected with something foregoing, or not connected. Let the person come by his volition or choice how he will, yet, if he is alle, and there is nothing in the way to binder his pursuing and executing his will, the man is fully and perfectly free, according to the primary and common notion of freedom.”
On the following page he thus defines a moral agent. "A moral Agent is a being that is capable of those actions that have
a moral quality, and which can properly be denominated good or evil in a moral sense, virtuous or vicious, commendable or faulty. To moral Agency belongs a moral faculty, or sense of moral evil and good, or of such a thing as desert or worthiness, of praise or blame, reward or punishment; and a capacity which an Agent has of being intluenced in his actions by moral induce ments or motives, exhibited to the view of understanding and reason, to engage to a conduct agreeable to the moral faculty.”
The proof of man's free agency may be briefly reduced and ranged under the following heads: I. The free moral agency of man is a necessary and constituent part of his being as a rational and accountable creature. It belongs to his nature; and is inseparable from it, so long as he is a responsible agent. Whatever may be his state, whether considered as a perfectly holy being, as he was in the person of Adam at his original creation, or as a lapsed and sinful creature, as he now is : whether as an impenitent or as a renewed sioner; as an inhabitant of heaven or of hell; so long as he remains man, rational and accountable and subject to law, he must necessarily be a free agent and liberty of moral action must ever be a constituent atıribule of his nature. II. Free agency is a matter of personal consciousness. Every accountable agent is conscious that in so far as his actions have a moral character, he acis freely and voluntarily. Even the inebriate and those chargeable with the grossest criminality, never think of denying (unless as a plea for a special purpose) their free and voluntary action. III. Hence the free agency of man must be assumed as the necessary ground and basis of all accountability. Man is so far, and only so far accountable before God and his fellow man, as he acts freely, that is, in conformity to his own will and choice. This broad principle is the dictate of common sense and agreement, and is recognized without controversy in all law, human and divine. IV. The civil law holds and treals all a man's acts as irresponsible, and all contracts made by him as null and void, if ii can be shown that he has not acted as a free agent, but by compulsion or restraint. The acts of an idiot or of a man non compos mentis, are not valid, because he is not a free agent; and in the most criminal cases, if it can be proven, that a murderer or culprit is properly insane, the law releases its hold upon him as an offender, however it may be obliged for the public security to take in charge his person. V. The law of God in general, as contained in the ten commandments, supposes and takes for granted the existence and exercise of free and voluntary action. The suni of the whole law and the prophets, according to our Sa