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viour, is comprehended in this : “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and ihy neighbor as thyself, Luke 10–27. The divine law, like every other, would be without meaning and force, unless the subjects of it, were moral agents, free in their choice of obedience or violation. And from the fact that the commandment is addressed to fallen creatures, it is evident that they must, as such, be yet possessed of some kind of capacity and power, to comply with its requirement, provided in the exercise of their free agency they should so choose and determine. It is not the way of the Almighty to require absolute impossibilities; which would be the Case, bad man no capacity or strength whatever to obey, even if he should so will. His capacity or power (whatever it may be said to be) has indeed become so shattered and ruined by the fall, and as a consequence the commandment so difficult, that it is very certain that in no single instance will it be perfectly kept, by any of the fallen descendants of Adam ; still some kind of capacity or strength must be supposed to remain and exist, as the necessary basis or substratum of accountability and moral agency. The law of God literally affirms that man, fallen as he is, has a heart, a soul, a strength, and a mind; for the right or perverted use of which he is accountable. And the whole of what the law requires is, that man love the Lord his God, with all his heart, with all his soul, with all his strength, and with all his mind, be the same greater or less. This is in conformity with the equitable rule laid down by the apostle, 2 Cor. 8–12. "If there be first a willing mind it is accepted according to that a man hath and not according to that he hath not.Thus is secured, on the one hand, the infinite dignity and perfection of the divine law, and on the other, man's obligation to obedience, whatever be the extent or degree of his capacity. VI. Again, according to the Scriptures, men are censurable and blameworthy, not because they are unavoidably ignorant of their duty (which they are apt to plead), but because knowing or having the opportunity of knowing their dirty, they yet in the perversity of their hearts choose to do wickedly. “'l'his is the condemnation," says our Saviour, "that light is come into the world, but men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil,” John 3-19. And in another place :

ye were blind ye had not had sin; but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.” And again,“ If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin : but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. Now

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they have no cloak for their sin.” VII. Lastly, the accountability of man as a free moral agent, is taught us in every variety of form, in the commands, promises, invitations and threatenings of the Scriptures. “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve. Repent that your sins may be blotted out. He ihat believeth and is baptized shall be saved, he that believeth not shall be damned. Because I have called and ye refused, I have stretched forth my hands and no man regarded, therefore, &c. Oh, that they were wise, that they understood, that they would consider their latter end. Look unto me and be ye saved all the ends of the Earth. As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye le ? will not come unto me, that ye may have life. Oh Jerusalem, &c.—but ye would not. The spirit and the bride say come, and whosoever will let him come.”

Having presented our statement of one of the great truths or facts connected with our subject, we proceed to a consideration and statement of the other, a seemingly opposite and conflicting fact; viz, the necessary agency of man-Man is not only a free (moral) agent, he is also, in perfect consistency with his free agency, a necessary agent.

By a necessary agent, I mean one whose moral dispositions, and whose circumstances and condition are such, that he is under a kind of necessity of deter.nining and acting just as he does; not however in opposition to, but in perfect agreement with his own choice. The word necessary is here used, not as opposed to voluntary, but to uncertainty. A necessary agent, according to our meaning of the expression, is one, who while he acts freely, acts under the force of condition, circumstances and motives, which render it certain that he will act just as he docs, and not otherwise.

It is important for the reader here to understand and bear in mind, that in using the terms necessary, and necessity in this connection, we do not employ them in their vulgar and popular acceptation. In this view, as Edwards observes (on the Will, p. 24), “ A thing is said to be necessary when we cannot help it, let us do what we will." We use the terms in their metapbysical or philosophical import, as expressive of certainty. “Metaphysical or Philosophical Necessity is nothing different from certainty.”—Edwards on the Will, p. 26. Such a necessity is not a compulsion or coaction to sin, nor is it at all inconsistent with free agency; it only affirms the certainty of men's sinning under particular circumstances, yet in perfect accordance with the voluntary action of their own minds.

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In applying to the moral agency of man the terms necessary and necessity, as expressive of certainty, we are only following ihe

usage of the most eminent theologians since the time of the Reformation. Such appears to be the meaning and force of the terms as employed by Calvin; whose doctrine however is sometimes misrepresented, as teaching the absurd and impious notion, that men are under a necessity of committing sin, in the common popular acceptation of the terms. “What God decrees,” says Calvin (Book I. chap. 3, sect. 9), “must necessarily come to pass, yet it is not by an absolute or natural necessity;" and he refers for illustration, to “the bones of Christ,” which were capable of being broken, yet that they should be broken was impossible, because the Scriptures must certainly be fulfilled—"a bone of him shall not be broken.” Thus Luther also says, (de servo arbitrio, translated by Milner, Ecc. Hist. vol. 5)—“So long as the operative grace of God is absent from us, every thing we do has in it a mixture of evil; and therefore of necessity our works do not avail to salvation. Here," continues Luther, “I do not mean a necessity of compulsion, but a necessity as to the certainty of the event.” F. Turretine, whose system of theology is a iext book of standard reputation, teaches that the divine decree implies indeed the necessity of future events, but not an absolute or physical necessity, nor a necessity of coercion or force; but only a necessity of the certainty of the future events which are foreseen and decreed, (respectu certitudinis erentus et futuritionis ac decreto.)

As the views of Calvin are sometimes greatly misrepresented, it may not be out of place here, to present some extracts from his “institutes,” in order to show in what sense he held and taught the doctrine of necessity and human freedom. For these extracts we acknowledge our obligations to the work of W. Annan on “the Difficulties of Arm. Methodism,” in which are contained, many sound and forcible statements upon this and other difficult points of Christian doctrine. What did Calvin mean by necessity? This we discover by comparing other passages.thus—" A distinction has prevailed in the schools, of three kinds of liberty : the first, freedom from necessity; the second, freedom from sin; the third freedom from misery; of which the first is naturally inherent in man, so that nothing can deprive him of it; the other two are lost by sin. This distinction," adds Calvin,. I readily admit, except that it improperly confounds nccessity with coaction. And the wide difference between these things will appear in another place.”—Book 2, chap. 2, sect. 5, &c. “When man subjected himself to this necessi

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ty, he was not deprived of will, but of soundness of will." Augustine thus expresses himself : “ The will being changed for the worse, I know not by what corrupt and surprising means, is itself the author of the necessity to which it is subject, foc.' Afterwards he


that we are oppressed with a yoke, but no other than that of a roluntary servitude, foc.” Again, Book 2, chap. 5, sect. 5, “ Let them not suppose themselves excused by necessity, in which very thing they have a most evident cause of their condemnation.” For if we are bound by our passions, which are under the government of sin, so that we are not at liberty to obey our father, there is no reason why we should plead this necessity in our defence, the criminality of which is within ourselves, and must be imputed to us."-Book 2, chap. 8, seci. 3. “Nor can we pretend to excuse ourselves by cur want of ability-our inability is our own fault.”-Ibid. From these passages, adds Mr. A., it is evident that the meaning of the term "necessity” in Calvin's work, is the same with certainty, or what Edwards calls, "philosophical necessity.

The necessary and at the same time free agency of man, may at first view appear to some not only inconsistent, with, but absolutely contradictory to each other; but a moments reflection and consideration of known facts, will show that this cannot be so, however far beyond our ability it may be to offer a satisfactory solution, and answer every objection in the case. The divine being it will be admitted by all is possessed of the most unbounided absolute freedom; there is no power within or without bimself that can at all interfere with the perfectly free determinations and acts of the infinite mind: Yet in all his volitions and acts, it may be said that he is impelled by an irresistible necessity to will and act just as he does. God cannot do wrong.

He cannot deny himself. He cannot but love holiness and have an infinite aversion to sin. He not only exists but acts from necessity of nature; yet in perfect agreement with the most absolute liberty. Nor is such necessary existence and action at all an inperfection in the supreme being, but on the contrary the evidence of the highest excellency; for if holiness, justice and truth be essential attributes of God, it does not argue imperfection, but supreme and infinite excellency, that he cannot will or act in violation of them. The angels and saints made perfect in heaven, who are no longer in a state of probation, are perfectly holy, yet while they are so necessarily, they are entirely voluntary in iheir obedience. Satan and his evil angels are necessarily and only evil, yet their continued rebellion is altogether voluntary. The man Christ Jesus was without sin, he could not sin ; yet his obedience unto death was altogether free and uncompelled.

That man, in connection with his free moral agency, is also a necessary agent, acting under a sort of necessity, rendering it certain that he will act none otherwise than he does, seems unavoidably to result from the decrees and foreknowledge of God. To those who receive the doctrine of the divine decrees accord. ing to the Calvinistic view, the inference is clear and universally conceded, that God's foreordaining and determining whatever comes to pass (either efficiently in respect to the good, or permissively in respect to evil) renders all events as fixed in the divine plan, necessarily and absolutely certain, in a way and manner however in perfect agreement with the creature's moral freedom and accountability. Nor will it at all help the cause of those who reject the divine decrees in this view, to say that the doctrine makes God the author of sin and destroys the freedom of human action ; for solve the difficulty as we may, the same result follows from, and the same objection lies with equal force against, the doctrine of God's simple foreknowledge or knowledge of all things. For to foresee or know any thing infallibly, implies and necessarily secures the certainty of its occurrence.

Our concern however at present is not to answer objections, but only to state the fact and inference. A very remarkable and well known illustration of this fact and inference, the Sacred Scriptures present us in the case of he crucifixion. the apostle Peter, “being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain," (Acts. ii 23.) and again, “The Son of man goeth, as it is written of hiin: (as it was determined or decreedexactly bounded and marked out by God, as the word w poś w most naturally signifies. Doddridge in loco.) but woe unto that man by whom the son of man is betrayed,” (Matth. xxvi. 24, Mark xiv. 21.)

The necessary agency of man clearly results from the philosophical doctrine of motives, which we regard as the true theory in relation to human freedom. According to this theory, while man acts freely, inasmuch as he follows his own choice; his volitions are also necessary, because his will is always swayed and determined by the strongest prevailing motives, or what to the individual, right or wrong, appears at the time the strongest motive. If this be so, then according as is the disposition of the individual, and the force of the motives operating upon him, will certainly and necessarily in every case, be his volition and determination.

The Sacred Scriptures which, a3 we have seen, eo plainly declare man's free agency and responsibility, are equally explicVOL. II.-NO. II.


“ Him,” says

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