OR, REMAINDERS OF FREEDOM IN MAN.*
What is freedom, and how much of freedom, if any, is left to us in our unregenerate state? Dr. Shedd has well said that the answer to this question, more than to any other, determines a man's position in theology. I have become convinced that the theory of Jonathan Edwards, with which Calvinism is so often identified, is in certain respects, too narrow a one to embrace all the facts, and that Calvin himself, as well as Augustine before him, held a somewhat broader aud a more Scriptural view of human liberty. As I propose, however, to test the subject in my own way, and as Edwards, Calvin, Augustine, and their particular opinions, are of little account except as they may guide us to the truth or warn us of error, I will for the present leave them to themselves and will come at the real subject of investigation from another quarter.
We cannot properly estimate man's freedom in his estate of sin without comparing it with some ideal standard. What is man's normal freedom? In a perfect moral state how will this freedom manifest itself? Two or three answers at once suggest themselves. The highest freedom is not simply an absence of external or internal constraint — of the necessity of willing evil. Nor is it a mere self-determining indecision, evenly balanced between good and evil, and equally ready to walk upon the heights of virtue or to plunge into the abyss of sin. It is rather such an inworking of law into the heart and soul of a man, that there is a spontaneous and infallible choosing of the right. The German poet did well when he rejected every vestige of moral indecision from his notion of freedom : —
"In vain shall spirits that are all unbound
To the pure heights of perfectness aspire;
In limitation first the Master shines.
And law alone can (rive us liberty."
No instructed Christian can fail to see, moreover, that the law which is thus inwrought into man's heart and soul must be "the law of the Spirit of life," and not something merely abstract and impersonal. True freedom, in other words, involves an indwelling aud inworking of God in man. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there, and there only, is liberty. There is no true freedom of the human spirit but in being the conscious, voluntary executor of the will of the Infinite One; aye, more than this, in being interpenetrated, informed and energized by the living God. "Here," in the language of a noted writer, "is the Christian paradox. I am to feel myself
» Printed in the Haptist Review, April, 1883.
passive in the hands of God, yet on that very account the more intensely active. I am to be moved unresistingly by God, like the most inert instrument or machine, yet to be for that very reason all the more instinct with life and motion. My whole moral frame and mechanism is to be possessed and occupied by God, and worked by God, and yet through that very working of God in and upon my inner man, I am to be made to apprehend more than ever my own inward liberty and power. This is the true freedom of the will of man, and then only is my will truly free, when it becomes the engine for working out the will of God."
If this be the true notion of freedom in man's state of perfection — if, even at man's best, there can be no freedom without God — can man in his fallen state be less dependent? We grant that man can work evil without God, bnt can he work anything which is truly good? Surely not. In a fallen state man is solely responsible for evil, but not he alone is to be credited with good. That is due to God. Good King Alfred, with laboring quaintuess of phrase, tried to express this truth more than a thousand years ago: "When the good things of this life are good, then they are good through the goodness of the good man who worketh good with them, and he is good through God." But the fountain-head of all this doctrine is in the utterance of the Apostle Paul: "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
And yet, if Paul were not an inspired apostle, such an utterance might seem a piece of sublime audacity. Here are two truths, so far as human reason can see, irreconcilable with each other, yet both asserted in the same breath and without the slightest intimation that the apostle is aware of any contradiction between them. Divine sovereignty and efficiency on the one hand, and human freedom and responsibility on the other. God the worker of all good, yet man called upon to work out his own salvation. We are usually content to hold each of these truths at different times, and we are greatly perplexed when we are required to grasp both of them together. We are like the child who tries at the same moment to hold in its little hand two oranges. It can hold one, but so surely as it attempts to take up the other, it is compelled to drop the first. So God's working and man's working are both of them truths, but our intellects are too infantile as yet to be able at once to grasp them both.
Cecil once said in substance that the preacher who preached the whole truth of God would sometimes be accused of being a hyper-Calvinist; and that the preacher who preached the whole truth of God would at other times be accused of being an out and out Arminian. And F. W. Robertson is bnt the type of a multitude of candid thinkers, when he tells us that he was in great trouble so long as he sought to discover the bond of connection between God's sovereignty and man's free-agency, and that he found rest only when he finally determined that both were true, and that he would preach them both, but that he would forever give over any attempt to understand or to explain the relation between them.
But Paul stands on a loftier height than either Cecil or Robertson. What to us seems contradiction, is to him as if it were not. He seems to discern the inner harmony between the divine and the human activities. He walks with firm and elastic step along the edge of these fathomless abysses of thought, and, as for the depths of mystery, he does not even notice them. For my part I count it a proof of his inspiration. No merely human tongue could thus speak of the problem of the ages without effort to speculate or explain. I cannot understand Paul's calm declaration of the twofold truth without supposing that God lifted Patd up to something like his own divine point of view, and then enabled Paul to speak as the oracles of God.
While the ordinary reader of Scripture has contented himself with holding each of these truths alternately, the makers of theological systems have very often tried to do better, and to embrace both in a rightly proportioned and organic whole. But we have to confess that, owing to the limitations of the human intellect which I have already alluded to, whether these be original and permanent, or superinduced by sin and destined to gradual removal, the success of the systematizers has been far from complete. They have been constantly tempted to purchase a seeming unity by a partial ignoring of the oue or the other element of the problem. Many a scheme of doctrine has been built up upon the single datum of human freedom. Freedom itself has been defined as the libeity of indifference, the soul's power to act without motive or contrary to the strongest motive, and such freedom lias been declared to be the measure of obligation. The result has been the denial of all responsibility for our native depiavity, all certainty of man's uersal sinfulne s and dependence upon Christ, all permanence of holy character in the redeemed or of unholy character in the lost, all predetermination or even foreknowledge by God of human free acts or final destinies — a self-dependent, self-righteous religion, in which the glory is given to man, not to God.
And then, on the other hand, many a system has been built upon the single datum of God's sovereignty, and man's freedom has been recognized only in name. Because God works all and in all, man's working has been ignored, and the human will has been made only the passive instrument of the divine efficiency and purpose. The result has been that human individual, ty has been lost sight of; the personality of man has been merged in the totality of the race; the race itself is but the automatic executor of an eternal decree; conscience is lulled to sleep; responsibility becomes a dream; sin is no longer guilt, but misfortune; men are saved or lost, no longer because of what they are or what they do, but only because it was so determined from eternity. A faith like this may have in it some grain of truth, and may be far better than no religion at all, but it is dangerously defective. It plays into the hands of modern materialism with its professedly scientific refutation of the freedom of the will; and if it cannot be justly called pantheistic, it is only because the necessitarian element in it is not carried to ita logical consequences. Let it have its way unchecked and unchallenged, and Christianity becomes a dead orthodoxy, whose deadness is evinced by indolence and immorality of life.
Now it is this last error which in certain quarters is most prevalent, and which it is my present purpose to test by an appeal to Scripture and to consciousness. But beforo I do this, it is important to notice that, in the passage which I just now quoted, the apostle Paul does not urge human duty by denying or undervaluing the divine activity. He does not inculcate man's work by disparaging God's. Nay, he not only recognizes both, but he bases the duty of the former upon the fact of the latter—"Work out your own salvation," he tells us, "for it is God that worketh in you." As between the Calvinistic and the Arminian scheme then, the Calvinistic is much the better, for it presents the more fundamental truth, the truth which human nature tends most to deny, the truth which we need most to recognize. An awe-inspiring view of God's working will nerve the soul, so that inaction will be impossible. It is not true, conversely, that a strong conviction of human power will lead to dependence upon God. The Scotch Covenanters knew what practical religion was. The English Church of the eighteenth century hardly did.
And the difference was determined largely by their creeds. To know tha God is at work in us gives hope and courage. All things are possible to himt who believes in this. But to be thrown back upon self and the strength of my unstable will for my security of salvation, this is weakening and depressing. Therefore Paul tells us that in our very working we are to recognize already the working of God and the pledge of victory. No synergism here; no recognition of an equal partnership between man and God, much less of a cooperation to be symbolized by a 'tandem' team in which man leads and God follows; nor a "working out," on man's part, of what God, on his part, "works in." All this misses the point entirely. Paul's idea is that God is in all, and man in all, so that man is to go forward joyfully, in the faith that every movement is the revelation of a divine energy within him, and that his success is not by might or power of his own, but by the Spirit of the Lord. Whatever stage of progress he shall reach, he shall know that in some true sense it is God who has wrought all his works in him, that unto these very works he has been created in Christ Jesus, according to the eternal ordination of God, and therefore he shall ever cry: "Not unto us, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory!"
Having thus vindicated my position as a genuine Calvinist, I wish to point out certain limitations of this doctrine of divine agency. And the first is that while God is said to be the worker of all good, he is not said to be the worker of all evil. There has been a hyper-Calvinism that has practically taught this. It has made God the only actor in the tmiverse. Because all things are included in his plan, it has been supposed that he must work all by his actual efficiency. And when it has been objected that this must make God the direct author of sin in human hearts, and that the responsibility of sin is thus transferred from man to God, such men as Hopkins and Emmons have responded that the moral quality of action does not depend upon its cause, but only upon its nature.
It is difficult to find words strong enough to express the instinctive indignation of the unsophisticated mind at this slanderous imputation upon God, and at the perverse reasoning with which it is supported. Is it possible to suppose that a human being, created with a will set against holiness and efficiently caused to exercise his evil propensities, would still be responsible for the possession of this will and for the exercise of these propensities? Yet this must be true, if the moral quality of activity does not at all depend upon its cause. God might make a man evil; and yet for this evil, not God, but man, might be responsible. This cannot be. We can hold man responsible for his evil nature, only upon the assumption that man is himself in some proper sense the originator of it. I do not now inquire whether there may not be a race-unity and a race-responsibility in virtue of which humanity is an organic whole, and constitutes one moral person before God. I only claim that no man's evil dispositions can be accounted guilty unless their origin can be traced back to some self-determined trangression, committed either in his individual capacity or in his connection with the race. We are guilty only of that sin which we have originated, or have had a part in originating. * Indeed there is no other sin thau this. Sin is never God's work, but always man's. Within the bounds of the human race — and of this only we arc speaking— sin is not caused by beings or by things outside of us. It is due, neither directly to God's efficiency, nor indirectly to the circumstances in which God has placed us. Man's sin comes from himself, and each man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed.
The view just combated, although it strenuously asserts the personality of God, is virtually a system of fatalism. Man's acts are all determined for him from without. Not only the natural power which is used in performing them, but their moral quality itself, is the result of God's efficient agency. Fortunately no extensive body of Christians lias ever held this view. But there has been another view almost equally pernicious, and which still has great currency. It is the view that man's acts are all determined from within, so determined by his inborn tendencies and dispositions that his life is nothing but a necessary manifestation of inherited character. All action is simply an unfolding of the nature, and cannot be different from that nature in kind. Man's freedom is simply freedom to act conformably to his existing evil inclination. That inclination he has no power to modify or check. This view may be called determinism, as the former view was called fatalism. It grants a freedom to action, but denies a freedom from action. Man does as he pleases, but he cannot please differently. And yet, although the inborn tendencies determine the life by an absolute necessity, man is held responsible for his activities because they are determined not from without but from within.
Now before indicating the precise point of error in this view, let us test it by certain well known facts of our experience. The theory denies the existence of any power in man to check or to modify his prevailing inclination. The man's volitions must correspond with his evil nature. Ho has power to manifest his character in action, but he has no power to change his character. Is this true? The carnal mind is enmity to God. Must every man therefore commit the sin against the Holy Ghost? I do not ask whether the commission of this sin may not be expected in the case of every sinner who
* Some would prefer to add: "or with the origination of which wo have had sympathy." Ilut aside from the obvious objection that to be guilty of sympathizing with another's sin is not precisely to be guilty of committing that sin (the two are distinguished in Koin. 1: .'t2), I cannot think that this explanation of the common guiltof the race gives their full and natural meaning to phrases in Hora. 5: 12-19, such as "for that all sinned " (aorist, v. 12); " through one trespass" ( v. 18). Compare 1 Cor. 15: 22 ; 2 Cor. 5: 14. The vast majority of men have never individually heard of Adam's sin; how then can they be said to sympathize with it? Is not this a sinning like Adam, instead of sinning with him; a fall through individual trespasses, rather than through the "one trespass " of the " one man 7"
continues in wilful rebellion. I simply ask whether this sin against the Holy Ghost is to be expected, in the case of every sinner, at once, or at the beginning of his conscious transgression. You answer in the negative. You grant then that the sinner has power to avoid that sin — that in this case at least he has a freedom from, as well as a freedom to. Is this freedom wholly the result of special grace? Then if, apart from extraordinary influences of the Holy Spirit, this sin against the Holy Ghost would uniformly be committed at the first moment of moral consciousness, are not all moral conditions short of that sin solely due to God, and is not every man practically as guilty as if he had already committed it? But this seems clearly inconsistent with the special guilt attaching to its commission. Why is it that, unlike fallen angels, man has yet to commit a sin which will put him beyond the reach of mercy? We seem compelled to recognize here a remnant of freedom. Man is not borne on irresistibly by his evil nature, so that apart from the special power of God he must at onco and inevitably commit the sin against the Holy Ghost.
Apply the principle still further. We must grant that even the unregenerate man has power to choose a less degree of sin instead of a greater; he can refuse altogether to yield to certain temptations; he can do outwardly good acts with imperfect motives; he can even seek God from considerations of self-interest. Wo do not claim that the unregenerate man can do any act, however insignificant, which can fully meet God's approval or answer the demands of his law. Much less do we claim that the unregenerate man can of himself change his fundamental preference for self and sin into a supreme love for God. But then, while we recognize inborn tendencies to evil and a bent of will contracted by persistent transgression, it is of great importance to remember that this is not the whole of the man. There is a residuum of power by which he may render himself more or less depraved. No man will be condemned in the final judgment solely because of what he was born with — judgment shall be rendered according to the deeds done in the body.
It is not true that the only probation is the probation of the raco in Adam. There is an individual probation also, in which each man decides his destiny. Those who are shut out from God's mercy, at the last, will bo shut out because they would not come to him that they might have life. Human existence in this world is not a mere spontaneous development of evil. As all men have freedom in thinking — as all men can suspend the action of mere association and can select the objects of their thought in matters that are merely secular — so, in matters of the soul, wheu God's claims are presented to the intellect, there is a power in every sinner to suspend present evil action and judgment and to fasten attention upon the considerations which urge obodience to God. If we say that in the absence of love for holiness there is no motive for even this slight and preliminary attention to the truth, I answer that there is still a natural propension toward abstract truth, besides the admonitions of conscience and the impulses of self-interest, which may bo appealed to in the case of every sinner who has not yet sinned the sin unto death and said with Satan: "Evil, be thou my good!" And, that this natural self-interest is not in itself sinful, God himself shows when he addresses the warnings and invitations of his word both to men's hopes and to men's fears.
In the old Greek tragedy the Furies pursued men to wretched deaths, because these men had unwittingly committed some offense agaiust divine or human law. Oedipus can say that his evil deeds have been suffered rather than done. But Christian ethics is obliged to found responsibility upon freedom. Somewhere we must find an originating act, which we either ourselves committed or in which we had a part. Somewhere we must find a point where we can say: It might have been otherwise. In everything which the conscience recognizes as sin, the plea of absolute necessity bars all guilt, remorse, or punishment. And here is the error of that form of Calvinism which it is my present object to criticize. It is the error of putting in the link of necessity between man's fundamental disposition and his individual choices. Volitions are conceived of as mere hands upon the dial, that indicate the internal structure of the clock. Will has no power to react upon the interior mechanism, and so change the direction or kind of its movement. Upon this view there should be no power of suspending evil action in any given case, no power of directing the attention to opposing considerations, no power of summoning up motives to good, no power of seeking help from God.
In this respect it seems to me that we are called upon to retreat from Jonathan Edward's philosophy to the positions of Scripture. Edwards held that volition must always follow inclination, and that an act of will contrary in its nature to the soul's fundamental preference was inconceivable and impossible. * But Adam was created in righteousness and true holiness — how was it possible that Adam could ever fall? The Christian's deepest love is love for God — how is it possible that the Christian can ever sin? Here are cases where the volitions are not mere manifestations of the soul's fundamental preference. How will Jonathan Edwards explain them? He does not pretend to explain them. You may look his works through, and find no solution of the problem. These are outlying facts which could not be reconciled with his theory of the will, aud their existence proves his theory insufficient, however correct in its main features it may be.
Both Calvin and Augustine were broader than Edwards. They held that Adam at least had a power of contrary choice — not that he could choose good and choose evil at the same time, but that he had power to change his choice of good into a choice of evil — a power which he actually exercised in the fall. The race which fell in him has indeed lost the power to change its moral condition by an act of will, but its present state is referable to a free act in which, in the person of its first father, it consciously aud wick
* Ed wards, it is true, calls this necessity a "philosophical necessity," and insists that he means by the phrase nothing more nor loss than certainty ( Freedom o'f the Will, p. 10). But there are passages in his treatise which imply much more than this. For example, he ascribes to future free acts the same necessity that belongs to an act done in the past (p. 77.) Motive is cauxr, and renders other volition than the one put forth causeless and Impossible. .Motive acts as inevitably as a mechanical cause, and volition is its effect, passively produced or modified (p. 53). "The will, at the time of that diverse or opposite leading act or inclination and when actually under the influence of it. is not able to exert itself to the contrary, to make an alteration in order to a compliance " — a sentence which is either meaningless, or means that a man cannot change any inclination or purpose which he has once formed.
edly apostatized from God. Calvin * and Augustine t both recognized, as Edwards never did, that, in spite of this transgression of the race in Adam and the inherited depravity that has resulted therefrom, each individual has a power of his own to check and to modify his evil nature and to make himself more or less guilty in the sight of God. Man is not wholly a development of inborn tendencies, a manifestation of original sin. The corrupt tree, says Augustine, may produce the wild fruit of morality, though it cannot produce the divine fruit of grace. There is still left a power to resist depravity and to attend to truth, just as the Christian man has still left a power to put forth evil volitions which contradict the governing disposition of his soul.
It is a great gain to doctrine and to conduct when we learn that character does not absolutely bind us. Christian character does not bind the Christian to be holy. Adam's and Satan's originally holy character did not absolutely bind them. They had power not only to choose ways of acting out their fundamental choice, but they had power of changing that choice. Not only had they power to choose between different expressions of motive, but they had power to choose between motives themselves. Both in the fall and at conversion there is such a new choice of motive. Motives are not properly causes, but only occasions, of our action. The man himself is the cause. Motives do not compel, they rather persuade, the will. The will acts in view of motives. And so we may give a new definition of free agency, considered as a condition of responsibility, and as distinguished from that spiritual freedom first-mentioned which is identical with perfect conformity to the divine law. Free agency —. to give a formula which will apply to all responsible beings, perfect and imperfect, fallen and unfallen — is the soul's power to choose between motives, and to direct its subsequent activities according to the motive thus chosen.
In secular concerns, this choice between motives is no uncommon thing. We know what it is to choose a profession, and we know that this choice is a very different thins from the following of the profession thus chosen. In religious concerns this choice between motives is the event of a lifetime, whether it be the one decision for good in the life-time of the individual, or the one decision for evil in the life-time of the race. Thut decision once made, and the motive whether good or evil onee chosen, affection and habit will make it harder and harder to change the decision and to reverse the
*Calvin, Inst.Bel. Ch., 1:15: 8—" Man was endowed with free will by which, if he had chosen, he might have obtained eternal life. Adam could have stood if he would, since he fell merely by his own will; but, because his will was fiexible to either side and he was not endowed with constancy to persevere, therefore he so easily fell. Yet his choice of (rood ami evil was free; and not only so, but his mind and will wero possessed of consummate rectitude, and all his organic parts were rightly disposed to obedience, till destroying himself, ho corrupted all his excellencies." * * » "It would have been unreasonable that God should be confined to this condition, to make man so as to be altogether incapable either of choosing or of committing any sin."
+ Augustine, I)e Correptione et Gratia, c. 13—"While ail men are evil, they have through free will added [to original sin] some more, some less." De Gratia et Libero Arbitrio. 2: 1 —" Added to the sin of their birth sins of their own commission." 2:4 — "Neither denies our liberty of will whether to choose an evil or a good life, nor attributes to it so much power thut it can avail anything without God's grace, or that it can change itself from evil to good."
choice. Evil doing will give rise to a diseased state in which the will is so weak that it is certain never to break its bonds without divine help. He that commits sin becomes the slave of sin, and will never emerge into freedom until Christ stretches out his hand to deliver. But even this certainty of continuous evil activity is not necessity; and the fact that this evil activity is self-originated and self-maintained is au all-sufficient ground of responsibility and condemnation both in conscience and before God's bar.
In Julins Miiller's " Doctrine of Sin " there is frankly recognized, both in the individual and in the race as a whole, an already existing determination to evil. There is a bent of the will, prior to individual volitious, which cannot be explained as mere habit, and which amounts to an active preference of selfishness and sin. Thus far Julins Milller grants to determinism an element of truth. But then he declares that this existing determination to evil is partly limited by the will's remaining power of choice, and is partly traceable to a former self-determination. In my judgment the great German theologian has given us the best extant discussion of the subject, and with his conclusions, so far as man's present state is concerned, I substantially agree. I recognize such a thing as character — affections set in the direction of wrong or right, and endowed with power to persuade the will — and that with infallible certainty — because the will itself has made them what they are, and even now cherishes tjiem. Even in the case of congenital bias toward evil we arc responsible for the evil affections we inherit, because we are not simply individuals, but also members of a common humanity, which in ite first father determined itself against God. But the complementary trnth must never be forgotten, that these affections, formed as they are, are still subject in some degree to will, and that will is continually under the necessity either of resisting or of re-affirming them. The man's opportunity to choose between motives is a constant one, and whether he actually change his motive or not, he knows that he is not yet wholly deprived of his power to change it.
Of course the objection will be raised that this choice between motives must be a choice without motive, and that such an act of pure will is neither conceivable nor rational. Wo grant, with Calderwood, that an act of pure will is unknown in consciousness. There is no volition without motive, no putting forth of power without a reason for its exercise. We even dissent from Calderwood, when, very inconsistently with his statement already mentioned, he ascribes to will, in the initial act of attention, a freedom from the influence of motive. We mnintain, on the contrary, that everywhere and always the will acts only in view of motives, and that the theory of liberty which represents will as existing in an undetermined state, or as determining itself without motive or against the strongest motive, is repugnant both to consciousness and to reason. The choice to attend to considerations prompting a different course from that which we are now pursuing, is never made but for a reason, and that reason may be found both in instincts from within and in incitements from without. Motives are commonly compounded of external presentations and of internal dispositions. In freely choosing between motives, the man is influenced by motives — by one motive more than by another; otherwise motives are a mere impertinence, and the man may make up his decision entirely without them. There can always be found a reason for changing from one motive to another, aye, even in the case of capricious acts so-called, where the reason is simply the gratification of a lawless independence.
A reason, but not a cause. A persuasive influence, but not a constraining power. The cause, the power, are in the free will that chooses. That will infallibly chooses according to motive, but it is not determined by motive. Will is itself the determiner. Here is an act of absolute origination — an act inexplicable to the logical understanding. With Sir William Hamilton, we accept the fact that the will is an undetermined cause, upon the simple testimony of consciousness. But it may be questioned whether the whole difficulty in the case does not arise from taking the word motive in a mechanical sense, and from forgetting that the motive is nothing but the man. All motive is in the last analysis internal. Motive is simply the man in a certain state of feeling or desire. And will is nothing but this same man choosing.
The man may have many desires, and therefore many motives, some lower, some higher, but prior to his decision no one of these motives may be stronger than another. It is the soul's choosing to yield to the one rather than to the other that gives that one its strength. It becomes the prevailing motive only by the soul's determining to follow it and identify itself with it. As before choice it may be said that the motive was only the man, so after choice it may be said that the man is nothing but his motive — at least until at some new epoch of his experience, he gives himself up to some new impulse that clamors for control. So man is not a creative first cause, for the reason that he only chooses between impulses previously existing — a drop of water, as a French writer has said, which chooses whether it will How into the Rhine or into the Rhone. The forces that bear it onward are not of its own making, any more than the drop of water makes the force of gravitation. Man can choose his direction only, whether toward holiness or unholiness, Satan or God, heaven or hell. Yet, determining what his motive shall be, he determines his character, that is, he determines himself: he is in the highest sense self-determined, and therefore solely responsible, not only for his present character, but for all the executive acts which flow therefrom.*
Man is one, and desire and will always go together. They act and react upon each other. The will may strengthen or weaken the desires by directing the attention to or from the objects adapted to excite them. Man may thus to a certain extent change his course and modify his character. The
* Since writing the above I find in the Princeton Review for 18.V5, pp. 514, 515, an extended notice of William Lyull's Intellect, Emotimw and Moml Nature (Kdinburgh, Constable & Co., 1855). From that work the following lines are quoted with approval: *' Tbe will follows reasons, inducements, but it is not caused. It obeys, or it acts under inducement, but it does so sovereignly." .... "Itexhibits the phenomena of activity in relation to the very motive it obeys. It obeys it rather than another. It determines in reference to it that this is the very motive which it will obey. There is undoubtedly this phenomenon exhibited, the will obeying, but elective, active in its obedience. If it be asked how this is possible, how the will can be under the influence of motive and yet possess an intellectual activity, wo reply that this is one of those ultimate phenomena which must he admitted, while they cannot be explained." So we may add that in all fundamental choices the object chosen and the motive for choosing are one and the same thing.
desires in turn act upon the will and influence its decisions, without however destroying its power to accept or reject their suggestions. Which comes first, desire or will? It is like asking: "Which comes first, strength or exercise? In this laat case, we should answer: Either may come first. Strength usually comes first, and is the condition of exercise. But there are cases when strength is greatly reduced, and only exercise will restore it. Then exercise comes before strength. So, in the case of our ordinary action, desire seems to precede will; in the crises of our history, will seems to precede desire.
In the cognition of beauty, who can tell which goes before, the intellectual apprehension or the state of the sensibility? Do you say the man must first know, in order to feel? Chronologically, yes — for his feeling must have an object, and this the intellect must furnish. Logically, no — for no man can see a beauty which he does not love; and the taste conditions the intellectual apprehension. So both desire and will are involved in every moral act; each affects the other. Yet in certain acts the one element may be more prominent than the other, the one may precede the other. Logically, desire may come first; but chronologically, will.
The views presented in this paper are partly intended to constitute a supplement and modification of those advocated by the author in the article which precedes this. That there may be no mistake with regard to their nature, let me here sum up what has been said thus far, and distinguish my position ns precisely as possible from other schemes with which it might be confounded. As to original sin. The race is organically one. When Adam sinned and fell, all there was of human nature sinned and fell in him. By an act of free will he corrupted his nature, and all his posterity possess by inheritance that nature which corrupted itself in him. Adam's act of will was an act of permanent choice, and we partake of it. The result of that act was a depraving of his affections, and we partake of them. I reject however that division of the human powers which classes affections under the head of will. I would speak of voluntary affections only in the sense that the will has originated, and that the will continues to cherish, these affections. Both in the case of Adam and in the case of his posterity, the settled choice of self as the end of living, and the evil affections which result therefrom, involve a moral inability to do right or to obey God, while yet the natural ability remains. Man can change his evil desire, but he has no desire to change. The can-not is simply a will-not; though, until the Spirit of God deliver him, that will-not is a bondage as terrible and remorseless as any imprisonment behind iron bars. But it is a bondage for which the sinner is responsible and guilty, because it consists in nothing but his own active choice of evil.
Not all sin then is personal. There was a first race-sin, in which man's will and affections freely and wickedly contracted a perverse bent and inclination. Only by identifying ourselves with Adam, can we account for our birth with evil dispositions for which both conscience and Scripture hold us guilty. But now, as to man's remaining f reedom. Neither Adam nor his posterity in that first act of sin lost their natural power of will, though they did lose their inclination to will conformably to God's law. There was still in the case of Adam — there is still in the case of his posterity — a power to check the manifestations of evil inclination, and at least indirectly and with imperfect motives to seek its reversal. It is within man's power to be more or less corrupt in his outward life, and to use with more or less faithfulness the outward means of grace. Inborn character does not so bind a man that he has no individual probation. He has still the freedom which consists in choosing between motives ; and inasmuch as this choice is not without motive but is made for a reason, there is previous certainty of an evil choice, while yet the soul has perfect power to make a right one. Thus I would exclude both the hyper-Calvinistic determinism which would make the life of each individual simply the evolution of his inherited depravity, and also the Arminian theory of the uncertainty of human action which would make it impossible for God either to foreordain or to foreknow the future.
Although the Scriptures teach that God only can give the new heart, sinners are exhorted in Scripture to make to themselves a new heart. Regeneration is plainly not a mechanical work of God, but a work of personal influence upon the sinner's affections. Nor is it an influence exerted only through the truth, as if man were the only agent, and moral suasion were the only method God could employ to change man's will. We repel the notion that the only communication between spirit and spirit is through truth; for this is a virtual denial of the Christian's union with Christ and of God's personal communion with the human soul. We know of an influence exerted by the orator, which is above and beyond that of the words he speaks. We know of a power of personal influence, that passes that of argument. There is a subtle magnetism in the presence of a noble friend, that disarms objection and opens the heart to his persuasions ere we are aware. There is an atmosphere of purity and truth and love enwrapping some devoted souls, that draws us to them and makes us trust everything they say. Aye, there seem to be subtle laws, only obscurely understood as yet, in accordance with which soul comes into contact with soul, and acts directly upon soul, though sundered far by space, and deprived of all physical intermediaries. So Christ's entrance into the soul and joining himself to it has power to change the heart. The renewing Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, and in that new contact of the human spirit with the divine, the soul is transformed into the image of him who first created it.
But this personal presence of Christ does not constrain or compel. Rather is there a new consciousness of strength and a new sense of freedom. Lifted up into this new divine companionship, and penetrated with this new divine life, there is a soul-absorbing penitence for sin and submission to the Savior. God's working in the soul to will and to do, has for its result and accompaniment the soul's working-out of its own salvation. The great change which, looked at from the divine side, we call regeneration, when looked at from the human side, may be called conversion. Regeneration has logical, but not chronological, precedence of conversion. Man turns ouly as God turns him, indeed; but it is equally true that man is never to wait for God's working. If he is ever regenerated, it must be in and through A movement of his own will, in which he turns to God as unconstrainedly, and with as little consciousness of God's operation upon him, as if no such operation of God were involved in the change. And, in preaching, we are to press upon men the claims of God and their duty of immediate submission to Christ, with the certainty that they who do so submit will subsequently recognize this new and holy activity of their own wills as due to the working within them of divine power.
So we come back at last to the point from which we set out. The freedom which consists in the power to choose between motives is to be so used under grace that we may through it enter into that higher freedom which consists in the glad surrender of all our powers to God. In the fall man lost the latter, while he retained the former. Only the grace of God can restore that harmony of the human will with the law of holiness, for which man was originally made. Formal freedom, as the Germans call the mere power to put forth single volitions externally conformed to law, is not enough. Man needs real freedom, by which phrase those same Germans designate the power to love God with all the heart, and so, to live according to the idea of man's being. This real freedom, this freedom in the highest sense, is partially restored in regeneration; it will be perfectly restored when we awake in Christ's likeness. In the case of the saints in heaven, the formal freedom will be merged in the real and will be made the organ for its manifestation, as it is in the case of God himself, and they shall be perfect even as their Father in heaven is perfect. The highest freedom involves a certainty of holy character and of holy action, for it is a state in which mind and heart and will, all the outgoing powers and all the inner being, are set, without the shadow of a fear or the chance of wavering, in one puro and everlasting fixedness of devotion to duty and of likeness to God.
And so, faith leads to freedom. The soul at one with God and inspired by God becomes a centre of force in the uerse, an originator and communicator of holy influence in the highest sense in which this is possible to the creature. In becoming the servants of Christ we become the Lord's freemen, for only he whom the Son makes free is free indeed. But another use of our formal freedom is possible. We may use it to rivet yet more tightly the manacles of sense and sin, so that escape, from being difficult, becomes hopeless. We may make ourselves the slaves of selfishness, the sport of passion, mere waifs upon the roaring sea of circumstance, mere passive and brute tools of the evil one. Now for a time there is possible a turning of the thoughts to God and to the motives for repentance. But the day will come when character will become indurated, when self-interest will be of less account than hatred to God, when there will be no motives longer to which even God can appeal in order to save. So the soul, which was meant to have a potency second only to God's, becomes impotent. In losing God it has lost itself. It has used its remainder of freedom only to reiterate and confirm the first evil choice of humanity and to put real freedom permanently beyond its reach. While the righteous reign with God, true lords and free, the ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away, helpless, worthless, outcast forever.
The current tendency to believe in a probation after death must be considered as a historical judgment upon the erroneous postulates of the so-called New England Theology. That theology is in its innermost principle atomistic. The race is nothing — the individual is all. Since there is no raceresponsibility and no common guilt, a fair probation in the next world is demanded in the case of those who have had no individual or proper probatdon in this.* This method of reasoning cannot be met except by reaffirming the old truth which the New England theology has denied, namely that of a fair probation of the whole race in Adam, and the uersal guilt and condemnation of mankind on account of its common fall in him. Whatever comes to us in the way of opportunity and privilege since that first sin, is of grace, not of debt. Our individual probation gives us more than a fair chance. And since no man has a right to demand this new chance at the hauds of God, it is optional with God to how many it shall be extended, and how long it shall continue. As he has provided the redemption, it is for him to settle its terms. Scripture alone can determine when the day of grace shall end. And while Scripture seems to intimate that in the judgment none shall be condemned solely on account of the common sin of the race in Adam and that the grace of Christ shall avail to the salvation of all who have not consciously and personally transgressed, it seems to declare with equal plainness that the present is the last scene of probation, that there is a law written on the heart by which all men shall be tried, that even the heathen are without excuse, and that after the opportunities of this mortal state are over, there is a departure of each soul to its own place, whether that be one of sin or holiness, of happiness or misery. Here there are motives presented on either side, and every man has power either to resist the evil and guilty tendencies of the nature, with the certainty that such struggle will bo aided and blessed of God, or to confirm the sinful affections, so that no influences which God can consistently use will avail to save. And the decisions of this life are final. Will is not independent of motive, and all motives to good must be furnished by God. The wicked are indeed in the next world subjected to suffering. But suffering has in itself no reforming power. Unless accompanied by special renewing influences of the Spirit of God it only hardens and embitters the soul. We have no Scripture evidence that such influences of the Spirit are exerted after death upon the still impenitent, but abundant evidence, on the contrary, that the moral condition in which death finds men, is their condition forever. After death, comes, not probation, but judgment, and there is a great gulf fixed between the righteous and the wicked, which finite spirits cannot pass, and which the grace of God will not.
This then is the new Calvinism which I would advocate. It holds just as strongly as the old to God's initiative and to God's sovereignty in regeneration. God does not give the same influences to all, nor to any, all the influences which in his abstract omnipotence he can. There are influences
*Dr. G. H. Emerson, a leading TTersalist, in his "Doctrine of Probation Examined" points out very forcibly this tendency of the New England theology. "The truth," he says, "at once of ethics and of Scripture, that sin is in its permanent essence a free choice, however for a time it may be held in mechanical combination with the notion of moral opportunity arbitrarily closed, can never mingle with it, and must in the logical outcome permanently cast it off." Dr. Newman Smyth, in his introduction to Dorner's Eschatology, suggests that we must either, with Julius Millier, find a fair probation in a pre-existent state, or else, with Dorner, grant one after death. Neither Dr. Emerson nor Dr. Smyth could reach their conclusions, of Uersalism and of future probation respectively, If they eeriously held to the oneness of the race and its common fall in Adam. The doctrine of a fair probation of mankind at the beginning is needed to prevent the inference that there must be a further probation, if not uersal salvation, in the world to come.
of his Spirit which may be resisted. There are other influences which are sufficient to secure acceptance of Christ, when without them men would persevere in iniquity and be lost. God is not under bonds to give any of these to sinners, nor will he give them, after the short summer of this life is past. When he does give them in auy degree, resistance on the part of the .sinner involves a new guilt and condemnation. They will become effectual to no man's salvation, unless that man freely yield to the divine persuasion and choose for his supreme motive the love of God. We have emphasized hitherto the divine element in this great fundamental change. Let us not leave men in ignorance of the human element which the Scriptures connect inseparably with it. We have taught that God works in us to will and to do of his good pleasure. Let us teach also that men must work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. Only thus will the Christian learn that h-, must by perseverance prove his faith to be true. Only thus will the sinner learn that the whole guilt of his soul's destruction will rest upon himself. For both the Christian and the sinner are exhorted to work, to strive, to seek. We are responsible not only for all we can do ourselves, but for all we can secure from God. God's work and man's work form one whole. To ignore God's work is to destroy our hope. To ignore man's work is to destroy our responsibility. What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.