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roneous, and the theory to be false; and point out some of the consequences, which must result from its being taught as a part of revealed theology.
The theory and the reasonings on which it rests.
The theory is briefly expressed in the following proposition
GOD CREATES ALL THE ACTS OF MEN.
The mode of His agency is that of creating, and it extends to all their actions.
The manner in which the Doctor contemplates its mode and extent, the use of motives, and the activity and moral freedom of men, shall be exhibited by quotations.*
From the following passages it will be seen that he regards the mode of God's agency as that of creating.
“ Since all men are dependent agents, all their motions, exercises, or actions must originate from a divine efficiency. We can no more act, than we can exist, without the constant aid and influence of the Deity.” Vol. ii. p. 31.
“ The heart may be created, as well as
The Doctor's volumes are not numbered; for convenience, we shall designate that published in 1800 as Vol. I, and that published in 1812 as Vol. II.
the understanding; or moral exercises, as well as natural faculties. It appears from what has been said, that the hearts of saints are created; or that their free and voluntary exercises are the production of divine power." Vol. i.
Vol. i. p. 231. “It is agreeable to the nature of virtue or true holiness to be created." p. 279.
“ Holiness is something which has a real and positive existence, and which not only may, but must be created.” p. 280.
“ He," God, “has the power of production. He can create, or bring out of nothing into existence, whatever he pleases. As he can create a body, and create a soul, which are lower kinds of existence; so he can create virtue or true holiness, which is the highest and noblest kind of existence.” p. 281.
" It is sometimes proper to ascribe men's good actions wholly to God, and sometimes equally proper to ascribe their bad actions wholly to him. justly conclude, that the divine agency is as much concerned in their bad, as in their good actions.” Vol. ii. p. 39. .
“ If saints can work out their own salvation, under a positive influence of the Deity; then sinners can work out their
own destruction, under his positive influence.”
228. “ They never do act of themselves.They live and move and have their being in God, who constantly works in them, both to will and to do, in every instance of their conduct." p. 240.
- Men are no more capable of acting independently of God in one instance than another. If they need any kind or degree of divine agency in doing good, they need precisely the same kind and degree of divine agency in doing evil. This is the dictate of reason, and the Scripture says the same. It is God who worketh in men, both to will and to do, in all cases without exception. He wrought equally in the minds of those who sold, and in the minds of those who bought, Joseph. He wrought as effectually in the minds of Joseph's brethren, when they sold him, as when they repented and besought his mercy. He not only prepared these persons to act, but made them act. He not only exhibited motives of action before their minds, but disposed their minds to comply with the motives exhibited. But there was no possible way, in which he could dispose them to act right or wrong, but only by producing right or
volitions in their hearts. And if he produced their bad as well as good volitions, then his agency was concerned in precisely the same manner, in their wrong as in their right actions." Vol. ii. p. 40.
6. If God can work in moral agents both to will and to do of his good pleasure, then we may easily account for the moral depravity of infants.” Vol. i.
235. “ He works in them, as he does in other men, both to will and to do of his good pleasure; or produces those moral exercises in their hearts, in which moral depravity properly and essentially consists.”
“ Their” [sinners'] “ activity in all cases is owing to a divine operation upon their minds: they are not sufficient of themselves to think any thing of themselves.” Vol. ii. p. 179.
“ If they" [men] “ do any thing whatever, it may be truly said, it was done by the finger of God.” p. 32.
Many other passages of similar import might be added from the Doctor's volumes ; but from these it is seen with sufficient clearness, that he regards the mode of the divine agency as that of creating. In the passages from vol. i. pp. 231, 279, 280, and 281, he represents the agency
of God, in regard to the holy acts of men, as a creating agency; and in the passage from vol. ii. p. 40, he represents precisely the same kind and degree of divine agency as necessary to men in doing evil, as in doing good; and God's agency as concerned in precisely the same manner in their wrong as in their right actions ; of course it is a creating agency. From his using the noun “production," in several of those passages, interchangeably with “creation ;” and in many other passages, the verb “ produce,” interchangeably with “ create,” it is apparent that he employs them in those places to denote the same kind of agency,
And we must infer, that he intends likewise to designate a creating agency, by the terms, “divine efficiency," 66 divine operation," “ divine agency,” “ positive influence;" and the phrases, “ to work in men to will and to do"_" made them act”
disposed their minds,” and others of similar import, if he wishes by them to denote any mode of God's agency. As this phraseology itself, if you except the first term, does not determine what mode of agency it is employed to designate ; it must be interpreted in accordance with those passages, in which the Doctor exhi