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ious to divines of all denominations" in England, but who attempted no reply to the arguments of Dr. Clarke refuting his scheme, was, by many divines in this country, relied upon as a “pillar and ground of the truth."

When Dr. Emmons was a student in theology the philosophy of Edwards was in full power. Its fundamental position, that “ the affections of the soul are not properly distinguishable from the will,” was less controverted than it is now. The fallacy of the Dictum Necessitatis," that a cause cannot act but by first acting to produce that act,” had not been detected, as it has now been. It had not then been demonstrated, that, in the necessitarian philosophy, strict analysis can find no material distinction between natural and moral necessity. Metaphysicians of that day often argued from the divine foreknowledge, as if certainty and necessity were identical in their logical relations; and inferred that whatever will be, in the view of the Creator, must be, relatively to the creature. In short, none of the fallacies in the Essay on the Will had been exposed, as many believe they have now been. The doctrine of the will had not been “ Determined by an Appeal to Consciousness," as, in the judgment of many, it has now been. What wonder, then, if Dr. Emmons, in his youth, assented to what he was heard expressly to affirm in his old age, “that no man in this country understood the subject of the will, till Jonathan Edwards understood it ?" Why should he not have believed what was taught him by such a man, especially when, by the suffrage of the mighty in the land, and for aught any one had successfully shown to the contrary, the question of the will had been, by that man," thoroughly looked into, and searched to the very bottom?” Why wish to search beyond the bottom? Let us not think it strange that he imbibed a philosophy which it was almost sacrilege to dispute, nor forget that his metaphysical theology must be viewed in connexion with the principles of mental science which were early instilled into his mind."

Rejecting the doctrine of the mind's efficiency, as he must have done, or else have rejected the wisdom of his teachers, and assuming that God is the efficient cause of man's volition, Dr. Emmons perceived that it could not affect the question of responsibility, whether he supposed them produced directly, or through a complicated train of circumstances. Is he not to be commended for preferring the plain and direct, to the occult and labyrinthian necessity advocated by some of his contemporaries? As the former view did not less accord with the dominant philosophy of the times, he adopted it, and gave it the stamp of his own positive and executive mind. Unlike many divines, he determined, in his bold uprightness, that his philosophy should speak plainly in his theology and in his preaching. Having what seemed to him a true light, he was not afraid to let it shine. That God “ worketh all in all,” as the efficient cause of all, being the substance of what the great masters had taught him, why should he not inculcate the “awful and amiable doctrine”? Be it what it might, supposing it true, why should it be any longer as a thing secretly brought to the ear, or as an image at which men trembled, but "could not discern the form thereof”? Why need the truth retire into palliating shades, or wish to be seen only in the dim and hazy distance? Why should he not let men look at it, with its open front and its own true lineaments, unmasked and undisguised ?

What that theory is, which is now proposed as the subject of inquiry, may be ascertained from Dr. Emmons's own words. “Since men are the creatures of God, they are necessarily his dependent creatures, who can act only as they are acted upon by a divine controlling influence,” vol. iv., p. 397. “None of these creatures and objects are capable of guiding their own motions, or directing their own actions to promote the purposes for which they were made," vol. IV., p. 383. “Many imagine that their free agency consists in a power to cause or originate their own voluntary exercises ; but this would imply that they are independent of God, in whom they live and move and have their being,” vol. IV., p. 384. “It is his agency, and nothing but his agency, that makes men act and prevents them from acting,” vol. IV., p. 272. “ He exerts his agency in producing all the free and voluntary exercises of every moral agent, as constantly and fully as in preserving and supporting his existence, vol. IV., p. 383. “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 those 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 wrong volitions in their hearts," vol. IV., p. 371. “ It is often thought and said, that nothing more was necessary on God's part, in order to fit Pharaoh for

destruction, than barely to leave him to himself. But God knew that no external means and motives would be sufficient of themselves to form his moral character. He determined, therefore, to operate on his heart itself, and cause him to put forth certain evil exercises in the view of certain external motives. When Moses called upon him to let the people go, God stood by him, and moved him to refuse. When the people departed from his kingdom, God stood by him and moved him to pursue after them with increased malice and revenge.

And what God did on such particular occasions, he did at all times," vol. IV., p. 327. “ We cannot conceive that his acting is any thing but his willing or choosing to produce an effect. His willing or choosing a thing to exist, is all that he does in causing it to exist," vol. IV., p. 379.

The theory comprised in the foregoing propositions—and many more of the same import might be given-may be stated as in substance the following: The agency of God consists merely in volition. He, by willing, is the efficient cause of every event, not only in the natural, but in the moral world. All human volitions, the good and bad alike, are produced by his irresistible and creative energy. This is the theory of divine efficiency. We shall endeavor now to examine it.

I. What are the alleged proofs of this theory?

Dr. Emmons nowhere advocates it by a very strict or elaborate demonstration, but often quotes in its defence from the Bible, and still oftener propounds it in a brief enthymematical form.

1. Let us hear the arguments from Scripture. It is granted that we may appeal to the Bible in proof of some things respecting the divine agency. Of the fact, for example, that God has an agency in some way connected with human actions, the Bible yields proof which none but an infidel can impugn. But when one forms a theory metaphysically defining the exact mode of that agency, and appeals to Scripture for proof, the established principles of science reject the appeal; because the writers of the Bible do not pretend to reveal the agency of God scientifically, nor to give us facts from which its mode can be defined, as a matter of science. And even if they claimed to have done this, no argument from Scripture, for a philosophical theory, can be valid, unless the passages on which it depends be not only interpreted correctly, but such as when so interpreted, shall teach that theory. Are these conditions fulfilled in Dr. Emmons's biblical arguments for the theory of divine efficiency? This question may be answered by referring to some examples.

Assuming that mind in moral agents, cannot be the efficient cause of its own acts, Dr. Emmons says, “all their motions, exercises, or actions, must originate from a divine efficiency,' vol. IV., p. 366. By this he means, that God is the efficient or producing cause of all human actions. And what Scriptural proofs does he offer ? One is, that “in Him we live and move and have our being.” This language was used by Paul, in declaring to heathen audience the existence of the one true God, as the source and sustenance of man's life and powers. But that he nieant to teach the theory before us, or any other metaphysical theory, no commentator, so far as we know, has ever even conjectured. It was the language of poetry; and the laws of speech forbid that we should receive it as the language of science. “Even the sacred writers frequently borrow the figurative diction of poetry to convey ideas, which must be interpreted, not according to the letter, but the spirit of the passage. It is thus that thunder is called the voice of God; the wind, his breath ; and the tempest, the blast of his nostrils. Not attending to this circumstance, or rather not choosing to direct to it the attention of his readers, Spinoza bas laid hold of the well-known expression of St. Paul, that in God we live and move and have our being,' as a proof that the ideas of the Apostle concerning the divine nature, were pretty much the same with his own."

Again, to prove his theory, Dr. Emmons quotes the following: "We are not sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves ; but our sufficiency is of God.” We find no evidence that he subjected this passage to any philological examination. It was a question indispensable to his argument, whether our insufficiency here spoken of, implies that we cannot determine our own acts, or that, as sinners, we need an atoning sacrifice ;—whether our sufficiency, which is of God, consists in his creating all our moral actions, or in the merciful provisions of the gospel. The true meaning of the passage, respecting which expositors are agreed, is substantially this: we are not able to originate a plan of salvation for ourselves,

Works of Dugald Stewart, vol. VI., p. 279.

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but God has done it for us. Yet Dr. Emmons cites this passage as if it were a strict deinonstration that the divine will is the efficient cause of all human actions.

Take one example more. Men “ cannot originate a single thought, affection, or volition, independently of a divine influence upon their minds. They are always under a moral necessity of acting just as they do act,” vol. IV., p. 397. That is, their moral actions are caused to be just what they are by divine efficiency. And what is the proof from Scripture? way

of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh, to direct his steps.” What is this but applying the metaphorical language of ecstatic devotion, as if it were a scientific axiom? What but wresting an impassioned ejaculation to the purposes of logic? This is transgressing the plainest laws both of interpretation and of reasoning. “ Nothing is more usual for fervent devotion,” says Sir James Mackintosh, “than to dwell so long and so warmly on the meanness and worthlessness of created things, and on the all-sufficiency of the Supreme Being, that it slides insensibly from comparative to absolute language, and in the eagerness of its zeal to magnify the Deity, seems to annihilate every thing else.” The truth is, Dr. Emmons, finding that the Scriptures do, in some sense, ascribe human actions to God, supposes that this can be done only on the ground that he is their efficient producer; and then summons numerous passages to attest the truth of this hypothesis. We have endeavored to give a fair specimen of his biblical argumentation for the theory in question. In every part of it, he has certainly violated a principle now generally admitted, that the Bible, not being a manual of philosophy, is not to be used as such. And if it were, in what instance has he shown, by the exposition of any text, that it communicates the notion of his theory? What more is it possible to show, than that the Bible ascribes the actions of men to God, as the Being under whose moral government and sustaining power they take place? We cannot but ask, also, in this connexion, What if an avowed pantheist should argue from the Bible as Dr. Emmons has done? Let him found his doctrine on such texts as these: “In him we live and move and have our being.” “ We are not sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God.” “ It is not in man that walketh, to direct his steps.” “ There is no power but of God.” " There are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in SECOND SERIES, VOL. X. NO. II.


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