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the wheel of his logic a scheme of philosophy set up for the support of such errors. He might have done it withont a mode of definition and argument, which, driven in another direction, binds together the dead bones of errors equally as bad, articulates them, clothes them with flesh, and raises them up, an exceeding great army. Of the powers and elements of his logis so applied, we would say as Burke said of the metaphysical subtleties of the French Revolution ;-let him joust with them as he pleases in any mere intellectual tournament, let him sport them in any sphere that does not set abstractions against realities, our consciousness against our theology ;
Illa se jactat in aula
But let them not break prison to burst like a Levanter, to sweep the earth with their hurricanes, and to break up the fountains of the great deep to overwhelm us.
Professor Tappan does not write in the spirit of a theological partisan, but in reference to his inquiries as to the system of Edwards on the Will, he properly observes that a moral and religious interest pertains to them, especially if any philosophical infidels have employed the psychology of Edwards to overthrow moral obligation. He remarks that though we may fancy that some favorite metaphysico-theological dogmas can be sustained only by this psychology, the true moralist and theologist will be more earnest to uphold the foundations of morality and religion than any particular speculations of secondary moment. Before proceeding to any notice of his argument, our readers we are sure will agree upon the value and justness of the thoughts in the following quotation from his third volume.
“In any age of the church, and in our age as well as in the preceding ages, a devout lover of truth, in examining any system of theology, is bound to inquire into its metaphysics separately from the gospel truths which it has incorporated. Since the Bible is not a system of philosophy, a mere quotation of its texts, or their incorporation, cannot be received in proof of a philosophy. We must take the Bible facts and affirmations in their pure simplicity,—and we must examine the metaphysics on its own legitimate grounds. We are bound as Christians to believe the words of Scripture wherever we find them, but we are not bound to believe the philosophy which a father or doctor in the church has seen fit to connect with them.
"The errors of past ages have imposed upon us a labor which otherwise might have been avoided. The gospel may be efficacious to salvation in entire separation from philosophical systems now, as well as in the days of the Apostles; but adopted as it now is, even by the unlearned and the mass of Christians, under the forms and articles of elaborated theological systems, if in these systems its integrity has been violated for the purpose of sustaining favorite dogmas, then we can detect and expose the evil only by exposing the false philosophy. Or suppose that the integrity of the truths and facts of the gospel be preserved, but that there be connected with them a philosophy directly hostile to them, and that the theologist in his zeal for the philosophy does not perceive this hostility, then again it becomes us to set forth this philosophy under its true colors. If we neglect to do this, we expose the inspired truths and facts to aspersion, and even to a seeming refutation, because we send them out in bad company. The infidel will receive your identification of the gospel with a certain philosophy, and then by overthrowing the phi. losophy claim to have overthrown the gospel; or he may in common with yourself receive the philosophy, and ithen by carrying out its positions legitimately, direct it as a powerful artillery against the gospel. We have in the last supposition exactly described the bearing of a false psychology of the will upon the theology with which it has been connected.”
In accordance with the spirit of these remarks, the truth of which we think no one can deny, Professor Tappan sets out in his work with a full statement of Edwards' system.
In regard to this, the only question that can be asked must be, Is it fairly drawn up ? We think it is; and if he valued the success of his own argument he would not be likely to set out with a misstatement of Edwards, which it would be so easy for every man to detect. He then proceeds to state the legitimate consequences of the system of Edwards, the conclusions to which his reasoning conducts us. Certainly no man is to be blamed for doing this, and for doing it as faithfully as possible. Men may say that Edwards would have denied the legitimacy of those conclusions, or would have repelled them with abhorrence; but that is not the point : do his principles involve them ? So would Locke have denied and abhorred the conclusions drawn from his philosophy and the purposes to which it was applied. But no man is to be blamed, or regarded as Locke's enemy, or the maligner of his reputation, who shows to what conclusions a rigid pursuit of his principles would lead us. You may say indeed that these evils were not in the mind of the propounders of such schemes, and that they are only incidental, and incidental only in the hands of evil-disposed persons, who will make the worst of them. But if the incidental evil tendencies of a scheme of philosophy are such as to outweigh all its good applications, how can it be the offspring of truth, and who can be conscien
tious in adopting it? If the Arminian notions could be conquered only by a system that in the end would be turned against all religion, it were better to leave them alone. It is a melancholy policy, though history is full of it, for a king to hire foreign troops, or bands of mercenaries, who in the end will overrun his own state.
It cannot however be said that Edwards was unconscious of the tendency of his doctrines, or that he had not himself pursued them to their ultimate results. There are other portions of his writings besides his work on the Freedom of the Will, which present some of the most extraordinary passages in the annals of theology, and put to the blush the efforts of all modern diluters of his system. Men are undertaking a work of supererogation, when they seek to rebut the charge of fatalisin as one of the tendencies of Edwards' work, since the author himself plainly avowed the opinion.
"It cannot be any injustice in God,” says he, “to determine who is certainly to sin, and so certainly to be damned. For, if we suppose this impossibility, that God had not determined any thing, things would happen as fatally as they do now.--Wherefore, seeing things do unavoidably go fatally and necessarily, what injustice is it in the Supreme Being, seeing it is a contradiction that it should be otherwise, to decree that they should be as they are ?»* Again: “ That we should say that God has decreed every action of men, yea, every action that is sinful, and every circumstance of those actions; that he predetermines that they shall be in every respect as they afterwards are; that he determines that there shall be such actions, and just so sinful as they are; and yet that God does not decree the actions that are sinful as sin, but decrees them as good, is really consistent.”+
Much more might be noted of the same tenor, particularly where he denies that the principle laid down by the apostle, that we may not do evil that good may come, is obligatory upon the Divine Being ;I nor do we see why the great respect and veneration we all have for the admirable character of Edwards, both in mind and heart, should keep us from pronouncing these doctrines a monstrous deformity in any man's theological opinions. There is a wo pronounced in the Scriptures upon them that call evil good and good evil, that put darkness for light and light for darkness.
We will simply add a quotation by Dugald Stewart from the Edinburgh Encyclopedia, with a closing remark of his own:
* Miscellaneous Observations, 5. Works, Vol. VII.
| Mis. Obs. 59.
" While the king (James second of Great Britain) was involved in the deepest distress, in consequence of the desertion of his army, and the success of the Prince of Orange, he was doomed to suffer from the conduct of his daughter, the Princess Anne (married to Prince George of Denmark), a species of distress still more severe. If heaven, in this world, ever interposes its avenging arm between guilt and happiness, may we not consider the loss of seventeen children as the penalty which it exacted from the mother, who had broken the heart of the most indulgent father: and as if this exaction had not been sufficiently severe, the infliction of the punishment PRECEDED the commission of the crime.”
“If crimes and their appropriate punishments," says Mr. Stewart, “ be both the effects of the absolute decrees of God, it is certainly not more inconsistent with his justice that the punishment should PRECEDE the crime, than follow after it.”
The consequences of Edwards' system we think Professor Tappan has pressed fairly and logically; of this every reader may judge. They present a fearful array, but the deduction is as demonstrative as any part of Edwards' own argument. It may relieve such a deduction in some measure from the odium attached in many minds to any writer who pursues it, if we remind the reader that substantially the same course has been pursued by Dr. Clarke against Leibnitz and Collins, and by Dugald Stewart in his remarks on the doctrine of Necessity, and in his criticisms on Edwards, and some others of its advocates. And as the appendix to Stewart's Philosophy seems to have been unaccountably neglected, we shall here introduce one or two quotations of great interest on this subject.
“Every modern atheist I have ever heard of has been a Necessitarian. I cannot help adding that by far the ablest Necessitarians who have yet appeared have been those, who followed out their principles, till they ended in Spinosism ; a doctrine which differs from atheism more in words than in reality.”
" The argument for necessity drawn from the Divine Prescience is much insisted on both by Collins and Edwards; more especially by the latter, who undertakes to show that 'this foreknowledge infers á necessity of volition as much as an absolute decree. On this argument I shall make but one remark, that, if it be conclusive, it only serves to identify still more the creed of the Necessitarians with that of the Spinosites. For if God certainly foresees all the volitions of his creatures, he must, for the same reason, foresee all his own future volitions; and if this foreknowledge infers a necessity of volition in the one case, how is it possible to avoid the same inference in the other?”
“I have already said that in the opinion of Clarke the scheme of necessity, when pushed to its logical consequences, must ultimately terminate in Spinosism. It seems to have been the great aim of Collins to vindicate his favorite scheme from this reproach, and to retaliate upon the partisans of free will the charges of favoring atheism and immorality. In proof of this I have only to quote the account given by the author himself of the plan of his work.-In this view of the subject, and indeed in the very selection of his premises, it is remarkable how completely Collins has anticipated Dr. Jonathan Edwards, the most celebrated, and indisputably the ablest champion in later times of the scheme of Necessity. The coincidence is so perfect, that the outline given by the former of the plan of his work, might have served with equal propriety as a preface to that of the latter.It is evident that Collins, one of the most obnoxious writers of his day to divines of all denominations, was not less solicitous than his successor Edwards, to reconcile his metaphysical notions with man's accountableness and moral agency. The remarks therefore of Clarke upon Collins' work are equally applicable to that of Edwards. It is to be regretted that they seem never to have fallen into the hands of this very acute and candid reasoner.-I am afraid that Edwards' book, however well meant, has done much harm in England, as it has secured a favorable hearing to the same doctrines which, since the time of Clarke, had been generally ranked among the most dangerous errors of Hobbes and his disciples."
The legitimate consequences which Professor Tappan has traced from Edwards' system, have by no means been confined to theory. “ Remorse," says Mr. Belsham, the bold Socinian advocate of the doctrine of Necessity,“ is the exquisitely painful feeling which arises from the belief that in circumstances precisely the same we might have chosen and acted differently. This fallacious feeling is superseded by the doctrine of Necessity. Remorse supposes free will. It arises from forgetfulness of the precise state of mind when the action was performed.”
We have made these remarks thus far simply to bespeak a favorable hearing to a writer who has the independence in these days and in this country to appear in opposition to the system of Edwards. It is impossible to go greatly into detail respecting the merits of Professor Tappan's work, but we are convinced that so far as the main argument goes, he has conducted it with such fairness and acuteness, that it will be no easy task to meet him on the ground he has taken. The time has come when the advocates of Edwards' system will have to do something more than compose commentaries upon their master's book. The change in the prevailing psychological system of the age, which we believe is rapidly going on, will leave the defenders of the scheme of necessity ashore upon the barren reefs and sand banks