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the man concerning whom Dr. West supposes there is a certainty, that he will not do an action, has to do the action, and so to defeat or remove the said certainty. I agree with Dr. West, that he has a physical power so to do." " p. 82.

Whatever may have been Cousin's views, this was all that was ever claimed by Dr. Dwight, Dr. Beecher, and the multitudes of others who have maintained, that the sinner has "power to the contrary" in every act of transgression. No one supposes, that fallen man will ever exercise this power previous to regeneration; he is the subject of a settled aversion to his duty, which makes it certain, that he will never do this without the intervention of divine grace. But his aversion as a sinner, however deadly in its actual effects, does not destroy his capacity as a moral being, his natural ability as a subject of the divine government, to do those very things which it is certain he will never do without divine intervention. This is the doctrine of "power to the contrary," which has been stigmatized of late, in some quarters, as rank Arminianism. We cannot see, we have never been able to see, that it is anything but a statement, in so many terms, of the old established New England doctrine of man's natural ability to do his duty. If any are disposed to give up that doctrine, Pres. Day is not of the number. He re-states it in the strongest terms; and adds his testimony to that of the two Edwardses, that man has what they call natural power to choose otherwise than he actually chooses. "According to these writers," he says, "a man may have a natural power to make a contrary choice, although, at the same time, he is morally unable to do it; that is, he is under the influence of such motives as will infallibly prevent him from thus willing." p. 84. Throughout the whole section, however, Pres. Day's main object is to guard against the idea, that this power involves the doctrine of contingent volition, or choice without motives; and hence a careless reader, misunderstanding his object in these remarks, might suppose him, in some instances, to deny, that man has, in any sense, "power to the contrary;" or at least to question the propriety of this phrase, as expressing the acknowledged facts of the case.

This section concludes with some remarks on philosophical or moral necessity, which Pres. Day says, in common with Clarke and Edwards, "is not necessity in any proper acceptation of the term." p. 90. The younger Edwards states the case very clearly, when he says, that it is mere certainty; that "absolute certainty is all the moral necessity for which we plead." Diss, 160.

Section fifth is devoted to the subject of "ability and inability." Here Pres. Day first states the meaning of natural ability, with reference to external conduct. In this sense "a man is said to be able to do a thing, if he does it whenever he wills to do it; in other words, when there is nothing to prevent his doing it but a want of inclination." p. 96. But this does not meet the case as to acts of the mind. What is meant by a natural ability to choose God as the portion of the soul? an ability distinct from inclination or disinclination of mind on this subject? On this point, Pres. Day states the opinion of various writers, but does not enter into any formal explanation of his own. We will venture to dwell for a moment on this topic, because it is one of high importance. All choice depends on the presentation of motives to the mind. A mere external object, as Pres. Day remarks, (p, 57,) is not a motive; it derives this character from its relation to the mind that chooses, (p. 63.) In other words, the mind must have susceptibilities which render the external object an inducement or motive to choice. If, then, a being were required to choose God as his portion, who had no susceptibilities, nothing in the constitution of his mind, suited to make the character of God a motive to such a choice, he would be naturally unable so to choose. He must plainly have a new attribute of his nature given him; and until this is done, he is unable to choose God, in precisely the same sense, that he is unable to fly or to create a world. If, on the other hand, he has such susceptibilities, in connection with the other faculties of a moral agent, if there is that in the constitution of his being, which is suited to make the character of God a motive to his mind, then he has the natural ability to choose God. Nor does it at all affect this fact, that he actually chooses objects addressed to other susceptibilities of his nature. He may be wholly devoted to objects which gratify his bodily appetites; he may be the absolute slave of selfish feelings. Still the constitution of his being is the same; he has within him the capacity, though never exercised, of being moved by the character of God to the choice in question. This is only an expansion of Pres. Edwards' statement at the close of Part I. Section 5th, of his Treatise on the Will. "To moral agency belongs a moral faculty, or sense of moral good and evil, or of such a thing as desert or worthiness, of praise or blame, reward or punishment; and a capacity which an agent has of being influenced in his actions by moral inducements or motives, exhibited to the view of understanding and reason, to engage to a conduct agreeable to the moral faculty." According to this

statement, man must have a capacity of being influenced by motives to right action, as well as wrong-to "conduct agreeable to the moral faculty," as well as opposed to it-or he is not a moral agent. And this shows what we mean by "power to the contrary." It is the possession of these faculties and capacities of a moral agent; and while man remains a moral agent he must have this power.

In section sixth, Pres. Day inquires, what testimony is given by "consciousness" and by the "sense of accountability," on the subject before us? They testify he says, that man is the sole agent in choice, that "his volitions are his own acts, and not the acts of another." pp. 111, 115. But they do not testify that he chooses without motives. No such power as this is recognized by either of these faculties. As all his arguments are directed to this point, there are remarks in this section which a careless reader might understand as denying, what he had previously affirmed, that man has "power to the contrary," in the sense of natural ability. The word power in these cases, is used in the absolute sense mentioned above; and Pres. Day in using it, has no reference to man's natural ability to do his duty.

In section seventh, common sense is called on to give its testimony on the subject. This faculty decides, that "a man is not accountable for failing to do what he has no power to do." p. 126. But it gives no support to the doctrine that "the agent acts without motives, or that motives are merely objects upon which volition put forth fortuitously, may fasten." p. 125.

In section eighth, Pres. Day meets the objection, that the mind is rendered a mere machine, the subject of physical causation, unless the doctrine of self-determination is admitted. Here he shows that the influence of motives involves no such consequence; and that there may as truly be moral certainty as physical certainty, without supposing them to rest on the same basis.

The ninth section is entitled "Moral Government." Here it is maintained, that the very idea of moral government supposes the influence of motives, and that the doctrine of self-determination sets aside such a government. In this section, Pres. Day meets the objection resulting from the existence of sin. "If the volitions of moral agents are under the control of the Creator, the inquiry is made, why has he not wholly prevented the existence of sin?" p. 151. Many New England divines, it is well known, have answered this question by saying, that the present is the best supposable system; that we must of course conclude the sin it contains, to be a means of greater

good than would result from holiness in its stead; that it is thus the necessary means of the greatest good; and is really an evil only to our limited conceptions. But Pres. Day does not reason on the theory, that sin is the necessary means of the greatest good; or that the present system of the universe was chosen at all for the sake of the sin which it contains. On the contrary, he considers sin (as to its prevention by God) to be merely incidental to the best possible system; and not prevented, simply because the system must be sacrificed in the attempt to do it.

'May it not be inconsistent with the nature of things, that all sin should be prevented, in a universe filled with intelligent beings, possessing such natures, capacities, and propensities, placed in such circumstances, and with such motives before them, as are best calculated for attaining the highest good?

For aught that we can tell, it may be necessary, in carrying into execution the purposes of infinite benevolence, not only that means should be used, but that there should be a choice of means; a selection of those which are better adapted than others to the great end proposed. And this system of means may be inconsistent with such a course of measures as would prevent the existence of all sin. This supposition does not imply, that sin itself is one of the necessary means by which the greatest good is attained; but only that it could not be wholly prevented, except in such a way as would derange and impair the best possible system of means. According to this view, sin is neither good in itself, nor in its tendency. Though wholly evil, infinite wisdom suffers it to take place, rather than relinquish the course of measures which are necessary to the best good of the universe. These may have been adopted, not for the sake of the sin which follows, but notwithstanding the sin, for the sake of the good, which they are calculated to produce, and which greatly overbalances the evil of the sin and its consequences.' pp. 156, 157.

To the objection that this view of the subject limits the power of God, he replies, as we have done more than once on the same subject:

'Do we always understand ourselves, when we speak of limitations to the power of God? May it not sometimes be the case, that what we call a limit of power, is really an inconsistency in the nature and relations of things? It is not owing to defect of power, that the diameter of a circle cannot be made equal to its circumference; that a straight line cannot be made to coincide in all its parts, with a curve; or that a world cannot be made perfectly happy, while perfectly sinful. In the nature and relations of things supposed to exist, there may be inconsistencies not observed by us.' pp. 154, 155.

To the objection, that the happiness of God is impaired if sin is thus a necessary result or incident of the best possible system,

he replies in a single sentence, which involves the objector in the same dilemma. "Why then must he not be unhappy, if it is out of his power to secure the highest good, except by means of the sin which he abhors?" p. 157.

The theory of sin's being necessary to the greatest good, has been advocated by some of the strongest minds of New England, with the purest intentions, and the sanguine hope of being able, on this ground, "to justify the ways of God to man." Deference to great names led no small part of our clergy to adopt it, at least in words; and the subtlety of the subject, and the despair of finding a better solution, served for many years to repress all attempts at further investigation. But it never formed any part of the popular faith. When propounded from the pulpit, it served only to perplex the minds of christians with apparent contradictions; with the doctrine that God forbids all sin, and yet prefers, in a multitude of instances, that men should sin rather than be holy. It has been used by Arminians, Universalists and Infidels, as a powerful weapon of attack on some of the most momentous truths of religion. These facts have brought it up again for discussion among the Calvinists of New England; and though some have been alarmed lest the doctrines which have been connected with this theory, might be sacrificed if it was given up, the conviction has been continually increasing in the public mind, that the theory must be abandoned. No reflecting man can doubt, that the time has come, when the doctrine "that sin is the necessary means of the greatest good" will soon be numbered among "the things that were."

For ourselves, we have no solicitude, and never have had any, to see any other theory substituted in its place. In bringing forward another, upon former occasions, our only object was, as we then stated, to present a possible supposition, as a point of rest to the mind, in pursuing its investigations,-to take away, what must always be a fatal impediment to inquiry, the feeling that there was no alternative; and that as sin actually exists, it could have been admitted into the universe only as the necessary means of the greatest good. This purpose has been answered; the discussion has gone forward; the charm has been broken as to the old theory, and it must soon pass away. Here then, we are ready to leave the subject, and to make it our only positive solution of the great problem of moral evil, "Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight."

But our limits remind us that we must bring our observations to a close. In the next section, entitled "activity and dependVOL. X. 24

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