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ence,” Pres. Day shows, that the dependence of volitions upon motives, does not in the least impair the activity of man, as the sole agent in volition. This dependence, it should be remembered, consists simply in the fact that if we choose, there must be something to be chosen,—something having the character of an inducement to the choice made. In speaking of this inducement, Pres. Day says, with the latitude of expression so frequent in this treatise, that it (the inducement) acts upon the mind and causes its choice, and of course, that the mind is acted upon and caused to act in choosing; and is thus passive, as well as active, in the process of volition. This language, he is aware, will appear self-contradictory to those who understand the term passive in its limited sense, as opposed to active. But this, he states, is not his use of the word. Recipiency may, perhaps, express very nearly the idea of passivity, as here spoken of; though even this word is hardly broad enough to cover all its uses. In this view, we are passive, as to all things out of ourselves, which become grounds of our acting. We are passive, as held up in existence by God. We are passive, when we contemplate a landscape, when we read a book, when we listen to an argument. This breadth of expression has been adopted by Pres. Day, to show more clearly, that there cannot, in the nature of things, be any inconsistency between the ideas of dependence and of activity. All the dependence of the will on motives, for which the President contends, is of the kind here described. It consists in the fact, that a perfect and complete agent, the sole originator of his own actions, cannot, in the nature of things, choose except as there is something to be chosen, which has the character of an inducement. The consistency of activity and dependence, as thus explained by Pres. Day, is self-evident.
Passing by a brief section on Fatalism and Pantheism, upon which it is unnecessary to dwell, we come to the concluding section, on the "testimony of scripture,” for the sake of which the whole preceding part of the treatise was written. The main object of Pres. Day in this work, has been to remove those philosophical difficulties which steel many speculative minds against the influence of divine truth. On this, as on every question upon which God has spoken, his resort is to “the law and the testimony.” Here we find the evidence accumulating upon us in every form, that man is dependent as to his volitions, while yet he is a free and accountable agent. If this be not granted, there is an end of all religion. Pres. Day truly says, in bringing his treatise to a close :
'The question, whether human volitions are contingent, is nothing less than this, whether God can, in any way, by the measures of his providence, by the precepts and sanctions of his law, by the mercy of the gospel, by the terrors of perdition, by the glories of heaven, or by the operations of his Spirit, have any influence over the voluntary acts of his creatures. It is, in short, a question, whether God or chance is on the throne of the moral universe.' p. 195.
Thus have we sketched a brief outline of this valuable treatise. Many interesting discussions connected with the leading topics now presented, are of necessity passed over in silence; but what is here given as the great characteristic features of the work, though thrown off in haste, is, we are certain, a correct exhibition of Pres. Day's views. It is not, indeed, easy to misunderstand so clear a writer.
We have one remark to offer, as to the wide extent of meaning in which Pres. Day has often employed the leading terms in this discussion, such as cause, power, efficacious, passive, &c. He was naturally, and almost necessarily, led to do this, by the nature of his subject. He was controverting the notion, that volitions are fortuitous events, and hence he speaks of them as " caused," " produced," or "determined." He was guarding against the error which strips motives of their true character as inducements, and hence he represents them as “efficacious" causes. He was opposing the doctrine of a power to choose without motives, and was thus led to use the word power in the broad and uncommon sense spoken of above, which embraces all the antecedents to an actual choice. He was exhibiting the consistency of dependence and activity, and therefore speaks of men as both passive and active in the exercise of volition. We are not to infer, then, that on other topics, and in other discussions upon moral agency, he would think it wise or prudent to use these terms with the same breadth of meaning. There has been an increasing tendency within the last forty years, especially in theological discussions, to restrict these words to a more limited and specific sense. This has resulted from the abuse of them by impenitent sinners. The distinction made by Pres. Edwards between natural and moral ability and inability, has been the means, probably, of saving hundreds of thousands of souls, by enabling ministers to press it upon the consciences of sinners, that they can repent, that they have power to do what they will, in fact, never perform without divine intervention. Such preaching does in no degree dispense with the fullest inculcation of the doctrine of dependence. The entire ability of man as a moral being, to obey the commands of God, and the dreadful certainty, that he will never do it without the intervention of divine grace—these are pre-eminently the truths which rouse the sinner from his guilty slumbers, and pierce his soul with the anguish of remorse, and bring him (under God,) as a humble suppliant to the cross of Christ.
No one can appreciate more highly than the venerated author of the treatise, the value and efficacy of such preaching.
But the best things are liable to perversion, and when perverted often prove the worst. Men of ardent feelings and undisciplined judgment, in their anxiety to fasten conviction on the sinner, to make him feel, that he is the sole author of his own destruction, are tempted to use language which may imply more than they intend, and involve the doctrine of the selfdetermining power. We know not, that this has been the fact in New England, but we believe there are preachers elsewhere who have fallen into this error. To such it may prove a salutary caution, to contemplate the absurdities of the doctrine of contingent volition.
In conclusion we would observe, that we anticipate as one happy result of the publication of this work, that men will see more clearly, how much the controversies of the present day, are owing to the ambiguity of language. The leading terms which relate to moral agency, as we remarked above, have two significations, the one limited and specific, the other general and comprehensive. Some of our divines, from early habit, from their course of reading, from the manner of preaching demanded by the character of their hearers, have been accustomed to use those terms in one of these senses, and some in the other. Hence they have very often, and very honestly, misunderstood each other's meaning. Debates have ensued, warmth of feeling has been excited, and the breach has only been widened by controversy. Now it happens, that Pres. Day, in the work before us, has been led by the nature of the discussion, to use these terms in both these senses ; and he has done it so clearly by the aid of definitions and a proper shaping of the context, that he need not be misunderstood by any attentive reader. He has said, that man is truly an agent, the sole originator of his volitions, and yet that influences from without, are efficacious causes” of every act of choice. He has said, that man has power to the contrary,” in the sense of natural ability, and that he has not power to the contrary, in the wider and less common sense of the term, as sometimes used by Brown. He has said, that man is both active and passive in every volition. In all this, he has in no instance contradicted himself; and it is
to be hoped, that some who imagine they have been contradicting each other, may find, after all, that they are equally agreed among themselves. We do not mean, that there are no real differences on these subjects, but we think they are far less than is generally supposed. Take, for example, three gentlemen from three different Theological Seminaries, whose opinions upon moral agency have been, to some extent, a subject of distrust and alarm ; we mean Dr. Beecher, of Cincinnati, Prof. Stuart, of Andover, and Dr. Taylor, of New Haven ; and we cannot find a syllable in the treatise before us, which mililates in the least against their real sentiments. And yet we presume the work will have the cordial approbation of Dr. Tyler, and Dr. Harvey, we should hope also of Dr. Alexander and Dr. Miller; and we fervently wish, that it may prove a common ground, on which brethren who have differed may meet in peace. If there is any man in New England who is qualified to act as a mediator between contending parties, it is Pres. Day. Emphatically the man of no party, he has the entire confidence of all. And if the healing influence of his peaceful spirit, should go forth with this treatise among the theologians of our country, he will have added one more to the numerous benefits he has conferred on the cause of science and religion.
Oration before the Society of the Phi Beta Kappa, at New Ha
ven, on the Principles of National Greatness. By HORACE BUSHNELL.
We are glad to see important topics of general interest, from time to time, engaging the minds of our literary and religious men, instead of being left to those who have neither intellectual nor moral capacity for the right treatment of them. To ascertain, set forth, and apply the great principles of political science, is a momentous work, worthy of the strongest and best directed minds; and it is not the prerogative of the statesman alone, but of every wise man according to the measure of his wisdom and opportunity. So far as enlightened and virtuouis men, secure from any undue bias of interest or temper, will take no pains to teach nor even to learn these principles, so far“ politics” will become for the most part the trade of office-hunters and demagogues, and most mischievously will they drive their business. On this account, as well as for its intrinsic merit, we take pleasure in noticing the Oration before us. Its subject is well stated in the author's own question and answer: “What, then, is the object which it belongs to the civil state to preserve? Wherein consists the true wealth or well-being of a state ? I answer, in the total value of the persons of the people. National wealth is personal, not material. It includes the natural capacity, the industry, the skill, the science, the bravery, the loyalty, the moral and religious worth of the people. The wealth of a nation is in the breast of its sons.” This he maintains in opposition to the notion, that what is commonly called wealth, or the amount of lands, money, and other marketable commodities, is the chief end to be sought in political economy—the weal which that science ought to ascertain. After stating and illustrating this doctrine, he shows, that even if the wealth of a nation were to be chiefly sought, instead of their personal worth, it cannot be itself secured except by securing that other and better object; that it depends on the personal character of the people whether property shall be produced and accumulated, preserved from waste, happily distributed, and defended from encroachment. He then points out
some of the practical operations of this doctrine,” in “preserving and ennobling the native quality or stock," of the people, in their moral and religious improvement, in cherishing their reverence for their ancestors, in the education of their youth, in the production of a national literature. The inquiry with which the author sets out, obviously goes to the foundation of the science of political economy; and as was demanded of him in such an undertaking, his discussion is at once profound and clear. The objection has been made, which he in some measure anticipates, that such views “are, after all, remote and impracticable;" and it might have been useful for him to dwell longer on this point ; but to some extent such principles have been actually recognized and vindicated in the practice of more than one government; and though no nation should ever suffer them to be fully carried out within itself, still it is well to hold them up and press them to the public mind; for in regard to this science, as well as others, that are of practical application, familiarity with just theories tends to correct, if it does not remodel practice; the contemplation of ideal excellence animates and ennobles actual exertion. The Oration before us is well fitted to make this impression, not by the force of naked argument merely, but by apt illustration—a most effectual sort of argument—by animated imagery, racy language, and an enthusiasm not commonly associated with the discussion of grave questions in political economy. It might seem hypercritical to remark bere and there a questionable use of words or phrases, when there is so little to be found fault with and so much to be approved. We could make extracts, but the pamphlet is within the reach of our readers. It will not be the author's fault if he has not done the state some service."
Advent, a Mystery. By ARTHUR CLEVELAND Cox. New York:
John S. Taylor. 1837. We cannot indeed join in the excessive praise with which this-work has been greeted by some who compare it to Milton ; yet as the produc