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we should hate such a being and wish it out of our way. We might still admire its vicious perfection. Yet, when we had indulged our abhorrence of it, and come to remember coolly its automatism, we should see that, though bad, it was unblamably bad. Its volitions, being as necessitated, are as irresponsible as the springs of a gun-lock. Upon such a fiend, if the infliction of pain would set his volitions right, and make all his movements safe and beneficial, we should, for the common good, think expedient to inflict it, simply. as an alterative; just as we would insert a key and turn it round to set any other machinery right-simply as an alterative. Such infliction of pain could not be a punishment, in the sense of justice, or execution for a responsible crime. It would simply be an expedient, like a medicine or a mechanical adjustment, in which there can be no moral element. We might, for the good of the world, wish such a being destroyed; not as a moral retribution to him, but for the common weal, and, if possible, painlessly. The sum of all which is, a necessitated depravity is no responsible or justly punishable depravity. As there is, therefore, what may be called a holiness without any meritoriousness or moral good desert, so there is what may be called a depravity, or a sin, without any responsibility or morally penal desert.
From all the above representations we derive an answer to the question concerning the possibility of a created holiness or a created unholiness. A created holiness would be necessitated and automatic. It might therefore be excellent, innocent, pure, lovely; but it never could be meritorious, responsible, probationary, rewardable, punishable. A created unholiness would be also automatic. It might be automatically excellent, innocent, yet unlovely, hateful, repulsive, perhaps destructive. Yet it is below the conditions of responsibility, desert, probation, judgment, retribution. The being is evil, perhaps we may say morally evil; but not responsibly or guiltily evil.
If by morally evil we mean evil as compared with the standard of the moral law, the phrase would be correct. If by morally evil we mean evil so as that the penalty of the law is justly applicable, the phrase would be incorrect. There would be necessitated disconformity to the moral law; but the conditions of amenability to its penalty would not exist.
Thus man, as born after the fall, possesses, even before any volitional act of his own, a fallen nature. As compared with what, by the perfect law of God, he ought to be, he is wrong, evil, morally evil. Yet, as not being the author of his own condition, he is not responsible for his necessitatively received nature and moral state. His nature is no fault of his own until fully appropriated by the act of his own free-will. That nature and state may doubtless be called sin, but only under a certain definition of the word. If all sin be anomia, * a disconformity to the law, then there may be a sinful nature or state, as well as a sinful act. But where that nature or state is necessitatively received by the being, without his will, or received only by the act of a necessitated will, if sinful, it is not responsibly sinful. It thence would follow that there may be disconformity to the law, unrighteousness, evil, moral evil, sin, sinfulness, all without responsibility, guilt, ill desert, just moral condemnality, or punishment.t
The whole human race, viewed as fallen in Adam, and apart from redemption through Christ, is thus necessitatedly unholy. It is in disconformity with the ideal prescribed by the divine law. Judged by the standard of the moral law, it is evil; and, in the sense above defined, it is morally evil. But it is not responsibly evil. It cannot be retributively and in the strict sense of the word, punished. Incapable it is, indeed, of the holiness and so of the happiness of heaven. It rests under the displacency of Heaven as not being holy in the sense of conformed to his law, which is but the transcript of his own character and the expression of his own divine feelings. What is to be done with it? is a question for Divine Wisdom to solve. It can come from a potential and seminal existence into actual existence only under the universal law of hereditary natural likeness to the lineal parent. The whole race is thus and then conceptually a generic unit, including the primordial parent and all his posterity. What would have been done with them without a saviour ? is a question of mere curiosity, to which revelation furnishes no answer. It is like the question, What would have been man's earthly destiny had he never fallen, but remained terrestrially immortal? To neither question does revelation furnish reply. Human conjecture may answer to the last question, Man would have been translated. To the former question it may reply, The human race would never have been actually brought into existence under conditions of such misery. In other words, the redemption was the condition of the actual continuity of the race. Redemption underlies probationary existence. Grace is the basis of nature. And the reply is both a satisfactory and a beautiful theoretical solution of a theoretical difficulty.
* 1 John iii, 4.
+ This point is thus stated by Dr. Fisk: “Sin may certainly exist where it would not be just to impute it to the sinner. For the Apostle tells us that 'until the law sin was in the world;' and yet he adds, “Sin is not imputed [he does not say sin does not exist) where there is no law.' The fact is, there are certain dispositions and acts that are in their nature opposite to holiness, whatever may be the power of the subject at the time he possesses this character or performs these acts. Sin is sin, and holiness is holiness, under all circumstances. They have a positive, and not merely a relative existence. And although they have not existence abstract from an agent possessing understanding, conscience, and will, still they may have an existence abstractly from the power of being or doing otherwise at the time. If not, then the new-born infant has no moral character, or he has power to become holy with his first breath. Whether the subject of this unavoidable sin shall be responsible for it, is a question to be decided by circumstances.''- Calvitaistic Controversy, pp. 209, 210.
Yet to man in this fallen condition there is, by “imputation,” attributed guilt, ill-desert, penalty, and a desert of even eternal penalty. All this is, however, as Mr. Wesley well views it, only “by a figure," or in biblical conceptuality, attributed. All the race have sinned and died in Adam, are guilty, and condemned to eternal death in Adam, just as Levi paid tithes in Abraham, conceptually. This conception is introduced just as conceptive figures are often employed, in order, by expressive fiction, to produce a vivid impression of truth. Levi's conceptual payment of tithes in Abraham is introduced to complete the antithesis of the inferiority of the Aaronic priesthood to the Messianic. Man's condemnation to eternal death in Adam is introduced as a conceptual antithesis to his attaining eternal life in Christ. To illustrate the conception that we are brought to heaven by the merits of Christ, we are conceptually viewed as brought to hell by the demerit of Adam. Our first Adam, by his sin, is made to reflect death upon us that the second Adam may reflect life. But we are no more required by this conceptual language to suppose that the race literally sinned and were eternally condemned in Adam, than that Levi actually paid tithes in Abraham, and was, with his line, literally subjected to Melchisedec and his descendants at Salem.
If a being be, like Adam, created pure and disposed to right, yet as an agent freely able to choose right or wrong, his holiness, as created and before his free act, is pure and excellent. Yet it is not meritorious. It can claim no moral ap probation or moral reward. Its first meritorious and morally deserving holiness is derived from action. And that action must be volition put forth with full and adequate power of contrary action instead.
Again, if God should create or allow to be born a being of mixed character, (suppose it to be man,) the automatic spring of whose volitions, under the touch of automatic motive forces, should be necessitatively sometimes in an injurious direction, and sometimes in a beneficial direction, such a being might be automatically excellent and perfect, but he would be below the conditions of probationary existence. His good or bad volitions being automatic, wonld be equally irresponsible and unmeriting of reward or penalty. Any ideas or notions implanted in his own nature of moral approval or condemnation would be arbitrary and false. He is incapable, in a responsible sense, of moral action, moral character, moral probation, judgment, or retribution.
Let us now suppose a being, such as man truly is, of a mixed character in another respect. Suppose him automatic in his perceptions, emotions, and desires, yet free and alternative in his volitions; capable of choosing either of diverse ways in a right direction or in a wrong instead. He is now no longer in a pure automatic nature. He has mounted into the grade of a morally responsible being. He is henceforth capable of probation, responsibility, judgment, and retribution.
Again, let us suppose that this last being is able, by his free volitions, to modify his automatic propensions; namely, his intellections, emotions, and desires, so as to make them better or worse than they naturally were. Either he neglects to restrain them from excess or wrong direction; or he directs, impels, develops, trains, and enlarges them for wrong; or he restrains and confines them to their proper degree and to a right direction. Even his automatic faculties would thence derive a sort of secondary responsible character ; at least for much, if not for all their so formed character, he would be volitionally and morally responsible. It is thus that a man's sensibilities, intellections,
emotions, and beliefs become responsible. Again, a man may so train up into magnitude and force of will his automatic faculties, as to render suppressed his freedom of volition for any good; and thus he is automatically evil. Such volitional automatism for evil being self-superinduced, is responsible; since where a man has freely annihilated his own power for good, he is responsible for the evil. Self-produced necessity is a responsible necessity. And from this view we can clearly understand how the sinner who is given up of God, and who sins and only sins, and that by a perpetual necessity, is responsible for his sins none the less. The necessity is superinduced, and therefore only aggravates the guilt of every sin. So all the sins of the finally damned, however necessitated, are none the less responsible, that necessity being self-superinduced. The holiness of the saints in heaven is none the less rewardable because it has become necessary; since, though they rest from their labors, their works do follow them. They are rewardable, not only for their works during probation, but for their works of holiness, obedience, love, and praise before God in heaven.
ART. IX.-FOREIGN RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
| bishop of Canterbury declared, with the THE PROTESTANT CHURCHES.- A new consent of all the bishops, the holding era seems to have begun in the Church
I of such views as are expressed by the of England. The Convocations of Can Essays and Reviews inconsistent with an terbury and York, which for about one honest subscription to the formularies hundred and fifty years had virtually of the Church, though believing it doubtlost their legislative powers, have been ful whether the bishops would feel at this year, for the first time, restored to liberty to take any decisive measures the fullness of their former jurisdiction, against the authors. The lower house That of Canterbury had, for seven or of the Convocation of Canterbury, by an eight years, gradually prepared for this overwhelming majority, expressed their important change, while that of York concurrence with the joint letter of the met this year for the first time, and bishops, and pledged their influence to found itself at once in full possession of protect the Church from the “pernicious those rights which the Convocation of doctrines and heretical tendencies” of Canterhury had been gradually recover- i the book. Later the same house aping. Henceforth the annual meetings pointed a committee, with Archdeacon of both are to be as regular in their re- Denison as chairman, to extract from currence as those of Parliament. Both the volume the most obnoxious passages, conventions had a very interesting de and to submit them to the bishops for bate on the Oxford “Essays and Re- further legislation. From the discussion views." Already, before the meeting of in the upper house it appeared that the the convocations, a letter of the Arch- ! bishops were divided as to the best