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out admitting the existence and agency of demons, and without perceiving that he claimed the power to bind Satan and his legions. And
11. Who ever supposed that any disease would hurt a man by departing from him? But this must be supposed if we admit the notions of the opponents of real possessions. For in Luke iv. 35, when Jesus rebuked the devil which cried with a loud voice, "I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God,” he said, “Hold thy peace, and come out of him.” “And when the demon had thrown him in the midst he came out of him and hurt him not.” The people present were amazed, not that disease did not hurt the man by departing from him, but that with authority and power he commanded τοίς ακαθάρτους πνεύμασι, , the unclean spirits, and they came out.
While we grant, indeed, that for Jesus to heal insanity or epilepsy or any other disease, would have been a display of divine power which ought to convince all that he was sent of God, and that his religion is divine, yet how much more convincing do his miracles appear on the supposition that he commanded all the powers of darkness, and they obeyed him ; that he cast down Satan and his agents, and triumphed over the principalities of hell itself?
And why may we not suppose that God permitted the multiplied manifestations of demoniacs at the time of our Saviour's ministry, the more gloriously to display his power, and to furnish irrefragable evidence that he was the Son of God? There was ground for the people's amazement that he could command unclean spirits, and be obeyed by them.
We most sincerely deprecate that false philosophy and that plastic power of exegesis which are attempting to destroy the plain teachings of God's word and the simplicity of the Gospel history, and we would urge all the friends of Christ to stand in the defence of the faith once delivered to the saints ; to maintain legitimate exegesis of the Scriptures in opposition to all the crude theories and false assumptions of infidels, neologists, and free thinkers; to frown upon all such as follow in the footsteps of Renan, Colenso, or the writers of the Westminister Review, and to ignore that criticism that would turn the most plain and didactic teachings of inspiration into tropes, and figures, and myths, and anything but what the sacred writers intended, making God's revelation as unintelligible and frivolous as the Sibyllian oracles, and as uncertain as the responses from the Delphic Apollo.
THE TRUE THEORY OF THE SOUL, AND OF REGENER
ATION, AND OF CONVERSION:
THEIR MUTUAL RELATIONS.
OLDER and more thoroughly experimental Christians are surprised at certain things in religious circles, and they find it difficult to gain a satisfactory explanation. They are surprised to find so little deep, painful and pungent conviction of sin preceding supposed regeneration. They are surprised that the change of heart in many is so slightly perceptible at and about the time when it is supposed to take place. They are surprised, too, that no more uniform and thorough, strong piety is shown by many modern converts. To become a Christian seems to them to have been simplified and reduced to an easier, lighter process, than it was seen to be in their earlier days.
Studying the revivals from Edwards' day down through ten or fifteen years of the present century, and comparing them with those of the last twenty years, we find good ground for these contrasting reflections. There must be a cause for such a confessed difference, and it is quite reasonable to seek for an explanation. If becoming a Christian has, with not a few, dropped down into an easy, human act, and the new life become so uneven in its tenor, and the change from the unregenerate to the regenerate state, so unmarked by violent and overwhelming convictions of guilt, an explanation can be found.
There is a modern theory of becoming a Christian, and within the evangelical school it is novel to the last half century, The theory is partly psychological, and partly theological. With some holding it, the psychology necessitates their theology, but with most, as we apprehend, their theology necessitates their psychology. In this theory, as we think, lies the solution, in part, of the anomalies in Christian life to which we have referred. We propose, in this paper, to state this theory, and, without controverting it, to show some of its practical bearings on personal religion.
This theory teaches that the soul is not a substance, organism or structure existing before, and separate from, its mental and moral acts. It is not a perfect and personal entity anterior to its activity, as a machine is something preceding and separate from its running. It is, on the contrary, said to be a mere series of exercises, and so entirely so, that we can not conceive of a soul, or its existence, separate from its exercises. We can not conceive of it as distinct from its perceptions and sensibilities and emotions. It is nothing having a mental and moral structure and nature prior to action. As an organism dormant, or inactive, or not yet started in its career, it is taught to be not conceivable. We can have no idea of the soul as the foundation of perception, conscience, memory, reason, volitions, etc., and out of which the exercises of these come. The soul is no agent at all, but only a series of acts, or rather a prolonged and varied activity. The soul is the exercises, and the exercises are the soul, either being the other, and the two identical. The mental or moral act is the actor, and the actor the act. It is as if we should say that the machine and the running are one and the same thing. According to this teaching, personality is only a continuity of thoughts, emotions, judgments, choices and the like. Back of these there is no substance, or organ, or agent, that performs them.
The older and the common notion of the soal is, that it is a being by itself, and the basis, the source, of mental and moral acts ; that it, as an agent or person, chooses, purposes, loves, hates, etc., and precedes in time all these exercises, just as a person precedes, and is eeparate from, his own conduct. But according to the theory in question, personality, or soul, is made as it goes.
Exercises constituting the soul, and each person performing his own mental and moral acts, God could not have created the soul of Adam. Our first father made his own soul by his first mental and moral acts, When God pronounced him
"good,” he was not finished, and Adam was left to finish himself.
This peculiar and novel theory of the structure and nature of the human soul, as being but a series of exercises, of course must have a theology of peculiar adaptations. Which precedes and necessitates the other we need not inquire; it is probably different with different persons. But if the soul is thus only a serial progression of acts, like the coming of links in an endless chain, how can redemptive grace lay hold of it, except as it catches at the links? These are constantly coming, going, and gone, and can · of course be affected only singly, and without any retractive power on the forthcoming act, Grace thus acting would be like Elisha with his new cruise at the outlet of the aqueduct in Jericho, and not at "the spring of the waters.” Let us proceed to look at the adjustment of the new' psychology and its new theology to each other in particulars.
Native depravity, as a moral corruption and taking effect before moral action, must be discarded, because there is nothing prior to action in which it can inhere. As there is no moral creature or nature preceding moral action in the infant, there is nothing to be corrupted and depraved. So there can be no depravity, except that of conduct or exercises. The soul as a homestead being denied an existence, where moral acts are born and whence they go forth, there is no being, substance or 'nature that depravity can possess.
Yet it is due to add, that the advocates of this theory confess to a kind of depravity of man, and use much of the language commonly applied to it. For they speak of a bias, tendency, or proclivity to sin. This tendency is said to be active but not culpable; it is preparing certain, inevitable acts of sin, and yet is not morally offensive to God. It infects fatally and totally, they say, each moral act in the infant as they run out in the series, beginning with the very first, yet is there no sin till the act it is biassing and shaping, is completed.
But where this proclivity to sin is located, and how it gains a relation to the forthcoming moral acts, is not made clear. It is said to be in the infant nature; but to what does this nature pertain ? According to the theory, exercises* constitute the soul ; but as the soul can not have a nature till it is constituted,
the nature in which this proclivity inheres can not exist till after the exercises, and therefore can not give them either a good or evil bias. Surely the nature of a thing can not precede, as a separate entity, the existence of the thing of which it is said to be the nature. The nature of the apple can not so precede the existence of the apple as that we can affirm sourness of that nature before the apple is in existence to be sour.
If the exercises constitute the soul, and an innate proclivity to sin give a moral character to the exercises, we are unable to see to what this proclivity belongs. It is evidently a quality, and so belongs to a substance. But what substance? What one is there anterior to the soul that can give it a home?
Dr. Emmons, who is generally supposed to have held and taught this theory of a serial soul, and who has popularized somewhat the theory by his published works, felt the difficulty that we here find. If such proclivity or tendency exist, it must claim for itself a moral character, which it would be hard to disprove. Conceding it would be granting that there can be and is sin, prior to voluntary action, which would destroy Emmonsism. Moreover, if such constitutional tendencies be admitted as preceding and qualifying morally voluntary acts, the acute mind of this master saw that they must pertain to and inhere in something like a soul, which concession would, in another way, destroy Emmonsism, by allowing that the soul is anterior to and more than a series of exercises. To avoid these destructive dilemmas, he referred the certainty of all voluntary action to immediate divine efficiency. The agency direct of God takes the place in his scheme of constitutional tendencies, taste, or disposition, so that God imparts efficiently to the moral exercises, what, in our own theology, we derive from an apostate organism, called soul or heart. Thus :
"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 these persons to act, but made them act. He not only exhibited motives 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 volition in their hearts. And if he produced their bad as well as their good volitions, then his