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ed. It is therefore to insult our reason and common sense to attempt to silence their protests by such reasoning as the following:

" And the question that I have to address to every plain understanding is, whether we shall be guided in the business that is now before us by that which we do know, or by that which we do not knowwhether by our fancies of that which lies in a conjectural region away from us, or by our findings of that which is at hand—whether by our vague speculation on the first and the last steps of that process which connects the pre-ordination of God with the future eternity of man, or by those steps in which we now are actually implicated, the near and the besetting certainties of our own present condition. For, let it be observed, that there are such urgent and immediate certainties in your state as it now is; and the question is, shall you proceed upon the se, or upon the far-fetched imaginations which you choose to draw from a territory that is fathomless and unknown! A fool's eyes, says Solomon, are abroad over all the ends of the earth; and we appeal to common sense-whether it be practical wisdom or practical folly, to guide your footsteps by the uncertain guesses of what God has written regarding you in the book of His decrees, or by what He hath written for your present direction in the book of His revelation. Grant that I am moving along a chain which hath one end certainly fixed in the eternity that is past, and another is certainly fixed in the eternity that is to follow. The movement of this day, at least, depends upon the few links that are within the reach of your present observation. It is not by looking dis-. tantly aback, neither is it by shooting your perspective ahead of all that is visible before you, it is not thus that you are practically carried forward on the line of your history as an immortal being—it is by the links that are presently in hand that your present route is determined—it is to these that you have to look-it is upon the realities within your grasp that you are to decide the enquiry, what shall I do; and not upon the visions that float before the eye of your imagination.”—Lec. 61,

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page 309.

- Vague speculation !" "66 far-fetched imaginations!" " uncertain guesses!" Fine mist, with which to blur over the most positive intuitions and inferences of the human mind, and to hide the opprobrious perversity which thus attempts to usurp our faith! Nor do we see any pertinency in the reference made to the course pursued by the merchant, the parent or the agriculturalist. The truth is, they know very well that they ply their energies for the accomplishment of their respective ends freely; they have confidence in the stability of the relation between means and ends, and

“So, without least impulse or shadow of fate," direct their efforts to attain the objects of their pursuit, with a perfect consciousness all the while, that, in the same circumstances, they could do otherwise. The only absolute predestination they recognize is

“the high decree, Unchangeable, eternal, which ordain'd

Their freedom." Strange, if absolute predestination determines all the activity put forth in such pursuits, that it should determine so many to a thriftless inactivity in them! Strange that it should make some of them stupidly indolent, some of them prodigal spendthrifts, and some of them'swindling knaves! But as we have already said, this whole attempt to forestall objections, and to prevent legitimate inferences, is a virtual concession, on the one hand, of the odious aspect and baneful influence of this view of predestination, and, on the other, that it is of no practical value whatever. It is a virtual concession, that to act wisely, we must act as if the doctrine were a lie! 66 With it we have nothing at present to do!" As to his position, that 6 the doctrine of necessity, thus understood, does not seem to affect the familiar estimate which we are in the habit of forming every day, with regard to the moral character, whether it be a character of vice or of virtue, of human actions," we deem it unnecessary here to do more than simply refer the reader to what we said in the first number of the Review in reply to his assumptions respecting the verdict of the moral sense in relation to the guilt of original sin. It is a fundamental truth, that “a necessary act incurs no blame."

Having thus disposed of the general doctrine of absolute predestination, let us now examine that of absolute and unconditional election, which is its necessary result, and must stand or fall with it. Of course, all that we have urged and intimated against the one is equally valid against the other. But we wish to give it a farther and separate ordeal.

The point at issue, then, is not whether God has eternally elected some of the human race to salvation; nor whether the elect alone will be saved; nor whether all the natural attributes of God are infinite; for on all these points there is a perfect agreement. But it is whether the elective decree was conditional or unconditional-whether it was founded on the foreseen self-determined action of men under the wisest possible administration of the moral influences which could be consistently brought to bear upon them, or consists in an abso lute decree which necessarily determines human action. The former is our view, the latter that of the Necessitarian. Let us now test the position that election is unconditional.

First then; if election is unconditional, that is, if it is not conditioned on the foreseen self-determined action of men un

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der the motives, which God, looking at one glance through all possible modes of moral administration, saw he could, consistentently with infinite benevolence, bring to bear upon them, then men are, as Chalmers assumes, not free, but necessary agents; and the difference between the elect and nonelect is in no sense dependent on themselves, but wholly on God. We have already given our belief, and indicated our reasons for it, that the will is free. We have already exposed the absurdity of the idea of an arbitrary Sovereignty, and the futility of the objection to the freedom of the will drawn from the necessitarian conception of the Divine foreknowledge. We have already impliedly affirmed that salvation is naturally and necessarily dependent upon the action of two free-willsthe will of God, and the will of man. We now affirm that it would be just as good sense to talk of God's decreeing the salvation of the elect, independently of his own foreseen agency in bringing it to pass, as of his decreeing it independently of their foreseen self-determined agency. It is as false and injurious to represent salvation as solely dependent on the will of God, as it is to represent it as solely dependent on the will of man.

6 Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in you to the willing and the doing, according to benevolence.” “Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.” 6 Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die?” It is admitted that salvation consists in great part, in virtue itself and its natural consequences. To talk therefore of the unconditional election of free agents is utterly absurd. It is to talk of a decree that a free-agent shall be saved, when a part of that salvation consists in his own virtue and its natural consequences, without conditioning that decree upon his foreseen self-determined agency in which alone his virtue consists! The conception of a decree that a body shall go directly from one point to another without passing through the intermediate space, would not be more absurd. The truth is, the choice of a free-agent cannot be the object of an absolute and unconditional decree, for, if it were, it would not be the choice of that agent, any more than the rush of a waterfall is.

But we farther object to the theory of unconditional election, that it could not possibly be the product of love, in any sense. Theologians agree that there are but two kinds of love to be ascribed to God—the love of benevolence, and the love of complacency. Complacency is delight in character. To say, therefore, that unconditional election originated in com

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placency, is to say that God foresaw and delighted in the character of the elect, and for that reason elected them. But this is to say, that their election was conditioned on their foreseen character, which contradicts the hypothesis of its unconditionality. Besides, according to this hypothesis, the future good character of the elect depended wholly on the elective decree, and not the decree on it. It was foreknown by God, simply because it was decreed by Him, and as the result of his decree. It could not, therefore, have been any part of the reason for the decree. To affirm, then, that the election proceeded from complacency in the elect is to affirm a contradiction. Aside from His decree, and its foreseen effects, God must have had just as much complacency in the non-elect as in the elect. In other words, he could have had no complacency in either. The whole race stood on the same platform, and were, anticipatively, viewed by omniscience, as utterly guilty, the objects of displacency rather than complacency. Unconditional election, therefore, could not have emanated from the love of complacency.

Nor could it have originated in, and emanated from the love of benevolence. Benevolence is good-will to universal being; it is willing, or wishing the well-being or highest good of every being in the universe for its own sake, and therefore irrespective of the character which may be possessed by any. The reason for thus willing or wishing the good of beings universally, is because they are capable of it. Benevolence therefore is necessarily impartial as well as universal. Hence, from the nature of benevolence, God must as really will the good of one as of another of all alike, and promote it in every case as far as is possible in the nature of things. Now, according to the theory under review, election is wholly independent of human actions; and therefore, as far as human agency is concerned, there can be no reason why it should not have embraced the entire race in the sweep of its efficiency. Consequently, unless there were unsurmountable obstacles in the way of universal salvation aside from human agency, there can be no reason why God should not have predestinated the salvation of all as well as of a part, and the selection of a part only, is inconsistent with benevolence.

If any one assume that there were unsurmountable difficulties in the way of universal salvation aside from human agency, we have a right to stop and demand the proof. The burden of proof is his. But, nevertheless, let us examine the position. In the first place, then, according to the theory,

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God is the sole operant in saving men, and could as easily have willed that all should be saved as a part. A single fiat of his would have eternally stereotyped the characters and insured the salvation of all the individuals of our race. There can therefore be no difficulty as far as God himself is concerned. Nor can there be any in holy beings. For, the only obstacle which could exist among them would be dissatisfaction, and the loosening of the bonds of moral influence upon them. But these, the fiat of the Almighty could prevent just as easily as it could unconditionally convert sinners, so that, instead of being dissatisfied, they would celebrate the achievment of universal salvation in the anthems of eternity. And, besides, being benevolent, they could not but rejoice in such a glorious consummation, including, as is assumed, the holiness of all. As to devils, no difficulties could spring from them, for they have nothing to do with the matter; and if they had, a single fiat could transform them as easily as other sinners. Aside, then, from human agency, there could be no possible obstacle in the way of universal salvation; and since, according to the theory in question, there is none in that, universal salvation is the only doctrine consistent with the benevolence of God! Necessitarianism inevitably conducts to Universalism.

We hold it then to be proved that unconditional election could not have originated in love, and must therefore emanate from mere arbitrary caprice which has no relish of benevolence in it.

Does the advocate of this dogma still attempt to rescue it from the gulf into which it is thus precipitated, by saying that we are treating of matters too high for us—that the reasons for the election are unknown and inscrutable to us—that 66 cret things belong to the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us, and to our children forever?" We reply that the grand reasons into which all others resolve themselves, and which therefore furnish a satisfactory clue to every labyrinth of this subject, and a satisfactory solution of the why and the wherefore of the destiny of every human soul, are revealed, and are within the comprehension of the most ordinary capacities. These reasons originate in the constitutions of moral agents in the self-determining power of the human mind, and in the nature of moral government as a government of motives and not of necessity. Some are chosen, and others not, because from all eternity, God saw that under the motives which it would consist with universal inter


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