Billeder på siden

agent in its given circumstances to produce any other action or nonaction than the one solely actual. There is no alternative but the given actual action; the principle of causality secures that that action shall not fail or be withheld, and it involves lawlessness to suppose that action not to result. Such statements stand in absolute contradiction to the claim made by him to holding any freedom of will dif erent from Edwards, which he preposterously makes upon page 302. II. We next give the points of his own view of freedom:

a. Freedom consists not in a power for one of several actions, but in a power for either ACTION or NON-ACTION:

Consciousness knows nothing about "several volitions" standing together at the last moment of deliberation as candidates for the adoption of the Will. It seems to us that we are conscious of just this, that we can put forth a certain contemplated volition OR NOT. Consciousness stops with this simple negative, leaving our freedom to lie not between two or more choices, but between a particular choice and non-choice. . Thus, strictly speaking, the alternatives are never "I will" and "I will not," but "I will" and "I not will-Pp. 292-3.

b. Freedom implies a double power in the same cause, namely, a power or powers for either a positive or negative sequent:

We hold it to be the testimony of consciousness, that the soul has power to will, or to remain absolutely without willing. Even the circumstances that secure a volition secure it as a free volition, there being an unused power of not willing. This is not the power of "contrary choice," much less the power of alternative helter-skelter choice; it is the power of choice, with the possibility of nonchoice. . . . If we should imagine a stream of water to possess Will, or the power of directing its own motion, it would not be essential to its freedom that it be able to run up hill, and sideways, as well as down hill. It would be sufficient if it had the power, in any circumstances whatever, of not running at all.-Pp. 300-1.

Now are not these various statements a complication of contradictions?

We are told in A and C that alternativity is self-evidently absurd; is a "nothing;" is "lawlessness;" and yet we are told in a that the will has power for either of two "alternatives," action or non-action ; that is, the putting forth a given action or the withholding it. Nor is his own word "alternatives" here a slip of the pen. Something and nothing are differents and so alternatives. "To be or not to be," to do or not to do, to will or not to will, are often momentous alternatives. He holds, then, to "alternativity" just as truly as we do. On that point there is no difference. The differences between us are these 1. We admit an indefinite number of alternatives; he admits but two. But that affects not our agreement in the actual existence of the alternativity itself.* 2. He secures by an absolute law the non


"There is always an alternative to that which the mind decides on, with the conscious power of choosing either. . . . If you deny this alternative power," etc.— Beecher's Views on Theology. This use of the word alternative did not originate,

usance of the power for the negative alternative; thus really nullifying the power and binding by a most absolute fatalism the will to the positive. He thus destroys the alternativity after having created it; says it and then unsays it.

Again we are told in b that there is in Will the double power of choice and non-choice; that there is at once the used power of choice and " an unused power of not willing;" and these differ just as the power in a stream of water of running and of "not running," that is, of standing still. But sure that is a plural power, a pluripotentia, a "pluripotent cause." And yet, in contradiction to this, (and in contradiction to Beecher and all who hold to " power of contrary choice,") he affirms very positively in A that "pluripotent causes are as absurd as "pluridirected straight lines." He himself is a firm maintainer of a power for diverse "alternatives," namely, of action like a stream's descending, or non-action, as of a stream standing still; and yet he excludes a "pluripotent or alternative cause from our possible conception. And this is not a mere incidental contradiction. He runs a fracture through the very bulk of his system, contradicting himself squarely in two. And now we say that the non-existence of a pluripotent or alternative cause is not like the nonexistence of "a pluridirected straight line," axiomatic. It wants at any rate one test of axiomatic truth-Catholicity. It is not universally affirmed. On the contrary, the actual existence of "pluripotent or alternative cause" is not only affirmed by all freedomists, as Cicero, Chrysostom, and the entire Church of the first three centuries, Arminius, Wesley, Reed, and Dugald Stuart, but by that class of pseudo-freedomists like Beecher and Taylor, who first affirm a power of contrary choice and then bind it fast by an immutable fatalism, so that it can never be used by any actual or possible being. Nay, the existence of a "pluripotent cause" is affirmed as above by our reviewer himself. Directly in the face of his affirmation that this twofold causation is as impossible as a twofold rectilinearity, we affirm that, even upon his own admission, the "assuming" its impossibility is "a paralogism,"

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

If the Will has in 66 every act an unused power of not willing," then the Will is pluripotent; it possesses at once two diverse powers. And then a "pluripotent cause" is not as absurd as "a pluridirected straight line." If the Will is capable of the "alternatives" of "I will and I not will," then it has "alternativity;" and "alternativity" is

as our readers will see, with the work reviewed. But Beecher nullified this alternativity by forthwith binding the will in a fatalistic law to a sole one of the (falsely so called) alternatives. Where by absolute law but one is choosable there are no alternatives.

not "a nothing." If it be "the testimony of consciousness that the soul has power to will or remain absolutely without willing," (so he says in b,) then there must be "a cause, that is, a causal principle, adequate to" more than "only one effect;" contrary to what he says in B. So one half his argument just refutes the other.

Our reviewer maintains that our alternativity of Will is " a lawless power." Law restricts, he asserts, in all cases to one solely possible issue. This he holds to be as true in the free agent as in the mechanical fabric. Nay, more. It is not like law upon mechanics imposed by divine Will upon the machine; he holds it as a law in the nature of things, lying upon the divine Will, and all other Wills actual or conceivable. And now where is he? How is it possible for even "an unused power" to exist for breaking that absolute Law? Is not that "unused power" stupendously "a lawless power?" And what becomes of all the talk about a difference between certainty and necessity? If all events are restricted to a sole shape and substance by a law whose opposite is inconceivable chance, are they not all equally necessary; and does not all certainty merge into necessity? And if that be not a pure and perfect fatalism, what is? If every event is secured by this absolute law, is not every actual sin committed under law to commit, law as absolute as binds two and two to be four? And would not the willing otherwise than such sin be a mad chance? In all such cases, that is, in every case of actual sin in the universe, would not the not so sinning, or the obeying God instead, be carelessness, causeless effect, absurd contingency, inconceivable chance? That is, to have obeyed God instead of sinning is as inconceivable an absurdity as a straight-crooked line. And this in every case of sin that ever occurs or can occur.

English Reviews.

BRITISH AND FOREIGN EVANGELICAL REVIEW, April, 1865. (London.)— 1. The English Episcopates. 2. Shakspeare and the Bible. 3. The Last Duchess of Gordon. 4. French Religious Novels. 5. Hofmann and his Opponents. 6. A Plea and a Plan for Presbyterian Unity. 7. Psalms and Hymns. 8. Donaldson on the Apostolical Fathers. 9. An Examination of the Various Readings of 1 Tim. iii, 16. 10. German Theological Literature.

BRITISH QUARTERLY REVIEW, April, 1865. (London.)-1. The Irish Church. 2. Homer and his Translators. 3. Doctrine of AtonementIts Early History. 4. Lessons from the Cotton Famine. 5. Facts from Savage Life. 6. The French Bible. 7. The Economy of Capital-Foreign Trade. 8. The English Lakes. 9. History of Julius Cæsar. 10. Epilogue on Affairs and Books.

CHRISTIAN REMEMBRANCER, April, 1865. (London.) 1. Theology of Theodore Parker. 2. The Literary History of Aristotle. 3. Children's Employment Commission: Reports Second and Third. 4. Egerton's Tour through Spiti. 5. The Present Phase of Latitudinarianism. 6. The Pastoral Office. 7. The Zendavesta. 8. The Liturgical Invocation of the Holy Ghost. EDINBURGH REVIEW, April, 1865. (New York: Reprint.)-1. Taine's History of English Literature. 2. Heraldic Manuals. 3. The Australian Colonies. 4. Madame Roland. 5. Lecky's Influence of Rationalism. 6. The Church and Mosque of St. Sophia. 7. Memoirs of Dumont de Bostaquet. 8. Tuscan Sculpture. 9. Guizot's Meditations on Christianity. 10. The Law of Patents.

LONDON QUARTERLY REVIEW, April, 1865. (New York: Reprint.)— 1. Galleries of the Louvre. 2. Classical Learning in France: The Great Printers Stephens. 3. Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton's Later Novels and Collected Poems. 4. French Education. 5. Our Ships and Guns: their Defects and the Remedy. 6. Bishop of London's Fund. 7. Clerical Subscription. 8. Travels in Central Asia. 9. Libel and the Freedom of the Press. 10. Parliamentary Reform.


NORTH BRITISH REVIEW, February, 1865. (New York: Reprint.)—1. The Rise and Progress of the Scottish Tourist. 2. Epigrams. 3. Spain. 4. Tests in the English Universities. 5. Topography of the Chain of Mont Blanc. 6. Essays in Criticism. 7. The Holy Roman Empire. 8. John Leech. WESTMINSTER REVIEW, April, 1865. (New York: Reprint.)—1. The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte. 2. St. John's Gospel. 3. The State of English Law: Codification. 4. Modern Novelists: Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton. 5. Parliament and Reform. 6. The Canadian Confederacy.

German Reviews.

JAHRBUCHER FUR DEUTSCHE THEOLOGIE. (Annals of German Theology. First Number, 1865.)—1. PALMER, The Moral Theology of the Epistle of James. 2. NITZSCH, Patristics. 3. STEITZ, Historical Development of the Doctrine of the Lord's Supper in the Greek Church.

In the third article of the above number Dr. Steitz continues his very valuable researches on the History of the Doctrine of the Lord's Supper in the Greek Church. He takes up in succession Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Eusebius of Cæsarea, Athanasius the Great, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzen, Macarius the Elder, and thus traces the history of this important doctrine from the beginning of the third to the end of the fourth century. The essay of Dr. Steitz is by far the completest treatise that has ever been written on the subject. He undertakes to prove that the opinions of Clement of Alexandria and of Origen were not merely their private opinions, but the opinion of the entire Greek Church at that time; and that the Apostolical Constitutions, Eusebius, the author of the dialogue "De Recta in Deum fide," Athanasius, Macarius, Gregory of Nazianzen, and Basil

the Great, in short, all the important writers of the Greek Church during this period, who wrote on the Lord's Supper, with the sole exccption of Cyril of Jerusalem, adopted the "symbolical" view of Origen, and were by no means, as Roman Catholic writers have endeavored to prove, adherents of the doctrine of the "Real Presence." Dr. Steitz gives a translation of all the important passages in the writings of the above fathers, many of which could not be clearer and more emphatic in their rejection of the Roman Catholic doctrine. Here are a few. Clement of Alexandria says, (Pædag. I, c. 6): "Flesh he [the Saviour] calls frequently the Holy Ghost, by whom the flesh [of Christ] is prepared. Blood he calls in concealed [" parabolic"] speech the Logos, for the Logos is a rich blood poured out upon life. The mixture of both [that is, the union between the Spirit and the Logos] is the Lord, the nourishment of the minors." Eusebius (De Scriptor. Theolog. III, 12) thus defines the words of the Saviour in John vi: "Do not think that I say you must eat the very flesh with which I am clothed, nor think that I command you to drink the visible and bodily blood, but know well that the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and life. Therefore the words themselves and his speeches are the flesh and the blood, through which he who partakes of them, as though fed by a heavenly bread, is to have part in heavenly life."

THEOLOGISCHE STUDIEN UND KRITIKEN. (Theological Essays and Reviews.) Third Number, 1865.-1. RIEHM, On Messianic Prophecies. 2. NEES VON ESENBECK, Exegetical Remarks on Biblical Psychology. 3. DUSTERDICK, On 2 Cor. xi, xii. 4. VOGEL, On Gal. iii, 20. 5. LIPSIUS, Review of Weisse's "Philosophische Dogmatik." 6. HAMBERGER, Review of Culman's Christian Ethics. 7. DELITZSCH, A New Hebrew Translation of the New Testament.

The Studien und Kritiken is at present edited by Dr. Hundeshagen and Dr. Riehm, both Professors at the Theological Faculty of Heidelberg, assisted by Dr. Nitzsch, of Berlin, and Drs. Müller and Beyschlag, of Halle. Dr. Riehm, in the preface to the above number, announces that it will be continued in the same spirit in which the founders, Dr. Ullmann and Dr. Umbreit, used to conduct it.

DORPATER ZEITSCHRIFT FUR THEOLOGIE UND KIRCHE. (Dorpat Journal of Theology and Church.) First Number, 1865.-1. H. Kurtz, The Theology of the Psalms. 2. HANSEN, The Ecclesiastical Condition of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. 3. Reviews of Novikoff's Huss and Luther; Kramer's Life of Carl Ritter; Culman's, Neander's, and Wendt's Works on Christian Ethics; and Toling's Progressive Theology.

The Dorpat Journal occasionally acquaints us with recent works of Russian literature, a subject on which little is known in the remainder of Europe and in America. A greater prominence of this feature

« ForrigeFortsæt »