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them. It is therefore a great oversight in those who are for disposing of these different cases by the wholesale. Nor is volition circumstanced like any other act. View it in any point of light, and something peculiar will be seen attaching itself to it. Such or such a one does ihus and so, because he chooses so to do. He performs his physical and his mental acts because he chooses to perform them. But when it is asked, Why does he perform the act of choosing to do thus, we inmediately find ourselves on unique ground. We cannot say as in the other cases, Because he chose to choose thus. Here then is that about an act of volition which is about nothing else; and it is therefore to be approached and treated with care and skill. And now, Why does a being, God or man, choose as he does ? “Motives induce him thus to choose.” Mark it when we may, we shall ever find, that “motives induce us to choose;" we do choose, whenever we choose at all, by being caused to choose by motives. And to this proposition, mankind do universally assent in reality, whatever they may hold in theory. Ask any one why he chooses this way or that, and he will instantly mention a motive as the reason or cause. This is the ground or reason of God's choice. The Hopkinsian idea, that God causes men to choose, makes motives useless. If he causes them to choose to do a thing, and it, notwithstanding all the motives presented, they would not do it without such causalion, what have motives to do in the case, and what the need of them! It will now be asked, why then do not motives operate alike on all, and why do they not always have a similar effect on the same individual ? On God they do, and so would they on men, were men infinite and perfeet. But owing to numerous causes, motives affect men differently at different times. The drunkard who has contracted a habit of drinking, finds a stronger motive in the gratification of his depraved appetite to drink, blunted as are his moral feelings, than he finds in any thing else to refrain from drinking; nor will he ever reform till a superior motive induces or causes him so to do. Thus it seems that he himself even causes his motive which continues him a drunkard. But why did he cause his motive ? Various reasons might have conspired to cause him to cause it—jovial company, the temperate use of ardent spirits, &c. But why do these induce him to become intemperate, when others escape? For the very reason, that men are free agents, and, not being obliged to act alike, act differently. Beings are so constituted as to choose ; by which I mean to say more than that they are so constituted as to feel a willingness in relation to a particular thing. They are endued with the faculty to choose either of two things. This is shewn in the very circumstance, that two things are set before them for their selection. As well present but one thing on the other plan, towards which a willingness would be felt on presentation. But why do they choose the one they do, rather than the other? Because, they are at that time in a condition which renders that thing more desirable to them. But what brought them into that condition ? It may be they brought themselves into it, as has been seen in the case of the drunkard. And why did he bring himself into it? Because, he was a free agent. Had he not been, he would not have done it. Had his choice been directed by another, perhaps it would have been directed differently; and it certainly would have been directed differently, had those who choose differently directed it. Having run the circle, let us now strike off. If God causes man to choose in a particular way, how can he choose differently! He has the natural ability to choose differently, say Hopkinsians. We say no; for this same natural ability is occupied at the very time in choosing as it does; and it is physically impossible to choose both ways at once-or to choose differently from what God causes it to choose. Besides, natural ability to choose is all the ability there is. No being has a choice to choose, even when he
chooses. He merely chooses, not chooses to choose. To talk of moral ability to choose ; to say that a man can choose thus and so if he has a mind io; is an absurdity. It is saying that a man can choose in a certain way, if he, before choosing, have a choice to choose so. Natural ability to choose, is therefore all the ability to do it with; and if a man have this, (which I contend contains a self-determining power,) he can without qualification, choose—can choose, and does choose, without the interposition of another being, as well as God himself; and there is no greater difficulty in the case of man, than in that of God no greater difficulty in solving the question, why does man choose as he does ? than in telling why God chooses as he does; or than there would be in telling why God chooses to cause man to choose as he does. The case is not at all relieved by referring man's choice to God; but has added to it the additional burthen, of blaming men for choosing as God efficiently, and therefore “ irresistibly," causes them to choose --a sentiment which, however confidently asserted, can never be made to appear-a sentiment at which common sense revolts, and which outrages that sense of justice which God has implanted in the breast of man as a directory for his actions. It is true that a person is blamed for having an evil will; but what is now an evil will would no longer be morally evil, nor would men blame one for having it, did God cause him to have it. When they blame an individual for what is called a murderous will, they do it with the understanding that he is its author, and not merely because he has it; and for the correctness of this statement, I appeal to the bosom of every man.
Hopkinsians say, that God is the efficient cause of human volition. Then, according to the last reply to me, he is the irresistible cause ; tor, says my opponent, "what can be more absurd, than to suppose that an effect may resist its efficient cause, or may act before it has esistence ?” “ Besides, if” God « cause men to will as they do, how does the” Hopkinsian “system,” any more than the self-determining one, “ leave them the power of changing their will?” “While” God is causing them to cause an evil will, how are they to obtain a notive to cause them to cause a good will." Thus, dear Sir, can the objections against the system of motives, be urged with equal force against that of Divine efficiency. And the system of motives has this radical advantage besides; that one motive can be overcome by another stronger one, and thus it is not irresistible. Even a fellow being can present one a motive which will break the force of another motive that is “inducing” an individual to do wrong. Reflection will bring such a motive into view. And thus a chance is left for a man's escape from evil, But is motive stronger than God? Who can present a motive sufficiently powerful to induce” that man to refrain from evil whom GOD is “ causing” to “choose" evil? No reflection, no motive, no man, can counteract Divine efficiency. One motive can be overcome by another; but no motive can overcome God. Our scheme therefore is in perfect accordance with the presentation of motives; while the Hopkinsian scheme makes it all a farce. For can there be a greater farce, than to urge motives upon a person to choose in a certain way, when God is efficiently and irresistibly causing him to choose differently? Can there be greater insincerity, than for God to call on them to will differently from what he is irresistibly causing them to will ?-and greater injustice, than to punish them for thus willing ?
As to my “carricature” of Hopkinsianism, I am confident I have given none. If God does not cause his will, he is not its author, according to the proper meaning of the term author; and consequently is not the author of his own acts, inasmuch as volition is an act. To will is to act; so that will or volition is an act. And if motives do not causc him to cause that act, then that act is motiveless, according to
the proper meaning of the term motiveless. Again. If men have their wills given to them by God, it was not at their own option to have them or not. They had no will to have or reject those wills.Again. Men can in every sense, or in no sense at all, have wills different from what the Almighty is determined they shall have; for natural power is all the power they have to have wills; and therefore, there is but one sense in which they can have them. And in this one they cannot have them, if God irresistibly causes those natural powers to produce a different one.
If God causes men to choose as they do, and moral necessity causes him thus to cause them, then virtually, does resistless fate cause them to choose. And it, notwithstanding this, they can of themselves choose differently, and if their choosing of themselves would involve the absurdity of choosing to choose; then does Hopkinsianism teach, that a being, choosing as resistless fate causes, can perforin the impossibilities of choosing to choose differently; and of choosing to choose so at the same time that resistless fate is forcing them to choose otherwise! And again. If the lack of our inclination to will in a certain way, is an inability to will in that way, and involves the absurdity of an effect without a correspondent cause to have a man will of himself without it; then a being cannot in any sense will of himself, without first having the very will to will another similar will with. But this is an absurdity; and were God himself
to cause men to will, he would not do it by giving them a : will to will, but by means of motives, just as one man induces another
to will. Motives induce men, and even God himself, to will as they • do. We need look no further for the cause of volition, either human -- or Divine. Again, if what Hopkinsians mean by moral inability to
will, is not the lack of the will to will, what do they mean by it? And lastly. If God is the efficient cause of all things, and if an efficient cause is irresistible, why is not every thing unavoidable ?-every thing right?
If I, dear Sir, am a semi-Arminian, because I do not believe in the » foregoing a bsurdities and contradictions, be it so. With regard to
granting, that scripture means as it says, I will freely do it in relation to those parts of it that are literal-but to those alone.
But I must close ; and though my opponent will have the opportunity Editorial, of speaking last, yet, so utterly repugnant to reason is the sentiment, that God punishes men for what he irresistibly causes them to be, that I am very far from being strenuous for the last word, believing that the good sense of the community in general, will be able to detect the flaws in any new ideas that may be advanced, in favour of so absurd a sentiment.
EXTRACTS FROM AN EXPOSTULATORY ADDRESS, To the Methodist in Ireland, and a Vindication of the same, by John Walker,
late Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin. But I would think that I departed from the character of a minister of Christ, if I did not at the same time declare to them the revealed character of the true God, as “ a just God and a Saviour"-" just and the justifier of the ungodly ;»--if I did not at the same time declare to them that “ glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,” in the knowl, edge and faith of which alone sinners can really turn to the true God, and can serve him with acceptance. I would think that I departed from the character of a minister of Christ, to that of an agent of Antichrist, if, according to your principles, I put them upon doing any thing “ in order to obtain God's grace and mercy;" if I forbore to preach Christ to them as the Saviour of sinners, till they had taken a preliminary step of some infidel repentance that they might be “prepared for the spiritual blessings of the Messiah's kingdom," or prepared to believe in him : if I did not proclaim to them the erceeding riches of the grace of God, and the effectual working of his power, and his complete salvation, including present acceptance in the beloved and an inheritance among all them that are sanctified, as free rnto all, (without any difference,) who should believe the joyful tidings. I would think that I departed from the character of a minister of Christ, and dealt treacherously with their souls, if I gave them to understand that any of them could truly repent or turn to God, while they continued to disbelieve this glorious Gospel;—that any unbelieving sorrow for sin, or alarm of conscience, or solicitude about eternal things, brought then one step nearer to its blessings ;-or that all its blessings were not immediately sure to every one among them who should really believe the faithful record,—to those whom you would represent as most unpreper. ed for believing it, just as much as to those whom you would think most prepared—from having been under the longest preliminary training. The man who believes the doctrine which you oppose—will be sar
. ed; and the man who to the end believes the doctrine which you assert -will be damned. This is a charge—not to be advanced lightly; and it is with mature consideration and deep solemnity that I advance it, and am ready to maintain it from the word of God, against all who shall be offended at the charge.
The sinner who believes what you have said of repentance must believe that he is to do something in order to be " prepared for the spiritual blessings of the Messiah's kingdom ;” that there must be some good change in him, before he can be warranted to believe the gospel as glad tidings ; that he must in some way or another take away or lessen his sin, in order to be fit for coming to Christ. And I will suppose you to have the utmost success with him that you can aim at :-I will suppose that he is excited to the most lively solicitude to perform this task—that he puts forth the most strenuous efforts to become a good that he succeeds in obtaining all the preparation you could wish for and a pious man,“ in order to obtain God's grace and mercy;" and what you call saving faith. And now I say that you have only sueceeded, at most, in forming an infidel religionist out of an infidel from fligate ; that all his works, which you think have brought him so near the kingdom of heaven, have—as works of unbelief-been pointed against the gospel of that kingdom, to the proud rejection of Christ, and in hostile opposition to the true God :—that, instead of being truly a vakened, he is asleep in sin; instead of having beside himself in the delirium of pride and self-righteousness;—instead of seeking the true God, or having any good disposition towards him, he is manifesting the reigning power of that fleshly mind which is
come to himself, he is
enmity against him :-instead of being now m a fair way towards heaven, he is still in the high road to hell—though perhaps in a different path from what he before walked in.
I know, Sir, that you would not think all that was necessary yet done, while he had cnly this infidel repentance ;—perhaps you would take great pains to persuade him of the contrary; and I shall suppose him to continue still under your training, and really to believe what you tell him. Now that he is sufficiently prepared, you will call hiin to believe in Christ ;-you will declare to him the gospel, as good tidings for a sinner so qualified ;—perhaps you will encourage him much to put his trust now in God's grace and mercy, in the atonement of Christ, and in the aids of his Spirit. I shall suppose you to succeed in this also, and to have him what you will call a rejoicing believer-possessed (as he is taught to think) of the spirit of adoption, and the spiritual blessings of the Messiah's kingdom. And supposing all this, I must plainly tell you that he is now-as he was before—in the delirium of sin, and salse religion, and infidel opposition to God;—that what he has received as the gospel is not the gospel ;-that the Christ in whom he believes is a false Christ ;-and that the spirit, which emboldens him in his approaches to the idol God he has set up in his heart, is the spirit of antichrist;—and that the joy, with which he is filled, is but the presumptuous elation of false confidence. He worships and is zealous for a God, that is neither just nor the justifier of the ungodly: he believes in a Saviour, that is not the Saviour of sinners;—but of the comparatively righteous : he talks of grace—and thinks of the distinguishing circumstances in his own favour, which have qualified him to receive it, and the quantity of preliminary work he has done to obtain it :-and however loud he may be in declaring that it is only by the grace of God he expects to be saved, the grace that he talks of is no grace ;-and however full of love he may be to the imaginary Christ that he thinks is suitable to himself-however explicit and sincere also, in his declarations that he builds on no foundation but that of Christhe is yet full of enmity against the true Christ, and building a high tower of evangelical profession upon the sand. PUBLICANS AND HARLOTS GO INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD BEFORE SUCH.
If the reader wish to see exemplified that class of men whom I have described above, let him read almost any of the popular religious publications of the day, which go under the name of evangelical. But if he wish to be directed to one, in which he will see this false theology exemplified in its most specious and respectable form, let him read the Christian Observer, a periodical work published monthly in London, and conducted by members of the established church. The great object of these gentlemen appears to be to prove themselves true sons of the church; and to shew that they do not deserve the opprobrious name of Methodists, which some how or another has been attached to them. (The Irish reader may need to be informed that, in England,