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herited depravity that lies below will and below consciousness in the soul of man? It is not in the province of this article to prove this depravity, but rather to show how in taking stand for a supernatural religion Universalism will be compelled to include it. If it be true as Universalism has so largely taught that sin is a matter of pure volition, conscious and consenting, then the moral example and moral influence of any man better and stronger than we are can save us, and we need no infused force of grace from without to change our tempers and attitudes. Christ then may be but a human example and his sacrifice no deeper as a necessity of the eternal plans than the sacrifice of any other good man. On this view what becomes of his distinctive divinity, and what shall we say of the Christianity that he has founded? It is no longer a force, to renew the inner springs of human nature and create anew clean hearts and pure desires; it is but an example morally soliciting men with no assurance of success, a historic series of imitations in which, after all, men have been left to lift themselves to whatever moral height resolve could gain. The consequences of an insufficient analysis of moral evil leave us upon humanitarian ground concerning the atonement, and thereby destroy much of the force of our central idea. We have no assurance of man's ability to atone himself by the exercise of his will even if that was the work demanded. The indications of psychology go to show that self-development or self-resolve are uncertain processes upon which to depend for the reconciliation of men. The soul can undoubtedly compel for periods of time the practice of virtues and the restraint of passion, but it is a question if these ever will have outcome in a saved condition wherein virtue is the normal law and passion becomes hateful because of what it is. The Catholic category of penances and offerings has its value, but there may be practices of virtue and absolute control of the passions and yet no salvation.
Nor does it avail to say that this may be done by purpose in imitation of Christ or some other. The case is not helped by inserting the supposition of an Example- no matter whom
-or a moral solicitation leaving us free to follow. Why is this better than the methods of Paganism in which men certainly had virtuous and illustrious examples, and were as truly under the solicitations of the moral law and moral beauty as we are?
No, the truth remains that if we locate sin no deeper than the will and the consciousness, we have certainly voided the necessity for a divine "force from without" that is, for a salvation that can include any efforts beyond the operations of the common conscience and the human volitions.
Therefore in order to leave room for the Christian scheme, we shall be compelled to accent in our formulating faith a fact that alone can give warrant either to Christianity in general or to Universalism in particular the fact namely that human nature at its base and in its inner springs is tainted; from a human point of view hopelessly tainted with a deep lying depravity, that the will has directly nothing to do with, that a man could not eradicate if he would, that makes the basis and occasion of all his transgression, and is the substance therefore of the only question with which Divine Holiness is concerned.
To contribute to an exposition of this fact we cite a few corollary facts and inferences, partly in view of objections that might be urged, partly to indicate what place this fact holds in the system of Universalism in futuro.
A Universalist critic of this position might affirm that it is in a sense an impeachment of Deity to postulate an evil inherent in man's nature. The objection will hold if it can be shown, as Dr. Sawyer in a previous quotation affirms, that man has this nature with all its supposed taints directly from God as Adam did. This however is a statement that cannot hold for a moment, for if it is true that Adam was born without any inherited tendency to sin, an appeal to consciousness will we think prove that we have somewhat within us that, from the first moments of rational consciousness, not only does not assent to but resists, combats, defies and transgresses the moral law and light. It avails nothing to shift the ground
and call it the normal and physical desires, who then shall account for the weakness that fails to check the desires from excess in gratification. Moreover what we realize and must account for is deeper than any normal desire, it is a disorder in the powers, a disadjustment of the inner harmonies realized as soon as we come to a reasoning estate, a life in which the proportions are primarily disturbed, reacting not only against each other but against the nature of things into which it has been thrown. The outward history of man of which we cannot speak, indicates the same thing and enforces the testimony of consciousness.
Now if all this be looked at as the aggregate inherited result of all past transgression, then the responsibility is no longer with God. What if sin, like man, is one thing, tied into a body by the ties of a common consanguineous relationship; stored up as the result of the sinning that a guilty world has perpetuated in all its history, then another objection will fall along with the criticism that God is impeached the statement namely that if a man is born with a depraved soul he is not accountable for it. Individually he may not be so, but man as one is responsible, and so it is true that whether this particular man ever wilfully transgressed or not, all the world is guilty before God as sharing in a common sin. It is true that a man is not accountable for what is born in him, but that which is born in him is sin all the same, and the race as a whole is accountable. This does not destroy, it accents and gives force to the doctrine of personal responsibility in that it makes every man concerned not merely in his own guilt, but in the guilt also of every other man.
Thus the doctrine of natural depravity gives force to our idea of human brotherhood, casting humanity into a common lot of guilt, and levelling all the barriers of caste in the momentous fact that we are all sinners before God, with the farther conclusion that no superiority of will can change the humbling condition.
While we are not mainly arguing the validity of our ground, we hold that this doctrine of sin is the only one that has place
in the scheme of supernatural redemption. We have already remarked upon the bearings of this fact upon the idea of atonement. To speak a little more positively, let us ask if this fact does not call for just the kind of effort that we suppose Divine Love and Wisdom have actually made. Depravity scated in the life demands more than solicitation or example. It demands a divine "force from without" to enter in behind the will, and cleanse the tainted channels of motive and affection, transforming the loves and longings, and renewing all the wasted and paralyzed energies, quickening the will to new endeavor and awakening the whole life to a diviner impulse toward righteousness. In this Christ may become to the soul what no mere man can be Socrates or any other the power of Almighty God quickening and redeeming a dead and lost world, the force behind morals and behind physics, creating a new spiritual world a kingdom of heaven; a new spiritual life the life of God in man.
Finally, as we have intimated already, this is the only view of sin that belongs to Universalism. If our prophecy be just that we shall pass inside the reformed church it will be upon this Evangelical ground, and that simply because our central idea can rest upon no other. Whatever a man may do by his will, and in all this work the will may have its place that which decisively saves a man must not be human. It is not left to a man to save himself, not even to be the chief determining factor. The will may work moral results and these have place, but the work which needs to be done back of the will, without which no man is ever saved, is a divine work. To be sure then that all men are to be saved, the evil from which they are to be saved must be located beyond the contingency of a human failure, must be held to be finally and utterly in the control of God. It is there if the seat and evil of sin is a depraved nature, and therefore the recognition of that fact can alone prepare the way for valid evidence that all men will be saved.
Four Phases of Theism.
THOSE who keep pace, in any good degree, with current discussions of matters which affect theological belief, need not be told that hostility to the basis of that belief, has changed its attitude and direction within the past thirty years. The earlier enemies of religion were simply deists. The school of d'Holbach was nominally atheistic. The speculations of Hume were inclusive of atheism. But how far these writers were serious, to what extent the ends they aimed at were remote from those which they formally proposed, are questions which divide the opinions of their critics. That in many regards they worked by indirection, affecting to doubt where in fact they did not doubt, and this in the interest of an ulterior and unexpressed end, is well known. In any view of their serious purpose, they must be regarded as exceptional in the skeptical school. Voltaire, Rosseau, Thomas Paine, and nearly all the prominent antagonists of religion in England, were theists. They simply denied the reality of a verbal revelation from God. They opposed the Bible and labored to promote a distrust in its teachings as authoritative. They were deists. Beyond this, with a few exceptions, they did not go. Indeed not a few of them resisted the denial of God, and gave argument to support their belief in His existence and rule.
In the generation preceding the present, infidelity was generally we do not say universally — understood to mean a rejection of the Bible. Its method was to point out contradictions in the teachings of that Book-literally" Book of books." Miracles in particular were set aside as impossible. The morality of the Bible was questioned. Even the historic reality of Jesus and the Apostles was, in not a few instances, challenged. But the totally different phase of skepticism which denied the existence of a Supreme Intelligence, though not a theory unknown, was not at all dominant. The argument from design being wholly apart from the Scriptures, was gen