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great many others, and to consider a writer as denying all those, if he denies this one.--As a caution against a measure fraught with so much injustice, we would here mention a number of things, which are to be laid out of the present discussion, and which it is not our design to prove or disprove.

The point then to be examined is, not, whether God has, according to his own infinitely wise counsel, predetermined all events, that come to pass; even all the volitions, actions, and characters of his creatures, whether good or evil. This is conceded. It is not whether there be two independent, eternal, beings; the one, the author of all good, the other, the author of all evil. A person must be hardly pressed for matter of cavil, to charge this upon our system.

The question is not, whether, the eternal purpose of God, ensuring the existence of moral evil, reflects any dishonor upon the divine character, or lessens the demerit of sin. Were this the matter in debate we should take the negative.

Nor is it, whether God has power, consistently with the moral freedom of man, and the grounds of praise and blame in regard to his actions, to produce evil volitions in his heart, by an immediate, inward positive efficiency. For here it is conceded, that, if the holy exercises, which God produces in saints be morally good and praiseworthy, we see not why the evil exercises of sinners would not be criminal, though produced in the same way.

Nor is the question about the manner, how moral evil first gained existence in the mind of angels once perfectly pure and blessed; nor how moral corruption, or sinful desires, first entered into the heart of the primitive parents of our race, who were originally formed in a siate of perfect moral rectitude.

The question assumes human nature in its state of deep and awful depravity, and may be thus expressed, “Does God operate directly on the heart of fallen man, and excite him by an inward positive

influence, to yield to the motives and allurements to sin, which, in the course of divine Providence, are presented to bis view?"

The advocates of this doctrine, affirm with us, (at least in words) that God does not bring into existence the evil exercises or volitions of men without the use of motives, or means adapted; but, then, if we would not misunderstand them, it must carefully be observed, that in their view, no motives, ineans, instruments, or second causes, have any power to produce volition, without this inward din vine influence. The mind can only look at these motives; it cannot move a step to choose them, until this choice is excited by a positive direct influence on the heart.

The justice of this remark will appear from a few citations. “It hence appeareth, that there is an utter impropriety in saying that the mind is gov. erned and determined by motive." West on Moral Agency. p. 61.

"But God knew that no external means would be sufficient of themselves to form his (Pharoah's) moral character. He determined to operate on his heart, itself, and cause him to put forth certain evil exercises in the view of certain external motives." Dr. Emmons's Ser, on Exod. ix, 16.

“As these and all other inethods to account for the fall of Adam, by the instrumentality of second causes, are insufficient to remove the difficulty, it seems necessary to have recourse to divine agency, and to suppose that God wrought in Adam. Satan placed certain motives before his mind, which by a divine agency took hold of his heart, and led him into sin.” Ibid. Ser. on Phil. ii, 12.

“An object presented to the mind is a motive to choose, but it is the immediate agency of God alone that can cause the mind to act when the motive is presented." -Not that God does not work by means, but that means in themselves have no efficacy.” W. R, Weeks's Nine Sermons, pp. 32, 42.

What do these writers intend by comeans in themselves?" Is this the idea, that means independently of God have no energy? If so, who will contend with them? Do they suppose that any man, who believes the Bible, would advance such an idea, as that God ever made any creature to exist and act independently of himself? Or do they mean that God has never imparted to created agents, instruments or second causes, an influence, energy, or activity, sufficient, under his upholding and all-controlling Providence, to produce any effect, or at least any moral effect; or that it is impossible be should give or impart any such energy or activity? In this case I would ask them, how they came by this knowl. edge, and how they prove the truth of such a speculation?

In regard to Adam's choice of the forbidden fruit, according to Dr. Emmons, God knew that no external means would be sufficient. But how did the Dr. discover that God knew this in Adam's or Pharoah's case? In relation to Adam's case it seems by God's own declaration, that he knew the contrary; for he says to Satan, a dependent agent, an Instrument,

Because thou hast done this," and denounces a curse upon him for it, and says not one word about working by his own immediate agency on Adam's heart itself.

Do not the Scriptures undertake to account for the fall of Adam by the instrumentality of second causes?

And does not Dr. Emmons reflect equally upon the inspired writers, as on others, when he says, “These and all other methods to account for it by the instrumentality of second causes are insufficient. It seems necessary to suppose God wrought in Adam," i. e. by a direct influence on his heart he moved him to his first act of rebellion. But how came the Dr. to discover a thing which none of the inspired writers ever advanced?

To me at least, there is something awfully presumptuous and unbecoming creatures, who are of yesterday and know nothing, to talk of the divine agency and the inefficacy of means, as these writers do.–Are not the ways of God in this matter an unfathomable deep, a mystery which extends infinitely beyond the reach of our capacities? Do we know exactly what energies God may impart to second causes? How far he works by instruments, or his own immediate agency. Can we comprehend the manner of the dependence of rational agents and other creatures, on the Creator? Do we know how he holds them all under bis absolute control, and brings all their energies, passions, and actions, to unite in one grand point, the accomplishment of his own benevolent purposes?

Here I take it God is incomprehensible. Christ says, even in regard to a blade of corn, “It grows up thou knowest not how.” And says Solomon, “As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child; even so thou knowest not the works of God, who maketh all.” It appears, Mr. Weeks is rather too fast, when he so roundly and confidently asserts, that it is not motive, or any second causes, but the immediate agency of God alone, that can cause the mind to act.

When these writers speak of God's working by means, there is great danger of their readers being misguided. According to their theory, means are absolutely nothing. Motives are no means of moving rational creatures to act, and it is absurd for them to talk of them as means; for a means utterly destitute of efficacy and adaptedness, is no means at all. According to Mr. Weeks, a motive is no more the cause of the mind's choice in any case, than the waving of my hand is the cause of the sun's rising. And who would not say, I talked absurdly, if I were to say that the waving of my hand was a means of the sun's rising this morning? And if it is the immediate agency of God alone that causes the mind to act, then motive is as absurdly said to be a means here, as the waving my hand in the other case. To understand the scheme aright, we must then conceive of it as affirming, that God uses means to execute his decrees, and yet he uses no means at all. To give you my views as differing from this theory. Suppose God creates an hand of mere lifeless clay. This hand he moves and causes to appear to do many things, but after all, there is absolutely no energy, or efficiency in it, to do any thing. God by an immediate influence or agency does all. This if I can comprehend it, is the notion of means entertained by the theory we oppose. To come up to our views, you have to give life, intelligence, the power of choice, activity to this hand, if it be an accountable agent, or if it be an irrational object, you must give to it its appropriate energy, whatever it be, attraction, magnetism, electricity, instinct, &c. and then though it be equally dependent and under the absolute direction and control of the great First Cause, yet nothing further is necessary to its producing its proper effects, but the preservation of these energies, and affording them opportunity and excitement to action.

To guard against evasion of the real question, and perplexing the subject with what is quite foreign to it, we add another remark. The advocates of this new theory pretend, that they do not undertake to decide, in what manner it is, God operates in the production of moral evil. The modus operandi they concede is incomprehensible.

But is not this really denying, or evading the matter in debate? The manner in which they assert God moves the wills of sinners to choose evil, is the substance of all, about which there is any question.

It is a plain declaration of the Scriptures, that God hardens the heart, blinds the mind, sends strong delusion, &c. But this is to produce moral evil, and this fact we readily admit. This therefore is not the point at issue. But it lies in this. One side affirm that no energy imparted to second causes, no arrangement, or direction and application of mo

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