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§ 10. From the preceding account of the ultimate sources and the respective natures of virtue and vice, we may perceive that vice is a species of defect in moral actions. A vicious. act is a wrong act, and the wrong quality is a defective one-the want of what ought to be in the exercise of free volitions. But we cannot thence infer that the principle of the defect is itself vicious, since the exercise of a voluntary choice is an essential part of vice. Hence it follows demonstrably that the ultimate source of vice is not vicious. There is no vicious act which is not compounded of something positive, and therefore good, and of something negative or defective, and therefore evil in a comparative sense. The goodness of the act is its physical energy, which flows from God; the badness of the act is its moral defect, or a failure in the manner of exercising the physical faculties, when they are voluntarily directed to a wrong end, or to means of attaining it which are not laudable. Were there no principle of defectibility in the agent, every act would be perfectly virtuous; and were that principle itself of a vicious quality, in a moral sense, there would be no difference between cause and effect: vice would be the cause of vice, which is incompatible.


The want of requisite acquaintance with reconciling Principles.


1. For want of reconciling principles, the Bishop rejects the doctrine of universal and total depravity. § 2. Confounds physical powers and moral propensities. § 3. Nature and grace. 4. The passiveness of man, with his agency. § 5. Divine Equity, with Sovereignty. § 6. Exhibited grace, with subjective.

7. Faith as a principle, with faith as a duty. § 8. He confounds the different relations which are sustained by a justified person. 9. The price of redemption, with redemption itself.

10. That Predestination which includes a series of events, with one that is isolated and imaginary.

§ 1. FROM the manner in which the Bishop

has treated the different topics contained in his Refutation," and from his numerous quotations from the Fathers, it is manifest, that many things are advanced through the apprehension of consequences that would follow from a different statement of those opinions; which consequences however his Lordship might have seen would not follow, had he been more attentive to reconciling principles; those I mean, which are necessary in order to reconcile scripture with scripture, and facts with facts. For instance, his Lordship seems to apprehend that if we go so far as to maintain a universal and total moral depravity of mankind by the fall of Adam, it would imply a natural impossibility of recovery,

or even of any improvement. He supposes it would exclude every voluntary effort, endeavour, or concurrence on the part of man-every idea of distinction between right and wrong-every good affection and moral sense. He also apprehends that the admission of such a degree of moral depravity must render men incorrigible, absolutely incapable of amendment, or of discharging any part of duty-must reject all co-operation, and all improvement by discipline and exercise. If moral depravity be represented as universal and total, he prognosticates consequences if possible still more alarming; as if, none could act according to the determination of reason-all men, in every period, must be alike wicked--neither patriarchs nor prophets could address the people, nor the people be addressed by them-propensities, affections, and faculties, would be incapable of controul, cultivation and enlargement-there would exist no discrimination of moral character-and there could have been no righteous characters in the time of Christ-no good and honest hearts. These are his Lordship's alarming apprehensions.

§ 2. Does it not strike every intelligent person who reflects upon the subject, that his Lordship has most unaccountably overlooked the distinction, which ought ever to be maintained, between physical powers, or faculties, and moral

propensities? To infer the destruction of the former, from that of the latter, is as unreasonable as it would be to infer, that not a chord of a stringed instrument remained undestroyed, because the instrument is become universally and totally out of tune; whereas an instrument may be thus of out tune, though every string remain entire; wanting only the skilful treatment of an artist to render it capable of producing sounds of sweet and varied harmony, as at the first. Such is the energy of divine grace upon the mind. As no physical faculty was destroyed by sin, so no one is added by sovereign grace. The infinitely wise author of our being, by his neverfailing skill, makes the ignorant knowing, the foolish wise, the reluctant willing, the dead lively, the slothful vigilant. He who before murmured, gloomy and dissatisfied, now feels his heart glow with gratitude, and speaks the language of praise: he who before cursed, now blesses: he who before lifted up his voice in strife and contention, now pours forth prayers and supplications according to the will of God. He was deceitful, he is now upright; he was envious, he is now benevolent; he was consumed with unhallowed attachments; he is now devoted to the love of God and his neighbour. "Instead of the thorn is come up the fir-tree, instead of the bramble is come up the myrtletree."

§ 3. Another distinction overlooked by his Lordship is, that existing moral differences among mankind are to be ascribed to grace rather than to nature. Some worthy characters, some well-disposed persons, some good and honest hearts, have been found in every age of the world. But how unreasonable to infer from these acknowledged facts, that the difference is derived from natural excellence rather than from supernatural grace. From the fact of one human character in any period of time being far superior to others, how illogical the conclusion that he has made himself to differ, or that nature has left him less impaired. It is most unfairly to beg the question, that all good is not from God; or, that there may be some moral excellence among men which flows not from divine grace, Admit this principle, that grace, not nature, forms the difference, and scripture will harmonize with scripture; deny it, and contradictions appear in all its parts. Whether his Lordship has not commited himself in this respect, every attentive reader may easily perceive. While truth is ever consistent with itself, when viewed through a just medium, it is the property of error to refute its own pretensions. One while it states that all mankind are depraved,' with a propensity to evil and wickedness, universal ' in its extent and powerful in its effects;' another while, it extenuates the statement by

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