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nient and symmetrical ; yet they field of Protestant Christendom since generally consented to live together the days of the Reformation, we still in the mansion, as one resting might select many discussions, maon the right foundation, and built ny controversies, many errors, and after the model of the truth. It many advances in science and was only those who wandered after knowledge which have had an influa new site and a new foundation, ence, under the providence of the and sought to change the model of Head of the Church, in advancing the superstructure, who ventured to on the whole, the science of all scierect for themselves the cold and ences, that of the system of theoloshelterless abode of Unitarianism, gy in the precise statement and aror the sin-licensed house of Univer- rangement of its various parts. Yet salism, that were stricken from the we look rather to the field of New communion of the body.
England, that soil of the Puritans The system of the orthodox faith the men of clear and piercing intelembraces, as its strong and clear out- lects and of honest and indomitable lines, the doctrine of the total depray- will-where devoted attachment to ity and the condemnation of all who the cause of Christ and his church, are in Adam ; that of justification and deep reverence for God and his only through the righteousness of truth, if any where, have marked Christ the Redeemer; that of reno- those who minister at the altar, and vation and sanctification and preserwho act as the defenders and teachvation in holiness to the end by the ers of divine truth. Here, the theHoly Spirit; and that of the purpo- ologian, like Edwards, and Bellamy, ses of God as to all his works and and Emmons, is not the mere reader all their results in time and eternity. of other men's statements on the
In upholding and defending these subjects of theology; not the comgreat and essential outlines of the mitter, by rote, of human formulas, system of divine truth and grace, it nor the beggarly wearer of the se. is easy to see that subordinate and cond-hand and cast-off clothing of minor statements, made in the Insti human predecessors. He is the tutes of Calvin, or in the extended disciple, intent on acquiring the formula of the Westminster Assem- knowledge of truth ; tasking his own bly, might be imperfect and defec. powers to the work of investigation, tive ; that statements made in one and going with those powers to the aspect of truth, when considered in right sources of knowledge ; seekother relations, might be not so pre. ing after the teaching of God in his cise and guarded as is necessary to word and in his works, and, before the complete harmony of all truth; this high authority, searching and and that time and trial—either by testing all the teachings of his fellow means of practical errors which servants. He is the disciple, learnshould be found to shelter themselves ing the truth of God from God; and under any of these statements, or from such thorough discipleship in through ihe light which continued the investigation of divine truth at and increasing investigation into its high sources, qualified to teach every department of knowledge, that truth to others, in the clear should throw on the whole con- statements and on the firm grounds nected system of truth-might lead which characterize his own faith, to improvement by the substitu- and constitute it a living faith in tion of statements more discrimina. God. ting, more precise, and more obvi. Two errors have been found to ously in harmony with universal take shelter under the statements of truth.
Calvin, the discussion of which has Were we now to survey the broad led the theologians of New England, as we believe, to advance the ortho: due allowance is made for the natdox system of theology to a better ural hatred of men towards unwel. state, or to a more precise conform come truth--owe half their revolt mity with truth. The Calvinistic to the seen and felt untruthfulness statements were taken as a shelter of the triangular rock of hyperfor the erroneous doctrine of such Calvinism, and of each of the coursan utter passivity of human nature, es taken by the parties who separaas to divest man of all active rela- ted and filed off at its base. Ed. tion to the government of God, and wards, in his attempt to show the all capacity for it, and also as to freedom of the will to be consistent throw the whole concern of redemp. with that necessity which is predition in its accomplishment in the in- cated of it in the Calvinistic scheme; dividual, upon the simple efficiency Smalley, in setting forth distinctly . and activity of God. Here then, the natural ability of man and the with no responsibleness on the part universal obligation of the law of of the individual, as to belief in God, God; Bellamy, in storming the cit. repentance of sin, or faith in the adel of Antinomianism, and enterMediator, a division was struck at ing it triumphantly with the broad once between those who resolved to banner of no evangelical faith withdo something in the matter, and out holiness, or hearty obedience to those who would do nothing. The the law of God; the younger EdArminian hyper-Calvinist sought, wards, in presenting the atonement by a circuitous route, to lay himself as a moral means in distinction as a mere passive recipient, by the from redemption as the final result, pool of ordinances, and wait, in his and in giving it, as a means, that sleeping and waking hours, for some universal relation to man which instrange operation and efficacy to be volves his obligation to accept of it instilled into the means; and thus at once, with penitence and humble was exposed to linger ever as a gratituden as a free gift: these all careless or a fitful seeker, and never have done something for theology, rise up to do the will of God heart- which every discriminating and piily, as his servant in the earth. ous pastor, as well as studious and
The Antinomian hyper-Calvinist, independent theologian, cannot but on the other hand, would not offer regard as improvement, and as addsuch a bait to his own pride and ing that truthfulness to the parts of sense of merit, as to feel the re- the system which he would never sponsibility, or make the effort, to do consent to throw overboard or ex. any thing; but, simply and passive. change for the previous state of ly, acquiesce in seeing himself the things—the status ante bellum. inactive material on which grace What, then, shall we say of Emalone was to work, and get to itself mons ? Harmonizing, in his phi. all the glory. Now though either losophy, with the Cartesian—the deerror had some important truth in- nier of finite substance or essence, corporated with it, there was want- he brings forward the omnipotence ing an element of truth, which the of the Deity, as the sole immediate Calvinistic system in its particular source of each thought, act, event, statements did not supply, or, at quality ; and presents the workings least, bring forward in that clear. of Providence as effecting alike, by ness and with that just relation to immediate efficiency, the hatred of the main truths, which has been the malicious and the love of the done by the theologians of New benevolent, the impenitence of sinEngland. Nor do we doubt thatners and the holiness of Christians, they who at once forsook the whole the blasphemy of the fiend and the system, the Unitarians-after all ecstasy of the seraph. It is a high and a fearful philosophy, that so lation as to force us to admit its annihilates and swallows up all be truth; and, also, to acknowledge ing in God, as that, did we not by that, if there is an existent constituconsciousness necessarily rely on tion of being in man, that constituourselves as existent beings, we tion itself, by whatever causes afmight sound in vain amid its depths, fected, or whatever it may itself afto find any footing for ourselves, our fect as a cause, is not to be ever acduties and responsibilities, or our counted the substance or matter of hopes. Yet this theologian, put in. holiness or sin. to the immediate hands of God the More than this. In passing over constitution of all things, in the gen. the field of theology with this prineral laws which he believed the ciple, he has shown that the sin of Deity to have affixed to himself in Adam could not be directly imputed his own operations; and therefore to his posterity as theirs, or be made he did not in fact deny that consti- the immediate ground of their contution of created things on which demnation. If he were then asked knowledge, appeal, obligation, and why the sin of Adam entailed depravmoral duty and responsibility are ity on his posterity, he answered, not founded. But in this respect he on the ground of any law imposed has not carried with him the theo. on him in Eden, which directly in. logians of New England : but few flicted death on them for his sin, but individuals being found to follow simply on the ground of the divine him fully into the scheme of imme. constitution, that if Adam sinned, diate efficiency. They have as a his posterity would also sin, when body, admitted the existence of a they came into existence. Here constitution in created things, which too they who, rejecting the immediconstitution, as apparent in the star- ate efficiency scheme, believe in the ry heavens and the globe, and in created physical, mental, and moral the mineral, vegetable, animal, and constitution of man, can point to the moral kingdoms, is a reality and the constitution of Adam, as a thing excause, ground, or occasion, under istent prior to the imposition of the the providence of the Creator, of law in Eden; that constitution of the events which take place in all, man, as male and female, which except in cases of miracle or of placed Adam at the head of a race, special Divine agency in regenera. which were to be affected in their tion.
constitution by the laws of descent, Yet Emmons, in connection with by which natural laws—as we have his philosophy, has brought forward since learned from the results the scheme of responsibility for vol. when he sinned against the moral untary exercises only, or, “ the ex- and positive law of Eden, and thus ercise scheme," with such force and vitiated his own natural and moral clearness, as forever to have estab- constitution, he inflicted, by conselished this point in theology—that quence, evil on that of his posterity. all holiness and sin in the creation, This original donation to Adam of lies in the voluntary action of moral being the natural head of a race, like beings. If he admitted nothing to the donation of physical strength, or exist in such beings but intellectual like that of moral influence through and voluntary actions, and therefore the faculty of speech or the exhibi. could not on his own scheme place tion of example, was a trust, lodged the subject in any other department, with him for good or evil to others still, the glaring evidence he ever according to his voluntary course of holds before us of the truth of his conduct : on the plain principle that, position, so meets all the demands without trusts of some kind, there of reason and conscience and reve. can be no such thing as responsibil.
ity, or good or evil conduct, and that again to theirs, and so perpetually? the increase of a trust only extends Did it state what consequences would the sphere of responsibility and the arise, if they should continue holy power of doing good or evil. Yet, till after the birth of half their child what result, precisely, physical, dren, and sin before the other half mental, or moral, would arise to his were begotten? Did it state whethposterity from his conduct, through er, if Adam should transgress at the the natural and original laws of first, the evil consequences would propagation and descent, could be go beyond himself? Or does the learned only in the sequel, by de. fact, which has been since learned, duction from the facts, unless made that the sin of his whole posterity known beforehand by immediate rev. is a consequence of his transgres. elation.
sion, show at all that sin might not Dr. Emmons justly contends that have broken out somewhere in his the revelation made to Adam of the race and gone forward with its deconsequences to arise from trans. structive consequences, even if he gression is confined, so far as we had not sinned? Are any of these have any reason to assert, simply to things revealed in the positive prepersonal death for the personal vio- cept and penalty given in Eden? lation of the moral and positive law or have we any ground to assert under which he and his partner were that Adam had any direct revelaput upon trial, to test their own fidel. tion, of consequences to arise from ity. It is true, the natural laws, al. his holiness or sin, before the enacready established in the constitution tion of that law, or aside from its of created things, and, of course, in publication? If not, then, not that that of these heads of the race, un. positive law, but the natural laws less suspended by miracle or anni- already and previously affixed to hilated by the destruction of the the constitution of Adam and Eve, race, were to have their course. are those by which the Creator gave But did the law, published to Adam them the station of heads of the in Eden, originate them ? or did it, race-heads who incur no immedi. even, reveal what would be their re- ate good or ill desert upon their sults?
children, but act simply as benefacDid that law promise the pair, tors or injurers of those who come that if they continued holy during after them, to what extent, as is any particular period of time, they true of every instance in which en. would ever after be confirmed in trusted power is employed to its holiness and happiness; or did it right end or is abused, the sequel leave them simply under law, with only is to show. They were held out gratuitous covenant respecting to the right use of their own trustthe future—the engagement of law, to secure whatever good consequen. that while obedient, and while con- ces to others were to result from tinuing to do the things contained their continuing obedient-under in the law, and on that simple tenure the bonds and penalties of their own alone, they should go on to enjoy eternal death in case of failure. peace and life in God's kingdom? Here was the protection of law Did it state whether, if all their im- thrown over the interests entrusted mediate children were born while with these persons; here was a trial they continued holy, these children made of their own character; here, should be holy at the first; or, what the righteous exaction of justice; is more remote, that they should here, personal duty and personal ever continue holy, and transmit responsibility laid on the only existagain the same inheritance to their ent beings : and that was enough. immediate descendants, and these But they sin ; and the sequelwhat is it? Not only are they con- laws impressed on created forces, demned by the Judge, but the race but to a pattern secreted in the Di. which springs from Adam are seen vine mind.
vine mind. They, when speaking to be vitiated in their constitution so of the grounds of human sinfulness, as to render sure their own sin and of the adaptation of revelation to condemnation, as the experience of the nature of man, of the immedi. all ages and the word of revelation ate agency of God in miracles, of attest: and the respite, which was the peculiar influence of the Holy allowed him and is allowed them, Spirit as distinct from creation or of the present life before the exe. miracle, of the imperfection and cution of punishment, is made the internal conflicts of the saints had occasion of a new dispensation, most clearly, the advantage. The better than law-of a covenant by material was present in their syspromise, through the Redeemer, of tem which gave consistency and deliverance and life to the penitent harmony to these facts. But when and believing.
these same theologians undertook · Now in tracing out this broad field to place the constitution of man of depravity and redemption through within the category of holiness or Christ, Dr. Emmons carries the sin, desert of reward or blame, they principle most convincingly of the introduced an item into the account voluntary and active nature of all which the logical acumen of Em. sin and holiness. And nothing is mons has succeeded, we trust, for wanting, in our view, to complete ever to efface. With his princi forever the harmony of the principle ple-nothing but voluntary action, with all the facts, but the simple holiness or sin and the clear foun. admission of an agent constituted dations of the principle exposed in to act in a holy or sinful manner, the divine requirements, and the and whose constitution may be so
truth and justice of placing respon. affected by the laws of descent, or sibleness only within such limits, he by special influences from God, as shows that they are introducing an to become the ground or occasion item into their systems at war with of the certainty of—as the case may these plain and glaring facts of the be either sinful action or holy. holy and righteous moral govern.
The theologians of New England ment of God. have generally admitted an existent Nothing remained, therefore, at constitution of being in man; but, this posture of the subject, to give until the time of Emmons and the clearness and harmony to all the clear exposition he gave of his prin- parts of theology, but for the theo. ciple, they were confounding con- logian to admit a basis and footing stitutional tendency with the volun- for natural ability of right action, tary action of the being, as though and for a certainty of either right or both were included in the matter of wrong action as external or internal sin or holiness, and in the desert of causes might operate, in the nature praise or blame. In the collision of and constitution of man; and, at the two clashing parties, they who the same time, to consider the sin held to an existing constitution in and holiness of man as consisting man as furnishing a ground or oc- alone in voluntary action, right or casion of the certainty of action, or wrong, in heart or life. Now the as being a subject of deterioration way was clear to consider as existor improvement in the course of ac- ent in man, and in all moral beings tion, had clearly the advantage of in the universe, a reality-in distincEmmons, who could look to no cre- tion from a mere plan in the mind ated forces in operation, but saw of God as to his own efficient opeonly the divine hand; and to no rations-a constitution of inherent