Outlines of Theology

by A. A. Hodge

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Table of Contents

Preface To First Edition

Preface To Revised And Enlarged Edition

1. Christian Theology; Its Several Branches; And Their Relation To Other Departments Of Human Knowledge

2. The Origin Of The Idea Of God And Proof Of His Existence

3. The Sources Of Theology

4. The Inspiration Of The Bible

5. The Scriptures Of The Old And New Testaments The Only Rule Of Faith And Judge Of Controversies

6. A Comparison Of Systems

7. Creeds And Confessions

8. The Attributes Of God

9. The Holy Trinity, Including The Divinity Of Christ, The Eternal Generation Of The Son, The Personality, Divinity, And Eternal Procession Of The Holy Ghost, And The Several Properties And Mutual Relations Of The Persons Of The Godhead

10. The Decrees Of God In General

11. Predestination

12. The Creation Of The World

13. Angels

14. Providence

15. The Moral Constitution Of The Soul Will, Conscience, Liberty, Etc.

16. Creation And Original State Of Man

17. The Covenant Of Works

18. The Nature Of Sin And The Sin Of Adam

19. Original Sin-(Peccatum Habituale)

20. Inability

21. The Imputation Of Adam's S First Sin To His Posterity

22. The Covenant Of Grace

23. The Person Of Christ

24. The Meditatorial Office Of Christ

25. The Atonement:Its Nature, Necessity, Perfection, And Extent

26. The Intercession Of Christ

27. The Mediatorial Kingship Of Christ

28. Effectual Calling

29. Regeneration

30. Faith

31. Union Of Believers With Christ

32. Repentance, And The Romish Doctrine Of Penance

33. Justification

34. Adoption, And The Order Of Grace In The Application Of Redemption, In The Several Parts Of Justification, Regeneration, And Sanctification

35. Sanctification

36. Perseverance Of The Saints

37. Death, And The State Of The Soul After Death

38. The Resurrection

39. The Second Advent And General Judgment

40. Heaven And Hell

41. The Sacraments

42. Baptism

43. The Lord's Supper





Preface to First Edition

In introducing this book to the reader, I have only a single word to say upon two points: first as to the uses which I regard this form of exhibiting theological truth as being specially qualified to subserve; and, secondly as to the sources from which I have drawn the materials composing these "Outlines."

                As to the first point, I have to say, that the conception and execution of this work originated in the experience of the need for some such manual of theological definitions and argumentation, in the immediate work of instructing the members of my own pastoral charge. The several chapters were in the first instance prepared and used in the same form in which they are now printed, as the basis of a lecture delivered otherwise extemporaneously to my congregation every Sabbath night. In this use of them, I found these preparations successful beyond my hopes. The congregation, as a whole, were induced to enter with interest upon the study even of the most abstruse questions. Having put this work thus to this practical test, I now offer it to my brethren in the ministry, that they may use it, if they will, as a repertory of digested material for the doctrinal instruction of their people, either in Bible classes, or by means of a congregational lecture. I offer it also as an attempt to supply an acknowledged public want, as a syllabus of theological study for the use of theological students generally, and for the use of those many laborious preachers of the gospel who cannot command the time, or who have not the opportunity, or other essential means, to study the more expensive and elaborate works from which the materials of this compend have been gathered.

                The questions have been retained in form, not for the purpose of adapting the book in any degree for catechetical instruction, but as the most convenient and perspicuous method of presenting an "outline of theology" so condensed. This same necessity of condensation I would also respectfully plead as in some degree an excuse for some of the instances of obscurity in definition and meagerness of illustration, which the reader will observe.

                In the second place, as to the sources from which I have drawn the materials of this book, I may for the most part refer the reader to the several passages, where the acknowledgment is made as the debt is incurred.

                In general, however, it is proper to say that I have, with his permission, used the list of questions given by my father to his classes of forty–five and six. I have added two or three chapters which his course did not embrace, and have in general adapted his questions to my new purpose, by omissions, additions, or a different distribution. To such a degree, however, have they directed and assisted me, that I feel a confidence in offering the result to the public which otherwise would have been unwarrantable. In the frequent instances in which I have possessed his published articles upon the subjects of the following chapters, the reader will find that I have drawn largely from them. It is due to myself, however, to say, that except in two instances, "The Scriptures the only Rule of Faith and Judge of Controversies" and the "Second Advent," I have never heard delivered nor read the manuscript of that course of theological lectures which he has prepared for the use of his classes subsequently to my graduation. In the instances I have above excepted, I have attempted little more, in the preparation of the respective chapters of this book bearing those titles, than to abridge my father’s lectures. In every instance I have endeavored to acknowledge the full extent of the assistance I have derived from others, in which I have, I believe, uniformly succeeded, except so far as I am now unable to trace to their original sources some of the materials collected by me in my class manuscripts, prepared fourteen years ago, while a student of theology. This last reference relates to a large element in this book, as I wrote copiously, and after frequent oral communication with my father, both in public and private.


Fredericksburg, May, 1860.


Preface to Revised and Enlarged Edition

                The Preface to the original edition gives a perfectly accurate and somewhat circumstantial account of the origin of this work. Since its first publication the evidences of the fact that it met a public need have been multiplying. Its sale in America and Great Britain has continued. It has been translated into Welsh and Modern Greek, and used in several theological training schools.

                The author, in the meantime, has been for fourteen years engaged in the practical work of a theological instructor. His increased knowledge and experience as a teacher have been embodied in this new and enlarged edition, which has grown to its present form through several years in connection with his actual class instructions.

                The new edition contains nearly fifty per cent more matter than the former one. Two chapters have been dropped, and five new ones have been added. Extracts from the principal Confessions, Creeds, and classical theological writers of the great historical churches have been appended to the discussions of the doctrines concerning which the Church is divided. Several chapters have been entirely rewritten, and many others have been materially recast, and enlarged. And the Appendix contains a translation of the Consensus Tigurinus of Calvin, and of the FORMULA CONSENSUS HELVETICA of Heidegger and Turretin, two Confessions of first class historical and doctrinal interest to the student of Reformed theology, but not easily accessible.

                The work is again offered to the Christian Church, not as a complete treatise of Systematic Theology, for the use of the proficient, but as a simple Text Book, adapted to the needs of students taking their first lessons in this great science, and to the convenience of many earnest workers who wish to refresh their memories by means of a summary review of the ground gone over by them in their earlier studies.

Princeton, N. J., August 6th, 1878.






CHAPTER 1: Christian Theology; Its Several Branches; And Their Relation to Other Departments of Human Knowledge

1. What is Religion? And what is Theology in its Christian sense?

                Religion, in its most general sense, is the sum of the relations which man sustains to God, and comprises the truths, the experiences, actions, and institutions which correspond to, or grow out of those relations.

                Theology, in its most general sense, is the science of religion.

                The Christian religion is that body of truths, experiences, actions, and institutions which are determined by the revelation supernaturally presented in the Christian Scriptures. Christian Theology is the scientific determination, interpretation. and defense of those Scriptures, together with the history of the manner in which the truths it reveals have been understood, and the duties they impose have been performed, by all Christians In all ages.

                2. What is Theological Encyclopedia? and what Theological Methodology?

                Theological Encyclopedia from the Greek ejgkuklopaidei>a (the whole circle of general education), presents to the student the entire circle of the special sciences devoted to the discovery, clarity, and defense of the contents of the supernatural revelation contained in the Christian Scriptures, and aims to present these sciences in those organic relations which are determined by their actual genesis and inmost nature.

                Theological Methodology is the science of theological method. As each department of human inquiry demands a mode of treatment peculiar to itself; and as even each subdivision of each general department demands its own special modifications of treatment, so theological methodology provides for the scientific determination of the true method, general and special, of pursuing the theological sciences.

                And this includes two distinct categories: (a) The methods proper to the original investigation and construction of the several sciences, and (b) the methods proper to elementary instruction in the same.

                All this should be accompanied with critical and historical information, and direction as to the use of the vast literature with which these sciences are illustrated.

                3. To what extent is the scientific arrangement of all the theological sciences possible? And on whataccount is the attempt desirable?

                Such an arrangement can approach perfection only in proportion as these sciences themselves approach their final and absolute form. At present every such attempt must be only more or less an approximation to an ideal unattainable in the present state of knowledge in this life. Every separate attempt also must depend for its comparative success upon the comparative justness of the general theological principles upon which it is based. It is evident that those who make Reason, and those who make the inspired Church, and those who make the inspired Scriptures the source and standard of all divine knowledge must severally configure the theological sciences to the different foundations on which they are made to stand.

                The point of view adopted in this book is the evangelical and specifically the Calvinistic or Augustinian one, assuming the following fundamental principles: 1st. The inspired Scriptures are the sole, and an infallible standard of all religious knowledge. 2nd. Christ and his work is the center around which all Christian theology is brought into order. 3rd. The salvation brought to light in the gospel is supernatural and of FREE GRACE. 4th. All religious knowledge has a practical end.  The theological sciences, instead of being absolute ends in themselves, find their noblest purpose and effect in the advancement of personal holiness, the more efficient service of our fellowmen, and THE GREATER GLORY OF GOD.

                The advantages of such a grouping of the theological sciences are obvious, and great. The relations of all truths are determined by their nature, whence it follows that their nature is revealed by an exhibition of their relations. Such an exhibition will also tend to widen the mental horizon of the student, to incite him to breadth of culture, and prevent him from unduly exalting or exclusively cultivation any one special branch, and thus from perverting it by regarding it out of its natural limitations and dependencies.

                4. What are the fundamental questions which all theological science proposes to answer, and whichtherefore determine the arrangement of the several departments of that general science?

                1st. Is there a God? 2nd. Has God spoken? 3rd. What has God said? 4th. How have men in time past understood his word and practically, in their persons and institutions, realized his intentions?

                5. What position in an encyclopedia of theological sciences must be given to other branches ofhuman knowledge?

                It is evident that as the Supernatural Revelation God has been pleased to give has come to us in an historical form, that history, and that of the Christian Church, is inseparably connected with all human history more or less directly. Further, it is evident that as all truth is one, all revealed truths and duties are inseparably connected with all departments of human knowledge, and with all the institutions of human society. It hence follows that theological science can at no point be separated from general science, that some knowledge of every department of human knowledge must always be comprehended in every system of Theological Encyclopedia as auxiliary to the Theological sciences themselves. Some of these auxiliary sciences sustain special relations to certain of the theological sciences, and are very remotely related to others. It is, however, convenient to give them a position by themselves, as in general constituting a discipline preparatory and auxiliary to the science of theology as a whole.

                6. State the main divisions of the proposed arrangement of the theological sciences.

                1. Sciences Auxiliary to the study of theology.

                2. Apologetics—embracing the answers to the two questions—Is there a God? and Has God spoken?

                3. Exegetical Theology—embracing the critical determination of the ipsissima verba of the Divine Revelation, and the Interpretation their meaning.

                4. Systematic Theology— embracing the development into an all–embracing and self–consistent system of the contents of that Revelation, and its subsequent elucidation and defense.

                5. Practical Theology—embracing the principles and laws revealed in Scripture for the guidance of Christians (a) in the promulgation of this divine revelation thus ascertained and interpreted, and thus (b) in bringing all men into practical obedience to the duties it imposes and (c) into the fruition of the blessings it confers.

                6. Historical Theology—embracing the history of the actual development during all past ages and among all people of the theoretical and practical elements of that revelation 1. in the faith and 2. in the life of the Church.

                7. State the chief departments of human knowledge related to study of Theology.

                1st. As underlying and conditioning all knowledge, we have Universal History,  and as auxiliary to theological science especially the Histories of Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria, Greece, Rome and of Medieval and Modern Europe.

                2nd. Archaeology in its most comprehensive sense, including the interpretation of inscriptions, monuments, coins, and remains of art, and the illustrations gathered thence and from all other available sources, of the geographical distribution and physical conditions and of the political, religious, and social institutions and customs of all peoples, of all ages.

                3rd. Ethnology— the science of the divisions of the human family into races and nations, and of their dispersion over the world— which traces their origin and affiliations and their varieties of physical, intellectual, moral, and religious character, and the sources and modifying conditions of these variations.

                4th. Comparative Philology,  the science which starting from the natural groups of human languages, traces the relations and origins of languages and dialects, and transcending the first dawn of human history, traces the unity of races now separated, and the elements of long extinct civilizations, and the facts of historic changes otherwise left without record.

                5th. The Science of Comparative Religion,  the critical study and comparison of the history, beliefs, spirit, principles, institutions, and practical character of all the Ethnic religions, tracing the light they throw upon (a) human nature and history, (b) the moral government of God, and (c) the supernatural revelation recorded in Scripture.

                6th. Philosophy,  the ground and mistress of all the merely human sciences. This will include the history of the origin and development of all the schools of philosophy, ancient, mediaeval, and modern—a critical study and comparison of their principles, methods, and doctrines, and the range and character of their respective influence upon all other sciences and institutions, especially upon those which are political and religious, and more especially upon those which are definitely Christian.

                7th. Psychology,  or that department of experimental science which unfolds the laws of action of the human mind under normal conditions, as exhibited (a) in the phenomena of individual consciousness and action, and (b) in the phenomena of social and political life.

                8th. Æsthetics,  or the science of the laws of the Beautiful in all its forms of Music, Rhetoric, Architecture, Painting, etc., and the principles and history of every department of art.

                9th. The Physical Sciences,  their methods, general and special; their history, genesis, development, and present tendencies; their relation to Philosophy, especially to Theism and natural religion, to civilization, to the Scriptural records historically and doctrinally.

                10th. Æstatistics,  or that department of investigation which aims to present us with a full knowledge of the present state of the human family in the world, in respect to every measurable variety of condition—as to numbers and state, physical, intellectual, religious, social, and political, of civilization, commerce, literature, science, art, etc., etc.; from which elements the immature forms of social science and political economy are being gradually developed.

                8. What particulars are included under the head of Apologetics?

                This department falls under two heads: 1. Is there a God. 2. Has He spoken; and includes—

                1st. The proof of the being of God, that is of an extramundane person transcendent yet immanent, creating, preserving and governing all things according to his eternal plan. This will involve the discussion and refutation of all Antitheistic systems, as Atheism, Pantheism, Naturalistic Deism, Materialism, etc.

                2nd. The Development of Natural theology,  embracing the relation of God to intelligent and responsible agents as Moral Governor, and the indications of his will and purpose, and consequently of the duties and destinies of mankind, as far as these can be traced by the light of Nature—

                3rd. The evidences of Christianity,  including—

                1.  The discussion of the proper use of reason in religious questions.

                2.  The demonstration of the a priori possibility of a supernatural revelation.

                3.  The necessity for and the probability of such a revelation, the character of God and the condition of man as revealed by the light of nature, being considered.

                4.  The positive proof of the actual fact that such a revelation has been given (a) through the Old Testament prophets, (b) through the New Testament prophets, and (c) above all in the person and work of Christ. This will involve, of course, , a critical discussion of all the evidence bearing on this subject, external and internal, historical, rational, moral, and spiritual, natural and supernatural, theoretical and practical, and a refutation of all the criticism, historical and rational, which has been brought to bear against the fact of revelation or the integrity of the record. Much that is here adduced will of course necessarily be also comprehended under the heads of Systematic and of Exegetical Theology.

                9. What is included under Exegetical Theology?

                If the facts 1. That there is a God, and 2. that he has spoken, be established, it remains to answer the question, "What has God said?"  Exegetical Theology is the general title of that department of theological science which aims at the Interpretation of the Scriptures as the word of God, recorded in human language, and transmitted to us through human channels; and in order to this, Interpretation aims to gather and organize all that knowledge which is necessarily introductory thereto. This includes the answer to two main questions 1. What books form the canon, and what were the exact words of which the original autographs of the writers of these several books consisted, and 2. What do those divine words, so ascertained, mean.

                The answers to all questions preliminary to actual Interpretation, come under the head of Introduction and this is divided 1. into General Introduction,  presenting all that information, preliminary to interpretation, which stands related in common to the Bible as a whole, or to each Testament as a whole, and 2. into Special Introduction,  which includes all necessary preparation for the interpretation of each book of the Bible in detail.

                A.  General INTRODUCTION includes—

                1st. The Higher Criticism or the canvass of the still existing evidences of all kinds establishing the authenticity and genuineness of each book in the sacred canon.

                2nd. The Criticism of the Text, which, from a comparison of the best ancient manuscripts and versions, from internal evidence, and by means of a critical history of the text from its first appearance to the present, seeks to determine the ipsissima verbs of the original autographs of the inspired writers.

                3rd. Biblical Philology,  which answers the questions: Why were different languages used in the record? and why Hebrew and Greek? What are the special characteristics of the dialects of those languages actually used, and their relation to the families of language to which they belong? And what were the special characteristics of dialect, style, etc., of the sacred writers individually.

                4th. Biblical Archaeology,  including the physical and political geography of Bible lands during the course of Bible history. and determining the physical, ethnological, social, political, and religious conditions of the people among whom the Scriptures originated, together with an account of their customs and institutions, and of the relation of these to those of their ancestors and of their contemporaries.

                5th. Hermeneutics,  or the scientific determination of the principles and rules of Biblical Interpretation, including 1. the logical and grammatical and rhetorical principles determining the interpretation of human language in general, 2. the modification of these principles appropriate to the interpretation of the specific forms of human discourse, e.g., history, poetry, prophecy parable, symbol. etc., and 3. those further modifications of these principles appropriate to the interpretation of writings supernaturally inspired.

                6th. Apologetics having established the fact that the Christian Scriptures are the vehicle of a supernatural revelation, we must now discuss and determine the nature and extent of Biblical Inspiration as far as this is determined by the claims and the phenomena of the Scriptures themselves.

                7th. The History of Interpretation,  including the history of ancient and modern versions and schools of interpretation, illustrated by a critical comparison of the most eminent commentaries.

                B.  SPECIAL INTRODUCTION treats of each book of the Bible by itself, and furnishes all that knowledge concerning its dialect, authorship, occasion, design, and reception that is necessary for its accurate interpretation.

                C. Exegesis proper is the actual application of all the knowledge gathered, and of all the rules developed, in the preceding departments of Introduction to the Interpretation of the sacred text, as it stands in its original connections of Testaments, books, paragraphs, etc.

                Following the laws of grammar, the usus loquendi of words, the analogy of Scripture, and the guidance of the Holy Ghost. Exegesis seeks to determine the mind of the Spirit as expressed in the inspired sentences as they stand in their order.

                There are several special departments classed under the general head of Exegetical Theology, which involve in some degree that arrangement and combination of Scripture testimonies under topics or subjects, which is the distinctive characteristic of Systematic Theology. These are—

                1st. Typology,  which embraces a scientific determination of the laws of biblical symbols and types, and  their interpretation, especially those of the Mosaic ritual as related to the person and work of Christ.

                2nd. Old Testament Christology,  the critical exposition of the Messianic idea as it is developed in the Old Testament.

                3rd. Biblical Theology,  traces the gradual evolution of the several elements of revealed truth from their first suggestion through every successive stage to their fullest manifestation in the sacred text, and which exhibits the peculiar forms and connections in which these several truths are presented by each inspired writer.

                4th. The Development of the principles of Prophetical Interpretation and their application to the construction of an outline of the Prophecies of both Testaments.— "Notes on New Testament Literature," by Dr. J. A. Alexander.

                10. What is included under the head of Systematic Theology?

                As the name imports, Systematic Theology has for its object the gathering all that the Scriptures teach as to what we are to believe and to do, and the presenting all the elements of this teaching in a symmetrical system. The human mind must seek unity in all its knowledge. God’s truth is one, and all the contents of all revelations natural and supernatural must constitute one self–contained system, each part organically related to every other.

                The method of construction is inductive. It rests upon the results of Exegesis for its foundation. Passages of Scripture ascertained and interpreted are its data. These when rightly interpreted reveal their own relations and place in the system of which the Person and work of Christ is the center. And as the contents of revelation stand intimately related to all the other departments of human knowledge, the work of Systematic Theology necessarily involves the demonstration and illustration of the harmony of all revealed truth with all valid science, material and psychological, with all true speculative philosophy, and with all true moral philosophy and practical philanthropy.

                It includes— 1. The construction of all the contents of revelation into a complete system of faith and duties. 2. The history of this process as it has prevailed in the Church during the past. 3. Polemics.

                1. The construction of all the contents of revelation into a complete system. This includes the scientific treatment (a) of all the matters of faith revealed, and (b) of all the duties enjoined.

                In the arrangement of topics the great majority of theologians have followed what Dr. Chalmers calls the synthetical method. Starting with the idea and nature of God revealed in the Scriptures, they trace his eternal purposes and temporal acts in creation, providence, and redemption to the final consummation.

                The Doctor himself prefers what he calls the analytic method, and starts with the facts of experience and the light of nature, and man’s present morally diseased condition, leads upward to redemption and to the character of God as revealed therein.

                Following the former of these methods all the elements of the system are usually grouped under the following heads:

                1st. Theology proper: including the existence, attributes, triune personality of God, together with his eternal purposes, and temporal acts of creation and providence.

                2nd. Anthropology: (doctrine of man) including the creation and nature of man, his original state, fall, and consequent moral ruin. This embraces the Biblical Psychology, and the Scriptural doctrine of sin, its nature, origin, and mode of propagation.

                3rd. Soteriology:(doctrine of salvation) which includes the plan, execution, and application and glorious effects of human salvation. This embraces Christology (the doctrine of Christ), the incarnation, the constitution of Christ’s person, his life, death, and resurrection, together with the office–work of the Holy Ghost, and the means of grace, the word and sacraments.

                4th. Christian Ethics: embracing the principles, rules motives, and aids of human duty revealed in the Bible as determined (a) by his natural relations as a man with his fellows, and (b) his supernatural relations as a redeemed man.

                5th. Eschatology (science of last things) comprehending death, the intermediate state of the soul, the second advent, the resurrection of the dead, the general judgment, heaven and hell.

                6th. Ecclesiology (science of the Church), including the scientific determination of all that the Scriptures teach as to the Church visible and invisible, in its temporal and in its eternal state; including the Idea of the Church—its true definition, constitution and organization, its officers and their functions. A comparison and criticism of all the modifications of ecclesiastical organization that have ever existed, together with their genesis, history, and practical effects.

                2.  Doctrine–History, which embraces the history of each of these great doctrines traced in its first appearance and subsequent development, though the controversies it excited and the Confessions in which it is defined.

                3.  Polemics, or Controversial Theology, including the defense of the true system of doctrine as a whole and of each constituent element of it in detail against the perversions of heretical parties within the pale of the general Church. This embraces— 1. The general principles and true method of religious

                controversies. 2. The definition of the true Status Quaestiones in each controversy, and an exposition of the sources of evidence and of the methods, defensive and offensive, by which the truth is to be vindicated. 3. The history of controversies.

                11. What is included under the head of Practical Theology?

                Practical Theology is both a science and an art. As an art it has for its purpose the effective publication of the contents of revelation among all men, and the perpetuation, extension, and edification of the earthly kingdom of God. As a science it has for its province the revealed principles and laws of the art above defined. Hence as Systematic Theology roots itself in a thorough Exegesis at once scientific and spiritual, so does Practical Theology root itself in the great principles developed by Systematic Theology, the department of Ecclesiology being common ground to both departments: the product of the one, and the foundation of the other.

                It includes the following main divisions—

                1st. The discussion of the Idea and Design of the Church, and of its divinely revealed attributes.

                2nd. The determination of the divinely appointed constitution of the Church, and methods of administration, with the discussion and refutation of all the rival forms of church organization that have prevailed, their history, and the controversies which they have encountered.

                3rd. The discussion of the nature and extent of the discretion Christ has allowed his followers in adjusting the methods of ecclesiastical organization and administration to changing social and historical conditions.

                4th. Church membership, its conditions, and the relation to Christ involved, together with the duties and privileges absolute and relative of the several classes of members. The relation of baptized children to the Church, and the relative duties of Parents and of the Church in relation to them.

                5th. The Officers of the Church—extraordinary and temporary; ordinary and perpetual.

                (1) Their call and ordination , their relations to Christ and to the Church.

                (2) Their functions

                A.  As Teachers, including—

                (a) Catechetics, its necessity, principles, and history.

                (b) Sunday–schools. The duties of parents and of the Church in respect to the religious education of children.

                (c) Sacred Rhetoric. Homiletics and pulpit elocution.

                (d) Christian literature. The newspaper, and periodicals and permanent books.

                B.  As Leaders of Worship, including—

                (a) Liturgies, their uses, abuses, and history.

                (b) Free forms of prayer.

                (c) Psalmody, inspired and uninspired, its uses and history.

                (d) Sacred Music, vocal and instrumental uses and history.

                C.  As Rulers—

                (a) The office, qualification, duties and Scriptural Warrant of Ruling Elders—

                (b) The office, qualification, duties, mode of election, and ordination, and Scriptural Warrant of the New Testament Bishop or Pastor.

                (c) The Session, its constitution and functions. The theory and practical rules and methods of Church discipline.

                (d) The Presbytery and its constitution and functions. The theory and practical rules and precedents regulating the action of Church courts, in the exercise of the constitutional right of Review and Control in the issue and conduct of trials, complaints, appeals, etc., etc.

                (e) The Synod and General Assembly and their constitution and functions. The Principles and policy of Committees, Commissioners, Boards, etc., etc.

                This leads to the functions of the Church as a whole, and the warrant for and the uses and abuses of Denominational distinctions, and the relations of the different Denominations to one another.

                1st. Church Statistics, including our own Church, other Churches, and the world.

                2nd. Christian, social, and ecclesiastical economics, including the duties of Christian stewardship. personal consecration, and systematic benevolence. The relation of the Church to the poor and to criminals, the administration of orphan asylums, hospitals, prisons, etc. The relation of the Church to voluntary societies, Young Men’s Christian Associations, etc., etc.

                3rd. The education of the ministry, the policy, constitution and administration of theological seminaries.

                4th. Domestic Missions. including aggressive evangelization, support of the ministry among the poor, Church extension and Church erection.

                5th. The relation of the Church to the state, and the true relation of the state to religion, and the actual condition of the common and statute law with relation to Church property, and the action of Church Courts in the exercise of discipline, etc. The obligations of Christian citizenship. The relation of the Church to civilization, to moral reforms, to the arts, sciences, social refinements, etc., etc.

                6th. Foreign Missions in all their departments.

                See "Lectures on Theological Encyclopædia and Methodology, " byRev. John M'Clintock, D.D., LL.D., edited by J. T. Short, B. D.; and "Bibliotheca Sacra," Vol. 1, 1844; "Theological Encyclopædia and Methodology, " from unpublished lecture of Prof. Tholuck, by Prof. E. A. Park.

                12. What is included under the bead of HISTORICAL THEOLOGY?

                According to the logical evolution of the whole contents of the theological sciences, the interpretation of the letter of Scripture, and the construction of the entire system of related truths and duties revealed therein, must precede the History of the actual development of that revelation in the life and faith of the Church, just as the fountain must precede the stream which flows from it. Yet, as a matter of fact, in the actual study of the family of theological sciences, History must precede and lay the foundation for all the rest. History alone gives us the Scriptures in which our revelation is recorded and the means whereby the several books and theit ipsissima verba are critically ascertained. We are indebted to the same source for our methods of interpretation, and for their results as illustrated in the body of theological literature accumulated in the past; also for our creeds and confessions and records of controversies, and hence for the records preserving the gradual evolution of our system of doctrine. In the order of production and of acquisition History comes first, while in the order of a logical exposition, of the constituent theological sciences in their relations within the system, History has the honor of crowning the whole series.

                Historical Theology is divided into Biblical and Ecclesiastical.  The first derived chiefly from inspired sources, and continuing down to the close of the New Testament canon. The latter beginning where the former ends, and continuing to the present time.

                Biblical History  is subdivided into—

                1st. Old Testament History including 1. the Patriarchal, 2. Mosaic, and 3. Prophetical eras, together with 4. the history of the chosen people during the interval between the close of the Old and the opening of the New Testament. 2nd. New Testament History, including l. the life of Christ, 2. The founding of the Christian Church by the Apostles down to the end of the first century.

                With respect to Ecclesiastical History several preliminary departments of study are essential to its prosecution as a science.

                1st.  Several of the auxiliary sciences already enumerated must be cited as specifically demanded in this connection.        These are— l. Ancient, Mediæval, and Modern Geography. 2. Chronology. 3. The Antiquities of all the peoples embraced in the area through which the Church has at any period extended. 4. Statistics,         exhibiting the actual condition of the world at any particular period. 5. The entire course of General History.

                2nd.  The Sources from which Ecclesiastical History is derived should be critically investigated. 1.                 Monumental sources, such as (a) buildings, (b) inscriptions, (c) coins, etc. 2. Documental, which are—(a) Public, such as the Acts of Councils, the briefs, decretals, and bulls of Popes; the archives of governments, and the creeds, confessions, catechisms, and liturgies of the Churches, etc., etc. (b) Private documents, such as contemporary literature of all kinds, pamphlets, biographies, annals, and later reports and compilations.

                3rd.  The History of the literature of ecclesiastical history from Eusebius to Neander, Kurtz, and Schaff  . .  The methods which have been and which should be followed in the arrangement of the material of             Church History.                 The actual Method always has been and probably always will be a combination of the two natural methods—(a) chronological, and (b) topical.

                The fundamental principle upon which, according to Dr. M’Clintock, the materials of Church History should be arranged, is the distinction between the life and the faith of the Church. The two divisions therefore, are 1. History of the life of the Church, or Church History proper, and 2. History of the thought of the Church, or Doctrine–History.

                1.  The History of the Life of the Church deals with persons, communities, and events, and should be treated according to the ordinary methods of historical composition.

                2.  The History of the Thought of the Church comprise—

                1. Patristics, or the literature of the early Christian Fathers; and Petrology, or a scientific exhibition of their doctrine. These fathers are grouped under three heads—(a) Apostolic, (b) Ante–Nicene, and (c) Post–Nicene, terminating with Gregory the Great among the Latin's, AD. 604, and with John of Damascus among the Greeks, AD. 754. This study involves the discussion of (a) the proper use of these Fathers, and their legitimate authority in modern controversies; (b) a full history of their literature, and of the principal editions of their works; and (c) the meaning, value, and doctrine of each individual Father separately—

                2.  Christian Archæology, which treats of the usage, worship and discipline of the early Church, and the history of Christian worship, art, architecture, poetry, painting, music, etc., etc.

                3.  Doctrine–History, or the critical history of the genesis and development of each element of the doctrinal system of the Church, or of any of its historical branches, with an account of all the heretical forms of doctrine from which the truth has been separated, and the history of all the controversies by of which the elimination has been effected. This will, of course, be accompanied with a critical history of the entire Literature of Doctrine – History, of the principles recognized the methods pursued, and the works produced.

                4.  Symbolics, which involves—(a) The scientific determination of the necessity for and uses of public Creeds and Confessions. (b) The history of the occasions, of the actual genesis, and subsequent reception, authority, and influence of each one of the Creeds and Confessions of Christendom. (c) The study of the doctrinal contents of each Creed, and of each group of Creeds separately, and (d)

                Comparative Symbolics, or the comparative study of all the Confessions of the Church, and thence a systematic exhibition of all their respective points of agreement and of contrast. M’Clintock’s "Theological Encyclopædia"; "Notes on Ecclesiastical History," by Dr. J. A. Alexander, edited by Dr. S. D. Alexander.

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CHAPTER 2: Origin of the Idea of God and Proof of His Existence

                1. What is the distinction between a NOMINAL and a REAL definition? and give the truedefinition of the word God.

                A nominal definition simply explains the meaning of the term used, while a real definition explains the nature of the thing signified by the term.

                The English word God is by some derived from "good." Since, however, its various forms in cognate languages could not have had that origin, others derive it from the Persic Chodadominus, "possessor."

                The Latin Deus, and the Greek Qeo>v have been commonly derived from the Sanskrit div to give "light."

                But Curtius, Cremer, and others derive it from qev in qe>ssasqai "to implore." Qeo>v is "He to whom one prays."

                The word God is often used in a pantheistic sense, for the impersonal, unconscious ground of all being, and by many for the unknowable first cause of the existent world. It is for this reason that so many speculators, who actually or virtually deny the existence of the God of Christendom, yet indignantly repudiate the charge of atheism, because they admit the existence of a self–existent substance or first cause to which they give the name God, while they deny to it the possession of the properties generally designated by the term.

                But, as a matter of fact, in consequence of the predominance of Christian ideas in the literature of civilized nations for the last eighteen centuries, the term "God" has attained the definite and permanent sense of a self–existent, eternal, and absolutely perfect free personal Spirit, distinct from and sovereign over the world he has created.

                The man who denies the existence of such a being denies God.

                2. How can a "real" definition of God be constructed?

                Evidently God can be defined only insofar as he is known to us, and the condition of the possibility of our knowing him is the fact that we were created in his image. Every definition of God must assume this fact, that in an essential sense he and his intelligent creatures are beings of the same genus. He is therefore defined by giving his genus and specific difference. Thus he is as to genus, an intelligent personal Spirit. He is, as to his specific difference, as to that which constitutes him God, infinite, eternal, unchangeable in his being, in his wisdom, in his power in his holiness, and in all perfections consistent with his being.

                3. To what extent is the idea of God due to Tradition?

                It is evident that the complete idea of God presented in the foregoing definition has been attained only by means of the supernatural revelation recorded in the Christian Scriptures. It is a fact also that the only three Theistic religions which have ever prevailed among men (the Jewish Mohammedan and Christian) are historically connected with the same revelation. It is also, of course, in vain to speculate as to what would be the action of the human mind independent of all inherited habits, and of all traditional opinions.

                We are entirely without experience or testimony as to any kind of knowledge attained or judgments formed under such conditions. It is moreover certain that the form in which the theistic conception is realized, and the associations with which it is accompanied, are determined in the case of each community by the theological traditions they have inherited from their fathers.

                It is on the other hand, indubitably certain that all men under all known, and therefore under all truly natural conditions, do spontaneously recognize the divine existence as more or less clearly revealed to them in the constitution and conscious experience of their own souls, and in external nature. The theistic conception hence is no more due to authority, as often absurdly charged, than the belief in the subjective reality of spirit or in the objective reality of matter formed under the same educational conditions. The recognition of the self–manifest God is spontaneous, and universal, which proves the evidence to be clear and everywhere present, and convincing to all normally developed men.

                4. Is the idea of God INNATE? And is it an INTUITIVE truth?

                That depends upon the sense in which the respective terms are taken It is evident that there are no "innate" ideas in the sense that any child was ever born with a conception of the divine being, or any other conception already formed in his mind. It is also certain that the human mind when developed under purely natural conditions, in the absence of all super– natural revelation, can never attain to an adequate conception of the divine nature. On the other hand, however, all history proves that the idea of God is innate in the sense that the constitutional faculties of the human soul do, under all natural conditions, secure the spontaneous recognition, more or less clear, of God as the ultimate ground of all being, and as the Lord of conscience, self–manifested in the soul and in the world. It is innate insofar as the evidence is as universally present as the light of day, and the process by which it is apprehended is constitutional.

                If the term "intuition" is taken in its strict sense of a direct vision of a truth, seen in its own light to be necessary, by an intellectual act incapable of being resolved into more elementary processes of thought, then the existence of God is not a truth apprehended intuitively by men. The process whereby it is reached, whether spontaneously or by elaborate reasoning, embraces many indubitable intuitions as elements, but no man apprehends God himself by a direct intuition.

                Because—1. Although the recognition of the divine existence is necessary in the sense that the great majority of men recognize the truth, and are unable to disbelieve it even when they wish, and no one can do so without doing violence to his nature, yet it is not necessary to thought in the sense that the non–existence of God is unthinkable. 2. Because God manifests himself to us not immediately but mediately through his works, and there is always present, at least implicitly, an inference in the act whereby the soul recognizes his presence and action. 3. The true idea of God is exceedingly complex, and is reached by a complex process, whether spontaneous or not, involving various elements capable of analysis and description.

                On the other hand it is true that God manifests himself in his working in our souls and in external nature just as the invisible souls of our fellow men manifest themselves, and we spontaneously recognize him just as we do them. We recognize them because (a) we are generically like them, and (b) their attributes are significally expressed in their words and actions. And we recognize God because (a) we have been made in his image, which fact we spontaneously recognize (b) from his self–revelations in consciousness, especially in conscience, and from the characteristics of the external world.

                "While the mental process which has been described— the theistic inference— is capable of analysis, it is itself synthetic. The principles on which it depends are so connected that the mind can embrace them all in the apprehension of God. Will, intelligence, conscience, reason, and the ideas which they supply; cause, design, goodness, infinity, and the arguments which rest on these ideas— all coalesce into this one grand issue."— "Theism" by Prof. Flint, pp. 71, 72.

                5. If the existence of God is spontaneously recognized by all men under normal conditions ofconsciousness, what is the value of formal arguments to prove that existence? And what are thearguments generally used?

                1st. These arguments are of value as analyses and scientific verifications of the mental processes implicitly involved in the spontaneous recognition of the self–manifestations of God. 2nd. They are of use also for the purpose of vindicating the legitimacy of the process against the criticisms of skeptics.

                3rd. Also for the purpose of quickening and confirming the spontaneous recognition by drawing attention to the extent and variety of the evidence to which it responds. 4th. The various arguments are convergent rather than consecutive. They do not all establish the same elements of the theistic concept but each establishes independently its separate element, and thus is of use (a) in contributing confirmatory evidence that God is, and (b) complementary evidence as to what God is.

                They constitute an organic whole, and are the analysis and illustration of the spontaneous act whereby the mass of men have always recognized God.  "Although causality does not involve design, nor design goodness, design involves causality, and goodness both causality and design. The proofs of intelligence are also proofs of power; and the proofs of goodness are proofs of both intelligence and power. The principles of reason which compel us to think of the Supreme Moral Intelligence as self-existent, eternal, infinite, and unchangeable Being, supplement the proofs from other sources, and give self-consistency and completeness to the doctrine of theism."—"Theism," Prof. Flint,              pp. 73, 74.

                The usual arguments will be examined under the following heads:

                1st. The Cosmological Argument, or the evidence for God’s existence as First Cause.

                2nd. The Teleological Argument, or the evidence of God’s existence afforded by the presence of order and adaptation in the universe.

                3rd. The Moral Argument, or the evidence afforded by the moral consciousness and history of mankind.

                4th. The evidence afforded by the phenomena of Scripture and the supernatural history they record.

                5th. The à priori  Argument, and the testimony afforded by reason to God as the Infinite and Absolute.

                6. State the Cosmological Argument.

                It may be stated in the form of a syllogism, thus—

                Major Premise—Every new existence or change in anything previously existing must have had a cause pre–existing and adequate.

                Minor Premise—The universe as a whole and in all its parts is a system of changes.

                Conclusion—Hence the universe must have a cause exterior to itself, and the ultimate or absolute cause must be eternal, uncaused, and unchangeable.

                1st.  As to the major premise; the causal judgment is intuitive and absolutely universal and necessary. It has been denied theoretically by some speculators, as Hume and Mill, but it is always used by them and all others in all their reasoning as to the origin of the world, as well as of all things it contains The judgment is unavoidable; the opposite is unthinkable. Something exists now, therefore something must have existed from eternity, and that which has existed from eternity is the cause of that which exists now.

                It has been claimed that the causal judgment leads to an infinite regressive series of causes and effects.

                But this is absurd.1. The judgment is not that every thing must have a cause, but that every new thing or change must have been caused. But that which is eternal and immutable needs no cause. 2. An infinite series of causes and effects is absurd, for that is only a series of changes, which is precisely that which demands a cause, and all the more imperatively in proportion to its length. A real cause, on the other hand—that in which the causal judgment can alone absolutely rest—must be neither a change nor a series of changes, but something uncaused, eternal and immutable.  As a matter of fact all philosophers and men of science without exception assume the principles asserted. They all postulate an eternal, self-existent, unchangeable cause of the universe, whether a personal spirit, or material atoms, or a substance of which both matter and spirit are modes, or an unconscious intelligent world-soul in union with matter.

                2nd.  As to the minor premise. The fact that the universe as a whole and in all its parts is a system of changes is emphasized by every principle and lesson of modern science. Every discovery in the fields of geology and astronomy, and all speculation—as the nebular hypothesis and the hypothesis of evolution—embody this principle as their very essence.

                But John Stuart Mill in his "Essay on Theism," pp. 142, 143, says:" There is in nature a permanent element, and also a changeable: the changes are always the effects of previous changes; the permanent existences, so far as we know, are not effects at all. . . . There is in every object another and permanent element, viz., the specific elementary substance or substances of which it consists, and their inherent properties. These are not known as beginning to exist; within the range of human knowledge they had no beginning, consequently no cause; though they themselves are causes or concauses of every thing that takes place." Whenever a physical phenomenon is traced to its cause, that cause when analyzed is found to be a certain quantum of force, combined with certain collocations. . . . The force itself is essentially one and the same, and there exists of it in nature a fixed quantity, which (if the theory of the conservation of forces be true) is never increased or diminished. Here then we find in the changes of material nature a permanent element, to all appearance the very one of which we are in quest. This it is apparently to which, if to anything, we must assign the character of First Cause."—"Essay on Theism," pp. 144, 145.

                WE ANSWER- 1. The existence of "Energy" in any of its conversable forms dissociated from matter is absolutely unthinkable. This is recognized as an unquestionable scientific truth by Stewart and Tait ("Unseen Universe," p. 79). 2. It is an obvious fact "that all but an exceedingly small fraction of the light and heat of the sun and stars goes out into space, and does not return to them. In the next place the visible motion of the large bodies of the universe is gradually being stopped by something which may be denominated ethereal friction," and at last they must fall together, and constitute by successive aggregations one mass. "In fine the degradation of Energy of the visible universe proceeds, pari passu, with the aggregation of mass. The very fact, therefore, that the large masses of the visible universe are of finite size, is sufficient to assure us that the process cannot have been going on forever, or in other words that the visible universe must have had an origin in time—since (a) Energy remains aggregated in finite quantities yet undiffused, and (b) since the matter of the universe still remains in separate masses. Thus the very law of the correlation of Energy to which Mill appeals proves, when really tested, that the visible universe had a beginning and will have an end." Stewart and Tait ("Unseen Universe," p. 166) 3.

                His assumption, also, that the matter of the universe is in its ultimate atoms eternal and unchangeable, is unproved and contrary to scientific analogy. Clark Maxwell (in his address as President of the British Association for Advancement of Science, 1870) says:" The exact equality of each mole– cule to all others of the same kind gives it, as Sir John has well said, the essential character of a manufactured article, and precludes the idea of its being eternal and self–existent." 4. As a matter of fact all evolution theories as to the genesis of the universe necessarily postulate a commencement in time, and a primordial fire–mist. But this fire–mist cannot be the First Cause the causal judgment demands, because it is not eternal and immutable. If eternal it would be fully developed. If fully developed it could not develop into the universe. If immutable it could not pass into change. If not immutable it is itself; like the universe which issues from it, a transient condition of matter, like all other change demanding for itself a cause.

                7. State the Teleological Argument.

                Teleology from te<lov, end, and lo>gov , discourse, is the science of final causes, or of purposes or design as exhibited in the adjustments of parts to wholes, of means to ends, of organs to uses in nature. It is also familiarly called the Argument from Design, and is ultimately based upon the recognition of the operations of an intelligent cause in nature. It may be profitably stated in two forms based respectively on the more general and the more special manifestations of that intelligence.

                FIRST FORMMajor Premise—Universal order and harmony in the conspiring operation of a vast multitude of separate elements can be explained only by the postulate of an intelligent cause.

                Minor Premise— The universe as a whole and in all its parts is a fabric of the most complex and symmetrical order.

                Conclusion—Therefore the eternal and absolute cause of the universe is an  intelligent mind.

                SECOND FORMMajor Premise—The adjustment of parts and the adaptation of means to effect an end or purpose can be explained only by reference to a designing intelligence and will.

                Minor Premise—The universe is full of such adjustments of parts, and of organisms composed of parts conspiring to effect an end.

                Conclusion—therefore the First Cause of the universe must be an intelligent mind and will.

                These arguments if valid amount to proving that God is an eternal self–existing Person. For the assumption of an unconscious intelligence, or of an intelligence producing effects without the exercise of will is absurd. These phrases represent no possible ideas. And intelligence and will together constitute personality.

                As to the first form of the argument it is evident that the very fact that science is possible is an indubitable proof that the order of nature is intellectual. Science is a product of the human mind, which is absolutely incapable of passing beyond the laws of its own constitution. Intuitions of reason, logical processes of analysis, inductive or deductive inference, imagination, invention, and all the activities of the soul organize the scientific process. To all this external nature is found perfectly to correspond. Even the most subtle solutions of abstract mathematical and mechanical problems have been subsequently found by experiment to have been anticipated in nature. The laws of nature are expressions of numerical and geometrical harmonies and are instinct with reason and beauty. Yet these laws although invariable under invariable conditions, are neither eternal nor inherent in the elementary constitution of the universe. The properties of elemental matter are constant, but the laws which organize them are themselves complicated effects resulting from antecedent adjustments of these elements themselves under the categories of time, place, quantity, and quality. As these adjustments change the laws change.

                These adjustments, therefore, are the cause of these laws, and the adjustments themselves must be the product either of chance, which is absurd, or of intelligence, which is certain.

                This intellectual order of nature is the first necessary postulate of all science, and

it is the essence of all the processes of the universe from the grouping of atoms to

the revolution of worlds, from the digestion of a polyp to the functional action of

the human brain.

                As to the second form of this Argument.—The principle of design presupposes the general intellectual order of the universe and her laws, and presents in advance the affirmation that the character of the First Cause is further manifested by the everywhere present evidence that these general laws are made to conspire by special adjustments to the accomplishment of ends evidently intended. This principle is illustrated by the mutual adjustments of the various provinces of nature, and especially by the vegetable and animal organisms, and the relations they involve, of organ to organism, of organism to instinct, and of single organisms and classes of organisms to each other and to their physical surroundings. In many cases the intention of these special adjustments is self–evident and undeniable, as in the case of the parts of the eye to the purpose of vision. In other cases it is more obscure and conjectural. In the present condition of science we can understand only in part, but from the beginning the evidence of intelligent purpose has been transparent and overwhelming. A single sentence proves intelligence, although the context is indecipherable. But every advance of science discloses the same evidence over wider areas and in clearer light.

                8. State and answer the objections to the theistic inference from the evidences of special design.

                1st.  Hume ("Dialogues on Natural Religion," Pt. 7., etc.) argues that our conviction that adaptation implies design is due to experience and cannot go beyond it. That our judgment that natural organisms imply design in their cause is an inference from the analogy of human contrivance, and its effects. He argues further that this analogy is false because— 1. The human worker is antecedently known to us as an intelligent contriver, while the author of nature is antecedently unknown and the very object sought to be verified by the theistic inference. 2. The processes of nature are all unlike the processes by which man executes his contrivances, and the formation of the world, and the institution of the processes of nature are peculiar effects of the like of which we have no experience.

                We answer- l. The argument rests upon a false assumption of fact. The human contriver, the soul of our fellow man, is not antecedently known to us, nor is ever in any way known except by the character of the works by which he manifests himself. And precisely in the same way and to the same extent is the Author of nature known. 2. It rests on a false assumption of principle. The analogy of human contrivances is not the ground of our conviction that order and adaptation imply intelligence. It is a universal and necessary judgment of reason that order and adaptation can only spring from an intelligent cause, or from accident, and that the latter supposition is absurd.

                2nd.  Some men of science, who have become habituated to the consideration of the universe as an absolute unit, all the processes of which are executed by invariable general laws (a mode of thought in which for centuries science was anticipated by Augustinian Theology), object that in inferring intention from the adjustment of parts in special groups or systems, the natural theologian had mistaken a part for a whole and an incidental effect of a general law, resulting from special and temporary conditions, for the real end of the law itself. They hold that if even the First Cause of the universe were intelligent, it were infinitely absurd for men to presume to interpret his purpose from what we see of the special results of the working of laws working from infinite past time, through infinite space, and over an infinite system of conspiring parts.

                We answer- 1. It is self evident that the relations of the parts of a special whole conspiring to a special end may be fully understood, while the relations of that special whole to the general whole may be entirely unknown although strong light is thrown even on this side by reason and revelation. A single bone of an unknown species of animal gives undeniable evidence of special adaptation, and may even, as scientists justly claim, throw light beyond itself upon the constitution of that otherwise unknown whole to which it belonged. 2. We confess that this criticism, although failing as to the argument from design, has force relatively to the mode in which that argument has often been conceived. The older natural theologians did often to too great a degree abstract individual organisms from the great dynamic whole of which they are products as well as parts. Dr. Flint ("Theism," p. 159) well distinguishes between the intrinsic,  the extrinsic,  and the ultimate ends of any special adjustment. Thus the intrinsic end of that special adjustment of parts called the eye is vision. Its extrinsic ends are the uses it serves to the animal it belongs to, and all the uses he serves to all he stands immediately or remotely related to. Its ultimate end is the end of the universe itself. Dr. Flint is pointing out the interrelationship of the part and the whole. "

                Theism," p. 163—"When we affirm, then, that final causes in the sense of intrinsic ends are in things, we affirm merely that things are systematic unities, the parts of which are definitely related to one another, and co-ordinated to a common issue; and when we affirm that final causes in the sense of extrinsic ends are in things, we affirm merely that things are not isolated and independent systems, but systems definitely related to other systems, and so adjusted as to be parts or components of higher systems, and means to issues more comprehensive than their own."

                It is true indeed that a man cannot discern the ultimate end of a part until he discerns the ultimate end of the whole, and that he cannot discern all the extrinsic ends of any special system until he knows all its relations to all other special systems. Nevertheless, as a man who knows nothing of the relation of a given plant or animal to the flora or fauna of a continent, may be absolutely certain of the functions of the root or the claw in the economy of the plant or beast, so the manner in which all the parts which conspire to make a special whole are adapted to effect that end may be perfectly understood, while we know nothing as yet of the extrinsic relation of that special whole to that which is exterior to itself.

                3rd.  It has been claimed in recent times by a certain class of scientists that evidence for the existence of God afforded by the order and adaptation exhibited in the processes of nature has been very much weakened, if not absolutely invalidated by the assumed probability of the alternative hypothesis of Evolution. There are many theories of Evolution, but the term in the general sense denotes the judgment that the state of the universe as a whole and in all its parts any one moment of time, has its cause in its state the immediately preceding moment, and that these changes have been brought about through the agency of powers inherent in nature, and that they may be traced back from moment to moment without any break of causal continuity through all past time.

                All possible theories of Evolution, considered in their relation to theology, may be classified thus: 1.

                Those which neither deny nor obscure the evidence which the order and adaptation observed in nature afford to the existence of God, and his immanence in and providential control of his works. 2. Those which, while recognizing God as the original source in the remote past, to which the origination and the primary adjustments of the universe are to be referred, yet deny his immanence and constant providential activity in his works 3. Those which professedly or virtually obscure or deny the evidence afforded by the order and adaptation of the universe for the existence and activity of God alike as Creator and as Providential Ruler.

                With the first class of Evolution theories the Natural Theologian has, of course, only the most friendly interest.

                As to the second class, which admits that a divine intelligence contrived and inaugurated the universe at the absolute beginning, yet deny that any such agent is immanent in the universe controlling its processes, WE REMARK—1. That the point we have at present to establish is the eternal self–existence of an intelligent First Cause, and not the mode of his relation to the universe. The latter question will be treated in subsequent chapters.2. It is far more philosophical, and more in accordance with a true interpretation of the scientific principle of continuity, to conceive of the First Cause as immanent in the universe, and as organically concurring with all unintelligent second causes in all processes exhibiting power or intelligence. This is recognized by that large majority of scientific men who are either orthodox Theists, or who refer all the phenomena of the physical universe to the dynamic action of the divine will.3. The evidence afforded by man’s moral consciousness and history and by revelation, to the immanent and effective agency of God in all his works, is unanswerable.

                As to the third class of Evolution theories, which do either professedly or virtually obscure or deny the evidence afforded by order or contrivance to an intelligent First Cause of the Universe, as for example the theory of Darwin as to the differentiation of all organisms through accidental variations occurring through unlimited time, WE REMARK

                1st.  Every such scheme, when it is proposed as an account of the existing universe, must furnish a probable explanation of all classes of facts. It is notorious that every theory of purely natural Evolution fails utterly to explain the following facts: 1. The origination of life. It could not have existed in the fire–mist. It could not have been generated by that which has no life. The old axiom omne vivum ex vivo, all life comes from life, applies here. 2. The origin of sensation. 3. Also of intelligence and will. 4. Also of conscience. 5. The establishment of distinct logically correlated and persistent types of genera and species, maintained by the law of hybridity. 6. The origin of man. Prof. Virchow of Berlin, in his recent address at the German Association of Naturalists and Physicians at Munich says, "You are aware that I am now specially engaged in the study of anthropology, but I am bound to declare that every positive advance which we have made in the province of prehistoric anthropology has actually removed us further from the proof of such connection ( i.e.,  the descent of man from any lower type)."

                2nd.  But even if continuous evolution could be proved as a fact, the significance of the evidence of intelligent order and contrivance would not be in the least affected. It would only establish a method or system of means, but could in no degree alter the nature of the effect, nor the attributes of the real cause disclosed by them.

                1. The laws of biogenesis, of reproduction, of sexual differentiation and reproduction, of heredity, of variation, such as can evolve sensation, reason, conscience, and will out of atoms and mechanical energy, would all still remain to be accounted for. 2. Laws are never causes, but always complicated modes of action resulting from the co–action of innumerable unconscious agents. Instead, therefore, of being explanations they are the very complex effects for which reason demand an intellectual cause. 3. All physical laws result from the original properties of matter acting under the mutual condition of certain complicated adjustments. Change the adjustments and the laws change. The laws which execute evolution or rather into which the process of evolution is analyzed, must be referred back to the original adjustments of the material elements of the fire–mist. These adjustments, in which all future order and life is by hypothesis latent, must have been caused by chance or intelligence. Huxley in his "Criticisms on Origin of Species," p. 330, founds the whole logic of Evolution on chance thus: It has been " demonstrated that an apparatus thoroughly well–adapted to a particular purpose, may be the result of a method of trial and error worked out by unintelligent agents, as well as of the direct application of the means appropriate to that end by an intelligent agent." According to Teleology, each organism is like a rifle bullet fired straight at a mark; according to Darwin organisms are like grape–shot, of which one hits something and the rest fall wide." The modern scientific explanation of the processes of the universe by physical causes alone, to the exclusion of mind, differs from the old long–exploded chance theory, only by the accidents (a) of the juggling use of the words "laws of nature," (b) and the assumption that chance operating through indefinite duration can accomplish the work of intelligence. But as no man can believe that any amount of time will explain the form of flint knives and arrow heads, in the absence of human agents, or that any number of throws could cast a font of type into the order of letters in the plays of Shakespeare, so no man can rationally believe that the complicated and significantly intellectual order of the universe sprang from chance. 4. In artificial breeding man selects. In "natural selection" nature selects. Hence, if the results are the most careful adjustments to effect purpose, it follows that that characteristic must be stamped upon the organisms by nature, and hence nature itself must therefore be intelligently directed, either (a) by an intelligence immanent in her elements, or in her whole as organized, or (b) by the original adjustment of her machinery by an intelligent Creator.

                9. State the Moral Argument, or the Evidence afforded by the Moral Consciousness and History ofmankind.

                The Cosmological argument led us to an eternal self–existent First Cause. The argument from the order and adaptation discovered in the processes of the universe revealed this great First Cause as possessing intelligence and will; that is, as a personal spirit. The moral or anthropological argument furnishes new data for inference, at once confirming the former conclusions as to the fact of the existence of a Personal intelligent First Cause, and at the same time adding to the conception the attributes of holiness, justice, goodness, and truth The argument from design includes the argument from cause, and the argument from righteousness and benevolence includes both the arguments from cause and from design, and adds to them a new element of its own.

                This group of arguments may he stated thus:

                1st.  Consciousness is the fundamental ground of all knowledge. It gives us immediately the knowledge of self as existing and as the subject of certain attributes, and the agent in certain forms of activity. These souls and all their attributes must be accounted for. They have not existed from eternity. They could not have been evolved out of material elements because— 1. Consciousness testifies to their unity, simplicity, and spirituality. 2. The laws of reason and the moral sense cannot be explained as the result of transformed sense impressions modified by association derived by heredity (Mill and Spencer); for, (a) they are universally the same, (b) incapable of analysis, (c) necessary, and (d) sovereign over all impulses. Therefore the human soul must have been created, and its Creator must have attributes superior to his work.

                2nd.  Man is essentially and universally a religious being. The sense of absolute dependence and moral accountability is inherent in his nature, universal and necessary. Conscience always implies responsibility to a superior in moral authority, and therefore in moral character. It is especially implied in the sense of guilt which accompanies every violation of conscience. God is manifested and recognized in conscience as a holy righteous, just, and intelligent will i.e.,  a holy personal spirit.

                3rd.  The adaptations of nature, as far as we can trace their relations to sentient beings, are characteristically beneficent, and evidence a general purpose to promote happiness, and to gratify a sense of beauty. This implies design, and design of a special esthetic and moral character, and proves that the First Cause is benevolent and a lover of beauty.

                4th.  The entire history of the human race, as far as known discloses a moral order and purpose, which cannot be explained by the intelligence or moral purpose of the human agents concerned, which discovers an all–embracing unity of plan, comprehending all peoples and all centuries. The phenomena of social and national life, of ethnological distribution, of the development and diffusion of civilizations and religions can be explained only by the existence of a wise, righteous, and benevolent ruler and educator of mankind.

                10. State and answer the objections to the Moral Argument.

                These objections are founded—1st. On the mechanical invariability of natural laws, and their inexorable disregard of the welfare of sentient creatures. 2nd. The sufferings of irrational animals. 3rd. The prevalence of moral and physical evils among men. 4th. The unequal apportionment of providential favors, and the absence of all proportion between the measure of happiness allotted, and the respective moral characters of the recipients.

                These difficulties, more or less trying to the faith of all, are the real occasion in the great majority of instances, of skeptical atheism. John Stewart Mill in his "Essay on Nature" ("Three Essays on Religion") describes it as the characteristic of "Nature" ruthlessly to inflict suffering and death, and affirms that the cause of nature, if a personal will, must be a monster of cruelty and injustice. In his "Essay on Theism," Pt. 2., he argues that the attempt to maintain that the author of nature, such as we know it, is at once omniscient and omnipotent and absolutely just and benevolent is abominably immoral. That he can be excused of cruelty and injustice only on the plea of limited knowledge or power or both. He sums up his conclusion from the evidence thus:" A Being of great but limited power, how or by what limited we cannot even conjecture; of great and perhaps unlimited intelligence, but perhaps also more narrowly limited than his power: who desires and pays some regard to the happiness of his creatures, but who seems to have other motives of action which he cares more for, and who can hardly be supposed to have created the universe for that purpose only." In his "Autobiography," ch. 2., he says of his father, James Mill, "I have heard him say, that the turning point of his mind on the subject was reading Butler’s Analogy. That work, of which he always continued to speak with respect, kept him, as he said, for some considerable time, a believer in the divine authority of Christianity; by proving to him, that whatever are the difficulties of believing that the Old and. New Testaments proceed from, or record the acts of a perfectly wise and good being, the same and still greater difficulties stand in the way of the belief, that a being of such a character can have been the Maker of the universe. He considered Butler’s argument as conclusive against the only opponents for whom it was intended. Those who admit an omnipotent as well as perfectly just and benevolent Maker and Ruler of such a world as this, can say little against Christianity but what can with at least equal force be retorted against themselves. Finding, therefore, no halting place in Deism, he remained in a state of perplexity, until, doubtless after many struggles, he yielded to the conviction, that concerning the origin of things nothing whatever can be known."

                WE ANSWER—1st. It is unquestionably true that God has not created the universe for the single purpose, or even for the chief purpose, of promoting the happiness of his creatures. Our reason and observation, and the Christian Scriptures, unite in revealing as far higher and more worthy ends of divine action the manifestation of his own glory, and the promotion by education and discipline of the highest excellence of his intelligent moral creatures. It is evident that the operation of inexorable general laws, and the mystery and sufferings incident to this life, may be the most effective means to promote those ends. 2nd. The direct intention of all the organs with which sensitive creatures are endowed is evidently to promote their well–being; pain and misery are incidental. Even the sudden violent deaths of irrational animals probably promote the largest possible amount of sentient happiness. 3rd. Conscience has taught men in all ages that the sufferings incident to human life are the direct and deserved consequences of human sin, either penalties, or chastisements benevolently designed for our moral improvement. 4th. The origin of sin is a confessed mystery, relieved however by the consideration, that it results from the abuse of man’s highest and most valuable endowment, responsible free agency, and by the fact revealed in the Christian Scriptures that even sin will be divinely overruled to the fuller manifestation of the perfections of God, and to the higher excellence and the more perfect happiness of the intelligent creation. 5th. The inequalities of the allotments of providence, and the disproportion between the well–being and the moral characters of men in this life, results from the fact that it is not the scene of rewards and punishments, and that different characters and different destinies require a different educational discipline, and it points to future readjustments revealed in the Bible (Psalm 73). 6th. Neither the teleological nor the moral argument involves the assertion that with our present knowledge we are able to discern in the universe the evidences of either infinite or perfect wisdom or goodness. These are both indicated as matters of fact and general characteristics of nature. But our discernment of both is necessarily limited by the imperfections of our knowledge. Even in the judgment of reason alone the infinite probability is that what appears to us abnormal, inconsistent either with perfect wisdom or perfect goodness, will be found, upon the attainment of more adequate information on our part, to illustrate those very perfections which we have been tempted to think obscure.

                11. State the Scriptural Evidence.

                Since man is a finite and guilty and morally corrupt creature it is unavoidable that the self–manifestations of God in nature should be imperfectly apprehended by him. That supernatural revelation which God has disclosed through an historical process of special interventions in chronological successions, interpreted by a supernaturally endowed order of prophets, and recorded in the Christian Scriptures, supplements the light of nature, explains the mysteries of providence , and furnishes us with the principles of a true theodicy. The God whom nature veils while it reveals him, stands before us unveiled in all the perfection of wisdom, holiness, and love in the person of Christ. He who hath seen Christ hath seen the Father. The truth of Theism is demonstrated in his person, and henceforth will never be held except by those who loyally acknowledge his Lordship over intellect and conscience and life.

                12. State the principle upon which theA priori arguments for the existence of God rest, the valueof the principle, and the principal forms in which they have been presented.

                An à posteriori argument is one which logically ascends from facts of experience to causes, or principles. Thus by means of the preceding arguments we have been led from the facts of consciousness and of external nature to the knowledge of God as an intelligent and righteous personal spirit, the powerful, wise, and benevolent First Cause and Moral Governor. An àpriori argument is one which proceeds from the necessary ideas of reason to the consequences necessarily deduced from them, or the truths necessarily involved in them.

                It is certain that the intuitions of necessary truth are the same in all men. They are not generalizations from experience, but are presupposed in all experience. They bear the stamp of universality and necessity. They have objective validity, not depending upon the subjective state of personal consciousness, nor depending upon the nature of things, but anterior and superior to all things. What then can be the ground of eternal, necessary, universal, unchangeable truth, unless it be an infinite, eternal, self–existent, unchangeable nature, of whose essence they are?

                We have seen that our reasons can rest only in a cause itself uncaused. An uncaused cause must be eternal, self–existent, and unchangeable. We have in our minds ideas and intuitions of infinity and perfection, as well as of eternity, self–existence, and immutability. "These, unless they are wholly delusive—which is what we are unable to conceive—must be predicable of some being. The sole question is, Of what being? It must be of him who has been proved to he the First Cause of all things, the source of all the power, wisdom and goodness displayed in the universe. It cannot be the universe itself; for that has been shown to be but an effect, to have before and behind it a Mind, a Person. It cannot be ourselves, or anything to which our senses can reach, seeing that we and they are finite, contingent, and imperfect. The author of the universe alone—the Father of our spirits, and the Giver of every good and perfect gift—can be uncreated, and unconditioned, infinite, and perfect. This completes the idea of God so far as it can be reached or formed by natural reason. And it gives consistency to the idea. The conclusions of the a posteriori arguments fail to satisfy either the mind or the heart until they are connected with and supplemented by, the intuition of the reason—infinity. The conception of any other than an infinite God—a God unlimited in all his perfections—is a self–contradictory conception which the intelligence refuses to entertain."—Dr. Flint, "Theism," p. 291.

                1. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury (1093–1109), in his " Monologium and Proslogium" states the argument thus: We have the idea of an infinitely perfect being. But real existence is a necessary element of infinite perfection. Therefore an infinitely perfect being exists, otherwise the infinitely perfect as we conceive it would lack an essential element of perfection. 2. Descartes (1596–1650) in his " Meditationesde prima philosophia, " prop. 2, p. 89, states it thus: The idea of an infinite y perfect being which we possess could not have originated in a finite source, and therefore must have been communicated to us by an infinitely perfect being. He also in other connections claims that this idea represents an objective reality, because (1) it is pre–eminently clear, and ideas carry conviction of correspondence to truth in proportion to their clearness, and (2) it is necessary.3. Dr. Samuel Clarke, in 1705, published his "Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God." He argues that time and space are infinite and necessarily existent. But they are not substances. Therefore there must exist an eternal infinite substance of which they are properties.


                13. What is Atheism?

                Atheism, according to its etymology, signifies a denial of the being of God. It was applied by the ancient Greeks to Socrates and other philosophers, to indicate that they failed to conform to the popular religion.

                In the same sense it was applied to the early Christians. Since the usage of the term Theism has been definitely fixed in all modern languages, atheism necessarily stands for the denial of the existence of a personal Creator and Moral Governor. Notwithstanding that the belief in a personal God is the result of a spontaneous recognition of God as manifesting himself in consciousness and the works of nature, atheism is still possible as an abnormal state of consciousness induced by sophistical speculation or by the indulgence of sinful passions, precisely as subjective idealism is possible. It exists in the following forms:1. Practical, 2. Speculative. Again, Speculative Atheism may be 1. Dogmatic, as when the conclusion is reached either (a) that God does not exist, or (b) that the human faculties are positively incapable of ascertaining or of verifying his existence ( e.g.,  Herbert Spencer, "First Principles," pt. 1). 2.

                Skeptical, as when the existence is simply doubted, and the conclusiveness of the evidence generally relied upon is denied. 3. Virtual, as when (a) principles are maintained essentially inconsistent with the existence of God, or with the possibility of our knowledge of him: e.g.,  by materialists, positivists, absolute idealists. (b) When some of the essential attributes of the divine nature are denied, as by Pantheists, and by J. S. Mill in his "Essays on Religion." (c) When explanations of the universe are given which exclude (a1) the agency of an intelligent Creator and Governor, (b1) the moral government of God, and the moral freedom of man, e.g.,  the theories of Darwin and Spencer, and Necessitarians generally.

                See Ulrici, "God and Nature" and "Review of Strauss"; Strauss, "Old and New"; Buchanan, "Modern Atheism "; Tulloch, "Theism"; Flint, "Theism."

                14. What is Dualism?

                Dualism, in Philosophy the opposite of Monism, is the doctrine that there are two generically distinct essences, Matter and Spirit in the universe. In this sense the common doctrine of Christendom is dualistic. All the ancient pagan philosophers held the eternal independent existence of matter, and consequently all among them who were also Theists were strictly cosmological dualists. The religion of Zoroaster was a mythological dualism designed to account for the existence of evil. Ormuzd and Ahriman, the personal principles of good and evil, sprang from a supreme abstract divinity, Akerenes.

                Some of the sects of this religion held dualism in its absolute form, and referred all evil to u[lh , self–existent matter. This principle dominated among the various spurious Christian Gnostic sects in the second century, and in the system of Manes in the third century, and its prevalence in the oriental world is manifested in the ascetic tendency of the early Christian Church. See J. F. Clarke, "Ten Religions"; Hardwicke," Christ and other Masters"; Neander’s "Church History"; Pressensé, "Early Years of Christianity"; Tennemann, "Manual Hist. Philos."

                15. What is Polytheism?

                Polytheism (polu>v and qeo>v) distributes the perfections and functions of the infinite God among many limited gods. It sprang out of the nature–worship represented in the earliest Hindu Veds, so soon and so generally supplanting primitive monotheism. At first, as it long remained in Chaldea and Arabia, it consisted in the worship of elements, especially of the stars and of fire. Subsequently it took special forms from the traditions, the genius, and the relative civilizations of each nationality. Among the rudest savages it sank to Fetichism as in western and central Africa. Among the Greeks it was made the vehicle for the expression of their refined humanitarianism in the apotheosis of heroic men rather than the revelation of incarnate gods. In India, springing from a pantheistic philosophy, it has been carried to the most extravagant extreme, both in respect to the number, and the character of its deities. Whenever polytheism has been connected with speculation it appears as the esoteric counterpart of pantheism.

                Carlyle, "Hero–worship" Max Muller, "Compar. Myth.," in Oxford Essays; Prof. Tyler. "Theology of Greek Poets."

                16. What is Deism?

                Deism, from deus, although etymologically synonymous with theism, from qeo>v, has been distinguished from it since the mid of the sixteenth century, and designates a system admitting the existence of a personal Creator, but denying his controlling presence in the world, his immediate moral government, and all supernatural intervention and revelation. The movement began with the English Deists, Lord Herbert of Cherbury (1581–1648), Hobbes (†1680), Shaftsbury, Bolingbroke (1678–1751), Thomas Paine (†1809), etc. It passed over to France and was represented by Voltaire and the Encyclopaedists. It passed over into Germany and was represented by Lessing and Reimarus   ( "Wolfenbuttel Fragmentist" ), and invading Church and Theology, it was essentially represented by the old school of naturalistic rationalists, who admitted with it a low and inconsequent form of Socinianism, e.g.,  Eichhorn (1752–1827), Paulus (1761–1851), Wegscheider (1771–1848). 1t has been represented in America by the late Theodore Parker, and the extreme left of the party known as "Liberal Christians." In Germany mere deistic naturalism gave way to pantheism, as the latter has recently given way to materialistic atheism, e.g.,  Strauss. See Leland, "View of Deistical Writers"; Van Mildert’s "Boyle Lectures"; Farrar, "Critical Hist. of Freethought"; Dorner, "Hist. Protest. Theology"; Hurst, " Hist. of Rationalism"; Butler’s "Analogy."

                17. What is Idealism?

                "Idealism is the doctrine that in external perceptions the objects immediately known are ideas. It has been held under various forms."—See Hamilton’s " Reid," Note C.

                Some of the phases of modern Idealism among the Germans, may be seen in the following passage from Lewes:—"I see a tree. The common psychologists tell me that there are three things implied in this one fact of vision, viz., a tree, an image of that tree, and a mind that apprehends that image. Fichte tells me that it is I alone who exist. The tree and the image of it are one thing, and that is a modification of my mind. This is subjective idealism.  Schelling tells me that both the tree and my ego or self), are existences equally real or ideal; but they are nothing less than manifestations of the absolute, the infinite, or unconditioned. This is objective idealism.  But Hegel tells me that all these explanations are false. The only thing really existing (in this one fact of vision) is the idea, the relation. The ego and the tree are but two terms of the relation, and owe their reality to it. This is absolute idealism.  According to this, there is neither mind nor matter, heaven or earth, God or man., The doctrine opposed to Idealism is Realism."—"Vocabulary of the Philosophical Sciences," by C. P. Krauth, D.D., 1878.

                18. What is Materialism?

                As soon as we begin to reflect we become conscious of the presence of two everywhere interlaced, but always distinct classes of phenomena—of thought, feeling, will on the one hand, and of extension, inertia, etc., on the other. Analyze these as we may, we never can resolve the one into the other. The one class we come to know through consciousness, the other through sensation, and we know the one as directly and as certainly as the other; and as we can never resolve either into the other, we refer the one class to a substance called spirit, and the other class to a substance called matter.

                Materialists are a set of superficial philosophers in whom the moral consciousness is not vivid, and who have formed the habit of exclusively directing attention to the objects of the senses, and explaining physical phenomena by mechanical conceptions. Hence they fall into the fundamental error of affirming— 1. That there is but one substance, or rather that all the phenomena of the universe can be explained in terms of atoms and force. 2. That intelligence, feeling, conscience, volition, etc., are only properties of matter, or functions of material organization, or modifications of convertible energy.

                Intelligence did not precede and effect order and organization, but order and organization developed by laws inherent in matter develop intelligence The German Darwinists style that system the " mechanico–causal" development of the universe: Huxley says life and hence organization results from the "molecular mechanics of the protoplasm."

                WE ANSWER—1st. This is no recondite theory, as some pretend, concerning substance. If the phenomena of consciousness are resolved into modifications of matter and force, i. e., ultimately into some mode of motion, then all ultimate and necessary truth is impossible, duty has no absolute obligation, conscience is a lie, consciousness a delusion, and freedom of will absurd. All truth and duty, all honor and hope, all morality and religion, would be dissolved. 2nd. The theory is one–sided and unwarrantable. In fact our knowledge of the soul and of its intuitions and powers are more direct and clear than the scientist’s knowledge of matter. What does he know of the real nature of the atom, of force, of gravity, etc.? 3rd. The explanation of matter by mind, of force and order by intelligence and will, is rational. But the explanation of the phenomena of intelligence, will, and consciousness as modes of matter or force is absurd. The reason can rest in the one and cannot in the other. The soul of man is known to be an absolute cause—matter is known not to be, to be but the vehicle of force, and force to be in a process of dispersion. Intelligence is known to be the cause of order and organization, organization cannot be conceived to be the cause of: intelligence. Tyndal ("Athenaeum " for August 29, 1868) says: " The passage from the physics

of the brain to the corresponding facts of consciousness is unthinkable. Granted that a definite thought and a definite molecular action in the brain occur simultaneously: we do not possess the intellectual organ, nor apparently any rudiment of the organ, which would enable us to pass, by a process of reasoning, from the one phenomenon to the other . . . . In affirming that the growth of the body is mechanical, and that thought as exercised by us has its correlative in the physics of the brain, I think the position of the Materialist is stated as far as that             position is a tenable one. I think the Materialist will be able finally to maintain this position against all attacks; but I do not think as the human mind is at present                constituted, that he can pass beyond it. I do not think he is entitled to say that his molecular grouping and his molecular motions explain every thing. In reality they explain nothing."

                19. What is Pantheism?

                Pantheism (pa~n qeo>v) is absolute monism, maintaining that the entire phenomenal universe is the ever–changing existence– form of the one single universal substance, which is God. Thus God is all, and all is God. God is to> o]n , absolute being, of which every finite thing is a differentiated and transient form. This doctrine is, of course, capable of assuming very various forms.1. The one–substance   pantheism of Spinoza. He held that God is the one absolute substance of all things, possessing two attributes, thought and extension, from which respectively the physical and intellectual worlds proceed by an eternal, necessary, and unconscious evolution. 2. The material pantheism of Strauss, "Old and New Faith." 3. The idealistic pantheism of Schelling, maintaining the absolute identity of subject and object; and of Hegel, maintaining the absolute identity of thought and existence as determinations of the one absolute Spirit.

                It is obvious that pantheism in all its forms must either deny the moral personality of God, or that of man, or both. Logically it renders both impossible. God comes to self–consciousness only in man; the consciousness of free personal self determination in man is a delusion; moral responsibility is a prejudice; the supernatural is impossible and religion is superstition. Yet such is the flexibility of the system, that in one form it puts on a mystical guise representing God as the all absorbing the world into himself, and in the opposite form it puts on a purely naturalistic guise, representing the world as absorbing God, and the human race in its ever–culminating development the only object of reverence or devotion. The same Spinoza who was declared by Pascal and Bossuet to be an atheist, is represented by Jacobi and Schleiermacher to be the most devout mystics. The intense individuality of the material science of this century has reacted powerfully on pantheism, substituting materialism for idealism, retiring God, and elevating man as is seen in the recent degradation of pantheism into atheism in the case of Feuerbach and Strauss, etc.

                The most ancient, persistent, and prevalent pantheism of the world’s history is that of India. As a religion it has molded the character, customs, and mythologies of the people for 4,000 years. As a philosophy it has appeared in three principal forms—the Sanckhya, the Nyaya, and the Vedanta. Pantheistic modes of thought more or less underlay all forms of Greek philosophy, and especially the Neo–Platonic school of Plotinus (†205–270), Porphyry (233–305), and Jamblicus (333) It reappeared in John Scotus Erigena (b. 800), and with the Neo–Platonists of the Renaissance— e.g.,  Giordano Bruno (l600). Modern pantheism began with Benedict Spinoza (1632–1677), and closes with the disciples of Schelling and Hegel.

                Besides pure pantheism there has existed an infinite variety of impure forms of virtual pantheism. This is true of all systems that affirm the impersonality of the infinite and absolute, and which resolve all the divine attributes into modes of causality. The same is true of all systems which represent providential preservation as a continual creation, deny the real efficiency of second causes, and make God the only agent in the universe, e.g.,  Edwards on "Original Sin," pt. 4, ch. 3, and Emmons. Under the same general category falls the fanciful doctrine of Emanations, which was the chief feature of Oriental Theosophies, and the Hylozoism of Averröes (†1198), which supposes the co–eternity of matter and of an unconscious plastic anima mundi. See Hunt, "Essay on Pantheism," London, 1866; Saisset, "Modern Pantheism," Edinburgh, 1863; Cousin, "History of Modern Philosophy"; Ritter’s "Hist. Ancient Philos." Buchanan, "Faith in God," etc.; Döllinger, "Gentile and Jew," London, 1863; Max Müller, "Hist. Anc. Sancrit Lit."

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Chapter 3: The Sources of Theology

                A general definition of Theology, Chapter 1., Question 1.

                1. What are the two great departments into which Theology is divided?

                1st.  Natural Theology, which is the science which proposes to itself these two questions: (1) Can the real objective existence of God as a personal extramundane Spirit be established by satisfactory evidence? (2) What may be legitimately ascertained concerning the true nature of God in himself and concerning his relations to the universe, and especially to man, by the light of nature alone. A distinction here must be carefully observed between that knowledge of God which can be reached from the evidences afforded in his works by the powers of human reason independently of all suggestions afforded by supernatural revelation, e.g.,  the theology of Plato and Cicero; and on the other hand, that knowledge of God which the human faculties are now able to deduce from the phenomena of nature under the borrowed, if unacknowledged light of a supernatural revelation, e.g., ., the theology of Modern Rationalists.

                2nd.  Revealed Theology is that science which, Natural Theology presupposed, comprehends as its province all that has been revealed to us concerning God and his relation to the universe, and especially to mankind, through supernatural channels.

                2. What extreme views have been considered to explain the possibility and validity of Natural, andas distinguished from Revealed Theology?

                1st.  That of Deists or naturalistic Theists, who deny either the possibility or the historical fact of a supernatural revelation and maintain that Natural Theology discovers all that it is either possible or necessary for man now to know about God, or his relation to us. Many German supernaturalistic rationalists, while they admit the historical fact of a supernatural revelation, hold that its only office is to enforce and illustrate the truths already given in Natural Religion, which are sufficient in themselves, and need reinforcement only because they re not sufficiently attended to by men.

                This is disproved below, Questions 7–10.

                2nd.  The opposite extreme has been held by some Christians, that Natural Theology has no real existence; but that we are indebted to supernatural revelation for our first valid information that God exists. This is disproved— (1) By the testimony of Scripture, Romans 1:20–24, and 2:14,15, etc. (2) By the testimony of experience, e.g.,  the knowledge of God attained by the more eminent heathen philosophers, however imperfect. (3) The validity of the Theistic inference from the phenomena of consciousness and of the external world has been vindicated in Chapter 2. (4) It is self–evident that some knowledge of God is logically presupposed in the recognition of a supernatural revelation as coming from him.

                3. State the principal answers given to the question, "What is the Source or Standard of Knowledge in Theology?"

                1st.  The theory of Schleiermacher and the Transcendental school. He was preacher and professor in Halle and Berlin from 1796 to 1834, and was the author of the "Mediation Theology," and inaugurated the movement by his "Discourses on Religion, addressed to the Educated among its Despisers," 1799, and his "Christian Faith on the Principles of the Evangelical Church," 1821.

                He considered religion to be a form of feeling, and to be grounded on our constitutional            God–consciousness, which consists, on the intellectual side, of an intuition of God, and on the emotional side, of a feeling of absolute dependence. Christianity consists of that specific form of this constitutional religious consciousness which was generated in the bosom of his disciples by the God–man Christ. And as human consciousness in general is generated in every individual by his social relations, so Christian consciousness is generated in communion with that society (the Church) which Christ founded and of which he is the center of life. And as the common intuitions of men are the last appeal in all questions of natural knowledge, so the common Christian consciousness of the Church is the last appeal in all questions of Christian faith, which in its totality is the rule of Faith, and not the Scriptures.

                OBJECTION. (1) This view is inconsistent with the nature of Christianity, which as a remedial scheme rests upon certain historical facts,  which must be known in order to be effective, and which can be authoritatively made known only by means of a supernatural revelation. No form of intuition can reach them. (2) It is inconsistent with the uniform conviction of Christians that Christianity is a system of divinely revealed facts and principles. (3) It affords no criterion of truth. It must regard all the doctrines of the various Church parties as reconcilable variations of the same fundamental truth. (4) It is inconsistent with the claims of Scripture as the work of God, and with its explicit teaching, as to the nature of revelation communicating objective truth, and as to the necessity of the knowledge of the truth so conveyed in order to salvation.

                2nd.  The Mystic Doctrine of the Inner Light, or the General Inspiration of all Men, or at least all Christians, as held by the Quakers. This view differs from Rationalism because it makes the feelings rather than the understanding the organ of religious truth, and because it regards the "inward light " as the testimony of God’s Spirit to and within the human spirit. It differs from our doctrine of Inspiration because it is the practical guidance and illumination of the divine Spirit in the hearts of all believing men, and not confined to the official Founders and First Teachers of the Church. It differs from spiritual illumination, which we believe to be experienced by all truly regenerated believers only, because (1) it leads to the knowledge of truth independently of its revelation in Scripture, and (2) it belongs to all men who are willing to attend to and obey it.

                OBJECTION.  (1) This view contradicts Scripture. (a) Which never promises an illumination which will carry men beyond, or make men independent of its own teaching. (b) They teach the absolute necessity for salvation of the objective revelation given in the written word (Romans 11:14–18). (2) Is disproved by experience, which (a) testifies that the "inner light" affords no criterion to determine the truth of different doctrines, (b) that it has never availed to lead any individual or community to the knowledge of saving truth independently of the objective revelation, and (c) that it has always led to an irreverent depreciation of the word, and in the long run to disorder and confusion.

                III.  The Theory of an Inspired Church, that is inspired in the persons, or at least the official teaching, of its chief pastors and teachers. This view is refuted Chapter 5.

                IV.  The common postulate of all Rationalists, that Reason is the source and measure of all our knowledge of God. This view is considered and refuted below, Questions 7–10.

                V.  The true and Protestant Doctrine. That the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, being given by the Inspiration of God, are his words to us, and an infallible and authoritative Rule of Faith and Practice, and to the exclusion of all others, the one source and standard of Christian Theology.

                4. What is the precise sense in which the term "Reason" is used by those who contrast it to Faith asthe source of Religious Knowledge?

                The term "Reason " is used in various senses by different classes of Rationalists. By some it is used as the organ of the higher institutions apprehending necessary and ultimate truth, Such is the God-consciousness of Schleiermacher, and the intui-tion of the infinite of Schellingand Cousin, and such, in effect, are the moral intuitional feelings of Newman and Parker. By others "Reason " stands for the understanding, or logical faculty of observing, judging, and drawing inferences in the sphere of experience. Hence it comprehends as its ground and standard the mass of the accredited knowledge and opinion of the day. Practically all men designate by the respectable name of reason their own permanent habit and attitude of mind, with the organized mass of knowledge, opinion, and prejudice with which their minds are full. That is said to stand to reason which is congruous to that habit, or to that massof accepted opinion.

                In this controversy, however, we designate by the term , Reason "man’s entire natural faculty of ascertaining the truth, including intuitions, understandings, imagination affections and emotions, acting under natural conditions, and independently of supernatural assistance."

                5. What is Rationalism?

                A "Naturalist" is one who holds that Nature is a complete self–contained, self–supported sphere in itself; and hence denies either the reality of the supernatural, or that it can be an object of human knowledge; and hence denies the necessity, or possibility, or actual fact, of a supernatural revelation. The term "Rationalist" is more general. It includes the Naturalist of every grade, and also all those who while admitting the fact of a divine revelation, yet maintain that revelation, its doctrines and records, are all to be measured and accredited or rejected and interpreted by human reason as ultimate arbiter. With the Rationalists Reason is the ultimate ground and measure of faith.

                In its historical sense Rationalism, as a mode of freethinking springing up in the midst of the Christian Church itself; giving rise to an illegitimate use of reason in the interpretation of the Scriptures and their doctrines, has always been active in some form, and in one degree or another, and has been signally manifest in a class of the Mediaeval schoolmen, and in the disciples of Socinus. Its modern and most extreme form originated in Germany in the middle of the last century. The causes to which it is to be attributed were—(a) The low state of religion pervading all Protestant countries. (b) The influence of the formal philosophy and dogmatism of Wolf, the disciple of Leif. (c) The influence of the English Deists. (d) The influence of the French infidels collected at the court of Frederick the Great of Prussia. The father of critical rationalism was Semler, Prof. at Halle (b. 1725, and d. 1791). Although personally devout, he arbitrarily examined the canonicity of the books of Scripture neglecting historical evidence, and substituting his own subjective sense of fitness. He introduced the principle of "accommodation "        into Biblical interpretation, holding that besides much positive truth, Christ and his apostles taught many things in "accommodation" to the ideas prevailing among their contemporaries.—Hurst, "History of Rationalism."

                This tendency, afterwards greatly aggravated through the influence of Lesing and Reimarus the Wolfenbüttel Fragmentist, penetrated the mass of German theological literature, and culminated in the last years of the eighteenth and first               years of the nineteenth century. Among its principal representatives were Bretschneider, Eichhorn, and Paulus, in Biblical, and Wegscheider in dogmatic theology. The two last especially, while admitting the fact that Christianity is a                 supernatural revelation, yet maintained that it is merely a republication of the               elements of natural religion, and that Reason is the supreme arbiter as to what books are to be received as canonical, and as to what they mean. Miracles were regarded as unworthy of belief. The narratives of miracles recorded in the Scriptures were referred to the ignorance, superstition, or partiality of the writers, and the miracles themselves were referred to natural causes. Jesus was regarded as a good man, and original Christianity as a sort of philosophical Socinianism. This is what has been historically designated in Germany by the title Rationalism, and more specifically as the Rationalismus Vulgaris, the old, or common-sense Rationalism.

                After the rise of the philosophies of Fichte, Schelling and Hegel, a new impulse was given to theological speculation, and to Biblical interpretation. This gave rise on the one hand to a reaction towards orthodoxy through the "Mediation theology" of Schleiermacher, and on the other to a new school of Transcendental Rationalism, the basis of which is a pantheistic mode of thought. It necessarily denies the supernatural, and postulates the fundamental principle that miracles are impossible. This school, whose head–quarters was Tubingen, has been most prominently represented by Christian Baur with his Tendency Theory, Strauss with his Mythical theory, and Renan with his Legendary theory, to account for the origin of the New Testament writings, while denying their historical basis of fact.

                This tendency, in various degrees of force, is manifested in the state of theological opinion in England and America, principally in the School of Coleridge, Maurice, Stanley, Jowett and Williams, and the Broad Church party generally; in Scotland in Tulloch in America by the late Theodore Parker, the school of liberal Christians, and in the general relaxation of faith discernible on every side.

                "German Rationalism," Hagenbach, Clarke Edinburg Library; "History of German Protestantism,"

                Kahnis, Clarke Ed. Lib.; "Critical History of Free Thought," A. S. Farrar, New York, D. Appleton & Co.;

                "Germany, its Universities, Theology, and Religion," Philip Schaff, D.D.; "History of Rationalism," President Hurst, C. Scribner, New York.

                6. Into what two classes may all the argumentative grounds of opposition to historical Christianitybe grouped?

                1st.  A priori grounds. These rest upon a false view of the being and nature of God, and of his relation to the world. Thus the Positivist, who confines man’s knowledge to Phenomena, and their laws of     co–existence and sequence; the Deist, who denies the immanence of God in his works and denies or      renders remote and obscure his relation to us as Moral Governor and spiritual Father; and the Pantheist, who denies his personality; and the scientific naturalist, who sees in nature only the operation of invariable self–executing physical laws—must all alike deny the possibility and credibility of miracles, must resolve inspiration into genius, and in some way or other explain away the Scriptures, as historical

records of fact. This class of questions has been discussed above, Chapter 2.

                2nd.  Historical and Critical grounds. These all rest on the assumed defect in the historical evidence for the genuineness and authenticity of the several books of the canon, and in the alleged discrepancies, and historical and scientific inaccuracies, found in scripture. This class of questions must be met in the departments of Biblical Introduction, and Exegesis.

                7. State the grounds upon which it is evident that Reason is not the ultimate source and measure ofreligions ideas.

                These are in general three: (1) A priori.  Reason, considering man’s present condition of ignorance, moral degradation, and guilt, has no qualities which render it competent to attain either (a) certainty or (b) sufficient information for man’s practical guidance, as to God’s existence, or character, or relation to us, or purposes with regard to us. (2) from universal experience: unassisted reason has never availed for these ends, but when unduly relied upon has always led men, in spite of a neglected revelation, to skepticism and confusion. (3) As a matter of fact an infallible record of a supernatural revelation has been given, which conveys, when interpreted with the illuminating assistance of the Holy Spirit, information, the knowledge of which is essential to salvation, which reason could by no means have anticipated.

                To establish this argument the following points must be separately established in their order:

                1st.  A supernatural revelation is necessary for man in his present condition.

                2nd.  A supernatural revelation is possible alike á parte Dei, and á parte hominis.

                3rd.  From what Natural Theology reveals to us of the Attributes of God, of his relations to men, and of our moral condition, a supernatural revelation is antecedently probable.

                4th.  It is an historical fact that Christianity is just such a supernatural revelation.

                5th.  It is also an historical fact that the present Canon of the Old and New Testaments consists only of and contain all the extant authentic and genuine records of that revelation.

                6th.  That the books constituting this canon were supernaturally inspired, so as to be constituted the word of God, and an infallible and authoritative rule of faith and practice for men.

                8. Prove that a supernatural revelation is necessary for men in their present condition.

                1st.  Reason itself teaches—(1) that as a matter of fact man’s moral nature is disordered, and (2) his relations to God disturbed by guilt and alienation. Reason is capable of discovering the fact of sin, but makes no suggestions as to its remedy. We can determine à priori  God’s determination to punish sin, because that as a matter of justice rests on his unchangeable and necessary nature, but can so determine nothing with respect to his disposition to provide, or to allow a remedy, because that, as a matter of grace, rests on his simple volition.

                2nd.  A spontaneous religious yearning, natural and universal, for a divine self–revelation and intervention on the part of God. and manifest in all human history, proves its necessity.

                3rd.  Reason has never in the case of any historical community availed to lead men to certainty, to satisfy their wants or to rule their lives.

                4th.  Rationalism is strong only for attack and destruction. It has never availed in any considerable degree in the way of positive construction. No two prominent Rationalists agree as to what the positive and certain results of the teaching of reason are.

                9. Prove that a supernatural revelation is possible bothà parte Dei, and à parse hominis.

                As to its being possible on God’s side, if Theism be true, if God be an infinite extramundane person, who yet controls the operation of the laws he has ordained as his own methods and has subordinated the physical system to the higher interests of his moral government, then obviously to limit him as to the manner, character, or extent of his self–manifestations to his creatures is transcendently absurd. All the philosophical presumptions, which render a supernatural revelation on the part of God impossible, are based on Deistic, Materialistic or Pantheistic principles. We have exhibited the argument for Theism in

                Chapter 2.

                As to its being possible on man’s side, it has been argued by modern transcendental rationalists that the communication of new truth by means of a "book revelation" is impossible. That words are conventional signs which have power to excite in the mind only those ideas which having been previously

                apprehended, have been conventionally associated with those words.

                WE ANSWER—1st. We admit that simple ultimate ideas which admit of no analysis, must in the first instance be apprehended by an appropriate organ in an act of spontaneous intuition. No man can attain the idea of color except through the act of his own eyes, nor the idea of right except by an intuitive act of his own moral sense. But 2nd, the Christian revelation involves no new simple ultimate ideas incapable of analysis. They presuppose and involve the matter of all such natural intuitions, and they excite the rational and moral intuitions to a more active and normal exercise by association with new aspects of our divine relations, but for the most part they narrate objective and concrete facts, they explain the application of intuitive principles to our actual historical condition and relations; they state the purposes, requirements, and promises of God. But, 3rd, even new simple ideas may be excited in the mind by                 means of a supernatural inward spiritual illumination action on the minds of the subject of religious experience. The work of the Holy Spirit accompanying the written word completes the revelation. An experienced Christian under the teaching of the Holy Spirit through the word, has as clear and certain a knowledge of the matter involved in his new experience, as he has of the matter of his perceptions through his bodily senses.

                10. Show from the data of Natural Theology that in the present state of human nature asupernatural revelation is antecedently probable.

                As shown in Chapter 2., Natural Theology ascertains for us an infinite, eternal, wise, and absolutely righteous and benevolent personal God. It ascertains also that man created in the divine image is morally corrupt and judicially condemned. It reveals to us man needing divine help, yearning and hoping for it, and therefore not incapable of it, as are the finally lost demons. Therefore all the perfections of God, and all the miseries of men, lead to the rational hope that at some time and in some way God may be        graciously disposed to intervene supernaturally for man’s help, and reveal his character and purposes more fully for man’s guidance.

                11. How may it be proved that it is an historical fact that Christianity is such a supernaturalrevelation?

                The reader must here be referred to the many and excellent treatises on the Evidences of Christianity.

                Paley’s, Chalmers’, Erskine’s, and Alexander’s works on the Evidences; A. S. Farrar’s "Critical History of Free Thought"; Hopkins’s "Evidences of Christianity"; Barnes’s "Evidences of Christianity in the Nineteenth Century"; G. Wardlaw’s "Leading Evidences of Christianity"; Hetherington’s "Apologetics of the Christian Faith"; Leathes’s "Grounds of Christian Hope"; Row’s "Supernatural in the New Testament"; Rogers’s "Superhuman Origin of the Bible"; Christlieb’s "Modern Doubt and Christian Belief"; Rawlinson’s "Historical Evidence of the Truth of the Scripture Records"; Wace’s "Christianity and Morality "; Titcomb’s "Cautions for Doubters"; Pearson’s "Prize Essay on Infidelity"; F. W. Farrar’s                 "Witness of History to Christ."

                12. How can it be proved that the accepted Canon of the Old and New Testament consists only ofand contains all the authentic and genuine records of the Christian Revelation?

                Here also the reader must be referred to the best treatises on the Canon of holy Scriptures. B. F. Westcott, on "The Canon" and on "Introduction to the Study of the Gospels"; Tischendorf, "When were our Gospels composed?" E. Cone Bissell "Historic Origin of the Bible"; Prof. George P. Fisher, "The Supernatural Origin of Christianity," and "The Beginnings of Christianity."

                13. What is the Nature and Extent of the Inspiration of the Christian Scriptures?

                See below, Chapter 4.

                14. What is the legitimate office of Reason in the sphere of Religion?

                1st. Reason is the primary revelation God has made to man, necessarily presupposed in every subsequent revelation of whatever kind.2nd. Hence Reason, including the moral and emotional nature, and            experience, must be the organ by means of which alone all subsequent revelations can be apprehended and received. A revelation addressed to the irrational would be as inconsequent as light to the blind. This is the usus organicus of reason. 3rd. Hence no subsequent revelation can contradict reason acting legitimately within its own sphere. For then (1) God would contradict himself and (2) faith would be impossible. To believe is to assent to a thing as true, but to see that it contradicts reason, is to see that it is not true. Hence the Reason has the office in judging the Evidences or in interpreting the Records of a supernatural revelation, of exercising the judicium contradictionis. Reason has therefore to determine two questions: 1st. Does God speak? 2nd. What does God say? This, however, requires (a) the cooperation of all the faculties of knowing, moral as well as purely intellectual, (b) a modest and teachable spirit, (c) perfect candor and loyalty to truth, (d) willingness to put all known truth to practice, (e) the illumination and assistance of the promised Spirit of truth.

                This is the old distinction between what is contrary to reason, and what is above it. It is evident that it is the height of absurdity for reason to object to an otherwise accredited revelation that its teaching is incomprehensible, or that it involves elements apparently irreconcilable with other truths. Because— (1) This presumes that human reason is the highest form of intelligence, which is absurd.(2) In no other department do men limit their faith by their ability to understand. What do men of science understand as to the ultimate nature of atoms, of inertia, of gravity, of force, of life? They are every moment forced to assume the truth of the impossible, and acknowledge the inexplicability of the certain.

                All speculative infidelity springs out of the insane pride of the human mind, the insatiate rage for explanation, and, above all, for the resolution of all knowledge to apparent logical unity. Common sense, and the habit of reducing opinions to actual practice, leads to health of mind and body, and to religious faith.

                15. What is Philosophy and what is its relation to Theology?

                Philosophy, in its wide sense, embraces all human knowledge acquired through the use of man’s natural faculties, and consists of that knowledge interpreted and systematized by the reason. Science is more specific, relating to some special department of knowledge thoroughly reduced to system. In later days the word Science is becoming more and more definitely appropriated to the knowledge of the physical phenomena of the universe. In this sense Science has for its task the determination of phenomena in their classifications of likeness and unlikeness, and their laws or order of co–existence and succession, and does not inquire into substance, or cause, or purpose, etc. Philosophy is presupposed, therefore, in science as the first and most general knowledge. It inquires into the soul and the laws of thought into intuition and ultimate truth, into substance and real being, into absolute cause, the ultimate nature of force and will, into conscience and duty.

                As to its relations to Theology it will be observed—

                1st.  The first principles of a true philosophy are presupposed in all theology, natural and revealed.

                2nd.  The Holy scriptures, although not designed primarily to teach philosophy, yet necessarily presuppose and involve the fundamental principles of a true philosophy. Not the inferences of these principles drawn out into a system, but the principles themselves, as to substance and cause, as to conscience and right, etc.

                3rd.  The philosophy prevalent in every age has always and will necessarily react upon the interpretation of Scripture and the formation of theological systems. This has been true as to the early Platonism, and the Neo–Platonism of the second age; as to the Aristotelian philosophy of the middle ages; as to the systems of Descartes and Leibnitz; of Kant, Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel on the continent, and the systems of Locke, Reid, Coleridge, etc., in Britain.

                4th.  The devout believer, however, who is assured that the Bible is the very word of God, can never allow his philosophy, derived from human sources, to dominate his interpretation of the Bible, but will seek with a docile spirit and with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, to bring his own philosophy into perfect harmony with that which is implicitly contained in the word. He will by all means seek to realize a philosophy which proves itself to be the genuine and natural handmaid of the religion which the word reveals.

                All human thought, and all human life, is one. If therefore God speaks for any purpose, his word must be supreme, and insofar as it has any bearing on any department of human opinion or action, it must therein be received as the most certain informant and the highest Law.

                The various departments of Christian Theology have been enumerated in Chapter 1.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Chapter 4: The Inspiration of the Bible

                Necessary Presuppositions

                1. What are the necessary presuppositions, as to principles, and matters of fact, which must beadmitted before the possibility of inspiration, or the inspiration of any particular book can beaffirmed?

                1st.  The existence of a personal God, possessing the attributes of power, intelligence, and moral excellence in absolute perfection.

                2nd.  That in his relation to the universe he is at once immanent and transcendent. Above all, and freely acting upon all from without. Within all, and acting through the whole and every part from within in the exercise of all his perfections, and according to the laws and modes of action he has established for his creatures, sustaining and governing them, and all their actions.

                3rd.  His moral government over mankind and other intelligent creatures, whereby he governs them by truth and motives addressed to their reason and will, rewards and punishes them according to their moral characters and actions, and benevolently educates them for their high destiny in his communion and service.

                4th.  The fact that mankind instead of advancing along a line of natural development from a lower to a higher moral condition, have fallen from their original state and relation, and are now lost in a condition involving corruption and guilt, and incapable of recovery without supernatural intervention.

                5th.  The historical integrity of the Christian Scriptures, their veracity as history, and the genuineness and authenticity of the several books.

                6th.  The truth of Christianity in the sense in which it is set forth in the sacred record.

                All of these necessary presuppositions, the truth of which is involved in the doctrine that the Scriptures are inspired, fall under one of two classes—

                (1) Those which rest upon intuition and the moral spiritual evidences of divine truth, such as the being and attributes of God, and his relations to world and to mankind, such as the testimony of conscience and the moral consciousness of men as sinners justly condemned, and impotent.

                (2) Those which rest upon matters of fact, depending upon historical and critical evidence as to the true origin and contents of the sacred books.

                If any of these principles or facts is doubted, the evidence substantiating them should be sought in their appropriate sources, e.g.,  the department of Apologetics—the Theistic argument and Natural Theology, the evidences of Christianity, the Historic Origin of the Scriptures, the Canon, and Criticism and Exegesis of the Sacred Text.


                2. In what sense and to what extent has the Church universally held the Bible to be inspired?

                That the sacred writers were so influenced by the Holy spirit that their writings are, as a whole and in every part, God’s word to us—an authoritative revelation to us from God, endorsed by him, and sent to us as a rule of faith and practice, the original autographs of which are absolutely infallible when interpreted in the sense intended, and hence are clothed with absolute divine authority.

                3. What is meant by "plenary inspiration"?

                A divine influence full and sufficient to secure its end. The end in this case secured is the perfect infallibility of the Scriptures in every part, as a record of fact and doctrine both in thought and verbal expression. So that although they come to us through the instrumentality of the minds, hearts, imaginations, consciences, and wills of men, they are nevertheless in the strictest sense the word of God.

                4. What is meant by the phrase "verbal inspiration," and howcan it beproved that the words ofthe Bible were inspired?

                It is meant that the divine influence, of whatever kind it may have been, which accompanied the sacred writers in what they wrote, extends to their expression of their thoughts in language, as well as to the thoughts themselves. The effect being that in the original autograph copies the language expresses the thought God intended to convey with infallible accuracy, so that the words as well as the thoughts are God’s revelation to us.

                That this influence did extend to the words appears—1st, from the very design of inspiration, which is, not to secure the infallible correctness of the opinions of the inspired men themselves (Paul and Peter differed, Galatians 2:11, and sometimes the prophet knew not what he wrote), but to secure an infallible record of the truth. But a record consists of language.

                2nd. Men think in words, and the more definitely they think the more are their thoughts immediately associated with an exactly appropriate verbal expression. Infallibility of thought cannot be secured or preserved independently of an infallible verbal rendering.

                3rd. The Scriptures affirm this fact, 1 Corinthians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:13.

                4th. The New Testament writers, while quoting from the Old Testament for purposes of argument, often base their argument upon the very words used, thus ascribing authority to the word as well as the thought.—Matthew 22: 32, and Exodus 3: 6,16; Matthew 22: 45, and Psalms 110: l ; Galatians 3:16, and Genesis 17: 7.

                5. By what means does the Church hold that God has effected the result above defined?

                The Church doctrine recognizes the fact that every part of Scripture is at once a product of God’s and of man’s agency. The human writers have produced each his part in the free and natural exercise of his personal faculties under his historical conditions. God has also so acted concurrently in and through them that the whole organism of Scripture and every part thereof is his word to us, infallibly true in the sense intended and absolutely authoritative.

                God’s agency includes the three following elements:

                1st.  His PROVIDENTIAL agency in producing the Scriptures. The whole course of redemption, of which revelation and inspiration are special functions, was a special providence directing the evolution of a specially providential history. Here the natural and the supernatural continually interpenetrate. But as is of necessity the case, the natural was always the rule and the supernatural the exception; yet as little subject to accident, and as much the subject of rational design as the natural itself. Thus God providentially produced the very man for the precise occasion, with the faculties, qualities, education, and gracious experience needed for the production of the intended writing, Moses, David, Isaiah, Paul, or John, genius and character, nature and grace, peasant, philosopher, or prince, the man, and with him each subtle personal accident, was providentially prepared at the proper moment as the necessary instrumental precondition of the work to be done.

                2nd.  REVELATION of truth not otherwise attainable. Whenever the writer was not possessed, or could not naturally become possessed, of the knowledge God intended to communicate, it was supernaturally revealed to him by vision or language. This revelation was supernatural, objective to the recipient, and assured to him to be truth of divine origin by appropriate evidence. This direct revelation applies to a large element of the sacred Scriptures, such as prophecies of future events, the peculiar doctrines of Christianity, the promises and threatenings of God’s word, etc., but it applies by no means to all the contents of Scripture.

                3rd.  INSPIRATION. The writers were the subjects of a plenary divine influence called inspiration, which acted upon and through their natural faculties in all they wrote directing them in the choice of subject and the whole course of thought and verbal expression, so as while not interfering with the natural exercise of their faculties, they freely and spontaneously, produced the very writing which God designed, and which thus possesses the attributes of infallibility and authority as above defined.

                This inspiration differs, therefore, from revelation—(1) In that it was a constant experience of the sacred writers in all they wrote and it affects the equal infallibility of all the elements of the writings they produced, while, as before said, revelation was supernaturally vouchsafed only when it was needed. (2) In that revelation communicated objectively to the mind of the writer truth otherwise unknown. While inspiration was a divine influence flowing into the sacred writer subjectively, communicating nothing, but guiding their faculties in their natural exercise to the producing an infallible record of the matters of history, doctrine, prophecy, etc., which God designed to send through them to his Church.

                It differs from spiritual illumination, in that spiritual illumination is an essential element in the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit common to all true Christians. It never leads to the knowledge of new truth, but only to the personal discernment of the spiritual beauty and power of truth already revealed in the Scriptures.

                Inspiration is a special influence of the Holy Spirit peculiar to the prophets and apostles, and attending them only in the exercise of their functions as accredited teachers. Most of them were the subjects both of inspiration and spiritual illumination. Some, as Balaam, being unregenerate were inspired, though destitute of spiritual illumination.


                6. From what sources of evidence is the question as to the nature and extent of the Inspiration ofthe Scriptures to be determined?

                1st.  From the statements of the Scriptures themselves.

                2nd.  From the phenomena of Scripture when critically examined.


                7. How can the propriety of proving the Inspiration of the Scriptures from their own assertions bevindicated?

                We do not reason in a circle when we rest the truth of the inspiration of the Scriptures on their own assertions. We come to this question already believing in their credibility as histories, and in that of their writers as witnesses of facts, and in the truth of Christianity and in the divinity of Christ. Whatever Christ affirms of the Old Testament, and whatever he promises to the Apostles, and whatever they assert as to the divine influence acting in and through themselves, or as to the infallibility and authority of their writings, must be true. Especially as all their claims were endorsed by God working with them by signs and wonders and gifts of the Holy Ghost. It is evident that if their claims to inspiration and to the infallibility and authority of their writings are denied, they are consequently charged with fanatical presumption and gross misrepresentation, and the validity of their testimony on all points is denied.

                When plenary inspiration is denied all Christian faith is undermined.

                8. How may the inspiration of the apostles be fairly inferred from the fact that they wrought miracles?

                A miracle is a divine sign (shme~ion) accrediting the person to whom the power is delegated as a divinely commissioned agent, Matthew 16:1,4; Acts 14:3; Hebrews 2:4. This divine testimony not only encourages, but absolutely renders belief obligatory. Where the sign is, God commands us to believe. But he could not unconditionally command us to believe any other than unmixed truth infallibly conveyed.

                9. How may it be shown that the gift of Inspiration was promised to the apostles?

                Matthew 10:19; Luke 12:12; John 14:26; 15:26,27; 16:13; Matthew 28:19,20; John 13:20.

                10. In what several ways did they claim to have possession of the Spirit?

                They claimed—

                1st.  To have the Spirit in fulfillment of the promise of Christ. Acts 2:33; 4:8; 13:2–4; 15:28; 21:11; 1

                Thessalonians 4:8.

                2nd.  To speak as the prophets of God.—1 Corinthians 4:1; 9:17; 2 Corinthians 5:19; 1 Thessalonians 4:8.

                3rd.  To speak with plenary authority.—1 Corinthians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 John 4:6; Galatians1:8,9; 2 Corinthians 13:2,3,4. They class their writings on a level with the Old Testament Scriptures.—2 Peter 3:16;1 Thessalonians 5:27; Colossians 4:16; Revelation 2:7.—Dr. Hodge.

                11. How was their claim confirmed?

                1st.  By their holy, simple, temperate, yet heroic lives.

                2nd.  By the holiness of the doctrine they taught, and its spiritual power, as attested by its effect upon communities and individuals.

                3rd.  By the miracles they wrought.—Hebrews 2:4; Acts 14:3; Mark 16:20.

                4th.  All these testimonies are accredited to us not only by their own writings, but also by the uniform testimony of the early Christians, their contemporaries, and their immediate successors.

                12. Show that the writers of the Old Testament claim to be inspired.

                1st.  Moses claimed that he wrote a part at least of the Pentateuch by divine command.—Deuteronomy 31:19–22; 34:10; Numbers 16:28,29. David claimed it.—2 Samuel 23:2.

                2nd.  As a characteristic fact, the Old Testament writers speak not in their own name, but preface their messages with, "Thus saith the Lord," The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it," etc.—Jeremiah 9:12; 13:13; 30:4; Isaiah 8:l; 33:10; Micah 4:4; Amos 3:1; Deuteronomy 18:21,22; 1 Kings 21:28; 1 Chronicles 17:3.—Dr. Hodge.

                13. How was their claim confirmed?

                1st.  Their claim was confirmed to their contemporaries by the miracles they wrought by the fulfillment of many of their predictions (Numbers 16:28,29), by the holiness of their lives. the moral and spiritual perfection of their doctrine, and the practical adaptation of the religious system they revealed to the urgent wants of men.

                2nd.  Their claim is confirmed to us principally— (1) By the remarkable fulfillment, in far subsequent ages, of many of their prophecies. (2) By the evident relation of the symbolical religion which they promulgated to the facts and doctrines of Christianity, proving a divine preadjustment of the type to the antitype. (3) By the endorsement of Christ and his apostles.

                14. What are the formulas by which quotations from the Old Testament are introduced into theNew, and how do these forms of expression prove the inspiration of the ancient Scriptures?

                "The Holy Ghost saith," Hebrews 3:7. "The Holy Ghost this signifying," Hebrews 9:8. "God saith," Acts 2:17, and Isaiah 44:3; 1 Corinthians 9:9,10, and Deuteronomy 25:4. "The Scriptures saith.," Romans 4:3; Galatians 4:30. "It is written," Luke 18:31; 21:22; John 2:17; 20:31. "The Lord by the mouth of his servant David says," Acts 4:25, and Psalm 2:1,2. "The Lord limiteth in David a certain day, saying," Hebrews 4:7; Psalm 95:7. "David in spirit says," Matthew 22:43, and Psalm 110:1.

                Thus these Old Testament writings are what God saith, what God saith by David, etc., and are quoted as the authoritative basis for conclusive argumentation; therefore they must have been inspired.

                15. How may the Inspiration of the Old Testament writers be proved by the express declarations ofthe New Testament?

                Luke 1:70; Hebrews 1:1; 2 Timothy 3:16;1 Peter 1:10–12; 2 Peter 1:21.

                16. What is the argument on this subject drawn from the manner in which Christ and his apostlesargue from the Old Testament as of final authority?

                Christ constantly quotes the Old Testament, Matthew 21:13; 22:43. He declares that it cannot be falsified, John 7:23; 10:35; that the whole law must be fulfilled, Matthew 5:18; and all things also foretold concerning himself "in Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms," Luke 24:44. The apostles habitually quote the Old Testament in the same manner, "That it might be fulfilled which was written," is with them a characteristic formula, Matthew 1:22; 2:15,17,23; John 12:38; 15:25; etc. They all appeal to the words of Scripture as of final authority. This certainly proves infallibility.


                17. What evidence do the Phenomena of the Scriptures afford as to nature and extent of the humancauses conspiring to produce them?

                Every part of Scripture alike bears evidence of a human origin. the writers of all the books were men, and the process of composition through which they originated was characteristically human. The personal characteristics of thought and feeling of these writers have acted spontaneously in their literary activity, and have given character to their writings in a manner precisely similar to the effect of character upon writing in the case of other men. They wrote from human impulses, on special occasions, with definite design. Each views his subject from an individual standpoint. They gather their material from all sources—personal experience and observation, ancient documents, and contemporary testimony. They arrange their material with reference to their special purpose, and draw inferences from principles and facts according to the more or less logical habits of their own minds. Their emotions and imaginations are spontaneously exercised, and follow as co–factors with their reasoning into their compositions. The limitations of their personal knowledge and general mental condition, and the defects of their habits of thought and style, are as obvious in their writings as any other personal characteristics. They use the language and idiom proper to their nation and class. They adopt the usus loquendi  of terms current among their people, without committing themselves to the philosophical ideas in which the usage          originated. Their mental habits and methods were those of their nation and generation. They were for the most part Orientals, and hence their writings abound with metaphor and symbol; and although always reliable in statement as far as required for their purpose they never aimed at the definiteness of enumeration, or chronological or circumstantial narration, which characterizes the statistics of modern western nations. Like all purely literary men of every age, they describe the order and the facts of nature according to their appearances, and not as related to their abstract law or cause.

                Some of these facts have, by many careless thinkers, been supposed to be inconsistent with the asserted fact of divine guidance. But it is evident, upon reflection, that if God is to reveal himself at all, it must be under all the limits of human modes of thought and speech. And if he inspires human agents to communicate his revelation in writing, he must use them in a manner consistent with their nature as rational and spontaneous agents. And it is evident that all the distinctions between the different degrees of perfection in human knowledge, and elegance in human dialect and style, are nothing when viewed in the light of the common relations of man to God. He obviously could as well reveal himself through a peasant as through a philosopher; and all the better when the personal characteristics of the peasant were providentially and graciously preadjusted to the special end designed.

                18. What evidence do the Phenomena of the Scriptures afford as to the nature and extent of thedivine agency exercised in their production?

                1st.  Every part of Scripture affords moral and spiritual evidence of its divine origin. This is, of course, more conspicuous in some portions than in others. There are transcendent truths revealed, a perfect morality, an unveiling of the absolute perfections of the Godhead, a foresight of future events, a heart searching and rein–trying knowledge of the secrets of the human soul, a light informing the reason and an authority binding the conscience, a practical grasp of all the springs of human experience and life, all of which can only have originated in a divine source. These are characteristics of a large portion of the Scriptures, and of the Scriptures alone in all literature, and together with the accompanying witness of the Holy Ghost, these are practically the evidences upon which the faith of a majority of believers rests.

                2nd.  But another characteristic of the Scriptures, taken in connection with the foregoing, proves incontestably their divine origin as a whole and in every part. The sacred Scriptures are an organism, that is a whole composed of many parts, the parts all differing in matter, form, and structure from each other, like the several members of the human body, yet each adjusted to each other and to the whole, through the most intricate and delicate correlations mediating a common end. Scripture is the record and interpretation of redemption. Redemption is a work which God has prepared and wrought out by many actions in succession through an historical process occupying centuries. A supernatural providence has flowed forward evolving a system of divine interventions, accompanied and interpreted by a supernaturally informed and guided order of prophets. Each writer has his own special and temporary occasion, theme, and audience. And yet each contributed to build up the common organism, as the providential history has advanced, each special writing beyond its temporary purpose taking permanent place as a member of the whole, the gospel fulfilling the law, antitype has answered to type and fulfillment to prophecy, history has been interpreted by doctrine, and doctrine has given law to duty and to life. The more minutely the contents of each book are studied in the light of its special purpose, the more wonderfully various and exact will its articulations in the general system and ordered structure of the whole be discovered to be. This is the highest conceivable evidence of design, which in the present case is the proof of a divine supernatural influence comprehending the whole, and reaching to every part, through sixteen centuries, sixty–six distinct writings, and about forty cooperating human agents. Thus the divine agency in the genesis of every part of Scripture is as clearly and certainly determined as it is in the older genesis of the heavens and the earth.

                19. What is the objection to this doctrine drawn from the free manner in which the New Testamentwriters quote those of the Old Testament, and the answer to that objection?

                In a majority of instances the New Testament writers quote those of the Old Testament with perfect verbal accuracy. Sometimes they quote the Septuagint version, when it conforms to the Hebrew; at others they substitute a new version; and at other times again they adhere to the Septuagint, when it differs from the Hebrew. In a number of instances, which however are comparatively few, their quotations from the Old Testament are made very freely, and in apparent accommodation of the literal sense.

                Rationalistic interpreters have argued from this last class of quotations that it is impossible that both the Old Testament writer quoted from, and the New Testament writer quoting, could have been the subjects of plenary inspiration, because, say they, if the ipsissima verba  were infallible in the first instance, an infallible writer would have transferred them unchanged. But surely if a human author may quote himself freely, changing the expression, and giving a new turn to his thought in order to adapt it the more perspicuously to his present purpose, the Holy Spirit may take the same liberty with his own. The same Spirit that rendered the Old Testament writers infallible in writing only pure truth, in the very form that suited his purpose then, has rendered the New Testament writers infallible in so using the old materials, that while they elicit a new sense, they teach only the truth, the very truth moreover contemplated in the mind of God from the beginning, and they teach it with divine authority.—See Fairbairn’s "Herm. Manual," Part 3. Each instance of such quotation should be examined in detail, as Dr. Fairbairn has done.

                20. What objection to the doctrine of Plenary Inspiration is drawn from the alleged fact that "Discrepancies" exist in the Scriptural Text? and how is this objection to be answered?

                It is objected that the sacred text contains numerous statements which are inconsistent with other statements made in some part of Scripture itself, or with some certainly ascertained facts of history or of science.

                It is obvious that such a state of facts, even if it could be proved to exist, would not, in opposition to the abundant positive evidence above adduced, avail to disprove the claim that the Scriptures are to some extent and in some degree the product of divine inspiration. The force of the objection would depend essentially upon the number and character of the instances of discrepancy actually proved to exist, and would bear not upon the fact of Inspiration, but upon its nature and degree and extent.

                The fact of the actual existence of any such "discrepancies," it is evident, can be determined only by the careful examination of each alleged case separately. This examination belongs to the departments of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis. The following considerations, however, are evidently well–grounded, and sufficient to allay all apprehension on the subject.

                1st.  The Church has never held the verbal infallibility of our translations, nor the perfect accuracy of the copies of the original Hebrew and Greek Scriptures now possessed by us. These copies confessedly contain many "discrepancies" resulting from frequent transcription. It is, nevertheless, the unanimous testimony of Christian scholars, that while these variations embarrass the interpretation of many details, they neither involve the loss nor abate the evidence of a single essential fact or doctrine of Christianity.

                And it is moreover reassuring to know that believing criticism, by the discovery and collation of more ancient and accurate copies, is constantly advancing the Church to the possession of a more perfect text of the original Scriptures than she has enjoyed since the apostolic age.

                2nd.  The Church has asserted absolute infallibility only of the original autograph copies of the Scriptures as they came from the hands of their inspired writers. And even of these she has not asserted infinite knowledge, but only absolute infallibility in stating the matters designed to be asserted. A "discrepancy," therefore, in the sense in which the new critics affirm and the Church denies its existence, is a form of statement existing in the original text of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures evidently designed to assert as true that which is in plain irreconcilable contradiction to other statements existing in some other portions of the same original text of Scripture, or to some other certainly ascertained element of human knowledge. A "discrepancy" fulfilling in every particular this definition must be proved to exist, or the Church’s doctrine of plenary verbal inspiration remains unaffected.

                3rd.  It is beyond question, that, in the light of all that the Scriptures themselves assert or disclose as to the nature and the extent of the divine influence controlling their genesis, and as to their authority over man’s conscience and life as the voice of God, the existence of any such "discrepancies" as above defined is a violent improbability. Those who assert the existence of one or more of them must bring them out, and prove to the community of competent judges, that all the elements of the above definition meet in each alleged instance, not merely probably, but beyond the possibility of doubt. The onusprobandi rests exclusively on them.

                4th.  But observe that this is for them a very difficult task to perform, one in any instance indeed hardly possible. For to make good their point against the vast presumptions opposed to it, they must prove over and over again in the case of each alleged discrepancy each of the following points:

                (1) That the alleged discrepant statement certainly occurred in the veritable autograph copy of the inspired writing containing it. (2) That their interpretation of the statement, which occasions the discrepancy, is the only possible one, the one it was certainly intended to bear. The difficulty of this will be apprehended when we estimate the inherent obscurity of ancient narratives, unchronological, and fragmentary, with a background and surroundings of almost unrelieved darkness. This condition of things which so often puzzles the interpreter, and prevents the apologist from proving the harmony of the narrative, with equal force baffles all the ingenious efforts of the rationalistic critic to demonstrate the "discrepancy." Yet this he must do, or the presumption will remain that it does not exist. (3) He must also prove that the facts of science or of history, or the Scriptural statements, with which the statement in question is asserted to be inconsistent, are real fact or real parts of the autograph text of canonical Scripture, and that the sense in which they are found to be inconsistent with the statement in question is the only sense they can rationally bear. (4) When the reality of the opposing facts or statements is determined, and their true interpretation is ascertained, then it must, in conclusion, be shown not only that they appear inconsistent, nor merely that their reconciliation is impossible in our present state of knowledge, but that they are in themselves essentially incapable of being reconciled.

                5th.  Finally it is sufficient for the present purpose, to point to the fact that no single case of    "discrepancy," as above defined, has been so proved to exist as to secure the recognition of the community of believing scholars. Difficulties in interpretation and apparently irreconcilable statements exist, but no "discrepancy" has been proved. Advancing knowledge removes some difficulties and discovers others. It is in the highest degree probable that perfect knowledge would remove all.

                21. Explain the meaning of such passages as 1 Corinthians 7:6 and l2 and 40, Romans 3:5 and 6:19,and Galatians 3:15, and show their perfect consistency with the fact of the plenary inspiration ofthe whole Bible.

                "I speak as a man," is a phrase occurring frequently, and its sense is determined by the context. In        Romans 3:5, it signifies that Paul was, for argument’s sake, using the language common to men; it was the Jews’ opinion, not his own. In Romans 6:19, it signifies "in a manner adapted to human comprehension," and in Galatians 3:15, it signifies, "I use an illustration drawn from human affairs," etc. "I speak this by permission, not of commandment."—1 Corinthians 7:6, refers to verse 2. Marriage was always permitted, but under certain circumstances inexpedient. "And unto the married I command, yet not I but the Lord." But to the rest speak: I, not the Lord."—1 Corinthians 7:10and 12. Reference is here made to what the "Lord," that is Christ, taught in person while on earth. The distinction is made between what Christ taught while on earth, and what Paul teaches. As Paul puts his word here on an equal basis of authority with Christ’s word, it of course implies that Paul claims an inspiration which makes his word equal to that of Christ in infallibility and authority.

                "And I think also that I have the Spirit of God."—1 Corinthians 7:40. " Ithink (dokw~) I have, is only, agreeably to Greek usage, an urbane way of saying, I have (cf. Galatians 2:6, 1 Corinthians 12:22). Paul was in no doubt of his being an organ of the Holy Ghost." Hodge, "Comm. on First Corinthians."


                22. State what is meant by theological writers by the inspiration "of superintendence," ofelevation," of direction," and "of suggestion."

                Certain writers on this subject, confounding the distinction between inspiration and revelation, and using the former term to express the whole divine influence of which the sacred writers were the subjects, first, in knowing the truth, second, in writing it, necessarily distinguish between different degrees of inspiration in order to accommodate their theory to the facts of the case. Because, first,  some of the contents of Scripture evidently might be known without supernatural aid, while much more as evidently could not; second,  the different writers exercised their natural faculties, and carried their individual peculiarities of thought, feeling, and manner into their writings.

                By the "inspiration of superintendence," these writers meant precisely what we have above given as the definition of inspiration. By the "inspiration of elevation," they meant that divine influence which exalted their natural faculties to a degree of energy otherwise unattainable.

                By the "inspiration of direction," they meant that divine influence which guided the writers in the selection and disposition of their material.

                By the "inspiration of suggestion," they meant that divine influence which directly suggested to their minds new and otherwise unattainable truth.

                23. What objections may be fairly made to these distinctions?

                1st.  These distinctions spring from a prior failure to distinguish between revelation the frequent, and inspiration the constant, phenomenon presented by Scripture; the one furnishing the material when not otherwise attainable, the other guiding the writer at every point, (1) in securing the infallible truth of all he writes; and (2) in the selection and distribution of his material.

                2nd.  It is injurious to distinguish between different degrees of inspiration, as if the several portions of the Scriptures were in different degrees God’s word, while in truth the whole is equally and absolutely so.


                24. What Principles necessarily lead to the denial of any supernatural Inspiration?

                All philosophical principles or tendencies of thought which exclude the distinction between the natural and the supernatural necessarily lead to the denial of Inspiration in the sense affirmed by the Church.

                These are, for example, all Pantheistic, Materialistic, and Naturalistic principles, and of course Rationalistic principles in all their forms.

                25. In what several forms has the doctrine of a Partial Inspiration of the Scriptures been held?

                1st.  It has been maintained that certain books were the subjects of plenary inspiration, while others were produced with only a natural providential and gracious assistance of God. S. T. Coleridge admitted the plenary inspiration of "the law and the prophets, no jot or tittle of which can pass unfulfilled," while he denied it of the rest of the canon.

                2nd.  Many have admitted that the moral and spiritual elements of the Scriptures, and their doctrines as far as these relate to the nature and purposes of God not otherwise ascertainable, are products of inspiration, but deny it of the historical and biographical elements, and of all its allusions to scientific facts or laws.

                3rd.  Others admit that the inspiration of the writers controlled their thoughts, but deny that it extended to its verbal expression.

                In one, or in all of these senses, different men have held that the Scriptures are only "partially" inspired.

                All such deny that they "ARE the word of God," as affirmed by the Scriptures themselves and by all the historical Churches, and admit merely that they " contain the word of God."

                26. State the doctrine of Gracious Inspiration.

                Coleridge, in his "Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit," Letter 7., holds that the Scriptures, except the Law and the Prophets, were produced by their writers assisted by "the highest degree of that grace and communion with the Spirit which the Church under all circumstances, and every regenerate member of the Church of Christ, is permitted to hope and instructed to pray for." This is the doctrine of Maurice ("Theological Essays," p. 339) and virtually that of Morell ("Philosophy of Religion," p. 186) and of the Quakers. These admit an objective supernatural revelation, and that this is contained in the Scriptures, which are highly useful, and in such a sense an authoritative standard of faith and practice; that no pretended revelation which is inconsistent with Scripture can be true, and that they are a judge in all controversies between Christians. Nevertheless they hold that the Scriptures are only "a secondary rule, subordinate to the Spirit from whom they have all their excellency," which Spirit illumines every man in the world, and reveals to him either with, or without the Scriptures, if they are unknown, all the knowledge of God and of his will which are necessary for his salvation and guidance, on condition of his rendering a constant obedience to that light as thus graciously communicated to him and to all men. "Barclay’s Apology, Theses Theological," Propositions 1., 2., and 3.


                ROMAN CATHOLIC.—" Decrees of Council of Trent, " Sess. 4. "Which gospel . . . our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, first promulgated with his own mouth, and then commanded to be preached by his apostles to every creature, . . . and seeing clearly that this truth and discipline are contained in the written books, and the unwritten tradition, which received by the apostles from the mouth of Christ himself, or from the apostles themselves, the Holy Ghost dictating, have come down even unto us, transmitted as it were from hand to hand: [the Synod] following the example of the orthodox Fathers, receives and venerates with an equal affection of piety and reverence, all the books both of the Old and of the New Testament—seeing God is the author of both—as also the said traditions, as well those appertaining to faith as to morals, as having been dictated, either by Christ’s own word of mouth, or by the Holy Ghost, and preserved in the Catholic Church by a continuous succession." Dogmatic Decrees of the Vatican Council, " 1870, Sess. 3., Ch. 2. "Further this supernatural revelation, according to the universal belief of the Church, declared by the sacred Synod of Trent, is contained in the written books and unwritten traditions which have come down to us, having been received by the apostles from the mouth of Christ himself, or from the apostles themselves, by the dictation of the Holy Spirit, have been transmitted as it were from hand to hand. And these books of the Old and New Testament are to be received as sacred and canonical, in their integrity, with all their parts as they are enumerated in the decree of the said Council, and are contained in the ancient Edition of the Vulgate.

                These the Church holds to be sacred and canonical, not because having been carefully composed by mere human industry, they were afterwards approved by her authority, nor merely because they contain revelation with no admixture of error, but because, having been written by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God for their author, and have been delivered as such to the Church herself."

                LUTHERAN.—" Formula Concordia Epitome. " 1. "We believe, confess, and teach that the only rule and norm, according to which all dogmas and all doctors ought to be esteemed and judged, is no other whatever than the prophetic and apostolic writings of the Old and New Testament, as it is written, Psalm 119:105, and Galatians 1:8."

                REFORMED.—" Second Helvetic Confession, " Ch. 1. Concerning Holy Scripture, "We believe and confess, that the canonical Scriptures of the holy prophets and apostles of each Testament are the true word of God, and that they possess sufficient authority from themselves alone and not from man. For God himself spoke to the fathers, to the prophets and to the apostles, and continues to speak to us through the Holy Scriptures."

                " The Belgic Confession, " Art. 3. "We confess that this word of God was not sent nor delivered by the will of man, but that holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,  as the apostle Peter saith. And that afterwards God, from a special care which he has for us and our salvation, commanded his servants, the prophets and apostles, to commit his revealed word to writing, and he himself wrote with his own finger the two tables of the law. Therefore we call such writings holy and divine Scriptures."

                " Westminster Confession of Faith, " Chap. 1. "Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times and in divers manners, to reveal himself and to declare his will unto his Church; and afterwards, for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the Corruption of the flesh and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing." The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or church, but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the Author thereof; and therefore it is to be received because it is the word of God."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


                (This chapter is compiled from Dr. Hodge’s unpublished "Lectures on the Church.")

                1. What is meant by saying that the Scriptures are the only infallible rule of faith and practice?

                Whatever God teaches or commands is of sovereign authority. Whatever conveys to us an infallible     knowledge of his teachings and commands is an infallible rule. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the only organs through which, during the present dispensation, God conveys to us a knowledge of his will about what we are to believe concerning himself, and what duties he requires of us.

                2. What does the Romish Church declare to be the infallible rule of faith and practice?

                The Romish theory is that the complete rule of faith and practice consists of Scripture and tradition, or the oral teaching of Christ and his apostles, handed down through the Church. Tradition they hold to be necessary, 1st, to teach additional truth not contained in the Scriptures; and, 2nd, to interpret Scripture. The Church being the divinely constituted depository and judge of both Scripture and tradition.—" Decrees of Council of Trent," Session IV, and "Dens Theo.," Tom. 2., N. 80 and 81.

                3. By what arguments do they seek to establish the authority of tradition? By what criterion dothey distinguish true traditions from false, and on what grounds do they base the authority ofthe traditions they receive?

                1st.  Their arguments in behalf of tradition are— (1) Scripture authorizes it, 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 3:6. (2) The early fathers asserted its authority and founded their faith largely upon it. (3) The oral teaching of Christ and his apostles, when clearly ascertained, is intrinsically of equal authority with their writings. The scriptures themselves are handed down to us by the evidence of tradition, and the stream cannot rise higher than its source. (4) The necessity of the case. (a) Scripture is obscure, needs tradition as its interpreter. (b) Scripture is incomplete as a rule of faith and practice; since there are many doctrines and institutions, universally recognized, which are founded only upon tradition as a supplement to Scripture. (5) Analogy. every state recognizes both written and unwritten, common and statute law.

                2nd.  The criterion by which they distinguish between true and false traditions is Catholic consent.

                The Anglican ritualists confine the application of the rule to the first three or four centuries. the Romanists recognize that as an authoritative consent which is constitutionally expressed by the bishops in general council, or by the Pope ex–cathedral, in any age of the church whatever.

                3rd.  They defend the traditions which they hold to be true. (1) On the ground of historical testimony, tracing them up to the apostles as their source. (2) The authority of the Church expressed by Catholic consent.

                4. By what arguments may the invalidity of all ecclesiastical tradition, as a part of our rule offaith and practice, be shown?

                1st.  The Scriptures do not, as claimed, ascribe authority to oral tradition. Tradition, as intended by Paul in the passage cited (2 Thessalonians 2:15, and 3:6), signifies all his instructions, oral and written, communicated to those very people themselves,  not handed down. On the other hand, Christ rebuked this doctrine of the Romanists in their predecessors, the Pharisees, Matthew 15:3,6; Mark 7:7.

                2nd.  It is improbable a priori that God would supplement Scripture with tradition as part of our rule of faith. (1) Because Scripture, as will be shown below (questions 7–14), is certain, definite, complete, and perspicuous. (2) Because tradition, from its very nature, is indeterminate, and liable to become adulterated with every form of error. Besides, as will be shown below (question 20), the authority of Scripture does not rest ultimately upon tradition.

                3rd.  The whole ground upon which Romanists base the authority of their traditions (viz., history and church authority) is invalid. (1) History utterly fails them. For more than three hundred years after the apostles they have very little, and that contradictory, evidence for any one of their traditions.

                They are thus forced to the absurd assumption that what was taught in the fourth century was therefore taught in the third, and therefore in the first. (2) The church is not infallible, as will be shown below (question 18).

                4th.  Their practice is inconsistent with their own principles. Many of the earliest and best attested traditions they do not receive. Many of their pretended traditions are recent inventions unknown to the ancients.

                5th.  Many of their traditions, such as relate to the priesthood, the sacrifice of the mass, etc., are plainly in direct opposition to Scripture. Yet the infallible church affirms the infallibility of Scripture. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

                5. What is necessary to constitute a sole and infallible rule of faith?

                Plenary inspiration, completeness, perspicuity or clarity, and accessibility.

                6. What arguments do the Scriptures themselves afford in favor of the doctrine that they arethe only infallible rule of faith?

                1st.  The Scriptures always speak in the name of God, and command faith and obedience.

                2nd.  Christ and his apostles always refer to the written Scriptures, then existing, as authority, and tono other rule of faith whatsoever. —Luke 16:29; 10:26; John 5:39; Romans 4:3;2 Timothy 3:15.

                3rd.  The Bereans are commended for bringing all questions, even apostolic teaching, to this test.—

                Acts 17:11; see also Isaiah 8:16.

                4th.  Christ rebukes the Pharisees for adding to and perverting the Scriptures.—Matthew 15:7-9; Mark 7:5-8; see also Revelation 22:18, 19, and Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Joshua 1:7.

                7. In what sense is the completeness of Scripture as a rule of faith asserted?

                It is not meant that the Scriptures contain every revelation which God has ever made to man, but that their contents are the only supernatural revelation that God does now make to man, and that this revelation is abundantly sufficient for man’s guidance in all questions of faith, practice, and modes of worship, and excludes the necessity and the right of any human inventions.

                8. How may this completeness be proved, from the design of scripture?

                The Scriptures profess to lead us to God. Whatever is necessary to that end they must teach us. If any supplementary rule, as tradition, is necessary to that end, they must refer us to it. "Incompleteness here would be falsehood." But while one sacred writer constantly refers us to the writings of another, not one of them ever intimates to us either the necessity or the existence of any other rule.—John 20:31; 2 Timothy 3:15-17.

                9. By what other arguments may this principle be proved?

                As the Scriptures profess to be a rule complete for its end, so they have always been practically found to be such by the true spiritual people of God in all ages. They teach a complete and harmonious system of doctrine. They furnish all necessary principles for the government of the private lives of Christians, in every relation, for the public worship of God, and for the administration of the affairs of his kingdom; and they repel all pretended –traditions and priestly innovations.

                10. In what sense do Protestants affirm and Romanists deny the perspicuity of Scripture?

                Protestants do not affirm that the doctrines revealed in the Scriptures are level to man’s powers of understanding. Many of them are confessedly beyond all understanding. Nor do they affirm that every part of Scripture can be certainly and perspicuously expounded, many of the prophesies being perfectly obscure until explained by the event. But they do affirm that every essential article of faith and rule of practice is clearly revealed in Scripture, or may certainly be deduced there from. This much the least instructed Christian may learn at once; while, on the other hand, it is true, that with the advance of historical and critical knowledge, and by means of controversies, the Christian church is constantly making progress in the accurate interpretation of Scripture, and in the comprehension in its integrity of the system therein taught.

                Protestants affirm and Romanists deny that private and unlearned Christians may safely be allowed to interpret Scripture for themselves.

                11. How can the perspicuity of scripture be proved from the fact that it is a law and a message?

                We saw (question 8) that Scripture is either complete or false, from its own professed design. We now prove its perspicuity upon the same principle. It professes to be (1) a law to be obeyed; (2) a revelation of truth to be believed, to be received by us in both aspects upon the penalty of eternal death. To suppose it not to be perspicuous, relatively to its design of commanding and teaching is to charge God with clearing with us in a spirit at once disingenuous and cruel.

                12. In what passages is their perspicuity asserted?

                Psalm 19:7,8; 119:105,130; 2 Corinthians 3:14; 2 Peter 1:18,19; Hebrews 2:2; 2 Timothy 3:15,17.

                13. By what other arguments may this point be established?

                1st.  The Scriptures are addressed immediately, either to all men indiscriminately, or else to the whole body of believers as such.—Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Luke 1:3; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1; 4:2; Galatians 1:2; Ephesians 1:1; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:2; James 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1; 1 John 2:12,14; Jude 1:1; Revelation 1:3,4; 2:7. The only exceptions are the epistles to Timothy and Titus.

                2nd.  All Christians indiscriminately are commanded to search the Scriptures.—2 Timothy 3:15,17; Acts 17:11; John 5:39.

                3rd.  Universal experience. We have the same evidence of the light–giving power of Scripture that we have of the same property in the sun. The argument to the contrary, is an insult to the understanding of the whole world of Bible readers.

                4th.  The essential unity in faith and practice, in spite of all circumstantial differences, of all Christian communities of every age and nation, who draw their religion directly from the open Scriptures.

                14. What was the third quality required to constitute the scriptures the sufficient rule of faithand practice?

                Accessibility. It is self–evident that this is the pre–eminent characteristic of the Scriptures, in contrast to tradition, which is in the custody of a corporation of priests, and to every other pretended rule whatsoever. The agency of the church in this matter is simply to give all currency to the word of God.

                15. What is meant by saying that the Scriptures are the judge as well as the rule in questions offaith?

                "A rule is a standard of judgment; a judge is the expounder and applier of that rule to the decision of particular cases." The Protestant doctrine is—

                1st.  That the Scriptures are the only infallible rule of faith and practice.

                2nd. (1) negatively. That there is no body of men who are either qualified, or authorized, to interpret the Scriptures, or apply their principles to the decision of particular questions, in a sense bindingupon the faith of their fellow Christians.  (2) Positively. That Scripture is the only infallible voice in the church, and is to be interpreted, in its own light, and with the gracious help of the Holy Ghost, who is promised to every Christian (1 John 2:20–27), by each individual for himself; with the assistance, though not by the authority, of his fellow Christians. Creeds and confessions, as to form, bind only those who voluntarily profess them, and as to matter, they bind only so far as they affirm truly what the Bible teaches, and because the Bible does so teach.

                16. What is the Romish doctrine regarding the authority of the church as the infallible

                interpreter of the rule of faith and the authoritative judge of all controversies?

                The Romish doctrine is that the church is absolutely infallible in all matters of Christian faith and practice, and the divinely authorized depository and interpreter of the rule of faith. Her office is not to convey new revelations from God to man, yet her inspiration renders her infallible in disseminating and interpreting the original revelation communicated through the apostles. The church, therefore, authoritatively determines— 1st. What is Scripture? 2nd. What is genuine tradition 3rd. What is the true sense of Scripture and ‘tradition’, and what is the true application of that perfect rule to every particular question of belief or practice. This authority vests in the pope, when acting in his official capacity, and in the bishops as a body, as when assembled in general council, or when giving universal consent to a decree of pope or                 council.—"Decrees of Council of Trent," Session 4.; "Deus Theo.," N. 80, 81, 84, 93, 94, 95, 96. "Bellarmine," Lib. 3., de eccles., cap. 14., and Lib. 2., de council., cap. 2.

                17. By what arguments do they seek to establish this authority?

                1st.  The promises of Christ, given, as they claim, to the apostles, and to their official successor, securing their infallibility, and consequent authority.—Matthew 16:18; 18:18–20; Luke 24:47–49;          John 16:13; 20:23.

                2nd.  The commission given to the church as the teacher of the world.—Matthew 28:19, 20; Luke 10:16, etc.

                3rd.  The church is declared to be "the pillar and ground of the truth," and it is affirmed that "the gates of hell shall never prevail against her."

                4th.  To the church is granted power to bind and loose, and he that will not hear the church is to be treated as a heathen. Matthew 16:19; 18:15–18.

                5th.  The church is commanded to discriminate between truth and error, and must consequently be qualified and authorized to do so—2 Thessalonians 3:6; Romans 16:17; 2 John 10.

                6th.  From the necessity of the case, men need and crave an ever–living, visible, and cotemporaneous infallible Interpreter and Judge.

                7th.  From universal analogy every community among men has the living judge as well as the written law, and the one would be of no value without the other.

                8th.  This power is necessary to secure unity and universality, which all acknowledge to be essential attributes of the true church.

                18. By what arguments may this claim of the Romish church be shown to be utterly baseless?

                1st.  A claim vesting in mortal men a power so momentous can be established only by the most clear and certain evidence, and the failure to produce such converts the claim into a treason at once against God and the human race.

                2nd.  Her evidence fails, because the promises of Christ to preserve his church from extinction and from error do none of them go the length of pledging infallibility. The utmost promised is, that the true people of God shall never perish entirely from the earth, or be left to apostatize from the essentials of the faith.

                3rd. Her evidence fails, because these promises of Christ were addressed not to the officers of the church as such, but to the body of true believers. Compare John 20:23 with Luke 24:33,47,48,49, and 1 John 2:20,27.

                4th.  Her evidence fails, because the church to which the precious promises of the Scriptures are pledged is not an external, visible society, the authority of which is vested in the hands of a perpetual line of apostles. For— (1) the word church ej kklhsi> a is a collective term, embracing the effectually called klhto< i or regenerated.—Romans 1:7; 8:28; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Jude 1:; Revelation 17:14; also Romans 9:24; 1 Corinthians 7:18–24; Galatians 1:15; 2 Timothy 1:9; Hebrews 9:15; 1 Peter 2:9; 5:10; Ephesians 1:18; 2 Peter 1:10. (2) The attributes ascribed to the church prove it to consist alone of the true, spiritual people of God as such.—Ephesians 5:27; 1 Peter 2:5; John 10:27; Colossians 1:18,24. (3) The epistles are addressed to the church, and in their salutations explain that phrase as equivalent to "the called," " the saints," "all true worshippers of God;" witness the salutations of 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Ephesians, Colossians, 1st and 2nd Peter and Jude. The same attributes are ascribed to the members of the true church as such throughout the body of the Epistles.— 1 Corinthians 1:30; 3:16; 6:11,19; Ephesians 2:3–8, and 19–22; 1 Thessalonians 5:4,5; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Colossians 1:21; 2:10; 1 Peter 2:9.

                5th.  The inspired apostles have had no successors. (1) There is no evidence that they had such in the New Testament. (2) While provision was made for the regular perpetuation of the offices of presbyter and deacon (1 Timothy 3:1–13), there are no directions given for the perpetuation of the apostolate. (3) There is perfect silence concerning the continued existence of any apostles in the church in the writings of the early centuries. Both the name and the thing ceased. (4) No one ever claiming to be one of their successors have possessed the "signs of an apostle."—2 Corinthians 12:12; 1 Corinthians 9:1; Galatians 1:1,12; Acts 1:21,22.

                6th.  This claim, as it rests upon the authority of the Pope, is utterly unscriptural, because the Pope is not known to Scripture. As it rests upon the authority of the whole body of the bishops, expressed in their general consent, it is unscriptural for the reasons above shown, and it is, moreover, impracticable, since their universal judgment never has been and never can be impartially collected and pronounced.

                7th.  There can be no infallibility where there is not self– consistency. But as a matter of fact the Papal church has not been self–consistent in her teaching. (1) She has taught different doctrines in different sections and ages. (2) She affirms the infallibility of the holy Scriptures, and at the same time teaches a system plainly and radically inconsistent with their manifest sense; witness the doctrines of the priesthood, the mass, penance, of works, and of Mary worship. Therefore the Church of Rome hides the Scriptures from the people.

                8th.  If this Romish system be true then genuine spiritual religion ought to flourish in her communion, and all the rest of the world ought to be a moral desert. The facts are notoriously the reverse. If; therefore, we admit that the Romish system is true, we subvert one of the principal evidences of Christianity itself; viz., the self–evidencing light and practical power of true religion, and the witness of the Holy Ghost.

                19. By what direct arguments may the doctrine that the Scriptures are the final judge ofcontroversies be established?

                That all Christians are to study the Scriptures for themselves, and that in all questions as to God’s revealed will the appeal is to the Scriptures alone, is proved by the following facts:

                1st.  Scripture is perspicuous, see above, questions 11–13.

                2nd.  Scripture is addressed to all Christians as such, see above, question 13.

                3rd.  All Christians are commanded to search the scriptures, and by them to judge all doctrines and all professed teachers.—John 5:39; Acts 17:11; Galatians 1:8; 2 Corinthians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians           5:21; 1 John 4:1,2.

                4th.  The promise of the Holy Spirit, the author and interpreter of Scripture, is to all Christians as such. Compare John 20:23 with Luke 24:47–49; 1 John 2:20,27; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17.

                5th.  Religion is essentially a personal matter. Each Christian must know and believe the truth explicitly for himself; on the direct ground of its own moral and spiritual evidence, and not on the mere ground of blind authority. Otherwise faith could not be a moral act, nor could it "purify the heart." Faith derives its sanctifying power from the truth which it immediately apprehends on its own experimental evidence.—John 17:17, 19; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:22.

                20. What is the objection which the Romanists make to this doctrine, on the ground that thechurch is our only authority for believing that the scriptures are the word of God?

                Their objection is, that as we receive the scriptures as the word of God only on the authoritative testimony of the church, our faith in the Scriptures is only another form of our faith in the church, and the authority of the church, being the foundation of that of Scripture, must of course be held paramount.

                This is absurd, for two reasons—

                1st.  The assumed fact is false. The evidence upon which we receive Scripture as the word of God is not the authority of the church, but— (1) God did speak by the apostles and prophets, as is evident      (a) from the nature of their doctrine, (b) from their miracles, (c) their prophecies, (d) our personal experience and observation of the power of the truth. (2) These very writings which we possess were written by the apostles, etc., as is evident, (a) from internal evidence, (b) from historical testimony rendered by all competent cotemporaneous witnesses in the church or out of it.

                2nd.  Even if the fact assumed was true, viz., that we know the Scriptures to be from God, on the authority of the church’s testimony alone, the conclusion they seek to deduce from it would be absurd. The witness who proves the identity or primogenitor of a prince does not thereby acquire a right to govern the kingdom, or even to interpret the will of the prince.

                21. How is the argument for the necessity of a visible judge, derived from the diversities ofsects and doctrines among Protestants, to be answered?

                1st.  We do not pretend that the private judgment of Protestants is infallible, but only that when exercised in a humble, believing spirit, it always leads to a competent knowledge of essential truth.

                2nd.  The term Protestant is simply negative, and is assumed by many infidels who protest as much against the Scriptures as they do against Rome. But Bible Protestants, among all their circumstantial differences, are, to a wonderful degree, agreed upon the essentials of faith and practice. Witness their hymns and devotional literature.

                3rd.  The diversity that does actually exist arises from failure in applying faithfully the Protestant principles for which we contend. Men do not simply and without prejudice take their creed from the Bible.

                4th.  The Catholic church, in her last and most authoritative utterance through the Council of Trent, has proved herself a most indefinite Judge. Her doctrinal decisions need an infallible interpreter infinitely more than the Scriptures.

                22. How may it be shown that the Romanist theory, as well as the Protestant, necessarilythrows upon the people the obligation of private judgment?

                Is there a God? Has he revealed himself? Has he established a church? Is that church an infallible teacher? Is private judgment a blind leader? Which of all pretended churches is the true one? Every one of these questions evidently must be settled in the Private judgment of the inquirer, before he can, rationally or irrationally, give up his private judgment to the direction of the self–asserting church. Thus of necessity Romanists appeal to the Scriptures to prove that the Scriptures cannot be understood, and address arguments to the private judgment of men to prove that private judgment is incompetent; thus basing an argument upon that which it is the object of the argument to prove is baseless.

                23. How may it be proved that the people are far more competent to discover what the Bibleteaches than to decide, by the marks insisted upon by the Romanists, which is the true church?

                The Romanists, of necessity, set forth certain marks by which the true church is to be discriminated from all counterfeits. These are (1) Unity (through subjection to one visible head, the Pope); (2) Holiness; (3) Catholicity; (4) Apostolicity, (involving an uninterrupted succession from the apostles of canonically ordained bishops.)—"Cat. of Council of Trent," Part 1., Cap. 10. Now, the comprehension and intelligent application of these marks involve a great amount of learning and intelligent capacity upon the part of the inquirer. He might as easily prove himself to be descended from Noah by an unbroken series of legitimate marriages, as establish the right of Rome to the last mark. Yet he cannot rationally give up the right of studying the Bible for himself until that point is made clear.

                Surely the Scriptures, with their self–evidencing spiritual power, make less exhaustive demands upon the resources of private judgment.


                1st.  AS TO THE INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE.—" Decrees of council of Trent, " Sess. 4.— "Moreover the same sacred and holy Synod ordains and declares, that the said old and Vulgate edition, which, by the lengthened usage of so many ages, has been approved of in the Church, be in public lectures, disputations, sermons, and expositions held as authentic; and that no one is to dare or presume to reject it under any pretext whatever."

                "Furthermore, in order to restrain petulant spirits, it decrees that no one, relying on his own skill shall in matters of faith and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine, wresting the sacred Scripture to his own senses, presume to interpret the said sacred scripture contrary to that sense which holy mother church—whose it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the Holy scriptures—hath held and doth hold, or even contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers; even though such interpretations were never (intended) to be at any time published."

                " Dogmatic Decrees of the Vatican council, " ch. 2.—"And as the things which the holy Synod of Trent decreed for the good of souls concerning the interpretation of Divine Scripture, in order to curb rebellious spirits, have been wrongly explained by some, we, renewing the said decree, declare this to be their sense, that, in matters of faith and morals, appertaining to the building up of Christian doctrine, that is to be held as the true sense of Holy Scripture which our holy mother Church hath held and holds, to whom it belongs to judge of the true sense of the Holy Scripture; and therefore that it is permitted to no one to interpret the sacred scripture contrary to this sense, nor, likewise contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers. "

                2nd.  AS TO TRADITION.—" Prof. Fidei Tridentinœ"—(AD. 1564) 2. and 3. "I most steadfastly admit and embrace apostolic and ecclesiastic traditions, and all other observances and constitutions of the same Church. I also admit the Holy scriptures, according to that sense which our holy mother Church has held and does hold, to which it belongs to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the Scriptures, neither will I ever take and interpret them otherwise than according, to the unanimous consent of the Fathers."

                " Council ofTrent," Sess. 4.—"And seeing clearly that this truth and discipline are contained in the written books, and the unwritten traditions which, received by the apostles from the mouth of Christ himself or from the apostles themselves the Holy Ghost dictating, have come down even unto us transmitted as it were from hand to hand."

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CHAPTER 6: A Comparison of Systems

                In this chapter will be presented a brief sketch of the main contrasting positions of the three rival systems of Pelagianism, Semipelagianism, and Augustinianism, or as they are denominated in their more completely developed forms, Socinianism, Arminianism, and Calvinism—together with an outline of the history of their rise and dissemination.

                1. What, in general, was the state of theological thought during the first three centuries?

                During the first three hundred years which elapsed after the death of the apostle John the speculative minds of the church were principally engaged in defending the truth of Christianity against unbelievers—in combating the Gnostic heresies generated by the leaven of Oriental philosophy—and in settling definitely the questions which were evolved in the controversies concerning the Persons of the Trinity. It does not appear that any definite and consistent statements were made in that age, as to the origin, nature, and consequences of human sin; nor as to the nature and effects of divine grace; nor of the nature of the redemptive work of Christ, or of the method of its application by the Holy Spirit, or of its appropriation by faith. As a general fact it may be stated, that, as a result of the great influence of Origen, the Fathers of the Greek Church pretty unanimously settled down upon a loose Semipelagianism, denying the guilt  of original sin, and maintaining the ability of the sinner to predispose himself for, and to cooperate with divine grace. And this has continued the character of the Greek Anthropology to the present day. The same attributes characterized the speculations of the earliest writers of the Western Church also, but during the third and fourth centuries there appeared a marked tendency among the Latin Fathers to those more correct views afterwards triumphantly vindicated by the great Augustine. This tendency may be traced most clearly in the writings of Tertullian of Carthage, who died circum. 220, and Hilary of Poitiers (†368) and Ambrose of Milan (†397).

                2. By what means has the Church made advances in the clear discrimination of divine truth? And in what ages, and among what branches of the Church, have the great doctrines of the Trinity and Person of Christ, of sin and grace, and of redemption and the application thereof been severally defined?

                The Church has always advanced toward clearer conceptions and more accurate definitions of divine truth through a process of active controversy. And it has pleased Providence that the several great departments of the system revealed in the inspired Scriptures should have been most thoroughly discussed, and clearly defined in different ages, and in the bosom of different nations.

                Thus the profound questions involved in the departments of Theology proper and of Christology were investigated by men chiefly of Greek origin, and they were authoritatively defined in Synods held in the Eastern half of the General Church during the fourth and immediately following centuries. As concerns THEOLOGY the consubstantial divinity of Christ was defined in the Council of Nice, 325, and the Personality and divinity of the Holy Ghost in the first Council of Constantinople, 381; the Filioque clause being added by the Latins at the Council of Toledo, 589. As concerns Christology.  The Council of Ephesus, 431, asserted the personal unity of the Theanthropos.

                The Council of Chalcedon, 451, asserted that the two natures remain distinct. The sixth Council of Constantinople, 680, asserted that the Lord possessed a human as well as a divine will. These decisions have been accepted by the whole Church, Greek and Roman, Lutheran and Reformed.

                The questions concerning sin and grace embraced under the general head of anthropology were in the first instance most thoroughly investigated by men of Latin origin, and definite conclusions were first reached in the controversy of Augustine with Pelagius in the first half of the Fifth century.

                Questions concerning redemption, and the method of its application, embraced under the grand division of soteriology, were never thoroughly investigated until the time of the Reformation and subsequently by the great theologians of Germany and Switzerland.

                Many questions falling under the grand division of Ecclesiology even yet await their complete solution in the future.

                3. What are the three great systems of theology which have always continued to prevail in thechurch?

                Since the revelation given in the Scriptures embraces a complete system of truth, every single department must sustain many obvious relations, logical and otherwise, to every other as the several parts of one whole. The imperfect development, and the defective or exaggerated conception of any one doctrine, must inevitably lead to confusion and error throughout the entire system. For example, Pelagian views as to man’s estate by nature always tend to coalesce with Socinian views as to the Person and work of Christ. And Semipelagian views as to sin and grace are also irresistibly attracted by, and in turn attract Armenian views as to the divine attributes, the nature of the Atonement, and the work of the Spirit.

                There are, in fact, as we might have anticipated, but two complete self–consistent systems of Christian theology possible.

                1st. On the right hand, Augustinianism completed in Calvinism. 2nd. On the left hand, Pelagianism completed in Socinianism. And 3rd. Arminianism comes between these as the system of compromises and is developed Semipelagianism.

                In the common usage of terms Socinianism is principally applied as the designation of those elements of the false system which relate to the Trinity of the Person of Christ; the terms Pelagianism and Semipelagianism are applied to the more extreme or the more moderate departures from the truth under the head of Anthropology; and the term Arminianism is used to designate the less extreme errors concerned with the Department of soteriology.

                4. When, where, and by whom were the fundamental principles of the two great antagonistic schools of theology first clearly discriminated?

                The contrasted positions of the Augustinian and Pelagian systems were first taught out and defined through the controversies maintained by the eminent men whose name they bear, during the first third of the fifth century.

                Augustine was bishop of Hippo in Northern Africa from AD. 395 to AD. 430. Pelagius, whose family name was Morgan, was a British monk. He was assisted in his controversies by his disciples Coelestius and Julian of Eclanum in Italy.

                The positions maintained by Pelagius were generally condemned by the representatives of the whole Church, and have ever since been held by all denominations, except professed Socinians, to be fatal heresy. They were condemned by the two councils held at Carthage AD. 407 and AD. 416, by the

                Council held at Milevum in Numidia AD. 416; by the popes Innocent and Zosimus, and by the Ecumenical Council held at Ephesus AD. 431. This speedy and universal repudiation of Pelagianism proves that while the views of the early Fathers upon this class of questions were very imperfect, nevertheless the system taught by Augustine must have been in all essentials the same with the faith of the Church as a whole from the beginning.

                5. State in contrast the main distinguishing positions of the Augustinian and Pelagian systems.

                " 1st.  As to ORIGINAL SIN. " 1

                " Augustinianism.  By the sin of Adam, in whom all men together sinned, sin and all the other positive punishments of Adam’s sin came into the world. By it human nature has been both physically and morally corrupted. Every man brings into the world with him a nature already so corrupt, that it can do nothing but sin. The propagation of this quality of his nature is by concupiscence.

                Pelagianism.  By his transgression, Adam injured only himself, not his posterity. In respect to his moral nature, every man is born in precisely the same condition in which Adam was created. There is therefore no original sin."

                " 2nd.  As to FREE WILL."

                " Augustinianism.  By Adam’s transgression the Freedom of the human Will has been entirely lost. In his present corrupt state man can will and do only evil.

                Pelagianism.  Man’s will is free. Every man has the power to will and to do good as well as the opposite. Hence it depends upon himself whether he be good or evil."

                " 3rd.  As to GRACE."

                " Augustinianism.  If nevertheless man in his present state, wills and does good, it is merely the work of grace. It is an inward, secret, and wonderful operation of God upon man. It s a preceding as well as an accompanying work. By preceding grace, man attains faith, by which he comes to an insight of good, and by which power is given him to will the good. He needs cooperating grace for the performance of every individual good act. As man can do nothing without grace, so he can do nothing against it. It is irresistible. And as man by nature has no merit at all, no respect at all can be had to man’s moral disposition, in imparting grace, but God acts according to his own free will.

                Pelagianism.  Although by free will, which is a gift of God, man has the capacity of willing and doing good without God’s special aid, yet for the easier performance of it, God revealed the law; for the easier performance, the instruction and example of Christ aid him; and for the easier performance, even the supernatural operations of grace are imparted to him. Grace, in the most limited sense (gracious influence) is given to those only who deserve it by the faithful employment of their own powers. But man can resist it.

                " 4th.  As to PREDESTINATION AND REDEMPTION."

                " Augustinianism.  From eternity, God made a free and unconditional decree to save a few 2 from the mass that was corrupted and subjected to damnation. To those whom he predestinated to this salvation, he gives the requisite means for the purpose. But on the rest, who do not belong to this small number of the elect, the merited ruin falls. Christ came into the world and died for the elect only.

                Pelagianism.  God’s decree of election and reprobation is founded on prescience. Those of whom God foresaw that they would keep his commands, he predestinated to salvation; the others to damnation. Christ’s redemption is general. But those only need his atoning death who have actually sinned. All, however, by his instruction and example, may be led to higher perfection and virtue."

                6. What was the origin of the Middle or Semipelagian system?

                In the meantime, while the Pelagian controversy was at its height, John Cassian, of Syrian extractionand educated in the Eastern Church, having removed to Marseilles, in France, for the purpose of advancing the interests of monkery in that region, began to give publicity to a scheme of doctrine occupying a middle position between the systems of Augustine and Pelagius. This system, whose advocates were called Massilians from the residence of their chief, and afterward Semipelagians by the Schoolmen, is in its essential principles one with that system which is now denominated Arminianism, a statement of which will be given in a subsequent part of this chapter. Faustus, bishop of Riez, in France, from AD. 427 to AD. 480, was one of the most distinguished and successful advocates of this doctrine, which was permanently accepted by the Eastern Church, and for a time was widely disseminated throughout the Western also, until it was condemned by the synods of        Orange and Valence, AD. 529.

                7. What is the relation of Augustinianism to Calvinism and of Semipelagianism to


                After this time Augustinianism became the recognized orthodoxy of the Western Church, and the name of no other uninspired man exerts such universal influence among Papists and Protestants alike. If any human name ought to be used to designate a system of divinely revealed truth, the phrase Augustinianism as opposed to Pelagianism properly designates all those elements of faith which the whole world of Evangelical Christians hold in common. On the other hand Augustinianism as opposed to Semipelagianism properly designates that system commonly called Calvinism—while Cassianism would be the proper historical designation of that Middle or Semipelagian Scheme now commonly styled Arminianism.

                8. How were parties divided with respect to these great systems among the Schoolmen, andhow are they in the modern papal Church?

                After the lapse of the dark ages, during which all active speculation slumbered, the great Thomas Aquinas, an Italian by birth, AD. 1224, and a monk of the order of St. Dominic, Doctor Angelicus, advocated with consummate ability the Augustinian system of theology in that cumbrous and artificial manner which characterized the Schoolmen. John Duns Scotus, a native of Britain, AD. 1265, a monk of the order of St. Francis, Doctor Subtilis, was in that age the ablest advocate of the system then styled Semipelagian. The controversies then revived were perpetuated for many ages, the Dominicans and the Thomists in general advocating unconditional election and efficacious grace, and the Franciscans and the Scotists in general advocating conditional election and the inalienable power of the human will to cooperate with or to resist divine grace. The same disputes under various party names continue to agitate the Romish Church since the Reformation, although the genius of her ritualistic system, and the predominance of the Jesuits in her councils, have secured within her         bounds the almost universal prevalence of Semipelagianism.

                The general Council, commenced at Trent, AD. 1546, attempted to form a non–committal Creed that would satisfy the adherents of both systems. Accordingly the Dominicans and Franciscans have both claimed that their respective views were sanctioned by that Synod. The truth is that while the general and indefinite statements of doctrine to be found among its canons are often Augustinian in form, the more detailed and accurate explanations which follow these are uniformly Semipelagian.—Principal Cunningham’s "Historical Theology" vol. 1, pp. 483–495.

                The order of the Jesuits, founded by Ignatius Loyola, AD. 1541, has always been identified with Semipelagian Theology. Lewis Molina, a Spanish Jesuit, AD. 1588, the inventor of the distinction denoted by the term "Scientia Media," attained to such distinction as its advocate, that its adherents in the Papal Church have been for ages styled Molinists. In 1638 Jansenius, Bishop of Ypres in the Netherlands died leaving behind him his great work, Augustinus, wherein he clearly unfolded and established by copious extracts the true theological system of Augustine. This book occasioned very widespread contentions, was ferociously opposed by the Jesuits, and condemned by the Bulls of popes Innocent X. and Alexander VII., AD. 1653 and 1656—which last were followed in 1713 by the more celebrated Bull " imigenitus" of Clement XI., condemning the New Testament Commentary of Quesnel. The Augustinians in that Church were subsequently called Jansenists, and had their principal seat in Holland and Belgium and at Port Royal near Paris. They have numbered among them some very illustrious names, as Tillemont, Arnauld, Nicole Pascal, and Quesnel. These controversies between the Dominicans and Molinists, the Jansenists and Jesuits, have continued even to our own time, although at present Semipelagianism shares with Jesuitism in its almost unlimited sway in the Papal Church, which has definitely triumphed in the Vatican council, 1870.

                9. What is the position of the Lutheran church with relation to these great systems?

                Luther, a monk of the order of Augustine, and an earnest disciple of that father, taught a system of faith agreeing in spirit and in all essential points with that afterwards more systematically developed by Calvin. The only important point in which he differed from the common consensus of the                 Calvinistic Churches related to the literal physical presence of the entire person of Christ in, with, and under the elements in the Eucharist. With these opinions of Luther Melanchthon appears to have agreed at the time he published the first edition of his "Loci Communes." His opinions, however, as to the freedom of man and the sovereignty of divine grace were subsequently gradually modified.

                After the death of Luther, at the Leipsic Conference in 1548, he explicitly declared his agreement with the Synergists, who maintain that in the regenerating act the human will cooperates with divine grace. Melanchthon, on the other hand, held a view of the relation of the sign to the grace signified thereby in the Sacraments, much more nearly conforming to opinions of the disciples of ingli and Calvin than generally prevailed in his own Church. His position on both these points gave great offense to the Old Lutherans, and occasioned protracted and bitter controversies. finally, the Old or Strict Lutheran party prevailed over their antagonists, and their views received a complete scientific statement in the "Formula Concordiae" published 1580. Although this remarkable document never attained a position by the side of the Augsburg Confession and Apology as the universally recognized Confession of the Lutheran Churches, it may justly be taken as the best available witness as to what strictly Lutheran theology when developed into a complete system really is.

                The Characteristics of Lutheran theology as contrasted with that of the Reformed Churches may be briefly stated under the following heads:

                1st.  As to THEOLOGY proper and CHRISTOLOGY the only points in which it differs from

                Calvinism are the following:

                (1) As to the divine attributes of sovereign foreordination, they hold that as far as it is concerned with the actions of moral agents it is limited to those actions which see morally good, while it sustains no determining relation to those which are bad. God foreknows all events of whatever kind; he foreordains all the actions of necessary agents, and the good actions of free agents—but nothing else.

                (2) As to Christology, they hold that in virtue of the hypostatical union the human element of Christ’s person partakes with the divine in at least some of its peculiar attributes. Thus his human soul shares in the omniscience and omnipotence of his divinity, and his body in its omnipresence, and together they have the power of giving life to the truly believing recipient of the sacrament.

                2nd.  As to ANTHROPOLOGY, they hold views identical with those held by the staunchest advocates of the Reformed theology—for instance the antecedent and immediate imputation of Adam’s public sin; the total moral depravity of all his descendants from birth and by nature, and their absolute inability to do aright in their own strength anything which pertains to their relation to God.

                3rd.  As to the Great central elements of SOTERIOLOGY, they agree with the Reformed with great exactness as to the nature and necessity of the expiatory work of Christ; as to forensic justification through the imputation to the believer of both the active and passive obedience of Christ; as to the nature and office of justifying faith; as to the sole agency of divine grace in the regeneration of the sinner, with which, in the first instance, the dead soul is unable to cooperate; as to God’s eternal and sovereign election of believers in Christ, not because of anything foreseen in them, but because of his own gracious will—and consequently as to the fact that the salvation of every soul really saved is to be attributed purely and solely to the grace of God, and not in any degree to the cooperating will or merit of the man himself.

                At the same time they teach, with obvious logical inconsistency, that the grace of the gospel is in divine intention absolutely universal. Christ died equally and in the same sense for all men. He gives grace alike to all men. Those who are lost are lost because they resist the grace. Those who are saved owe their salvation simply to the grace they have in common with the lost—to the very same grace—not to a greater degree of grace nor to a less degree of sin—not to their own improvement of grace, but simply to the grace itself. According to them God sovereignly elects all those who are saved, but he does not sovereignly pass over those who are lost. He gives the same grace to all men, and the difference is determined persistent resistance of those who are lost.

                The grand distinction of Lutheranism however relates to their doctrine of the EUCHARIST. They hold to the real physical presence of the Lord in the Eucharist, in, with, and under the elements, and that the grace signified and conveyed by the sacraments is necessary to salvation, and conveyed ordinarily by no other means. Hence the theology and church life of the strict Lutherans center in the sacraments. They differ from the high sacramental party in the Episcopal church chiefly in the fact that they ignore the dogma of apostolic succession, and the traditions of the early church.

                10. Into what two great parties has the Protestant world always been divided?

                The whole Protestant world from the time of the Reformation has been divided into two great families of churches classified severally as LUTHERAN, or those whose character was derived from Luther and Melanchthon; and as reformed or those who have received the characteristic impress of Calvin. The LUTHERAN family of churches comprises all of those Protestants of Germany, of Hungary, and the Baltic provinces of Russia, who adhere to the Augsburg confession, together with the national churches of Denmark and of Norway and Sweden, and the large denomination of the name in America. These are estimated as amounting to a population of about twenty–five million pure Lutherans, while the Evangelical Church of Prussia, which was formed of a political union of the adherents of the two confessions, embraces probably eleven–and–a–half million. Their Symbolical Books are the Augsburg Confession and Apology, the Articles of Smalcald, Luther’s Larger and Smaller Catechism, and, as received by the Stricter party, the Formula Concordiæ.

                The CALVINISTIC or REFORMED churches embrace, in the strict usage of the term, all those Protestant Churches which derive their Theology from Geneva; and among these, because of obvious qualifying conditions, the Episcopal Churches of England, Ireland, and America form a subdivision by themselves; and the Wesleyan Methodists, who are usually classed among the Reformed because they were historically developed from that stock, are even yet more distinctly than the parent church of England removed from the normal type of the general class. In a general sense, however, this class comprises all those churches of Germany which subscribe to the Heidelburg Catechism, the churches of Switzerland, France, Holland, England, and Scotland, the Independents and Baptists of England and America, and the various branches of the Presbyterian Church in England, Ireland, and America.

                These embrace about eight million German Reformed in the Reformed church of Hungary; twelve million and a half Episcopalians; Presbyterians six million; Methodists, three million and a half; Baptists, four million and a half; and independents’ one million and a half;––in all about thirty-eight millions.

                The principal confessions of the Reformed Church are the Gallic, Belgic, 2nd Helvetic, and Scotch Confessions; the Heidelburg Catechism; the Thirty–nine Articles of the Church of England; the Canons of the Synod of Dort, and the Confession and Catechisms [larger - shorter]of the Westminster Assembly.

                11. State the Origin of the Unitarian Heresy.

                In the early church the Ebionites,  a Jewish–Gnostic Christian sect, were the only representatives of those in modern times called Socinians. A party among them were called Elkesaites. Their ideas, with special modifications, are found expressed in the Clementine "Homilies," written about AD. 150 in Oriental Syria. The most distinguished humanitarians in the early church were the two Theodotuses of Rome, both laymen, Artemon (†180) and Paul of Samosata, bishop of Antioch (260–270), deposed by a Council held 269. Most of these admitted the supernatural birth of Christ, but maintained that he was a mere man, honored by a special divine influence. They admitted an apotheosis or relative deification of Christ consequent upon his earthly achievements. (Dr. E. De Pressensé, "Early Years of Christianity" Part 3, bk. 1, chs. 3 and 5).

                Cerinthus, who lived during the last of the first and the first of the second century, held that Jesus was a mere man born of Mary and Joseph, that the Christ or Logos came down upon him in the shape of a dove at his baptism when he was raised to the dignity of the son of God, and wrought miracles, etc. The Logos left the man Jesus to suffer alone at his crucifixion. The resurrection also was denied.

                They were succeeded by the Arians in the fourth century. During the Middle Ages there remained no party within the church that openly denied the supreme divinity of our Lord. In modern times Unitarianism revived at the period the Reformation through the agency of Laelius Socinus of Italy. It was carried by him into Switzerland and existed there as a doctrine professed by a few conspicuous heretics from 1525 to 1560. The most prominent of its professors were the Socini, Servetus, and Ochino. It existed as an organized church at Racow in Poland, where the exiled heretics found a refuge from 1539 to 1658, when the Socinians were driven out of Poland by the Jesuits, and passing into Holland became absorbed in the Remonstrant or Armenian Churches. In 1609 Schmetz drew up from materials afforded by the teaching of Faustus Socinus, the nephew of Laelius, and of J. Crellius, the Racovian Catechism, which is the standard of Socinianism (see Ree’s translation, 1818.) After their dispersion Andrew Wissowatius and others collected the most important writings of their leading theologians under the title "Bibliotheca Fratrum Polonorum." Socinianism was developed by these writers with consummate ability, and crystallized into its most perfect form, as a logical system. It is purely Unitarian in its theology— Humanitarian in its Christology, Pelagian  in its Anthropology— and its Soteriology  was developed in perfect logical and ethical consistency with those elements. A statement of its characteristic positions will be found below.

                It reappeared again as a doctrine held by a few isolated men in England in the seventeenth century.    During the eighteenth century a number of degenerate Presbyterian (churches in England lapsed into Socinianism, and towards the end of the same century a larger number of Congregational Churches in Eastern Massachusetts followed their example and these together constitute the foundation of the modern Unitarian Denomination. " Its last form is a modification of the old Socinianism formed under the pressure of evangelical religion on the one hand, and of rationalistic criticism on the other. Priestley, Channing, and J. Martineau are the examples of the successive phases of Modern Unitarianism. Priestley, of the old Socinian– building itself upon a sensational philosophy; Channing, of an attempt to gain a large development of the spiritual element; Martineau, of the elevation of view induced by the philosophy of Cousin, and the introduction of the idea of historical progress in religious ideas."–"Farrar’s Crit.              Hist. of Free Thought," Bampton Lecture, 1862.

                12. At what date and under what circumstances did modern Arminianism arise?

                James Arminius, professor of theology in the university of Leyden from 1602 until his death in 1609, although a minister of the Calvinistic Church of Holland, at first secretly, and afterwards more openly, advocated that scheme of theological opinion which has ever subsequently been designated by his name. These views were rapidly diffused, and at the same time strongly opposed by the principal men in the church. His disciples, consequently, about a year after his death formed    themselves into an organized party. and in that capacity presented a Remonstrance  to the States of Holland and West Friesland, praying to be allowed to hold their places in the church without being subjected by the ecclesiastical courts to vexatious examinations as to their orthodoxy. From the fact that the utterance of this Remonstrance was their first combined act as a party, they were afterwards known in history as Remonstrants.

                Soon after this the Remonstrants, for the sake of defining their position, presented to the authorities five Articles expressing their belief on the subject of Predestination and Grace. This is the origin of the famous "five Points" in the controversy between Calvinism and Arminianism. Very soon however the controversy took a much wider range, and the Armenians were forced by logical consistency to teach radically erroneous views with respect to the nature of; sin, original sin, imputation, the nature of the Atonement, and Justification by faith. some of their later writers carried the rationalistic spirit inherent in their system to its legitimate results in a hardly qualified Plagiarism, and some were even suspected of Socinianism.

                As all other means had failed to silence the innovators, the States General called together a General Synod at Dort in Holland, which held its sessions in the year 1618–1619. It consisted of pastors, elders, and theological professors from the churches of Holland, and deputies from the churches of England Scotland, Hesse, Bremen, the Palatinate and Switzerland:the promised attendance of delegates from the French churches being prevented by an interdict of their king. The foreign  delegates present were nineteen Presbyterians from Reformed churches on the Continent, and one from Scotland, and four Episcopalians from the church of England headed by the bishop of Llandaff.

                This Synod unanimously condemned the doctrines of the Armenians, and in their Articles confirmed the common Calvinistic faith of the Reformed churches. The most distinguished Remonstrant Theologians who succeeded Arminius were Episcopius, Curcellaeus, Limborch, Le Clerc, Wetstein, and the illustrious jurisconsult Grotius.

                The denomination of Methodists in Great Britain and America is the only large Protestant body in the world it an avowedly Armenian Creed. Their Arminianism, however as presented by their standard writer, Richard Watson, an incomparably more competent theologian than Wesley, is far less removed from the Calvinism of the Westminster Assembly than the system of the later Remonstrants, and should always be designated by the qualified phrase " Evangelical Arminianism." In the hands of Watson the Anthropology and Soteriology of Arminianism are in a general sense nearly assimilated to the corresponding provinces of Lutheranism, and of the Calvinism of Baxter, and of the French School of the seventeenth century.

                13. Give an outline of the main positions of the Socinian System.


                1st.  Divine Unity.

                (a) This unity inconsistent with any personal distinctions in the Godhead.

                (b) Christ is a mere man.

                (c) The Holy Ghost is an impersonal divine influence.

                2nd.  Divine Attributes.

                (a) There is no principle of vindicatory justice in God. Nothing to prevent his acceptance of sinners on the simple ground of repentance.

                (b) Future contingent events are essentially unknowable. The foreknowledge of God does not extend to such events.


                (a) Man was created without positive moral character. The " image of God , " in which man was said to be created did not include holiness.

                (b) Adam in eating the forbidden fruit committed actual sin, and thereby incurred the divine displeasure, but he retained nevertheless the same moral nature and tendencies with which he was created, and he transmitted these intact to his posterity.

                (c) The guilt of Adam’s sin is not imputed.

                (d) Man is now as able by nature to discharge all his obligations as he ever was. The circumstances under which man’s character is now formed are more unfavorable than in Adam’s case, and therefore man is weak. But God is infinitely merciful; and obligation is graded by ability. Man was created naturally mortal and would have died had he sinned or not.


                The great object of Christ’s mission was to teach and to give assurance with respect to those truths concerning which the conclusions of mere human reason are problematical. This he does both by doctrine and example.

                1st.  Christ did not execute the office of priest upon earth; but only in heaven, and there in a very indefinite sense.

                2nd.  The main office of Christ was prophetical. He taught a new law. Gave an example of a holy life. Taught the personality of God. And illustrated the doctrine of a future life by his own         resurrection.

                3rd.  His death was necessary only as a condition unavoidably prerequisite to his resurrection. It was also designed to make a moral impression upon sinners, disposing them to repentance on account of sin, and assuring them of the clemency of God. No propitiation of divine justice was necessary, nor would it be possible by means of vicarious suffering.


                1st.  In the intermediate period between death and the resurrection the soul remains unconscious.

                2nd. " For it is evident from the authorities cited, that they (the older Socinians), equally with others’ constantly maintain that there will be a resurrection both of the just and of the unjust, and that the latter shall be consigned to everlasting punishment, but the former admitted to everlasting life."–B. Wissowatius.

                "The doctrine of the proper eternity of hell torments is rejected by most Unitarians of the present day (1818) as in their opinion wholly irreconcilable with the divine goodness, and unwarranted by the Scriptures. In reference to the future fate of the wicked, some hold that after the resurrection they will be annihilated or consigned to ‘everlasting destruction’ in the literal sense of the words: but most have received the doctrine of universal restoration, which maintains that all men, however depraved their characters may have been in this life, will, by a corrective discipline, suited in the measure of its severity to the nature of each particular case, be brought ultimately to goodness and consequently to happiness." ––Rees’s "Racovian Catechism," pp. 367, 368. ECCLESIOLOGY.

                1st.  The church is simply a voluntary society. Its object mutual improvement. Its common bond similarity of sentiments and pursuits. Its rule is human reason.

                2nd. The Sacraments are simply commemorative and teaching ordinances.

                14. Give an outline of the main features of the Arminian System.

                DIVINE ATTRIBUTES.

                1st.  They admit that vindicatory justice is a divine attribute, but hold that it is relaxable, rather optional than essential, rather belonging to administrative policy than to necessary principle.

                2nd. They admit that God foreknows all events without exception. They invented the distinction expressed by the term Scientia Media to explain God’s certain foreknowledge of future events, the futurition of which remain undetermined by his will or any other antecedent cause.

                3rd. They deny that God’s foreordination extends to the volitions of tree agents and hold that the eternal election of men to salvation is not absolute, but conditioned upon foreseen faith and obedience.


                1st.  Moral character can not be created but is determined only by previous self–decision.

                2nd.  Both liberty and responsibility necessarily involve possession of power to the contrary.

                3rd.  They usually deny the imputation of the guilt of Adam’s first sin.

                4th.  The strict Armenians deny total depravity, and admit only the moral enfeeblement of nature. Arminius and Wesley were more orthodox but less self–consistent.

                5th.  They deny that man has ability to originate holy action or to carry it on in his own unassisted strength––but affirm that every man has power to co–operate with, or to resist " commongrace" That which alone distinguishes the saint from the sinner is his own use or abuse of grace.

                6th.  They regard gracious influence as rather moral and suasory than as a direct and effectual exertion of the new creative energy of God.

                7th.  They maintain the liability of the saint at every stage of his earthly career to fall from grace.


                1st.  They admit that Christ made a vicarious offering of himself in place of sinful men, and yet deny that he suffered either the literal penalty of the law, or a full equivalent for it, and maintain that his sufferings were graciously accepted as a substitute for the penalty.

                2nd.  They hold that not only with respect to its sufficiency and adaptation, but also in the intention of the Father in giving the Son, and of the Son in dying, Christ died in the same sense for all men alike.

                3rd.  That the acceptance of Christ’s satisfaction in the place of the infliction of the penalty on sinners in person involves a relaxation of the divine law.

                4th.  That Christ’s satisfaction enables God in consistency with his character, and the interests of his general government, to offer salvation on easier terms. The gospel hence is a new law, demanding faith and evangelical obedience instead of the original demand of perfect obedience.

                5th.  Hence Christ’s work does not actually save any, but makes the salvation of all men possible—–removes legal obstacles out of the way, does not secure faith but makes salvation available on the condition of faith.

                6th.  sufficient influences of the Holy Spirit, and sufficient opportunities and means of grace are granted to all men.

                7th.  It is possible for and obligatory upon all men in this life to attain to evangelical perfection–which is explained as a being perfectly sincere–a being animated by perfect love —and doing all that is required of us under the gospel dispensation.

                8th.  With respect to the heathen some have held that in some way or other the gospel is virtually, if not in form, preached to all men. Others have held that in the future world there are three conditions corresponding to the three great classes of men as they stand related to the gospel in this world – the Status Credentium; the Status Incredulorum; the Status ignorantium.

                15. Give a brief outline of the main features of the Calvinistic System.


                1st.  God is an absolute sovereign, infinitely wise, righteous, benevolent, and powerful, determining from eternity the certain futurition of all events of every class according to the counsel of his own will.

                2nd.  Vindicatory Justice is an essential and immutable perfection of the divine nature demanding the full punishment of all sin, the exercise of which cannot be relaxed or denied by the divine will.


                The Mediator is one single, eternal, divine person, at once very God, and very man. In the unity of the Theanthropic person the two natures remain pure and unmixed, and retain each its separate and incommunicable attributes distinct. The personality is that of the eternal and unchangeable Logos.

                The human nature is impersonal. All mediatorial actions involve the concurrent exercise of the              energies of both natures according to their several properties in the unity of the single person.


                1st.  God created man by an immediate fiat of omnipotence and in a condition of physical, intellectual, and moral faultlessness, with a positively formed moral character.

                2nd.  The guilt of Adam’s public sin is by a judicial act of God immediately charged to the account of each of his descendants from the moment he begins to exist antecedently to any act of his own.

                3rd.  Hence men come into existence in a condition of condemnation deprived of those influences of the Holy Spirit upon which their moral and spiritual life depends.

                4th.  Hence they come into moral agency deprived of that original righteousness which belonged to human nature as created in Adam, and with an antecedent prevailing tendency in their nature to sin which tendency in them is of the nature of sin, and worthy of punishment.

                5th.  Man’s nature since the fall retains its constitutional faculties of reason, conscience, and free–will, and hence man continues a responsible moral agent, but he is nevertheless spiritually dead, and totally averse to spiritual good, and absolutely unable to change his own heart, or adequately to discharge any of those duties which spring out of his relation to God.


                1st.  The salvation of man is absolutely of grace. God was free in consistency with the infinite perfections of his nature to save none, few, many, or all, according to his sovereign good pleasure.

                2nd.  Christ acted as Mediator in pursuance of an eternal covenant formed between the Father and the Son, according to which he was put in the law–place of his own elect people as their personal substitute, and as such by his obedience and suffering he discharged all the obligations growing out of their federal relations to law–by his sufferings vicariously enduring their penal debt by his obedience vicariously discharging those covenant demands, upon which their eternal well–being was suspended––thus fulfilling the requirements of the law, satisfying the justice of God, and securing the eternal salvation of those for whom he died.

                3rd.  Hence, by his death he purchased the saving influences of the Holy Spirit for all for whom he died. And the infallibly applies the redemption purchased by Christ to all for whom he intended it, in the precise time and under the precise conditions predetermined in the eternal Covenant of Grace–and he does this by the immediate and intrinsically efficacious exercise of his power, operating directly within them, and in the exercises of their renewed nature bringing them to act faith and repentance and all gracious obedience.

                4th.  Justification is a Judicial act of God, whereby imputing to us the perfect righteousness of Christ, including his active and passive obedience, he proceeds to regard and treat us accordingly, pronouncing all the penal claims of law. to be satisfied, and us to be graciously entitled to all the immunities and rewards conditioned in the original Adamic covenant upon perfect obedience.

                5th.  Although absolute moral perfection is unattainable in this life, and assurance is not of the essence of faith, it is nevertheless possible and obligatory upon each believer to seek after and attain to a full assurance of his own personal salvation, and leaving the things that are behind to strive after perfection in all things.

                6th.  Although if left to himself every believer would fall in an instant, and although most believers do experience temporary seasons of backsliding, yet God by the exercise of his grace in their hearts, in pursuance of the provisions of the eternal Covenant of Grace and of the purpose of Christ in dying, infallibly prevents even the weakest believer from final apostasy.

                1. " Historical Presentation of Augustinianism and Pelagianism," by G. F. Wiggers, D.D., Translated by Rev. Ralph Emerson, pp. 268–270.

                2. The doctrine of Augustine does not by any means involve the conclusion that the elect are " few " or " a small number."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

CHAPTER 7: Creeds and Confessions

                As Creeds and Confessions, their uses and their history, form a distinct subject of study by themselves, they will together in this chapter, while references will be found under the several chapters of this work to the particular Creed in which the particular doctrine is most clearly or authoritatively defined.

                On this entire subject consult the admirable historical and critical work of Dr. Philip Schaff of Union Theological Seminary, New York––the "CREEDS OF CHRISTENDOM." In the first volume he presents a history of the authorship and occasion of each Creed or Confession and a critical estimate of its contents and value. In volumes second and third he gives the text of all the principal creeds in two languages.

                1. Why are Creeds and Confessions necessary, and how have they been produced?

                The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament having been given by inspiration of God, are for man in his present state the only and the all–sufficient rule of faith and practice. This divine word, therefore, is the only standard of doctrine which has any intrinsic authority binding the consciences of men. All other standards are of value or authority only as they teach what the Scriptures teach.

                But it is the inalienable duty and necessity of men to arrive at the meaning of the Scriptures in the use of their natural faculties, and by the ordinary instruments of interpretation. Since all truth is self–consistent in all its parts, and since the human reason always instinctively strives to reduce all the elements of knowledge with which it grapples to logical unity and consistency, it follows that men must more or less formally construct a system of faith out of the materials presented in the Scriptures. Every student of the Bible necessarily does this in the very process of understanding and digesting its teaching, and all such students make it manifest that they have found, in one way or another, a system of faith as complete as for him has been possible, by the very language he uses in prayer, praise, and ordinary religious discourse. If men refuse the assistance afforded by the statements of doctrine slowly elaborated and defined by the church, they must severally make out their own creed by their own unaided wisdom. The real question between the church and the impugners of human creeds, is not, as the latter often pretend, between the word of God and the creed of man, but between the tried and proved faith of the collective body of God’s people, and the private judgment and the unassisted wisdom of the individual objector. As it would have been anticipated, it is a matter of fact that the church has advanced very gradually in this work of accurately interpreting Scripture, and defining the great doctrines which compose the system of truths it reveals. The attention of the church has been especially directed to the study of one doctrine in one age, and of another doctrine in a subsequent age. And as she has gradually advanced in the clear discrimination of gospel truth, she has at different periods set down an accurate statement of the results of her new attainments in a creed, or Confession of Faith, for the purpose of preservation and of popular instruction, of discriminating and defending the truth from the perversion of heretics and the attacks of infidels, and of affording a common bond of faith and rule of teaching and discipline.

                The ancient creeds of the universal Church were formed by the first four ecumenical or general councils, except the so–called Apostle’s Creed, gradually formed from the baptismal confessions in use in the different churches of the West, and the so–called Athanasian Creed, which is of private and unknown authorship. The great authoritative Confession of the Papal Church was produced by the ecumenical council held at Trent, 1545. The mass of the principal Protestant Confessions were the production of single individuals or of small circles of individuals, e.g. , the Augsburg Confession and Apology, the 2nd Helvetic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Old Scotch Confession, the Thirty–nine Articles of the Church of England etc. Two, however, of the most valuable and generally received Protestant

                Confessions were produced by large and venerable Assemblies of learned divines, namely: the Canons of the international Synod of Dort, and the Confessionand Catechisms [larger - shorter] of the national Assembly of Westminster.

                2. What are their legitimate uses?

                They have been found in all ages of the church useful for the following purposes. (1) To mark, preserve and disseminate the attainments made in the knowledge of Christian truth by any branch of the church in any grand crisis of its development. (2) To discriminate the truth from the glosses of false teachers, and accurately to define it in its integrity and due proportions. (3) To act as the bond of ecclesiastical fellowship among those so nearly agreed as to be able to labor together in harmony. (4) To be used as instruments in the great work of popular instruction.

                3. What is the ground and extent of their authority, or power to bind the conscience?

                The matter of all these Creeds and Confessions binds the consciences of men only so far as it is purely scriptural, and because it is so. The form in which that matter is stated, on the other hand, binds only those who have voluntarily subscribed the Confession and because of that subscription.

                In all churches a distinction is made between the terms upon which private members are admitted to membership and the terms upon which office–bearers are admitted to their sacred trusts of teaching and ruling. A church has no right to make anything a condition of membership which Christ has not made a condition of salvation. The church is Christ’s fold. The Sacraments are the seals of his covenant. All have a gilt to claim admittance who make a credible profession of the true religion, that is, who are                presumptively the people of Christ. This credible profession of course involves a competent knowledge of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity, a declaration of personal faith in Christ and of devotion to his service, and a temper of mind and a habit of life consistent therewith. On the other hand, no man can be inducted into any office in any church who does not profess to believe in the truth and wisdom of the constitution and laws it will be his duty to conserve and administer. Otherwise all harmony of sentiment and all efficient co-operation in action would be impossible.

                It is a universally admitted principle of morals that the animus imponentis,  the sense in which the persons who impose an oath, or promise, or engagement, understand it, binds the conscience of the persons who bind themselves by oath or promise. All candidates for office in the Presbyterian Church, therefore, do either personally believe the "system of doctrine" taught in our Standards, in the sense in which it has been historically understood to be God's truth, or solemnly lie to God and man.

                4. What were the Creeds of the ancient Church which remain the common inheritance of all  branches of the modern Church?

                I.  THE APOSTLE’S CREED, so called. This Creed gradually grew out of the comparison and assimilation of the Baptismal Creeds of the principal Churches in the West or Latin half of the ancient Church. The most complete and popular forms of these baptismal creeds were those of Rome, Aquileja, Milan, Ravenna, Carthage, and Hippo, "of which the Roman form, enriching itself by additions from others, gradually gained the more general acceptance. While the several articles considered separately are all of Nicene or Anti–Nicene origin, the creed as a whole in its present form cannot be traced beyond the sixth century."––Schaff’s " Creeds of Christendom," vol. 1. p. 20.

                It was subjoined by the Westminster divines to their Catechism, together with the Lord’s Prayer and Ten Commandments Not as though it was composed by the apostles’ or ought to be esteemed canonical Scripture, but because it is a brief sum of Christian agreeable to the word of God and anciently received in the Churches of Christ. It was retained by the framers of the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in the United States as part of our Catechism. It is a part of the Catechism of the Methodist Episcopal Church also. It is used in the baptismal Confession of the Roman, English, Reformed, Lutheran, Methodist Episcopal, and Protestant Episcopal Churches. It is as follows:

                I believe in God the Father almighty maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ his

                only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost; born of the Virgin Mary;

                suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried; he descended into hell

                (Hades); the third day he rose again from the deed, he ascended into heaven, and    sitteth on the right hand of God the Father almighty, from thence he shall come to judge   the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic church, the              communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life                 everlasting. Amen.

                II.  THE NICENE CREED, in which the true Trinitarian faith of the church is accurately defined in opposition to Arian and Semiarian errors. It exists in three forms, and evidently was molded upon pre–existing forms similar to those from which the Apostles’ Creed grew.

                1st.  The original form in which it was composed and enacted by the Œcumenical Council of Nice, AD. 325.

                We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of All things visible and invisible.

                And in one Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God, begotten of the Father, the only begotten,

                that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God,

                begotten, not made, being of one substance (oJmoou>sion) with by whom all things   were  made, both in heaven and on earth; who for us men, and for our salvation, came         down and  was incarnate, and was made man; he suffered, and the third day he rose         again, ascended  into heaven; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the         dead.

                And in the Holy Ghost.

                But those who say: ‘ There was a time when he was not’ and ‘He was not before he was

                made’ and ‘He was made out of nothing,’ or ‘He is of another substance or essence’ or

                ‘The Son of God is created or changeable or alterable’—they are condemned by the holy

                catholic and apostolic Church.

                2nd.  The Nicaeno–Constantinopolitan Creed. This consists oft the Nicene Creed, above given slightly changed in the first article, and with the clauses defining the Person and work of the Holy Ghost added, and the Anathema omitted. This new form of the Creed has been generally attributed to the Council of Constantinople, convened by the Emperor Theodosius, A.D. 381, to condemn the doctrine of the Macedonians, who denied the divinity of the Holy Ghost. These changes in the Nicene Creed were          unquestionably made about that date, and the several " clauses " added existed previously in formularies proposed by individual theologians. But there is no evidence that the changes were made by the Council of Constantinople. They were, however, recognized by the Council of Chalcedon, AD. 451.

                It is in this latter form that the Creed of Nice is now used in the Greek Church.

                3rd.  The third or Latin form of this creed in which it is used in the Roman, Episcopal, and Lutheran Churches’ differs from the second form above mentioned only in (a) restoring the clause ("Deus de Deo ") " God of God," to the first clause; it belonged to the original Creed of Nice, but had been dropped cut of the Greek Nicaeno–Constantinopolitan form. (b) The famous " Filioque," term was added to the clause affirming the procession of the Spirit from the Father. This was added by the provincial Council of Toledo, Spain, AD. 589, and gradually accepted by the whole Western Church, and thence by all Protestants, without any ecumenical ratification. That phrase is rejected by the Greek Church. The text of this Creed as received with reverence by all Catholics and Protestants is as follows (Schaff’s "Creeds of Christendom" pp. 25––29):

                I believe in one God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things

                visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God,            begotten of his Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very   God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things          were made; Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and                 incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; He was crucified, also for us, under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried and the third day he rose     again according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right               hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the         dead; whose kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and                Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son (this phrase "filioque" was      added to the creed of Constantinople by the council of the western church held at    Toledo, AD. 589), who, with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and                 glorified, who spoke by the prophets.  And I believe one Catholic and Apostolic Church, I           acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the                dead, and the life of the world to  come.

                III.  THE ATHANASIAN CREED, so called, also styled, from its opening words: the symbol Quicunque vult is vulgarly ascribed to the great Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria from about AD. 328 to AD. 373, and the leader of the orthodox party in the church in opposition to the arch heretic, Arius. But modern scholars unanimously assign to it a later origin, and trace it to Northern Africa and the school of Augustine. Bigham refers it to Virgilius Tapsensis at the end of the fifth century. Schaff says its complete form does not appear before the eighth century.

                This Creed is received in the Greek, Roman, and English Churches, but it has been left out of the Prayer Book of the Episcopal Church of America. It presents a most admirably stated exposition of the faith of all Christians, and it is objected to only because of the "damnatory clauses", which ought never to be attached to any human composition, especially one making such nice distinctions upon so profound a subject.

                It is as follows:

                1. Whosoever wishes to be saved, it is above all necessary for him to hold the Catholic

                faith. 2. Which, unless each one shall preserve perfect and inviolate, he shall certainly

                perish forever. 3. But the Catholic faith is this that we worship one God in trinity and in

                unity. 4. Neither confounding the persons, nor separating the substance. 5. For the       person of the Father is one, of the Son another, and of the Holy Ghost another. 6. But            of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost there is one divinity, equal glory and co–      eternal                 majesty. 7. What the Father is, the same is the Son, and the Holy Ghost. 8. The        Father is uncreated, the Son uncreated, the Holy Ghost uncreated. 9. The Father is        immense, the Son immense, the Holy Ghost immense. 10. The Father is eternal, the Son eternal, the Holy Ghost eternal. 11. And yet there are not three eternals, but one                 eternal. 12. So there are not three (beings) uncreated, nor three immense, but one        uncreated, and one immense. 13. In like manner the Father is omnipotent, the Son is omnipotent, the Holy Ghost is omnipotent. 14. And yet there are not three                 omnipotents, but one omnipotent. 15. Thus the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy       Ghost is God. 16. And yet there are Not three Gods, but one God. 17. Thus the Father is                 Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Ghost is Lord. 18. And yet there are not three Lords,                but one Lord. 19. Because as we are thus compelled by Christian verity to confess each   person severally to be God and Lord; so we are prohibited by the Catholic religion from              saying that there are three Gods or Lords. 20. The Father was made from none, nor            created, nor begotten. 21. The Son is from the Father alone, neither made, nor created,                             but begotten. 22. The Holy Ghost is from the Father and the Son, neither made, nor              created, nor begotten but proceeding. 23. Therefore there is one Father, not three             fathers, one Son, not three sons, one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. 24. And in this        trinity no one is first or last, no one is greater or less. 25. But all the three co–eternal                 persons are co–equal among themselves, so that through all, as is above said, both unity           in trinity, and trinity in unity is to be worshipped. 26. Therefore, he who wishes        to be     saved must think thus concerning the trinity. 27. But it is necessary to eternal salvation that he should also faithfully believe the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. 28. It is,           therefore, true faith that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ is both God               and man. 29. He is God, generated from eternity from the substance of the Father, man    born in time from the substance of his mother. 30. Perfect God, perfect man, subsisting     of a rational soul and human flesh. 31. Equal to the Father in respect to his divinity, less      than the Father in respect to his humanity. 32. Who, although he is God and man, is not              two but one Christ. 33. But one, not from the conversion of his divinity into flesh, but            from the assumption of his humanity into God. 34. One not at all from confusion of             substance, but from unity of person. 35. For as a rational soul and flesh is one man, so       God and man is one Christ. 36. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, the              third day rose from the dead. 37. Ascended to heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God    the Father omnipotent, whence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. 88. At    whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall render an account for   their own works. 39. and they who have done well shall go into life eternal; they who                 have done evil into eternal fire. 40. This is the Catholic faith, which, unless a man shall      faithfully and firmly believe, he cannot be saved.

                IV.  THE CREED OF Chalcedon, The Emperor Marcianus called the fourth ecumenical council to meet at Chalcedon in Bithynia, on the Bosphorus, opposite Constantinople, to put down the Eutychian and Nestorian heresies. The Council consisted of 630 bishops and sat from Oct. 8 to Oct. 31, AD. 451.

                The principal part of the "Definition of Faith" agreed upon by this Council is as follows: We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess, one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in Manhood; truly God, and truly Man, of a reasonable soul and body; consubstantial with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us without sin, begotten before all ages of the Father to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of Mary the Virgin Mother of God according to the Manhood. He is one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only–begotten, existing in two natures without mixture (ajsugcu>twv), without change (ajtre>ptwv), without division (ajdiaire>twv), without separation (a>cwri>stwv); the diversity of the two natures not being at all destroyed by their union, but the peculiar properties of each nature being preserved, and concurring to one person and one subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and Only begotten, God, the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets from the beginning have declared concerning Him,         and as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself hath taught us, and as the Creed, of the holy fathers has delivered to us.

                This completed the development of the orthodox Church doctrine of the Trinity of Persons in the one God and of the duality of natures in the one Christ. It remains a universally respected statement of the common faith of the Church.

                5. What are the doctrinal Standards of the Church of Rome?

                Besides the above mentioned Creeds, all of which are of recognized authority in the Romish Church, their great Standards of Faith are––1st. The " Canons and Decrees of the Council ofTrent," which they regard as the twentieth ecumenical council, and was called by Pope Pius IV. to oppose the progress of the Reformation (AD. 1545––1563). The decrees contain the positive statements of Papal doctrine. The canons explain the decrees, distribute the matter under brief heads, and condemn the opposing doctrine on each point. Although studiously ambiguous, the system of doctrine taught is evidently though not consistently Semipelagian.

                2nd. The " Roman Catechism," which explains and enforces the canons of the Council of Trent, was prepared by order of Pius IV., and promulgated by the authority of Pope Pius V., AD. 1566.

                3rd. The " Creed of Pope Pius IV.," also called " Professio Fidei Tridentinoe," or " Forma ProfessionisFidei Catholicoe," contains a summary of the doctrines taught in the Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, and was promulgated in a bull by Pope Pius IV., AD. 1564. It is subscribed to by all grades of Papal teachers and ecclesiastics, and by all converts from Protestantism.

                It is as follows:

                I, A. B., believe and profess with a firm faith all and every one of the things which are

                contained in the symbol of faith which is used in the holy Roman Church; namely, I

                believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things

                visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only–begotten Son of God,           begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very   God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father by whom all things were              made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was                 incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, was crucified for us              under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried, and rose again the third day according to          the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and will        come again with glory to judge the living and the dead of whose kingdom there will be      no end; and in the Holy Ghost The Lord and Life–giver, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who, together with the Father and the Son, is adored and glorified, who        spake by the holy prophets; and one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one        baptism for the remission of sins, and I expect the resurrection of the dead, and the life                 of the world to come. Amen. I most firmly admit and embrace the apostolic and             ecclesiastical traditions, and all other constitutions and observances of the same Church.      I also admit the sacred Scriptures according to the sense which the holy mother Church        has held and does hold to whom it belongs to judge of the true sense and interpretation   of the Scriptures, nor will I ever take or interpret them otherwise than according to the              unanimous consent of the fathers. I profess, also, that there are truly and properly               seven sacraments of the new law instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord, and necessary for    the salvation of mankind, though all are not necessary for every one–namely baptism,   confirmation, Eucharist, penance, extreme unction, orders, and matrimony, and that   they confer grace; and of these baptism, confirmation, and order cannot be reiterated         without sacrilege. I do also receive and admit the ceremonies of the Catholic Church,   received and approved in the solemn administration of all the above–said sacraments. I     receive and embrace all and every one of the things which have been defined and        declared in the holy Council of Trent concerning sin and justification. I profess likewise        that in the mass is offered to God a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice for the living                 and the dead; and that in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist there is truly, really,       and substantially the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord   Jesus Christ, and that there is made a conversion of the whole substance of the bread    into the body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood, which conversion                 the Catholic Church calls transubstantiation. I confess, also, that under either kind alone,           Christ whole and entire, and a true sacrament is received. I constantly hold that there is             a purgatory, and that the souls detained therein are helped by the suffrage of the            faithful. Likewise that the saints reigning together with Christ are to be honored and      invoked, that they offer prayers to God for us, and that their relics are to be venerated. I    most firmly assert that the images of Christ, and of the mother of God ever Virgin and                 also of the other saints, are to be had and retained and that due honor and veneration         are to be given to them. I also affirm that the power of indulgences and left by Christ in           the Church and that the use of them is most wholesome to Christian people. I          acknowledge the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, the mother and mistress of all    churches, and I promise and swear true obedience to the Roman bishop, the successor    of St. Peter, prince of the apostles, and near of Jesus Christ. I also profess, and                 undoubtedly receive all other things delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred           canons and general councils, and particularly by the holy Council of Trent and by the    [Ecumenical Vatican Council delivered, defined, and declared, particularly concerning           the primacy and infallible rule of the Roman Pontiff.] 1 And likewise I also condemn,              reject and anathematize all things contrary thereto, and all heresies whatsoever        condemned rejected and anathematized by the Church. This true Catholic faith, out of                which none can be saved, which I now freely profess and truly hold, I., A. B., promise,          vow and swear most constantly to hold, and profess the same whole and entire with     God’s assistance, to the end of my life, and to procure as far as lies in my power, that        the same shall he held, taught and preached by all who are under me, or who are          entrusted to my care in virtue of my office so help me God, and these holy gospels of    God —Amen.

                4th.  The Holy Œcumenical Vatican Council assembled at the call of Pius IX., in the Basilica of The Vatican, Dec. 8, 1869, and continued its sessions until October 20, 1870, after which it was indefinitely postponed.

                The Decrees of this Council embrace two sections.

                I. " The Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith." This embraces four chapters. Chap. 1 treats of God as Creator; chap. 2, of revelation; chap. 3, of faith; chap. 4, of faith and reason. These are followed by eighteen canons, in which the errors of modern rationalism and infidelity are condemned

                II. "First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ." This also embraces four chapters. Chap. 1 is entitled " Of the Institution of the Apostolic Primacy in Blessed Peter;" chap. 2, " Of the Perpetuity of the Primacy of Blessed Peter in the Roman Pontiffs;" chap.3, " On the. Power and Nature of the Primacy of the Roman Pontiff;" chap. 4, " Concerning the Infallible Teaching of the Roman Pontiff. "The new features are contained in the last two chapters, which teach " Papal Absolutism and Papal Infallibility."

                These definitions are presented to a sufficient extent under Chapter 5 of these "Outlines."

                In consequence of this principle of Papal Infallibility it necessarily follows, that the whole succession of Papal Bulls, and especially those directed against the Jansenists and the Decree of Pius IX. "On the Immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary," Dec. 8, 1854; and his Syllabus of Errors, Dec. 8, 1864, are all infallible and irreformable and parts of the amazing Standards of Faith professed by the Roman Church.

                6. What Are the Doctrinal Standards of the Greek Church?

                The ancient church divided, from causes primarily political and ecclesiastical, secondarily doctrinal and ritual, into two great sections – the Eastern or Greek Church, and the Western or Latin church. This division began to culminate in the seventh, and was consummated in the eleventh century. The Greek Church embraces about eighty millions of people, the majority of the Christians inhabitants of the Turkish Empire, and the national churches of Greece and Russia. All the Protestant Churches have originated from the Western or Latin division of the church.

                She arrogates to herself, pre–eminently, the title of "Orthodox" because the original ecumenical Creeds defining the doctrines of the Trinity and the Person of Christ were produced in the Eastern division of the ancient church and in the Greek language, and hence are in a special sense her inheritance, and because from the fact that her theology is absolutely unprogressive, she contents herself with the literal repetition of the old formulas.

                She adheres to the ancient Creeds and doctrinal decisions of the first seven ecumenical councils, and possesses a few modern Confessions and Catechisms. The most important of these are–

                1st.  The Orthodox Confession of the Catholic and Apostolic Greek church composed by Peter Mogilas, Metropolitan of Kieff in Russia, AD. 1643, and approved by all the Eastern Patriarchs.

                2nd.  The "Decrees of the Synod of Jerusalem," or the Confession of Dositheus, 1672.

                3rd.  The Russian Catechisms which have the sanction of the Holy Synod, especially the Longer Catechism of Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow, 1820––1867, unanimously approved by all the Eastern Patriarchs. and since 1839 generally used in the schools and Churches of Russia.

                The Decrees of the Synod of Jerusalem teach substantially though less definitely the same doctrine as those of the Council of Trent as to the Scriptures and Tradition, good works and faith, justification, the sacraments, the sacrifice of the mass, the worship of saints, and purgatory.

                The Catechism of Philaret " approaches more nearly to the evangelical principle of the supremacy of the Bible in matters of Christian faith and life than any other deliverance of the Eastern Church."––Schaff’s "Creeds of Christendom," Vol. 1., pp. 45 and 71.

                7. What are the Doctrinal Standards of The Lutheran Church?

                1st.  Besides the great General Creeds, which they receive in common with all Christians, their Symbolical Books are: The Augsburg Concession, the joint authors of which were Luther and Melanchthon. Having been signed by the Protestant princes and leaders, it was presented to the emperor and imperial diet in Augsburg, AD, 1530. It is the oldest Protestant Confession, the ultimate basis of Lutheran theology, and the only universally accepted standard of the Lutheran Churches. It consists of two grand divisions. The first embracing twenty–one articles, presents a positive statement of Christian doctrines as the Lutherans understand them; and the second, embracing seven articles, condemns the principal characteristic errors of the Papacy. It is evangelical in the Augustinian sense, although not as precise in statement as the more perfect Calvinistic Confessions, and it, of course, contains the germs of the peculiar Lutheran views as to the necessity of the Sacraments, and the relation of the sacramental signs to the grace they signify. Yet these peculiarities are so far from being explicitly stated, that Calvin found it consistent with his views of divine truth to subscribe this great Confession, during his residence in Strasburg.

                In 1540, ten years after it had been adopted as the public symbol of Protestant Germany, Melanchthon produced an editorial in Latin which he altered in several particulars, and which was hence distinguished as the Variata, the original and only authentic form of the Confession being distinguished as the Invariata. The principal changes introduced in this edition incline towards Synergistic or Armenian views of divine grace on the one hand, and on the other to simple views as to the sacraments more nearly corresponding with those prevailing among the Reformed Churches. – See Shedd’s " Hist. of Christ.

                Doctrine" Book 7., chap. 2. See also the accurate and learnedly illustrated edition of the Augsburg Confession by Rev. Charles Krauth, D.D.

                2nd.  The Apology[Defense] of the Augsburg Confession, prepared by Melanchthon, AD. 1530, and subscribed by the Protestant theologians, A. D. 1537, at Smalcald.

                3rd.  The Larger and Smaller Catechisms prepared by Luther, AD. 1529, "the first for the use of preachers and teachers, the last as a guide for youth."

                4th.  The Articles of Smalcald, drawn up by Luther, AD. 1536, and inscribed by the evangelical theologians in February, A. D. 1537, at the place whose name they bear.

                5th.  The Formula Concordice(Form of Concord), prepared in AD. 1577 by Jacob Andreae and Martin Chemnitz and others for the purpose of settling certain controversies which had sprung up in the Lutheran Church, especially (a) concerning the relative action of divine grace and the human will in regeneration, (b) concerning the nature of the Lord’s presence in the Eucharist. This Confession contains a more scientific and thoroughly developed statement of the Lutheran doctrine than can be found in any other of their public symbols. Its authority is, however acknowledged only by the high Lutheran party, that is, by that party in the church which consistently carries the peculiarities of Lutheran theology out to the most complete logical development. All these Lutheran Symbols may be found in Latin accurately edited in "Libri Symbolici," by Dr. C. A. Hase, Leipsic, 1836, and in Schaff’s "Creeds of Christendom."

                8. What are the principal Confessions of the Reformed or Calvinistic Churches?

                The Confessions of the Reformed Churches are very considerable in number, and weary somewhat in character, although they substantially agree in the system of doctrines they teach.

                1st.  "The oldest Confession of that branch of Protestantism which was not satisfied with the Lutheran tendency and symbol is the Confessio Tetrapolitana, – so-called, because the theologians of four cities of upper Germany, Strasburg, Constance, Memmingen, and Lindau, drew it up, and presented it to the emperor at the same diet of Augsburg, in 1530, at which the first Lutheran symbol was presented. The principal theologian concerned in its construction was Martin Bucer, of Strasburg. It consists of twenty–two articles, and agrees generally with the Augsburg Confession. The points of difference pertain to the doctrine of the sacraments. Upon this subject it is inglian. These four cities, however, in 1532 adopted the Augsburg Confession, so that the Confessio Tetrapolitana  ceased to be the formally adopted symbol of any branch of the church." Shedd’s "Hist. of Christ. Doctrine," Book 7., chap. 2.

                2nd.  The Reformed Confessions of the highest authority among the Churches are the following:

                (1) The Second Helvetic confession prepared by Bullinger, AD. 1564, and published 1566, superseded the First Helvetic Confession of AD. 1536. It was adopted by all the Reformed Churches in Switzerland with the exception of Basle (which was content with the old Confession) and by the Reformed Churches in Poland, Hungary, Scotland and France, and it has always been esteemed as of the highest authority by all the Reformed Churches.

                (2)The Heidelberg Catechism, prepared by Ursinus and Olevianus, AD. 1562. It was established by civil authority as the doctrinal standard as well as the instrument of religious instruction for the churches of the Palatinate, a German state at that time including both banks of the Rhine. It was endorsed by the Synod of Dort, and is a doctrinal standard of the Reformed Churches of Germany and Holland, and of the (German and Dutch) Reformed Churches in America. It was used for the instruction of children in

                Scotland, before the adoption of the Catechisms of the Westminster Assembly, and its use was sanctioned by an unanimous vote of the first General Assembly of the reunited Presbyterian Church in the United States AD. 1870.––See Minutes.

                (3) The Thirty–nine Articles of the Church of England.  In 1552, Cranmer, with the advice of other bishops, drew up the Forty–two Articles of Religion, and which were published by royal authority in 1553. These were revised and reduced to the number of thirty–nine by Archbishop Parker and other bishops, and ratified by both houses of Convocation, and published by royal authority in 1563. They constitute the doctrinal standard of the Protestant Episcopal Churches of England, Ireland, Scotland, the Colonies, and the United States of America. The question whether these Articles are Calvinistic or not has been very unwarrantably made a matter of debate. See Lawrence’s " Bampton Lecture , for 1804 on the Armenian side" and Toplady’s "Doctrinal Calvinism of the Church of England," Dr. Goode’s "Doctrine of Church of England as to Effects of Infant Baptisms," and Dr. William Cunningham’s," Reformers and their Theology" on the Calvinistic side. The seventeenth Article on Predestination is perfectly decisive of the question, and is as follows:

                Predestination to life is the everlasting purpose of God whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel, secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring    them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honor. Wherefore they which he endued with so excellent a benefit of God, he called according to God’s purpose by his Spirit working in due season: they through grace, obey the calling; they he justified freely; they he made sons of God by adoption; they he made like the image of his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ; they walk religiously in good works, and at length by God’s mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity. As the godly consideration of predestination and our election in Christ is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons, and such as feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh and their earthly members, and drawing up their mind to high and heavenly things, as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their faith of eternal salvation to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doth fervently kindle their love toward God. So, for curious and carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God’s predestination, is a most dangerous downfall, whereby the devil doth thrust them either into desperation, or into wretchedness of most unclean living, no less perilous than desperation. Furthermore, we must receive God’s promises in such wise as they be generally set forth to us in Holy Scripture; and, in our doings, that will of God is to be followed which we have expressly declared unto us in the word of God.

                These Articles purged of their Calvinism and reduced in number to twenty–five including a new political Article (the twenty–third) adopting as an article of faith the political system of the United States Government, constitute the doctrinal Standard of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America.

                (4) The canonsof the Synod ofDort. This famous Synod was convened in Dort, Holland, by the authority of the States General, for the purpose of settling the questions brought into controversy by the disciples of Arminius. Its sessions continued from Nov. 13, AD. 1618, to May 9, AD. 1619. It consisted of pastors, elders, and theological professors from the churches of Holland, and deputies from the churches of England Scotland, Hesse, Bremen, the Palatinate, and Switzerland. The Canons of this Synod were received by all the Reformed Churches as a true, accurate, and eminently authoritative exhibition of the Calvinistic system of theology. They constitute in connection with the Heidelberg Catechism the doctrinal Confession of the Reformed Church of Holland and of its daughter the [Dutch] Reformed Church in America.

                (5) The Confession and Catechisms of the Westminster Assembly. This Assembly of Divines was convened by an act of the Long Parliament passed June 12, 1643. The original call embraced ten lords and twenty commoners as lay members, and one hundred and twenty–one divines––twenty ministers being afterward. added––all shades of opinion as to Church Government being represented. The body continued its sessions from 1st of July, 1643, to 22d of February, 1649. The Confession and Catechisms they produced were immediately adopted by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The Congregational Convention, also, called by Cromwell to meet at Savoy, in London, AD. 1658, declared their approval of the doctrinal part of the Confession and Catechisms of the Westminster Assembly, and conformed their own deliverance, the Savoy Declaration, very nearly to it. Indeed " the difference between these two Confessions is so very small, that the modern Independents have in a manner laid aside the use of it (Savoy Declaration) in their families, and agreed with the Presbyterians in the use of the Assembly’s Catechisms."––Neal, "Puritans," 2., 178. This Confession together with the Larger and Smaller Catechisms is the doctrinal standard of all the Presbyterian bodies in the world of English and Scotch derivation. It is also of all Creeds the one most highly approved by all bodies of Congregationalists in England and America.

                All of the Assemblies convened in new England for the purpose of settling the doctrinal basis of their churches have either endorsed or explicitly adopted this Confession and these Catechisms as accurate expositions of their own faith. This was done by the Synod which met at Cambridge, Massachusetts, June, 1647, and again August, 1648, and prepared the Cambridge Platform.  And it was done again by the Synod which sat in Boston, September, 1679, and May, 1680, and produced the Boston Confessions.  And again by the Synod which met at Saybrook, Connecticut, 1708, and produced the Saybrook Platform.

                3rd.  There remain several other Reformed Confessions, which, although they are not the doctrinal standards of large denominations of Christians, are nevertheless of high classical interest and authority because of their authors, and the circumstances under which they originated.

                (1) The " Consensus Tigurinus," or the " Consensus of Zurich," or "The mutual consent with respect to the doctrine of the sacrament of the ministers of the Church of Zurich and John Calvin, minister of the church of Geneva." It consisted of twenty–six Articles, and deals exclusively with the questions relating to the Lord’s Supper, and it was drawn by Calvin, A D. 1549, for the purpose of bringing about a mutual consent among all parties in the Reformed Church on the subject of which it treats. It was subscribed by the Churches of Zurich, Geneva, St. Gall, Schaffhausen, the Grisons, Neuchatel, and Basle and was received it favor by all parts of the Reformed church, and remains an eminent monument of the true mind of the Reformed Church upon this so much debated question; and especially it is of value as setting forth with eminent clearness and unquestionable authority the real opinion of Calvin on the subject, deliberately stated after he had ceased from the vain attempt to secure the unity of Protestantism by a compromise with the Lutheran views as to the Lord’s presence in the Eucharist. An accurate translation of this important document will be found in the Appendix.

                (2) The "Consensus Genevensis " was drawn up by Calvin, A D. 1552, in the name of the Pastors of Geneva, and is a complete statement of Calvin’s views on the subject of Predestination.  It was designed to unite all the Swiss churches in their views of this great doctrine. It remains a pre–eminent monument of the fundamental principles of true Calvinism.

                (3) The "Formula Consensus Helvetica," composed at Zurich, AD. 1675, by John Henry Heidegger of Zurich, assisted by Francis Turretin of Geneva and Luke Gernler of Basle. Its title is "Form of agreement of the Helvetic Reformed Churches respecting the doctrine of universal grace, the doctrines connected therewith, and some other points." It was designed to unite the Swiss Churches in condemning and excluding that modified form of Calvinism, which in that century emanated from the Theological School of Saumur, represented by Amyraldus, Placaeus, etc. This is the most scientific and thorough of all the Reformed Confessions. Its eminent authorship 2 and the fact that it distinctively represents the most thoroughly consistent school of old Calvinists gives it high classical interest. It was subscribed by nearly all the Swiss Churches, but ceased to have public authority as a Confession since AD. 1722. 3 All the Confessions of the Reformed Churches may be found collected in one convenient volume in the "Collectio Confessionum in Eddlesiss Reformatis publicatarum ",:by Dr. H. A. Niemeyer, Leipsic, 1840, and in Dr. Schaff’s " Creeds of Christendom."

                1. Added by Decree of the a Sacred Congregation of the Council, Jan. 2, 1877.

                2. See Herzog’s Real–Encyclopedia. Bomberger’s translation. Article "Helvetic Confessions."

                3. An accurate translation will be found in the Appendix.

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Chapter 8: The Attributes of God

                1. What are the three methods of determining the attributes of the divine Being?

                1st.  The method of analyzing the idea of infinite and absolute perfection. This method proceeds upon the assumption that we are, as intelligent and moral agents, created in the image of God. In this process we attribute to him every excellence that we have any experience or conception of, in an infinite degree, and in absolute perfection, and we deny of him every form of imperfection or limitation.

                2nd.  The method of inferring his characteristics from our observation of his works around us and our experience of his dealings it ourselves.

                3rd. The didactic (instructional) statements of Scripture, the illustration of his character therein given in his supernatural revelation and gracious dispensations, and above all in the personal revelation of God in his Son Jesus Christ.

                All these methods agree and mutually supplement and limit each other. The idea of absolute and infinite perfection, which in some sense is native to us, aids us in interpreting Scripture ––and the Scriptures correct the inferences of the natural reason, and set the seal of divine authority upon our opinions about the divine nature.

                2. To what extent can we have assurance that the objective reality correspondence with oursubjective conceptions of the divine nature?

                There are upon this subject two opposite extreme positions which it is necessary to avoid.1st. The extreme of supposing that our conceptions of God either in kind or degree are adequate to represent the objective reality of his perfections. God is incomprehensible to us in the sense (a) that there remains an immeasurably greater part of his being and excellence of which we have and can have no knowledge, and (b) in the sense that even what we know of him we know imperfectly, and at best conceive of very

                inadequately. In this respect the imperfection of the knowledge which men God is analogous in kind, though indefinitely greater in degree to the imperfection of the knowledge which a child may have of the life of a great philosopher or statesman dwelling in the same city. The child not only knows that the philosopher or statesman in question lives––but he knows also in some real degree what that life is––yet that knowledge is imperfect both in respect to the fact that it apprehends a very small proportion of that life, and that it very imperfectly comprehends even that small proportion. 2nd. The second extreme to be avoided is that of supposing that our knowledge of God is purely illusory, that our conceptions of the divine perfections can not correspond in any degree to the objective reality. Sir Wm. Hamilton, Mr.

                Mansel, and others having proved that we are forced to think of God as " first cause," as "infinite," and as " absolute," proceed to give definitions of these abstract terms, which they there show necessarily involve mutual contradictions, of which the human reason is intolerant. They then conclude that our con-ceptions of God can not correspond to the real objective exist-ence of the divine being. "To think that God is as we can think him to be is blasphemy." The last and highest conse-cration of all true religion, must be an altar—Agnw>stw| qew|~ — -"To the unknown and unknowable God" (Sir William Hamilton's " Discussions," p. 22).

                They hold that all the representations of God conveyed in the Scriptures, and the best conceptions we are with the aid of scripture able to form in our minds, do not at all correspond to the outward reality, but are designed simply to be accepted not as actual scientific knowledge, but as regulative assumptions "abundantly instructive in point of sentiment and action" and practically sufficient for our present needs; "sufficient to guide our practice, but not to satisfy our intellect––which tell not what God is in himself,but how he wills that we should think of him. " – Mansel’s " Limits of Religious Thought," p. 132.

                This view, although not so intended, really leads to skeptical if not to dogmatic atheism. (1) It is founded upon an artificial and inapplicable definition of certain abstract notions entertained by philosophers concerning the " absolute " and the "infinite." As shown below, Question 6, a true definition of the absolute and infinite, in the sense in which the Scriptures and the unsophisticated minds of men hold God to be absolute and infinite, involves no contradictions or absurdities whatsoever. (2) It will be shown below, Questions 3 and 5, that there is adequate ground for the assumption that as intellectual and moral beings we are really and truly created in the image of God and therefore capable of knowing him as he really exists. (3) If our consciousness and the Sacred Scriptures present us illusory conceptions as to whatGod is, we have no reason to trust to their assurance that God is.  (4) This principle leads to absolute skepticism. If our Creator wills that we should think of him as he does not really exist, we have no reason to trust our constitutional instincts or faculties in any department. (5) This principle is immoral since it makes a false representation of the divine attributes the regulative principle of man’s moral and religious life. (6) The highest and most certain dictates of human reason necessitates the conviction that moral principles, and the essential nature of moral attributes, must be identically the same in all worlds and in all beings possessed of a moral character in any sense. Truth and Justice and loving–kindness must be always and only the same in Creator and creature, in God and man.

                3. What is anthropomorphism, and in what different senses the word used?

                Anthropomorphism (a]nqrwpov, man; morfh>, form) is a phrase employed to designate any view of God’s nature which conceives of him as possessing or exercising any attributes common to him with mankind.

                The Anthropomorphites in ancient times held that God possessed bodily parts and organs like ours, and hence that all those passages of Scripture which speak of his eyes, hands, etc., are to be interpreted literally.

                The Pantheists, Sir William Hamilton, and other philosopher designate all our conceptions of God as a personal Spirit etc., as anthropomorphic – that is, as modes of conception not conformed to objective fact, but determined necessarily by the subjective conditions of our own human modes of thought.

                It hence follows that this phrase is to be taken in two senses.

                1st. A good sense,  in which, since man as a free rational spirit was created in the image of God, it is both Scriptural, rational, and according to objective fact, for man to conceive of God as possessing all the essential attributes which belong to our spirits in absolute perfection of kind, and with no limit inconsistent with absolute perfection in degree. When we say that God knows, and wills, and feels, that he is just, true, and merciful, we mean to ascribe to him attributes of the same kind as the corresponding ones belonging to men, only in absolute perfection, and without limit.

                2nd.  The word is used in a bad sense when it designates any mode of conceiving of God which involves the ascription to him of imperfection or limitation of any kind. Thus to conceive of God as possessing hands or feet, or as experiencing the perturbations of human passion, or the like, is a false and unworthy anthropomorphism.

                4. How are we to understand those passages of Scripture which attribute to God bodily parts andthe infirmities of human passion?

                The passages referred to are such as speak of the face of God, Exodus 33:11, 20; his eyes, 2 Chronicles 16:9; his nostrils, 2 Samuel 22: 9, 16; his arms and feet, Isaiah 52:10, and Psalm 18:9; and such as speak of his repenting and grieving, Genesis 6:6, 7; Jeremiah 15:6; Psalm 95:10; of his being jealous, Deuteronomy 29:20, etc. These are to be understood only as metaphors. They represent the truth with respect to God only analogically, and as seen from our point of view. That God can not be material is shown below, Question 20.

                When he is said to repent, or to be grieved, or to be jealous, it is only meant that he acts towards us as a man would when agitated by such passions. These metaphors occur principally in the Old Testament, and in highly rhetorical passages of the poetical and prophetical books.

                5. State the proof that Anthropomorphic conceptions of God, in the good sense of the word, areboth necessary and valid.

                The fundamental fact upon which all science, all theology, and all religion rests is that God made man a living soul in his own image. Otherwise man could have no understanding of God’s works any more than of his nature, and all relations of thought or feeling between them would be impossible. That man has the right thus far to conceive of God as the original and all perfect fountain of the moral and rational qualities in which he is himself endowed is proved.—

                1st.  It is determined by the necessary laws of our nature. (a) This is a matter of consciousness. If we believe in God at all we must conceive of him as a rational and righteous personal spirit. (b) Such a conception of God has universally prevailed even amidst the degrading adulterations of heathen mythology.

                2nd. We have no other possible mode of knowing God. The alternative ever must be the principle for which we contend, or absolute atheism.

                3rd.  The same is determined by the necessities of our moral nature. The innate and indestructible moral nature of man includes a sense of subjection to a righteous will superior to ourselves, and accountability to a moral Governor. This is nonsense unless the moral Governor is in our sense of the word an intelligent and righteous personal spirit.

                4th.  The most enduring and satisfactory argument for establishing the facts of God’s existence is the a posteriori argument from the evidences of "design" in the works of God. If this argument has any force to prove that God is, it has equal force to prove that he must possess and exercise intelligence, benevolent intention and choice, i.e.,  that he must be in our sense of the terms an intelligent personal spirit.

                5th.  The Scriptures characteristically ascribe the same attributes to God, and everywhere assume their existence.

                6th.  God manifested in the person of Jesus Christ, who is the express image of his person, has in all situations exhibited these very attributes, yet in such a way as to prove himself to be God as truly as he was man.

                6. What is the meaning of the terms "infinite" and "absolute," and in what sense are they appliedto the being of God, and to his attributes severally?

                Hamilton and Mansel define the infinite "that which is free from all possible limitation; that than which a greater is inconceivable, and which, consequently, can receive no additional attributes or mode of existence which it had not from eternity;" and the absolute as "that which exists by itself, having no necessary relations to any other being." Hence they argue (a) that that which is infinite and absolute must include the sum total of all things, evil and good, actual and possible; for if any thing actual or possible is excluded from it, it must be finite and relative; (b) that it can not be an object of knowledge for to know is both to limit––to define – and to bring into relation to the one knowing; (c) that it can not be a person, for personal consciousness implies limitation and change; (d) that it cannot know other things, because to know implies relation as before said.––Hamilton’s "Discussions," Art. 1; Mansel’s " Limits of Religious Thought," Lectures 1, 2, 3.

                All of this logical bewilderment results from these philosophers starting from the false premise of an abstract, notional "infinite" and "absolute" and substituting their definition of that  in the place of the true infinite and absolute person revealed in Scripture and consciousness as the first cause of all things, the moral Governor and Redeemer of mankind. "Infinite" means that which has no limits. When we say is infinite in his being, or in his knowledge or in his power, we mean that his essence and the active properties thereof, have no limitations which involve imperfections of any kind whatsoever. He transcends all the limitations of time and space, he knows all things in an absolutely perfect manner. He is able to effect whatsoever he wills to effect with or without means, and with facility and success. When say that God is infinite in his justice, or his goodness, or his truth, they mean that his inexhaustible and unchangeable being possesses these properties in absolute perfection.

                "Absolute" when applied to the being of God signifies that he is an eternal self–existent person, who existed before all other beings, and is the intelligent and voluntary cause of whatsoever else has or will exist in the universe, etc., that he sustains, consequently, no necessary relation to any thing withoutHimself.  Whatever exists is conditioned upon God, as the circle is conditioned upon its center, but God himself neither in his existence, nor in any of the modes or states of it, is conditioned upon any of his creatures, nor upon his creation as a whole. God is what he is because he is, and he wills whatsoever he does will because " it seemeth good in his sight." All other things are what they are because God has willed them to be as they are. Whatsoever relation He sustains to any thing without himself is voluntarily assumed.

                7. In what different ways do the Scriptures reveal God?

                They reveal God–– 1st. By his names. 2nd. By the works which they ascribe to him. 3rd. By the attributes which they predicate of him. 4th. By the worship they direct to be paid to him. 5th. By the manifestation of God in Christ.

                8. State the etymology(linguistic development) and meaning of the several names appropiated toGod in the Scriptures.

                1st. JEHOVAH, from the Hebrew verb h;wh; to be. It expresses self–existence and unchangeableness; it is the incommunicable name of God, which the Jews superstitiously refused to pronounce always substituting in their reading the word Adonai, Lord. Hence it is represented in our English version by the word LORD, printed in capital letters. JAH, probably an abbreviation of the name Jehovah, is used principally in the Psalms.––Psalm18:4. It constitutes the concluding syllable of hallelujah, praise Jehovah. God gave to Moses his peculiar name, "I AM THAT I AM," Exodus 3:14, from the same root, and bearing the same fundamental significance as Jehovah.

                2nd.  El, might, power,  translated God,  and applied alike to the true and to the false gods.––Isaiah 44:10.

                3rd. ELOHIM and ELOAH, the same name in its singular and plural form, derived from hl'a; to fear, reverence. " In its singular form it is used only in the latter books and in poetry." In the plural form it is sometimes used with a plural sense for gods, but more commonly as a pluralis excellentice,  for God. It is applied to false gods, but pre–eminently, to Jehovah as the great object of adoration.

                4th.  ADONAI, the Lord, a pluralis excellentice,  applied exclusively to God, expressing possession and sovereign dominion, equivalent to ku>riov, Lord, so frequently applied to Christ in the New Testament.

                5th.  SADDAI, almighty a pluralis excellentice.  Sometimes it stands by itself. – Job 5:17; and sometimes combined with a preceding El.––Genesis 17:1.

                6th.  ELY•N, MostHigh a verbal adjective from jl;[; to go up, ascend. – Psalm 9:3; 21:8.

                7th.  The term TZEBAOTH, of hosts, is frequently used as an epithet qualifying one of the

                above–mentioned names of God. Thus, Jehovahof Hosts, God of Hosts, Jehovah, God of Hosts. Amos 4:13; Psalm 24:10. Some have thought this equivalent to God of Battles. The true force of the epithet, however, is "sovereign of the stars, material hosts of heaven, and of the angels their inhabitants."––Dr. J. A. Alexander, "Commentary on Psalm 24:10," and Gesenius’s " Heb. Lex."

                8th.  Many other epithets are applied to God metaphorically, to set forth the relation he sustains to us and the offices he fulfills, e.g., King, Lawgiver, Judge.––Isaiah 33:17; Psalm 24:8; 1:6. Rock, Fortress, Tower, Deliverer.––2 Samuel 22:2, 3; Psalm 62:2. Shepherd, Husbandman.––Psalm 23:1; John 15:1. Father. – Matthew 6:9; John 20:17, etc.

                9. What are the divine attributes?

                The divine attributes are the perfections which are predicated of the divine essence in the Scriptures, or visibly exercised by God in his works of creation and providence and redemptions. They are not properties or states of the divine essence separable in tact or idea from the divine essence, as the properties and modes of every created thing are separable from the essence of the creature. God’s knowledge is his essence knowing, and his love is his essence loving, and his will is his essence willing, and all these are not latent capacities of action, nor changing states, but co–existent and eternally unchangeable states of the divine essence which in state and mode as well as in existence is "the same yesterday, today and forever " and " without variableness or shadow of turning."

                Concerning the nature and operations of God, we can know only what he has granted to reveal to us, and with every conception, either of his being or his acts, there must always attend an element of incomprehensibility, which is inseparable from infinitude. His knowledge and power are as truly beyond all understanding as his eternity or immensity.––Job 11:7–9; 26:14; Psalm 139:5, 6; Isaiah 40:28. The moral elements of his glorious nature are the norm or original type of our moral faculties; thus we are made capable of comprehending the ultimate principles of truth and justice upon which he acts. Truth and justice and goodness are of course the same in essence in God and in angel and in man. Yet his action upon those principles is often a trial of our faith, and an occasion of our adoring wonder.––Romans 11:33–36; Isaiah 55:8, 9.

                10. What do theologians mean by the phrase SIMPLICITY, when applied to God?

                The term simplicity is used, first, in opposition to material composition whether mechanical, organic, or chemical; second, in a metaphysical sense in negation of the relation of substance and property, essence and mode. In the first sense of the word human souls are simple, because they are not composed of elements, parts, or organs. In the second sense of the word our souls are complex, since there is in them a distinction between their essence and their properties, and their successive modes or states of existence.

                As, however, God is infinite, eternal, self–existent from eternity, necessarily the same without succession, theologians have maintained that in him essence, and property and mode are one. He always is what he is; and his various states of intellection, emotion, and volition are not successive and transient but co–existent and permanent He is what he is essentially, and by the same necessity that he exists. Whatever is in God, whether thought, emotion, volition, or act, is God.

                Some men conceive of God as passing through various transient modes and states just as men do, and therefore they suppose the properties of the divine nature are related to the divine essence as the properties of created things are related to the essences which are endowed with them. Others press the idea of simplicity so far that they deny any distinction in the divine attributes in themselves, and suppose that the only difference between them is to be found in the mode of external manifestation, and in the effects produced. They illustrate their idea by the various effects produced on different objects by the same radiance of the sun.

                In order to avoid both extremes theologians have been accustomed to say that the divine attributes differ from the divine essence and from one another, 1st, not realiter or as one thing differs from another, or in any such way as to imply composition in God. Nor 2nd, merely nominaliter,  as though there were nothing in God really corresponding to our of conception of his perfections. But 3rd, they are said to differ virtualiter so that there is in him a foundation or adequate reason for all the representations which are made in Scripture with regard to the divine perfections, and for the consequent conceptions which we have of them.––Turretin’s "Institutio Theologicae," Locus 3., Ques. 5 and 7, and Dr. C. Hodge’s " Lectures."

                11. State the different principles upon which the divine attributes are generally classified.

                From the vastness of the subject and the incommensurateness of our faculties, it is evident that no classification of the divine attributes we can form can be any thing more than approximately accurate and complete. The most common classifications rest upon the following principles:

                1st.  They are distinguished as absolute and relative.  An absolute attribute is a property of the divine essence considered in itself: e.g., self–existence, immensity, eternity, intelligence. A relative attribute is a property of the divine essence considered in relation to the creation: e.g., omnipresence, omniscience, etc.

                2nd. They are also distinguished as affirmative and negative An affirmative attribute is one which expresses some positive perfection of the divine essence: e.g., omnipresence, omnipotence, etc. A negative attribute is one which: denies all defect or limitation of any kind to God: e.g., immutability, infinitude, incomprehensibility, etc.

                3rd. The attributes of God, distinguished as communicable and incommunicable. The communicable are those to which the attributes of the human spirit bear the nearest analogy: e.g., his power, knowledge, will, goodness, and righteousness. The incommunicable are those to which there is in the creature nothing analogous, as eternity, immensity, etc. This distinction, however, must not be pressed too far.

                God is infinite in his relation to space and time; we are finite in our relation to both. But he is no less infinite as to his knowledge, will, goodness, and righteousness in all their modes, and we are finite in all these respects. All God’s attributes known to us, or conceivable by us, are communicable, inasmuch as they have their analogy in us, but they are all alike incommunicable, in as much as they are all infinite.

                4th.  The attributes of God, distinguished as natural and moral. The natural are all those which pertain to his existence as an infinite, rational Spirit: e.g., eternity, immensity, intelligence, will, power. The moral are those additional attributes which belong to him as an infinite, righteous Spirit: e.g., justice, mercy, truth.

                I would diffidently propose the following fourfold classification:

                (1) Those attributes which equally qualify all the rest— Infinitude,  that which has no bounds; absoluteness,  that which is determined either in its being, or modes of being or action, by nothing whatsoever without itself. This includes immutability.

                (2) Natural attributes. God is an infinite Spirit, self– existent, eternal, immense, simple, free of will,intelligent, powerful.

                (3) Moral attributes. God is a Spirit infinitely righteous, good, true faithful.

                (4) The consummate glory of all the divine perfections in union. The beauty of HOLINESS.

                THE UNITY OF GOD

                12. ln what two senses of the word is UNITY predicated of God?

                1st.  God is unique: there is only one God to the exclusion of all others.

                2nd. Notwithstanding the threefold personal distinction in the unity of the Godhead, yet these three Persons are numerically one substance or essence, and constitute one indivisible God.

                13. How may the proposition, that God is one and indivisible, be proved?

                1st.  There appears to be a necessity in reason for conceiving of God as one. That which is absolute and infinite can not but be one and indivisible in essence. If God is not one, then it will necessarily follow that there are more gods than one.

                2nd. The uniform representation of Scripture.––John 10:30.

                14. Prove from Scripture that the proposition, there is but one God, is true.

                Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Kings 8:60; Isaiah 44:6; Mark 12:29, 32; 1 Corinthians 8:4; Ephesians 4:6.

                15. What is the argument from the harmony of creation in favor of the divine unity?

                The whole creation, between the outermost range of telescopic and of microscopic observation, is manifestly one indivisible system. But we have already (Chapter 2.) proved the existence of God from the phenomena of the universe; and we now argue, upon the same principle, that if, an effect proves the prior operation of a cause, and if traces of design prove a designer, then singleness of plan and operation in that design and its execution prove that the designer Is ONE.

                16. What is the argument upon this point from necessary existence?

                The existence of God is said to be necessary, because it has its cause from eternity in itself. It is the same in all duration and in all space alike. It is absurd to conceive of God not existing at any time or in any portion of space, while all other existence whatsoever, depending upon his mere will, is contingent. But the necessity which is uniform in all times and in every portion of space, is evidently only one and indivisible, and can be the ground of the existence only of one God.

                This argument: is logical, and has been prized highly by many distinguished theologians. It however appears to involve the error of presuming human logic to be the measure of existence.

                17. What is the argument from infinite perfection, in proof that there can be but one God?

                God is infinite in his being and in all of his perfection’s. But the infinite, by including all, excludes all others, of the same kind. If there were two infinite beings, each would necessarily include the other, and be included by it, and thus they would be the same, one and identical. It is certain that the idea of the co–existence of two infinitely perfect beings is as repugnant to human reason as to Scripture.

                18. What is polytheism? And what dualism?

                Polytheism, as the etymology of the word indicates, is a general term designating every system of religion which teaches the existence of a plurality of gods.

                Dualism is the designation of that system which recognizes two original and independent principles in the universe, the one good and the other evil. At present these principles are in a relation of ceaseless antagonism, the good ever struggling to oppose the evil, and to deliver its province from its baneful intrusion.


                19. What is affirmed and what is denied in the proposition that God is a Spirit?

                We know nothing of substance except as it is manifested by its properties. Matter is that substance whose properties manifest themselves directly to our bodily senses. Spirit is that substance whose properties manifest themselves to us directly in self consciousness, and only inferentially  by words and other signs or modes of expression through our senses.

                When we say God is a Spirit we mean––

                1st.  Negatively, that he does not possess bodily or that he is composed of no material elements; that he is not subject to any of the limiting conditions of material existence; and, consequently, that he is not to be apprehended as the object of any of our bodily senses.

                2nd. Positively, that he is a rational being, who distinguishes with infinite precision between the true and the false; that he is a moral being, who distinguishes between the right and the wrong; that he is a free agent, whose action is self–determined by his own will; and, in fine, that all the essential properties of our spirits may truly be predicated of him in an infinite degree.

                This great truth is inconsistent with the doctrine that God is the soul of the world ( anirna mundi) a plastic organizing force inseparable from matter; also with the Gnostic doctrine of emanation, and with all forms of modern Materialism and Pantheism.

                20. Exhibit the proof that God is a Spirit.

                1st.  It is explicitly asserted in Scripture.––John 4:24.

                2nd. It follows from our idea of infinite and absolute perfections. Matter is obviously inferior to Spirit, and inseparable from many kinds of imperfections and limitations. Matter consisting of separate and ceaselessly reacting atoms cannot be "one," nor "infinite", nor "immutable, " etc. The idea that matter may be united with spirit in God, as it is in man, is felt to degrade him, and bind him fast under the limitations of time and space.

                3rd. There is no trace anywhere of material properties in the Creator and Providential Governor of the universe––whereas all the evidence that a God exists conspires to prove also that he is a supremely wise, benevolent, righteous, and power person––that is, that he is a personal spirit.

                GOD’ S RELATION TO SPACE

                21. What is meant by the immensity of God?

                The immensity of God is the phrase used to express the fact that God is infinite in his relation to space, i.e., that the entire indivisible essence of God is at every moment of time cotempopresent to every point of infinite space.

                This is not in virtue of the infinite multiplication of his Spirit, since He is eternally one and individual; nor does it result from the infinite diffusion of his essence through infinite space, as air is diffused over the surface of the earth, since, being a Spirit he is not composed of parts, nor is he capable of extension, but the whole Godhead in the one indivisible essence is equally present in every moment of eternal duration to the whole of infinite space, and to every part of it.

                22. How does immensity differ from omnipresence?

                Immensity characterizes the relation of God to space viewed abstractly in itself. Omnipresence characterizes the relation of God to his creatures as they severally occupy their several positions in space. The divine essence is immense in its own being, absolutely. It is omnipresent relatively to all his creatures.

                23. What are the different modes of the divine presence, and how may it be proved that He iseverywhere present as to His essence?

                God may be conceived of as present in any place, or with any creature, in several modes, first, as to his essence; second, as to his knowledge; third, as manifesting that presence to any intelligent creature; fourth, as exercising his power in any way, in or upon the creature. As to essence and knowledge, his presence is the same everywhere and always. As to his self–manifestation and the exercise of his power, his presence differs endlessly in different cases in degree and mode. Thus God is present to the church as he is not to the world. Thus He is present in hell in the manifestation and execution of righteous wrath, while He is present in heaven in the manifestation and communication of gracious love and glory.

                24. Prove that God is omnipresent as to His essence.

                That God is everywhere present as to his essence is proved, first from Scripture (1 Kings 8:27; Psalm 139:7–10; Isaiah 66:1; Acts 17:27, 28); second, from reason. (1) It follows necessarily from his infinitude. (2) From the fact that his knowledge is his essence knowing, and his actions are his essence acting. Yet his knowledge and his power reach to all things.

                25. State the different relations that bodies, created spirits, and God sustain to space.

                Turretin says: Bodies are conceived of as existing in space circumscriptively, because occupying a certain portion of space they are bounded by space upon every side. Created spirits do not occupy any portion of space, nor are they embraced by any, they are, however, in space definitely,  as here and not there. God, on the other hand, is in space repletively,  because in a transcendental manner His essence fills all space. He is included in no space; he is excluded from none. Wholly present to each point, he comprehends all space at once.

                Time and Space are neither substances, nor qualities, nor mere relations. They constitute a genus by themselves, absolutely distinct from all other entities, and therefore defying classification. "We know that space and time exist; we know on sufficient evidence that God exists; but we have no means of knowing how space and time stand related to God. The view taken by Sir Isaac Newton, — 'Deus durat semper et adest ubique, et, existendo semper et ubique, durationem et spatium constituit'— is certainly a grand one, but I doubt much whether human        intelligence can dictatorially affirm that it is as true as it is sublime."— McCosh, "Intuitions of the Mind," p. 212.


                26. What is eternity?

                Eternity is infinite duration; duration discharged from all limits, without beginning, without succession, and without end. The schoolmen phrase it a punctum stans, an ever-abiding present.

                We, however, can positively conceive of eternity only as duration indefinitely extended from the present moment in two directions, as to the past and as to the future, improperly expressed as eternity a parteante, or past, and eternity a parte post, or future. The eternity of God, however, is one and indivisible. Externitas est una individua et tote simul.

                27. What is time?

                Time is limited duration, measured by succession, either of thought or motion. It is distinguished in reference to our perceptions into past, present, and future.

                28. What relation does time bear to eternity?

                Eternity, the unchanging present, without beginning or end, comprehends all time, and co–exists as an undivided moment, with all the successions of time as they appear and pass in their order.

                Thought is possible to us, however, only under the limitations of time and space. We can conceive of God only under the finite fashion of first purposing and then acting, of first promising or threatening and then fulfilling his word, etc. He that inhabiteth eternity infinitely transcends our understanding. Isaiah 57:15.

                29. When we say that God is eternal, what do we affirm and what do we deny?

                We affirm, first, that as to his existence, he never had any beginning, and never will have any end; second, that as to the mode of his existence, his thoughts, emotions, purposes, and acts are, without succession, one and inseparable, the same forever; third, that he is immutable.

                We deny, first, that he ever had a beginning or ever will have an end; second, that his states or of occur in succession; third, that his essence, attributes, or purposes will ever change.

                30. In what sense are the acts of God spoken of as past, present, and future?

                The acts of God are never past, present, or future as respects God himself, but only in respect to the objects and effects of his acts in the creature. The efficient purpose comprehending the precise object, time, and circumstance was present to him always and changelessly; the event, however, taking place in the creature occurs in time, and is thus past, present, or future to our observation.

                31. In what sense are events past or future as it regards God?

                As God’s knowledge is infinite, every event must, first, be ever equally present to his knowledge from eternity to eternity; second, these events must be know to him as they actually occur in themselves, e. a., in their true nature, relations, and such This distinction, therefore, holds true––God’s knowledge of all events is without beginning, end, or succession; but he knows them as in themselves occurring in the successions of time, past, present, or future, relatively to one another.


                32. What is meant by the immutability of God?

                By his immutability we mean that it follows from the infinite perfection of God; that he can not be changed by any thing from without himself; and that he will not change from any principle within                 himself that as to his essence, his will, and his states of existence, he is the same from eternity to eternity.

                Thus he is absolutely immutable in himself. He is also immutable relatively to the creature, inasmuch as his knowledge, purpose, and truth, as these are conceived by us and are revealed to us, can know neither variableness nor shadow of turning––James 1:17.

                33. Prove from Scripture and reason that God is immutable.

                1st.  Scripture: Malachi 3:6; Psalm 33:11; Isaiah 46:10; James 1:17.

                2nd. Reason: (1) God is self–existent. As he is caused by none, but causes all, so he can be changed by none, but changes all. (2) He is the absolute being. Neither his existence, nor the manner of it, nor his will, are determined by any necessary relation which they sustain to any thing exterior to himself. As he preceded all and caused all, so his sovereign will freely determined the relations which all things are permitted to sustain to him. (3) He is infinite in duration, and therefore he cannot know succession or change. (4) He is infinite in all perfection, knowledge, wisdom, righteousness, benevolence, will, power, and therefore cannot change, for nothing can be added to the infinite nor taken from it. Any change would make him either less than infinite before, or less than infinite afterwards.

                34. How can the creation of the world and the incarnation of the Son be reconciled with theimmutability of God?

                1st.  As to the creation. The effective purpose, the will and power to create the world dwelleth in God from eternity without change, but this very efficacious purpose itself provided that the effect should take place in its proper time and order. This effect took place from God, but of course involved no shadowy of change in God, as nothing was either taken from him or added to him.

                2nd.  As to the incarnation. The divine Son assumed a created human nature into personal union with himself. His uncreated essence of course was not changed. His eternal person was not changed in itself, but only brought into a new relation. The change effected by that stupendous event occurred only in the created nature of the man Christ Jesus.


                35. How does God’s mode of knowing differ from ours?

                God’s knowledge is, 1st, his essence knowing; 2nd, it is one eternal, all–comprehensive, indivisible act.

                (1) It is not discursive,  i.e., proceeding logically from the known to the unknown; but intuitive,  i.e., discerning all things directly in its own light.

                (2) It is independent,  i.e., it does in no way depend upon his creatures or their actions, but solely upon his own infinite intuition of all things possible in the light of his own reason, and of all things actual and future in the light of his own eternal purpose.

                (3) It is total and simultaneous,  not successive.  It is one single, indivisible act of intuition, beholding all things in themselves, their relations and successions, as ever present.

                (4) It is perfect and essential,  not relative,  i.e., he knows all things directly in their hidden essences, while we know them only by their properties, as they stand related to our senses.

                (5) We know the present imperfectly, the past we remember dimly, the future we know not at all but God knows all things, past, present, and future, by one total, unsuccessive, all comprehensive vision.

                36. How has this divine perfection been defined by theologians?

                Turretin, Locus 3., Q. 12.––" Concerning the knowledge of God, before all else, two things are to be considered, viz.. its mode and its object.  The Mode of the divine knowledge consists in this, that he perfectly, individually, distinctly, and immutably knows all things, and his knowledge is thus distinguished from the knowledge of men and angels. He knows all things perfectly,  because he has known them through himself or his own essence, and not by the phenomena of things, as the creatures know objects..... 2. He knows all things individually because he knows them intuitively, by a direct act of cognition, and not inferentially, by a process of discursive reasoning, or by comparing one thing with another..... 3. He knows all things distinctly,  not that he unites by a different conception the various predicates of things, but that he sees through all things by one most distinct act of intuition, and nothing, even the least thing, escapes him..... 4. And he knows all immutably because that with him there is no shadow of change, and he remaining himself unmoved, moves all things, and so perceives all the various changes of things, by one immutable act of cognition."

                37. How may the objects of divine knowledge be classified?

                1st.  God himself in his own infinite being. It is evident that this, transcending the sum of all other objects is the only adequate object of a knowledge really infinite.

                2nd.  All possible objects, as such, whether they are or ever have been, or ever will be or not, seen in the light of his own infinite reason.

                3rd. All things actual, which have been, are, or will be, he comprehends in one eternal, simultaneous act of knowledge, as ever present actualities to him, and as known to be such in the light of his own sovereign and eternal purpose.

                38. What is the technical designation of the knowledge of things possible, and what is the foundation of that knowledge?

                Its technical designation is scientia simplicis intelligentiae knowledge of simple intelligence, so called, because it is conceived by us as an act simply of the divine intellect, without any concurrent act of the divine will. For the same reason it has been styled scientia necessaria, necessary knowledge, i.e., not voluntary, or determined by will. The foundation of that knowledge is God’s essential and infinitely perfect knowledge of his own omnipotence.

                39. What is the technical designation of the knowledge of things actual, whether past, present, or future, and what is the foundation of that knowledge?

                It is called scientia visions, knowledge of vision,  and scientia libera, free knowledge,  because his intellect is in this case conceived of as being determined by a concurrent act of his will.

                The foundation of this knowledge is God’s infinite knowledge of his own all–comprehensive and unchangeable eternal purpose.

                40. Prove that the knowledge of God extends to future contingent events.

                The contingency of events in our view of them has a twofold ground: first, their immediate causes may be by us indeterminate, as in the case of the dice; second, their immediate cause may be the volition of a free agent. The first class are in no sense contingent in God’s view. The second class are foreknown by him as contingent in their cause, but as none the less certain in their event.

                That he does foreknow all such is certain––

                1st. Scripture affirms it.—1 Samuel 23:11, 12; Acts 2:23; 15:18; Isaiah 46:9,10.

                2nd.  He has often predicted contingent events future, at the time of the prophecy, which has been fulfilled in the event. Mark 14:30.

                3rd. God is infinite in all his perfections, his knowledge, therefore, must (1) be perfect, and comprehend all things future as well as past, (2) independent of the creature. He knows all things in themselves by his own light, and can not depend upon the will of the creature to make his knowledge either more certain or more complete.

                41. How can the certainty of the foreknowledge of God be reconciled with the freedom of moralagents in their acts?

                The difficulty here presented is of this nature. God’s foreknowledge is certain; the event, therefore, must be certainly future; if certainly future, how can the agent be free in enacting it.

                In order to avoid this difficulty some theologians, on the one hand, have denied the reality of man’s moral freedom, while others, on the other hand, have maintained that, God’s knowledge being free, he voluntarily abstains from knowing what his creatures endowed with free agency will do.

                We remark––

                1st. God’s certain foreknowledge of all future events and man’s free agency are both certain facts, impregnably established by independent evidence. We must believe both, whether we can reconcile them               or not.

                2nd. Although necessity is inconsistent with liberty, moral certainty is not, as is abundantly shown in Chapter 15., Question 25.

                42. What is scientia media?

                This is the technical designation of God’s knowledge of future contingent events, presumed, by the authors of this distinction, to depend not upon the eternal purpose of God making the event certain, but upon the free act of the creature as foreseen by a special intuition. It is called scientia media, middleknowledge,  because it is supposed to occupy a middle ground between the knowledge of simple intelligence and the knowledge of vision.  It differs from the former, since its object is not all possible things, but a special class of things actually future. It differs from the latter, since its ground is not the eternal purpose of God, but the free action of the creature as simply foreseen.

                43. By whom was this distinction introduced, and for what purpose?

                By Luis Molina, a Jesuit, born 1535 and died 1601, professor of theology in the University of Evora, Portugal, in his work entitled "Liberi arbitrii cum gratae donis, divine praescientia, praedestinatione et reprobatione concordia." ––Hagenbach's " Hist. of Doc.," vol. 2, p. 280. It was excogitated for the purpose of explaining how God might certainly foreknow what his free creatures would do in the absence of any sovereign foreordination on his part, determining their action. Thus making his foreordination of men to happiness or misery to depend upon his foreknowledge of their faith and obedience, and denying that his foreknowledge depends upon his sovereign foreordination.

                44. What are the arguments against the validity of this distinction?

                1st.  The arguments upon which it is based are untenable. Its advocates plead–– (1) Scripture.––1 Samuel 23:9–12; Matthew 11:22, 23. (2) That this distinction is obviously necessary, in order to render the mode of the divine foreknowledge consistent with man’s free agency.

                To the first argument we answer, that the events mentioned in the above–cited passages of Scripture werenot future.  They simply teach that God, knowing all causes, free and necessary, knows how they would act under any proposed condition. Even we know that if we add fire to powder an explosion would ensue.

                This comes under the first class we cited above (Question 38), or the knowledge of all possible things. To the second argument we answer, that the certain foreknowledge of God involves the certainty of the future free act of his creature as much as his foreordination does; and that the sovereign foreordination of God, with respect to the free acts of men, only makes them certainly future and does not in the least provide for causing those acts in any other way than by the free will of the creature himself acting freely.

                2nd. This middle knowledge is unnecessary, because all possible objects of knowledge, all possiblethings,  and all things actually to be, have already been embraced under the two classes already cited (Questions 38, 39).

                3rd. If God certainly foreknows any future event, then it must be certainly future, and he must have foreknown it to be certainly future, either because it was antecedently certain, or because his foreknowing it made it certain. If his foreknowing it made it certain, then his foreknowledge involves foreordination. If it was antecedently certain, then we ask, what could have made it certain, except what we affirm, the decree of God, either to cause it himself immediately, or to cause it through some necessary second cause, or that some free agent should cause it freely? We can only choose between the foreordination of God and a blind fate.

                4th.  This view makes the knowledge of God to depend upon the acts of his creatures exterior to himself: This is both absurd and impious, if God is infinite, eternal, and absolute.

                5th.  The Scriptures teach that God does foreordain as well as foreknow the free acts of men.––Isaiah 10:5–15; Acts 2:23; 4:27, 28.

                45. How does wisdom differ from knowledge, and wherein does the wisdom of God consist?

                Knowledge is a simple act of the understanding, apprehending that a thing is, and comprehending its nature and relations, or how it is.

                Wisdom presupposes knowledge, and is the practical use which the understanding, determined by the will, makes of the material of knowledge. God’s wisdom is infinite and eternal. It is conceived of by us as selecting the highest possible end, the manifestation of his own glory, and then in selecting and directing in every department of his operations the best possible means to secure that end. This wisdom is gloriously manifested to us in the great theaters of creation, providence, and grace.


                46. What is meant by the omnipotence of God?

                Power is that efficiency which, by an essential law of thought, we recognize as inherent in a cause in relation to its effect. God is the uncaused first cause, and the causal efficiency of his will is absolutely unlimited by anything outside of the divine perfection themselves.

                47. What distinction has been marked between the Potestas absoluta and the Potestas ordinata ofGod?

                The Scriptures and right reason teach us that the causal efficiency of God is not confined to the universe of second causes, and their active properties and laws. The phrase Potestas absoluta expresses the omnipotence of God absolutely considered in himself— and specifically that infinite reserve of power which remains with him as a free personal attribute, above and beyond all the powers of nature and his ordinary providential actings upon and through them. Creation, miracles, etc., are exercises of this power of God. The Potestas ordinata on the other hand is the power of God as it is now exercised in and through the established system of second causes, in the ordinary course of Providence. Rationalists and advocates of mere naturalism, who deny miracles, and any form of divine interference with the established order of nature, of course admit only the latter and deny the former mode of divine power.

                48. In what sense is the power of God limited and in what sense is it unlimited?

                We are conscious with respect to our own causal efficiency. 1st. That it is very limited. We have direct control only over the course of our thoughts, and the contractions of a few muscles. 2nd. That we depend upon the use of means to produce the effects we design. 3rd. We are dependent upon outward circumstances which limit and condition us continually.

                The power inherent in the divine will on the other hand can produce whatever effects he intends immediately, and when he condescends to use means he freely endows them with whatever efficiency they possess. All outward circumstances of every kind are his own creation, conditioned upon his will, and therefore incapable of limiting him in any way. He is absolutely unlimited in the exercise of his power. He can not do wrong, nor work contradictions, because his power is the causal efficiency of an infinitely rational and righteous essence. His power therefore is limited only by his own perfections.

                49. Is the distinction in us between power and will a perfection or a defect and does it exist in God?

                It is objected that if our power was equal to our design, and every volition resulted immediately in act, we would not be conscious of the difference between power and will. We admit that when a man’s power fails to be commensurate with his will it is a defect,— and that this never is the case with God. But on the other hand when a man is conscious that he possesses powers which he might but does not will to exercise, he is conscious that it is an excellence––and that his nature is the more perfect for the possession of such reserves of power than it would otherwise be. To hold that there is nothing in God which is not in actual exercise, that his power extends no further than his will, is to make him no greater than his finite creation. The actions of a great man impress us chiefly as the exponents of vastly greater power which remains in reserve. So it is with God.

                50. How can absolute omnipotence be prayed to belong to God?

                1st.  It is asserted by Scripture. Jeremiah 32:17; Matthew 19:26; Luke 1:37; Revelation 19:6.

                2nd.  It is necessarily involved in the very idea of God as an infinite being.

                3rd. Although we have seen but part of his ways(Job 26:14), yet our constantly extending experience is ever revealing to us new and more astonishing evidences of his power, which always indicate an inexhaustible reserve.


                51. What is meant by the will of God?

                The will of God is the infinitely and eternally wise, powerful, and righteous essence of God willing. In our conception it is that attribute of the Deity to which we refer his purposes and decrees as their principle.

                52. In what sense is the will of God said to be free, and in what sense necessary?

                The will of God is the wise, powerful, and righteous essence of God willing. His will, therefore, in every act is certainly and yet most freely both wise and righteous. The liberty of indifference is evidently foreign to his nature, because the perfection of wisdom is to choose the most wisely, and the perfection of righteousness is to choose the most righteously.

                On the other hand, the will of God is from eternity absolutely independent of all his creatures and all their actions.

                53. What is intended by the distinction between the decretive and the preceptive will of God?

                The decretive will of God is God efficaciously purposing the certain futurition of events. The preceptive will of God is God, as moral governor, commanding his moral creatures to do that which he sees it right and wise that they in their circumstances should do.

                These are not inconsistent. What he wills as our duty may very consistently be different from what he wills as his purpose. What it is right for him to permit may be wrong for him to approve, or for us to do.

                54. What is meant by the distinction between the secret and revealed will of God?

                The secret will of God is his decretive will, called secret. because although it is sometimes revealed to man in the prophecies and promises of the Bible, yet it is for the most part hidden in God.

                The revealed will of God is his preceptive will, which is always clearly set forth as the rule of our duty.––Deuteronomy 29:29.

                55. In what sense do the Armenians maintain the distinction between the antecedent andconsequent will of God, and what are the objections to their view of the subject?

                This is a distinction invented by the schoolmen, and adopted by the Armenians, for reconciling the will of God with their theory of the free agency of man.

                They call that an antecedent act of God’s will which precedes the action of the creature, e.g., before Adam sinned God willed him to be happy. They call that a consequent act of God’s will which followed the act of the creature, and is consequent upon that act, e.g., after Adam sinned God willed him to suffer the penalty due to his sin.

                It is very evident that this distinction does not truly represent the nature of God’s will, and its relation to the acts of his creatures: first, God is eternal, and therefore there can be no distinction in his purposes as to time; second, God is eternally omniscient and omnipotent. If he wills any thing, therefore, he must from the beginning will the means to accomplish it, and thus secure the attainment of the end willed.

                Otherwise God must have, at the same time, two inconsistent wills with regard to the same object. The truth is that God, eternally and unchangeable, by one comprehensive act of will, willed all that happened to Adam from beginning to end in the precise order an succession in which each event occurred; third, God is infinitely independent. It is degrading to God to conceive of him as first willing that which he has no power to effect, and then changing his will consequently to the independent acts of his creatures.

                It is true, indeed, that because of the natural limits of our capacities we necessarily conceive of the several intentions of God’s one, eternal, indivisible purpose, as sustaining a certain logical (not temporal), relation to each other as principal and consequent. Thus we conceive of God’s first (in logical order) decreeing to create man, then to permit him to fall, then to elect some to everlasting life, and then to provide a redemption.––Turretin.

                56. In what sense do Armenians hold the distinction between the absolute and conditional will ofGod, and what are the objecttions to that view?

                In their views that is the absolute will of God which is suspended upon no condition without himself, e.g., his decree to create man. That is the conditional will of God which is suspended upon a condition, e.g., his decree to save those that believe i.e., on condition of their faith.

                It is evident that this view is entirely inconsistent with the nature of God as an eternal, self existent, independent being, infinite in all his perfections. It degrades him to the position of being simply a coordinate part of the creation, mutually limiting and being limited by the creature.

                The mistake results from detaching a fragment of God’s will from the one whole, all–comprehensive, eternal purpose. It is evident that, when properly viewed as eternal and one, God’s purpose must

                comprehend all conditions, as well as their consequence God’s will is suspended upon no condition, but he eternally wills the event as suspended upon its condition, and its condition as determining the event.

                It is admitted by all that God’s preceptive will, as expressed in commands, promises, and threatenings, is often suspended upon condition. If we believe we shall certainly be saved. This is the relation which God has immutably established between faith as the condition, and salvation as the consequent, i.e., faith is the condition of salvation. But this is something very different from saying that the faith of Paul was the condition of God’s eternal purpose to save him, because the same purpose determined the faith as the condition. and the salvation as its consequent. See further, Chapter 10.. on the decrees.

                57. In what sense is the will of God said to be eternal?

                It is one eternal, unsuccessive, all–comprehensive act, absolutely determining either to effect or to permit all things, in all of their relations, conditions, and successions, which ever were, are, or ever will be.

                58. In what sense may the will of God be said to be the rule of righteousness?

                It is evident that in the highest sense, with respect to God willing, his mere will cannot be regarded as the ultimate ground of all righteousness, any more than it can be as the ultimate ground of all wisdom.

                Because, in that case, it would follow, first,  that there would be no essential difference between right and wrong in themselves, but only a difference arbitrarily constituted by God himself; and, second,  that it would be senseless to ascribe righteousness to God, for then that would be merely to say that he wills as he wills. The truth is, that his will acts as his infinitely righteous wisdom sees to be right.

                On the other hand, God’s revealed will is to us the absolute and ultimate rule of righteousness, alike when he commands things in themselves indifferent, and thus makes them right, as when he commands things in themselves essentially right, because they are right.


                59. What is meant by the distinctions, absolute and relative, rectoral, distributive, and punitive orvindicatory justice of God?

                The absolute justice of God is the infinite moral perfection or universal righteousness of his own being.

                The relative justice of God is his infinitely righteous nature, viewed as exercised in his relation to his moral creatures, as their moral governor.

                This last is called rectoral, when viewed as exercised generally in administering the affairs of his universal government, in providing for and governing his creatures and their actions. It is called distributive, when viewed as exercised in giving unto each creature his exact proportionate due of rewards or punishment. It is called punitive or vindicatory, when viewed as demanding and inflicting the adequate and proportionate punishment of all sin, because of its intrinsic ill desert.

                60. What are the different opinions as to the nature of the punitive justice of God, i. e., what are thedifferent reasons assigned why God punishes sin?

                The Socinians deny the punitive justice of God altogether, and maintain that he punishes sin simply for the good of the individual sinner, and of society, only so far as it may be interested in his restraint or improvement. Those theologians who maintain the governmental theory of the Atonement, hold that God punishes sin not because of a changeless principle in himself demanding its punishment, but for the good of the universe, on the basis of great and changeless principles of governmental policy. Thus resolving justice into a form of general benevolence. Leibnitz held that "justice is goodness conducted by wisdom."

                This principle assumes that happiness is the chief good. That the essence of virtue is the desire to promote happiness, and that consequently the end of justice can only be to prevent misery. This is the foundation of the Governmental theory of the Atonement. See Chapter 25. See Park on the "Atonement."

                Some hold that the necessity for the punishment of sin is only hypothetical, i. e., results only from the eternal decree of God.

                The true view is that God is immutably determined by his own eternal and essential righteousness to visit every sin with a proportionate punishment.

                61. Prove that disinterested benevolence is not the whole of virtue.

                1st.  Some exercises of disinterested benevolence, for example, natural parental affection, are purely instinctive, and have no positive moral character.

                2nd.  Some exercises of disinterested benevolence, such as the weak yielding of a judge to sympathy with a guilty man or his friends, are positively immoral.

                3rd.  There are virtuous principles incapable of being resolved into disinterested benevolence, such as proper prudential regard for one’s own highest good; aspiration and effort after personal excellence; holy abhorrence of sin for its own sane, and just punishment of sin in order to vindicate righteousness.

                4th.  The idea of oughtness is the essential constitutive idea of virtue. No possible analysis of the idea of benevolence will give the idea of moral obligation. This is simple, unresolvable, ultimate. Oughtness is the genus, and benevolence one of the species comprehended in it.

                62. State the evidence derived from the universal principles of human nature, that the justice ofGod must be an ultimate and unchangeable principle of his nature, determining him to punish sinbecause of its intrinsic ill desert.

                The obligation  of a righteous ruler to punish sin, the intrinsic ill desert of sin, the principle that sin oughtto be punished,  are ultimate facts of moral consciousness. They cannot be resolved into any other principle whatsoever. This is proved,

                1st.  Because they are involved in every awakened sinner’s consciousness of his own demerit.––Psalm 51: 4. "I have done this evil in thy sight; that thou mightest be just when thou speakest, and clear when thou judgest." In its higher degree this feeling. rises into remorse, and can be allayed only by expiation.

                Thus many murderers have had no rest until they have given themselves up to the law, when they have experienced instant relief. And millions of souls have found peace in the application of the blood of Jesus to their wounded consciences.

                2nd.  All men judge thus of the sins of others. The consciences of all good men are gratified when the just penalty of the law is executed upon the offender, and outraged when he escapes.

                3rd.  This principle is witnessed to by all the sacrificial rites common to all ancient religions, by the penance’s in some form universal even in modern times, by all penal laws, and by the synonyms for guilt, punishment, justice, etc., common to all languages.

                4th.  It is self–evident, that to inflict an unjust punishment is itself a crime, no matter how benevolent the motive which prompts it, nor how good the effect which follows it. It is no less self–evident that it is the justice of the punishment so deserved which renders its effect on the effect good, and not its effect on the community which renders it just. To hang a man for the good of the community is both a crime and a blunder, unless the hanging is justified by the ill desert of man. In that case his ill desert is seen by all the community to be the real reason of the hanging.

                63. Prove the same from the nature of the divine law.

                Grotius in his great work, " Defensio Fidei Catholicce De Satisfactione Christi," in which he originates the Governmental Theory of the Atonement, maintains that the divine law is a product of the divine will, and therefore at the option of God relaxable, alike in its preceptive and its penal elements. But the truth is (a) that the penalty is an essential part of the divine law; (b) that the law of God, as to all its essential principles of right and wrong, is not a product of the divine will, but an immutable transcript of the divine nature; (c) therefore the law is immutable and must need be fulfilled in every iota of it.

                This is proved—1st.  Because fundamental principles must have their changeless ground in the divine nature, or (a) otherwise the distinction between right and wrong would be purely arbitrary––whereas they are discerned by our moral intuitions to be absolute and independent of all volition divine or human; (b) otherwise it would be meaningless to say that God is right– if righteousness be an arbitrary creature of his own will; (c) because he declares that he " cannot lie," that "he cannot deny himself."

                2nd.  The scriptures declare that the law cannot be relaxed that it must be fulfilled.––John 7:23, and 10:35; Luke 24:44, Matthew 5:25, 26.

                3rd.  The scriptures declare that Christ came to fulfill the law, not to relax it.––Matthew 5:17, 18; Romans 3:31; 10:4.

                64. How may it be argued from the independence and absolute self–sufficiency of God, thatpunitive justice is an essential attribute of his nature?

                It is inconsistent with these essential attributes to conceive of God as obliged to any course of action by the external exigencies of his creation. Both the motive and the end of his action must be in himself.––Colossians 1:16; Romans 11:36; Ephesians 1:5, 6; Romans 9:22, 23. If he punishes sin because determined so to do by the principles of his own nature, then he acts independently. But if he resorts to this merely as the necessary means of restraining and governing his creatures, then their actions control his.

                65. How may it be proved from God’s love of holiness and hatred of sin?

                God’s love for holiness and hatred of sin is represented in Scripture as essential and intrinsic. He loves holiness for its own sake. He hates sin and is determined to punish it because of its intrinsic ill desert. He hates the wicked every day – Psalms 5:5; 7:11. "To me belongeth vengeance and recompense." –– Deuteronomy 32:35. " According to their deeds accordingly he will repay."––Isaiah 59:18; 2 Thessalonians 1:6. "See Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you."––Romans 1:32. " Knowing the judgment of God that they which commit such things are worthy of death."––Deuteronomy 17:6; 21:22.

                66. How can this truth be proved from what the Scriptures teach as to the nature and necessity ofthe atonement of Christ?

                As to its nature the Scriptures teach that Christ suffered the penalty of sin vicariously in the place and stead of his elect people, and that he thus expiated their guilt, and reconciled God and redeemed their souls by giving himself the ransom price demanded in their stead. The Scriptures everywhere and in every, way teach that the design of Christ’s death was to produce a sin–expiating effect upon the Governor of the moral universe, and not a moral impression either upon the heart of the individual sinner, or upon the public conscience of the intelligent universe. All this will be proved at length under Chapters 25. and 33.

                As to the necessity of the Atonement the scriptures teach that it was absolute. That Christ must die or sinners perish. Galatians 2:21, and 3:21. But the propriety of producing a moral impression upon each sinner personally, or upon the public mind of the universe generally, can not give rise to an absolute necessity on the part of God––since God who created the universe and all its members might, of course, if he so pleased, produce moral impressions upon them of whatever kind, either without means, or by whatsoever means he pleases. An absolute necessity must have its ground in the unchangeable nature of God, which lies back of and determines his will in all its acts. Therefore the eternal nature of God immutably determines him to punish all sin. "Political Science," Presidebt Theodore D. Woolsey, vol. 1., pp. 330–335.

                The theory that correction is the main end of punishment will not bear examination. (1) The state is not a humane institution. (2) The theory makes no distinction between crimes. If a murderer is apparently reformed in a week, the ends of detention are accomplished, and he should be set free; while the petty offender must stay for months or years until the inoculation of good principles becomes manifest. (3) What kind of correction is to be aimed at? Is it such as will insure society itself against his repeating his crime? In that case it is society, and not the person himself who is to be benefited by the corrective process. Or must a thorough cure, a recovery from selfishness and covetousness, an awakening of the highest principle of soul be aimed at; an established church, in short, be set up in the house of correction?

                The explanation that the state protects its own existence,  or the innocent inhabitants of the country, by striking its subjects with awe and deterring them from evil–doing through punishment, is met by admitting that, while this effect is real and important, it is not as yet made out that the state has a right to do this. Crime and desert of punishment must be pre–supposed before the moral sense can be satisfied with the infliction of evil. And the measure of the amount of punishment, supplied by the public good for the time, is most fluctuating and tyrannical; moreover mere awe, unaccompanied by an awakening of the sense of justice, is as much a source of hatred as a motive to obedience.

                The theory that in punishing an evil–doer the state renders to him his deserts,  is the only one that seems to have a solid foundation. It assumes that moral evil has been committed by disobedience to rightful commands, that according to a propriety which commends itself to our moral nature it is fit and right that evil, physical or mental, suffering or shame should be incurred by the wrong–doer, and that in all forms of government over moral beings there ought to be a power able to decide how much evil ought to follow special kinds and instances of transgressions. The state is in fact, as St. Paul calls it, the minister of God to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. But only in a very limited sphere and for special ends. . . It punishes acts, not thoughts, intentions appearing in acts, not feelings; it punishes persons within a certain territory over which it has the jurisdiction, and perhaps its subjects who do wrong elsewhere, but none else, it punishes acts hurtful to its own existence and to the community of its subjects; it punishes not according to an exact scale of deserts, for it cannot, without a revelation find out what the deserts of individuals are, nor what is the relative guilt of different actions of different persons. 1


                67. What distinctions are signified by the terms benevolence, complacency, mercy, and grace?

                The infinite goodness of God is a glorious perfection which pre–eminently characterizes his nature, and which he, in an infinitely wise, righteous, and sovereign manner, exercises towards his creatures in various modes according to their relations and conditions.

                Benevolence is the goodness of God viewed generically. It embraces all his creatures, except the judicially condemned on account of sin, and provides for their welfare.

                The love of complacency is that approving affection with which God regards his own infinite perfections, and every image and reflection of them in his creatures, especially in the sanctified subjects of the new creation.

                God’s mercy, of which the more passive forms are pity and compassion, is the divine goodness exercised with respect to the miseries of his creatures, feeling for them, and making provision for their relief, and in the case of impenitent sinners, leading to long–suffering patience.

                The grace  of God is his goodness seeking to communicate his favors, and, above all, the fellowship of his own life and blessedness to his moral creatures,—who, as creatures,  must be destitute of all merit,––and pre–eminently his electing love, securing at infinite cost the blessedness of its objects, who, as sinful creatures, were positively ill deserving.

                68. State a false definition of divine benevolence often given, and state how it is rightly defined.

                The infinite Benevolence of God is often defined as that attribute in virtue of which he communicates to all his creatures the greatest possible amount of happiness, i.e., as great as they are capable of receiving, or as great as is consistent with the attainment of the greatest amount of happiness on the age– in the moral universe.

                But this supposes that God is limited by something out of himself, that he could not have secured more happiness for his creatures than he has actually done. It also makes happiness paramount in the view of God to excellence.

                Benevolence should, on the other hand, be defined as that attribute in virtue of which God produces all the happiness in the universe, which is consistent with the end he had in view in its creation. These ends stand in this order. 1. The manifestation of his own glory. 2. The highest moral excellence of his creatures. 3. Their highest blessedness in himself.—Dr. Charles Hodge’s Lectures.

                69. What are the sources of our knowledge of the fact that God is benevolent?

                1st.  Reason. Benevolence is an essential element of moral perfection. God is infinitely perfect, and therefore infinitely benevolent.

                2nd.  Experience and observation. The wisdom of God in designing, and the power of God in executing, in the several spheres of creation, providence, and revealed religion, have evidently been constantly determined by benevolent intentions.

                3rd. The direct assertions of Scripture.—Psalm 165:8, 9; 1 John 4:8.

                70. How may it be proved that God is gracious and willing to forgive sin?

                Neither reason nor conscience can ever raise a presumption on this subject. It is the evident duty of fellow–creatures mutually to forgive injuries, but we have nothing to do with forgiving sin as sin.

                It appears plain that there can be no moral principle making it essential for a sovereign ruler to forgive sin as transgression of law. All that reason or conscience can assure us of in that regard is, that sin can not be forgiven without an atonement. The gracious affection which should prompt such a ruler to

                provide an atonement, must, from its essential nature, be perfectly free and sovereign, and therefore it can be known only so far as it is graciously revealed. The gospel is, therefore, good news confirmed by signs and wonders.––Exodus 24:6, 7; Ephesians 1:7–9.

                71. What are the different theories or assumptions on which it has been attempted to reconcile theexistence of sin with the goodness of God?

                1st.  It has been argued by some that free agency is essential to a moral system, and that absolute independence of will is essential to free agency. That to control the wills of free agents is no more an object of power than the working of contradictions; and consequently God, although omnipotent, could not prevent sin in a moral system without violating its nature.— See Dr. N. W. Taylor's "Concio ad Clerum," 1828.

                2nd.  Others have argued that sin was permitted by God in infinite wisdom as the necessary means to the largest possible measure of happiness in the universe as a whole.

                On both of these we remark––

                1st. That the first theory above cited is founded on a false view of the conditions of human liberty and responsibility (see below, Chapter 15); and, further, that it grossly limits the power of God by representing him as desiring and attempting what he cannot effect, and that it makes him dependent upon his creatures.

                2nd.  With reference to the second theory it should be remembered that God’s own glory, and not the greatest good of the universe, is the great end of God in creation and providence.

                3rd.  The permission of sin, in its relation both to the righteousness and goodness of God, is an insolvable mystery, and all attempts to solve it only darken counsel with words without knowledge. It is, however, the privilege of our faith to know, though not of our philosophy to comprehend, that it is assuredly a most wise, righteous, and merciful permission; and that it shall redound to the glory of God and to the good of his chosen.

                72. How can the attributes of goodness and justice be shown to be consistent?

                Goodness and justice are the several aspects of one unchangeable, infinitely wise, and sovereign moral perfection. God is not sometimes merciful and sometimes just, nor so far merciful and so far just, but he is eternally infinitely merciful and just. Relatively to the creature this infinite perfection of nature presents different aspects, as is determined by the judgment which infinite wisdom delivers in each individual case.

                Even in our experience these attributes of our moral nature are found not to be inconsistent in principle though our want both of wisdom and knowledge, a sense of our own unworthiness, and a mere physical sympathy, often sadly distract our judgments as well as our hearts in adjusting these principles to the individual cases of life.

                GOD’S ABSOLUTE TRUTH

                73. What is truth considered as a divine attribute?

                The truth of God in its widest sense is a perfection which qualifies all his intellectual and moral attributes. His knowledge is infinitely true in relation to its objects, and his wisdom unbiased either by prejudice or passion. His justice and his goodness in all their exercises are infinitely true to the perfect standard of his own nature. In all outward manifestations of his perfections to his creatures, God is always true to his nature —always self–consistently divine. This attribute in its more special sense qualifies all God’s intercourse with his rational creatures. He is true to us as well as to himself; and thus is laid the foundation of all faith, and therefore of all knowledge. It is the foundation of all confidence, first, in our senses; second, in our intellect and conscience; third, in any authenticated, supernatural revelation.

                The two forms in which this perfection is exercised in relation to us are, first, his entire truth in all his communications; second, his perfect sincerity in undertaking and faithfulness in discharging all his engagements.

                74. How can the truth of God be reconciled with the apparent non–performance of some of histhreatenings?

                The promises and threatenings of God are sometimes absolute,  when they are always infallibly fulfilled in the precise sense in which he intended them. They are often also conditional made to depend upon the obedience or repentance of the creature.––Jonah 3:4, 10; Jeremiah 18:7, 8. This condition may be either expressed or implied, because the individual case is understood to be, of course, governed by the general principle that genuine repentance and faith delivers from every threatening and secures every promise.

                75. How can the invitations and exhortations of the Scriptures, addressed to those whom God doesnot propose to save, be reconciled with his sincerity?

                See above (Question 42), the distinction between God’s preceptive and his decretive will. His invitations and exhortations are addressed to all men in good faith: first, because it is every man’s duty to repent and believe, and it is God’s preceptive will that every man should; second, because nothing ever prevents the obedience of any sinner, except his own unwilling– third, because in every case in which the condition is fulfilled the promise implied will be performed; fourth, God never has promised to enable every man to believe; fifth, these invitations and exhortations are not addressed to the reprobate as such, but to all sinners as such, with the avowed purpose of saving; thereby the elect.


                76. What is meant by the sovereignty of God?

                His absolute right to govern and dispose of all his creatures, simply according to his own good pleasure.

                77. Prove that this right is asserted in Scripture.

                Daniel 4:25, 35; Revelation 4:11; 1 Timothy 6:15; Romans 9:15–23.

                78. On what does the absolute sovereignty of God rest?

                lst.  His infinite superiority in being and in all his perfections to any and to all his creatures.

                2nd. As creatures they were created out of nothing, and are now sustained in being by his power, for his own glory and according to his own good pleasure.––Romans 11:36.

                3rd. His infinite benefits to us, and our dependence upon and blessedness in him, are reasons why we should not only recognize, but rejoice, in this glorious truth. The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice.

                79. Is there any sense in which there are limits to the sovereignty of God?

                The sovereignty of God, viewed abstractly as one attribute among many, must of course be conceived of as qualified by all the rest. It can not be otherwise than an infinitely wise, righteous, and merciful sovereignty.

                But God, viewed concretely as an infinite sovereign, is absolutely unlimited by any thing without himself:" He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth.",—Daniel 4:35.


                80. What is meant by the holiness of God?

                The holiness of God is not to be conceived of as one attribute among others; it is rather a general term representing the conception of his consummate perfection and total glory. It is his infinite moral perfection crowning his infinite intelligence and power. There is a glory of each attribute, viewed abstractly, and a glory of the whole together. The intellectual nature is the essential basis of the moral.

                Infinite moral perfection is the crown of the Godhead. Holiness is the total glory thus crowned.

                Holiness in the Creator is the total perfection of an infinitely righteous intelligence. Holiness in the creature is not mere moral perfection, but perfection of the created nature of moral agents after their kind, in spiritual union and fellowship with the infinite Creator.—1 John 1:3.

                The word holiness, as applied to God in Scripture, represents, first, moral purity—Leviticus 11:44; Psalm 145:17; second, his transcendental august and venerable majesty.–– Isaiah 5:3; Psalm 22:3; Revelation 4:8.

                To "sanctify the Lord", i.e., to make him holy, is to declare and adore his holiness by venerating his august majesty wherever and whereinsoever his person or character is represented, Isaiah 8:13; [29:23]; Ezekiel 38:23; Matthew 6:9; 1 Peter 3:15.

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Chapter 9: The Holy Trinity

                1. What is the etmology (linguistic development) and meaning of the word Trinity, and whenwas it introduced into the language of the Church?

                The word trinity (Trinitas) is derived either from tres–unus, trinus, or from tria> v three in one, or the one which is three, and the three which are one; not triplex—trinitas not triplicitas. This word is not found in the Scriptures. Technical terms are however an absolute necessity in all sciences. In this case they have been made particularly essential because of the sub– perversions of the simple, untechnical Biblical statements by infidels and heretics. This term, as above defined, admirably expresses the central fact of the great doctrine of the one essence eternally subsisting as three Persons, all the elements of which are explicitly taught in the Scriptures. The Greek word tri> av was first used in this connection by Theophilus, bishop of Antioch, in Syria, from AD. 168 to AD. 183. The Latin term Trinitas was first used by Tertullian, circum. 220. Mosheim’s "Eccle. Hist.," vol. 1., p. 121, note 7; Hagenbach, " Hist. of Doc.," vol. 1., 129

                2. What is the theological meaning of the term substantia (substance) what change has occurred in its usage?

                Substantia as now used, is equivalent to essence, independent being. Thus, in the Godhead, the three persons are the same in substance, i.e., of one and the same indivisible, numerical essence.

                The word was at first used by one party in the church as equivalent to subsistentia (subsistence), or mode of existence. In which sense, while there is but one essence, there are three substantiae or persons, in the Godhead.––See Turretin, Tom. 1., locus 3., quest 23.

                3. What other terms have been used as the equivalents of substantia in the definitions of thisdoctrine?

                The Greek oj usi> a and fu> si. The Latin essentia, natura. The English essence, substance,nature, being.

                4. What is the theological meaning of the word subsistentia (subsistence)?

                It is used to signify that mode of existence which: distinguishes one individual thing from every other individual thing, one person from every other person. As applied to the doctrine of the Trinity, subsistence is that mode of existence which is peculiar to each of the divine persons, and which in each constitutes the one essence a distinct person.

                5. What is the New Testament sense of the word uJ po> stasiv (hypostasis)?

                This word, as to its etymology, is precisely equivalent to substance; it comes from uJ fi> sthmi "to stand under.",

                In the New Testament it is used five times—

                1st.  Figuratively, for confidence, or that state of mind which is conscious of a firm foundation, 2 Corinthians 9:4; Hebrews 3:14, which faith realizes, Hebrews 11:1.

                2nd. Literally, for essential nature, Hebrews 1:3.—See Sampson’s " Commentary on Heb."

                6. In what sense is this word used by the ecclesiastical writers?

                Until the middle of the fourth century this word, in connection with the doctrine of the Trinity, was generally used in its primary sense, as equivalent to substance. It is used in this sense in the creed published by the Council of Nice AD. 325, and again in the decrees of the Council of Sardica, in Illyria, AD. 347. These agreed in affirming that there is but one hypostasis in the Godhead. Some, however, at that time understanding the word in the sense of person, its usage was changed by general consent, chiefly through the influence of Athanasius, and ever since it has been established in theological language in the sense of person, in contradistinction to oj usi> a essence. It has been transferred into the English language in the form of an adjective, to designate the hypostatical or personal union of two natures in the God–man.

                7. What is essential to personality, and how is the word person to be defined in connection withthe doctrine of the Trinity?

                The Latin word, " suppositum," signifies a distinct individual existence, e.g., a particular tree or horse. A person is " suppositum intellectuale," a distinct individual existence, to which belongs the properties of reason and free will. Throughout the entire range of our experience and observation of personal existence among creatures, personality rests upon and appears to be inseparable from distinction of essence. Every distinct person is a distinct soul, with or without a body.

                That distinguishing mode of existence which constitutes the one divine essence coordinately three separate persons, is of course an infinite mystery which we can not understand, and therefore cannot adequately define, and which we can know only so far as it is explicity revealed. All that we know is, that this distinction, which is called personality, embraces all those incommunicable properties which eternally belong to Father, Son, or Holy Ghost separately, and not to all in common; that it lays the foundation for their concurrence in counsel, their mutual love and action one upon another, as the Father sending the Son, and the Father and Son sending the Spirit, and for use of the personal pronouns I, thou, He, in the revelation which one divine person gives of himself and of the others.

                Person is defined by Gerhard –– "Persona est substantia individua, intelligenes, incommunicabilis, quæ non sustentatur in alio, vel ab alio." In relation to this great mystery of the divine trinity of persons in the unity of essence Calvin’s definition of Person is better because more modest. "By person,  then, I mean a subsistence in the divine essence––a subsistence which while related to the other two, is distinguished from them by incommunicable properties."––" Institutes," Book 1., Chap. 13, §6.

                8. What other terms have been used by theologians as the equivalent of Person in this


                Greek, uJ po> stasiv and pro> swpon ––aspect; Latin, persona, hypostasis, subsistentiaaspectus; English, person, hpostasis.––Shedd’s "Hist. Christ Doc.," B. 3., Ch. 3, § 5.

                9. What is meant by the terms oJ moou> sion (of the same substance), and oJ moiou> sion (ofsimilar substance)?

                In the first general council of the church which, consisting of three hundred and eighteen bishops, was called together by the Emperor Constantine at Nice, in Bithynia, AD. 325, there were found to be three great parties representing different opinions concerning the Trinity.

                1st.  The orthodox party, who maintained the opinion now held by all Christians, that the Lord Jesus is, as to his divine nature, of the same identical substance with the Father. These insisted upon applying to him the definite term oJ moou> sion (homoousion), compounded of oJ mo> v, sameand ouj si> a, substance, to teach the great truth that the three persons of the Godhead are one God, because they are of the same numerical essence.

                2nd.  The Arians, who maintained that the Son of God is the greatest of all creatures, more like God than any other, the only–begotten Son of God, created before all worlds, through whom God created all other things, and in that sense only divine. They held that the Son was eJ terou> sion of different or generically unlike essence from the Father.

                3rd. The middle party, styled Semiarians, who confessed that the Son was not a creature, but denied that he was in the same sense God as the Father is. They held that the Father is the only absolute self–existent God; yet that from eternity he, by his own free will, caused to proceed from himself a divine person of like nature and properties.  They denied, therefore, that the Son was of the same substance (homoousion) with the Father, but admitted that he was of an essence truly similar, and derived from the Father (homoiousion, oJ moio> usoin, from, o[ uiov, like, and oj usi> a, substance), generically though not numerically one.

                The opinions of the first, or orthodox party, prevailed at that council, and have ever since been represented by the technical phrase, homoousian.

                For the creed promulgated by that council, see Chapter 7.

                10. What are the several propositions essentially involved in the doctrine of the Trinity?

                1st.  There is but one God, and this God is one, i.e. , indivisible.

                2nd.  That the one indivisible divine essence, as a whole, exists eternally as Father, and as Son, and as Holy Ghost; that each person possesses the whole essence, and is constituted a distinct person by certain incommunicable properties, not common to him with the others.

                3rd.  The distinction between these three is a personal  distinction, in the sense that it occasions (l) the use of the personal pronouns, I, thou, he, (2) a concurrence in counsel and a mutual love, (3) a distinct order of operation.

                4th Since there is but one divine essence, and since all attributes or active properties are inherent in and inseparable from the essence to which they pertain, it follows that all the divine attributes must be identically common to each of the three persons who subsist in common of the one essence.

                Among all creatures every distinct person is a distinct numerical substance, and possesses a distinct intelligence, a distinct will etc. In the Godhead, however, there is but one substance, and one intelligence, one will, etc., and yet three persons eternally co–exist of that one essence, and exercise that one intelligence and one will, etc. In Christ on the contrary, there are two spirits, two intelligences, two wills, and yet all the while one indivisible person.

                5th.  These divine persons being one God, all the divine attributes being common to each in the same sense, nevertheless they are revealed in the Scriptures in a certain order of subsistence and of operation. (1) Of subsistence inasmuch as the Father is neither begotten nor proceedeth, while the Son is eternally begotten by the Father, and the Spirit eternally proceedeth from the father and the Son; (2) of operation, inasmuch that the first person sends and operates through the second, and the first and second send and operate through the third.

                Hence the Father is always set forth as first, the Son as second, the Spirit as third.

                6th.  While all the divine attributes are common equally to the three persons, and all divine works wrought ad extra such as creation, providence, or redemption, are predicated alike of the one being––the one God considered absolutely––and of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost severally; nevertheless the Scriptures attribute some divine works wrought ad intra, exclusively to each divine person respectively, e. g., generation to the Father, filiation to the Son, procession to the Holy Ghost; and there are likewise some divine works wrought ad extra which are attributed pre–eminently to each person respectively, e.g., creation to the Father, redemption to the Son, and sanctification to the Holy Ghost.

                In order, therefore, to establish this doctrine in all its parts by the testimony of Scripture, it will be necessary for us to prove the following propositions in their order:

                1st.  That God is one.

                2nd.  That Jesus of Nazareth, as to his divine nature, was truly God, yet a distinct person from the Father.

                3rd.  That the Holy Spirit is truly God, yet a distinct person.

                4th.  That the Scriptures directly teach a trinity of persons in one Godhead.

                5th.  It will remain to gather what the Scriptures reveal as to the eternal and necessary relations which these three divine persons sustain to each other. These are distributed under the following heads: (1) The relation which the second person sustains to the first, or the eternal generation of the Son; (2) the relation which the third person sustains to the first and second, or the eternal procession of the Holy Ghost; and, (3) their personal properties and order of operation, ad extra.


                The proof of this proposition, from reason and Scripture, has been fully set forth above, in Chapter 8., on the Attributes of God, questions 12–18.

                The answer to the question, how the co–ordinate existence of three distinct persons in the Trinity can be reconciled with this fundamental doctrine of the divine unity, is given below in question 94 of this chapter.


                PERSON FROM THE FATHER.

                11. What different views have been entertained with respect to the person of Christ?

                The orthodox doctrine as to the person of Christ, is that he from eternity has existed as the co–equal Son of the Father, constituted of the same infinite self–existent essence with the father and the Holy Ghost.

                The orthodox doctrine as to his person as at present constituted, since his incarnation, is set forth in chapter 23. An account of the different heretical opinions as to his person are given below, in questions 96–99, of this chapter.

                12. To what extent did the Jews at the time of Christ expect the Messiah to appear as a divineperson?

                When Christ appeared, it is certain that the great mass of the Jewish people had ceased to entertain the Scriptural expectation of a divine Saviour, and only desired a temporal prince, in a pre–eminent sense, a favorite of heaven. It is said, however, that scattered hints in some of the rabbinical writings indicate that some of the more learned and spiritual still continued true to the ancient faith.

                13. How may the pre–existence of Jesus before his birth by the Virgin be proved from


                1st.  Those passages which say that he is the creator of the world.––John 10:3; Colossians 1:15–18.

                2nd.  Those passages which directly declare that he was with the Father before the world was; that he was rich, and possessed glory.––John 1:1, 15, 30; 6:62; 8:58; 17:5; 2 Corinthians 8:9.

                3rd.  Those passages which declare that he "came into the world" , "came down from heaven."––

                John 3:13, 31; 13:3; 16:28; 1 Corinthians 15:47.

                14. How can it be proved that the Jehovah who manifested himself as the God of the Jewsunder the old economy was the second person of the Trinity, who became incarnate in Jesus of


                As this fact is not affirmed in any single statement of Scripture, it can be established only by a careful comparison of many passages. The evidence, as compiled from Hill’s Lects., Book 3., ch. 5., may be summed up as follows:

                1st.  All the divine appearances of the ancient economy are referred to oneperson.–– Compare Genesis 18:2, 17; 28:13; 32:9, 31; Exodus 3:14, 15; 13:21; 20:1, 2; 25:21; Deuteronomy 4:33, 36, 39; Nehemiah 9:7–28. This one person is called Jehovah, the incommunicable name of God, and at the same time angel, or one sent.––Compare Genesis 31:11, 13; 48:15, 16; Hosea 12:2, 5. Compare Exodus 3:14, 15, with Acts 7:30–35; and Exodus 13:21, with Exodus 14:19; and Exodus 20:1, 2, with Acts 7:38; Isaiah 13:7, 9.

                2nd.  But God the Father has been seen by no man (John 1:18; 6:46):neither could he be an angel, or one sent by any other; yet God the Son has been seen (1 John 1:1, 2), and sent (John 5:36).

                3rd.  This Jehovah, who was at the same time the angel, or one sent, of the old economy, was also set forth by the prophets as the Savior of Israel, and the author of the new dispensation. In Zechariah 2:10, 11, one Jehovah is represented as sending another. See Micah 5:2. In Malachi 3:1, it is declared that " the Lord I, the messenger of the covenant," shall come to his own temple. This applied to Jesus (Mark 1:2).––Compare Psalm 97:7, with Hebrews 1:6; and Isaiah 6:1–5, with John 12:41.

                4th.  Certain references in the New Testament to passages in the Old appear directly to imply this fact. Compare Psalm 28:15, 16, 35, with 1 Corinthians 10:9.

                5th.  The Church is one under all dispensations, and Jesus from the beginning is the Redeemer and Head of the Church; it is, therefore, most consistent with all that has been revealed to us as to the offices of the three divine persons in the scheme of redemption, to admit the view here presented.

                See also John 8:56, 58; Matthew 23:37; 1 Peter 1:10,11.

                15. In what form are the earliest disclosures made in the Old Testament of the existence andagency of a Person distinct from God and yet as divine?

                In the earlier books an Angel is spoken of, sent from God, often appearing to men, and yet himself God.––Genesis 16:7-13. The Angel of Jehovah appears to Hagar, claims divine power, and is called God.––Genesis 18:2-33. Three angels appeared to Abraham, one of whom is called Jehovah, 18:17.––Genesis 32:25. An Angel wrestles with Jacob and blesses him as God, and in Hosea, 12:3-5, that

                Angel is called God.––Exodus 3:2. The Angel of Jehovah appeared to Moses in the burning bush, and in the following verses this angel is called Jehovah, and other divine titles are ascribed to him.

                This Angel led the Israelites in the wilderness.––Exodus 14:19; Isaiah 63:9. Jehovah is represented as saving his people by the Angel of his Presence  Thus Malachi 3:1––"The Lord, the Angel of covenant shall suddenly come to his temple.", This applied to Christ.––Mark 1:2.

                16. What evidence of the divinity of the Messiah does the2nd Psalm present?

                It declares him to be the Son of God, and as such to receive universal power over the whole earth and its inhabitants. All are exhorted to submit to him, and to trust him, on pain of his anger. In Acts 13:33, Paul declares that Psalm refers to Christ.

                17. What evidence is furnished by the 45th Psalm?

                The ancient Jews considered this Psalm addressed to the Messiah, and the fact is established by Paul (Hebrews 1:8, 9). Here, therefore, Jesus is called God, and his throne eternal.

                18. What evidence is furnished by Psalm 110?

                That this Psalm refers to the Messiah is proved by Christ (Matthew 22:43, 44), and by Paul  (Hebrews 5:6; 7:17). He is here called David’s Lord (Adonai), and invited to sit at the right hand of Jehovah until all his enemies be made his footstool.

                19. What evidence is furnished by Isaiah 9:6?

                This passage self–evidently refers to the Messiah, as is confirmed by Matthew 4:14–16. It declares explicitly that the child born is also the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

                20. What is the evidence furnished by Micah 5:2?

                This was understood by the Jews to refer to Christ, which is confirmed by Matthew 2:6, and John 7:42. The passage declares that his goings forth have "been from ever of old," i.e., from eternity.

                21. What evidence is furnished by Malachi 3:1,2?

                This passage self–evidently refers to the Messiah, as is confirmed by Mark 1:2.

                The Hebrew term (Adonai), here translated Lord, is never applied to any other than the supreme God. The temple, which was sacred to the presence and worship of Jehovah, is called his temple. And in verse 2nd, a divine work of Judgment is ascribed to him.

                22. What evidence is afforded by the way in which the writers of the New Testament apply the writings of the Old Testament to Christ?

                The apostles frequently apply the language of the Old Testament to Christ, when it is evident that the original writers intended to speak of Jehovah, and not of the Messiah as such.

                Psalm 102 is evidently an address to the supreme Lord, ascribing to him eternity, creation, providential government, worship, and the hearing and answering of prayer. But Paul (Hebrews 1:10–12) affirms Christ to be the subject of the address. In Isaiah 14:20–25, Jehovah speaks and asserts his own supreme Lordship. But Paul, in Romans 14:11, quotes a part of Jehovah’s declaration with regard to himself, to prove that we must all stand before the judgment of Christ. — Compare also Isaiah 6:3, with John 12:41.

                23. What is the general character of the evidence upon this subject afforded by the NewTestament?

                This fundamental doctrine is presented to us in every individual writing, and in every separate paragraph of the New Testament, either by direct assertion or by necessary implication, as may be ascertained by every honest reader for himself. The mass of this testimony is so great, and is so intimately interwoven with every other theme in every passage, that I have room here to present only a general sample of the evidence, classified under the usual heads.

                24. Prove that the New Testament ascribes divine titles to Christ.

                John 1:1; 20:28; Acts 20:28; Romans 9:5; 2 Thessalonians 1:12; 1 Timothy 3:16; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8; 1 John 5:20.

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Chapter 10: The Decrees God in General

                1. What are the decrees of God?

                See "Confession of Faith," chapter 3. "Larger Cat.," Q. 12, and "Shorter Catechism," Q. 7.

                The decree of God is his eternal, unchangeable, holy, wise, and sovereign purpose, comprehending at once all things that ever were or will be in their causes, conditions, successions, and relations, and determining their certain futurition. The several contents of this one eternal purpose are, because of the limitation of our faculties, necessarily conceived of by us in partial aspects, and in logical relations, and are therefore styled DECREES.

                2. How are the acts of God classified, and to which class do theologians refer the decrees?

                All conceivable divine actions may be classified as follows:

                1st.  Those actions which are immanent and intrinsic,  belonging essentially to the perfection of the divine nature, and which bear no reference whatever to any existence without the Godhead. These are the acts of eternal and necessary generation, whereby the Son springs from the Father, and of eternal and necessary procession, whereby the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, and all those actions whatsoever involved in the mutual society of the divine persons.

                2nd.  Those actions which are extrinsic and transient i.e.,  those free actions proceeding from God and terminating upon the creature, occurring successively in time, as God’s acts in creation, providence, and grace.

                3rd.  The third class are like the first, inasmuch as they are intrinsic and immanent, essential to the perfection of the divine nature and permanent states of the divine mind, but they differ, on the other hand, from the first class, inasmuch as they have respect to the whole dependent creation exterior to the Godhead. These are the eternal and immutable decrees of God respecting all beings and events whatsoever exterior to himself.

                3. What is the essential nature and source of the difficulties which oppress the human, reason whenspeculating on this subject?

                These difficulties all have their ground in the perfectly inscrutable relations of the eternal to the temporal, of the infinite to the finite, of God’s absolute sovereignty to man’s free agency, and of the unquestionable fact of the origination of sin to the holiness, goodness, wisdom, and power of God. They are peculiar to no system of theology, but press equally upon any system which acknowledges the existence and moral government of God, and the moral agency of man. They have perplexed heathen philosophers of old, and deists in modern times, and Socinians, Pelagians, and Arminians just as sorely as Calvinists.

                4. From what fixed point of view are we to start in the study of this subject?

                A self–existent, independent, all–perfect, and unchangeable God, existing alone from eternity, began to create the universe physical and moral in an absolute vacuum, moved to do so from motives and with reference to ends, and according to ideas and plans, wholly interior and self–prompted. Also, if God governs the universe, he must, as an intelligent being, govern it according to a plan; and this plan much be perfect in its comprehension, reaching to all details. If he has a plan now, he must have had the same plan unchanged from the beginning. The decree of God therefore is the act of an infinite, absolute, eternal, unchangeable, and sovereign person, comprehending a plan including all his works of all kinds, great and small, from the beginning of creation to an unending eternity. It must  therefore be incomprehensible, and it cannot be conditioned by any thing exterior to God himself–––since it was matured before any thing exterior to him existed. and hence itself embraces and determines all these supposed exterior things and all the conditions of them forever.

                5. What is the distinction between foreknowledge and foreordination and what is the generalposition of the Socinians on this point?

                Foreknowledge is an act of the infinite intelligence of God, knowing from all eternity, without change, the certain futurition of all events of every class whatsoever that ever will come to pass.

                Foreordination is an act of the infinitely intelligent, foreknowing, righteous, and benevolent will of God from all eternity determining the certain futurition of all events of every class whatsoever that come to pass. Foreknowledge recognizes the certain futurition of events, while foreordination makes them certainly future.

                Socinians admit that the foreknowledge and the foreordination of God are co–extensive, but they limit both to such events in creation and providence as God has determined to do by his own immediate agency, or to bring about through the agency of such second causes as act under the law of necessity.

                They deny that God has either foreordained or foreknown the voluntary actions of free agents, which from their very nature are contingent, and not objects of knowledge until alter their occurrence.

                6. What is the position of the Arminians on this subject?

                The Arminians agree with the Socinians in denying that God foreordains the voluntary acts of free agents, or in any way whatever determines them beforehand to be certainly future. But they differ from the Socinians and agree with us in holding that the certain foreknowledge of God extends equally to all events, as well to those in their nature contingent, as to those produced by second causes acting under the law of necessity. They hold that he foresees with absolute certainty from all eternity the futurition of the free actions of moral agents, and that he embraces and adjusts them in his eternal plan—which plan embraces all things, the free actions of moral agents as simply foreseen, and the actions of necessary agents as absolutely foreordained.

                7. State under several heads the Calvinistic doctrine on this subject.

                1st.  God foreknows all events as certainly future because he has decreed them and thus made them certainly future.

                2nd.  God’s decree relates equally to all future events of every kind, to the free actions of moral agents, as well as to action of necessary agents, to sinful as well as morally right actions.

                3rd.  Some things God has eternally decreed to do himself immediately, e.g.,  creation; other things to bring to pass through the action of second causes acting under a law of necessity, and again other things he has decreed to prompt or to permit free agents, to do in the exercise of their free agency; yet the one class of events is rendered by the decree as certainly future as the other.

                4th.  God has decreed ends as well as means, causes as well as effects, conditions and instrumentalities as well as the events which depend upon them.

                5th.  God’s decree determines only the certain futurition of events, it directly effects or causes no event.

                But the decree itself provides in every case that the event shall be effected by causes acting in a manner perfectly consistent with the nature of the event in question. Thus in the case of every free act of a moral agent the decree itself provides at the same time—(a) That the agent shall be a free agent. (b) That his antecedents and all the antecedents of the act in question shall be what they are. (c) That all the present conditions of the act shall be what they are. (d) That the act shall be perfectly spontaneous and free on the part of the agent. (e) That it shall be certainly future.

                6th.  God’s purposes relating to all events of every kind constitute one single, all–comprehensive intention comprehending all events, the free as free, the necessary as necessary, together with all their causes, conditions, and relations, as one indivisible system of things, every link of which is essential to the integrity of the whole.

                8. Show that as respects the eternal plan of an omniscient and omnipotent Creator, foreknowledgeis equivalent to foreordination.

                God possessing infinite foreknowledge and power, existed alone from eternity; and in time, self–prompted, began to create in an absolute vacuum. Whatever limiting causes or conditions afterwards exist were first intentionally brought into being by himself, with perfect foreknowledge of their nature, relations, and results. If God then foreseeing that if he created a certain free agent and placed him in certain relations he would freely act in a certain way, and yet with that knowledge proceeded to create that very free agent and put him in precisely those positions, God would, in so doing, obviously predetermine the certain futurition of the act foreseen. God can never in his work be reduced to a choice of evils, because the entire system, and each particular end and cause, and condition, was clearly foreseen and by deliberate choice admitted by himself.

                9. What reasons may be assigned for contemplating the decrees of God as one all–comprehensiveintention?

                1st.  Because as shown below it is an eternal act, and oeternitas est una, individua et tota simul.

                2nd.  Because every event that actually occurs in the system of things is interlaced with all other events in endless involution. No event is isolated. The color of the flower and the nest of the bird are related to the whole material universe. Even in our ignorance we can trace a chemical fact as related to myriad other facts, classified under the heads of mechanics, electricity, and light and life.

                3rd.  God decrees events as they actually occur, i.e., events produced by causes, and depending upon conditions. The decree that determines the event cannot leave out the cause or the condition upon which it depends. But the cause of one event, is the effect of another, and every event in the universe is more immediately or remotely the condition of every other, so that an eternal purpose on the part of God must be one all comprehensive act.

                As our minds are finite, as it is impossible for us to embrace in one act of intelligent comprehension an infinite number of events in all their several relations and bearings, we necessarily contemplate events in partial groups, and we conceive of the purpose of God relating to them as distinct successive acts. Hence the Scriptures speak of the counsels, the purposes, and the judgments of God in the plural, and in order to indicate the intended relation of one event to another, they represent God as purposing one event, as the means or condition upon which anther is suspended. This is all true because these events do have these relations to one another, but they all alike fall within, and none remain without, that one eternal design of God which comprehends equally all causes and all effects, all events and all conditions.

                All the speculative errors of men on this subject, spring from the tendency of the human mind to confine attention to one fragment of God’s eternal purpose, and to regard it as isolated from the rest. The Decree of God separates no event from its causes or conditions any more than we find them separated in nature.

                We are as much unable to take in by one comprehensive act of intelligence all the works of God in nature as we are to take in all his decrees.We are forced to study his works part by part, but no intelligent student of nature thinks that any event is isolated. So we are forced to study his decrees part by part, but no intelligent theologian should suppose that there are any broken links or imperfect connection either here or there.

                10. How may it be proved that the decrees of God are eternal?

                1st.  As God is infinite, he is necessarily eternal and unchangeable, from eternity infinite in wisdom and knowledge, and absolutely independent in thought and purpose of every creature. There can never be any addiction to his wisdom, nor surprise to his foreknowledge nor resistance to his power, and therefore there never can be any occasion to reverse or modify that infinitely wise and righteous purpose which, from the perfection of his nature, he formed from eternity.

                2nd.  It is asserted in Scripture.—(ajp jajiw~nov) Acts 15:18; (pro< katabolh~v ko>smou) Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:20; (ajp jajrch~v) 2 Thessalonians 2:13; (pro< cro>nwn ajiwni>wn) 2

                Timothy 1:9; (pro< tw~n ajiwnwn) 1 Corinthians 2:7; Ephesians 3:11, etc.

                11. Prove that the decrees are immutable.

                1st.  This is certain from the fact that they are eternal, as just shown.

                2nd.  from the fact that God is eternal, absolute, immutable, and all–perfect in wisdom and power.

                3rd.  It is taught in Scripture.—Psalm 33:11; Isaiah 46:9, etc.

                12. Prove from reason that the decrees of God comprehend all events.

                As shown above no event is isolated. If one event is decreed absolutely all events must therefore be determined with it. If one event is left indeterminate all future events will be left in greater or less degrees indeterminate with it.

                13. Prove the same from Scripture.

                1st.  They affirm that the whole system in general is embraced in the divine decrees.—Ephesians 1:11; Acts 17: 26; Daniel 4: 34,35.

                2nd.  They affirm the same of chance events.—Proverbs 16: 33; Matthew 10: 29,30.

                3rd.  Of the free actions of men.—Ephesians 2:10,11; Philippians 2:13.

                4th.  Even of the wicked actions of men. "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken and with wicked hands have crucified and slain." —Acts 2:23.

                "For of a truth against thy Holy Child whom thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined beforehand to be done."—Acts 4:27,28; Acts 13:29; 1 Peter 2:8; Jude 4; Revelation 17:17.

                As to the history of Joseph, compare Genesis 37:28 with Genesis 45:7,8, and 1:20: "So now it was not you that sent me hither but God." "But as for you, ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good."—See also Psalm 17:13,14, and Isaiah 10:5 and 15, etc.

                14. Prove the universality of God’s decrees from providence.

                It follows from the eternity, immutability, and infinite wisdom, foreknowledge, and power of God, that his temporal working in providence must in all things proceed according to his eternal purpose.—Ephesians 1:11, and Acts 15:18. But both Scripture and reason alike teach us that the providential government of God comprehends all things in heaven and on earth as a whole, and every event in detail.—Proverbs 16:33; Daniel 4:34,35; Matthew 10:29,30.

                15. Prove this doctrine from prophecy.

                God has in the Scriptures foretold the certain occurrence of many events, including the free actions of men, which have afterwards surely come to pass. Now the ground of prophecy is foreknowledge, and the foundations of the foreknowledge of an event as certainly future, is God’s decree that made it future. The eternal immutability of the decree is the only foundation of the infallibility either of the foreknowledge or of the prophecy. But if God has decreed certain future events, he must also have included in that decree all of their causes, conditions, coordinates, and consequences. No event is isolated; to make one certainly future implies the determination of the whole concatenation of causes and effects which constitute the universe.

                16. In what sense are the decrees of God free?

                The decrees of God are free in the sense that in decreeing he was solely actuated by his own infinitely wise, righteous, and benevolent good pleasure. He has always chosen as he pleased, and he has always pleased consistently with the perfection of his nature.

                17. In what sense are the decrees of God sovereign?

                They are sovereign in the sense that while they determine absolutely whatever occurs without God, their whole reason and motive is within the divine nature, and they are neither suggested nor occasioned by, nor conditioned upon anything whatsoever without him.

                18. What is the distinction between absolute and conditional decrees?

                An absolute decree is one which, while it may include conditions, is suspended upon no condition, i.e., it makes the event decreed, of whatever kind, whether of mechanical necessity or of voluntary agency, certainly future, together with all the causes and conditions, of whatever nature, upon which the event depends.

                A conditional decree is one which decrees that an event shall happen upon the condition that some other event, possible but uncertain (not decreed), shall actually occur.

                The Socinians denied that the free actions of men, being intrinsically uncertain, are the objects of knowledge, and therefore affirmed that they are not foreknown by God. They held that God decreed absolutely to create the human race, and after Adam sinned he decreed absolutely to save all repenting            and believing sinners, yet that he decreed nothing concerning the sinning nor the salvation of individual men.

                The Arminians, admitting that God certainly foreknows the acts of free agents as well as all other events, maintain that he absolutely decreed to create man, and foreseeing that man would sin he absolutely decreed to provide a salvation for all, and actually to save all that repent and believe, but that he conditionally decreed to save individual men on the condition, foreseen but not foreordained, of their faith and obedience.

                19. What are the objections to attributing conditional decrees to God?

                Calvinists admit that the all–comprehensive decree of God determines all events according to their inherent nature, the actions of free agents as free, and the operation of necessary causes, necessarily. It also comprehends the whole system of causes and effects of every kind; of the motives and conditions of free actions, as well as the necessary causes of necessary events. God decreed salvation upon the condition of faith, yet in the very same act he decreed the faith of those persons whose salvation he has determined. "Whom he did predestinate,  them he also called. " Thus his decree from the beginning embraced and provided for the free agency of man, as well as the regular procedures of nature, according to established laws. Thus also his covenants, or conditional promises, which he makes in time, are in all their parts the execution of his eternal purpose, which comprehended the promise, and the condition in their several places as means to the end. But that the decree of God can be regarded as suspended upon conditions which are not themselves determined by the decree is evidently impossible.

                1st. This decree has been shown above (Questions 3–7) to be eternal and all–comprehensive. A condition

                implies liability to change. The whole universe forming one system, if one part is contingent the whole must be contingent, for if one condition failed the whole concatenation of causes and effects would be deranged. If the Arminian should rejoin that although God did not foreordain the free acts of men, yet he infallibly foreknew and provided for them, and therefore his plans cannot fail; then the Calvinist replies that if God foresaw that a given man, in given circumstances, would act at a given juncture in a certain way, then God in decreeing to create that very man and place him in those very circumstances, at that very juncture, did foreordain the certain futurition of that very event, and of all its consequences. That God’s decree is immutable and does not depend upon uncertain conditions, is proved (1) from its eternity, (2) from the direct assertions of Scripture.—Isaiah 14:24,27; 46:10; Psalm 33:11; Proverbs 19:21; Romans 9:11; Ephesians 3:11.

                2nd.  The foreknowledge of God, as Arminians admit, is eternal and certain, and embraces all events, free as well as necessary. But, (1) as shown in the preceding paragraph, this foreknowledge involves foreordination, and (2) certainty in the foreknowledge implies certainty in the event; certainty implies determination; determination leaves us to choose between the decree of an infinitely wise, righteous, and benevolent God, and a blind fate.

                3rd.  A conditional decree would subvert the sovereignty of God and make him, as to the administration of his whole government and the execution of all his plans, dependent upon the uncontrollable actions of his own creatures. But the decrees of God are sovereign.—Isaiah 40:13,14; Daniel 4:35; Romans 9:15–18.

                4th.  His decree is declared to depend upon his own "good pleasure," and the "counsel of his own will."—Ephesians 1:5,11; Romans 9:11; Matthew 11:25,26.

                5th.  The decree of God includes the means and conditions. 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2; Ephesians 1:4.

                6th.  His decree absolutely determines the free actions of men.—Acts 4:27,28; Ephesians 2:10.

                7th.  God himself works in his people that faith and obedience, which are called the conditions of their salvation.—Philippians 2:13; Ephesians 2:8; 2 Timothy 2:25.

                20. How far are the decrees of God efficacious and to what extent are they permissive?

                All the decrees of God are equally efficacious in the sense that they all infallibly determine the certain futurition of the event decreed. Theologians, however, classify the decrees of God thus: 1st. As effective in as far as they respect those events which, he has determined to effect through necessary causes, or in his own immediate agency. 2nd. As permissive as far as they respect those events which he has determined to allow dependent free agents to effect.

                21. How may it be proved that the decree of God renders the event certain?

                1st.  From the nature of the decree itself as sovereign and unchangeable (see above).

                2nd.  From the essential nature of God in his relation to his creation, as an infinitely wise and powerful sovereign.

                3rd.  The foreknowledge of God regards future events as certain. The ground of this certainty must be either in God, or in the events themselves, which last is fatalism.

                4th.  The Scriptures ascribe a certainty of futurition to the events decreed. There is a needs–be that the event should happen "as it was determined."—Luke 18:31–33; 24:46; Acts 2:23; 13:29; 1 Corinthians 11:19; Matthew 16:21.

                22. How does this doctrine, that God’s universal decree renders the occurrence of future eventscertain, differ from the ancient doctrine of faith?

                The Calvinistic doctrine of Decrees agrees with Fatalism only at one point, i.e., in maintaining that the events in question are certainly future. But the Arminian doctrine of divine foreknowledge does precisely the same thing. In every other point our doctrine differs from the heathen doctrine of fate.

                Fatalism supposes all events to be certainly determined by a universal law of necessary causation, acting blindly and by a simple unintelligent force effecting its end irresistibly and irrespective of the free wills of the free agents involved. There was no room left for final ends or purposes, no place for motive or choice, no means or conditions, but a simple evolution of necessity.

                On the other hand the Calvinistic doctrine of Decrees postulates the infinite all–comprehensive plan of an infinitely wise, righteous, powerful, and benevolent Father, whose plan is determined not by mere will, but according to the " counsel of his will," securing the best ends, and adopting the best means in order to attain those ends—and whose plan is not executed by mere force, but through the instrumentality of all classes of second causes, free as well as necessary, each pre–adapted to its place and function, and each acting without constraint according to its nature.

                There is an infinite difference between a machine and a man, between the operation of motives, intelligence, free choice, and the mechanical forces which act upon matter. There is precisely the same difference between the system of divine decrees, and the heathen doctrine of fate.

                23. What objection to this doctrine of unconditional decrees is derived from the admitted fact ofman’s free agency?

                Objection. — Foreknowledge implies the certainty of the event. The decree of God implies that he has determined it to be certain. But that he has determined it to be certain implies, upon the part of God, an efficient agency in bringing about that event which is inconsistent with the free agency of man.

                We answer: It is evidently only the execution of the decree, and not the decree itself which can interfere with the free agency of man. On the general subject of the method in which God executes his decrees, see below, the chapters on Providence, Effectual Calling, and Regeneration.

                We have here room only for the following general statement:

                1st.  The Scriptures attribute all that is good in man to God; these "he works in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure." All the sins which men commit the Scriptures attribute wholly to the man himself.

                Yet God’s permissive decree does truly determine the certain futurition of the act; because God knowing certainly that the man in question would in the given circumstances so act, did place that very man in precisely those circumstances that he should so act. But in neither case, whether in working the good in us, or in placing us where we will certainly do the wrong, does God in executing his purpose ever violate or restrict the perfect freedom of the agent.

                2nd.  We have the fact distinctly revealed that God has decreed the free acts of men, and yet that the actors were none the less responsible, and consequently none the less tree in their acts.—Acts 2:23; 3:18; 4:27,28; Genesis 1:20, etc. We never can understand how the infinite God acts upon the finite spirit of man, but it is none the less our duty to believe.

                3rd.  According to that theory of the will which makes the freedom of man to consist in the liberty of indifference, i.e., that the will acts in every case of choice in a state of perfect equilibrium equally independent of all motives for or against, and just as free to choose in opposition to all desires as in harmony with them, it is evident that the very essence of liberty consists in uncertainty. If this be the true theory of the will, God could not execute his decrees without violating the liberty of the agent, and certain foreknowledge would be impossible.

                But as shown below, in Chapter 15., the true theory of the will is that the liberty of the agent consists in his acting in each case as, upon the whole, he pleases, i.e., according to the dispositions and desires of his heart, under the immediate view which, his reason takes of the case. These dispositions and desires are determined in their turn by the character of the agent in relation to his circumstances, which character and circumstances are surely not beyond the control of the infinite God.

                24. What is meant by those who teach that God is the author of sin?

                Many reasoners of a Pantheistic tendency, e.g., Dr. Emmons, maintain that as God is infinite in sovereignty, and by his decree determines, so by his providence he effects every thing which comes to pass, so that he is actually the only real agent in the universe. Still they religiously hold that God is an infinitely holy agent in effecting that which, produced from God, is righteous, but, produced in us, is sin.

                25. How may it be shown that God is not the author of sin?

                The admission of sin into the creation of an infinitely wise, powerful, and holy God is a great mystery, of which no explanation can be given. But that God cannot be the author of sin is proved—

                1st.  From the nature of sin, which is, as to its essence, ajnomi>a want of conformity to law, and disobedience to the Lawgiver.

                2nd.  From the nature of God, who is as to essence holy, and in the administration of his kingdom always forbids and punishes sin.

                3rd.  From the nature of man, who is a responsible free agent who originates his own acts. The Scriptures always attribute to divine grace the good actions, and to the evil heart the sinful actions of men.

                26. How may it be shown that the doctrine of unconditional decrees does not represent God as theauthor of sin?

                The whole difficulty lies in the awful fact that sin exists. If God foresaw it and yet created the agent, and placed him in the very circumstances under which he did foresee the sin would be committed, then he did predetermine it. If he did not foresee it, or, foreseeing it, could not prevent it, then he is not infinite in knowledge and in power, but is surprised and prevented by his creatures. The doctrine of unconditional decrees presents no special difficulty. It represents God as decreeing that the sin shall immediately result as the free act of the sinner, and not as by any form of co–action causing, nor by any form of temptation inducing, him to sin.

                27. What is the objection to this doctrine derived from the use of means?

                This is the most common form of objection in the mouths of ignorant and irreligious people. If an immutable decree makes all future events certain, " if what is to be, will be," then it follows that no means upon our part can avoid the result, nor can any means be necessary to secure it.

                Hence as the use of means is commanded by God, and instinctively natural to man, since many events have bees effected by their use, and many more in the future evidently depend upon them, it follows that God has not rendered certain any of those events which depend upon the use of means on the part of men.

                28. What is the ground upon which the use of means is founded?

                This use is founded upon the command of God, and upon that fitness in the means to secure the end desired, which, our instincts, our intelligence, and our experience disclose to us. But neither the fitness nor the efficiency of the means to secure the end, reside inherently and independently in the means themselves, but were originally established and are now sustained by God himself; and in the working of all means God always presides and directs providentially. This is necessarily involved in any Christian theory of Providence, although we can never explicate the relative action ( concursus) of God on man, the infinite upon the finite.

                29. How may it be shown that the doctrine of decrees does not afford a rational ground ofdiscouragement in the use of means?

                This difficulty (stated above, Question 27) rests entirely in a habit of isolating one part of God’s eternal decree from the whole (see Question 7), and in confounding the Christian doctrine of decrees with the heathen doctrine of fate (see Question 22.) But when God decreed an event he made it certainly future, not as isolated from other events, or as independent of all means and agents, but as dependent upon means and upon agents freely using those means. The same decree which, makes the event certain, also determines the mode by which it shall be effected, and comprehends the means with the ends. This eternal, all–comprehensive act embraces all existence through all duration, and all space as one system, and at once provides for the whole in all its parts, and for all the parts in all their relations to one another and to the whole. An event, therefore, may be certain in respect to God’s decree and foreknowledge, and at the same time truly contingent in the apprehension of man, and in its relation to the means upon which it depends.

                30. What are the distinctions to be borne in mind between the objections to the proof of a doctrine,and objections to the doctrine when proved?

                Reasonable objections to the evidence, Scriptural or otherwise, upon which the claims of any doctrine is based, are evidently legitimate. These objections against the proof establishing the truth of the doctrine ought always to be allowed their full weight. But when once the doctrine has been proved to be taught in Scripture objections leveled against it, obviously have no weight at all until they amount to a sufficient force to prove that the Scriptures themselves are not the word of God. Before they reach that measure, objections level led against the doctrine itself, which do not affect the evidence upon which it rests (and most of the objections to the Calvinistic doctrine of Decrees are of this order) only illustrate the obvious truth that the finite mind of man cannot fully comprehend the matters partially revealed and partially concealed in the word of God.

                31. What are the proper practical effects of this doctrine?

                Humility, in view of the infinite greatness and sovereignty of God, and of the dependence of man.

                Confidence and implicit reliance upon the wisdom, righteousness, goodness, and immutability of God’s purposes, and cheerful obedience to his commandments; always remembering that God’s precepts, as distinctly revealed, and not his decrees, are the rule of our duty.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Chapter 11: Predestination

                1. What the different senses in which the word predestination is used by theologians?

                1st.  As equivalent to the generic word decree, as including all God’s eternal purposes.

                2nd.  As embracing only those purposes of God which, specially respect his moral creatures.

                3rd.  As designating only the counsel of God concerning fallen men, including the sovereign election of some and the most righteous reprobation of the rest.

                4th.  It is sometimes restricted in the range of its usage so far as to be applied only to the eternal election of God’s people to everlasting life.

                The sense marked as 3rd., above, is the most proper usage.— See Acts 4:27,28.

                2. In what senses are the words pro>ginw>skw (to know beforehand), and pro>gnwsiv (foreknowledge), used in the New Testament?

                Proginw>skw is compounded of pro>, before, and ginwskw of which the primary sense is toknow,  and the secondary sense to approve,  e.g., 2 Timothy 2:19; John 10:14,15; Romans 7:15. This word occurs five times in the New Testament. Twice, e.g., Acts 26:5 and 2 Peter 3:17, it signifies previous knowledge, apprehension,  simply. In the remaining three instances, Romans 8:29; 11:2; 1 Peter 1:20, it is used in the secondary sense of approve beforehand. This is made evident from the context, for it is used to designate the ground of God’s predestination of individuals to salvation, which elsewhere is expressly said to be "not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace," and "to the good pleasure of his will," 2 Timothy 1:9; Romans 9:11; Ephesians 1:5.

                Pro>gnwsiv occurs but twice in the New Testament, e.g.,  Acts 2:23 and 1 Peter 1:2, in both of which instances it evidently signifies approbation, or choice from beforehand. It is explained by the equivalent phrase "determinate counsel."

                3. What is the New Testament usage of the words ejkle>gw (to elect) and ejklogh> (election) ?

                jEkle>gw occurs twenty–one times in the New Testament. It is used to signify, 1st., Christ’s choice of men to be apostles. Luke 6:13; John 6:70. 2nd. God’s choice of the Jewish nation as a peculiar people.—Acts 13:17. 3rd. The choice of men by God, or by the church, for some special service.—Acts 15:7,22. 4th. The choice made by Mary of the better part. Luke 10:42. 5th. In the great majority of instances God’s eternal election of individual men to everlasting life.—John 15:16; 1 Corinthians 1:27,28; Ephesians 1:4; James 2:5.

                jEklogh> occurs seven times in the New Testament. Once it signifies an election to the apostolic office.—Acts 9:15. Once it signifies those chosen to eternal life.—Romans 11:7. In every other case it signifies the purpose or the act of God in choosing his own people to salvation.—Romans 9:11; 11:5,28; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Peter 1:10.

                4. What other words are used by the Holy Ghost in the New Testament to set forth the truth on thissubject?

                Proori>xein occurs six times in the New Testament.—Acts 4:28; Romans 8:29,30; 1 Corinthians 2:7, and Ephesians 1:5,11. In every case it signifies the absolute predestination of God.

                Proti>qhmi occurs three times in the New Testament. In Romans 1:13 it signifies a purpose of Paul, and in Romans 3:25 and Ephesians 1:9, a purpose of God.

                Proetoima>xein occurs twice, Romans 9:23 and Ephesians 2:10, prepare or appoint beforehand.

                5. To whom is election referred in the Scriptures?

                The eternal decree, as a whole, and in all its parts, is doubtless the concurrent act of all the three persons of the Trinity, in their perfect oneness of counsel and will.

                But in the economy of salvation, as revealed to us, the act of sovereign election is specially attributed to the Father, as his personal part, even as redemption is attributed to the Son, and sanctification to the Spirit.—John 17:6,9; 6:64,65; 1 Thessalonians 5:9.

                6. State that theory of Predestination designated by its advocates the "Theory of NationalElection."

                This is the theory that the only election spoken of in the Bible concerning the salvation of men consists of the divine predestination of communities and nations to the knowledge of the true religion and the external privileges of the gospel. This form of election, which undoubtedly represents a great gospel fact, is eminently illustrated in the case of the Jews. This isthe view advocated by Archbishop Sumner in his work on "Apostolic Preaching," quoted by Dr. Cunningham.

                7. State the theory styled by its advocates the "Theory of Ecclesiastical Individualism."

                The view advocated by Mr. Stanley Faber in his " Primitive Doctrine of Election," and by Archbishop

                Whately in his "Essays on some of the Difficulties in the Writings of the Apostle Paul," and others, is styled the doctrine of "Ecclesiastical Individualism," and it involves the affirmation that God predetermines the relation of individual men to the outward church and the means of grace. Thus by birth and subsequent providences he casts the lot of some men in the most favorable, and of others in the least favorable circumstances.

                8. What is the Arminian doctrine of election?

                The Arminians admit the foreknowledge of God, but they deny his absolute foreordination as it relates to the salvation of individuals. Their distinguishing doctrine is that God did not eternally make choice of certain persons and ordain their salvation, but that he made choice of certain characters, as holiness and faith and perseverance; or of certain classes of men who possess those characters, e.g., believers who persevere unto the end.

                Since they admit that God foreknows from eternity with absolute certainty precisely what individuals will repent and believe and persevere therein to the end, it follows that their doctrine admits of the statement that God eternally predestinated certain persons, who he foresaw would repent and believe and persevere to life and salvation, on the ground of that faith andperseverance thus foreseen.

                9. Point out the severed principles in which the above–mentioned views agree and wherein theydiffer.

                The theories of "National Election" and of "Ecclesiastical Individualism," both teach universally admitted facts, namely that God does predestinate individuals and communities and nations to the external privileges of the gospel and the use of the means of grace. This neither any Arminian nor any Calvinist will deny. But these theories are both vicious and both identical with the Arminian theory, in that they deny that God unconditionally predestinates either the free actions or the ultimate salvation of individuals. They admit that he gives certain men a better chance than others, but hold that each man’s ultimate fate is not determined by God’s decree, but left dependent upon the free wills of the men themselves. Nevertheless, while these theories are all consistently Arminian in fundamental principle, yet they differ in the manner in which they attempt to bring the Scriptures concerned into harmony with that system. These theories differ among themselves as to the objects, the end s, and the grounds of this election. As to the objects of the election spoken of in Scripture, the Arminian, the Calvinistic, and

                "Ecclesiastical Individualism" theories agree in making them individuals. The theory of "National Election " makes them nations or communities. As to the end of this election the Calvinistic and Arminian theories make it the eternal salvation of the individuals elected. The theories of "National Election" and of "Ecclesiastical Individualism" make it admission to the privilege of the means of grace.

                As to the ground of this election spoken of in the Scripture, advocates of the Calvinistic, the "National Election," and the "Ecclesiastical Individualism " theories agree in making it the sovereign good pleasure of God, while the Arminians hold it is conditioned upon the faith, repentance, and perseverance certainly foreseen in each individual case.

                It is obvious that the Calvinistic Doctrine of Decrees includes the absolute election of both individuals and of communities and nations to the use of the means of grace and the external advantages of the Church. It is also obvious that the admission of the principle of absolute election, as far as this, must be made by all Arminians as well as Calvinists, and hence this admission alone does not discriminate between the two great contesting systems. The only question which touches the true matter in debate is, What is the ground of the eternal predestination of individuals to salvation? Is it the foreseen faith and repentance of the individuals themselves, or the sovereign good pleasure of God? Every Christian must take one side or the other of this question. If he takes the side which makes foreseen faith the ground, he is an Arminian no matter what else he holds. If he takes the side which makes the good pleasure of God the ground, he is a Calvinist.

                This division among themselves, and this alternate agreement with and difference from the Calvinistic positions on this subject, is a very suggestive illustration of the extreme difficulty the advocates of Arminian principles have in accommodating the words of Scripture to their doctrine.

                In a controversial point of view the Calvinists have the capital advantage of being able to divide their opponents, and to refute them in detail.

                10. State the three points in the Calvinistic doctrine on this subject.

                Calvinists hold, as shown in the preceding chapter, that God’s Decrees are absolute and relate to all classes of events whatsoever. They therefore maintain that while nations, communities, and individuals are predestined absolutely to all of every kind of good and bad that befalls them, nevertheless the Scriptures teach specifically an election (1) of individuals, (2) to grace and salvation, (3) founded not upon the foreseen faith of the persons elected, but upon the sovereign good pleasure of God alone.

                11. State the Presumption of the truth of the above arising from the fact that impartial infidel andrationalistic interpreters admit that the letter of the Scriptures can be interpreted only in aCalvinistic sense.

                Besides the presumption in favor of Calvinism arising from the fact above stated, that anti–Calvinistic interpreters of the Scripture are reduced to all kinds of various hypotheses in order to avoid the obvious force of the Scriptural testimony upon the subject, we now cite the additional presumption, arising from the fact that rationalists and infidels generally, who agree with Arminians in their intense opposition to Calvinistic Principles, yet not being restrained by faith in the inspiration of the Bible, are frank enough to confess that the Book can be fairly interpreted only in a Calvinistic sense. This is thus the impartial testimony of an enemy. Wegscheider in his " Institutiones Theologiœ Christianœ Dogmaticœ," Pt. 3., Ch. 3., § 145, 1 the highest authority as to the results of German Rationalists in Dogmatic theology, says that the passages in question do teach Calvinistic doctrine, but that Paul was misled by the crude and erroneous notions prevalent in that age, and especially by the narrow spirit of Jewish particularism. See also Gibbon’s "Decline and fall of the Roman Empire," Chapter 33., Note 31.—"Perhaps a reasoner still more independent may smile in his turn, when he peruses an Arminian Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans."

                12. Prove from Scripture that the subjects of election are individuals and that the end of election iseternal life.

                1st. They are always spoken of as individuals, and the election of which they are the subjects is always set forth as having grace or glory as its end.—Acts 13:48; Ephesians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13. 2nd. The elect are in Scripture explicitly distinguished from the mass of the visible Church, and hence their election could not have been merely to the external privileges of that Church.— Romans 11:7. 3rd. The names of the elect are said "to be written in heaven" and to be in "the book of life."—Hebrews 12:23; Philippians 4:3. 4th. The blessings which it is explicitly declared are secured by this election are gracious and saving, they are the elements and results of salvation, inseparable from it, and pertain not to nations but to individuals as their subjects, e.g.," adoption of sons," "to be conformed to the image of his Son," etc.—Romans 8:29; Ephesians 1:5; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Romans 9:15,16.

                13. Show that this election is not founded on works whether foreseen or not.

                This follows—1st. From the general doctrine of Decrees which has been established in the last chapter. If God’s decrees relate to and determine all events of every class, it follows that no undecreed events remain to condition his decree or any element thereof; and also that he has decreed faith and repentance as well as the salvation which is conditioned upon them.

                2nd. It is expressly declared in Scripture that this election is not conditioned upon works of any kind.—Romans 11:4–7; 2 Timothy 1:9; Romans 9:11.

                14. Show that in Scripture it is habitually declared to be founded on "The good pleasure of God,"

                and "the counsel of his own will."

                Ephesians 1:5–11; 2 Timothy 1:9; John 15:16,19; Matthew 11:25,26; Romans 9:10–18.

                15. State the argument derived from the fact that "faith"," repentance," and "evangelicalobedience," are said to be the fruits of the Election.

                It is self–evident that the same actions can not be both the grounds upon which election rests, and the fruits in which that election is designed to result. Since the Bible teaches that "faith," "repentance," and "evangelical obedience," are the latter, they can not be the former. The Scriptures do so teach in Ephesians 1:4. "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world that we shouldbe holy, and without blame before him in love."—2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2; Ephesians 2:10.

                16. The same from the fact that faith and repentance are said to be the gifts of God.

                If faith and repentance are the "gifts of God," then a man’s possessing them results from God’s act. If it results from God’s act it must result from his eternal purpose. If they be the results of his purpose, they cannot be the conditions upon which that purpose is suspended. They are affirmed to be the "gifts of God" in Ephesians 2:8; Acts 5:31; 1 Corinthians 4:7.

                17. State the argument derived from what the Scriptures teach as to the nature and extent of innatedepravity and inability.

                The teaching of Scripture on these heads will be found stated and established in Chapters 19. and 20.

                Now if men are born into the world with an antecedent prevailing tendency in their nature to sin, and they are ever, until regenerated by the Spirit of God, totally and inalienably averse to and incapable of all good, it follows that unregenerate human nature is incapable either of tending to or of perfecting faith and repentance as the conditions required. If election is conditioned upon faith and repentance, then the man must produce his own faith and repentance, or help to produce them. But if human nature can neither produce nor help to produce them, it follows either that no man can be elected, or that faith and repentance can not be the condition of election.

                18. State the same from what the Scriptures teach of the nature and necessity of regeneration.

                In Chapter 29. it will be proved that the Scriptures teach (1) that regeneration is an act of God; (2) that                with respect to that act the soul is passive; (3) that it is absolutely necessary in the case of every living man. Hence it follows that if it be in no sense man’s work, but in every sense God’s act alone, it cannot be the condition upon which God’s purpose is suspended, but an event determined by that purpose.

                19. Show that the Scriptures teach that ALL the elect believe, and that ONLY the elect believe.

                All the elect believe.—John 10:16,27–29; John 6:37–39; John 17:2,9,24. And only the elect believe.—John 10:26. And those who believe do so because they are elect.—Acts 13:48, and 2: 47.

                20. What argument is to be drawn from the fact that all evangelical Christians of every theologicalschool express the sentiments proper to the Calvinistic doctrine of unconditional election in alltheir prayers and hymns?

                That form of doctrine must be false which cannot be consistently embodied in personal religious experience and in devotion. That form of doctrine must be true which all Christians of all theoretical opinions always find themselves obliged to express when they come to commune with God. Now all the psalms and hymns and prayers, written and spontaneous, of all evangelical Christians, embody the principles and breathe the spirit of Calvinism. They all pray God to make men repent and believe, to come to and to receive the Savior. If God gives all men common and sufficient grace, and if the reason why one man repents, is that he makes good use of that grace, and the reason another does not believe, is that he does not use that grace, if the only cause of difference is in the men, it follows that we ought to pray men to convert themselves, i.e., to make themselves to differ. But all agree in asking God to save us, and in giving him all the thanks when it is done.

                21. Show that Paul must have held our position on this subject from the nature of the objectionsmade against his doctrine, and from the answers he gave them.

                Paul’s doctrine is identical with the Calvinistic view. 1st. Because he expressly teaches it. 2nd. Because the objections he notices as brought against his doctrine are the same as those brought against ours. The design of the whole passage is to prove God’s sovereign right to cast off the Jews as a peculiar people, and to call all men indiscriminately by the gospel.

                This, he argues, 1st. that God’s ancient promises embraced not the natural descendants of Abraham as such, but the spiritual seed. 2nd. That "God is perfectly sovereign in the distribution of his favors."

                But against this doctrine of divine sovereignty two objections are introduced and answered by Paul.

                1st.  It is unjust for God thus of his mere good pleasure to show mercy to one and to reject another, v.14.

                This precise objection is made against our doctrine at the present time also. " It represents the most holy God as worse than the devil, as more false, more cruel, and more unjust."—"Methodist Doctrinal Tracts," pp. 170, 171. This Paul answers by two arguments.(1) God claims the right, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy."—Romans 9:15,16. (2) God in his providence exercises the right, as in the case of Pharaoh, vs. 17,18.

                2nd.  The second objection is that this doctrine is inconsistent with the liberty and accountability of men.

                This would be an absurd objection to bring against Paul’s doctrine if he were an Arminian, but it is brought every day by Arminians against our doctrine.

                Paul answers this objection by condescending to no appeal to human reason, but simply (1) by asserting God’s sovereignty as Creator, and man’s dependence as creature, and (2) by asserting the just exposure of all men alike to wrath as sinners, vs. 20–24.—See Analysis of chapter 9: 6–24, in Hodge’s "Commentary On Romans."

                22. Discriminate accurately the two elements involved in the doctrine of Reprobation.

                Reprobation is the aspect which God’s eternal decree presents in its relation to that portion of the human race which shall be finally condemned for their sins.

                It is, 1st., negative, inasmuch as it consists in passing over these, and refusing to elect them to life; and, 2nd., positive, inasmuch as they are condemned to eternal misery.

                In respect to its negative element, reprobation is simply sovereign, since those passed over were no worse than those elected, and the simple reason both for the choosing and for the passing over was the sovereign good pleasure of God.

                In respect to its positive element, reprobation is not sovereign, but simply judicial, because God inflicts misery in any case only as the righteous punishment of sin. "The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sins".—"Confession faith," Chap. 3., Sec. 7.

                23. Show that these positions are necessarily involved in the general doctrine of Decrees and in thespecial doctrine of the election of some men to eternal life.

                As above stated, this doctrine of reprobation is self–evidently an inseparable element of the doctrines of decrees and of election. If God unconditionally elects whom he pleases, he must unconditionally leave whom he pleases to themselves. He must foreordain the non–believing, as well as the believing, although the events themselves are brought to pass by very different causes.

                24. Prove that it is taught in Scripture.

                Romans 9:18,21;1 Peter 2:8; Jude 4; Revelation 13:8. "I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes, even so, Father, for so it seemeth good in thy sight."—Matthew 11:25. " Ye believe not, because ye are not my sheep."—John 10:26.

                25. Show that the same objection was made against Paul’s doctrine that is made against ours.

                "Why doth he yet find fault?" If he has not given gracious ability to obey, how can he command?—See also "Methodist Doctrinal Tracts," p. 171.

                The apostle answers by showing, 1st (verses 20,21), that God is under no obligation to extend his grace to all or to any; and, 2nd., that the "vessels of wrath" were condemned for their own sins, to manifest God’s just wrath, while the "vessels of mercy," were chosen not for any good in them, but to manifest his glorious grace (verses 22,23).

                26. Show the identity of Paul’s doctrine ours from the illustrations he uses in the ninth chapter ofRomans.

                "Hath not the potter power (ejxousi>a) over the clay of the same lump to make one vessel to honor, and another to dishonor?" v.21. Here the whole point of the illustration lies in the fact that there is no difference in the clay—it is clay of the same lump—the sole difference is made by the will of the potter.

                In the case of Esau and Jacob, the very point is that one is just as good as the other—that there is no difference in the children—but that the whole difference is made by the "purpose of God according to election"—"for the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose ofGod according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth,"  v.11.

                27. In what sense is God said to harden men?

                See Romans 9:18, and John 12:40.

                This is doubtless a judicial act wherein God withdraws from sinful men, whom he has not elected to life, for the just punishment of their sins, all gracious influences, and leaves them to the unrestrained tendencies of their own hearts, and to the uncounteracted influences of the world and the devil.

                28. State the objection brought against the Calvinistic doctrine of election on the ground that it isinconsistent with Justice.

                It is maintained that if God by a sovereign unconditional decree determines to pass by some men, and to withhold from them the grace necessary to enable them to repent and believe in Christ, it is unjust in God to hold them accountable, and to punish them for their want of faith.

                29. State the fundamental view which necessarily underlies all Arminianism as to the relationwhich the remedial work of Christ sustains to the justice of God, and as to the relation which thehuman race by nature sustains to the divine government.

                When the Arminian system is sifted to its fundamental principles, it is found to rest upon the claim that the gift of Christ is a necessary compensation to the human race for the evils brought upon it for the sin of Adam. It is admitted that the sin of Adam was the cause of his whole race becoming sinners, and that every one of his descendants comes into the world with a nature so far depraved as to be morally incapable of loving God and disposed to evil. But they maintain that men are by nature in the first instance not responsible for their moral condition, since it comes upon them each at his birth, antecedent to all personal action They hold, therefore, that man cannot be punished for original sin. nor could any man ever be held responsible for any act of disobedience springing as an inevitable consequence out of that original depravity, if God had not through Christ provided a remedy, giving to each man gracious ability to do all that is required of him as the condition of his salvation. This redemption and gracious ability to believe and obey God owes to all men, and they are necessary to render any man. responsible and punishable for his sins, since thus alone is he, as far as this class of exercises go, endowed with the power of contrary choice.

                Dr. D. D. Whedon, in the "Bibliotheca Sacra," April, 1862, p. 257.—"It is not then until there is redemptively conferred upon man what we call a gracious ability for the right, that man can be strictly responsible for the wrong." He says, p. 254, that after Adam sinned the only alternatives open to God in consistency with justice were either, 1st., to send Adam and Eve to perdition before they had children, or, 2nd., to allow him to propagate his kind under the antecedent disabilities of sin, and provide a redemptive system for all.

                He distinguishes between guilt or moral responsibility for character and moral corruption of nature.

                Under the conditions of pure nature, he teaches that only Adam and Eve were responsible, as well as corrupt, because they, having been created morally free, voluntarily made themselves vile by their own act. On the other hand their descendants are all morally polluted and spiritually dead, because they inherit corrupt natures from Adam; but they are not guilty, neither responsible for their birth sin nor for any of its consequences, because it was determined inevitably by an act not their own. In the actual state of things consequent to the gift of Christ every man is responsible because every man has sufficient grace.

                Hence it follows— 1st. That the provision of redemption was not a work of infinite free grace, but a mere act of Justice in compensation for evils brought upon our nature by Adam. 2nd. That this is owed equally to each and every man without exception. "I reject," says John Wesley, "Methodist Doc. Tracts," pp. 25, 26, "the assertion that God might justly have passed by me and all men, as a bold, precarious assertion, utterly unsupported by Holy Scripture." 3rd. It follows also that the gracious help of the Holy Ghost is just as necessary to render men responsible sinners as to bring them to salvation. 4th. It follows that grace sends men to hell, as well as takes them to heaven, and that it has done far more of the former than of the latter work.

                30. Show that their position here is absolutely inconsistent with what the Scriptures and the entireChristian Church teach of the nature and necessity of the SATISFACTION made to divine justice byChrist.

                It will be shown under Chapter 25. that the Scriptures teach, the entire Church being witness, that in order to the salvation of man, a full satisfaction to the inalienable principle of justice essential to the Divine nature was absolutely necessary. So that if God’s justice is not satisfied, grace cannot be shown to any man. This would be absurd if men were not antecedently responsible for the sins for which it is necessary that they should make satisfaction. What is the sense of a " Redemptively conferred gracious ability," respecting parties who have forfeited nothing because they are responsible for nothing? In their case is not both "redemption" and "grace" an impertinence?

                31. Prove from Scripture that salvation is of "grace."

                Grace is free undeserved favor shown to the undeserving. If redemption is a debt owed to all men, or if it be a compensation prerequisite to their accountability, then it cannot be a gratuity, and the gift of Christ cannot be an eminent expression of God’s free favor and love. It can only be an expression of his rectitude.

                But the Scriptures declare that the gift of Christ is an unparalleled expression of free love, and that salvation is of grace. Lamentations 3:22; John 3:16; Romans 3:24; 11:5,6; 1 Corinthians 4:7; 15:10; Ephesians 1:5,6; 2:4–10, etc. And every true Christian recognizes the essential graciousness of salvation as an inseparable element of his experience. Hence the doxologies of heaven.—1 Corinthians 6:19,20; 1 Peter 1:18,19; Revelation 5:8–14.

                But if salvation is of grace, then it is obviously consistent with God’s justice for him to save all, many, few, or none, justice as he pleases.

                32. Show that the objection that unconditional election is inconsistent with the justice of God isabsurd and antichristian.

                Justice necessarily holds all sinners alike destitute of all claims upon God’s favor. It is unjust to justify the unjust. It would be inconsistent with righteousness for a sinful man to claim, or for God to grant, salvation to any one as his due. Otherwise the condemning sentence of conscience is denied, and the cross of Christ made of none effect. On the very grounds of justice itself, therefore, salvation must be of grace, and it must rest upon the sovereign option of God himself whether he provides salvation for few, many, or for none. The salvation of none is consistent with justice, or the sacrifice of Christ was a payment of debt not a grace. And the salvation of one undeserving sinner obviously can lay no foundation upon which, the salvation of another can be demanded as a right.

                33. State and refute the objection that our doctrine is inconsistent with the rectitude of God as anIMPARTIAL RULER.

                Arminians often argue that reason teaches us to expect the great omnipotent Creator and Sovereign of all men to be impartial in his treatment of individuals—to extend the same essential advantages and conditions of salvation to all alike. They argue also that this fair presumption of reason is reaffirmed in the Scriptures, which declare that God is "no respecter of persons."—Acts 10:34, and l Peter 1:17. In the first named passage this applies simply to the application of the gospel to Gentiles as well as Jews. In the second passage it is affirmed that in the judgment of human works God is absolutely impartial. The question as to election, however, is as to grace not as to judgment pronounced on works, and the         Scriptures nowhere say that God is impartial in the communication of his grace.

                On the other hand, the presumptions of reason and the texts of Scripture must be interpreted in a sense consistent with the tangible facts of human history and of God’s daily providential dispensations. If it is unjust in principle for God to be partial in his distributions of spiritual good, it can be no less unjust for him to be partial in his distribution of temporal good. As a matter of fact, however, we find that God in the exercise of his absolute sovereignty makes the greatest possible distinctions among men from birth, and independently of their own merits in the allotments both of temporal good and of the essential means of salvation. One child is born to health, honor, wealth, to the possession of a susceptible heart and conscience, and to all the best means of grace as his secure inheritance. Many others are born to disease, shame, poverty, an obtuse conscience and hardened heart, and absolute heathenish darkness and

                ignorance of Christ. If God may not be partial to individuals, why may he be partial to nations, and how can his dealings with heathen nations and the children of the abandoned classes in the nominally       Christian cities be accounted for?

                Archbishop Whately gives this excellent word of warning to his Arminian friends:" I would suggest a caution relative to a class of objections frequently urged against Calvinists drawn from the moral attributes of God. We should be very cautious how we employ such weapons as may recoil upon ourselves. It is a frightful but undeniable truth that multitudes, even in Christian countries, are born and brought up in such circumstances as afford them no probable, even no possible chance of obtaining a knowledge of religious truths, or a habit of moral conduct, but are even trained from infancy in superstitious error and gross depravity. Why this should be permitted neither Calvinist nor Arminian can explain; nay, why the Almighty does not cause to die in the cradle every infant whose future wickedness and misery, if suffered to grow up, he foresees, is what no system of religion, natural or revealed, will enable us satisfactorily to account for."—"Essays on some of the Difficulties of St. Paul.," Essay 3rd., on Election.

                34. Refute the objection drawn from such passages as1Tim. 2:4.

                "Who will (qe>lei) all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge, of the truth."

                The word qe>lein has two senses—(a) to be inclined to, to desire; (b) to purpose, to will. In such connections as the above it is evident that it can not mean that God purposes the salvation of all, because (a) all are not saved, and none of God’s purposes fail, and (b) because it is affirmed that he wills all to "come to the knowledge of the truth" in the same sense that he wills all to be saved—yet he has left the vast majority of men to be born and to live and to die, irrespective of their own agency, in heathenish darkness.

                Such passages simply assert the essential benevolence of God. He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. He does take great pleasure in the salvation of men. Yet as a matter of fact, in perfect consistency with his benevolence, for reasons sufficient, though not revealed to us, he has provided no redemption for lost angels, and no efficacious grace for the non–elect among mankind. These passages simply assert that, if it were not for these reasons, it would be agreeable to his benevolent nature that all men should be saved.

                35. Show that our doctrine does not discourage the use of means.

                It is objected that if God from eternity has determined that one man is to be converted and saved and another is to be left to perish in his sins, there is no room left for the use of means. As John Wesley, in "Methodist Doc. Tracts," falsely represents the doctrine of Toplady, "There are suppose twenty men, ten are ordained to be saved do what they may, and ten are ordained to be damned do what they can." This is an absurd as well as wicked caricature of the doctrine.

                1st.  The decree of election does not secure salvation without faith and holiness, but salvation through faith and holiness, the means being just as much decreed as the end. The Calvinist believes, as well as the Arminian, that every man who does evil will be damned, elect or non-elect.

                2nd.  The doctrine of election does not presume that God constrains men inconsistently with their freedom. The non–elect are simply let alone, to do as their own evil hearts prompt. The elect are made willing in the day of God’s power. God works in them to will as well as to do of his good pleasure. To be made willing takes away no man’s liberty.

                3rd.  The decree of election only makes the repentance and faith of the elect certain. But the antecedent certainty of a free act is not inconsistent with its freedom, otherwise the certain foreknowledge of a free act would be impossible. The decree of election does not cause the faith, and it does not interfere with the agent in acting, and certainly it does not supersede the absolute necessity of it.

                36. How far is assurance of our election possible, and on what rounds does such assurance rest?

                An unwavering and certain assurance of the fact of our election is possible in this life, for whom God predestinates them he also calls, and whom he calls he justifies, and we know that whom he justifies, he also sanctifies. Thus the fruits of the Spirit prove sanctification, and sanctification proves effectual calling, and effectual calling election.—See 2 Peter 1:5–10; 1 John 2:3.

                Besides this evidence of our own gracious states and acts, we have the Spirit of adoption, who witnesseth with our spirits and seals us.—Romans 8:16,17; Ephesians 4:30.

                In confirmation of this we have the example of the apostles (2 Timothy 1:12) and of many Christians.

                37. How does this doctrine consist with the general benevolence of God?

                The only difficulty at this point is to reconcile the general benevolence of God with the fact that he, being infinitely wise and powerful, should have admitted a system involving the sin, final impenitence, and consequent damnation of any. But this difficulty presses equally upon both systems.

                The facts prove that God’s general benevolence is not inconsistent with his allowing some to be damned for their sins. This is all that reprobation means. Gratuitous election, or the positive choice of some does not rest upon God’s general benevolence, but upon his special love to his own.—John 17:6,23; Romans 9:11–13; 1 Thessalonians 5:9.

                38. How does this doctrine consist with the general gospel offer?

                In the general offers of the gospel God exhibits a salvation sufficient for and exactly adapted to all, and sincerely offered to every one without exception, and he unfolds all the motives of duty, hope, fear, etc., which ought to induce every one to accept it, solemnly promising that whosoever comes in no wise shall be cast out. Nothing but a sinful unwillingness can prevent any one who hears the gospel from receiving and enjoying it

                The gospel is for all, election is a special grace in addition to that offer. The non–elect may come if they will. The elect will come. The decree of election puts no barrier before men preventing them from accepting the gospel offer. Any man, elect or non–elect, will be saved if he accept. The non–elect are left to act as they are freely determined by their own hearts.

                There is just as great an apparent difficulty in reconciling God’s certain foreknowledge of the final impenitence of the great majority of those to whom he offers and upon whom he presses, by every argument, his love with the fact of that offer; especially when we reflect that he foresees that his offers will certainly increase their guilt and misery.

                39. How can the doctrine of reprobation be reconciled with the holiness of God?

                Reprobation leaves men in sin, and thus leads to the increase of sin throughout eternity. How then can God, in consistency with his holiness, form a purpose the designed effect of which is to leave men in sin, and thus lead inevitably to the increase of sin?

                But it is acknowledged by Arminians as well as Calvinists, that God did create the human race in spite of his certain foreknowledge that sin would be largely occasioned thereby, and he did create individual men in spite of his certain foreknowledge that these very men would continue eternally to sin. The real difficulty lies in the insoluble problem of the permission of evil. Why is the existence of evil tolerated in the universe of an infinitely wise, righteous, merciful, and powerful God? The Arminians are as little able to answer that question as the Calvinist.

                40. What is the practical bearing of this doctrine on Christian experience and conduct?

                It must be remembered, 1st. That this truth is not inconsistent with, but is part of; the same gracious system with the equally certain principles of the moral liberty and responsibility of man, and the free offers of the gospel to all. 2nd. That the sole rule of our duty is the commands, threatenings, and promises of God clearly expressed in the gospel, and not this decree of election, which he never reveals except in its consequents of effectual calling, faith, and holy living.

                When thus held, the doctrine of predestination—

                1st.  Exalts the majesty and absolute sovereignty of God, while it illustrates the riches of his free grace and his just displeasure with sin.

                2nd.  It enforces upon us the essential truth that salvation is entirely of grace. That no one can either complain, if passed over, or boast himself, if saved.

                3rd. , It brings the inquirer to absolute self–despair, and the cordial embrace of the free offer of Christ.

                4th.  In the case of the believer, who has the witness in himself, this doctrine at once deepens his humility, and elevates his confidence to the full assurance of hope.

                41. State the true nature of the question discussed by theologians concerning the ORDER OF THE DIVINE DECREES.

                As we believe that the Decree of God is one single, eternal intention, there cannot be an order of succession in his purposes either (a) in time, as if one purpose actually preceded the other, or (b) in distinct deliberation or option on the part of God. The whole is one choice. Yet in willing the entire system God, of course, comprehended all the parts of the system willed in their several successions and relations. In line manner as a man by one act of mind recognizes a complicated machine with which he is familiar, and in the same act discriminates accurately the several parts, and comprehends their unity and relation in the system, and the design of the whole.—Dr. Charles Hodge’s "Lectures." The question, therefore, as to the Order of the Decrees is not a question as to the order of acts in God decreeing, but it is a question as to the true relation sustained by the several parts of the system which he decrees to one another. That is, What relation between Creation, Predestination, and Redemption did the one eternal purpose of God establish? What do the Scriptures teach as to the purpose of God in giving his Son, and as to the object and ground of election? The ground and object of election has been fully considered above. The design of God in the gift of Christ will. be fully considered under Division 4. of Chapter 25.

                42. What is the Arminian theory as to the order of the decrees relating to the human race?

                1st. The decree to create man. 2nd. Man, as a moral agent, being fallible, and his will being essentially contingent, and his sin therefore being impreventible, God, foreseeing that man would certainly fall into the condemnation and pollution of sin, decreed to provide a free salvation through Christ for all men, and to provide sufficient means for the effectual application of that salvation to the case of all. 3rd. He decreed absolutely that all believers in Christ should be saved, and all unbelievers reprobated for their sins. 4th. Foreseeing that certain individuals would repent and believe, and that certain other individuals would continue impenitent to the last, God from eternity elected to eternal life those whose faith he foresaw, on the condition of their faith, and reprobated those whom he foresaw would continue impenitent on the condition of that impenitence.

                43. What is the view of this subject entertained by the French Protestant theologians, Camero,Amyraut, and others?

                These theological professors at Saumur, during the second quarter of the seventeenth century, taught that God— 1st. Decreed to create man. 2nd. To permit man to fall. 3rd. To provide, in the mediation of Christ, salvation for all men. 4th. But, foreseeing that if men were left to themselves none would repent and believe, therefore he sovereignly elected some to whom he decreed to give the necessary graces of repentance and faith.

                44. What is the infralapsarian view of predestination?

                The infra-lapsarian ( infra lapsum) theory of predestination, or the decree of predestination, viewed as subsequent in purpose to the decree permitting man to fall, represents man as created and fallen as the object of election. The order of the decrees then stand thus: 1st. The decree to create man. 2nd. To permit man to fall. 3rd., The decree to elect certain men, out of the mass of the fallen and justly condemned race, to eternal life, and to pass others by, leaving them to the just consequences of their sins. 4th. The decree to provide salvation for the elect. THIS IS THE COMMON VIEW OF THE REFORMED CHURCHES, CONFIRMED ALIKE BY THE SYNOD OF DORT AND THE WESTMINSTER ASSEMBLY.

                45. What is the supra-lapsarian theory of predestination?

                The term supra-lapsarian ( supra lapsum) designates that view of the various provisions of the divine decree in their logical relations which supposes that the ultimate end which God proposed to himself was his own glory in the salvation of some men and in the damnation of others, and that, as a means to that end, he decreed to create man, and to permit him to fall. According to this view, man simply as creatible, and fallible, and not as actually created or fallen, is the object of election and reprobation. The order of the decrees would then be— 1st. Of all possible men, God first decreed the salvation of some and the damnation of others, for the end of his own glory. 2nd. He decreed, as a means to that end, to create those already elected or reprobated. 3rd., He decreed to permit them to fall. 4th. He decreed to provide a salvation for the elect. This view was held by Beza, the successor of Calvin in Geneva, and by Gomarus, the great opponent of Arminius.

                46. State the respective points of agreement and of difference between these several schemes.

                1st.  The Arminian as compared with the Calvinistic scheme.

                With the Arminian the decree of redemption precedes the decree of election, which is conditioned upon the foreseen faith of the individual.

                With the Calvinist. on the other hand, the decree of election precedes the decree of redemption, and the decree of election is conditioned upon the simple good pleasure of God alone.

                2nd.  The French or Salmurian as compared with the legitimate view of the Reformed Churches and with the Arminian view. The French view agrees with the Reformed and differs from the Arminian view in making the sovereign good pleasure of God the sole ground of election; while it differs from the

                Reformed and agrees with the Arminian in making the decree of redemption precede the decree of election.

                3rd.  The supra–lapsarian scheme as compared with the infralapsarian view prevalent among the Reformed Churches. The supra–lapsarian scheme makes the decree to elect some and reprobate others, precede the decree to create and to permit to fall. The infra–lapsarian view makes the decree of election come after the decree to create and permit to fall. The supralapsarian view regards man not as created and fallen, but simply as creatible, the object of election and reprobation. The infra–lapsarian view makes man as already created and fallen the only object of those decrees.

                47. State the arguments against the supra–lapsarian scheme.

                This scheme is unquestionably the most logical of all. It is postulated upon the principle, that what is last in execution is first in intention, which undoubtedly holds true in all spheres comprehended in human experience. Hence it is argued that if the final result of the whole matter is the glorification of God in the salvation of the elect and the perdition of the non–elect, it must have been the deliberate purpose of God from the beginning. But the case is too high and too vast for the à priori application and enforcement of the ordinary rules of human Judgment; we can here only know in virtue of and within the limits of a positive revelation.

                The objections against this scheme are—

                1st.  Man creatable is a nonentity. He could not have been loved or chosen unless considered as created.

                2nd.  The whole language of Scripture upon this subject implies that the "elect" are chosen as the objects of eternal love, not from the number of creatable, but from the mass of actually sinful men.—John 15:19; Romans 11:5,7.

                3rd.  The Scriptures declare that the elect are chosen to sanctification, and to the sprinkling of the blood of Christ. They must therefore have been regarded when chosen as guilty and defiled by sin.—1 Peter 1:2; Ephesians 1:4–6.

                4th.  Predestination includes reprobation. This view represents God as reprobating the non–elect by a sovereign act, without any respect to their sins, simply for his own glory. This appears to be inconsistent with the divine righteousness, as well as with the teaching of Scripture. The non–elect are "ordained to dishonor and wrath for their sins, to the praise of his glorious justice."—"Confession Faith," ch. 3, sec. 3–7, "Larger Catechism," question 13; "Shorter Catechism" question 20.

                48. Show that a correct exegesis of Ephesians 3:9,10, does not support the supra–lapsarian view.

                This passage is claimed as a direct affirmation of the supralapsarian theory. If the i[na introducing the tenth verse, refers to the immediately preceding clause, then the passage teaches that God created all things in order that his manifold wisdom might be displayed by the church to the angels. It is evident, however, that i[na refers to the preceding phrase, in which Paul declares that he was ordained to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, and to enlighten all men as to the mystery of redemption. All this he was commissioned to do, in order that God’s glory might be displayed, etc.—See "Hodge on Ephesians."

                49. State the arguments against the French scheme.

                1st. It is not consistent with the fact that God’s purposes are one. The scheme is that God in one eternal act determined to provide the objective conditions of salvation (redemption through the blood of Christ), for all, and to provide the subjective conditions of salvation (efficacious grace) only for some. This is in reality an attempt to weld together Arminianism and Calvinism.

                2nd. The Scriptures declare that the purpose of Christ’s coming was to execute the purpose of election. He came to give eternal life to as many as the Father has given him. John 17:2,9; 10:15. Redemption therefore cannot precede election.

                3rd. The true doctrine of the Atonement (see Chapter 25.) is that Christ did not come to make salvation                 possible, but to effect it for all for whom he died. The Atonement secures remission of sin, and faith, and repentance, and all the fruits of the Spirit. Therefore all who are redeemed repent and believe.

                50. In what sense do the Lutherans teach that Christ is the ground of election?

                They hold that God elected his own people to eternal life for Christ’s sake.  They appeal to Ephesians 1:4, "According as he hath chosen us in him [Christ] before the foundation of the world." This view may evidently be construed either with the Arminian or the French theory of the decrees above stated, i.e. , we were chosen in Christ for his sake, either as we were foreseen to be in him through faith, or because God, having provided through Christ salvation for all men, would, by the election of certain individuals, secure at least in their case the successful effect of Christ’s death.

                This view, of course, is rebutted by the same arguments which we urge against the theories above mentioned. We are said to be chosen "in him," not for Christ’s sake,  but because the eternal covenant of grace includes all the elect under the headship of Christ. The love of God is everywhere represented as the ground of the gift of Christ, not the work of Christ the ground of the love of God.—John 3:16; 1 John 4:10.


                THE LUTHERAN VIEW.—"That which first of all should be accurately observed, is the difference between foreknowledge and predestination or the eternal election of God. For the Foreknowledge of God, is nothing more than that God knew all things before they existed. . . . This foreknowledge of God pertains alike to good and to bad men, but it is not consequently the cause of evil, nor the cause of sin, which impels man to crime. For sin originates from the devil and from the depraved and wicked will of man. Neither is this foreknowledge of God the cause that men perish, for that they ought to charge upon themselves; but the foreknowledge of God disposes evil, and sets bounds to it, determining whither it shall go, and how long it shall last, so that, although it be in itself evil, it conspires to the salvation of God’s elect."

                "On the other hand, ‘Predestination,’ or the eternal election of God, pertains only to the good and chosen sons of God, and it is the cause of their salvation. For it procures their salvation, and disposes to those things which pertain to it. Our salvation is so founded upon this predestination that the gates of hell shall never be able to overturn it. This predestination of God is not to be sought in the secret council of God, but in the word of God, in which it is revealed. For the word of God leads us to Christ, that is that book of life in which all are inscribed and elect who attain to eternal salvation. For so it is written (Ephesians 1:4) he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. . . . The word of God, the book of life, offers Christ to us, and this is opened and developed to us through the preaching of the gospel, as it is written (Romans 8:30) whom he chose, them he called. In Christ therefore the eternal election of the Father is to be sought. He in his eternal counsel has decreed that, except those who know his Son Jesus Christ and truly believe on him, none shall be saved."—"Formula Concordioe," Hase Collect.,  pp. 617–619.

                John Gerhard(1582–1637), Loci  2., 86 B.—"We say that all those, and those alone, are elected from eternity by God to salvation, whom he foresaw would believe in Christ the redeemer through the efficacy of the Holy Spirit, and the ministry of the gospel, and should persevere in faith until the end of life."

                THE DOCTRINE OF THE REFORMED CHURCHES.—" Thirty–Nine Articles of the Church of England." Article 17.—See above, Chapter 7.

                " Westminster Confession of Faith," Chap. 3.—"The rest of mankind, God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will whereby he extendeth or withholdeth mercy as he pleaseth, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their SINS, and to the praise of his glorious JUSTICE."—"Confession Faith, " ch. 3., § 7.

                " Canons of Synod of Dort," Cap. 1., § 7.—"But election is the immutable purpose of God, by which, before the foundations of the world were laid, he chose, out of the whole human race, fallen by their own fault from their primeval integrity into sin and destruction, according to the most free good pleasure of his own will, and of mere grace, a certain number of men, neither better nor worthier than others, but lying in the same misery with the rest, to salvation in Christ, whom he had ever from eternity constituted Mediator and Head of all the elect, and the foundation of salvation. . . . § 9. This same election is not made from any foreseen faith, obedience of faith, holiness, or any other good quality or disposition, as a prerequisite cause or condition in the man who should be elected, but unto faith, and unto obedience of faith, and holiness. And truly election is the fountain of every saving benefit; whence faith, holiness, and other salutary gifts, and, finally, eternal life itself flow as its fruit and effect. § 15. Moreover, holy Scripture doth illustrate and commend to us this eternal and free grace of our election, in this more especially, that it doth also testify all men not to be elected, but that some are non–elect, or passed by in the eternal election of God, whom truly God, from most free, just, irreprehensible and immutable good pleasure, decreed to live in the common misery, into which they had, by their own fault, cast themselves, and not to bestow upon them living faith and the grace of conversion."

                REMONSTRANTS.—" Remonstrantia, " etc., five articles prepared by the Dutch advocates of universal redemption (1610), Art. 1.—"God by an immutable decree, before he laid the foundations of the world, ordained in Jesus Christ his Son, to save out of the fallen human race, exposed to punishment on account of sin, those in Christ, on account of Christ, and through Christ, who by the grace of the Holy Spirit believe his Son, and who through the same grace persevere in the obedience of faith to the end. And on the other hand (he decreed) to leave in sin and exposed to wrath those who are not converted, and are unbelieving, and to condemn them as aliens from Christ, according to John 3:36." 1. Dr. Wm. Cunningham, " Hist. Theo., " Vol. 2., p. 463.


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Chapter 12: The Creation of the World

                1. What is the origin of the doctrine of Creation ex nihilo?

                The prevalence, if not the conception, of the idea of absolute creation, or of creation ex nihilo, is to be referred to the influence of the inspired word of God. Anterior to revelation there were two prevalent causes which prevented the acceptance of this idea. (a) The universally assumed truth of the axiom that ex nihilo nihil fit. Hence all theists and atheists alike failed to conceive of; or conceiving repudiated, the idea of absolute creation as absurd. (b) The second cause influencing theists was the presumed interest of natural theology, in the impossibility, on that hypothesis, of reconciling the existence of evil with the perfections of God.

                2. What views were respectively held by the great theists Plato and Aristotle?

                Plato held that there are two eternal, self–existent principles, God and matter, ulh; which exist coordinately in an indivisible, unsuccessive eternity; that time and the actual phenomenal world which exists in time, are the work of God, who freely molds matter into forms which image his own infinitely perfect and eternal ideas. Aristotle also held that God and matter are coordinately self–existent and eternal; but he differed from Plato in regarding God as eternally self–active in organizing the world out of matter, and consequently in regarding the universe thus organized as eternal as well as the mere matter of which it is formed.—"Ancient Phil.," W. Archer Butler, Series 3, Lectures 1 and 2.

                3. What views on this point prevailed among the Gnostics?

                Some of the Gnostics taught that the universe proceeds from God by way of emanation, which was explained as "a necessary and gradual unfolding ad extra of the germ of existence that lay in God," as radiance proceeds from the sun, etc. Most of the Gnostics united with this theory of emanation the doctrine of dualism, i.e., of the coordinate self–existence of two independent principles, God and matter (ulh). From God by successive emanations proceeded the Eons, the Demigods, Creator of the world, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, and finally Christ. The material universe springs from self–existent matter, intrinsically evil, organized by the Demigods. All souls have emanated from the world of light, but have become entangled in matter, hence the historical contest between good and evil, which Christ came to settle by giving power to souls ultimately to escape from the toils of matter.

                4. What is the view on this subject common to all schemes of Pantheism?

                Pantheists identify God and the universe. God is the absolute being of which stings are the special and transient modes. God is the self–existent and persistent principle of all things, which by an inherent self–acting law of development is eternally running through ceaseless cycles of change.

                5. State the true doctrine as to creation.

                The Christian doctrine as to Creation involves the following points: 1st. "In the beginning," at some unknown point of definite commencement in time. 2nd. God called all things (that is, the original principles and causes of all things) into being out of nothing. Thus every thing which has or will or can exist, exterior to the Godhead, owes its being and substance as well as its form to God. 3rd. This creative act is an act of free, self–determined will. It was not a necessary constitutional act analogous to the immanent and eternal acts of the Generation of the Son or the Procession of the Holy Spirit. 4th. It was not necessary to complete the divine excellence or blessedness, which were eternal and complete and inseparable from the divine essence. But it was done in the exercise of absolute discretion for infinitely wise reasons.—Dr. Charles Hodge.

                This doctrine is essential to Theism. All opposing theories of the origin of the world, are essentially Pantheistic or Atheistic.

                6. What distinction is signalized by the terms Creation prima seu immediata, and Creatio secunda seu mediate , and by whom was it introduced?

                The phrase Creation prima seu immediata signifies the originating act of the divine will whereby he brings, or has brought, into being, out of nothing, the principles and elementary essences of all things.

                The phrase Creation secunda seu mediata signifies the subsequent act of God in originating different forms of things, and especially different species of living beings out of the already created essences of things. The Christian Church holds both. These phrases originated in the writings of certain Lutheran theologians of the seventeenth century, e.g., Gerhard, Quenstedt, etc.

                7. What is the primary signification, and what the biblical usage of the word ad;B; ?

                1st. Strictly, To hew, cut out.  2nd. To form, make, produce (whether out of nothing or not).—Genesis 1:1,21,27; 2:3,4; Isaiah 43:1,7; 14:7; 65:18; Psalm 51:12; Jeremiah. 31:22; Amos 4:13. Niphal, 1st. Tobe created.—Genesis 2:4; 5:2. 2nd. To be born.—Psalm 102:19; Ezekiel 21:35. Piel, 1st. To hew, cutdown, e.g., a wood. Joshua 17:15,18. 2nd. To cut down (with the sword), to kill. Ezekiel 23:47. 3rd. Toform, engrave, mark out.—Ezekiel 21:24." Gesenius" "Lex."

                8. State the direct proof of the truth of this doctrine afforded in Scripture.

                1st.  Since the idea itself is new, and foreign to all precedent modes of thought, it could be conveyed in Scripture only through the use of old terms, previously bearing a different sense, but so employed as to suggest a new meaning. The word "bara," however, is the best one the Hebrew language afforded to express the idea of absolute making.

                2nd.  This new idea is inevitably suggested by the way in which the term is first used by Moses, when giving account from the very commencement of the genesis of the heavens and the earth. As a general introduction to the history of the formation of the world and its inhabitants, it is declared that "In the beginning—in the absolute beginning, God made the heavens and the earth." There is not the slightest hint given of any previously existing material. In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth, after that  Chaos existed, for then it is said "the earth was without form and void," and the Spirit of God brooded over the abyss.

                3rd.  The same truth is also inevitably suggested in all the various modes of expression by which the agency of God in originating the world is set forth in Scripture. In no case is there the faintest trace of any reference to any pre–existing materials or precedent conditions of creation. In every case the whole causal agency to which the creation is referred is the "Word," the bare "fiat" of Jehovah.—Psalm 33: 6 and 148: 5. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen (ta blepo>mena) were not made of things which do appear (mh ejk fainome>nwn).—Hebrews 11:3. See Romans 4:17; 2 Corinthians 4:6.

                9. In what manner is this doctrine of the absolute creation of the world by God implied in Scripture?

                1st.  In all those passages that teach that God is an absolute Sovereign, and that the creature is absolutely dependent on him, "in whom we live and move and have our being."—Acts 17:28; Nehemiah 9:6; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11; Romans 11:36; 1 Corinthians 8:6.

                Now it is evident that if the essences and primordial principles of all things are not immediately created by God out of nothing, but are eternally self–existent independently of him, then he, in his offices of Creator and Providential governor of all things, must be conditioned and limited by the pre–existing essential properties and powers of those primordial elements. In which case God would not be absolute Sovereign, nor the things made absolutely dependent upon his will.

                2nd.  In all those passages which teach that the kosmos, the "all things " had a beginning.—Psalm 90:2; John 17:5,24.

                10. What arguments derived from reason and consciousness, and from the elementary constitutionof matter, may be adduced in proof of absolute creation?

                1st.  This doctrine alone is consistent with the feeling of absolute dependence of the creature upon the Creator, which is inherent in every heart, and which is inculcated in all the teachings of the Scriptures. It could not be said that "he upholds all things by the word of his power," nor that "we live and move and have our being in him," unless he be absolutely the Creator as well as the Former of all things.

                2nd.  It is manifest from the testimony of consciousness: (1) That our souls are distinct individual entities, and not parts or particles of God; (2) that they are not eternal. It follows consequently that they were created. And if the creation of the spirits of men ex nihilo  be once admitted, there remains no special difficulty with respect to the absolute creation of matter.

                3rd.  Although the absolute origination of any new existence out of nothing is to us confessedly inconceivable, it is not one whit more so than the relation of the infinite foreknowledge, or foreordination, or providential control of God to the free agency of men, nor than many other truths which we are all forced to believe.

                4th.  After having admitted the necessary self–existence of an infinitely wise and powerful personal Spirit, whose existence, upon the hypothesis of his possessing the power of absolute Creation is sufficient to account for all the phenomena of the universe, it is unphilosophical gratuitously to multiply causes by supposing the independent, eternal self–existence of matter also.

                5th.  When the physical philosopher has analyzed matter to its ultimate atoms, and determined their essential primary properties, he finds in them as strong evidence of a powerful antecedent cause, and of a wisely designing mind, as he does in the most complex organizations of nature; for what are the ultimate properties of matter but the elementary constituents of the universal laws of nature, and the ultimate conditions of all phenomena. If design discovered in the constitution of the universe as finished proves a divine Former, by equal right must the same design discovered in the elementary constitution of matter prove a divine Creator.

                Atoms were asserted by Sir John Herschell to have all the appearance of "a manufactured article," on account of their uniformity.

                "Whether or not the conception of a multitude of beings existing from all eternity is in itself self–contradictory, the conception becomes palpably absurd when we attribute a relation of quantitative equality to all those beings. We are then forced to look beyond them to some common cause, or common origin, to explain why this singular relation of equality exists....We have reached the utmost limit of our thinking faculties when we have admitted that because matter cannot be eternal and self–existent it must have been created."—Prof. J. Clerk–Maxwell in Art. Atom, "Encyclo. Britannica," 9th ed.

                11. State and refute the objection to this doctrine based upon the axiom, " Ex nihilo nihilo fit. "

                It is objected that it is an original and self–evident principle of reason, that only nothing can come from nothing. We answer that this statement is indefinite. If it is meant that no new thing, nor any change in a previously existing thing, can begin to be without an adequate cause, we answer that it is true, but does not apply to the case in hand. Our doctrine is not that the universe came into being without an adequate cause, but that the essences as well as the forms of all things had a beginning in time, and their cause exists only in the will of God. The infinite power inherent in a self–existent Spirit is precisely the Cause to which we refer the absolute origination of all things. But if it is meant by the above objection that this infinite God has not power to create new entities, then the principle is simply false and not self–evident; it bears not one of the marks of a valid intuition—neither self–evidence, necessity, nor universality.

                12. State and refute the position of some who maintain on moral grounds the self–existence of matter.

                Those among theistic thinkers who have been tempted to regard matter as eternal and self–existent, have been influenced by the vain hope of explaining thereby the existence of moral evil in consistency with the holiness of God. They would refer all the phenomena of sin to an essentially evil principle inherent in matter, and would justify God by maintaining that he has done all that in him lay to limit that evil. Now, besides the inconsistency of this theory’s attempt to vindicate the holiness of God at the expense of his independence, it proceeds upon absurd principles, as appears from the following considerations: (1) Moral evil is in its essence an attribute of spirit. To refer it to a material origin must logically lead to the grossest materialism. (2) The entire Christian system of religion, and the example of Christ, is in opposition to that asceticism and "neglecting of the body" (Colossians 2:23), which necessarily springs from the view that matter is the ground of sin. (3) When God created the material universe he pronounced his works "very good." (4) The second Person of the holy Trinity assumed a real material body into personal union with himself. (5) The material creation, now "made subject to vanity" through man’s sin, is to be renovated and made the temple in which the God–man shall dwell forever.—See below, Chapter 29., Question 17. (6) The work of Christ in delivering his people from their sin does not contemplate the renunciation of the material part of our natures, but our bodies, which are now "the members of Christ," and the "temples of the Holy Ghost," are at the resurrection to be transformed into the likeness of his glorified body. Yet nothing could be more absurd than to argue that the dw~ma pneumatiko>n is not as literally material as the present dw~ma yuciko>n (7) If the cause of evil is essentially inherent in matter, and if its past developments have occurred in spite of God’s efforts to limit it, what certain ground of confidence can any of us have for the future.

                13. Prove that the work of Creation is in Scripture attributed to God absolutely, i. e., to each of thethree persons of the Trinity coordinately, and not to either as his special personal function.

                1st. To the Godhead absolutely.—Genesis 1:1,26. 2nd. To the Father, 1 Corinthians 8:6. 3rd. To the Son.—John 1:3; Colossians 1:16,17. 4th. To the Holy Spirit.—Genesis 1:2; Job 26:13; Psalm 104:30.

                14. How can it be proved that no creature can create?

                1st. From the nature of the work. It appears to us that the work of absolute creation ex nihilo is an infinite exercise of power. It is to us inconceivable because infinite, and it can belong, therefore, only to that Being who, for the same reason, is incomprehensible. 2nd. The Scriptures distinguish Jehovah from all creatures, and from false gods, and establish his sovereignty and rights as the true God by the fact that he is the Creator, Isaiah 37:16; 40:12,13; 54:5; Psalm 96:5; Jeremiah 10:11,12. 3rd. If it were admitted that a creature could create, then the works of creation would never avail to lead the creature to an infallible knowledge that his creator was the eternal and self–existent God.

                15. Why is it important for us to know, if such knowledge be possible, what God’s chief end increation was?

                This is not a question of vain curiosity. It is evident, since God is eternal, immutable, and of absolutely perfect intelligence, that the great end or ultimate purpose for which he at the beginning created all things must have been kept in view unchangeably in all his works, and so all his works must be more directly or remotely a means to that end. Now our minds are so constituted that we can understand a system only when we understand its ultimate purpose or end. Thus we can comprehend the parts of a watch or steam engine, and their relations and functions, only after we understand the end or purpose which the entire watch or engine was intended to serve. And although God has hid from us many of his subordinate purposes, we believe that he has revealed to us that great ultimate design, without a glimpse of which the true character of his general administration never could be in any degree comprehended. None can deny that if  he has revealed his ultimate purpose in creation, that it must be a matter to us of the very highest importance.

                It is self–evident that we cannot rise to so high a generalization as this by any process of induction from what we know or can know of his works. Our conclusion on this subject must therefore be drawn, in the first instance at least, entirely from what we know of God’s attributes and from the explicit teachings of his word.

                16. What is the meaning of the term THEODICY, and by whom was this department of speculativetheology in the first instance formally explored?

                The term Theodicy (qeo>v di>kh) signifies a speculative justification of the ways of God towards the human race, especially as respects the origin of evil, and the moral government of the world. It was first exalted into a department of theological science by the great German philosopher Leibnitz, in his great work entitled "Theodicy, or the Goodness of God, the Liberty of Man, and the Origin of Evil," AD 1710.

                17. What view as to the end of God in creation did Leibnitz advocate, and by whom has he beenfollowed?

                Leibnitz held that all moral excellence can be resolved into benevolence, and that the grand, all–comprehending purpose of God in the creation of the universe, and in his preservation and government thereof, is the promotion of the happiness of his creatures. Hence he concludes that God has chosen the best possible system to attain that end in the largest possible degree. This is the system of Optimism.

                This view has prevailed largely among the New England theologians, in connection with the prevalent theory which regards all virtue as consisting in disinterested benevolence.

                The objections to this view are— 1st. All virtue does not consist in disinterested benevolence.—See above, Chapter 8., Question 61. And happiness is not the highest good. 2nd. It subordinates the Creator to the creature, the greater to the less, as the means to an end. When God from eternity formed the purpose to create, no creatures existed to be made happy or miserable. The motive to create therefore could not have originated in the non–existent, and could have its origin and object only in the divine being himself. 3rd. The Scriptures (see next question) never either directly or indirectly intimate that anything in the creature is the chief end of God, nor do they ever propose any personal or public good of the creature as the chief end of the creature himself.

                18. State the true view and quote the statements of the Confession of Faith?

                The true view is that the great end of God in creation was his own glory. Glory is manifested excellence.

                The excellencies of his attributes are manifested by their exercise. This end therefore was not the increase either of his excellence or blessedness, but their manifestation ad extra.

                "It pleased God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power,wisdom, and goodness, in the beginning to create or make of nothing the world, and all things therein, whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days, and all very good."—"Confession Faith," Ch. 4., §

                1. The same is affirmed to be the chief end of God in all his purposes and works of Providence and Redemption.—Ch. 3. § 3, 5, 7, and Ch. 5. § 1; Ch. 6. § 1; Ch. 33. § 2; "Larger Cat.," Qs. 12 and 18; "Shorter Catechism," Qs. 7.

                19. State from reason and Scripture the arguments which sustain this view.

                1st.  Since God formed the purpose to create before any creature existed, it is evident that the motive to create must have its source and object in the pre–existing Creator and not in the non–existing creature.

                The absolute Creator cannot be subordinated to nor conditioned upon the finite and dependent creature.

                2nd.  Since God himself is infinitely worthier than the sum of all creatures, it follows that the manifestation of his own excellence is infinitely a higher and worthier end than the happiness of the creatures, indeed the highest and worthiest end conceivable.

                3rd.  Nothing can so exalt and bless the creature as his being made thus the instrument and the witness of the infinite Creator’s glory, hence the proposing that glory as the "chief end" of the creation is the best security for the creature’s advance in excellence and blessedness.

                4th.  The Scriptures explicitly assert that this is the chief end of God in creation (Colossians 1:16; Proverbs 16:4), and of things as created.—Revelation 4:11; Romans 11:36.

                5th.  They teach that the same is the chief end of God in his eternal decrees.—Ephesians 1:5,6,12.

                6th.  Also of God’s providential and gracious governing and disposing of his creatures.—Romans 9:17,22,23; Ephesians 3:10.

                7th.  It is made the duty of all moral agents to adopt the same as their personal end in all things.—1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Peter 4:11.

                20. What is the present attitude of Geological science in relation to the Mosaic Record of creation?

                The results of modern geological science clearly establish the conclusions—(a) That the elementary materials of which the world is composed existed an indefinitely great number of ages ago. (b) That the world has been providentially brought to its present state by a gradual progression, through many widely contrasted physical conditions, and through long intervals of time. (c) That it has successively been inhabited by many different orders of organized beings, each in turn adapted to the physical conditions of the globe in its successive stages, and generally marked in each stage by an advancing scale of   organization, from the more elementary to the more complex and more perfect forms. (d) That man completes the pyramid of creation, the most perfect, and the last formed of all the inhabitants of the world. The only difficulty in adjusting these results with the Mosaic Record of creation is found in matters of detail, in which the true sense of the inspired record is obscure, and the conclusions of the science are immature. Therefore all such detailed adjustments as that attempted by Hugh Miller in his

                "Testimony of the Rocks" have failed. As to the relation of the findings of science with respect to the antiquity of man to Biblical Chronology see below, Chapter 16. In general, however, there is a most remarkable agreement between the Mosaic Record and the results of Geology as to the following principal points. The Record agrees with the science in teaching—(a) The creation of the elements in the remote past. (b) The intermediate existence of chaos. (c) The advance of the earth through various changes to its present physical condition. (d) The successive creations of different genera and species of organized beings—the vegetable before the animal—the lower forms before the higher forms—in adaptation to the improving condition of the earth—and man last of all.

                If we remember when and where and for what purpose this Record was produced, and compare it with all other ancient or medieval cosmogonies, this wonderful agreement with the last results of modern science will be felt to contribute essentially to the evidences of its divine origin. It is certainly, even when read subject to the most searching modern criticism, seen to be amply sufficient for the end intended: as a general introduction to the history of Redemption, which although rooted in creation is henceforward carried on as a system of supernatural revelations and influences.

                21. State the several principles which should always be borne in mind in considering questionsinvolving an apparent conflict of science and revelation.

                1st.  God’s works and God’s word are equally revelations from him. They are consequently both alike true, and both alike sacred, and to be treated with reverence. It is absolutely impossible that when they are both adequately interpreted they can come into conflict. Jealousy on either part, is treason to the Author and Lord of both.

                2nd.  Science, or the interpretation of God’s works, is therefore a legitimate and obligatory department of human study. It has its rights which must be respected, and its duties which it must observe. It is the right of every science to pursue the investigation of its own branch according to its own legitimate methods.

                We cannot require of the chemist that he should pursue the methods of the philologist, nor of the geologist that he should go to history, either profane or sacred, for his facts. It is the duty of the students of every science to keep within its province, to recognize the fact that it is only one department of the vast empire of truth, and to respect alike all orders of truth, historical and inspired as well as scientific; mental and spiritual, as well as material.

                3rd.  It follows as a practical consequence from the narrowness of the human faculties, that men confined to particular branches of inquiry acquire special habits of thought, and associations of ideas peculiar to their line, by which they are apt to measure and judge the whole world of truth. Thus the man of science misinterprets and then becomes jealous of the theologian, and the theologian misinterprets and becomes jealous of the man of science. This is narrowness, not superior knowledge; weakness, not strength.

                4th.  Science is only the human interpretation of God’s works, it is always imperfect and makes many mistakes. Biblical interpreters are also liable to mistakes and should never assert the absolute identity of their interpretations of the Bible with the mind of God.

                5th.  All sciences in their crude condition have been thought to be in conflict with Scripture. But as they have approached perfection, they have been all found to be perfectly consistent with it. Sometimes it is the science which is amended into harmony with the views of the theologian. Sometimes it is the views of the theologian which are amended into harmony with perfected and demonstrated science, e.g., the instance of the universe and now grateful acceptance by the church of the once abhorred Copernican system.

                6th.  In the case of many sciences, as eminently of Geology, the time has not yet come to attempt an adjustment between their conclusions and revelation. Like contemporaneous history in its relation to prophecy, Geology in its relation to the Mosaic Record of creation is in transitu. Its conclusions are not yet mature. When geologists are all agreed among themselves, when all the accessible facts of the science are observed, analyzed, and classified, and when Generalization has done its perfect work, and when all of its results are finished and finally fixed as part of the intellectual heritage of man forever, then the adjustment between science and revelation will stand self–revealed, and science will be seen to support and illustrate, instead of oppose, the written word of God.

                7th.  There are hence two opposite tendencies which equally damage the cause of religion, and manifest the weakness of the faith of its professed friends. The first is the weak acceptance of every hostile conclusion of scientific speculators as certainly true; the constant confession of the inferiority of the light of revelation to the light of nature, and of the certainty of the conclusions of Biblical exegesis and Christian theology to that of the results of modern science; the constant attempt to accommodate the interpretation of the Bible, like a nose of wax, to every new phase assumed by the current interpretations of nature. The second and opposite extreme is that of jealously suspecting all the findings of science as probable offenses against the dignity of revelation, and of impatiently attacking even those passing phases of imperfect science which for the time appear to be inconsistent with our own opinions. Standing upon the rock of divine truth, Christians need not fear, and can well afford to await the result. PERFECT FAITH, as well as perfect love, CASTETH OUT ALL FEAR. All things are ours, whether the natural or the supernatural, whether science or revelation.—See Isaac Taylor’s "Restoration of Belief," pp. 9, 10.

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Chapter 13: Angels.

                1. What are the different senses in which the word a]ggelov angel, or messenger, is usedScripture?

                "Ordinary messengers, Job 1:14; Luke 7:24; 9:52; prophets, Isaiah 13:19; Malachi 3:1; priests, Malachi 2:7; ministers of the New Testament, Revelation 1:20; also impersonal agents, as pillar of cloud, Exodus 14:19; pestilence, 2 Samuel 24:16,17; winds, Psalm 104:4; plagues, called, ‘evil angels,’78:49; Paul’s thorn in the flesh, ‘angel of Satan,’2 Corinthians 12:7." Also the second person of the Trinity, "Angel of his presence;" "Angel of the Covenant," Isaiah 63:9; Malachi 3:1. But the term is chiefly applied to the heavenly intelligences, Matthew 25:31.—See Kitto’s "Bib. Ency."

                2. What are the Scriptural designations of angels, and how far are those designations expressive oftheir nature and offices?

                Good angels (for evil spirits, see Question 15) are designated in Scripture as to their nature, dignity, and power, as "spirits," Hebrews 1:14; "thrones, dominions, principalities, powers, mights," Ephesians 1:21, and Colossians 1:16; "sons of God," Luke 20:36; Job 1:6; "mighty angels," and "powerful in strength," 2 Thessalonians 1:7; Psalm 103:20; "holy angels," "elect angels," Luke 9:26; 1 Timothy 5:21; and as to the offices they sustain in relation to God and man, they are designated as "angels or messengers," and as "ministering spirits," Hebrews 1:13,14.

                3. What were the cherubim?

                "They were ideal creatures, compounded of four parts, those namely, of a man, an ox, a lion, and an eagle." "The predominant appearance was that of a man, but the number of faces, feet, and hands differed according to circumstances."—Ezekiel 1:6, compare with Ezekiel 12:18,19, and Exodus 25:20.

                To the same ideal beings is applied the designation "living creatures" (Ezekiel 1:5–22; 10:15,17; Revelation 4:6–9; 5:6–14; 6:1–7; 7:11; 14:3; 15:7; 19:4), rendered in our version "beasts,"

                They were symbolic of the highest properties of creature life, and of these as the outgoings and manifestation of the divine life; but they were typical of redeemed and glorified manhood, or prophetical representations of it, as that in which these properties were to be combined and exhibited.

                "They were appointed immediately after the fall to man’s original place in the garden, and to his office in connection with the tree of life."—Genesis 3:24.

                "The other and more common connection in which the cherub appears is with the throne or peculiar dwelling place of God. In the holy of holies in the tabernacle, Exodus 25:22, he was called the God who dwelleth between and sitteth upon the cherubim, 1 Samuel 4:4; Psalm 80:1; Ezekiel 1:26,28; whose glory is above the cherubim. In Revelation 4:6, we read of the living creatures who were in the midst of the throne and around about it."

                "What does this bespeak but the wonderful fact brought out in the history of redemption, that man’s nature is to be exalted to the dwelling place of the Godhead? In Christ it is taken, so to speak, into the very bosom of the Deity; and because it is so highly honored in him, it shall attain to more than angelic glory in his members."—Fairbairn’s "Typology," Pt. 2., Chapter 1., Section 3. See also "Imperial Bible Dictionary," Art. Cherubim.

                4. What is the etymology (linguistic development) of the word seraphim, and what is taught inScripture concerning them?

                The word signifies burning, bright, dazzling. It occurs in the Bible only once.—Isaiah 6:2,6. It probably presents, under a different aspect, the ideal beings commonly designated cherubim and living creatures.

                5. Is there any evidence that angels are of various orders a ranks?

                That such distinctions certainly exist appears evident— 1st. From the language of Scripture. Gabriel is distinguished as one that stands in the presence of God (Luke 1:19), evidently in some preeminent sense; and Michael as one of the chief princes.—Daniel 10:13. Observe also the epithets archangel, thrones, dominions, principalities, powers.—Jude 9; Ephesians 1:21. 2nd. From the analogy of the fallen angels.—See Ephesians 2:2; Matthew 9:34. 3rd. From the analogy of human society and of the universal creation. Throughout all God’s works gradation of rank prevails.

                6. Do the Scriptures speak of more than one archangel, and is he to be considered a creature?

                This term occurs but twice in the New Testament, and in both instances it is used in the singular number, and preceded by the definite article o. —1 Thessalonians 4:16; Jude 9. Thus the term is evidently restricted to one person, called, Jude 9, Michael, who, in Daniel 10:13, and 12:1, is called "one of the chief princes," and "the great prince," and in Revelation 12:7, is said to have fought with his angels against the dragon and his "angels."

                Many suppose that the archangel is the Son of God. Others suppose that he is one of the highest class of creatures, since he is called "one of the chief princes," Daniel 10:13; and since divine attributes are never ascribed to him.

                7. What do the Scriptures teach concerning the number and power of angels?

                1st.  Concerning their number, revelation determines only that it is very great. "Thousand thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand."—Daniel 7:10. "More than twelve legions of angels."—Matthew 26:53. "Multitude of the heavenly host." Luke 2:13; "Myriads of angels."—Hebrews 12:22.

                2nd.  Concerning their power, the Scriptures teach that it is very great when exercised both in the material and in the spiritual worlds. They are called "mighty angels," and are said to "excel in strength."—2 Thessalonians 1:7; Psalm 103:20; 2 Kings 19:35. Their power, however, is not creative, but, like that of man, it can be exercised only coordinately with the general laws of nature, in the absolute sense of that word.

                8. What are their employments?

                1st.  They behold the face of God in heaven, adore the divine perfections, study every revelation he makes of himself in providence and redemption, and are perfectly blessed in his presence and service.—Matthew 18:10; Revelation 5:11; 1 Peter 1:12.

                2nd.  God employs them as his instruments in administering the affairs of his providence.—Genesis 28:12; Daniel 10:13. (1) The law "was ordained by angels."—Galatians 3:19; Acts 7:53; Hebrews 2:2. (2) They are instruments of good to God’s people.—Hebrews 1:14; Acts 12:7; Psalm 91:10–12. (3) They execute judgment upon God’s enemies.—Acts 2:23; 2 Kings 19:35; 1 Chronicles 21:16. (4) They will officiate in the final judgment in separating the good from the bad, in gathering the elect, and in bearing them up to meet the Lord in the air. Matthew 13:30,39; 24:31; 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

                9. Have angels bodies, and how are the apparitions of angels to be accounted for?

                Angels are called in the Scriptures "spirits" (pneu>mata), Hebrews 1:14, a word which is also used to designate the souls of men when separate from the body.—1 Peter 3:19. There is however nothing in that word, nor in the opinions of the Jews at the time of Christ, nor in anything which is told us of the nature or the employments of angels in the Scriptures, which prove that angels are absolutely destitute of proper material bodies of any kind. Indeed as the Son of God is to have "a glorious body," "a spiritual body" forever, and since all the redeemed are to have bodies like his, and since the angels are associated with redeemed men as members of the same infinitely exalted kingdom, it may appear probable that angels may have been created with physical organizations not altogether dissimilar to the "spiritual bodies" of the redeemed. They always appeared and spoke to men in Bible times in the bodily form of men, and as such they ate food and lodged in houses like common men.—Genesis 18: 8 and 19:3.

                It has hence been supposed by some that angels have bodies like the present "natural" or animal bodies of men (sw~ma yuciko<n), 1 Corinthians 15:44, of flesh, bones, and blood, of head and features, hands and feet, and that the apparition of an angel involved no change in him, but only a coming within the sphere of the sense perception of the observer, when the angel appeared just as he habitually is.

                Now this is inconsistent with the facts of the inspired record. In certain situations the angels "appeared" precisely like common men, and in other situation) they acted very differently (Acts 12:7–10; Numbers 22:31), in passing through stone walls, appearing and disappearing at will, etc. Besides, one of the three men who appeared to Abraham at Mamre, and whose feet he washed, and who ate the meat he had prepared, was Jehovah, the second Person of the Trinity, who had no body till he acquired it many centuries afterwards in the womb of the Virgin. If the apparent human body of the one angels, was not a real, permanent human body, there is not ground to argue from the recorded phenomena that the others were.—Genesis 18:1–33.

                Besides this, the theory in question indicates absurd confusion of thought. The animal human body, as we know it, is a physical organization in equilibrium with certain definite and nicely adjusted physical conditions, and it can exist only under those conditions. The vertebrate type, of which the human body is the highest form, has been continually changed as the physical conditions of the globe have changed, and it ceases always to exist whenever those conditions are changed in any decided degree. If it would be absurd to conceive of a human body existing in water, or in fire, how much more absurd is it to conceive of a warm–blooded, food–consuming animal existing indifferently on earth and in heaven; traversing at will the interstellar spaces, and as a true cosmopolite inhabiting alternately and indifferently all worlds, and all elements, ether, air and water, and all temperatures, from the molten sun to the absolute zero of the starless void.

                The bodily appearance of angels, therefore, must have been something new assumed, or something preexistent and permanent greatly modified for the purpose of enabling them to hold, upon occasion, profitable interaction with men.

                10. What is the Romish doctrine and practice with regard to the worship of angels?

                "Catechismus Romanus," 3. 2, 9, 10.—"For the Holy Spirit who says, Honor and glory unto the only God (1 Timothy 1:17), commands us also to honor our parents and elders (Leviticus 19:32, etc.); and the holy men who worshipped one God only are also said in the sacred Scriptures to have adored (Genesis 23:7,12, etc.), that is, to have suppliantly venerated, kings. If then kings, by whose agency God governs the world, are treated with so high an honor, shall we not give to the angelic spirits an honor greater in proportion as these blessed minds exceed kings in dignity; [to those angelic spirits] whom God has been pleased to constitute his ministers; whose services he makes use of, not only in the government of the Church, but also of the rest of the universe; by whose aid, although we see them not, we are daily delivered from the greatest dangers both of soul and body? Add to this the charity with which they love us, through which, as Scripture informs us, they pour out their prayers for those countries (Daniel 2:13) over which they are placed by Providence, and for those too, no doubt, whose guardians they are, for they present our prayers and tears before the throne of God (Job 3:25; 12:12; Revelation 8:3). Hence our Lord has taught us in the gospel not to scandalize the little ones, because in heaven their angels doalways behold the face of his Father which is in heaven."

                "Their intercession, therefore, we must invoke, because they always behold God, and receive from him the most willing advocacy of our salvation. To this, their invocation, the sacred Scriptures bear testimony.—Genesis 48:15,16."

                11. What views have been entertained with respect to "Guardian Angels"?

                "It was a favorite opinion of the Christian Fathers that every individual is under the care of a particular angel, who is assigned to him as a guardian. They spoke also of two angels—the one good, the other evil—whom they conceived to be attendant on each individual: the good angel prompting to all good, and averting ill; and the evil angel prompting to all ill, and averting good (Hermas 11. 6). The Jews (excepting the Sadducees) entertained this belief, as do the Moslems. The heathen held it in a modified form—the Greeks having their tutelary demon, and the Romans their genius. There is however nothing to support this notion in the Bible. The passages usually referred to for its support (Psalm 34:7, Matthew 18:10), have assuredly no such meaning. The former simply denotes that God employs the ministry of angels to deliver his people from affliction and danger; and the celebrated passage in Matthew means that the infant children of believers, or the least among the disciples of Christ, whom the ministers of the church might be disposed to neglect, are in such estimation elsewhere, that angels do not think it below their dignity to minister unto them." Nothing is said of the personal assignment of angels to individual men.—Kitto’s "Bib. Encyclo."

                12. What are the names by which Satan is distinguished, a what is their import?

                Satan, which signifies adversary, Luke 10:18. The Devil (dia>bolov always occurs in the singular) signifying slanderer, Revelation 20:2; Apollyon, which means destroyer, and Abaddon, Revelation 9:11; Beelzebub, the prince of devils, from the god of the Ekronites, chief among the heathen divinities all of which the Jews regarded as devils, 2 Kings 1:2; Matthew 12:24; Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Revelation 9:11 Prince of the World, John 12:31; Prince of Darkness, Ephesians 6:12; A Roaring Lion, 1 Peter 5:8; a Sinner from the Beginning, 1 John 3:8; Accuser, Revelation 12:10; Belial, 2 Corinthians 6:15; Deceiver, Revelation 20:10; Dragon, Revelation 12:7; Liar and Murderer, John 8:44; Leviathan, Isaiah 27:1;

                Lucifer, Isaiah 14:12; Serpent, Isaiah 27:1; Tormentor; Matthew 18:34; God of this World, 2 Corinthians 4:4; he that hath the Power of Death, Hebrews 2:14.—See Cruden’s "Concordance."

                13. How may it be proved that Satan is a personal being, and not a mere personification of evil?

                Throughout all the various books of Scripture Satan is always consistently spoken of as a person, and personal attributes are predicated of him. Such passages as Matthew 4:1-11, and John 8:44, are decisive.

                14. What do the Scriptures teach concerning the relation of Satan to other evil spirits and to ourworld?

                Other evil spirits are called "his angels," Matthew 25:41; and he is called "Prince of Devils," Matthew 9:34; and "Prince of the powers of the Air," and "Prince of Darkness," Ephesians 6:12. This indicates that he is the master spirit of evil.

                His relation to this world is indicated by the history of the Fall, 2 Corinthians 11:3; Revelation 12:9, and by such expressions as "God of this World," 2 Corinthians 4:4; and "Spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience," Ephesians 2:2; wicked men are said to be his children, 1 John 3:10; he blinds the minds of those that believe not and leads them captive at his will, 2 Timothy 2:26; he also pains, harasses, and tempts God’s true people as far as is permitted for their ultimate good.—Luke 22:31; 2 Corinthians 12:7; 1 Thessalonians 2:18.

                15. What are the terms by which fallen spirits are designated?

                The Greek word oJ dia>bolov, the devil, is in the original applied only to Beelzebub. Other evil spirits are called diamonev, demons, Mark 5:12 (translated devils); unclean spirits, Mark 5:13; angels of the devil, Matthew 25:41; principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, Ephesians 6:12; angels that sinned, 2 Peter 2:4; angels that kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, Jude 6:; lying spirits, 2 Chronicles 18: 22.

                16. What power or agency over the bodies and souls of men is ascribed to them?

                Satan, like all other finite beings, can only be in one place at a time; yet all that is done by his agents being attributed to him, he appears to be practically ubiquitous.

                It is certain that at times at least they have exercised an inexplicable influence over the bodies of men, yet that influence is entirely subject to God’s control.—Job 2:1; Luke 13:16; Acts 10:38. They have caused and aggravated diseases, and excited appetites and passions.—1 Corinthians 5:5. Satan, in some sense, has the power of death.—Hebrews 2:14.

                With respect to the souls of men, Satan and his angels are utterly destitute of any power either to change the heart or to coerce the will, their influence being simply moral, and exercised in the way of deception, suggestion, and persuasion. The descriptive phrases applied by the Scriptures to their working are such as—"the deceivableness of unrighteousness," "power, signs, lying wonders," 2 Thessalonians 2:9,10; he "transforms himself into an angel of light."—2 Corinthians 11:14. If he can deceive or persuade he uses "wiles," Ephesians 6:11; "snares,"1 Timothy 3:7; "depths," Revelation 2:24; he "blinds the mind," 2 Corinthians 4:4; "leads captive the will," 2 Timothy 2:26; and so "deceives the whole world."—Revelation 12:9. If he cannot persuade he uses "fiery darts," Ephesians 6:16; and "buffetings."—2 Corinthians 12:7.

                As examples of his influence in tempting men to sin the Scriptures cite the case of Adam, Genesis 3; of David, 1 Chronicles 21:1; of Judas, Luke 22:3; Ananias and Sapphira, Acts 5:3, and the temptation of our blessed Lord, Matthew 4.

                17. What evidence is there that the heathen worship devils?

                "The dai>mwn is the object of their worship, deisidaimwni>a describes their worship itself, and deisi>daimwn the worshipper." Paul (Acts 17:22) declared that the men of Athens were deisidaimone>sterouv, i.e., too much addicted to demon–worship. David says (Psalm 106: 37),

                "The gods of the heathen are demons," and Paul (1Corinthians 10:20), "The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God." Moses said of apostate Israelites (Deuteronomy 32:17), "They sacrificed to demons and not to God, to gods whom they knew not; to new gods that came newly up; whom your fathers feared not."—"The Imperial Bible Dictionary."

                18. Where do they reside, and what is the true interpretation of Ephesians 2:2 and 6:12?

                These passages simply declare that evil spirits belong to the unseen spiritual world, and not to our mundane system. Nothing is taught us in Scripture as to the place of their residence, further than that they originally dwelt in and fell from heaven, that they now have access to men on earth, and that they will be finally sealed up in the lake of fire prepared for them.—Revelation 20:10; Matthew 25:41.

                19. By what terms were those possessed by evil spirits designated?

                They are called "demoniacs," "translated possessed with devils,  Matthew 4:24; "having the spirit of an unclean devil," Luke 4:33; "oppressed of the devil," "Acts 10: 38; "lunatics," Matthew 17:15.

                20. What arguments are urged by those who regard the "demoniacs," mentioned in the NewTestament as simply diseased or deranged?

                That we cannot discriminate between the effects of demoniacal possession and disease. That precisely the same symptoms have, in other cases, been treated as disease and cured.

                That, like witchcraft, the experience of such possessions has been confined to the most ignorant ages of the world.

                They argue further that this doctrine is inconsistent with clearly revealed principles.

                1st. That the souls of dead men go immediately either to heaven or hell. 2nd. That fallen angels are already shut up in chains and darkness in expectation of the final judgment.—2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6.

                They attempt to explain away the language of Christ and his apostles upon this subject by affirming, that as it was no part of their design to instruct men in the true science of nature or disease, they conformed their language on such subjects to the prevalent opinions of the people they addressed, calling diseases by the popular name, without intending thereby to countenance the theory of the nature of the disease, out of which the name originated. Just as we now call crazed people "lunatics," without believing in the influence of the moon upon them.—"Kitto’s Bib. Ency."

                21. How may it be proved that the demoniacs of the New Testament were really possessed of evilspirits?

                The simple narratives of all the evangelists put it beyond peradventure that Christ and his apostles did believe, and wished others to believe, that the "demoniacs," were really possessed with devils.

                They distinguish between possession and disease.—Mark 1:32; Luke 6:17,18.

                The "demons," as distinct from the "possessed," spoke (Mark. 5:12), were addressed, commanded, and rebuked by Christ.—Mark 1:25,34; 9:25; Matthew 8:32; 17:18. Their desires, requests, and passions are distinguished from those of the possessed.—Matthew 8:31; Mark 9:26, etc. The number of demons in one person is mentioned.—Mark 16:9. They went out of the "possessed" into the swine.—Luke 8:32. We never speak of the moon entering into, and sore vexing a man, or being cast out of a lunatic, or of the moon crying aloud, etc. The argument of those who would explain away the force of Christ’s language on this subject, therefore fails.

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Chapter 14: Providence

                1. What is the etymology (linguistic development) and technical usage of the term PROVIDENCE, and what is the relation which Providence sustains to God’s eternal Decree?

                Providence, from pro and video, literally means foresight, and then a careful arrangement prepared beforehand for the accomplishment of predetermined ends. Turretin defines this term as in its widest sense including (a) foreknowledge, (b) foreordination, and (c) the efficacious administration of the thing decreed. In the technical theological as well as in the common usage of the word, however, it is restricted to the last sense, namely the execution by God of his eternal decree in time, by means of the second causes he has originated in creation. Foreordination gives the plan and is eternal, all – comprehensive, and unchangeable. Creation gives the absolute commencement of things in time. Providence includes the two great departments (a) of the continued Preservation of all things as created, and (b) of the continued Government of all things thus preserved, so that all the ends for which they were created, are infallibly accomplished.—See "Confession: Faith," chap. 5., and "L Cat.," Q. 18, and "Shorter Catechism," Q. 11.

                2. State the true doctrine of PRESERVATION.

                Preservation is that continued exercise of the divine energy whereby the Creator upholds all his creatures in being, and in the possession of all those inherent properties and qualities with which he endowed them at their creation, and of those also which they may subsequently have acquired by habit or development.

                That is, both the being, the attributes of every species, and the form and faculties of every individual are constantly preserved in being by God.

                3. State the arguments which establish the conclusion that a constant divine exercise of divineenergy is essential for the preservation of all creatures.

                1st.  This truth appears to be involved in the very conception of a creature in his dependent relation to his Creator. The creature is one who has the whole ground of his being in the will of his Creator. Being thus absolutely dependent, he can no more continue than he can originate his own being.

                2nd.  This is implied in the sense of absolute dependence, which is an essential element of the religious sentiment which is an invariable characteristic of human nature.

                3rd.  It is taught in Scripture. "In him we live and move and have our being."—Acts 17:28. "By him all things consist."— Colossians 1:17. "Upholding all things by the word of his power."—Hebrews 1:3; Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 63:8; 69:8,9.

                4. State the Deistic and Rationalistic view as to the nature of Preservation.

                They regard the action of God in the matter of the continued preservation of the creature as merely negative—a not willing to destroy. This view represents the Creator as exterior to his creation in the same manner in which a machinist is exterior to the machine he has made and set in motion. It regards the system of second causes as dependent upon the Great First Cause only at the beginning of the long line, in the indefinitely remote past. They maintain that in the beginning God created all things and endowed them severally with their active powers as second causes, and adjusted them in a balanced system, but then left them to act, independently of all support or direction from without, according to their nature, in their relations, as a man may leave a wound–up clock.

                5. State the objections to that view.

                1st.  This view, as above shown, is inconsistent with the essential relation of the creature as an effect to the Creator as a cause. God is the only ens a seipso. The only cause of the creature’s being is the will of the Creator. As long as he so wills that cause exists. If he should cease so to will the cause would be vacated and the effect consequently cease.

                2nd.  This view is to an unworthy degree anthropomorphic. It involves a deplorably unintellectual failure to apprehend the essential difference between the relation to the creation sustained by God, and that sustained by man to the work of his hand. A man is necessarily exterior to his work, and even when present capable of directing his attention only to one point at a time. But God is omnipresent, not as to his essence only, but as to his infinite knowledge, wisdom, love, righteousness, and power, with every atom of creation for every instant of duration. The creature is always interpenetrated as well as embraced in the divine thought and will, and ever is what it is and as it is because of God.

                3rd.  This view obviously removes God so far from the creation as to be irreligious in its practical effect. This also has been uniformly its influence as historically ascertained.

                4th.  It is obviously opposed to the entire spirit of the Scriptures, and to those special texts above quoted.

                6. State the view as to the nature of the divine agency involved in PRESERVATION, which stands atthe opposite extreme to the above.

                The extreme position opposite to the Deistic one above stated is that Preservation is a continued creation.

                That creatures or second causes have no real continuous existence, but are reproduced every successive moment out of nothing, in their respective successive states, conditions, and actions by the perpetual outflow of the "vis creatrix " (creating power) of God. Thus the state or action of any created thing in one moment of time has no causal relation to its state or action in another moment, but the sole, perpetual, and immediate cause of all that exists is God himself.

                The foundations of this doctrine were first laid by Descartes in his views of the relation of the creation to the Creator, viewing the former as sustained by the latter by a continued creation. These views were pushed to the furthest extreme consistent with Theism by Malebranche, in the doctrine of "Occasional Causes," and of "our seeing all things in God," and were carried to their legitimate, logical conclusion, in absolute pantheism by Spinoza.—Morell’s "Hist. of Modern Philosophy," Part 1., ch. 2, § 1.

                President Edwards teaches the same doctrine incidentally in his great work on "Original Sin," Part 4., ch. 3. He says that the existence either of the substance, or of the mode, or of the action of any created thing in any one moment of time has no causal connection with its existence, state, or action the next moment.

                He says that what we call "course of nature is nothing separate from the agency of God." He illustrates his doctrine thus:"The images of things in a glass, as we keep our eye upon them, seem to remain precisely the same, with a continuing perfect identity. But it is known to be otherwise. Philosophers well know that these images are constantly renewed, by the impression and reflection of new rays of light; so that the image impressed by former rays is constantly vanishing, and a new image impressed by new rays every moment, both on the glass and on the eye. . . . The image that exists this moment is not at all derived from the image which existed the last preceding moment . . . the past existence of the image has no influence to uphold it so much as for one moment . . . So it is with bodies as well as images their present existence is not, strictly speaking, the effect of their past existence, but it is wholly, every instant, the effect of a new agency, or exertion of the powerful cause of their existence."

                7. Show that this doctrine is false and dangerous.

                1st.  If God is continually creating anew every creature in every moment of time in its successive states and actions, and if the state or act of the creature in one moment has no causal relation to its state or act in the next moment, it is evident that second causes are only modifications of the First Cause, and that God is the only real Agent in the universe, and the immediate and sole cause of whatever comes to pass.

                This obviously logically involves Pantheism, and as a historical fact leads to its adoption.

                2nd.  It is inconsistent with our original and necessary intuitions of truth of all kinds, physical, intellectual, and moral. Our original intuitions assure us of the real and permanent existence of spiritual and material substances exercising powers, and of our own spirits as real, self–determining causes of action, and consequently as responsible moral agents. But if this doctrine is true these primary, constitutional intuitions of our nature deceive us, and if these deceive us, the whole universe is an illusion, our own natures a delusion, and absolute skepticism inevitable.

                3rd.  It immediately cuts up by the roots the foundations of free agency, moral accountability, moral government, and hence of religion.

                8. State the several points in the true doctrine of Providential Preservation.

                The true view stands intermediate between the two extremes above stated. It involves the following propositions:

                1st.  Created substances, both spiritual and material, possess real and permanent existence, i.e., they are real entities.

                2nd.  They possess all such active or passive properties as they have been severally endowed with by God.

                3rd.  The properties or active powers have a real, and not merely apparent, efficiency as second causes in producing the effects proper to them; and the phenomena alike of consciousness and of the outward world are really produced by the efficient agency of second causes, as we are informed by our native and necessary intuitions.

                4th.  But these created substances are not self–existent, i.e., the ground of their continued existence is in God and not in themselves.

                5th.  They continue to exist not merely in virtue of a negative act of God, whereby he merely does not will their destruction, but in virtue of a positive, continued exercise of divine power, whereby they are sustained in being, and in the possession of all their properties and powers with which God has endowed them.

                6th.  The precise nature of the divine action concerned in upholding all things in being and action is, like every mode of the interaction of the infinite with the finite, inscrutable—but not more mysterious in this case than in every other.—Dr. Charles Hodge’s "Lectures."

                9. How may the Scriptural doctrine of Providential GOVERNMENT be stated?

                God having from eternity absolutely decreed whatsoever comes to pass, and having in the beginning created all things out of nothing by the word of his power, and continuing subsequently constantly present to every atom of his creation, upholding all things in being and in the possession and exercise of all their properties, he ALSO continually controls and directs the actions of all his creatures thus preserved, so that while he never violates the law of their several natures, he yet infallibly causes all actions and events singular and universal to occur according to the eternal and immutable plan embraced in his decree. There is a design in providence. God has chosen his great end, the manifestation of his own glory, but in order to that end he has chosen innumerable subordinate ends; these are fixed; and he has appointed all actions and events in their several relations as means to those ends; and he continually so directs the actions of all creatures that all these general and special ends are brought to pass precisely at the time, by the means, and in the mode and under the conditions, which he from eternity proposed.

                Turretin, 50. 6, Quæs. 1, says, "The term Providence embraces three things pro>gnwsin,

                pro>qesin et dio>ikhsin —the cognition of the mind, the decree of the will, and the efficacious administration of the things decreed—knowledge directing, will, commanding, and power executing. . . .

                Hence Providence may be regarded either in the antecedent decree, or in the subsequent execution; the first is the eternal destination of all things to their appointed ends; the second is the temporal government of all things according to that decree; the first is an act immanent within God; the second is an act transient out of God. We here treat for the most part of Providence in the second sense of the term."          "Confession of faith," Chap. 5.; "Larger Catechism," Q. 18; "Shorter Catechism," Q. 11.

                10. State the proof of the fact of such a universal GOVERNMENT derived from a consideration ofthe divine perfections.

                1st.  The stupendous fact that God is infinite in his being, in his relation to time and space, and in his wisdom and power, makes it evident that a universal providence is possible to him, and that all the difficulties and apparent contradictions involved therein to the eye of man are to be referred to our very limited capacity of understanding.

                2nd.  God’s infinite wisdom makes it certain that he had a definite object in view in the creation of the universe, and that he will not fail in the use of the best means to secure that object in all its parts.

                3rd.  His infinite goodness makes it certain that he would not leave his sensitive and intelligent creatures to the toils of a mechanical, soulless fate; nor his religious creatures to be divorced from himself, in whose communion their highest life consists.

                4th.  His infinite righteousness makes it certain that he will continue to govern and reward and punish those creatures which he has made subject to moral obligations.

                11. State the argument derived from the innate religious constitution of mankind.

                The religious sentiment when analyzed is found to embrace (a) a sense of absolute dependence, and (b) a sense of immediate moral accountability. The sense of absolute dependence naturally and actually leads all men of all nations and conditions to cling to the conviction of the immediate presence and providential control of God throughout the universe and in every event. To be without God in the world is to be in a condition in which the elementary demands of human nature are denied. The sense of moral accountability leads all men to believe in a universal and supreme moral government present in the world, protecting the good, and restraining and punishing the wicked. If God is not actually and immediately present in nature and in human history, then we cannot know him, and he neither controls nor protects us, and hence obedience is neither due nor possible, and morality, religion, and prayer are all alike vain delusions.

                12. State the argument from the intelligence evinced the operations of nature.

                The great inductive argument for the being of God is based upon the evident traces of design in the universe. Now, just as the traces of design in the constitution of nature proves the existence of a designing mind in the relation of creator, so the traces of design in the operations of nature prove the existence of a designing mind in the relation of providential ruler.

                The material elements, with their active properties, are all incapable of design, yet we find all these elements so adjusted in at their proportions and relations as to work harmoniously in the order of certain general laws, and we find these general laws so adjusted in all their intricate coincidences and interferences, as, by movements simple and complex, fortuitous and regular, to work out harmoniously everywhere the most wisely and beneficently contrived results. The mechanical and chemical properties of material atoms; the laws of vegetable and animal life; the movements of the sun, moon, and stars in the heavens; the luminous, calorific, and chemical radiance of the sun; and the instinctive and voluntary movement of every living thing upon the face of the earth, are all mutually acting and reacting without concert or possible design of their own, yet everywhere bringing forth the most wise and beneficent results. As the designing mind cannot be found in any of the elements it, of course, cannot be found in the resultant of the whole together. It can be looked for only in a present personal God, all–wise and all–powerful, who directs all things by the present exercise of his intelligent power in and through the creature.

                13. How may this doctrine be established by the evidence afforded by the general history of theworld?

                If the constitution of human nature (soul and body), in its elemental relations to human society, proves a designing mind in the relation of creator, exactly so must the wisely contrived results of human association, in general and in individual instances, prove the exercise of a designing mind in the relation of providential ruler.

                Individual men and communities, it is true, differ in their action from the elements of the external world, inasmuch as they act, 1st., freely, self–moved; and 2nd., from design. Yet so narrow is the sphere both of the foresight and the design of every individual agent, so great is the multiplicity of agents, and the complications of interacting influences upon each community from within, from every other community, and from the powers of external nature, that the designs of either individuals or communities are never carried beyond a short distance, when they are lost in the general current, the result of which lies equally beyond the foreknowledge and the control of all. But the student of history, with the key of revelation, clearly discerns the traces of a general design running through all the grand procedures of human history, and at points even visibly linking itself with the actions of individual agents. God’s providence, as a whole, therefore, comprehends and controls the little providences of men.

                14. State the Scriptural argument from the prophecies, promises, and threatenings of God.

                In innumerable instances has God in the Scriptures prophesied with great particularity the certain occurrence of an event absolutely, and he has promised or threatened the occurrence of other events contingently upon certain conditions. This would be a mockery, if God did not use the means to fulfill his word.

                It is not reasonable to object that God simply foresaw the event, and so prophesied, promised, or threatened it, because the event is frequently promised or threatened contingently, upon a condition which does not stand in the relation of a cause to that event. God could not foresee one event as contingent upon another which sustains no causal relation to it. The truth of the promise or threatening in such a case cannot depend upon the natural connection between the two events, but upon God’s determination to cause one to follow the other.

                15. Prove from Scripture that the providence of God extends over the natural world.

                Psalm 104:14; 125:5–7; 147:8–18; 148:7,8; Job 9:5,6; 21:9–11; 37:6–13; Acts 14:17.

                16. Prove from Scripture that it includes the brute creation.

                Psalm 104:21–29; 147:9; Matthew 6:26; 10:29.

                17. Prove from Scripture that it extends to the general affairs of men.

                1 Chronicles 16:31; Psalm 47:7; 66:7; Proverbs 21:1; Job 12:23; Isaiah 10:12–15; Daniel 2:21; 4:25.

                18. Show from Scripture that the circumstances of individuals are controlled by God.

                1 Samuel 2:6; Psalm 18:30; Proverbs 16:9; Isaiah 14:5; Luke 1:53; James 4:13–15.

                19. Prove that events considered by us fortuitous are subject to the control of God.

                1st.  A fortuitous event is one whose proximate causes, because either of their complexity or their subtlety, escape our observation. Every such event, however, as the falling of a leaf, is linked with the general system of things, both by its antecedents and its consequences.

                2nd.  Scripture affirms the fact.—Exodus 21:13; Psalm 75:6, 7; Job 5:6; Proverbs 16:33.

                20. What distinction has been made between a general and a special providence, and what is thetrue view of the subject?

                Many men admit that God exercises a general superintending Providence over affairs, controlling the general current, and determining great and important events, while they regard it superstitious and derogatory to the sublime dignity and greatness of God to conceive of him as interesting himself in every trivial detail. Many who do not clearly understand themselves feel and practically judge of all events in their relation to divine Providence in like manner.

                But this whole mode of conception and feeling springs from a very low anthropomorphic view of God’s attributes and manner of action, as if there could be with the absolute Cause and the infinite Ruler the same difference between little things and great things as there is with us; as if to him, as to us, a multitude of details were more burdensome, or less worthy of attention, than some grand result. A general and a special Providence cannot be two different modes of divine operation. The same providential administration is necessarily at the same time general and special for the same reason, because it reaches without exception equally to every event and creature in the world. A General

                Providence is special because it secures general results by the control of every event, great and small, leading to that result. A Special Providence is general because it specially controls all individual beings and actions in the universe. All events are so related together as a concatenated system of causes, and effects, and conditions, that; a general Providence that is not at the same time special is as inconceivable as a whole which has no parts, or as a chain which has no links.

                21. Prove that the providential government of God extends to the free acts of men.

                1st.  The free actions of men are potent causes influencing the general system of things precisely as all other classes of causes in the world, and consequently, on the principle indicated in the answer to the preceding question, they also must be subject to God, or every form of providence whatever would be impossible for him.

                2nd.  It is affirmed in Scripture.—Exodus 12:36; 1 Samuel 24:9–15; Psalm 33:14,15; Provrebs 16:1; 19:21; 20:24; 21:1; Jeremiah 10:23; Philippians 2:13.

                22. Show from Scripture that God’s providence is exercised over the sinful acts of men.

                2 Samuel 16:10; 24:1; Psalm 76:10; Romans 11:32; Acts 4:27,28.

                23. What do the Scriptures teach as to God’s providential agency in the good acts of men?

                The Scriptures attribute all that is good in man to the free grace of God, operating both providentially and spiritually, and influencing alike the body and the soul, and the outward relations of the           individual.—Philippians 2:13, 4:13; 2 Corinthians 12:9,10; Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 5:22–25.

                It is to be remembered, however, that while a material cause may be analyzed into the mutual interaction of two or more bodies, a human soul acts spontaneously, i.e., originates action. The soul also, in all its voluntary acts, is determined by its own prevailing dispositions and desires.

                When all the good actions of men, therefore, are attributed to God, it is not meant, 1st., that he causes them, or, 2nd. that he determines man to cause them, irrespectively of man’s free will; but it is meant that God so acts upon man from within spiritually, and from without by moral influences, as to induce the free disposition. He works in us first to will, and then to do his good pleasure.

                24. What do the Scriptures teach as to the relation of Providence to the sinful acts of men?

                The Scriptures teach— 

                1st.  The sinful acts of men are in such a sense under the divine control that they occur only by his permission and according to his purpose.—1 Chronicles 1:4–14; Genesis 45:5 and 50:20. Compare 1 Samuel 6:6 and Exodus 7:13 and 14:17; Isaiah 66:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:11; Acts 4:27,28; 2:23; 3:18.

                2nd.  He restrains and controls sin.—Psalm 76:10; Genesis 1:20; Isaiah 10:15.

                3rd.  He overrules it for good.—Genesis 1:20; Acts 3:13.

                4th.  God neither causes sin, nor approves it, he only permits, directs, restrains, limits, and overrules it.

                Man, the free agent, is the sole responsible and guilty cause of his own sin.

                Turretin sets forth the testimony of Scripture upon this subject thus—

                1st. As to the beginning of the sin, (1) God freely permits it. But this permission is neither moral, i.e. , while permitting it physically, he never approves it; nor merely negative, i.e., he does not simply concur in the result, but he positively determines that bad men shall be permitted for wise and holy ends to act according to their bad natures.—Acts 14:16; Psalm 81:12. (2) He deserts those who sin, either by withdrawing grace abused, or by withholding additional grace. This desertion may be either (a) partial, to prove man’s heart (2 Chronicles 32:31), or (b) for correction, or (c) penal (Jeremiah 7:29; Romans 1:24–26). (3) God so orders providential circumstances that the inherent wickedness of men takes the particular course of action he has determined to permit (Acts 2:23; 3:18). (4) God delivers men to Satan, (a) as a tempter (2 Thessalonians 2:9–11), (b) as a torturer (1 Corinthians 5:5).

                2nd. As to the progress of the sin, God restrains it as to its intensity and its duration, and as to its influence upon others. This he effects both by internal influences upon the heart, and by the control of external circumstances.—Psalm 76:10.

                3rd. As to the end or result of the sin, God uniformly overrules it and directs it for good.—Genesis 50:20; Job 1:12; 2:6–10; Acts 3:13; 4:27,28.

                25. What are the THREE general classes in which all theories as to God’s Providential Governmentmay be embraced?

                1st. Those views which remove God from all present active agency in the creation, and assert the entire independence of second causes. 2nd. Those theories which more or less explicitly deny the real agency of second causes and make God the only real agent in the universe. 3rd. The middle or Christian view, which maintains all  the principles on this subject taught in the Scriptures as:The real efficiency of second causes, especially the moral freedom and accountability of man in his acts, and at the same time the universal, efficient control of God, whereby in perfect consistency with the attributes of his own nature, and with the several properties of his creatures, he determines and disposes of all actions and events according to his sovereign purpose.

                26. State the Mechanical Theory of Providence.

                This view supposes that when God created the universe he endowed all the various material and spiritual elements with their respective properties and powers, that he then grouped them in certain combinations and proportions, and so made them subject to certain general laws. The world is thus a machine, which the maker has so calculated that it works out of itself all his purposes. Having wound it up he leaves it to itself. God is the first cause in the sense of his being the first member in an endless series of causes always flowing on further and further from their source. Some of these philosophers confine this rigid mechanism to the physical world, and regard the free wills of men as an absolutely indeterminate element embraced in the general mechanism of the world. The majority, however, deny free agency, and regard man as one of the cosmic elements not essentially different from the rest.

                All providential interferences and all miracles therefore would be impossible. To suppose any necessity for such interferences would be to suppose some radical defect in God’s work—that either he must have been incapable of precalculating all necessary combinations, or that he was unable to execute a machine that would run of itself. Prof. Baden Powel says, "It is derogatory to the idea of infinite power and wisdom to suppose an order of things so imperfectly established that it must be occasionally interrupted and violated." And Theodore Parker says, "Men have Albeit precarious make–shifts; the Infinite has no tricks, no subterfuges—not a whim in God, and so not a miracle in nature."

                27. Expose the fallacy of that view.

                1st. It is opposed to the plain teaching of God’s word as set forth under Questions 15–24. 2nd. It is essentially irreligious, and materialistic. It fails to recognize the education and discipline of free intelligent agents as the great end to which the universe as a system of means is adapted. It separates the souls of men from God, it makes prayer a mockery, revelation impossible, moral accountability a prejudice, and religion a delusion. 3rd. It is based on a miserably shallow anthropomorphic idea of God.

                It conceives of the universe simply as a mechanical system of causes, and as sustaining the same relation to God that a human work does to its maker, who is necessarily exterior to his work. It utterly fails— 1st.

                To apprehend the real indwelling of the Creator in the creation as an omnipresent, ever–active, and controlling spirit, a personal agent making law by working through law for the purpose of accomplishing elected ends. 2nd. To apprehend the true nature of the universe in relation to its highest ends as a moral system designed for the instruction and development of free, personal, moral agents, created in the image of God.

                A system involving an established order of nature, and proceeding in wise adaptation of means to ends, is necessary as a means of communication between the Creator and the intelligent creation, and to accomplish the intellectual and moral education of the latter. Thus only can the divine attributes of wisdom, righteousness, or goodness be exercised or manifested, and thus only can angel or man understand the character, anticipate the will, or intelligently and voluntarily co-operate with the plan of God.

                Occasional direct exercises of power, moreover, in connection with a general system of means and laws, appears to be necessary not only "in the beginning," to create second causes and inaugurate their agency, but also subsequently, in order to make to the subjects of his moral government the revelation of his free personality, and of his immediate interest in their affairs. At any rate, such occasional direct action and revelation is necessary for the education of man in his present state. A miracle, although effected by divine power without means, is itself a means to an end and part of a plan. All natural law has its birth in the divine reason, and is an expression of will to effect a purpose.—"Reign of Law," by Duke of Argyle.

                The "order of nature" is only an instrument of the divine will, and an instrument used subserviently to that higher moral government in the interests of which miracles are wrought. Thus the "order of nature," the ordinary providence of God, and miracles, instead of being in conflict, are the intimately correlated elements of one comprehensive system.

                28. What classes of philosophers have actually or virtually denied the real efficiency of secondcauses?

                All Pantheists, of course, regard all second causes as modifications of the First Cause, and God the only real agent in the universe. Descartes, although a believer in God, and in the real objective existence of material as well as spiritual agents, nevertheless held that they were created anew every moment in all their successive states and actions, and so virtually made second causes only a modification of the First Cause. His disciples deduced therefrom the theory of occasional causes, making changes in the second cause merely the occasion upon which the First Cause exercises its efficient agency and accomplishes the effect. This led to the Pantheism of Spinoza. Dr. Emmons, of New England, held in connection with the "exercise scheme" the doctrine of divine efficiency. That we know nothing in the human soul but a series of exercises connected with an obscure thread of consciousness. God is the real cause creating each moment each of these exercises in their successions, the good and the bad alike, just as a musician blows the successive notes on a pipe at his will.

                To this class of speculations belongs the theory of "Concursus," which prevailed so long in the Church.

                29. What doctrine was represented by the phrase "general and indifferent concursus," and whowere its advocates?

                Theologians were occupied during many centuries with debating the question as to the nature of the "concursus," or in–dwelling with and co–working of God in second causes.

                The Jesuits, and with them the Socinians and Remonstrants, maintain that this "concursus," is only "general" and "indifferent;" that is, that it is common alike to all causes, quickening them to action, but indifferently, i.e., the first cause is, as it were, a mere general stimulant to the second cause, leaving each one to determine its own particular mode of action. This they illustrate by the general quickening power of the sun, which sheds the same radiance universally and indifferently upon all earthly objects, which radiance is the common principle of all life and all movement. Where this radiance is absent there is no life. Yet it is indifferent to any particular form of life or movement—and every particular germ germinates after its own kind under the quickening power of the same sun.

                This theory obviously admits the preservation of the essences and active powers of all things by God, but it virtually denies by omission all real providential government. According to this view, God created and preserves all things, and they in turn act spontaneously according to their nature and tendencies without his control.

                30. What doctrine was expressed by the phrase "concursus simultaneous and immediate"?

                This phrase expresses an act of God whereby he cooperates with the creature in his act, as a concause, in the production of the act as an entity. In support of this view, and in opposition to the bare admission of the above–explained "concursus general and indifferent," the disciples of Thomas Aquinas in the Roman Church and all the Lutheran and Reformed theologians agreed. The question however remained a point of difficulty and of difference as to which is the determining factor in this dual causality. Does God determine the creature in every case to act, and to act as he does and not otherwise, or does the creature determine himself?

                31. What doctrine was expressed by the phrase "concursus, previous and determining," and whowere its advocates?

                Hence the Reformed or Calvinistic theologians maintained in addition the doctrine of "Precursus," or of a "Concursus, previous and determining." This signified a divine energy upon the creature, and in every case determining it to act, and to act precisely as it does. Some applied this to such human actions as are good, others more logically applied it to all actions of every kind whatsoever.

                32. How did the Reformed theologians attempt to reconcile this doctrine with the freedom of manand with the holiness of God?

                As to the freedom of man, they— 1st. Pleaded mystery. 2nd. They pleaded that the two facts, (a) that human action is free, and (b) that God efficiently governs that action, are both certainly revealed in Scripture and therefore must be mutually consistent whether we can reconcile them or not. 3rd. They argued that the modus operandi of this divine concursus in every case varied with the nature of the creature upon which it is exerted, and that it is always perfectly consistent with the nature of that creature, and its modes of action. "Therefore since Providence does not concur with the human will, either by the way of co–action, forcing an unwilling will, nor by the way of a physical determination, as though it were a thing brutish and blind, devoid of all judgment, but rationally by turning the will in a manner congruous to itself that it may determine itself, it follows, that the proximate cause of each man’s action being in the judgment of his own understanding, and spontaneous election of his own will, it exerts no constraining force upon our liberty, but rather sustains it."—Turretin, 50. 6, Q. 6.

                "Moveri voluntarie est moveri ex se, i.e.,  a principio intrinsico. Sed illud

                principium intrinsicum potest esse ab alio prin-cipio extrinsico. Et sic moveri ex

                se non repugnat si, quod movetur ex alio. Illud quod movetur ab alio dicitur cogi,

                si moveatur contra inclinationem propriam; sed si moveatur ab alio quod sibi dat

                propriain inclinationem, non dicitur cogi. Sic igitur Deus movendo voluntatem

                non cogit ipsam, quia dat ei ejus propriam inclinationem."—Thomas, Vol. 50,

                105, 4, quoted by Dr. Charles Hodge.

                As to the holiness of God in relation to the sinful acts of his creatures they held: 1st. That sin originates in a defect or privative cause. 2nd. That there is a difference between the mere matter of the act as an entity and its moral quality. God is an efficient concause, of the former, but not of the latter, if it be evil.

                They illustrated this by the use of an poorly–tuned instrument in the hands of a skillful player. The player is the cause of each of the sounds in their order, but the derangement of the instrument alone is the cause of the discord. 3rd. Hence the relation of God’s providence to the evil actions of man, is very different from its relation to their good actions. In the case of the latter he gives the grace which communicates the moral quality, as well as cooperates in the production of the action. In the case of the former his concursus is confined to the matter of the act, the sinful quality is derived from the creature only.

                33. State the several objections which lie against this theory of concursus.

                1st.  It is an unsuccessful attempt to go beyond the mere facts taught by Scripture in the search of an explanation of the manner in which God acts upon the creature in effecting his ends.

                2nd.  This theory tends to the denial of the real efficiency of second causes, and therefore tends to Pantheism. This was a danger less appreciated by the Great Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries than it has of necessity come to be in our day. It is of the highest importance that we hold both the correlated truths of the real efficiency of second causes, and of the controlling providence of God, of human freedom and of divine sovereignty, and then leave the question of their reconciliation to the future.

                34. To what extent do the Scriptures teach anything as to the nature of God’s providentialgovernment?

                The mode in which the divine agency is exerted is left entirely unexplained, but the fact that God does govern all his creatures and all their actions is expressly stated and everywhere assumed, and many of the characteristics of that government are set forth.

                It is declared—

                1st.  To be universal.—Psalm 103:17–19; Daniel 4:34,35; Psalm 22:28–29.

                2nd.  Particular.—Matthew 10:29–31.

                3rd.  It embraces the thoughts and volitions of men and events apparently contingent. —Proverbs 21:1; 16:9,33; 19:21; 2 Chronicles 16:9.

                4th.  It is efficacious.—Lamentation 2:17; Psalm 33:11; Job 23:13.

                5th.  It is the execution of his eternal purpose, embracing all his works from the beginning in one entire system.—Acts 15:18; Ephesians 1:11; Psalm 104:24; Isaiah 28:29.

                6th.  Its chief end is his own glory, and subordinately thereto, the highest good of his redeemed church.—Romans 9:17; 11:36; 8:28.

                7th.  The Scriptures teach that the manner in which God executes his providential government must be consistent with his own perfections, since "God cannot deny himself," 2 Timothy 2:13.

                8th.  Also congruous with the nature of every creature effected thereby, since all free agents remain free and responsible.

                9th.  Also that God in the case of the good actions of men gives the grace and the motive, and cooperates in the act from first to last.—Philippians 2:13. But in the case of the sinful actions of men he simply permits the sinful action, restrains it, and then overrules is for his own glory and the highest good of his creation.

                35. How can the existence of moral and physical evil be reconciled with the doctrine of God’sprovidential government?

                The mystery of the origin and permission of moral evil we cannot solve.

                As to physical evil, we answer—

                1st.  That it is never provided for as an end in itself, but always a means to an overbalancing good.

                2nd.  That in its existing relations to moral evil as corrective and primitive, it is justified alike by reason and conscience as perfectly worthy of a wise, righteous, and merciful God.

                36. Show that the apparently anomalous distribution of happiness and misery in this world is notinconsistent with the doctrine of providence.

                1st.  Every moral agent in this world receives more of good and less of evil than he deserves.

                2nd.  Happiness and misery are much more equally distributed in this world than appears upon the surface.

                3rd.  As a general rule, virtue is rewarded and vice punished even here.

                4th.  The present dispensation is a season of education, preparation, and trial, and not one of rewards and punishments.— See Psalm 73.


                37. How do Extraordinary Providences differ from ordinary events in their relation to God’sprovidential control?

                Events like that of the flight of quails, and the draught of fishes, mentioned in Numbers 11:31,32, and Luke 5:6, as far as we know, differ from events occurring under the ordinary providential control of God only in respect to the divinely prearranged conjunction of circumstances. The events are not supernatural, only unusual, and their peculiarity is only that they occur in eminently well–chosen conjunction with other events, such as the need of the Israelites, and of the apostles, with which they have no natural connection.

                38. How are miracles designated in the New Testament?

                They are called—(1) te>rata, wonders, Acts 2:19; (2) du>nameiv, works of superhuman power, and (3) shme~ia, signs, John 2:18, Matthew 12:38. The last designation expresses their true office. They are designed to be "signs" incapable of being counterfeited, of God’s commission and authentication of a religious teacher and of his doctrine.

                39. How then is a miracle, in the Scriptural sense of that word, to be defined, so as to signalize itsspecific distinction from supernatural events in general, and from extraordinary Providences, asabove explained?

                A miracle is (1) an event occurring in the physical world, capable of being discerned and discriminated by the bodily senses of human witnesses, (2) of such a character that it can be rationally referred to no other cause than the immediate volition of God, (3) accompanying a religious teacher, and designed to authenticate his divine commission and the truth of his message.

                40. State and answer the a priori objection to the possibility of miracles, that they essentiallyinvolve the violation of the laws of nature.

                It is maintained that all experience, and the integrity of human reason, unite in guaranteeing the absolute inviolability of the law of continuity—that every possible event finds its full explanation in adequate causes which precede it, and that every event in its turn causes endless consequences to succeed it. No event can be isolated from its antecedents and consequences, nor from its conditions, and every cause acts according to an intelligible law of its nature.

                This is all true, and as true of miracles as of any other events.

                If by "law of nature" we mean the physical forces which produce effects, then no miracle involves any suspension or violation of such law. It is a common experience that forces modify each other, and each added force combines with others in producing effects otherwise impossible. If by "law of nature" we mean the ordinary course of events observed in nature, then a miracle is, by definition, a signal suspension of that order. But the same thing is brought about every day by the intervention in nature of the intelligent wills of men.

                In every physical event there are a combination of concauses combining to effect it. The human will in acting violates no law, and annihilates no force, it simply combines natural forces under special conditions, and interpolates into the sum of concauses a new concause—the human volition.

                When the sons of the prophets "cut down a stick and cast it into the water and the iron of the axe–head did swim" (2 Kings 6:6), neither the specific gravities of the iron nor of the water were altered, nor was the law of gravitation suspended. The miracle consisted only in a divine volition interpolating a new transient force, equal to the excess of the specific gravity of the iron over that of the water, and acting in a direction opposite to that of gravity. This is precisely analogous to the action of the human will upon physical objects—with this exception—man’s will acts upon outward objects only indirectly through the mechanism of his body, and directly only upon his voluntary muscles, while God’s will acts directly upon every element of the world he has created. And what is true in this simple miracle could be shown to be true in the most complex ones, such as the raising of Lazarus, if we knew enough of the chemistry and physiology of human life.

                John Stuart Mill ("Essay on Theism," Pt. 4.) says, "It may be argued that the power of volition over phenomena is itself a law, and one of the earliest known and acknowledged laws of nature. . . . The interference of human will with the course of nature is only not an exception to law, when we include among laws the relation of motive to volition; and by the same rule interference by the divine will would not be an exception either; since we cannot but suppose Deity, in every one of his acts, to be determined by motives., The alleged analogy holds good:but what it proves is only what I have from the first maintained—that divine interference with nature could be proved if we had the same sort of evidence for it which we have for human interferences."

                That is, this greatest of all the philosophical rationalists maintains that there is no à priori ground to judge miracles impossible. It is purely a question as to the sufficiency of the evidence. Every Christian is perfectly satisfied that the evidence (historical, moral, and spiritual) for the resurrection of Christ, and the miracles historically associated with that event, is abundantly sufficient.

                41. State and answer the objection to the occurrence of a moral drawn from the balance of thephysical universe.

                It is a fact that the whole physical universe forms one system, and that as at present adjusted it is in a state of such delicate equilibrium that the addition or subtraction of a single atom in any one portion of it would disturb that equilibrium throughout the entire system. A disturbance, however slight, ab extra —the intrusion of an agent not belonging to the system of things, would be destructive of the whole.

                It is obvious that this objection would have weight if the material universe were an exclusive whole by itself; and if it sustained no constitutional relation to God. But if God and the created world together constitute a whole—a complete universe of things—the objection is absurd. The sum of his activities of every kind is the necessary complement of the sum of the activities of all his creatures, and only thus the equilibrium is maintained.

                It is plain that the will, of God is no more outside the sum of things constituting the universe than is the will of man. And man is constantly modifying nature over wide areas, and every moment bringing his will as a new concause, to act upon the physical laws of the universe ab extra, and giving them new directions and conditions.

                The equilibrium of the physical universe, moreover, is not a permanent one, but one constantly changing, especially through the diffusion of heat and the massing of matter at the centers of attraction.

                42. State and answer the objection that the assumption of the necessity of miraculous interferenceis derogatory to the wisdom and power of the Creator.

                It is argued that the skill of a human workman is always exhibited in proportion to the ability of his work to perform its designed function independently of his repair, or correction, or guidance. That the necessity of interference for any purpose all extra is a proof of defect or at least of limitation in the skill or power of the maker. Any occasion for a miracle therefore could only arise, they argue, from a change of purpose on the part of God, or a radical defect upon the part of his creation. Theodore Parker said,

                "There is no whim in God, and therefore no miracle in nature."

                This would have force if miracles were designed to correct the defective working of the physical universe. But this no Christian has ever dreamed.

                The design of a miracle is simply to signify to God’s intelligent creatures his active intervention in the moral universe for the purpose of restoring the order disturbed by sin. The moral system is essentially different from the physical one. The one is mechanical, the other embraces the reason, conscience, FREE WILL, and the law, of motive. Free will makes sin possible, and sin makes direct divine intervention necessary, either to redeem or to damn.

                All the miracles of Scripture are grouped around the great crises in the work of Redemption, or the restoration of the original natural law, disturbed by sin. Hence the miracles of Scripture, unlike all the miracles of the heathen, or of the Papal Church, or of modern spiritualism, instead of being mere wonders, exhibitions of power, wanton violations of natural order, are preeminently works of healing, acts the whole bearing and spirit of which imply, the restoration and confirmation, not the violation, of law.

                The highest meaning of the word LAW is order, arrangement, assignment of function, to the end of effecting a purpose.

                The supreme essence of all law, therefore, is the eternal purpose of God. Not a single miraculous intervention was an after–thought. One eternal act of absolutely intelligent volition embraced the whole scheme of being and events in all space and all duration, appointing all ends and all means and all methods at once, the necessary and the free, the physical and the moral, the acts of the creature obeying law, and the interventions of the Creator imposing law.

                43. How can an event actually occurring be certainly recognized as coming under the category ofmiracles as above defined?

                I.  A miracle, according to the foregoing definition, is "an event occurring in the physical world capable of being discerned and certainly discriminated by the bodily senses." The miracles of Scripture fulfill this condition, especially the most important of them. They were exhibited (1) in the clear light of day, (2) on several occasions, (3) under varying circumstances (4) to a number of witnesses, and (5) to the scrutiny of several senses, as of sight, hearing, and touch, mutually corroborating one another.

                II.  A miracle, by the same definition, must "accompany a religious teacher, and is designed to authenticate his divine commission and the truth of his message." It hence follows that every such event, in order to be credible, must (1) be itself of a character, rationally and morally, congruous with its professedly divine origin. (2) The character of the religious teacher whose commission it authenticates, and the character of his doctrine, must be such that it is credible that they represent the mind and will of God. (3) The messenger and his message must be found to be consistent, historically and doctrinally, with the entire organism of preceding revelations and divine interventions.

                III.  The miracle, in the third place, must be "of such a character that it can be rationally referred to no other cause than the immediate volition of God."

                It has been objected at this point that a miracle could not be certainly determined to be such, even if it occur, because— 1st. No man knows all the laws of nature, nor what is the true line between the natural and the supernatural. What is new or inexplicable is relatively supernatural, i.e., by us incapable of being reduced to the categories of nature. 2nd. Because evil spirits often have wrought supernatural works—and it is impossible for us, therefore, to determine in any case that the cause of the event can be only a direct volition of God.

                WE ANSWER

                1st. As far as evil spirits are concerned, the kingdom of Satan can easily be recognized by its character.

                No isolated event is ever to be recognized as a miracle. The man, and the doctrine, and their relation to the whole system of past revelations and miraculous interventions, will in every case be sufficient to discriminate the identity of the supernatural cause of an event. 2nd. As far as the question of determining with certainty what effects transcend the powers of nature, we answer— (1) There are some classes of effects about which no man can possibly doubt, e.g., the raising of Lazarus, and the multiplying of the loaves and fishes, we may doubt about the exact boundaries of the supernatural—but no man can mistake that which so far transcends the boundaries. (2) These effects were accomplished two thousand years ago, in an unscientific age, by an unlearned people. (3) These effects were produced over and over again at the mere word of command, without the use of any sort of means, or fixed physical conditions. (4) The works were divine in character, and the occasions were worthy, the religious teachers and doctrines carried their own corroborative spiritual evidence, and the events fell into their place in the entire system of revelation.

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Chapter 15: The Moral Constitution of the Soul, Will, Liberty, Etc

                1. What general department of theology are we now entering, and what are the principal topicsincluded in it?

                The general department of ANTHROPOLOGY, and the principal topics embraced in this department, are the moral constitution of man psychologically considered, the moral condition of man when created, and the providential relations into which man was introduced at his creation,—the nature of sin, the sin of Adam, the effects of his sin upon himself and upon his posterity, and the consequent moral condition and legal relations into which his descendants are introduced at birth.

                It is obvious that an accurate understanding of the nature of sin, original or actual, of the influence of divine grace, and of the change wrought in the soul in regeneration, of course involves some previous knowledge of the constitutional faculties of the soul, and especially of those faculties which particularly distinguish man as a moral agent. Hence there are certain psychological and metaphysical questions inseparable from theological discussions.

                2. What is the general principle which it is always necessary to bear in mind while treating of thevarious faculties of the human soul?

                The soul of man is one single indivisible agent, not an organized whole consisting of several parts; and, therefore, what we call its several faculties are rather the capacity of the one agent, for discharging successively or concurrently the several functions involved, and are never to be conceived of as separately existing parts or organs. These several functions exercised by the one soul are so various and complex, that a minute analysis is absolutely necessary, in order to lay open to us a definite view of their nature. Yet we must carefully remember that a large part of the errors into which philosophers have fallen in their interpretation of man’s moral constitution, has resulted from the abuse of this very process of analysis. This is especially true with respect to the interpretation of the voluntary acts of the human soul. In prosecution of his analysis the philosopher comes to recognize separately the differences and the likenesses of these various functions of the soul, and too frequently forgets that these functions themselves are, in fact, never exercised in that isolated manner, but concurrently by the one soul, as an indivisible agent, and that thus they always qualify one another. Thus, it is not true, in fact, that the understanding reasons, and the heart feels, and the conscience approves or condemns, and the will decides, as different members of the body work together, or as the different persons constituting a council deliberate and decide in mutual parts; but it is true that the one indivisible, rational, feeling, moral, self–determining soul reasons, feels, approves, or condemns and decides.

                The self–determining power of the will as an abstract faculty is absurd as a doctrine, and would be disastrous as an experience; but the self–determining power of the human soul as a concrete, rational, feeling agent. is a fact of universal consciousness, and a fundamental doctrine of moral philosophy and of Christian theology. The real question is not as to the liberty of the will, but as to the liberty of the man in willing. It is obvious that we are free if we have liberty to will as we please, i.e., as upon the whole we judge best, and all things considered desire.

                3. How may the leading faculties of the human soul be classified? and which are the seat of ourmoral nature?

                1st.  The intellectual. This class includes all those faculties in different ways concerned in the general function of knowing, as the reason, the imagination, the bodily senses, and the moral sense (when considered as a mere source of knowledge informing the understanding).

                2nd.  The emotional. This class includes all those feelings which attend, in any manner, the exercise of the other faculties.

                3rd.  The will.

                It will be observed that the functions of the conscience involve faculties belonging to both the first and second classes (see below, Question 5).

                It is often asked, Which of our faculties is the seat of our moral nature? Now while there is a sense in which all moral questions concern the relation of the states or acts of the will, to the law of God revealed in the conscience, and therefore in which the will and the conscience are preeminently the foundation of man’s moral nature, it is true, nevertheless, that every one of the faculties of the human soul, as above classified, is exercised in relation to all moral distinctions, e.g., the intellectual in the perception and judgment; the emotional in pleasant feeling or the reverse; the will, in choosing or refusing, and in acting.

                Every state or act of any one of the faculties of the human soul, therefore, which involves the judging, choosing, refusing, or desiring, upon a purely moral question, or the feeling corresponding thereto, is a moral state or act, and all the faculties, viewed in their relations to the distinction between good and evil, are moral faculties.

                4. What is the Will?

                The term "will" is often used to express the mere faculty of volition, whereby the soul chooses, or refuses, or determines to act, and the exercise of that faculty. It is also used in a wider sense, and in this sense I use it here, to include the faculty of volition, together with all of the spontaneous states of the soul (designated by Sir William Hamilton, "Lectures on Metaphysics," Lect. 11., the faculties of conation, the excitive, striving faculties, possessing, as their common characteristic, "a tendency toward the realization of their end"), the dispositions, affections, desires, which determine a man in the exercise of his free power of volition. It must be remembered, however, that these two senses of the word "will" are essentially distinct. The will, as including all the faculties of conation (the dispositions and desires), is to be essentially distinguished from the single faculty of soul exercised in the resulting volition, i.e., the choosing or the acting according to its prevailing desire.

                The term "will" is used in the wider sense in this chapter. A man in willing is perfectly free, i.e, he always exercises volition according to the prevailing disposition or desire of his will at the time. This is the highest freedom, and the only one consistent with rationality or moral responsibility.

                5. Define the term Volition.

                By the term "faculty of volition" we mean the executive faculty of the soul, the faculty of choice or self–decision; and by the term "volition" we mean the exercise of that faculty in any act of choice or self–decision.

                6. What is Conscience?

                Conscience, as a faculty, includes (a) a moral sense or intuition, a power of discerning right and wrong, which combining with the understanding, or faculty of comparing and judging, judges of the right or wrong of our own moral dispositions and voluntary actions, and of the dispositions and voluntary actions of other free agents. (b) This faculty judges according to a divine law, of right and wrong, included within itself (it is a law to itself, the original law written upon the heart, Romans 2:14), and (c) it is accompanied with vivid emotions, pleasurable in view of that which is right, and painful in view of that which is wrong, especially when our conscience is engaged in reviewing the states or the actions of our own souls. This faculty in its own province is sovereign, and can have no other superior than the revealed word of God.—See M’Cosh, " Divine Government," Book 3., chap. 1. sec. 4.

                7. What is the true test for determining the moral quality of any mental act or state?

                The only true tests of the moral quality of any state or act are—1st. The inspired word of God, and 2nd.

                The spontaneous, practical, and universal judgments of men.

                The moral judgments of men, like all our intuitive judgments. are certainly reliable only when they respect concrete and individual judgments. The generalized and abstract propositions which being supposed to be formed by abstraction and generalization from these individual judgments may be true or not, but they cannot be received as a reliable foundation upon which to erect a system of evidence. Very absurd attempts have been often made to demonstrate the moral or non–moral character of any principle, by means of general formularies representing partial truths imperfectly stated, and by means of other—either false, senseless, or irrelevant— à priori considerations.

                8. Into what classes are the spontaneous affections of the soul to be distributed, and what are thedistinguishing characteristics of each class?

                The spontaneous desires and affections of the soul are of two distinct biases. 1st. The animal, or those which arise blindly without intelligence, e.g., the appetites and instinctive affections, these have no intrinsic moral quality in themselves, and become the occasion of moral action only when they are restrained or inordinately indulged. 2nd. The rational affections and desires called out by objects apprehended by the intellect.

                9. What rational spontaneous affections possess a moral quality, and in what does that qualityinherently attach?

                Such rational spontaneous affections are intrinsically and essentially either good or bad or morally indifferent, and their quality is discriminated by the quality of the objects by which they are attracted.

                They are good when their objects are good, evil when their objects are evil, and morally indifferent when their objects are indifferent. Their moral quality, whatever it be, is intrinsic to them. When they are good, all men consider them worthy of approbation, and when they are evil, all men consider them worthy of condemnation and righteous indignation, because of their essential nature as good or as evil, and without any consideration of their origins. When good these spontaneous affections determine the volitions to good, when they are evil they determine the volitions to evil.

                10. To what do we apply the designation "permanent principles, or dispositions" of soul? and whendo they possess a general character, and what is the source of that character?

                There are in the soul, underlying its passing states and affections, certain permanent habits or dispositions involving a tendency to or facility for certain kinds of exercises. Some of these habits or dispositions are innate and some are acquired. These constitute the character of the man, and lay the foundation for all his successive exercises of feeling, affection, desire, volition, or action. As far as these are morally good, the man and his action are good; as far as these are evil, the man and his action are evil; as far as these are morally indifferent, i.e., concern objects morally indifferent, the actions which spring from them are morally indifferent. The moral character of these inherent moral tendencies of the soul is intrinsic and essential. They are the ultimate tendencies of the soul itself, and their goodness or badness is an ultimate fact of consciousness.

                11. Show that the state and action of the intellect may possess a moral character.

                The intellect is so implicated in its exercises with the moral affections and emotions, that its views and judgments on all moral subjects have a moral character also. A man is hence responsible for his moral judgments—and hence for his beliefs as well as for his moral feelings, because the one is as immediately as the other determined by the general moral state or character of the soul. A man who is blind to moral excellence, or to the deformity of sin, is condemned by every enlightened conscience. The Scriptures pronounce a woe upon those "who call evil good and good evil, who put light for darkness and darkness for light."—Isaiah 5:20. Sin is called in Scripture "blindness," and "folly."—1 John 2:11; Ephesians 4:18; Revelation 3:17; Matthew 23:17; Luke 24:25.

                12. What are the essential conditions of moral responsibility?

                To be morally responsible a man must be a free, rational, moral agent (see answer to preceding question).

                1st. He must be in present possession of his reason to distinguish truth from falsehood. 2nd. He must also have in exercise a moral sense to distinguish right from wrong. 3rd. His will, in its volitions or executive acts, must be self–decided, i.e., determined by its own spontaneous affections and desires. If any of these are wanting, the man is insane, and neither free nor responsible.

                13. Is the conscience indestructible and infallible?

                The conscience, the organ of God’s law in the soul, may virtually, i.e. , as to its effects and phenomena, be both rendered latent and perverted for a time, and in this phenomenal sense, therefore, it is neither indestructible nor infallible. But if the moral sense be regarded simply in itself it is infallible, and if the total history of even the worst man is taken into the account, conscience is truly indestructible.

                1st.  As to its indestructibility.  Conscience, like every other faculty of the soul, is undeveloped in the infant, and very imperfectly developed in the savage; and, moreover, after a long habit of inattention to its voice and violation of its law, the individual sinner is often judicially given up to carnal indifference; his conscience for a time lying latent. Yet it is certain that it is never destroyed— (1) From the fact that it is often aroused to the most fearful energy in the hearts of long–hardened reprobates in the agonies of remorse. (2) From the fact that this remorse or accusing conscience constitutes the essential torment of lost souls and devils. This is "the worm that never dieth." Otherwise their punishment would lose its moral character.

                2nd.  As to its infallibility.  Conscience, in the act of judging of moral states or actions, involves the concurrent action of the understanding and the moral sense. This understanding is always fallible, especially when it is prejudiced in its action by depraved affections an desires. Thus, in fact, conscience constantly delivers false decisions from a misjudgment of the facts and relations of the case; it may be through a selfish or sensual or a malignant bias. Hence we have virtually a deceiving as well as a latent conscience. Notwithstanding this, however, the normal sense of the distinction between right and wrong, as an eternal law to itself, lies indestructible even in the most depraved breasts, as it cannot be destroyed, so it cannot be changed; when aroused to action, and when not deceived as to the true state of the case, its language is eternally the same.—See M’Cosh, "Divine Government," Book 3., chapter 2., section 6, and Dr. A. Alexander, "Moral Science," chapters 4. and 5.

                14. What is the essential nature of virtue?

                "Virtue is a peculiar quality of" certain states of the will, i.e., either permanent dispositions or temporary affections of the will, and "of certain voluntary actions of a moral agent., which quality is perceived by the moral faculty with which every man is endowed, and the perception of which is accompanied by an emotion which is distinct from all other emotions, and is called moral."—Dr. Alexander, "Moral Science," ch. 26.

                The essence of virtue is, that it obliges the will. If a thing is morally right it ought to be done. The essence of moral evil is, that it intrinsically deserves disapprobation, and the agent punishment.

                This point is of great importance, because the truth here is often perverted by a false philosophy, and because this rewards view of moral good is the only one consistent with the Scriptural doctrine of sins, rewards, and punishments, and, above all, of Christ’s atonement.

                The idea of virtue is a simple and ultimate intuition; attempted analysis destroys it. Right is right because it is. It is its own highest reason. It has its norm in the immutable nature of God.

                15. What constitutes a virtuous and what a vicious character?

                Virtue, as defined in the answer to the last question, attaches only to the will of man (including all the conative faculties), 1st., to its permanent disposition; 2nd., to its temporary affections; and 3rd., to its volitions. Some of these states and actions of the will are not moral, i.e., they are neither approved nor condemned by the conscience as virtuous or vicious. But virtue or vice belong only to moral states of the soul, and to voluntary acts. A virtuous character, therefore, is one in which the permanent dispositions, the temporary affections and desires, and the volitions of the soul, are conformable to the divine law.

                A vicious character, on the other hand, is one in which these states and acts of the will are not conformable to the divine law.

                The acts of volition are virtuous or vicious as the affections, or desires by which they are determined are the one or the other. The affections and desires are as the permanent dispositions or the character. This last is the nature of the will itself, and its character is an ultimate unresolvable fact. Whether that character be innate or acquired by habit, the fact of its moral quality as virtuous or vicious remains the same, and the consequent moral accountability of the agent for his character is unchanged.

                It must be remembered that the mere possession of a conscience which approves the right and condemns the wrong, and which is accompanied with more or less lively emotion, painful or pleasurable as it condemns or approves, does not make a character virtuous, or else the devils and lost souls would be eminently virtuous. But the virtuous man is he whose heart and actions, in biblical language, or whose dispositions, affections, and volitions,  in philosophical language, are conformed to the law of God.

                16. State both branches of the Utilitarian theory of virtue.

                The first  and lowest form is that which maintains that virtue consists in the intelligent desire for happiness. Dr. N. W. Taylor says—"Nothing is good but happiness and the means of happiness, and nothing evil but misery and the means of misery."

                The second and higher form of the Utilitarian theory of virtue is that it consists in disinterested benevolence, and that all sin is a form of selfishness. This is shown, Chapters 8., 12., and 18., to be a defective and therefore a false view.

                17. What as we mean when we say that a man is a free agent?

                1st.  That, being a spirit, he originates action. Matter acts only as it is acted upon. A man acts from the spring of his own active power.

                2nd.  That, although a man may be forced by fear to will and to do many things which he would neither will nor do if it were not for the fear, yet he never can be made to will what he does not himself desire to will, in full view of all the circumstances of the case.

                3rd.  That he is furnished with a reason to distinguish between the true and the false, and with a conscience, the organ of an innate moral law, to distinguish between right and wrong, in order that his desires may be both rational and righteous. And yet his desires are not necessarily  either rational or righteous, but are formed under the light of reason and conscience, either conformable to or contrary to them, according to the permanent, habitual dispositions of the man; i.e., according to his own character.

                18. Show that this attribute of human nature is inalienable.

                A man is said to be free in willing when he wills in conformity with his own prevailing dispositions and desires at the time. A man’s judgment may be deceived, or his actions may be coerced, but his will must be free, because, if it be truly his will, it must be as he desires it to be, in his present state of mind and under all the circumstances of the case at the time.

                It hence follows that volition is of its very essence free, whether the agent willing or the act willed be wise or foolish, good or bad.

                19. Do not the Scriptures, however, speak of man’s being under the bondage of corruption, and hisliberty as lost?

                As above shown, a man is always free in every responsible volition, as much when he chooses, in violation of the law of God and conscience, as in conformity to it. In the case of unfallen creatures, and of perfectly sanctified men, however, the permanent state of the will, the voluntary affections and desires (in Scripture language, the heart), are conformed to the light of reason and the law, of conscience within, and to the law of God, in its objective revelation. There are no conflicting principles then within the soul, and the law of God, instead of coercing the will by its commands and threatenings, is spontaneously obeyed. This is "the liberty of the sons of God;" and the law becomes the "royal law of liberty" when the law in the heart of the subject perfectly corresponds with the law of the moral Governor.

                In the case of fallen men and angels, on the other hand, the reason and conscience, and God’s law, are opposed by the governing dispositions of the will, and the agent, although free, because he wills as he chooses, is said to be in bondage to an evil nature, and "the servant of sin," because he is impelled by his corrupt dispositions to choose that which he sees and feels to be wrong and injurious, and because the threatenings of God’s law tend to coerce his will through fear.

                The Scriptures do not teach that the unregenerate is not free in his sin, for then he would not be responsible. But the contrast between the liberty of the regenerate and the bondage of the unregenerate arises from the fact that in the regenerate the habitually controlling desires and tendencies are not in conflict with the voice of conscience and the law of God. The unregenerate, viewed psychologically, is free when he sins, because he wills as upon the whole he desires; but viewed theologically, in his relation to God’s law as enforced by reason and conscience and Scripture, he may be said to be in bondage to the evil dispositions and desires of his own heart, which he sees to be both wrong and foolish, but which, nevertheless, he is impotent to change.

                20. What is the distinction between liberty and ability?

                Liberty consists in the power of the agent to will he pleases, from the fact that the volition is determined only by the character of the agent willing. Ability consists in the power of the agent to change his own subjective state, to make himself prefer what he does not prefer, and to act in a given case in opposition to the coexistent desires and preferences of the agent’s own heart.

                Thus man is as truly free since the fall as before it, because he wills as his evil heart pleases. But he has lost all ability to obey the law of God, because his evil heart is not subject to that law, neither can he change it.

                21. Give Turretin’s and President Edwards’ definitions of Liberty.

                Turretin, 50. 10, Ques. 1.—"As only three things are found in the soul besides its essence, namely, faculties, habits (habitus), acts,  so will, (arbitrium) in the common opinion is regarded as an act of the mind; but here it properly signifies neither an act nor a habit which may be separated from an individual man, and which also determines him to one at least of two contraries; but it signifies a faculty, not one which is vegetative nor sensuous, common to us and the brutes, in which there can be no place for either virtue or vice, but a rational faculty, the possession of which does not indeed constitute us either good or bad, but through the states of which and actions, we are capable of becoming either good or bad."

                Ques. 3.—"Since, therefore, the essential nature of liberty does not consist in indifference, it cannot be found in any other principle than in ( lubentia rationali) a rational willingness or desire, whereby a man does what he prefers or chooses from a previous judgment of the reason ( facit quod lubet proeviorationis judicio). Hence two elements united are necessary to constitute this liberty. (1) to< proairetiko<n (the purpose), so that what is done is not determined by a blind, and certain brutish impulse, but ejk proaire>sewv, and from a previous illumination by the reason, and from a practical Judgment of the intellect. (2) to< ekou>sion (the spontaneous), so that what is done is determined spontaneously and freely and without coaction."

                President Edwards "On the Will," Section 5, defines Liberty as being "the power, opportunity, or advantage, that any one has to do as he pleases."

                22. What are the two senses in which the word motive, as influencing the will., is used? and inwhich sense is it true that the volition is always as the strongest motive?

                1st.  A motive to act may be something outside the soul itself,  as the value of money, the wishes of a friend, the wisdom or folly, the right or the wrong, of any act in itself considered, or the appetites and impulses of the body. In this sense it is evident that the man does not always act according to the motive.

                What may attract one man may repel another, or a man may repel the attraction of an outward motive by the superior force of some consideration drawn from within the soul itself. so that the dictum is true, "The man makes the motive, and not the motive the man."

                2nd.  A motive to act may be the state of the man’s own mind, as desire or aversion in view of the outward object, or motive in the first sense. This internal motive evidently must sway the volition, and as clearly it cannot in the least interfere with the perfect freedom of the man in willing, since the internal motive is only the man himself desiring, or the reverse, according to his own disposition or character.

                23. May there not be several conflicting desires, or internal motives, in the mind at the same time,and in such a case how is the will decided?

                There are often several conflicting desires, or impelling affections in the mind at the same time, in which case the strongest desire, or the strongest group of desires, drawing in one way, determine the volition.

                That which is strongest proves itself. to be such only by the result, and not by the intensity of the feeling it excites. Some of these internal motives are very vivid, like a thirst for vengeance, and others calm, as a sense of duty, yet often the calm motive proves itself the strangest, and draws the will its own way. This, of course, must depend upon the character of the agent. It is this inward contest of opposite principles which constitutes the warfare of the Christian life. It is the same experience which occasions a great part of that confusion of consciousness which prevails among men with respect to the problem of the will and the conditions of free agency. Man often acts against motives, but never without motive. And the motive which actually determines the choice in a given case may often be the least clearly defined in the intellect, and the least vividly experienced in the feelings. Especially in sudden surprises, and in cases of trivial concernment, the volition is constantly determined by vague impulses, or by force of habit almost automatically. Yet in every case, if the whole contents of the mind, at the time of the volition, be brought up into distinct consciousness, it will be found that the man chose, as upon the whole view of the case presented by the understanding at the instant he desired to choose.

                24. If the immediately preceding state of the man’s mind certainly determines the act of his will,how can that act be truly free if certainly determined?

                This objection rests solely upon the confusion of the two distinct ideas of liberty of the will as an abstract faculty, and liberty of the man who wills. The man is never determined to will, by anything without himself. He always himself freely gives, according to his own character, all the weight to the external influences which bear upon him that they ever possess. But, on the other hand, the mere act of volition, abstractly considered, is determined by the present mental, moral, and emotional state of the man at the moment he acts. His rational freedom, indeed, consists, not in the uncertainty of his act, but in the very fact that his whole soul, as an indivisible, knowing, feeling, moral agent, determines his own action as it pleases.

                25. Prove that the certainty of a volition is in no degree inconsistent with the liberty of the agent inthat act.

                1st.  God, Christ, and saints in glory, are all eminently free in their holy choices and actions, yet nothing can be more certain than that, to all eternity, they shall always will according to righteousness.

                2nd.  Man is a free agent, yet of every infant, from his birth, it is absolutely certain that if he lives he will sin.

                3rd.  God, from eternity, foreknows all the free actions of men as certain, and he has foreordained them, or made them to be certain. In prophecy he has infallibly foretold many of them as certain. And in regeneration his people are made "his workmanship created unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them."

                4th.  Even we, if we thoroughly understand a friend’s character, and all the present circumstances under which he acts, are often absolutely certain how he will freely act, though absent from us. This is the foundation of all human faith, and hence of all human society.

                26. What is that theory of moral liberty, styled "Liberty of Indifference," "Self–determining Powerof the Will," "Power of Contrary Choice," "Liberty of Contingency," etc., held by Arminians andothers?

                This theory maintains that it is essentially involved in the idea of free agency—1st. That the will of man in every volition may decide in opposition, not only to all outward inducements, but equally to all the inward judgments, desires, and to the whole coexistent inward state of the man himself. 2nd. That man is conscious in every free volition, that he might have willed precisely the opposite, his outward circumstances and his entire inward state remaining the same. 3rd. That every free volition is contingent, i.e., uncertain, until the event, since it is determined by nothing but the bare faculty of volition on the part of the agent.—Hamilton’s "Reid," pp. 599–624.

                The true theory of moral certainty, on the other hand, is that the soul is a unit; that the will is not self–determined, but that man, when he wills, is self–determined; and that his volition is certainly determined by his own internal, rational, moral, emotional state at the time, viewed as a whole.

                In opposition to the former theory, and in favor of the latter, we argue—1st. That the character of the agent does certainly determine the character of his free acts, and that the certainty of an act is not inconsistent with the liberty of the agent in his act.—See above, Question 12.

                2nd. The Christian doctrines of divine foreknowledge, foreordination, providence, and regeneration. For the scriptural evidence of these, see their respective chapters. They all show that the volitions of men are neither uncertain nor indeterminate.

                3rd. We agree with the advocates of the opposite theory in maintaining that in every free act we are conscious that we had power to perform it, or not to perform it, as we chose. "But we maintain that we are none the less conscious that this intimate conviction that we had power not to perform an act is conditional. That is, we are conscious that the act might have been otherwise, had other views or feelings been present to our minds, or been allowed their due weight. A man cannot prefer against his preference, or choose against his choice. A man may have one preference at one time, and another at another. He may have various conflicting feelings or principles in action at the same time, but he cannot have coexisting opposite preferences."

                4th. The theory of the self–determining power of the will, regards the will, or the mere faculty of volition, as isolated from the other faculties of the soul, as an independent agent within an agent. Now, the soul is a unit. Consciousness and Scripture alike teach us that the man is the free, responsible agent.

                By this dissociation of the volitional faculty from the moral dispositions and desires, the volitions can have no moral character. By its dissociation from the reason, the volitions can have no rational character.

                If they are not determined by the inward state of the man himself; they must be fortuitous, and beyond his control. He cannot be free if his will is independent alike of his head and his heart, and he ought not to be held responsible.—See "Bib. Rep.," January, 1857, Article V.

                27. What is a man responsible for his outward actions, why for his volitions; why for his affectionsand desires; and prove that he is responsible for his affections?

                "A man is responsible for his outward acts, because they are determined by the will, he is responsible for his volitions, because they are determined by his own principles and feelings (desires); he is responsible for his principles and feelings, because of their inherent nature as good or bad, and because they are his own and constitute his character."—"Bib. Rep.," January. 1857, g., 130.

                It is the teaching of Scripture and the universal judgment of men, that "a good man out of the good treasures of his heart bringeth forth that which is good," and that a "wicked man out of the evil treasures of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil." The act derives its moral character from the state of the heart from which it springs, and a man is responsible for the moral state of his heart, whether that state be innate, formed by regenerating grace, or acquired by himself, because— 1st. Of the obliging nature of moral right, and the ill–desert of sin; 2nd. Because a man’s affections and desires are himself loving or refusing that which is right. It is the judgment of all, that a profane or malignant man is to be reprobated, no matter how he became so.

                28. How does Dr. D. D. Whedon state and contrast the position of Arminian and Calvinistic philosophy?

                Dr. Whedon, in the "Bibliotheca Sacra," April, 1862, says, "To this maxim, that it is no matter how we come by our evil volitions, dispositions, or nature in order to responsibility, provided that we really possess them, we (the Methodists) oppose the counter maxim that in order to responsibility for the givenact or state, power in the agent for a contrary act or state is requisite.  In other words power underlies responsibility." The only limit which he admits to this principle is the case of an inability induced by the free act of the agent himself.  This, he says, is a fundamental maxim by which all the issues between Arminianism and Calvinism are determined.

                29. Show that the Arminian view to consequences inconsistent with the gospel, and that theCalvinistic view is true.

                Dr. Whedon admits that Adam after his fall lost all ability to obey the law of God, and was responsible for that inability and all its consequences, because, having been created with full ability, he lost it by his own free act. He also admits that every child of Adam is born into the world with a corrupt nature, and without any ability to obey the law of God. But no infant is responsible nor punishable for this want of ability nor for any sinful action which results from it, because it was entailed upon him, without any fault of his own by the sin of another. In the way of just compensation, however, for this their great misfortune of being innocent sinners, God gives to all men in Christ sufficient grace, and hence gracious ability to obey the gospel law. If a man uses this gracious ability he is saved, and faith and evangelical obedience is accounted for perfect righteousness; if he does not use this gracious ability he is condemned as responsible for that abuse of ability, and consequently responsible for all the sinful feelings, actions, and subsequent inability which result from that abuse of power.

                We argue that it follows from this Arminian view— 1st. That salvation by Christ is not of free grace, but a tardy and incomplete compensation granted men for undeserved evils brought upon them at their birth in consequence of Adam’s sin. 2nd. The "grace "given to all men is as necessary to render them punishable sinners, as it is to save their soul. In fact, according to this principle, grace sends more souls to hell by making them responsible through the possession of ability, than it sends to heaven through faith in Christ. 3rd. Those who die in infancy, not being punishable, because not responsible, for original sin, go to heaven as a matter of natural right.

                On the contrary we maintain that the responsibility of a man for his moral dispositions, affections, and desires, no matter how they may have originated, if he be a sane man, is an ultimate fact of consciousness, confirmed by Scripture, conscience, and the universal judgments of men. An act derives its moral character from the state of the heart from which it springs, but the state of the heart does not acquire its moral character from the action. But the moral quality of the state of the heart itself is inherent, and moral responsibility is inseparable from moral quality.

                This is so— 1st. Because of the essential nature of right and wrong. The essence of right is that it ought to be—that it obliges the will. The essence of wrong, is that it ought not to be—that the will is under obligation to the contrary. 2nd. Because a man’s moral affections or desires are nothing other than the man himself loving or abhorring goodness. It is the judgment of all men that a profane and malignant man is to be reprobated no matter how he became so. It is the character, not the origin, of the moral disposition of the heart which is the real question. Christ says, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good, and a wicked man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil."—Luke 6:45

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Chapter 16: Creation and Original State of Man

                1. State the evidence the human race was originated by immediate creation by God.

                1st.  This is explicitly taught in the Bible.—Genesis 1:26,27; 2:7.

                2nd.  It is implied by the immeasurable gulf which separates man in his lowest savage condition from the very nearest order of the lower creation; indicating an amazing superiority in respect to qualities in which the two are comparable, and an absolute difference of kind in respect to man’s intellectual, moral, and religious nature, and capacity for indefinite progress. Even Prof. Huxley, who rashly maintains an extreme position with regard to the anatomical relations of man to the inferior animals, admits that when man’s higher nature is taken into the account there exists between him and the nearest beast "an enormous gulf, a divergence immeasurable and practically infinite."—"Primeval Man," by the Duke of Argyle.

                3rd.  It is implied by the fact revealed in the Scriptures and realized in history, that man was destined to exercise universal dominion over all other creatures and over the system of nature. Therefore he could not be a mere product of nature. One of a series of coordinate beings.

                4th.  It is implied by the fact that men are called "sons of God," and in the whole scheme of Providence and Redemption are treated as such. It is universally testified to by man’s moral and religious nature, all the more strongly the more these elements of his nature are enlightened and developed. And the fact is preeminently signalized by the assumption of our nature into personal union with the Godhead.

                It is obvious that as the intellectual, moral, religious, and social natures and habits of men are transmitted by natural descent just as much as their anatomical structure, it is not only arbitrary but absurd to leave out of view the one set of elements, while retaining the other, in any scientific investigation of the question of his origin, or of his place and relations in the order of nature.

                2. Give the present state of the question as to the antiquity of the human race.

                1st.  The Scriptures and the entire body of the results of modern science agree in teaching that man came into being on this earth the last of all its organized inhabitants. There has been no new species introduced since the advent of man.

                2nd.  From the prima facie (first founded) indications afforded in the incomplete historical and genealogical records of the pre–Abrahamic period found in the first chapters of Genesis, the generally received systems of biblical chronology have been constructed. The shorter system, constructed by Usher from the Hebrew Text, fixes the date of the creation of man about 4,000 years before the birth of Christ, or about 6,000 years ago. The longer system, constructed by Hales and others from the Septuagint and Josephus, makes the date of the creation of man about 5,500 years before Christ, or about 7,500 years ago.

                Of these biblical systems of chronology, Prof. W. H. Green, D.D., of Princeton, says, ("Pentateuch Vindicated," n. p., 128)–" It must not be forgotten that there is an element of uncertainty in a computation of time which rests upon genealogies as the sacred chronology so largely does. Who is to certify us that the antediluvian and ante–Abrahamic genealogies have not been condensed in the same manner as the post–Abrahamic. If Matthew omitted names from the ancestry of our Lord in order to equalize the three great periods over which he passes, may not Moses have done the same in order to bring out seven generations from Adam to Enoch, and ten from Adam to Noah? Our current chronology is based upon the prima facie impression of these genealogies. This we shall adhere to until we shall see good reason for giving it up. But if these recently discovered indications of the antiquity of man, over which scientific circles are now so excited, stall, when carefully inspected and thoroughly weighed, demonstrate all that any have imagined they might demonstrate, what then? They will simply show that the popular chronology is based upon a wrong, interpretation, and that a select and partial register of ante–Abrahamic names has been mistaken far a complete one."

                3rd.  Modern research has developed a vast and constantly increasing amount of evidence that the human race has existed upon the earth many centuries longer than is allowed for even by the chronology of the Septuagint. The principal classes of evidence upon this point are as follows.

                (1) Etymological Pictures, showing that all the divergent peculiarities of the Caucasian and African types were fully developed as they now exist, nineteen hundred years before Christ, are found on the Egyptian Monuments. In all historic time no changes of climate or habit have produced appreciable changes in any variety of the race, therefore, we must conclude that many centuries as well as great changes were requisite to make such great permanent variations in the descendants of the same pair. The Duke of Argyle well says, "And precisely in proportion as we value our belief in the Unity of the Human Race ought we to be ready and willing to accept any evidence on the question of man’s Antiquity. The older the human family can be proved to be, the more possible and probable it is that it has descended from a single pair."—"Primeval Man," p. 128.

                (2) The science of language, which proves that in very remote ages all the nations which speak cognate languages must have lived together, speaking the same language and branching from a common stock.

                And that unknown ages must have been consumed in the development of so many and so various dialects.

                (3) The science of Geology. The remains of human bodies and of human works of art have been found embedded in alluvial deposits in gravel pits, and in caves at such depth and in such association with the remains of extinct species of animals as to prove conclusively that since man existed on the earth whole groups of great quadrupeds have become totally extinct; the climate of the Northern Temperate Zone has been revolutionized, and very radical changes have been wrought in the physical Geography of the countries which have been examined.

                3. How can the Unity of the Human Race as descended from a single pair be proved?

                Agassiz is the only naturalist of the highest rank who teaches that all species and varieties of organized beings must have had an independent origin, and been propagated from different parents. He holds consequently that mankind is a genus, originally created in several specific varieties. The same view is ably advocated in a recent work which has attracted attention in England, viz., "The Genesis of the Earth and of Man."

                That man, although generically different from all other creatures, is nevertheless one single species is proved—

                1st.  From Scripture.—Acts 17:26; Romans 5:12; l Corinthians 15:21,22.

                2nd.  Because the absolute unity of the race by descent from one pair is essentially implied in the propagation by imputation and by descent of guilt and corruption from Adam, and of the representative Headship and vicarious obedience and suffering of Jesus Christ.

                3rd.  The higher moral and religious natures of all varieties of mankind are specifically identical.

                4th.  The same is generally indicated by history and the science of comparative philology.

                5th.  Greater differences have been generated in the processes of domestication between different branches of the same species of lower animals, as among pigeons or dogs for instance, than exists between the different varieties of mankind.

                6th.  It is a fact universally admitted by naturalists, that the union of different species are never freely fertile, and that the offspring of such union are seldom if ever fertile. But all the varieties of mankind freely intermix, and the offspring of all such unions propagate themselves indefinitely with perfect facility.

                4. Show that the Scriptures teach that human nature is composed of two and only two distinct substances.

                The Scriptures teach that man is composed of two of elements, dc;B;, sw~ma, corpus, body, and h'Wd, pneu~ma, yuch>, pnoh<, zwh>, animus, soul, spirit. This is clearly revealed—

                1st.  In the account of creation.—Genesis 2:7. The body was formed of the earth, and then God breathed into man the breath of life and he became thenceforth a living soul.

                2nd.  In the account given of death, Ecclesiastes 12:7, and of the state of soul immediately after death, while the bodies are decaying in the ground.—2 Corinthians 5:1–8; Philippians 1:23,24; Acts 7:59.

                3rd.  In all the current language of Scripture these two elements are always assumed, and none other are mentioned.

                5. State the view of those who maintain that our nature embraces three distinct elements, and itssupposed Biblical basis.

                Pythagoras, and after him Plato, and subsequently the mass of Greek and Roman philosophers, maintained that man consists of three constituent elements: the rational spirit, as nou~v, pneu~ma, mens; the animal soul, yuch>, anima; the body, sw~ma, corpus. Hence this usage of the words became stamped upon the Greek popular speech. And consequently the apostle uses all three when intending to express exhaustively in popular language the totality of man and his belongings. "I pray God that your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless."1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12; 1 Corinthians 15:44. Hence some theologians conclude that it is a doctrine given by divine inspiration that human nature is constituted of three distinct elements.

                6. Refute this position and show that the words yuch> and pneu~ma are used in the NewTestament interchangeably.

                The use made of these terms by the apostles proves nothing more than that they were used as words in their current popular sense to express divine ideas. The word pneu~ma designates the one soul emphasizing its quality as rational. The word yuch> designates the same soul emphasizing its quality as the vital and animating principle of the body. The two are used together to express popularly the entire man.

                That the pneuma and yuch> are distinct entities cannot be the doctrine of the New Testament, because they are habitually used interchangeably and often indifferently. Thus yuch> as well as pneu~ma is used to designate the soul as the seat of the higher intellectual faculties.—Matthew 16:26; 1 Peter 1:22; Matthew 10:28. Thus also pneu~ma as well as yuch> is used to designate the soul as the animating principle of the body.—James 2:26. Deceased persons are indifferently called yucai, Acts 2:27,31; Revelation 6:9; 20:4; and pneu~mata, Luke 24:37,39; Hebrews 12:23.

                7. What do our standards teach as to the state of man at his creation?

                The "Confession Faith," ch. 4, § 2, "Larger Catechism," Q. 17, and "Shorter Catechism," Q. 10, teach the following points— 1st. God created man in his own image. 2nd. A reasonable and immortal soul endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, and placed in dominion over the creatures. 3rd. Having God’s law written on his heart and power to fulfill it, and yet under possibility of transgressing, being left to the freedom of his own will, which was subject to change.

                The likeness of man to God respected— 1st. The kind of his nature; man was created like God a free, rational, personal Spirit. 2nd. He was created like God as to the perfection of his nature; in knowledge, Colossians 3:10; and righteousness and true holiness, Ephesians 4:24; and 3rd. In his dominion over nature. Genesis 1:28.

                8. Give in psychological terms the true state of the question.

                In the preceding chapter it was shown that the volition is determined and derives its character from the desires and affections which prompt to it; and that the temporary affections and desires, which prompt the volitions in any given case, themselves spring from the permanent habit, disposition, or tendency of will which constitute the moral character of the man. It was also shown that the moral character of these permanent dispositions of will, and the responsibility of the man for them, is an ultimate fact, incapable of being referred back to any principle more fundamental or essential and confirmed by the unanimous judgment of the human race.

                It hence follows that the original righteousness and holiness in which Adam was created consisted in the perfect conformity of all the moral dispositions and affections of his will (in Bible language, heart) to the law of God—of which his unclouded and faithful conscience was the organ.

                As a consequence there was no schism in man’s nature. The will, moving freely in conformity to the lights of reason and of conscience, held in harmonious subjection all the lower principles of body and soul. In perfect equilibrium a perfect soul dwelt in a perfect body.

                This original righteousness is natural in the sense (1) that it was the moral perfection of man’s nature as it came from the hands of the Creator. It belonged to that nature originally, and (2) is always essential to its perfection as to quality. (3) It would also have been propagated, if man had not fallen, just as native depravity is now propagated by natural descent. On the other hand, it is not natural in the sense that reason or conscience or free agency are essential constituents of human nature, necessary to constitute any one a real man. As a quality it is essential to the perfection, but as a constituent it is not necessary to the reality of human nature.

                9. Prove that Adam, was created holy in the above sense.

                It belongs to the essence of man’s nature that he is a moral responsible agent.

                But, 1st.  As a moral creature man was created in the image of God.—Genesis 1:27.

                2nd.  God pronounced all his works, man included, to be "very good."—Genesis 1:31. The goodness of a mechanical provision is essentially its fitness to attain its end. The "goodness "of a moral agent can be nothing other than his conformity of will to the moral law. Moral indifference in a moral agent is itself of the nature of sin.

                3rd.  This truth is asserted.—Ecclesiastes 7:29.

                4th.  In regeneration, man is renewed in the image of God; in creation, man was made in the image of God; the image, in both cases, must be the same, and includes holiness.—Ephesians 4:24.

                5th.  Christ is called, 1 Corinthians 15:45, as oJ escatov jAda<m, and in 15:47, deu>terov a]nqrwpov. He is recognized by friend and foe as the only perfect man in all history, the exemplar of normal humanity. Yet his human nature was formed by the Holy Ghost, antecedently to all action of its own, absolutely holy. He was called in his mother’s womb, "That Holy Thing." Luke 1:35.

                10. What is the Pelagian doctrine with regard to the original state of man?

                The Pelagians hold— 1st. That a man can rightly be held responsible only for his unbiased volitions; and 2nd. Consequently amoral character as antecedent to moral action is an absurdity, since only that disposition is moral which has been formed as a habit by means of preceding unbiased action of the free will, i.e., man must choose his own character, or he cannot be responsible for it.

                They hold, therefore, that man’s will at his creation was not only free, but, moreover, in a state of moral equilibrium, equally disposed to virtue or vice.

                11. State and contrast the positions of the Pelagians, of Dr. D. D. Whedon (Arminian), and of theCalvinists, as to innate righteousness and sin.

                The Pelagian holds— 1st. That Adam was created a moral agent, but with no positive moral character; that he was at first indifferent either to good or evil, and left free to form his own character by his own free, unbiased choice. 2nd. That all men are born into the world in all essential particulars in the same moral state in which Adam was created. 3rd. That man is naturally mortal, and that the mortality of the race is not in consequence of sin.

                Dr. D. D. Whedon (Arminian), in "Bib. Sacra," April, 1862, p. 257, while agreeing with the Pelagian in the main as to the original moral state into which Adam was introduced by creation, differs from him as to the moral condition into which the descendants of Adam are introduced by birth. He admits that a "created" inclination may be either good and hence lovable, or bad and hence hateful—but he denies that the agent can be in the first case rewardable, or in the second case punishable for his disposition, the character of which he did not determine for himself by previously unbiased volitions. If Adam had formed for himself a holy character he would have been both good and rewardable. Since he formed for himself a sinful character he was both bad and punishable. His descendants are propagated with corrupt natures without any fault of their own, therefore they are bad and corrupt, but not deserving of punishment.

                In opposition to these positions the orthodox hold— 1st. There are permanent dispositions and inclinations which determine the volitions. 2nd. Many of these inclinations are good, many are bad, and many others are morally indifferent in their essential nature. 3rd. These moral dispositions may be innate as well as acquired, in which case the agent is as responsible for them as he is for any other state or act of his will. 4th. Adam was created with holy dispositions prompting to holy action. He did not make himself holy, but was made so by God.

                12. Why do we judge that men are morally responsible for innate and concreated dispositions?

                1st. Children are born with moral dispositions and tendencies very various. Yet it is the spontaneous and universal judgment of men, that men naturally malicious and cruel and false are both to be abhorred and held morally responsible for their tempers and actions. 2nd. The Scriptures, as will be shown under Chapter 19., on "Original Sin," teach that all men come into the world with an inherent tendency in their nature to sin, which tendency is itself sin and worthy of punishment. 3rd. President Edwards "On Will," Pt. 4, § 1, says, "The essence of the virtue and vice of dispositions of the heart and acts of the will lie notin their cause but in their nature." And even the Arminian, John Wesley, says, as quoted by Richard Watson, "Holiness is not the right use of our powers, it is the right state of our powers. It is the right disposition of our soul, the right temper of our mind. Take that with you and you will no more dream that God could not create man in righteousness and true holiness." "What is holiness? Is it not essentially love? And cannot God shed abroad this love in any soul without his concurrence, and antecedent to his knowledge or consent. And supposing this to be done, will love change its nature? will it be no longer holiness? This argument can never be sustained."

                13. Prove that a state of moral indifference is itself sin, and that if it were not so no exercise of avolitional faculty so conditioned could possibly originate a moral act or character.

                That moral indifference on the part of a moral agent in view of a moral obligation is itself sin is self–evident. The essence of morality is that it obliges the will of a moral agent. A non–moral agent may be indifferent to moral things. A moral agent may be indifferent to indifferent things. But from the very nature of the case it is absurd to pretend that a moral agent can be indifferent with respect to a known moral obligation resting on himself, and yet that that indifference is non moral, but the prerequisite condition of all morality.

                Besides a morally indifferent disposition cannot originate a holy act or habit. The goodness or badness of an act depends upon the goodness or badness of the disposition or affection which prompted it. It is the moral state of the will (or heart, see Matthew 7:17–20 and 12:33) which makes the act of the will right or wrong, and not the act which makes the state wrong. A man’s motives may be right, and yet his choice may be wrong through his mistake of its nature, because of ignorance or insanity; yet if all the prevalent dispositions and desires of the heart in any given case be night, the volition must be modally right; if wrong, the volition must be morally wrong; if indifferent, or neither right or wrong, the volition must be morally indifferent also. Hence appears the absurdity of their position. If Adam had been created, as they falsely believe, with a will equally disposed either to good or evil, his first act could have had no moral character whatever. And yet Pelagians assume that Adam’s first act, which had no moral character itself, determined the moral character of the man himself; and of all his acts and destinies for all future time.

                This, if true, would have been unjust on God’s part, since it involves the infliction of the most awful punishment upon an act in itself neither good nor bad. As a theory it is absurd, since it evolves all modality out of that which is morally indifferent.

                Richard Watson, Vol. 2., p. 16, well says:" In Adam that rectitude of principle from which a right choice and right acts flowed, was either created with him, or flowed from his own volitions. If the latter be affirmed, then he must have willed right before he had a principle of rectitude, which is absurd; if the former then his creation in a state of moral rectitude, with an aptitude and disposition to good, is established."

                14. Show that the Pelagian theory cannot be based upon experience.

                This whole theory is built upon certain a priori notions, and is contrary to universal experience. If Adam was created without positive moral character, and if infants are so born, then the conditions of free agency in these supposed cases must be different from the conditions of free agency in the case of every adult man or woman, from whose consciousness alone we can gather the facts from which to deduce any certain knowledge on the subject. Every man who ever thought or wrote upon this subject, was conscious of freedom only under the conditions of an already formed moral character. Even if the Pelagian view were true, we never could be assured of it, since we never have consciously  experienced such a condition of indifference It is nothing more than an hypothesis, contrived to solve a difficulty; a difficulty resulting from the limits of our finite powers of thought.—See Sir William Hamilton’s "Discussions," p. 587, etc.

                15. What distinction did the Fathers make between the ejikw>n and the oJmoi>wsiv of God inwhich man was created?—Genesis 1:26.

                By the eikw>n or "image" of God the Fathers understood the natural constitutional powers of man, intellectual and moral, as reason, conscience, and free will. By the "oJmoi>wsiv" or " likeness" of God they understood the matured and developed moral perfection of human nature consequent upon man’s holy exercise of his faculties.

                Neander, "Hist. Christ. Dogmas," p. 180, says that this was the germ of the subsequent medieval and Roman doctrine as to the original state of man.

                Bellarmin, "De Gratia," et Lib. Arbitrio 1., 100. 6.—"We are forced, by these many testimonies of the fathers, to conclude that the image and likeness are not in all respects the same, but that the image pertains to the nature and the likeness to the virtues (moral perfections); whence it follows that Adam by sinning lost not the image but the likeness of God."

                16. What does the Catechism of The Council of Trent teach as to the state in which Adam was created?

                See below the doctrines of the various churches at the end of this chapter.

                17. What is the Romish doctrine with respect to the dona naturalia , and the dona supernaturalia ?

                1st.  They hold that God endowed man at his creation with the dona naturalia, that is, with all the natural constitutional powers and faculties of body and soul without sin, in perfect innocence. There was no vice or defect in either body or soul.

                2nd.  God duly attempered all these powers to one another, placing the lower in due subordination to the higher. This harmony of powers was called Justicia —natural righteousness.

                3rd.  There was, however, in the very nature of things, a natural tendency in the lower appetites and passions to rebel against the authority of the higher powers of reason and conscience. This tendency is not sin in itself; but becomes sin only when it is consented to by the will, and passes into voluntary action. This is concupiscence; not sin, but the fuel and occasion of sin.

                4th.  To prevent this natural tendency to disorder from the rebellion of the lower elements of the human constitution against the higher, God granted man the additional gift of the dona superanaturalia lost original or gifts extra constitutional. This is original righteousness, which was a foreign gift superadded to his constitution, by means of which his natural powers duly attempered are kept in due subjection and order. Some of their theologians held that these supernatural gifts were bestowed upon man immediately upon his creation, at the same time with his natural powers. The more prevalent and consistent view, however, is that it was given subsequently as a reward for the proper use of his natural powers see Moehler’s "Symbolism," pp. 117, 118.

                5th.  Both the "justicia," and the "dona supernaturalia " were accidental or superadded properties of human nature, and were lost by the fall.

                18. How does this doctrine modify their view as to original sin and the moral character of thatconcupiscence which remains in the regenerate?

                They hold that man lost at the fall only the superadded gifts of "original righteousness" (dona supernaturalia), while the proper nature of man itself, the dona naturalia, comprising all his constitutional faculties of reason, conscience, free will (in which they include "moral ability"), remain intact. Thus they make the effect of the fall upon man’s moral nature purely negative. The Reformers defined it "the want of original righteousness, and the corruption of the whole nature."

                Hence, also, they hold that concupiscence, or the tendency to rebellion of the lower against the higher powers remaining in the regenerate, being natural and incidental to the very constitution of human nature, is not of the nature of sin. See below.


                ROMISH DOCTRINE.—" Cat. Council of Trent, " Pt. 2, Ch. 2., Q. 19.— "Lastly, He formed man from the slime of the earth, so created and qualified in body as to be immortal and impassable, not however, in virtue of the strength of nature, but of the divine gift. But as regards the soul of man, he created it in his own image and likeness; gifted him with free will, and so tempered all his motions and appetites that they should at all times be subject to the control of the reason. He then added the admirable gift of original righteousness; and next gave him dominion over all other animals."—Ibid. Pt. 2, Ch. 2., Q. 42, and Pt. 4 Ch. 12., Q. 3.

                BELLARMIN.—" Gratia Primi Hominis," 5.—"It is to be understood in the first place,  that man naturally consists of flesh and spirit, and therefore his nature partly assimilates with the beasts and partly with the angels; and because of his flesh and his fellowship with the beasts he has a certain propensity to corporeal and sensible good, to which he is induced through the senses and appetites; and because of his spirit and his fellowship with the angels he has a propensity to spiritual and rational good, to which he is induced by his reason and will. But from these different and contrary propensities there exists in one and the same man a certain contest, and from these contests a great difficulty of acting, while the one propensity antagonizes the other. It is to be understood in the second place, that divine providence at the beginning of creation, that it might administer a remedy to this disease or languor of human nature arising from the condition of its "matter," added the excellent gift of original righteousness, by which as by a golden bridle the inferior part might be held in subjection to the superior part, and the superior part subject to God; although the flesh was so subject to the spirit, that it could not be moved the spirit forbidding, nor rebel against the spirit unless the spirit rebel against God; nevertheless it was in the power of the spirit to rebel or not to rebel."

                For the statement of Bellarmin’s doctrine as to the present moral condition into which the descendants of Adam are born, see below, Chapter 19., on "Original Sin."

                LUTHERAN DOCTRINE.—" Formula Concordiœ " (Hase), p. 640. [Original Sin] "is the privation of that righteousness concreated in human nature in Paradise or of that image of God in which man was in the beginning created in truth, holiness, and righteousness."

                REFORMED DOCTRINE.—" Canon. Dordt," 3. 1.—"Man, from the beginning, was created in the image of God, adorned in his mind, with the true and saving knowledge of his Creator, and of spiritual things, with righteousness in his will and heart, and purity in all his affections and thus was altogether holy."

                " Confession Faith", Ch. 4., "Larger Catechism," Ques. 17; "Shorter Catechism," Ques. 10.

                REMONSTRANT DOCTRINE.—Limborch, " Theol. Christ., " 2. 24, 5.— "They are wont to locate original righteousness in illumination and rectitude of the mind, in holiness and righteousness of the will, in harmony of the senses and affections, and in a promptitude for good. It is, indeed, most evident that the first of mankind were, in their primeval state, of a far more perfect condition than we are when we are born. For their mind was not like a blank paper, and void of all knowledge but had been endowed by God with actual knowledge, and instructed in the wisdom necessary for that state; and they possessed also the capacity for acquiring further knowledge by reasoning, experience, and revelation. . . . Their will was not neutral equally indifferent in respect to good and evil, but before that the Law was imposed upon it by God, it had a natural rectitude, so that it could neither desire nor act inordinately. For where there is no law, there the most free use of the will is clear of blame.—2. 24, 10. That the first man would not have died if he had not sinned, is beyond doubt, for death was the penalty of sin. But thence the immortality [natural] of man is not correctly inferred. . . . Nevertheless God would have preserved this mortality in perpetual immunity of actual death, if man had not sinned."

                SOCINIAN DOCTRINE.—F. Socinus, " Prœlectiones Theol., " c. 3.—"We therefore conclude that Adam, even before he had transgressed that command of God, was not truly righteous, since he was neither impeccable, nor had he hitherto been subjected to any occasion of sinning; at least it is not possible to affirm that he was certainly righteous, since it in no manner appears that he for any consideration had abstained from sinning. But there are those who say that the original righteousness of the first man consisted in this, that he possessed a reason dominating over his appetite and senses and covering them, and that there was no variance between them. But they say this without reason, since it clearly appears from the sin Adam committed that his appetite and senses dominated over his reason, neither had these previously agreed well together. "

                " Cat. Racov., " p. 18.—"From the beginning man was vented mortal, i.e., such an one as not only might consistently with his nature die, but also if left to his nature could not but die, although it was possible that he might he preserved always in life by a special divine blessing. "

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Chapter 17: Covenant of Works

                1. In what different senses is the term covenant used in Scripture?

                1st.  For a natural ordinance.—Jeremiah 33:20.

                2nd.  For an unconditional promise.—Genesis 9:11,12.

                3rd.  For a conditional promise.—Isaiah 1:19,20.

                4th.  A dispensation or mode of administration.—Hebrews 8:6–9. For the usage with respect to the Greek term diaqh>kh, usually translated in our version testament and covenant.—See Chapter 22., on "Covenant of Grace," Question 1.

                In the theological phrases "covenant of works," and "covenant of grace," this term is used in the third sense of a promise suspended on conditions.

                2. What are the several elements essential to a covenant?

                1st. Contracting parties. 2nd. Conditions. These conditions in a covenant between equals are mutually imposed and mutually binding, but in a sovereign constitution, imposed by the Creator upon the creature, those "conditions" are better expressed as (1) promises on the part of the Creator suspended upon (2) conditions to be fulfilled by the creature. And (3) an alternative penalty to be inflicted in case the condition fails.

                3. Show that the constitution under which Adam was placed by God at his creation may be rightlycalled a covenant.

                The inspired record of God’s transactions with Adam presents definitely all the essential elements of a covenant as coexisting in that constitution.

                1st.  "contracting parties."— (1) God, the moral Governor, by necessity of nature and relation demanding perfect conformity to moral law. (2) Adam, the free moral agent, by necessity of nature and relation under the inalienable obligation of moral law.

                2nd.  The "promises," life and favor.—Matthew 19:16,17; Galatians 3:12.

                3rd.  The "conditions" upon which the promises were suspended, perfect obedience, in this instance subjected to a special test, that of abstaining from the fruit of the "tree of knowledge."

                4th.  The "alternative penalty." "In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."—Genesis 2:16,17.

                This constitution is called a covenant.—Hosea 6:7

                4. How is it defined in our standards?

                "Confession Faith," Chap. 4., Sec. 2; Chap. 7., Sec. l and 2; Chap. 19., Sec. l; "Larger Catechism," Q. 20; "Shorter Catechism," Q. 12.

                5. Why is it not absurd to apply the term "Covenant" to a sovereign constitution imposed by theCreator upon the creature without consulting his will?

                1st. Although it was a sovereign constitution imposed by God, there is no reason to suppose that Adam did not enter upon it voluntarily. He was a holy being, and the arrangement was preeminently to his advantage. 2nd. We call it a Covenant because that is the proper word to express a conditional promise made to a free agent. 3rd. The term "Covenant" is constantly applied in Scripture to other sovereign constitutions of like character which the Creator has imposed upon men. If God could make covenants with fallen and guilty Noah, Genesis 9:11,12, and with Abraham. Genesis 17:1–21, why could he not make a covenant with unfallen Adam?

                6. By what titles has this covenant been designated and why?

                1st. It has been called the Covenant of Nature, because it expresses the relationship which man in his natural state as newly created and unfallen sustained to the Creator and Moral Governor of the universe.

                It is adjusted to the natural man, just as the Covenant of Grace is adjusted to unnatural or fallen man.

                2nd. It has been called a legal covenant, because its "condition" is perfect conformity to the law of absolute moral perfection. 3rd. It has been called the Covenant of Works, because its demands terminate upon man’s own being and doing. 4th. It has been called a Covenant of Life, because the promise attached to well–doing was life.

                It was also essentially a gracious covenant, because although every creature is, as such, bound to serve the Creator to the full extent of his powers, the Creator cannot be bound as a mere matter of justice to the natural justice to grant the creature fellowship with himself, or to raise him to an infallible standard of moral power, or to crown him with eternal and inalienable felicity.

                7. Who were the parties to this covenant, and how may it be proved that Adam therein representedall his natural descendants?

                The "parties" were God and Adam, and in him representatively all natural posterity. That he did thus represent his descendants is evident—

                1st.  From the parallel which is drawn in Scripture between Adam in his relation to his descendants, and Christ in his relation to his elect.—Romans 5:12–19, and 1 Corinthians 15:22,47.

                2nd.  From the matter of fact that the very penalty denounced upon Adam, in case of his disobedience, has taken effect in each individual descendant.—Genesis 2:17; 3:17,18.

                3rd.  From the Biblical declaration that sin, death, and all penal evil came into the world through Adam.—Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:22 . See Chapter 21., on "Imputation of Adam’s Sin."

                8. What was the promise attached to the Covenant?

                The promise was "life"— 1st. Because necessarily implied in the penalty "death," which is expressly denounced. If disobedience is linked to death, obedience is linked to life. 2nd. It is clearly taught in other passages of Scripture.—Leviticus 18:5; Nehemiah 9:29; Matthew 19:16,17; Galatians 3:12; Romans 10:5.

                This life was not a mere continuation of the existence with which man was endowed by creation as a fallible, moral agent, but it was an additional gift of infallible, moral excellence, and inalienable blessedness, conditioned upon obedience during a probationary period.— 1st. This is evident because the reward suspended on "conditions" must involve something more than had been already granted. 2nd.

                Because man was as created liable to sin, and there could be no permanent and secure bliss nor high excellence in that condition. 3rd. Because the granting of the reward necessarily closes the probation, supersedes the conditions, and secures inalienable blessedness. 4th. Because the angels who had not left their first estate had been rewarded with such a life. 5th. Because the life promised must correspond to the death threatened, and the death threatened involved eternal separation from God and irretrievable destruction. 6th. Because the life secured to us by the "Second Adam" is of this nature.

                9. What is a "Probation"? and when and where did the human race have its probation under theCovenant of Works?

                A probation is a trial. The word is variously used to express the state, or the time, or the act of trial. The time of probation under such a constitution as the covenant of works must be a definitely limited one, because it is self–evident that either the infliction of the penalty or the granting of the reward would, ipso facto, close the probation forever, and the reward could not accrue until the period of probation was completed.

                The probation of the human race took place once for all in the trial of Adam in the garden of Eden. That trial resulted in loss, and since then the conditions of the covenant being impossible, and its penalty having been incurred, any probation is of course impossible. Men are now by nature children of wrath.

                10. What was the condition of that covenant? and why was the command not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil selected as a test?

                Perfect conformity of heart, and perfect obedience in act to the whole will of God as far as revealed.—Deuteronomy 27:26; Galatians 3:10; James 2:10. The command to abstain from eating the forbidden fruit was only made a special and decisive test of that general obedience. As the matter forbidden was morally indifferent in itself, the command was admirably adapted to be a clear and naked test of submission to God’s absolute will as such. The forbidden tree was doubtless called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because through the disobedient eating of it mankind came to the thorough experience of the value of goodness and of the infinite evil of sin.

                The obedience required by the law as a rule of duty is of. course perpetual. But the demand of the law for obedience as a covenant condition of life must be limited to the period of probation. The term "perpetual" in "Confession F.," Ch. 19., § 1, and "Larger Catechism," Q. 20, was admitted doubtless by inadvertence.

                11. What was the nature of the death threatened in case of disobedience?

                This word, "dying thou shalt die," in this connection evidently includes all the penal consequences of sin.

                These are— 1st., death, natural, Ecclesiastes 12:7; 2nd., death, moral and spiritual, Matthew 8:22; Ephesians 2:1; 1 Timothy 5:6; Revelation 3:1; 3rd., death, eternal, Revelation 20:6–14.

                The instant the law was violated its penalty began to operate, although on account of the intervention of the dispensation of grace the full effect during the present life. The Spirit of God was withdrawn the instant man fell, and he at once became spiritually dead, physically mortal, and under sentence of death eternal.

                This appears—

                1st. From the nature of man as a spiritual being. "This is life eternal to know the only true God," etc.—John 17:3. The instant the soul is cut off from God it dies, and his wrath and curse is incurred, and the entire person, body and soul, involved in an endless series of evil conditions.

                2nd. The Scriptures everywhere declare that the wages of sin is death.—Romans 6:23; Ezekiel 18:4.

                The nature of this death is to be determined.(1) By the is narrative of the effects produced in our first parents, e.g., shame of nakedness, fear, alienation from God, until after a time dissolution of body, etc.

                (2) By the experience of its effects in their descendants, e.g., corruption of nature, mortality, miseries of body, miseries in this life, the second death.

                12. What do C. F. Hudson and others hold to be the penalty of the Covenant of Works?

                The annihilationists, of whom C. F. Hudson is one of the ablest, hold that the precise thing God said to Adam was "THOU, thyself, thine entire person art dust, and to dust thou shalt return." They quote Numbers 23:10; Judges 16:30, etc. They hold that death means precisely and only cessation of being.

                They say Adam could have had no other idea associated with the word. Death in this sense had preexisted in the world for innumerable ages among the lower orders of creatures, and this was all Adam knew on the subject.

                It is idle for us to speculate as to what the original language God spoke to Adam was, or what the word he used corresponding to our word, death, precisely signified and suggested. Adam probably simply understood God to say that if he sinned he should be utterly and irretrievably cut off from the divine favor. That is precisely what happened. But the facts are clear. 1st. The word death in Scripture is used to express not cessation of being but a certain godless condition of being.—Revelation 3:1; Ephesians 2:1–5, and 5:14; 1 Timothy 5:6, Romans 6:13; 11:15; John 5:24; 6:47. 2nd. It will be shown below, Chapters 37and 40, that the Scriptures do not allow the notion either of the sleep of the soul during the intermediate state, or of the annihilation of the wicked after the judgment.

                13. What is meant by the seal of a covenant, and what was the seal of the Covenant of Works?

                A seal of a covenant is an outward visible sign, appointed by God as a pledge of his faithfulness, and as an earnest of the blessings promised in the covenant.

                Thus the rainbow is the seal of the covenant made with Noah.—Genesis 9:12,13. Circumcision was the original seal of the covenant made with Abraham (Genesis 17:9–11; Romans 4:11), in the place of which baptism is now instituted. — Colossians 2:11,12; Galatians 3: 26,27. The tree of life was the seal of the covenant of works, because it was the outward sign and seal of that life which was promised in the covenant, and from which man was excluded on account of sin, and to which he is restored through the second Adam in the Paradise regained.—Compare Genesis 2:9; 3:22,24, with Revelation 2:7; 22:2–14.

                14. What according to Witsius, his great work "on the Covenants," are the seals or sacraments ofthe Covenant of Works?

                In Vol. 1., Ch. 6., Witsius enumerates four— 1st. Paradise. 2nd. The tree of life. 3rd. The tree of knowledge of good and evil. 4th. The Sabbath.

                These were all doubtless symbolical institutions connected with the original divine dispensation of which the Covenant of Works was the foundation. But there appears to be no reason for designating them as belonging to that particular class of symbolical institutions called sacraments under the New Testament.

                The tree of the knowledge of good and evil sealed death, and therefore could not have been a seal of the Covenant of Works which offered life.

                15. In what sense is the Covenant of Works abolished, and in what sense is it in force?

                This Covenant having been broken by Adam, not one of his natural descendants is ever able to fulfill its conditions, and Christ having fulfilled all of its conditions in behalf of all his own people, salvation is offered now on the condition of faith. In this sense the Covenant of Works having been fulfilled by the second Adam is henceforth abrogated under the gospel.

                Nevertheless, since it is founded upon the principles of immutable justice, it still binds all men who have not fled to the refuge offered in the righteousness of Christ. It is true that "he that doeth these things shall live that them." and "the soul that sinneth it shall die." This law in this sense remains, and in consequence of the unrighteousness of men condemns them, and in consequence of their absolute inability to fulfill it, it acts as a schoolmaster to bring them to Christ. For he having fulfilled alike its condition wherein Adam failed, and its penalty which Adam incurred, he has become the end of this covenant for righteousness to every one who believes, who in him is regarded and treated as one who has fulfilled the covenant, and merited its promised reward.

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Chapter 18: The Nature of Sin and the Sin of Adam

                1. What are the only tests by which the answer to the question "What is sin?" can be determined?

                1st. The word of God. 2nd. The intuitive judgments of men. The tests of the validity of these intuitions are (a) self–evidence, (b) universality, (c) necessity. The intuitive judgments of men are immediately passed not upon abstract notions nor upon general propositions, but upon concrete and individual instances. General maxims are generalized by the understanding from many individual intuitive convictions, and are true or false as this process of generalization has been well or badly done. The vast amount of confusion and error which prevails as to the nature of sin, and as to what comes under the category of sin, is due to crude generalization of general principles from individual intuitions, and the indiscriminate application of the maxim thus generated beyond the range to which they are guaranteed by the intuitions themselves. The maxims that all sin consists in voluntary action, and that ability is the measure of responsibility, are instances of this abuse. It is as absurd to attempt to make the bare understanding settle a question belonging only to the moral sense as it would be to make the nose decide a question of sound.—See M’Cosh, "Intuitions of the Mind," Book 1., ch. 2., §§ 4 and 5, and Book 4., ch. 2., §§ 1–3.

                2. What must a true definition of the nature of sin embrace?

                A definition of sin must— 1st. Include all that either the Word of God or an enlightened conscience decides to be sin. 2nd. It must include nothing else. Otherwise in either case it is false.

                3. State the definitions of Sin given. Turretin, and our Standards, and by Vitringa.

                Turretin, Locus 9, Ques. 1.—"Inclinatio, actio, vel omissio pugnans cum lege Dei, vel carens rectitudine legali debita in esse." "Confession Faith," Ch. 6., § 6; "Larger Catechism," Q. 24; "Shorter Catechism," Q. 14. "Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of the law of God."

                Campejus Vitringa, Prof. Theo. in Franeker, died 1722.— "Forma peccati est disconvenientia, actus, habitue, ant status hominis cum divine lege."

                This last excellent definition embraces two constituent propositions.— 1st. Sin is any and every want of conformity with the moral law of God, whether of excess or defect, whether of omission or commission.

                2nd. Sin is any want of conformity of the moral states and habits as well of the actions of the human soul with the law of God?

                4. What is Law? And what is the Law of God?

                The word law is used in a great many and in very different senses. It is used by natural philosophers often to express— 1st. A general fact, e.g., the general fact that all matter attracts all matter inversely as the square of the distance. 2nd. An established order of sequence in which certain events occur, as the order of the seasons, and any established order of nature. 3rd. The mode of acting of a specific force, as the law of electrical induction, etc. 4th. A spontaneous order of development, as the internal self–acting law of the growth of animals and plants from the seed.

                The moral law of God, however, is not an internal, self–regulating principle of man’s moral nature, like the feigned inner light of the Quakers, but an imperial standard of moral excellence imposed upon mankind from without and from above them by the supreme authority of a personal moral Governor over personal moral subjects. It involves (a) a certain degree of enlightenment as to truth and duty, (b) a rule of action regulating the will and binding the conscience, (c) armed with sanctions, or imperative motives constraining to obedience.

                5. Prove that sin is any want of conformity to "Law."

                1st.  Whenever we sin conscience condemns us for not coming up to a standard which we intuitively recognize as morally obligatory upon us. Conscience implies (a) moral accountability, and hence subjection to a moral Governor, and (b) a standard to which we ought to be conformed. The conscience itself; as the organ of God’s law, contains the law written on the heart.

                2nd.  It is implied in all the language used by the Holy Ghost in Scripture to express the idea of sin fce syfice from hf;c; to deviate from the way. af;j; to miss the mark,  aJmarta>nw to err, to miss themark, paraba>siv (Galatians 3:19), a going aside from, a transgression.

                3rd.  It is explicitly asserted Scripture, "Every one that doeth sin, also doeth th<n ajnomi>an and sin is ajnomi>a."—1 John 3:4. "For where no law is there is no transgression."—Romans 4:15.

                6. Prove that sin is any want of conformity to the moral Law Of God.

                As above shown this is implied in the action of conscience. It testifies to a law imposed upon us by an authority external to us, the supreme authority of God. In the absence of all supernatural revelation it has led all heathen nations to the recognition of the authority of God, or of gods exercising government, to a belief in rewards and punishments administered by God, and hence to expiatory and propitiatory rites.

                It is also asserted by David that sin of any kind is disobedience and dishonor done to God.—See fifty–first Psalm.

                Hence sin is not a mere violation of the law of our own constitution, nor of the system of things, but an offense against a personal Lawgiver and moral Governor, who vindicates his law with penalties. The soul that sins is always conscious that his sin is (a) intrinsically vile and polluting, and (b) that it justly deserves punishment and calls down the righteous wrath of God. Hence sin carries with it two inalienable characters—(a) ill–desert, guilt, reatus, (b) pollution, macula.

                7. Show that this Law, any want of conformity to which is sin, demands absolute moral perfection.

                This is necessarily involved in the very essence of moral obligation. The very essence of right is that itought to be.  The very essence of wrong is that it ought not to be. If anything be indifferent it is not moral, and if it be moral it is a matter of obligation. This being of the essence of right it is, of course, true of each consistent part as well as of the whole. Any degree short of full conformity with the highest right is therefore of the nature of sin. "For whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point is guilty of all."—James 2:10. The old maxim is true, Omne minus bonum habet rationem mali.

                It evidently follows from this principle that the Romish doctrine of works of Supererogation is absurd as well as wicked, since if these works are obligatory they are not supererogatory, and if they are not obligatory they are not moral, and if not moral they can have no moral value. Hence also all those Perfectionists who admit that men are not now able to keep perfectly the law of absolute moral perfection, while they maintain that Christians may in this life live without sin, obviously use incorrect and misleading language.

                8. Prove that any want of conformity with this Law in the states and permanent habit of soul, aswell as in its acts, is sin.

                1st.  This is proved by the common judgments of all men. All judge that the moral state of the heart determines the moral character of the actions, and that the moral character of the actions discloses the moral state of the heart, and that a man whose acts are habitually profane, or malignant, or impure, is himself in the permanent state of his heart profane, or malignant, or impure.

                2nd.  The same is proved by the common religious experience of all Christians. This experience always involves conviction of sin, and conviction of sin involves as its most uniform and prominent element not merely a conviction that our actions fail to come up to the proper standard of excellence, but a sense that in the depths of our nature, below and beyond the reach of volition, we are spiritually dead and polluted, and impotent and insensible to divine things, and worthy of condemnation therefore. Every Christian has been brought with Paul to cry out, "O wretched man that I am: who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"—Romans 7:24. This finds expression, and this principle for which we are contending finds proof in all the prayers, supplications, confessions, and in all the hymns and devotional literature of Christians of all ages and denominations.

                3rd.  The Scriptures explicitly call the permanent states of the soul "sin" when they are not conformed to the law of God. Sin and its lusts are said to reign in the mortal body; the members are the instruments of sin; the unregenerate are the servants of sin.—Romans 6:12–17. The disposition or permanent "tendency" to sin is called "flesh" as opposed to "spirit," Galatians 5:17; also "lust," James 1:14,15; "old Adam," and "body of sin," "ignorance,""blindness of heart," "alienation from the life of God," and "a condition of being past feeling," Ephesians 4:18,19.

                9. Show that the very first spontaneous motions of concupiscence are sin?

                1st.  The heart of the Christian often for the moment spontaneously lusts for evil when the conscience promptly condemns and the will forbids and restrains and diverts the attention. Although the man does not consent to the sin that is present in him, nevertheless the Christian feels that such movements of concupiscence are unholy, and worthy of condemnation, and he not only resists them but condemns and loathes himself because of them, and seeks to be purged from them at once by the atoning blood, and the sanctifying spirit of Jesus.

                2nd.  Concupiscence is called "sin "in Scripture. "I had not known sin, but by the law, for I had not known ejpiqumi>an (concupiscence) except the law had said thou shalt not ejpiqumh>seiv." Also ta< paqh>mata tw~n aJmartiw~n, "the motions of sin," and "the law in the members," and "sin that dwelleth in me," that worketh without "my consent," which "works all manner of concupiscence," etc.—Romans 7:5–24.

                10. What is the FIRST great mystery connected with the origin of sin?

                How or why was the existence of sin tolerated in the creation of a God at once eternal, self–existent, and infinite in wisdom, power, holiness, and benevolence?

                All the attempted solutions of this enigma which have been entertained in our day have been summed up by Prof. Haven of Chicago as follows:

                Either God cannot prevent sin, i.e., either (a) in any system, (b) in a moral system involving free agency.

                Or for some reason God does not choose to prevent sin, i.e., either because (a) its existence is of itself desirable, (b) or though not in itself desirable it is the necessary means of the greatest good, or (c) though not in itself tending to good it may be overruled to that result, or (d) because, in general terms, its permission will involve less evil than its absolute prevention.

                It is obvious (a) that God has permitted sin, and (b) hence it was right for him to do so. But why it was right must ever remain a mystery demanding submission and defying solution.

                11. What was the Manichoean doctrine as to the origin of sin?

                They held the opinion that sin had its ground in some eternal, self–existent principle independent of God, either matter or self–existent devil. This doctrine is inconsistent (a) with the independence, infinitude, and sovereignty of God; (b) with the nature of sin as essentially the revolt of a created free will from God. Sin is an element of perverted moral agency. To consider it an attribute of matter is to deny it. All the Christian fathers united in opposing Manichæism and in maintaining that sin is the product of the free will of man alone.

                12. State the doctrine of St. Augustine with respect to the privative nature of sin.

                St. Augustine held— 1st. That God is the creator of all entities and the absolutely sovereign Governor of all moral agents and of all their actions; and 2nd. That nevertheless God is in no sense either the author or the cause of sin. In order to reconcile these he held, 3rd. That sin is not an entity, but is in its essence simply a defect. His dictum, which hence has passed into general currency with all classes of theologians, was Nihil est malum nisi privatio boni (Nothing is evil unless it lacks good). They have property distinguished between "negation" and "privation." Negation is the absence of that which does not belong to the nature of the subject, as sight to a stone. Privation is the absence of that which belonging to the nature of the subject is necessary to its perfection, as sight to a man.

                Sin therefore is privative because it originates in the absence of those moral qualities which ought to be present in the states and actions of a free, responsible, moral agent.

                It is to be remembered, however, that the inherent depravity which "comes from a defective or privative cause" instantly assumes a positive form, from the essentially active nature of the human soul. In a passive condition of being, a defect might remain purely negative. But in a ceaselessly active being, and one acting under ceaseless moral obligations, a moral defect must instantly become a positive vice. Not to love God is to hate him. Not to be in all things conformed to his will is to rebel against him, and to break his law at all points.—See Edwards, "Original Sin," pt. 4. sec. 2.

                13. What is the Pelagian doctrine as to the nature of sin?

                The Pelagian view of sin, which has been rejected by all branches of the Christian Church, is— 1st. That law can command only volitions. 2nd. That states of the soul can be commanded only in so far as they are the direct effect of previous volitions. 3rd. Hence that sin consists simply in acts of volition. 4th. That whatever a man has not plenary ability to do he is under no obligation to do. 5th. That there is no such thing, therefore, as innate depravity. 6th. That since a volition to be moral or the subject of approbation or of condemnation, must be a pure self–decision of the will, it follows that sin is beyond the absolute control of God.

                14. In what sense is the dictum that "all sin is voluntary" true, and in what sense false?

                It all turns upon the sense of the phrase "Voluntary." If it be in the Pelagian sense restricted to "acts of volition;" then the dictum that "all sin is voluntary" is false. If, however, it is used so as to include the spontaneous dispositions, tendencies, and affections which constitute the permanent character of the soul, and which prompt to and decide the nature of the volitions, then all sin is voluntary, because all sin has its ground and spring in these spontaneous tendencies and dispositions, i.e., in the permanent moral states of the soul.

                15. State the peculiarities of the Romish position upon this subject, and also that of the ArminianPerfectionists.

                The Roman Church agrees with all Protestants in holding that all the habits and permanent dispositions as well as the actions of the soul which are not conformed to the law of God are sinful. But it is a prominent characteristic of their doctrine that they hold that moral condition of soul which remains in the regenerate as the consequence of original sin, and the fomes or feel of actual sin, is not properly of the nature of sin. They maintain that the first spontaneous movement of this concupiscence is not sin in itself and not to be treated as such —but that it becomes the cause of sin as soon as its solicitations are entertained and translated into action by the will.—"Cat. of Council of Trent," Pt. 2., ch. 2., Q. 42.

                The Arminians avail themselves of the same positions when defending their doctrine of Christian Perfection. Wesley (in "Meth. Doc. Tracts," pp. 294–312) distinguishes between "sin properly so called, i.e., voluntary transgression of known law, and sin improperly so called, i.e., involuntary transgression of law, known or unknown," and declares, "I believe there is no such perfection in this life as excludes these involuntary transgressions, which I apprehend to be naturally consequent upon the ignorance and mistakes inseparable from mortality."

                THE SIN OF ADAM

                16. What is the SECOND great mystery connected with the origin of sin?

                How could sin originate in the will of a creature created with a positively holy disposition?

                The difficulty is to reconcile understandingly the fact that sin did so originate—

                1st.  With the known constitution of the human will. If the volitions are as the prevalent affections and desires, and if the affections and desires excited by outward occasions are good or evil, according to the permanent moral state of the will, how could a sinful volition originate in a holy will? or how could the permanent state of his soul become spontaneously unholy?

                2nd.  With universal experience. As it is impossible that a sinful desire or volition should originate in the holy will of God, or in the holy will of saints and angels, or that a truly holy affection or volition should originate in the depraved wills of fallen men without supernatural regeneration (Luke 6:43–45), how could a sinful volition originate in the holy will of Adam?

                That Adam was created with a holy yet fallible will, and that he did fall, are facts established by divine testimony. We must believe them, although we cannot rationally explain them. This is for us impossible— 1st. Because there remains an inscrutable element in the human will, adopt whichever theory of it we may.

                2nd. Because all our reasoning must be based upon consciousness, and no other man ever had in his consciousness the experience of Adam. The origin of our sinful volitions is plain enough. But we lack some of the data necessary to explain his case.

                In the way of approximation, however, we may observe— 1st. It is unsound to reason from the independent will of the infinite God to the dependent will of the creature.

                2nd. The infallibility of saints and angels is not inherent, but is a superinduced confirming grace of God.

                They are not in a state of probation. Adam was—his will was free, but not confirmed.

                3rd. The depraved will of man cannot originate holy affections and volitions, because the presence of: a positively holy principle is necessary to constitute them holy. But, on the other hand, there were already in the holy will of Adam many principles morally indifferent, in themselves neither good nor bad, and becoming sinful only when, in default of the control of reason and conscience, they prompt to their indulgence in ways forbidden by God; e.g., admiration and appetite for the fruit, and desire for knowledge. The sin commenced the moment that, under the powerful persuasion of Satan, these two motives were dwelt upon in spite of the prohibition, and thus allowed to become so prevalent in the soul as temporarily to neutralize reverence for God’s authority, and fear of his threatening.

                4th. Adam, although endowed with a holy disposition, was inexperienced in the assaults of temptation.

                5th. He was assailed through the morally indifferent principles of his nature by a vastly superior intelligence and character, to whom, in the highest sense, the origin of all sin must be referred.

                17. What appears from the history of the Fall to have been the precise nature of the first sin ofAdam?

                It appears from the record (Genesis 3:1–6) that the initial influences inducing our first parents, in their first transgression, were in themselves considered morally indifferent. These were— 1st. Natural appetite for the attractive fruit. 2nd. Natural desire for knowledge. 3rd. The persuasive power of Satan upon Eve, including the known influence of a superior mind and will. 4th. The persuasive power of both Satan and Eve upon Adam. Their dreadful sin appears to have been essentially— 1st. Unbelief, they virtually made God a liar. 2nd. Deliberate disobedience, they set up their will as a law in place of his.

                18. What relation did God sustain to Adam’s sin?

                Concerning the relation sustained by God to the sin of Adam all we know is— 1st. God created Adam holy, with all natural powers necessary for accountable agency. 2nd. He rightfully withheld from him, during his probation, any higher supernatural influence necessary to render him infallible. 3rd. He neither caused nor approved Adam’s sin. 4th. He sovereignly decreed to permit him to sin, thus determining that he should sin as he did.

                19. What was the effect of Adam’s sin upon himself?

                1st.  In the natural relation which Adam sustained to God as the subject of his moral government, his sin must have instantly had the effect of (1) displeasing and alienating God, and (2) of depraving his own soul.

                2nd.  In the covenant relation which Adam sustained to God the penalty of the covenant of works was incurred, i. e., death, including, (1) mortality of body, (2) corruption of soul, (3) sentence of eternal death.

                20. In what sense did he become totally depraved, and how could total depravity result from onesin?

                By the affirmation that total depravity was the immediate result of Adam’s first sin, it is not meant that he became as bad as he could be, or even as corrupt as the best of his unregenerate descendants; but it is meant—1st. His apostasy from God was complete. God demands perfect obedience; Adam was now a rebel in arms.

                2nd. That the favor and communion of God, the sole condition of his spiritual life, was withdrawn.

                3rd. A schism was introduced into the soul itself. The painful reproaches of conscience were excited, and could never be allayed without an atonement. This led to fear of God, distrust, prevarication, and, by necessary consequence, to innumerable other sins.

                4th. Thus the whole nature became depraved. The will being at war with the conscience, the understanding became darkened; the conscience, in consequence of constant outrage and neglect, became seared; the appetites of the body inordinate, and its members instruments of unrighteousness.

                5th. There remained in man’s nature no recuperative principle; he must go on from worse to worse, unless God interpose.

                Thus the soul of man being essentially active, although one sin did not establish a confirmed habit, it did alienate God and work confusion in the soul, and thus lead to an endless course of sin.

                THE CONSEQUENCES OF ADAM’S SIN TO HIS POSTERITY are— 1st. The judicial charging of the legal responsibility of that sin upon all at their creation whom he represented in the Covenant of Works. 2nd. The consequent birth of each of his descendants in a state of exclusion from the life–giving communion of the divine Spirit. 3rd. The consequent loss of original righteousness, and the inherent and prevailing tendency to sin which is the invariable moral condition of each of his descendants from birth. 4th. The absolute moral inability of men to change their natures or to fulfill their obligations.

                For reasons which will appear subsequently, the subjects connected with man’s natural moral corruption and impotency, are discussed before the subject of Imputation, or the reason and method of the passing over of the consequences of Adam’s sin from him to his descendants.

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Chapter 19: Original Sin—( Peccatum Habituale)

                1. How is original sin to be defined?

                See "Confession of Faith," Chapter 6.; "Larger Catechism," Questions 25, 26; "Shorter Catechism," Question 18.

                The phrase, original sin,  is used sometimes to include the judicial imputation of the guilt of Adam’s sin, as well as the hereditary moral corruption, common to all his descendants, which is one of the consequences of that imputation. More strictly, however, the phrase original sin designates only the hereditary moral corruption common to all men from birth.

                In the definition of this doctrine WE DENY—

                1st.  That this corruption is in any sense physical, that it inheres in the essence of the soul, or in any of its natural faculties as such.

                2nd.  That it consists primarily in the mere supremacy of the sensual part of our nature. It is a depraved habit or bias of will.

                3rd.  That it consists solely in the absence of holy dispositions, because, from the inherent activity of the soul, sin exhibits itself from the beginning in the way of a positive proneness to evil.

                On the other hand, WE AFFIRM—

                1st.  That original sin is purely moral, being the innate proneness of the will to evil.

                2nd.  That having its seat in the will averse to the holy law of God, it biases the understanding, and thus deceives the conscience, leads to erroneous moral judgments, to blindness of mind, to deficient and perverted sensibility in relation to moral objects, to the inordinate action of the sensuous nature, and thus to corruption of the entire soul.

                3rd.  Thus it presents two aspects: (l) The loss of the original righteous habit of will. (2) The presence of a positively unrighteous habit.

                4th.  Yet from the fact that this innate depravity does embrace a positive disposition to evil, it does not follow that a positive evil quality has been infused into the soul. Because, from the essentially active nature of the soul, and from the essential nature of virtue, as that which obliges the will, it evidently follows that moral indifference is impossible; and so that depravity, which President Edwards says "comes from a defective or privative cause," instantly assumes a positive form. Not to love God is to rebel against him, not to obey virtue is to trample it under foot. Self–love soon brings us to fear, then to hate the vindicator of righteousness.—Edwards on "Original Sin," Part 4., sec. 2.

                2. Why is this sin called original?

                Not because it belongs to the original constitution of our nature as it came forth from the hand of God, but because, 1st., it is derived by ordinary generation from Adam, the original root of the human race; and 2nd., it is the inward root or origin of all the actual sins that defile our lives.

                This sin is also technically styled Peccatum Habituale, or the sin which consists in a morally corrupt habit or state of soul, in distinction from imputed sin and actual sin.

                3. How may it be proved that the doctrine of original sin does not involve the corruption of thesubstance of the soul?

                It is the universal judgment of men that there are in the soul, besides its essence and its natural faculties, certain habits, innate or acquired, which qualify the action of those faculties, and constitute the character of the man. Those habits, or inherent dispositions which determine the affections and desires of the will, govern a man’s actions, and, when good, are the subjects of moral praise, and, when evil, the subjects of moral disapprobation on the part of all men. An innate moral habit of soul, e.g., original sin, is no more a physical corruption than any acquired habit, intellectual or moral, is a physical change.

                Besides this, the Scriptures distinguish between the sin and the agent in a way which proves that the sinful habit is not something consubstantial with the sinner, Romans 7:17; "sin that dwelleth in me," Hebrews 12:1, etc.

                4. How can it be shown that original sin does not consist in disease, or merely in the supremacy ofthe sensuous part of our nature?

                While it is true that many sins have their occasions in the inordinate appetites of the body, yet it is evident the original or root of sin cannot be in them—

                1st.  From the very nature of sin it must have its seat in the moral state of the voluntary principle. Disease, or any form of physical disorder, is not voluntary, and therefore not an element of moral responsibility. It is, moreover, the obligation of the will to regulate the lower sensuous nature, and sin must originate in the failure of those moral affections which would have been supreme if they still continued to reign in the will.

                2nd.  From the fact that the most heinous sins are destitute of any sensuous element, e.g., pride, anger, malice, and AVERSION FROM GOD.

                5. How can it be proved that this innate disposition or habit of soul, which leads to sinful action, isitself sin?

                1st.  This innate habit of soul is a state of the will, and it is an ultimate principle that all the states as well as acts of the will related to the law of conscience  are moral, i.e. , either virtuous or vicious.—See above, Chapter 15., Questions 9 and 10.

                2nd.  These permanent habits or states of the will constitute the moral character of the agent, which all men regard as the proper subject of praise or blame.

                3rd.  This inherent disposition to sinful action is called "sin" in Scripture.—Romans 6:12,14,17; 7:5–17.

                It is called "flesh" as opposed to "spiritual," Galatians 5:17,24; also "lust," James 1:14,15; and "old Adam" and "body of sin," Romans 6:6; also "ignorance," "blindness of heart," "alienation from the life of God," and a condition of "being past feeling," Ephesians 4:18,19.

                6. How can it be shown that original sin does not consist simply in the want of originalrighteousness?

                1st.  It follows from the inherent activity of the human soul, and from the inherently obliging power of moral right, that the absence of right dispositions immediately leads to the formation of positively sinful dispositions. Not to love God is to hate him, not to obey him is to disobey. Disobedience leads to fear, to falsehood, and to every form of sin.—See above, Question 1.

                2nd.  As a matter of fact, innate depravity exhibits its positive character by giving birth to sins, involving positive viciousness in the earliest stages of accountable agency, as pride, malice, etc.

                3rd.  The Scriptures assign it a positive character, when they apply to it such terms as "flesh," "concupiscence,""old man," "law in the members," "body of sin," "body of death," "sin taking occasion," "deceived me," and "wrought all manner of concupiscence."—Romans 7.

                7. How may it be shown that it affects the entire man?

                Original sin has its seat in the will, and primarily consists in that proneness to unlawful dispositions and affections which is the innate habit of the human soul. But the several faculties of the human soul are not separate agents. The one soul acts in each function as an indivisible agent, its several faculties or powers after their kind mutually qualifying one another. When the soul is engaged in understanding an object, or an aspect of any object, e.g., mathematics, with which its affections are not concerned, then its action has no moral element. But when it is engaged in understanding an object with respect to which its depraved affections are perversely interested, its action must be biased. The consequence, therefore, of the sinful bias of the will, in its controlling influence over the exercises of the soul, in all its functions, will be—

                1st.  The understanding, biased by the perverted affections, acting concurrently with the moral sense in forming moral judgments, will lead to erroneous judgments, to a deceiving conscience, and to general "blindness of mind" as to moral subjects.

                2nd.  The emotions and sensibilities which accompany the judgments of conscience in approving the good and in condemning the wrong, by repeated outrage and neglect, will be rendered less lively, and thus lead to a seared conscience, and general moral insensibility.

                3rd.  In a continued course of sinful action the memory will become defiled with its stores of corrupt experiences, from which the imagination also must draw its materials.

                4th.  The body in its turn will be corrupted.(1) Its natural appetites will become inordinate in the absence of proper control. (2) Its active powers will be used as "instruments of unrighteousness unto sin."

                5th.  The Scriptures teach— (1) That the understanding of the "natural man" is depraved as well as his affections.—1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 4:18; Colossians 1:21. (2) That regeneration involves illumination as well as renewal of the heart.—Acts 26:18; Ephesians 1:18; 5:8; 1 Peter 2:9. (3) That truth addressed to the understanding is the great instrument of the Spirit in regeneration and sanctification.—John 17:17; James 1:18.

                8. What is meant by the affirmation that man by nature is totally depraved?

                By this orthodox phrase IT IS NOT TO BE UNDERSTOOD, 1st. that the depraved man has not a conscience.

                The virtuousness of an agent does not consist in his, having a conscience, but in the conformity of the dispositions and affections of his will to the law of which conscience is the organ. Even the devils and lost souls retain their sense of right and wrong and those vindicatory emotions with which conscience is armed.

                Or, 2nd., that unregenerate men, possessing a natural conscience, do not often admire virtuous character and actions in others.

                Or, 3rd., that they are incapable of disinterested affections and actions in their various relations with their fellow men.

                Or, 4th, that any man is as thoroughly depraved as it is possible for him to become, or that each man has a disposition inclined to every form of sin.

                But IT IS MEANT— 1st. That virtue consisting in the conformity of the dispositions of the will, with the law of God, and the very soul of virtue consisting in the allegiance of the soul to God, every man by nature is totally alienated in his governing disposition from God, and consequently his every act, whether morally indifferent, or conformed to subordinate principles of right, is vitiated by the condition of the agent as a rebel. 2nd. That this state of will, leads to a schism in the soul, and to the moral perversion of all the faculties of soul and body (see preceding question). 3rd. The tendency of this condition is to further corruption in endless progression in every department of our nature, and this deterioration would, in every case, be incalculably more rapid than it is, if it were not for the supernatural restraints of the Holy Ghost. 4th. There remains no recuperative element in the soul. Man can only and forever become worse, without a miraculous recreation.

                9. What proof of the doctrine of original sin may be derived from the history of the Fall?

                God created man in his own image, and pronounced him as a moral agent to be very good. He threatened him with death in the very day that he should eat the forbidden fruit, and only in the sense of spiritual death was that threat literally fulfilled. The spiritual life of man depends upon communion with God; but God drove him at once forth in anger from his presence. Consequently the present spiritual state of man is declared to be "death," the very penalty threatened.—Ephesians 2:1; 1 John 3:14.

                10. What is the account which the Scriptures give of human nature, and how can the existence ofan innate hereditary depravity be thence inferred?

                The Scriptures represent all men as totally alienated from God, and morally depraved in their understandings, hearts, wills, consciences, bodies, and actions.—Romans 3:10–23; 8:7; Job 14:4; 15:14; Genesis 6:5; 8:21; Matthew 15:19; Jeremiah 7:9; Isaiah 1:5,6. This depravity of man is declared to be, 1st., of the act, 2nd., of the heart, 3rd., from birth and by nature, 4th, of all men without exception.—Psalm 51:5; John 3:6; Ephesians 2:3; Psalm 58:3.

                11. State the evidence for the truth of this doctrine afforded by Romans 5:12–21.

                Paul here proves that the guilt—legal obligation to suffer the penalty—of Adam’s sin is imputed to us, by the unquestionable fact that the penalty of the law which Adam broke has been inflicted upon all. But that penalty was all penal evil, death physical, spiritual, eternal. Original sin, therefore, together with natural death, is in this passage assumed as an undeniable fact, upon which the apostle constructs his argument for the imputation of Adam’s sin.

                12. How is the truth of this doctrine established by the fact of the general prevalence of sin?

                All men, under all circumstances, in every age of the world, and under whatever educational influences they may be brought up, begin to sin uniformly as soon as they enter upon moral agency. A universal effect must have a universal cause. Just as we judge that a man is by nature an intelligence, because the actions of all men involve an element of intelligence, so we as certainly judge that man is by nature depraved, because all men act sinfully.

                13. If Adam sinned, though free from any corruption of nature, how does the fact that his posteritysin prove that their nature is corrupt?

                The fact that Adam sinned proves that a moral agent may be at once sinless and fallible, and that such a being, left to himself, may sin, but with respect to his posterity the question is, what is the universal and uniform cause that every individual always certainly begins to sin as soon as he begins to act as a moral agent? The question in the one case is, How could such an one sin? but in the other, Why do all certainlysin from the beginning?

                14. By what other objections do Pelagians and others attempt to avoid the force of the argumentfrom the universality of sin?

                1st.  Those who maintain that the liberty of indifference its essential to responsible agency, and that volitions are not determined by the precedent moral state of the mind, attribute all sinful actions to the fact that the will of man is unconditioned, and insist that his acting as he acts is an ultimate fact.

                In answer, we acknowledge that a man always wills as he pleases, but the question is, Why he alwayscertainly please to will wrong?  An indifferent cause cannot account of a uniform fact. The doctrine of original sin merely assigns the depraved character of the will itself as the uniform cause of the uniform fact.

                2nd.  Others attempt to explain the facts by the universal influence of sinful example.

                We answer: (1) Children uniformly manifest depraved dispositions at too early a period to admit of that sin being rationally attributed to the influence of example. (2) Children manifest depraved dispositions who have been brought up from birth in contact with such influences only as would incline them to holiness.

                3rd.  Others, again, attempt to explain the facts by referring to the natural order in the development of our faculties, e.g., first the animal, then the intellectual, then the moral: thus the lower, by anticipating, subverts the higher.

                For answer, see above, Question 4. Besides, while this is an imperfect explanation, it is yet a virtual admission of the fact of innate hereditary depravity. Such an order of development, leading to such uniform consequences, is itself a total corruption of nature.

                15. What argument for the doctrine of original sin may be derived from the universality of death?

                The penalty of the law was death, including death spiritual physical, and moral. Physical death is universal; eternal death, temporarily suspended for Christ’s sake, is denounced upon all the impenitent.

                As one part of the penalty has taken effect, even upon infants, who have never been guilty of actual transgression, we must believe the other part to have taken effect likewise. Brutes, who also suffer and die, are not moral agents, nor were they ever embraced in a covenant of life, and therefore their case, although it has its own peculiar difficulties, is not analogous to that of man. Geology affirms that brutes suffered and died in successive generations before the creation and apostasy of man. This is at present one of the unsolved questions of God’s providence.—See Hugh Miller’s "Testimonies of the Rocks."

                16. How may it be proved by what the Scriptures say concerning regeneration?

                The Scriptures declare—

                1st.  That regeneration is a radical change of the moral character, wrought by the Holy Ghost in the exercise of supernatural power. It is called "a new creation;" the regenerated are called "God’s workmanship, created unto good works," etc. Ezekiel 36:26; Ephesians 1:19; 2:5,10; 4:24; 1 Peter 1:23; James 1:18.

                2nd.  Regeneration is declared to be necessary absolutely and universally.—John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17.

                17. How may it be proved from what the Scriptures say of redemption?

                The Scriptures assert of redemption—

                1st.  As to its nature, that the design and effect of Christ’s sacrifice is to deliver, by means of an atonement, all his people from the power as well as from the guilt of sin.—Ephesians 5:25–27; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 9:12–14; 13:12.

                2nd.  As to its necessity, that it was absolutely necessary for all—for infants who never have committed actual sin, as well as for adults.—Acts 4:12; Romans 3:25,26; Galatians 2:21 and 3:21,22; Matthew 19:14; Revelation 1:5; 5:9.

                Some have essayed to answer, that Christ only redeemed infants from the "liability to sin." But redemption being an atonement by blood, the "just for the unjust," if infants be not sinners they cannot be redeemed. A sinless liability to sin is only a misfortune, and can admit of no redemption.— See Dr. Taylor's "Concio ad Clerum" (New Haven, 1828), pp. 24, 25; also Harvey's Review of the same (Hartford, 1829), p. 19.

                18. State the evidence afforded by infant baptism.

                Baptism, as circumcision, is an outward rite, signifying the inward grace of spiritual regeneration and purification.—Mark 1:4; John 3:5; Titus 3:5; Deuteronomy 10:16; Romans 2:28,29. Both of these rites were designed to be applied to infants. The application of the sign would be both senseless and profane if infants did not need, and were not capable of the thing signified.

                19. If God is the author of our nature, and our nature is sinful, how can we avoid the conclusionthat God is the author of sin?

                That conclusion would be unavoidable if, 1st., sin was an essential element of our nature, or if; 2nd., it inhered in that nature originally, as it came from God.

                But we know, 1st., that sin originated in the free act of man, created holy, yet fallible; 2nd., that entire corruption of nature sprang from that sin; and, 3rd., that in consequence of sin God has justly withdrawn the conservative influences of his Holy Spirit, and left men to the natural and penal consequences of their sin.—See Calvin’s "Institutes," Lib. 2., Chap. 1., secs. 6 and 11.

                20. How can this doctrine be reconciled with the liberty of man and his responsibility of his acts?

                1st.  Consciousness affirms that a man is always responsible for his free actions, and that his act is always free when he wills as, upon the whole, he prefers to will.

                2nd.  Original sin consists in corrupt dispositions, and, therefore, in every sin a man acts freely, because he acts precisely as he is disposed to act.

                3rd.  Consciousness affirms that inability is not inconsistent with responsibility. The inherent habit or disposition of the will determines his action, but no man, by a mere choice or volition, can change his disposition.—See Chapter 18., Questions 4 and 25.

                21. How is this corruption of nature propagated?

                See below, under Chapter 21.

                22. In what sense may sin be the punishment of sin?

                1st.  In the way of natural consequence (1) in the interior working of the soul itself; in the derangement of its powers; (2) in the entangled relations of the sinner with God and his fellowmen.

                2nd.  In the way of judicial abandonment Because of sin God withdraws his Holy Spirit, and further sin is the consequence.—Romans 1:24–28.

                23. What do the Scriptures teach concerning the sin against the Holy Ghost?

                See Matthew 12:31,32; Mark 3:29,30; Hebrews 6:4–6; 10:26,27; 1 John 5:16.

                These passages appear to teach that this sin consists in the malicious rejection of the blood of Christ, and of the testimony of the Holy Ghost against evidence and conviction. It is called the sin against the Holy Ghost because he is immediately present in the heart of the sinner, and his testimony and influence is directly rejected and contemptuously resisted. It is unpardonable, not because its guilt transcends the merit of Christ, or the state of the sinner transcends the renewing power of the Holy Ghost, but because it consists in the final rejection of these, and because at this limit God has sovereignly staid his grace.

                24. What are the main positions involved in the Pelagian doctrine of original sin?

                The system called Pelagian originated with Pelagius in his controversies with St. Augustine in the beginning of the fifth century, and was afterwards completely developed by the disciples of Faustus and Laelius Socinus in the sixteenth century, is embodied in the Racovian Catechism, and prevails among the English and American Unitarians of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

                It embraces the following points: 1st. Adam’s sin affected himself alone. 2nd. Infants are born in the same moral state in which Adam was created. 3rd. Every man possesses ability to sin or to repent and obey whenever he will. 4th. Responsibility is in exact proportion to ability; and God’s demands are adjusted to the various capacities (moral as well as constitutional) and circumstances of men.

                25. What are the main positions involved in the Semipelagian doctrine?

                According to the critical estimate of Wiggers in his "Hist. Present. of Augustinianism and Pelagianism," Pelagianism regards man as morally and spiritually well. Semipelagianism regards him as sick.

                Augustinianism regards him as dead.

                The current positions of Semipelagianism during the middle ages were— 1st. Denial of the imputation of the guilt of Adam’s sin. 2nd. Acknowledgment of a morbid condition of man’s moral nature from birth by inheritance from Adam. 3rd. Which morbid condition is not itself sin but the certain cause of sin. 4th.

                It involves the moral powers of the soul to such an extent that no man can fulfill the requirements either of the law or of the gospel without divine assistance. Man, however, has the power to begin to act aright, when God seeing his effort, and knowing that otherwise it would be fruitless, gives him the gracious help he needs.

                The doctrine of the Arminians, and the "Synergism" of Melanchthon amount practically to very much the same thing with the statements just made. The main difference is that the Semipelagians held that man can and must begin the work of repentance and obedience when God instantly cooperates with him.

                While the Arminians and Synergists held that man is so far depraved that he needs grace to dispose and enable him to begin as well as to continue and to succeed in the work, but that all men as a matter of fact have the same common grace acting upon them, which grace effects nothing until the man voluntarily cooperates with it, when it becomes efficacious through that co-operation.

                The Greek Church, which occupies the same general position as to original sin and grace, holds— 1st. Original sin is not voluntary and therefore not true sin. 2nd. The influence of Adam extends only to the sensuous, and not to the rational nor moral nature of his descendants, and hence it extends to their will only through the sensuous nature. 3rd. Infants are guiltless because they possess only a physical propagated nature. 4th. The human will takes the initiative in regeneration but needs divine assistance.

                This is Semipelagianism. While the corresponding Arminian position is that grace takes the initiative in regeneration but depends for its effect upon human cooperation.

                26. What is the New Haven view on this subject?

                Dr. Nathaniel W. Taylor, of New Haven, the prince of American new school theology, taught that sin consists solely in acts of the will; that "original sin is man’s own act, consisting in a free choice of some object rather than God as his chief good." He includes in this definition the permanent governing preference of the will, which determines special and transient acts of choice; which preference is formed by each human being as soon as he becomes a moral agent, and is uniformly a preference of some lesser good in place of God. He maintains also that the nature of man, in the condition in which it comes into being, in consequence of Adam’s fall, is the occasion, not the cause, of all men invariably making a wrong moral preference, and consequently original sin is by nature in the sense that the will enacts it freely though uniformly as occasioned by nature, yet that the nature itself; or its inherent tendency to occasion sin, is not itself sin, or illdeserving.—See "Concio ad Clerum," New Haven, 1828, and Harvey’s Review thereof.

                27. What is the Romish doctrine as to the change effected In the moral nature of man by the fall?

                See below the public statements of the various churches.

                28. What distinction do the Romanists make between mortal and venial sins?

                By mortal sins they mean those that turn away the soul from God, and forfeit baptismal grace. By venial sins they mean those which only impede the course of the soul to God. See below Bellarmin, quoted under "Authoritative Statement of Church Doctrine," etc.

                The objections are— 1st. This distinction is never made in the Scriptures. 2nd. Except for the sacrifice of Christ, every sin is mortal.—James 2:10; Galatians 3:10.


                ROMISH DOCTRINE.—" Council of Trent," Sess. 5. Can. 2.—"If any one shall assert that the apostasy of Adam injured himself alone and not his posterity; and that he lost the sanctity and righteousness received from God, for himself alone and not also for us, his posterity, or that the stain which results from the sin of disobedience, death, and physical evils only have overflowed over the whole human race, and not also sin which is the disease of the soul— anathema sit. " Ib.,  Sess. and Cap. 1. "The Holy Synod declares that in order properly to understand the doctrine of justification it is necessary that every one should acknowledge and confess that since all men lost their innocence in the apostasy of Adam, so that . . . .  they are servants of sin, under the power of the devil and of death . . . nevertheless in them free will is by no means extinct although it is weakened as to its strength and biased." Ib.,  Sess. 6., Can. 5.—"If any one shall say that the free will of man has been lost and extinguished in consequence of the sin of Adam. . . .  anathema sit. " Can. 7.—"If any one shall say that all works performed by a man anterior to justification (regeneration), from whatever reason performed, are true sins which merit the hatred of God, or that the more vehemently one may strive to dispose himself to grace, only the more grievously he sins—anathema sit." Bellarmin, " Amiss. Gratia, " 3. 1.—"The penalty which properly stands over against the first sin, is the loss of original righteousness and of the supernatural gifts with which God had furnished our nature. " DeGratia primi hom.,  1.—"They (the Catholics) teach that, through the sin of Adam the whole man was truly deteriorated, but that he has not lost free will nor any other of the dona naturalia, but only the donasupernaturalia." Ib., c. 5.—"Wherefore the state of man since the fall of Adam does not differ more from his state in purls naturalibus (i.e., as created and antecedent to his endowment with the donasupernaturalia, see Statement of Romish Doctrine end of Ch. 16.) than a man robbed of his clothes differs from one originally naked, neither is human nature any worse (if you subtract original guilt) nor does it labor under greater ignorance and infirmity, than it was and did as created in puris natural ibus.

                Whence it follows that corruption of nature does not result from the loss of any gift, nor from the accession of any evil quality, but only from the loss of the supernatural gift because of the sin of Adam. "

                " Amiss. Gra., " 5. 5.—"The question between us and our adversaries is not whether human nature has been grievously depraved through the sin of Adam. For that we freely confess. Neither is the question whether this depravity pertains in any manner to original sin, so that it may be spoken of as the material of that sin. But the whole controversy is whether that corruption of nature and especially concupiscence per se and of its own nature, as it is found in the baptized and justified, is properly original sin. This the Catholics deny."

                LUTHERAN DOCTRINE.—" Formula Concordiœ," p. 640.—"(It is to be believed)— 1st. That this hereditary evil is fault or guilt (ill–desert) by which on account of the disobedience of Adam and Eve, we all are made subject to the wrath of God, and are by nature children of wrath as the Apostle testified (Romans 5:12ff, Ephesians 2:3). 2nd. That there is through all a total want, defect, and privation of that original righteousness concreated in Paradise, or of that image of God in which man in the beginning was created in truth, holiness, and righteousness; and there is at the same time that impotency and incapacity, that weakness and stupidity, by which man is rendered utterly incapable of all things divine or spiritual. . . . 3rd. Moreover that original sin in human nature does not only involve the total loss and absence of all good in matters spiritual and pertaining to God; but that also in the place of the lost likeness to God there is in man an inward, most evil, profound (like an abyss), inscrutable, and ineffable corruption of the whole nature and of all the powers, and primarily in the principle and superior faculties of the soul, in the mind, intellect, heart, and will." Ib.,  p. 645.—"But although this original sin infects and corrupts the whole nature of man, as a kind of spiritual poison and leprosy (as Dr. Luther says), so that now in our corrupted nature it is not possible to show to the eye these two apart, the nature alone, or the original sin alone; nevertheless that corrupt nature, or substance of the corrupt man, the body and soul, or the man himself as created by God in whom the original sin dwells, is not one and the same with that original sin which dwells in the nature or essence of man and corrupts it, just as in the body of a leper, the leprous body and the leprosy itself which is in the body, are not one and the same."

                REFORMED DOCTRINE.—" Belgic Confession," Art. 15.—"( Peccatum originis) is that corruption of the whole nature and that hereditary vice, by which even themselves in their mothers’ wombs are polluted, and which, as a root, produces every kind of sin in man, and is therefore so base and execrable in the sight of God, that it suffices to the condemnation of the human race."

                " Gallic Confession," Art. 11.—"We believe that this vice ( originis) is true sin, which makes all and every man, not even excepting little infants, hitherto hiding in the womb of their mothers, deserving (reos) before God, of eternal death. "

                " Thirty–Nine Articles of Ch. of Eng. ," Art. 9.—"(Original or birth sin) is the fault and corruption of the nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam; whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the spirit; and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserveth God’s wrath and damnation."

                REMONSTRANT DOCTRINE.—" Apol. Confession Remonstrant., p. 84.—"They (the Remonstrants) do not regard original sin as sin properly so called, nor as an evil which as a penalty, in the strict sense of that word, passes over from Adam upon his posterity, but as an evil, infirmity, or vice, or whatever name it may be designated by, which is propagated from Adam, deprived of original righteousness, to his          posterity.

                Limborch " Theol. Christ. ," 3. 3, 4.—"We confess also that infants are born less pure than Adam was created, and with & certain propensity to sinning, but this they receive not so much from Adam, as from their immediate parents, since if it were from Adam, it ought to be equal in all men. But now it is in the highest degree unequal, and ordinarily children are inclined to the sins of their parents."

                SOCINIAN DOCTRINE.—" Racovian Catechism," p. 294.—"And the fall of Adam, since it was one act, could not have had the power of corrupting the nature of Adam himself, much less that of his posterity.

                We do not deny, however, that from the constant habit of sinning, the nature of man has become infected with a certain fall and excessive proclivity to sinning. But we deny that this is per se sin, or of that nature."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Chapter 20: Inability

                1. State the three main elements involved in the consequences entailed by the sin of Adam upon hisposterity.

                These are—1st. The guilt, or just penal responsibility of Adam’s first sin or apostatizing act, which is imputed or judicially charged upon his descendants, whereby every child is born into the world in a state of antenatal forfeiture or condemnation. 2nd. The entire depravity of our nature, involving a sinful innate disposition inevitably leading to actual transgression. 3rd. The entire inability of the soul to change its own nature, or to do anything spiritually good in obedience to the divine law.

                2. What three great types of doctrine on the subject of human ability to fulfill the law of God havealways coexisted in the church?

                1st. Pelagian. —(a) Moral character can be predicated only of volitions. (b) Ability is always the measure of responsibility. (c) Hence every man has always plenary power to do all that it is his duty to do. (d) Hence the human will alone, to the exclusion of the interference of any internal influence from God, must decide human character and destiny. The only divine influence needed by man or consistent with his character as a self–determined agent is an external, providential, and educational one.

                2nd. Semipelagian. —(a) Man’s nature has been so far weakened by the fall that it cannot act aright in spiritual matters without divine assistance. (b) This weakened moral state which infants inherit from their parents is the cause of sin, but not itself sin in the sense of deserving the wrath of God. (c) Man must strive to do his whole duty, when God meets him with cooperative grace, and renders his efforts successful. (d) Man is not responsible for the sins he commits until after he has enjoyed and abused the influences of grace.

                3rd. Augustinian.—Which was adopted by all the original Protestant Churches, Lutheran and Reformed.

                (a) Man is by nature so entirely depraved in his moral nature as to be totally unable to do anything spiritually good, or in any degree to begin or to dispose himself thereto. (b) That even under the exciting and suasory influences of divine grace the will of man is totally unable to act aright in cooperation with grace, until after the will itself is by the energy of grace radically and permanently renewed. (c) Even after the renewal of the will it ever continues dependent upon divine grace, to prompt, direct, and enable it in the performance of every good work.

                3. How does the usus loquendi of the words "Liberty" and "Ability" in this connection, among theearly differ from that of the later Protestant writers?

                The early writers often use the term "liberty "in the sense in which we now use the term "ability," and deny that man since the fall possesses any "liberty "of will with respect to divine things.

                While modern theologians hold precisely the same doctrine entertained by these early writers they now think it more judicious to distinguish between the two terms in their constant use. By "liberty" is meant the inalienable property of a free agent, good or bad, to exercise volitions as he pleases; that is, according to the prevailing dispositions and tendencies of his soul. By "ability," on the other hand, is meant the power of a depraved human soul, naturally indisposed to spiritual good, to change its governing tendencies or dispositions by means of any volition, however strenuous, or to obey the requirements of the law in the absence of all holy dispositions. The permanent affections of the soul govern the volitions, but the volitions cannot alter the affections. And when we say that no man since the fall has any ability to render that spiritual obedience which the law demands, we mean (a) that the radical moral dispositions of every man is opposed to that obedience, and (b) man has absolutely no ability to change them or (c) to exercise volitions contrary to them.

                4. State the orthodox doctrine both negatively and positively.

                The orthodox doctrine does not teach—1st. That man by the fall has lost any of his constitutional faculties necessary to constitute him a responsible moral agent. These are (a) reason, (b) conscience, (c) free will. Man possesses all of these in exercise. He has power to know the truth; he recognizes and feels moral distinctions and obligations; his affections and tendencies and habits of action are spontaneous; in all his volitions he chooses and refuses freely as he pleases. Therefore he is responsible. Nor, 2nd., that man has not power to feel and to do many things which are good and amiable, benevolent and just, in the relations he sustains to his fellow–men. This is often admitted in the Protestant confessions and Theological Classics, where it is conceded that man since the fall has a capacity for humana justicia (man’s justice), and "civil good," etc.

                But the Orthodox doctrine does teach— 1st. That the inability of man since the fall concerns things which involve our relation as spiritual beings to God—the apprehension and love of spiritual excellence and action in conformity therewith. These matters are designated in the Confessions "things of God," "things of the Spirit," "things which pertain to salvation." 2nd. That man since the fall is utterly unable to know, or to feel, or to act in correspondence with these things. A natural man may be intellectually illuminated but he is spiritually blind. He may possess natural affections, but his heart is dead toward God, and invincibly averse to his person and law. He may obey the letter, but he cannot obey in spirit and in truth.

                5. In what sense is this inability absolute, and in what sense natural, and in what sense moral?

                1st.  It is absolute in the proper sense of that term. No unregenerate man has power either directly or indirectly to do what is required of him in this respect; nor to change his own nature so as to increase his power; nor to prepare himself for grace, nor in the first instance to cooperate with grace, until in the act of regeneration God changes his nature and gives him through grace gracious ability to act graciously in constant dependence upon grace.

                2nd.  It is natural in the sense that it is not accidental or adventitious but innate, and that it belongs to our fallen nature as propagated by natural law from parent to child since the fall.

                3rd.  It is not  natural in one sense, because it does not belong to the nature of man as created. Man was created with plenary ability to do all that was in any way required of him, and the possession of such ability is always requisite to the moral perfection of his nature. He may he a real man without it, but can be a perfect man only with it. The ability graciously bestowed upon man in regeneration is not an endowment extra–natural, but consists in the restoration of his nature, in part, to its condition of primitive integrity.

                4th. It  is not  natural in another sense, because it does not result in the least from any constitutional deficiency in human nature as it now exists as to its rational and moral faculties of soul.

                5th.  This inability is purely moral, because while every responsible man possesses all moral as well as intellectual faculties requisite for right action, the moral state of his faculties is such that right action is impossible. Its essence is in the inability of the soul to know, love, or choose spiritual good, and its ground exists in that moral corruption of soul whereby it is blind, insensible, and totally averse to all that is spiritually good.

                6. What is the history and value of the famous distinction between natural and moral ability?

                This distinction was first explicity presented in this form by John Cameron, born in Glasgow, 1580, Prof. in the Theological School in Saumur, France, 1618, died 1625.

                President Edwards in his great work "On the Will," Pt. 1., Sec. 4, adopts the same terms, affirming that men since the fall have natural ability to do all that is required of them, but are destitute of moral ability to do so. By natural ability he meant the possession by every responsible free agent, as the condition of his responsibility, of all the constitutional faculties necessary to enable him to obey God’s law. By moral ability he meant that inherent moral state of those faculties, that righteous disposition of heart, requisite to the performance of those duties.

                As thus stated, and as President Edwards held and used it, there is no question as to the validity and importance of this distinction. The same principle is explicitly recognized in the statement of the orthodox doctrine given above, Questions 4 and 5. Nevertheless we seriously object to the phraseology used, for the following reasons:

                1st.  This phraseology has no warrant in the analogy of the Scriptures. They never say that man has one kind of ability but has not another. They everywhere consistently teach that man is not able to do what is required of him. They never teach that he is able in any sense.

                2nd.  It has never been adopted in the Creed Statements of any one of the Reformed Churches.

                3rd.  It is essentially ambiguous. It has been often used to express, sometimes to cover, Semipelagian error. It is naturally misleading and confusing when addressed to the struggling sinner. his language assures him that he is able in a certain sense, when it is only true that he possesses some of the essential prerequisites of ability. Ability begins only after all its essential conditions are present. To say that a dead bird has muscular ability to fly, and only lacks vital ability, is trifling with words. The truth is, the sinner is absolutely unable because of a moral deficiency. It is right enough to say that his inability is purely and simply moral. But it is simply untrue and misleading to tell him he has natural ability, when the fact is precisely that he is unable. The work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration is not a mere moral suasion but a new moral creation.

                4th.  Natural is not the proper antithesis of moral. A thing may be at the same time natural and moral.

                This inability of man as shown above, is certainly wholly moral, and it is yet in an important sense natural, i.e., incident to his nature in its present state as naturally propagated.

                5th.  The language does not accurately express the important distinction intended. The inability is moral and is not either physical or constitutional. It has its ground not in the want of any faculty, but in the corrupt moral state of the faculties, in the inveterate disinclination of the affections. and dispositions of the voluntary nature.

                7. Prove the fact of this inability from Scripture.

                Jeremiah 13:23; John 6:44,65; 15:5; Romans 9:16; 1 Corinthians 2:14.

                8. Prove the same from what Scriptures teach of the moral condition of man by nature.

                It is a state of spiritual blindness and darkness, Ephesians 4:18, of spiritual death.—Colossians 2:13. The unregenerate are the "servants of sin."—Romans 6:20. They are "without strength."—Romans 5:6. Men are said to be subjects of Satan and led about by him at his will.—2 Timothy 2:26. The only way to change the character of our actions is declared to be to change the character of our hearts.—Matthew 12:33–35.

                9. Prove the same from what the Scriptures teach as to the nature and necessity of regeneration.

                As to its nature it is taught that regeneration is a "new birth," a "new creation," a "begetting anew," a "giving a new heart"—the subjects of it are "new creatures," "God's workmanship," etc. It is accomplished by the "exceeding greatness of the mighty power of God."—Ephesians 1:18–20. All Christian graces, as love, Joy, faith, peace, etc., are declared to be "fruits of the Spirit."—Galatians 5:22,23. God "worketh in you to will and to do of his good pleasure."—Philippians 2:13.

                As to its necessity this radical change of the governing states and proclivities of the will itself is declared to be absolutely necessary in the case of every child of Adam, without exception, in order to salvation.

                It is plain, therefore, that man must be absolutely spiritually impotent antecedent to this change wrought in him by divine power, and that all ability he may ever have even to cooperate with the grace that saves him, must be consequent upon that change.

                10. Prove the same from experience.

                1st.  From the experience of every convinced sinner. All genuine conviction of sin embraces these two elements: (a) A thorough conviction of responsibility and guilt, justifying God and prostrating self before him in confession and absolute self emptying. (b) A thorough conviction of our own moral impotence and dependence as much upon divine grace to enable us, as upon Christ’s merits to justify us. A sinner must in both senses, i.e., as to guilt and as to helplessness, be brought into a state of utter self–despair, or he cannot be brought to Christ.

                2nd.  From the experience of every true Christian. His most intimate conviction is (a) that he was absolutely helpless and that he was saved by a divine intervention, ab extra. (b) That his present degree of spiritual strength is sustained solely by the constant communications of the Holy Ghost, and that he lives spiritually only as he clings close to Christ.

                3rd.  From the universal experience of the human family. We argue that man is absolutely destitute of spiritual ability, because there has never been discovered a single example of a mere man who has exercised it since the foundation of the earth.

                11. State and refute the objection brought against our doctrine on the alleged ground that "abilityis the measure of responsibility."

                The maxim that "ability is the measure of responsibility" is undoubtedly true under some conditions and false under others. The mistake which utterly vitiates the above cited objection to the Scriptural doctrine of inability, consists in a failure to discriminate between the conditions under which the maxim is true, and the conditions under which it is false.

                It is a self–evident truth, and one not denied by any party, that an inability which consists either (a) in the absence of the faculties absolutely necessary for the performance of a duty, or (b) in the absence of an opportunity to use them, is entirely inconsistent with moral responsibility in the case. If a man has not eyes, or if having them he is unavoidably destitute of light, he cannot be morally bound to see. So, likewise, if a man is destitute of intellect, or of natural conscience, or of any of the constitutional faculties essential to moral agency, he cannot be responsible for acting as a moral agent.

                And it is further evident that this irresponsibility arises solely from the bare fact of the inability. It matters not at all in this respect whether the inability be self–induced or not, if only it be a real incapacity. A man, for instance, who has put out his own eyes in order to avoid the draft, may be justly held responsible for that act, but he can never more be held responsible for seeing, i.e., for using eyes that he does not possess.

                On the other hand it is no less evident that when the inability consists solely in the want of the proper dispositions and affections, instead of being inconsistent with responsibility it is the very ground and reason of just condemnation. Nothing is more certain nor more universally confessed, than that the affections and dispositions are (1) not under the control of the will. They can no more be changed than our stature by a mere volition. (2) Yet we are responsible for them.

                Those who maintain that responsibility is necessarily limited by ability must consequently hold either (1) that every man, however degraded, is able by a volition at once to conform himself to the highest standard of virtue, which is absurd; or (2) that the standard of moral obligation is lowered more and more in proportion as a man sins, and by sin loses the capacity for obedience, i.e., that moral obligation decreases as guilt increases, or in other words that God’s rights decrease as our rebellion against him increases. Which is also absurd, for the principle obviously vacates law altogether, making both its precept and penalty void, since the sinner carries the law down with himself: It takes the law out of God’s hands, and puts it in the hands of the sinner, who always determines the extent of its requirements by the extent of his own apostasy.

                12. Prove that men are responsible for their affections. 1

                1st.  The whole volume of Scripture testifies to the fact that God requires men to possess right affections. and that he judges and treats men according to their affections. Christ declares (Matthew 22:37–40) that the whole moral law. is summarily comprehended in these two commandments, to Love God with the whole heart, and our neighbor as ourselves. "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." But "love "is an affection not a volition, nor is it under the immediate control of the volitions.

                2nd.  It is the instinctive judgment of all men that moral dispositions and affections are intrinsically either good or evil, and worthy in every case according to their character, and irrespective of their origin of praise or blame. Some affections indeed are in themselves morally indifferent and become right or wrong only when adopted by the will as a principle of action in preference to other competing principles, e.g., the affection of self–love. But there are other affections which are intrinsically good, like love to God and disinterested benevolence towards our fellow–creatures, and others which are intrinsically evil, like malice or distrust of God, without any consideration of their origin.—Romans 7:14–23. Every volition derives all its moral quality from the quality of the affection that prompts it; while, on the other hand, the moral quality of the affection is original, and independent, and absolute.

                3rd.  The Scriptures and universal Christian experience teach that the common condition of man is one at once morally impotent and responsible. Hence the two cannot be inconsistent.

                13. How can man’s inability be reconciled with the commands, promises, and threatenings of God?

                God righteously deals with the sinner according to the measure of his responsibility, and not according to the measure of his sinful inability. It would have been a compromise altogether unworthy of God to have lowered his demands in proportion to man’s sin. Besides, under the gospel dispensation God makes use of his commands, promises, and threatenings, as gracious means, under the influence of his Spirit, to enlighten the minds, quicken the consciences, and to sanctify the hearts of men.

                14. How can man’s inability be shown to be consistent with the rational use of means?

                The efficiency of all means lies in the power of God, and not in the ability of man. God has established a connection between certain means and the ends desired; he has commanded us to use them, and has promised to bless them; and human experience has proved God’s faithfulness to his engagements, and the instrumental connection between the means and the end.

                15. Show that the legitimate practical effect of this doctrine is not to lead sinners to procrastinate.

                It obviously and rightly tends to extinguish the false hopes of every sinner, and to paralyze their efforts to extricate themselves in the exercise of their own strength, or in reliance upon their own resources. But both reason and experience assure us that the natural and actual effect of this great truth is— 1st. To humble the soul and fill it with self–despair. 2nd. To shut it up to immediate and unreserved reliance upon the sovereign grace of God in Christ, the only ground of possible hope remaining. 3rd. Subsequent to conversion this truth leads the soul of the Christian to habitual self–distrust, diligence, and watchfulness, and to habitual confidence in and gratitude towards God.


                ROMISH DOCTRINE.—" Council of Trent,"Sess. 6, can. 7.—"If any one shall say, that all the works performed before justification, on whatsoever principle they are done, are truly sins, and merit the wrath of God. . . . anathema sit." See further under the heads of "Original Sin" and "Effectual Calling."

                LUTHERAN DOCTRINE.—" Aug. Confession,  p. 15."—"Human will possesses a certain ability (libertatem) for effecting civil righteousness, and for choosing things apparent to the senses. But, without the Holy Spirit, it has not the power of effecting the righteousness of God, or spiritual righteousness, because the animal man does not perceive those things which are of the Spirit of God."

                " Formula Concordiœ, " p. 579.—"Therefore we believe that as much as the power is wanting to a corpse to revive itself and restore to itself corporeal life, by so much is all and every faculty wanting to a man who by reason of sin is spiritually dead, of recalling himself to spiritual life. "Ib.,  p. 656.—"We believe that the intellect, heart, and will of an unrenewed man are altogether unable, in spiritual and divine things, and of their own proper natural vigor, to understand, to believe, to embrace, to think, to will, to commence, to perfect, to transact, to operate, or to cooperate anything. "

                REFORMED DOCTRINE.—" Thirty–Nine Articles of the Church of England," Art. 10.—"The condition of man after the fall of Adam, is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength and good works, to faith and calling upon God: wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good–will, and working with us when we have that good–will."

                " Confession Helvetica Posterior. "—"In the unrenewed man there is no free will for good, and no strength for performing that which is good......No one denies that in external things the renewed and the unrenewed alike have free–will; for man has this constitution in common with the other animals, that some things he wills, and some things he wills not. . . . We condemn on this subject the Manicheans, who deny that evil originated in the exercise of a free–will by a good man. We also condemn the Pelagians, who say that even the bad man possesses sufficient free–will for performing the good commanded."

                " Formula Consensus Helvetica, " Can. 22.—"We hold therefore that they speak with too little accuracy and not without danger, who call this inability to believe moral inability, and do not hold it to be natural, adding that man in whatever condition he may be placed is able to believe if he will, and that faith in some way or other, indeed, is self–originated; and yet the Apostle most distinctly calls it the gift of God "(Ephesians 2:8).

                " Articles of Synod of Dort, " Chap. 3. Art. 3.—"All men are conceived in sin, and born children of wrath, indisposed to all saving good, prepense to evil, dead in sins and the slaves of sin, and without the grace of the regenerating Holy Spirit they are neither willing nor able to return to God, to correct their depraved nature, or to dispose themselves to the correction of it."

                " Confession of Faith, " Chap. 9. § 3. – "Man, by his fall and state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself or to prepare himself thereunto."

                REMONSTRANT DOCTRINE.— Limborch, " Theol. Christ. ," Lib. 4, ch. 14. § 21.—"The grace of God is the primary cause of faith, without which a man is not able rightly to use his free–will. . . . Therefore free will cooperates with grace, otherwise the obedience or the disobedience of man would have no place. Grace is not the sole cause, although it is the primary cause of salvation, . . . for the cooperation itself of the free–will with grace is of grace as a primary cause: for unless the free–will had been excited by prevenient grace it would not have been able to cooperate with grace. "

                SOCINIAN DOCTRINE—" Racovian Catechism," Ques. 422.—"Is not free–will placed in our power so that we may obey God? Surely, because it is certain that the first man was so constituted by God that he was endowed with free–will. Nor truly has any cause supervened why God should have deprived man of that free–will subsequently to his fall."

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Chapter 21: Imputation of Adam’s First Sin

                1. Give a summary of the facts already proved from Scripture, consciousness, and observation, andgenerally acknowledged in all Creeds of the Protestant Churches, as to man’s moral and spiritualcondition from birth and by nature.

                1st. All men, without exception, begin to sin as soon as they enter upon moral agency. 2nd. They are all born with an antecedent and prevailing tendency in their nature to sin. 3rd. This innate tendency is itself sin in the strictest sense. It is inherently ill–deserving as well as polluting and destructive, and without any reference to its origin in Adam, it fully deserves God’s wrath and curse, and except when expiated by the blood of Christ is always visited with that curse. President Edwards, "Freedom of the Will," pt. 4, sec. 1, says, "The essence of the virtue and vice of dispositions of the heart lies not in their cause but their nature." 4th. Men are, therefore, by nature, totally averse to all good and unable of themselves to reverse the evil tendency inherent in their nature and to choose good in preference to evil. 5th. Consequently they are by nature children of wrath, their character formed and their evil destiny fixed antecedent to any personal action of their own.

                2. Show that the real difficulty in reconciling the ways of God to man lies in these unquestionablefacts; and further, that recognition of these facts in their integrity is of far more doctrinalimportance than any account of their origin can possibly be.

                That we begin to exist, antecedent to possible personal agency, with a nature which justly condemns us and infallibly predisposes us to actual sin, is an amazing mystery, an indescribable curse, and yet a certain and universal fact. No possible theory as to its origin can aggravate its mystery or its terrible significance. We do not claim that the doctrine of our responsibility for Adam’s apostatizing act is without grave difficulties. But we do maintain by (a) that it is taught in Scripture, and (b) that it is more satisfactory to reason and to our moral feelings than any other solution ever given.

                It is no less evident that the full recognition of these facts is of far more doctrinal and practical importance than any explanation of their origin or occasion can be. Our views as to these facts must at once determine our relation to God, the entire character of our religious experience, and our views as to the nature of sin and grace, the necessity and nature of redemption, regeneration, and sanctification, while any rationale of these facts will only clear and enlarge our views as to the consistency of God’s dealings with the human race with his own perfections, and as to the relations of the several parts of the divine plan with each other.

                Hence we find—(1) That these facts as to man’s innate sinfulness are much more prominently and frequently set forth in the Scriptures than is the assertion of our responsibility for Adam’s act of apostasy.

                (2) That these have been clearly defined and uniformly agreed upon by all parties and in all ages of the Christian Church, while with respect to our connection with Adam there has prevailed a great deal of vagueness and contrariety of view.—Principal Cunningham’s "Theo. of the Ref.," Essay 7., 1.

                3. State the self–evident moral principles which must be certainly presupposed in every inquiryinto the dealings of God with his responsible creatures.

                (1) God cannot be the author of sin. (2) We must not believe that he could consistently with his own perfections create a creature de novo (new) with a sinful nature. (3) The perfection of righteousness, not bare sovereignty, is the grand distinction of all God’s dealings. The error that the volition of God determines moral distinctions, was for opposite reasons maintained by the Supralapsarians Twisse, Gomar, etc., and by such Arminians as Grotius, the one to show that God might condemn whom he pleased irrespective of real guilt, and the other to show that he could save whom he pleased irrespective of a real atonement. The fundamental truth, however, now admitted by all Christians, is that the immutable moral perfections of God’s nature constitute the absolute standard of right, and in every action determine his will, and are manifested in all his works. (4) It is a heathen notion, adopted by naturalistic rationalists, that the "order of nature," or the "nature of things," or "natural law," is a real agent independent of God. "Nature" is simply God’s creature and instrument. What is generated by nature is made by God. (5) We cannot believe that God would inflict either moral or physical evil upon any creature whose natural rights had not been previously justly forfeited. (6) Every moral agent must in justice enjoy a fair probation, i.e., a trial so conditioned as to afford at least as much opportunity of success as liability to failure.

                4. State the two distinct questions thence arising, which though frequently confused, it is essentialto keep separate.

                1st.  How does an innate sinful nature originate in each human being at the commencement of his existence, so that the Maker of the man is not the cause of his sin? If this corruption of nature originated in Adam, How is it transmitted to us?

                2nd.  WHY, on what ground of justice, does God indict this terrible evil, the root and ground of all other evils, at the very commencement of personal existence? WHAT fair probation have infants born in sin enjoyed? WHEN, and WHY, were their rights as new created beings forfeited?

                It is self–evident that these questions are distinct, and should be treated as such. The first may possibly be answered on physiological grounds. The second question however concerns the moral government of God, and inquires concerning the justice of his dispensations. In the history of theology of all ages and in all schools very much confusion has resulted from the failure to emphasize and preserve prominent this distinction.


                5. What answers have been given to this question which deny or ignore the Adamic origin of sin?

                1st.  The Manichaean theory, adopted by Manes, AD. 240, from the dualism of Zoroaster, of the eternal self-existence of two principles, the one good identified with the absolute God the other evil identified with matter, or that principle of which matter is one of the manifestations. Our spirits have their primal origin with God, while sin necessarily results from their entanglement with matter. This system obviously destroys the moral character of sin, and was earnestly opposed by all the early fathers of the Christian church.

                2nd.  The Pantheistic theory that sin is the necessary incident of a finite nature (limitation). Some writers, not absolute Pantheists, regard it as incident to a certain stage of development and the appointed means of higher perfection.

                3rd.  Pelagians and Rationalists, denying innate corruption, refer the general fact that actual sin occurs as soon as man emerges into free agency to the freedom of the will, or to the influence of example, etc.

                4th.  Others refer this guilty corruption of nature, which inheres in every human soul from birth, to an actual apostasy of each soul committed before birth, either in a state of individual preexistence, as Origen and Dr. Edward Beecher in his "Conflict of Ages" teach; or as transcendental and timeless, as Dr. Julius Muller teaches in his "Christian Doctrine of Sin," Vol. 2., p. 157. This is evidently a pure speculation, unsupported by any facts of consciousness or of observation, contradicted by the testimony of Scripture, Romans 5:12, and Genesis 3:, and one which has never been accepted by the Church.

                6. What different views have been held by Christian theologians who admit the Adamic origin ofhuman sin, as to the mode of its propagation from Adam to his descendants?

                This is obviously a question of very inferior importance to the moral question which remains to be discussed. By what grounds, through right and justice, does God directly or indirectly bring this curse upon all men at birth? Hence it is a point neither explicitly explained in Scripture, nor answered in any uniform way even by a majority of theologians.

                From the beginning, orthodox theologians have been distinguished as Traducianists and Creationists.

                Tertullian advocated the doctrine that the souls of children are derived from the souls of their parents by natural generation. Jerome held that each soul is independently created by God at birth. Augustine hesitated between the two views. The majority of Romish theologians have been Creationists, the majority of Lutheran theologians, and New England theologians since Dr. Hopkins, have been Traducianists. Nearly all the theologians of the Reformed church have been Creationists

                1st.  The common view of the Traducianists is not "that soul is begotten from soul, nor body from body, but the whole man from the whole man."—D. Pareus, Heidelberg (1548–1622), on Romans 5:12. In this view it is plain that the corrupted moral nature of our first parents would be inevitably transmitted to all their descendants by natural generation.

                2nd.  The doctrine of pure Realism is that humanity is a single generic spiritual substance which corrupted itself by its own voluntary apostatizing act in Adam. The souls of individual men are not separate substances, but manifestations of this single generic substance through their several bodily organizations. The universal soul being corrupt, its several manifestations from birth are corrupt also.

                3rd.  Those who hold that God creates each soul separately, have generally held that he withholds from them from the first those influences of the Holy Spirit upon which all spiritual life in the creature depends, as the just punishment of Adam’s sin, as he restores this life–giving influence in consideration of the righteousness of Christ, to the elect in the act of regeneration. Dr. T. Ridgely, London (1667–1734), says Vol. 1., pp. 413, 414, "God creates the souls of men destitute of heavenly gifts, and supernatural light, and that justly, because Adam lost those gifts for himself and his posterity."

                A few Creationists have, like Lampé, Utrecht (1683–1729), Tom. 1., p. 572, taught that the body derived from the parents "is corrupted by inordinate and perverse emotions through sin," which thus communicates like inordinate affections to the soul placed in it by God. This latter view has never prevailed, since sin is not an affection of matter, and can belong to the body only as an organ of the soul.

                Many Creationists, however, refer the propagation of habitual sin to natural generation, in a general sense, as a law whereby God ordains that children shall be like their parents, without inquiring at all as to the method. So De Moor, Cap. 15., § 33, and "Canons of Synod of Dort."


                7. What is the Arminian explanation of this fact?

                1st.  They admit that all men inherit from Adam a corrupt nature predisposing them to sin, but they deny that this innate condition is itself properly sin, or involves guilt or desert of punishment.

                2nd.  They affirm that it was consistent with the justice of God to allow this great evil to come upon all men at birth, only in view of the fact that he had determined to introduce an adequate compensation in the redemption of Christ, impartially intended for all men, and the sufficient influences of his grace which all men experience, and which restores to all ability to do right, and therefore full personal responsibility. Hence, infants are not under condemnation. Condemnation attaches to no man until he has abused his gracious ability. In the gift of Christ, God redresses the wrong done us by allowing Adam to use his fallen nature as the medium for the propagation of sinful children.—Dr. D. D. Whedon, "Bibliotheca Sacra," April, 1862, "Confession Rem.," 7. 3, Limborch, "Theol. Christ," 3., 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

                WE OBJECT to this doctrine.—(l) That our condemnation in Adam is of justice, and our redemption in Christ of GRACE. (2) The remedy of the compensatory system is not applied to many heathen, etc.(3) The view is inconsistent with Scriptural doctrines as to sin, inability, regeneration, etc., etc.

                8. What has been the prevalent answer given by New England Theologians since the days of Dr. Hopkins?

                Dr. Hopkins taught the doctrine of divine efficiency in the production of sin. This, of course, dissolves the question as to the justice of God in bringing Adam’s descendants into the world as sinners, since he is the ultimate cause of all sin. Later New England divines discard the doctrine of divine efficiency, but they agree with Hopkins in denying imputation, and in referring the law which entails the corruption of Adam upon each of his descendants to a sovereign divine constitution.

                If this view, while acknowledging that this divine constitution is infinitely just and righteous, simply disclaims clear knowledge of its grounds and reasons, we have only to answer, that while in part we sympathize with it, we dare not refuse the partial light thrown upon the problem in Scripture, and exhibited below. But if the design of these theologians be to assert, either (1) that this constitution is not just, or (2) that God’s bare will makes it to be just, and that its being sovereign is the ground of its being righteous, we protest against it as a grievous heresy.

                9. What is the orthodox answer to the above question in which the Romish Lutheran and Reformed Theologians as a body concur?

                It is certain that while there has been difference of opinion and looseness of statement as to the grounds of our just accountability for Adam’s first sin, the whole Church has always regarded our loss of original righteousness and innate moral corruption to be a just; and righteous, not sovereign, penal consequence of Adam’s apostatizing act. This is the DOCTRINE, agreement with which is alike accordant with Scripture, honoring to the moral attributes of God and the equity of his moral government, and conformable to historical orthodoxy. In the explanation of this doctrine the orthodox have often differed.

                It is a simple fact that God as a just judge condemned the hole race on account of Adam’s sin, and condemnation by God, the source of life, involves and is justly followed by spiritual and moral death.

                10. Where is the fact asserted in Scripture that God condemned the whole race because of Adam’sapostasy?

                Romans 5:17–19.— "For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one;" "Therefore, as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation;" "For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners."

                11. Show that in this doctrine the whole Church has concurred.

                The sin of Adam was an act of apostasy. The spiritual desertion and consequent spiritual corruption which immediately occurred in his personal experience (the very penalty threatened) was, of course, a just penal consequence of that act. Augustine said (" De Nupt. et Concup." 2. 34.)—"Nothing remains but to conclude that in that first man all are understood to have sinned, because all were in him when he sinned; whereby sin is brought in with birth, and not removed save by the new birth."

                Dr. G. F. Wiggers, the learned expounder of "Augustinianism and Pelagianism, from the Original Sources," says in his statement of Augustine’s view of original sin, ch. 5, division 2, § 2. "The propagation of Adam’s sin among his posterity is a punishment of the same sin. The corruption of human nature, in the whole race, was the righteous punishment of the transgression of the first man, in whom all men already existed."

                The "Council of Trent," Sess. 5., 1 and 2, says that "sin which is the death of the soul was part of that penalty which Adam incurred by his transgression, and which is therefore transmitted to his descendants as well as inflicted on himself."

                Bellarmin, " Amiss. Grat., " 3. 1, says, "The penalty which properly corresponds with the first sin is the forfeiture of original righteousness and of those supernatural gifts with which God had furnished our nature."

                Luther (in Genes. 1, p. 98, cap. 5) says, that the image of Adam in which Seth was begotten "included original sin, and the penalty of eternal death inflicted because of the sin of Adam."

                Melanchthon ("Explicatio Symboli Niceni. Corp. Refor.," 23. 403 and 583) says, "Adam and Eve merited guilt and depravity for their descendants."

                "Formula Concordiae," p. 639 and p. 643, Hase ed.—"Especially since by the seduction of Satan, through the fall, by the just judgment of God in the punishment of men, concreated or original                 righteousness was lost . . . and human nature corrupted."

                "Apol. Aug. Confession," p. 58.—"In Genesis the penalty imposed for original sin is described. For there was human nature subjected not only to death and corporeal evils, but also to the reign of the devil. . . . Defect and concupiscence are both penal evils and sins."

                Quenstedt (†1688), "Ques. Theo. Did.," Pol 1., 994.—"It was not simply of the good pleasure or the absolute sovereignty of God, but of the highest justice and equity, that the sin, which Adam as the root and origin of the whole human race committed, should be imputed to us, and propagated in us so as to constitute us guilty."

                Both the Second Helvetic, ch. 8, and the Gallic Confessions, Art. 9, say that Adam, by his own fault ( culpa) became subject to sin, and such as he became after the fall, such are all who were propagated by him, they being subject to sin, death, and various calamities.

                Peter Martyr, Professor at Zurich (1500–1561), as quoted by Turretin (Loco 9., 2, 9, § 43), says, "Assuredly there is no one who can doubt that original sin (inherent) is inflicted upon us in revenge and punishment of the first fall."

                Calvin.—"God by a just judgment condemned us to wrath in Adam, and willed us to be born corrupt on account of his sin."

                Ursinus (1535–1583), friend of Melanchthon, professor at Heidelberg and author of the "Heidelberg Catechism," says (Quest. 7, pp. 40, 41), "original sin" (inherent) "passes over" to their descendants, "not through the body, nor through the soul, but through the impure generation of the whole man, on account of ( propter) the guilt of our first parents, on account of which, God, by a just judgment, while he creates our souls, at the same time deprives them of the original rectitude and gifts which he had conferred upon the parents."

                L. Danæus (1530–1596).—"There are three things which constitute a man guilty before God:1. The sin flowing from this that we have all sinned in the first man. 2. Corruption, which is the punishment of this sin, which fell upon Adam and upon all his posterity. 3. Actual sins."

                Theodore Beza (1519–1605), on Romans 12., etc.—"As Adam, by the commission of sin, first was made guilty of the wrath of God, then, as being guilty, underwent as the punishment of his sin the corruption of soul and body, so also he transmitted to posterity a nature in the first place guilty, next, corrupted."

                J. Arminius, of Leyden (1560–1609).—"Whatever punishment, therefore, was inflicted on our first parents, has gone down through and now rests on all their posterity; so that all are children of wrath by nature, being obnoxious to condemnation . . . and to a destitution of righteousness and true holiness," are destitute of original righteousness, which penalty is usually called a loss of the divine image, and original sin.

                G. J. Vossius, Leyden (1577–1649), "Hist. Pelag.," Lb. 2., 1.—1. "The Catholic Church has always thus decided, that the first sin is imputed to all; that is, that its effects are, according to the just judgment of God, transmitted to all the children of Adam . . . on account whereof we are born without original righteousness."

                Synod of Dort (1618).—"Such as man was after the fall, such children also he begat, . . . by the propagation of a vicious nature, by the just Judgment of God."

                Francis Turretin, Geneva (1623–1687), Locus 9, Q. 9, § 6, 14. Amesius, "Medulla Theolog.," Lib. prim., cap. 17.— "2. This propagation of sin consists in two parts, in imputation and in real communication. 3. By imputation that single act of disobedience which Adam committed is made also ours. 4. By real communication, not indeed the single sin. 5. Original sin, since it essentially consists in deprivation of original righteousness, and this deprivation follows the first sin as a penalty, this has in the first instance the nature of a penalty rather than of a sin. Inasmuch as that original righteousness is denied by the Justice of God, so far forth it is penalty; inasmuch as it ought to be present and is absent by human fault, so far forth it is sin. 6. Therefore this privation is handed down from Adam after the manner of ill–desert in so far as it is penalty, and after the manner of real efficiency in so far as it has adjoined to it the nature of sin."

                H. Witsius (1636–1708), "Economy," Bk. 1., ch. 8, §5 33 and 34.—"It is therefore necessary that the sin of Adam in virtue of the covenant of works, be so laid to the charge of his posterity, who were comprised with him in the same covenant, that, on account of the demerit of his sin, they are born destitute of original righteousness," etc.

                "Formula Consensus Helvetica "(1675), canon 10.—"But there appears no way in which hereditary corruption could fall, as spiritual death, upon the whole human race by the just judgment, of God, unless some sin of that race preceded, incurring the penalty of that death. For God, the supremely just Judge of all the earth, punishes none but the guilty."

                Westminster "Confession and Cat"; "Confession faith," ch. 7., § 2 and ch. 6., § 3; "Larger Catechism," 22 and 25; "Shorter Catechism," 18.

                President Witherspoon, "Works," Vol. 4., p. 96.—"It seems very plain that the state of corruption and wickedness which men are now in, is stated in Scripture as being the effect and punishment of Adam’s first sin."

                See also the truth of this position affirmed by Dr. Tho. Chalmers, "Institutes of Theology," part 1, ch. 6; and by Dr. William Cunningham; "Theology of the Reformation," Essay 7., § 2; Dr. James Thornwell,

                "Collected Writings," Vol. 1., pp. 479, 559, 561, etc.; and a learned article by Prof. Geo. P. Fisher, of New Haven, Theo. Sem., in the "New Englander," July, 1868.

                Thus we have the consensus of Catholic and Protestant, Lutheran and Reformed, of Supralapsarian and Infralapsarian, of Gomar, and Arminius, of the Synod of Dort and the Westminster Assembly, of Scotland and of New England.

                12. Why was this doctrine expressed technically as the imputation of the guilt of Adam’sapostatizing act? and state the meaning of the terms.

                At the Council of Trent Albertus Pighius and Ambrosius Catherinus (F. Paul’s by Hist. Con. Trent, Lib. 2., s., 65) maintained that the imputed guilt of Adam’s first sin constituted the only ground of the condemnation which rests upon men at birth. The Council did not allow this heresy, but nevertheless maintained a rather negative than positive view of man’s inherent guilty corruption. Consequently Calvin and all the first Reformers and Creeds were principally concerned in emphasizing the fact that original sin inherent, as distinguished from original sin imputed, is intrinsically and justly, as moral corruption, worthy of God’s wrath and curse. It is the reason why the salvation of infants is referred to the sovereign grace of God and the expiatory merits of Christ, and it continues in adults the source of all actual sin and the main ground of condemnation to eternal death. Infants and adults suffer, and adults are damned on account of the guilt of inherent sin, but never on account of Adam’s sin imputed.

                But when the question is asked why God, either directly or indirectly, brings us into existence thus corrupt, the whole church answered as above shown, because God has thereby justly punished us forAdam’s apostasy.

                This is technically expressed as the "imputation to us of the guilt of Adam’s act."

                "Guilt" is just liability to punishment. The recognition of guilt is a judicial and not sovereign act of God.

                "Imputation" (the Hebrew Bc'j;; and the Greek logi>zomai frequently occurring and translated "to count," "to reckon," "to impute," etc.) is simply to lay to one’s charge as a just ground of legal procedure, whether the thing imputed antecedently belonged to the person to whom it is charged, or for any other adequate reason he is Justly responsible for it. Thus not to impute sin to the doer of it, is of course graciously to refrain from charging the guilt of his own act or state upon him as a ground of punishment; while to impute righteousness without works is graciously to credit the believer with a righteousness which is not personally his own.—Romans 4:6,8; 2 Corinthians 5:19; see Numbers 30:15; 18:22–27,30; Leviticus 5:17,18; 7:18; 16:22; Romans 2:26; 2 Timothy 4:16, etc.

                The imputation, i.e., judicial charging of Adam’s sin to us, is rather to be considered as contemplating the race as a whole, as one moral body, than as a series of individuals. The race was condemned as a whole, and hence each individual comes into existence in a state of just antenatal forfeiture. Turretin calls it " commune peccatum, communis culpa (common sin, common fault)," 50. 9, Q. 9. This and this alone is what the church has meant by this doctrine. Afterwards in our own persons God condemns us only and most justly because of our inherent moral corruption and our actual transgressions. The imputation of the guilt of Adam’s apostatizing act to us in common leads judicially to spiritual desertion in particular, and spiritual desertion leads by necessary consequence to inherent depravity. The imputation of our sins in common to Christ leads to his desertion (Matthew 27:46), but his temporary desertion leads to no tendency to inherent sin, because he was the God–man. The imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us is the condition of the restoration of the Holy Ghost, and that restoration leads by necessary consequence to regeneration and sanctification. "It is only when justificatio forensis (forum of justification) maintains its Reformation position at the head of the process of salvation, that it has any firm or secure standing at all."—Dr. J. A. Dorner’s "Hist. Prot. Theo.," Vol. 2., p. 160.

                13. What is the origin of the Distinction between the Mediate and the Immediate Imputation ofAdam’s sin, and what has been the usage with respect to those terms among theologians?

                As above shown, from the beginning, the universal Church has agreed in holding that the guilt of Adam’s first sin was directly charged to the account of the human race in mass, just as it was charged to himself.

                Likewise, Adam’s first sin was punished in the race by desertion and consequent depravity, just as it was punished in him. This was uniformly expressed by the technical phrase, the imputation of the guilt of his first sin to his descendants.

                In the first half of the seventeenth century, Joshua Placæus, professor at Saumur, was universally understood to deny any imputation of Adam’s sin to his posterity, and to admit only inherent innate corruption as derived from Adam by natural generation. This was explicitly condemned by the French National Synod at Charenton, 1645; and repudiated by all orthodox theologians, Lutheran and Reformed.

                Placæus subsequently originated the distinction between Immediate and Mediate Imputation. By the former he meant the direct charging of the guilt of Adam’s sin antecedent to their own sinful state. By the latter he meant that we are found guilty with Adam of his apostasy because in virtue of inherent depravity we are apostates also. He denied the former and admitted the latter.

                It is obvious—1st. That this doctrine of mediate imputation alone is virtually the "New England Root Theory," above discussed, which refers the abandoning of the human race to the operation of the natural law of inheritance to the sovereign will, instead of to the just judgment, of God.               

                2nd. It is a denial of the universal doctrine of the Church that Adam’s sin is justly charged to his descendants as to himself, and punished in them by depravity as it was punished in himself. That               imputation was obviously, whatever its ground, purely immediate and antecedent.

                3rd. It is evident that Adam’s sin cannot at the same time be both immediately and mediately imputed to the same effect. It would be absurd to think that mankind are judicially punished with inherent corruption as a just punishment for Adam’s sin, and at the same time counted guilty of Adam’s sin because they are afflicted with that punishment. It is for this reason that so many advocates of the church doctrine of immediate imputation deny that imputation can in any sense be mediate.

                4th. But the penalty of Adam’s sin was "Death;" that is, all penal evils, temporal, and eternal. The strongest advocates of immediate imputation, in order to account for the infliction of innate inherent sin, admit that all the other  elements of the penalty denounced upon Adam come upon us because of our owninherent and actual sins. —See Turretin, 50. 9, Ques. 9, § 14, and "Princeton Essays."

                5th. The immediate imputation of the guilt of Adam’s sin is to the race as a whole, and respects each individual prior to his existence as a judicial cause of his commencing that existence in a depraved condition. When each single man is considered in himself personally and subsequent to birth, all agree that he is condemned with Adam because of a common inherent depravity and life.

                6th. Many found difficulty in conceiving how inherited inherent corruption can be guilt as well as pollution. Their idea was that a sinful state must originate in the free choice of the person concerned, in order to invoke the moral responsibility implied by guilt. Yet all acknowledge that inherent corruption is guilt. Some silently accounted for this on the principle of Edwards, that the essence of the virtue or vice of dispositions of the heart lies not in their cause, but in their nature. Others, however, held that the guilt inherent in innate sin is due to the fact that this sin is connected as an effect with the apostasy of Adam.

                If the question then be, Why the race is under and we are allowed to commence our agency in a depraved condition? all the orthodox answer in terms or in effect, "Because of the most just immediate imputation of Adam’s first sin."

                If the question be, Why are we severally, after birth, judged guilty as well as corrupt, and why are we punished with all the temporal and eternal penal evils denounced upon Adam? many of the orthodox say, "Because of our own inherent sin mediating the full imputation of his sin."

                Andrew Quenstedt, Wittenberg (†1688), "Theo. Did. Pol.," 1., 998.—"The first sin of Adam is imputed to us immediately inasmuch as we exist hitherto in Adam. But the sin of Adam is imputed to us mediately in so for as we are regarded individually and in our own proper persons."

                F. Turretin, Geneva (†1687), Locus 9, Quest. 9, § 14.—"The penalty which sin brings upon us is either privative or positive. The former is the want or privation of original righteousness. The latter is death both temporal and eternal, and in general all evils which are sent upon sinners. . . . With respect to the former we say that the sin of Adam is imputed to us immediately to the effect of the privative penalty, because it is the cause of the privation of original righteousness, and so ought to go before privation, at least in the order of nature; but as to the latter, the positive penalty may be said to be mediately imputed, because we are not obnoxious to that, unless after we are born and corrupt."

                Hence—(1) All in effect admit immediate imputation, and deny mediate imputation alone. (2) Many ignore the distinction, which never emerged till the time of Placaeus. (3) A number, in the senses above shown, assert both.

                14. How is this Doctrine proved by the analogy which Paul (Romans 5:12–21) asserts between ourcondemnation in Adam and our justification in Christ?

                "Therefore as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; EVEN SO by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."

                The analogy here asserted is as to the fact and nature of the imputation in both cases, not at all as to the ground of it.Christ is one with his elect because of the gracious appointment of the Father and his voluntary assumption of their nature. Adam is one with his descendants because he is their natural head, and because of the gracious appointment of God. In these respects the cases differ. But the cases are identical in so far as in view of the oneness in both cases subsisting, we are justly charged with the guilt of Adam’s first sin and punished therefor, and Christ is justly charged with the guilt of our "many offences" and punished therefor, and we are justly credited with the merit of his righteousness and accepted, regenerated, and saved therefor.—See above Question 12.

                If the imputation of Christ’s righteousness is immediate the imputation of Adam’s sin must be the same, though the basis of the one is grace it is no less just. Although the basis of the other be justice, the original constitution from which it originated is no less gracious.

                15. How have orthodox theologians explained the GROUND for this universally assumed judicialcharging of the guilt of Adam’s apostatizing act to his descendants?

                They are generally agreed that the race is justly responsible for the judicial consequences of that act.

                Beyond this the accounts rendered of the latter have been different, and often vague.

                1st.  Augustine conceived of the race as essentially one. As far as Adam is considered as a person his sin was his own, but as far as the entire race in its essential undistributed, unindividualized form of existence was in him, his act was the apostasy of that whole race, and the common nature being both guilty and depraved is justly distributed to each individual in that condition and under that condemnation. The whole race was not personally nor individually, but virtually or potentially, coexistent and coactive in him.—Dr. Philip Schaff in "Lange on Rom.," pp. 191–196; Dr. Geo. P. Fisher, "New Englander," July, 1860. This is a mode of thought which at least presupposes Realism, and language to the same effect became traditional in the church, and has been used in a general sense by many, who were in no degree philosophical realists, when treating of our relation to Adam. Forms of expression originating in this view have lingered among theologians who have explicitly rejected realism, and have definitely substituted for it a different explanation of the facts. The whole race has been considered one organically, and we have been said to have been in Adam as branches in a tree, etc. Such renderings of the matter have continued to late times, and been commingled with others essentially different, as that of representation, etc.It is, however unsatisfactory as an explanation of guilt, in the highest degree orthodox, both because of the number and high authority of the writers who have used it, and because it implies the highest conceivable ground of immediate imputation. The apostatizing act is imputed to us, as it is imputed to Adam, "because we were guilty coagents with him in that act."—Shedd’s "Essays."

                2nd.  The Federal View presupposes the natural relation. Adam stands before God in Eden a free, responsible, fallible moral agent, with an animal body and a generative nature. Without a miracle his children must be carried along with him in his destinies. His own status was and must ever continue according to bare law contingent upon free will. God, therefore, as the benevolent and righteous guardian of the interests of all moral creatures, graciously constituted him the federal head and representative of his race as a whole, and promised him for himself and for all eternal life, or confirmed holiness and happiness, on condition of temporary obedience under favorable conditions, with the penalty for him and for them of death, or condemnation and desertion, on condition of disobedience. This was an act of grace to him, as it substituted a temporal for an eternal probation. It was no less an act of grace for the race, for reasons stated below.

                This "Federal Theology" was developed and introduced in all its fullness of detail and bearings by Coccejus (1602–1669), Prof. at Franecker and Leyden. It was regarded as eminently a Scriptural system, supplanting the prevailing scholasticism, and destroying forever the influence of supralapsarian speculations, and it gradually found acceptance, under appropriate modifications, with Lutherans and Arminians as well as Calvinists.

                Two things however are historically certain—1st. That the idea of a covenant with Adam including his descendants had long before been clearly conceived and prominently advanced. This was done by Catherinus before the "Council of Trent" (Father Paul’s "Hist. Council Trent" pp. 175, 177), and by such men among Protestants as Hyperius (†1567), Olevianus (circum. 1563), and Raphael Eglin (Dorner’s "Hist. Prot. Theo," Vol. 2., pp. 31–45).

                2nd. That the essential ideas of federal representation were long and very generally prevalent among Protestant theologians from the beginning. Dr. Charles P. Krauth says, with respect to Lutheran theology as a whole, "The reasons assigned for the imputation and transmission centre in the representative character of Adam (and Eve). The technicalities of the federal idea are late in appearing, but the essential idea itself comes in from the beginning in our theology." Melanchthon said, "Adam and Eve merited guilt and depravity for their posterity, because integrity had been bestowed on our first parents, that they might preserve them for their entire posterity, and in this trial they represented the whole human race."—"Explicatio Symboli Niceni, Corp. Refor.," 23. 403 and 583.

                Chemnitz (1522–1586), "Loci. Theo.," fol. 213, 214, says, "God deposited those gifts with which he willed to adorn human nature with Adam, on this condition, that if he kept them for himself he should keep them for his posterity; but if he lost them and depraved himself, he should beget children after his own likeness."—Hutter, Wittenberg (1616), Lb. "Chr. Con. Expli.," 90. "Adam represented the whole human race." Thus also James Arminius (†1609) (Disp. 31, Thes. ix); John Owen (1616–1683)

                ("Justification," p. 286), and West "Confession Faith," Ch. 7. § 2, and "Larger Catechism," 22 (1646 and 1647).

                Hence it appears that when theological writers, before to the prevalence of the realistic philosophy, explain our moral oneness with Adam by the uninterpreted general phrases "that we sinned in him being in his loins," or "he being our Root," they are not to be understood as excluding all reference to representation, or to covenant responsibility. The language holds true under either theory, or when both are combined in one notion. And from the interchange of terms it is certain that very often both theories were latent under a common general notion.

                16. What can be fairly proved in support of the Augustinian mode of explaining our moral onenesswith Adam?

                This view explains our moral oneness entirely on the ground of his being the natural head and root of the race, and the consequent physical or organic oneness of the whole race in him.

                It may be fairly argued in behalf of this view— 1st. That if it can be proved that we were "guilty coagents with Adam in his sin," the highest and most satisfactory reason possible is assigned for the righteous immediate imputation of the guilt of that sin to us.

                2nd. The analogy, as far as it goes, of all God’s providential dealings, both general and special, with mankind God’s covenants with Noah, Abraham, and David embrace the children with the parents, and rest upon the natural relations of generator and generated. The constitutions alike of the Jewish and Christian Churches provide that the rights of infants are predetermined by the status of their parents. This is, of course, determined by a gracious covenant, yet that covenant presupposes the more fundamental and general natural relation of generation and education. All human condition and character, aside from any supernatural intervention, is determined by historical conditions. Hugh Miller ("Testimony of the Rocks") says, as a Christian scientist:" "It is a fact broad and palpable as the economy of nature, that . . . lapsed progenitors, when cut off from civilization and all external interference of a missionary character, become founders of a lapsed race. The iniquities of the parents are visited upon their children." "It is one of the inevitable consequences of that nature of man which the Creator, bound fast in fate, while he left free his will, that the free–will of the parent should become the destiny of the child."

                17. What can be fairly argued against the sufficiency of this explanation of the ground of theimmediate imputation of the guilt of Adam’s first sin?

                1st.  Observe (l) that the Jewish and Christian Churches, to whom the second commandment (Exodus 20:5) was given, and the children of Noah, Abraham, and David were embraced under special gracious covenants. (2) Observe that in the cases in which God visits the iniquities of parents upon their children in natural providence, irrespective of any special covenant obligations, God is acting with a most just though sovereign discretion in dealing with rebels already under previous righteous condemnation.

                2nd.  When the Natural Headship of Adam is referred to in general terms, and we are said to have been in him as a "Root," or as "branches in a tree," the notion is unsatisfactory, because (1) Utterly indefinite. (2) Because it is, as far as it goes, material and mechanical, and therefore utterly fails to explain moral responsibility, which is essentially spiritual and personal. (3) Besides this notion at least latently assumes the fallacy that the laws of natural development are either necessary limits of divine agency, or agents independent of him, or independent concauses with him. The truth simply being that the constitution of nature is the creature and instruments of God. (4) This theory assigns no reason, either on the ground of principle or analogy, why only the first sin of Adam, and not all the subsequent sins of all ancestors, is imputed to posterity as the ground of parental forfeiture.

                3rd.  The idea of a non–personal but virtual or potential coexistence and coagency (see Dr. W. G. T. Shedd’s "Essays" and "Hist. Christ. Doc.," and Dr. Philip Schaff’s "Lange. Rom.," pp. 192–194) as the sole basis of just moral responsibility has no support in that testimony of CONSCIOUSNESS, which is our only citadel of defense from materialism, naturalism, and pantheism. Consciousness gives us no      conception of sin but as a state or an act of a free personal agent. Even if impersonal, virtual, potential, moral coagency be a fact, it transcends both consciousness and understanding, and being dark itself can throw no light upon the mysterious facts it is adduced to explain and to Justify.

                4th.  When the attempt is made to expound this theory in the full sense of realistic philosophy the case does not appear to be improved.

                (1) In pure realism humanity is a single, generic, spiritual substance which voluntarily apostatized and corrupted itself in Adam. Human persons are the individual manifestations of this common spirit in connection with separate bodily organizations. But—(a) If we so far leave consciousness behind how can we defend ourselves from pantheism? (b) How are individual spirits justified and sanctified while the general spirit remains corrupt and guilty? (c) How did the Logos become incarnate? (d) How, finally, will part of this spiritual substance be eternally glorified, while another part is eternally damned?

                (2) Dr. Shedd explains that the generic spiritual substance which sinned has since, through the agency of Adam, been distributed and explicated into a series of individuals. But can a spirit be divided and its parts distributed, each part an agent as the whole was from which it was separated? Is not this to confound the attributes of spirit and matter, and to explain spirit as material, and is not SIN preeminently spiritual and personal?

                18. State the reasons which establish the superior satisfactory character of the Federal Theory ofour oneness with Adam?

                1st.  The federal headship of Adam presupposes and rests upon his natural headship. He was our natural head before he was our federal head. He was doubtless made our federal representative because he was our natural progenitor, and was so conditioned that his agency must affect our destinies, and because our very nature was on trial (typically if not essentially) in him. Whatever, therefore, of virtue in this explanation the natural headship of Adam may be supposed to contain the federal theory retains.

                2nd.  The Covenant as shown above was an act of supreme divine grace to Adam himself. It was still more so as it respects his descendants. All God’s moral creatures are introduced into existence in a condition of real, though unstable, moral integrity. This is obviously true of men and angels, and certainly equitable. They must, therefore, pass through a probation either limited or unlimited. Adam was under conditions to stand that graciously limited probation with every conceivable advantage. But, apparently, his descendants could have no fair probation except in his person. "Three plans exhaust the possible. (1) The whole race might have been left under their natural relation to God forever. (2) Each might have been left to stand for himself under a gracious covenant of works. (3) That the race as a whole should stand for a limited period represented in its natural head. The first would have certainly led to universal sin. The second is the one Pelagians suppose actual. The third is incomparably the most advantageous for the whole." Dr. Robert L. Dabney’s "Syllabus." The separate probation of nascent souls in infant bodies was certainly not to be preferred.

                3rd.  God certainly did as a matter of fact condition Adam with a promise of "Life," and the alternative of "Death," upon a special and temporally limited probationary test. The precise penalty threatened upon him, has been in its general sense and special terms (Genesis 2:17 and 3:16–19) inflicted upon all his posterity.

                4th.  This view also is confirmed by the analogy which the Scriptures assert existed between the imputation of Adam’s first sin to us, and the imputation of our sins to Christ, and of his righteousness to us. This, of course, implies necessarily that the race is one with Adam, and the elect one with Christ. And the analogy certainly is the more complete on the federal view of Adam’s union with the race, than on that view which ignores it. Both the Covenant of Grace including the elect, and the Covenant of Works including the race, were gracious. Christ voluntarily assumed his headship out of love. Adam obediently assumed his out of interest and duty. God graciously chose the elect out of love, and graciously included the descendants of Adam in his representation out of benevolence.

                Does not the remaining mystery lose itself in that abyss which is opened by the fact of the permission ofsin, before which all schools of Theists on this side the veil must bow in silence.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Chapter 22: The Covenant of Grace

                All questions concerned with the general subject of Redemption will fall under the heads of—

                1st. The Plan of Redemption, including the Covenant of Grace and eternal Election, considered above, chapter 11.

                2nd. The Person and Work of Christ in the Accomplishment of Redemption.

                3rd. The Application and Consummation of Redemption by the agency of the Holy Ghost, together with the Means of Grace divinely appointed to that end.

                The Covenant of Grace

                It is evident.— 1st. That as God is an infinite, eternal, and immutable intelligence he must have formed, from the beginning, an all–comprehensive and unchangeable Plan of all his works in time, including Creation, Providence, and Redemption.

                2nd. A Plan formed by and intended to be executed in its several reciprocal distributed parts by Three Persons, as Sender, and Sent, as Principal and Mediator, as Executor and Applier, must necessarily possess all the essential attributes of an eternal Covenant between those Persons.

                3rd. Since God in all departments of his moral government treats man as an intelligent, voluntary, and responsible moral agent, it follows that the execution of the eternal Plan of Redemption must be in its general character ethical and not magical, must proceed by the revelation of truth, and the influences of motives, and must be voluntarily appropriated by the subject as an offered grace, and obeyed as an enjoined duty upon pain of reprobation. Hence its application must possess all the essential attributes of a Covenant in time between God and his people.

                1. What is the usage of the word tydiB] in the Hebrew Scriptures?

                This word occurs more than two hundred and eighty times in the Old Testament, and is in our translation in the vast majority of instances represented by the English word "Covenant," in a number of instances by the word "League," Joshua 9:15, etc., and once each by the words "Confederate," Genesis 14:13, and "Confederacy," Obadiah 7.

                It is used to express.—1st. A natural ordinance. "God’s covenant with the day, the night," etc.—Jeremiah 33:20.

                2nd. A covenant of one man with another. Jonathan and David.—1 Samuel 18:3 and ch. 20:David and Abner.—2 Samuel 3:13.

                3rd. The covenant of God with Noah, Genesis 6:18,19, as to his family; and with the human race in him, Genesis 9:9. The bow was "a token of a covenant."—Genesis 9:13.

                4th. The "Covenant of Grace" with Abraham, Genesis 17:2–7, which Paul calls the "gospel," Galatians 3:17. Circumcision was the "token of this covenant."—Genesis 17:11; cf. Acts 7:8.

                5th. The same covenant as formed generally with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.—Exodus 2:24, etc.

                6th. The same covenant, with special and temporary modifications of form, constituting the National–Ecclesiastical Covenant of God with the people of Israel. The law of this Covenant on its legal side was written by Moses first in a book ("the book of the covenant," Exodus 24:7), and then upon tables of stone (" the words of the covenant, the ten commandments," Exodus 34:27,28), which were afterwards deposited in a golden chest, "the ark of the covenant."—Numbers 10:33.

                7th. The covenant with Aaron of an everlasting priesthood. Numbers 25:12,13.

                8th. The covenant with David.—Jeremiah 33:21,22; Psalm 89:3,4.

                2. What is the New Testament usage of the term diaqh>kh ?

                This word occurs thirty–three times in the New Testament, and is almost uniformly translated covenant when it refers to the dealings of God with his ancient church, and testament when it refers to his dealings with his church under the gospel dispensation. Its fundamental sense is that of disposition, arrangement; in the classics generally that specific form of arrangement or disposition called a testament, which sense, however, it properly bears in but one passage in the New Testament, viz., Hebrews 9:16,17. Although it is never used to designate that eternal Covenant of Grace which the father made with the Son as the second Adam, in behalf of his people, yet it always designates either the old or the new dispensation, i.e., mode of administration of that changeless covenant, or some special covenant which Christ has formed with his people in the way of administering the Covenant of Grace, e.g., the covenants with Abraham and with David.

                Thus the disposition made by God with the ancient church through Moses, the Old contrasted in the New Testament with the New diaqh>kh (Galatians 4:24), was really a covenant, both civil and religious, formed between Jehovah and the Israelites, yet alike in its legal element, "which was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made," and in its symbolic and typical element teaching of Christ, it was in a higher view a dispensation, or mode of administration of the Covenant of Grace. So also the present gospel dispensation introduced by Christ assumes the form of a covenant between him and his people, including many gracious promises, suspended on conditions, yet it is evidently in its highest aspect that mode of administering the changeless Covenant of Grace, which is called the "new and better dispensation, in contrast with the comparatively imperfect old and first dispensation" of that same covenant.—See 2 Corinthians 3:14; Hebrews 17:6,8,9,10; 9:15; Galatians 4:24.

                The present dispensation of the Covenant of Grace by our Savior, in one respect, evidently bears a near analogy to a will or testamentary disposition, since it dispenses blessings which could be fully enjoyed only after, and by means of his death. Consequently Paul uses the word diaqh>kh in one single passage, to designate the present dispensation of the Covenant of Grace in this interesting aspect of it.—Hebrews 9:16,17. Yet since the various dispensations of that eternal covenant are always elsewhere in Scripture represented under the form of special administrative covenants, and not under the form of testaments, it is to be regretted that our translators have so frequently rendered this term diaqh>kh, by the specific word testament, instead of the word covenant, or by the more general word dispensation.—See 1 Corinthians 3:6,14; Galatians 3:15; Hebrews 7:22; 12:24; 13:20.

                3. What are the three views as to the parties in the covenant of grace held by Calvinists?

                These differences do not in the least involve the truth of any doctrine taught in the Scriptures, but concern only the form in which that truth may be more or less clearly presented.

                1st.  The first view regards the Covenant of Grace as made by God with elect sinners. God promising to save sinners as such on the condition of faith, they, when converted, promising faith and obedience.

                Christ in this view is not one of the parties to the covenant, but its Mediator in behalf of his elect, and their surety; i.e., he guarantees that all the conditions demanded of them shall be fulfilled by them through his grace.

                2nd.  The second view supposes two covenants, the first, called the Covenant of Redemption, formed from eternity between the Father and the Son as parties. The Son promising to obey and suffer, the Father promising to give him a people and to grant them in him all spiritual blessings and eternal life. The second, called the Covenant of Grace, formed by God with the elect as parties, Christ being mediator and surety in behalf of his people.

                3rd.  As there are two Adams set forth in the Scripture, the one representing the entire race in an economy of nature, and the other representing the whole body of the elect in an economy of grace, it appears more simple to regard as the foundation of all God’s dealings with mankind, of whatever class, only the two great contrasted Covenants of works and of grace. The former made by God at the creation of the world with Adam, as the federal head and representative of all his posterity. Of the promises, conditions, penalty, and issue of that Covenant I have spoken under a former head, see Chapter 17. The latter or Covenant of Grace, formed in the counsels of eternity between the Father and the Son as contracting parties, the Son therein contracting as the Second Adam, representing all his people as their mediator and surety, assuming their place and undertaking all their obligations, under the unsatisfied Covenant of Works, and undertaking to apply to them all the benefits secured by this eternal Covenant of Grace, and to secure the performance upon their part of all those duties which are involved therein. Thus in one aspect this Covenant may be viewed as contracted with the head for the salvation of the members, and in another as contracted with the members in their head and sponsor. For that which is a grace from God is a duty upon our part, as St. Augustine prayed, "Da quod jubes, et jubes quod vis;" and hence results this complex view of the Covenant.

                As embraced under one or other of these two great Covenants of works or of grace, every man in the world stands in God’s sight. It is to be remembered, however, that in the several dispensations, or modes of administration of the eternal Covenant of Grace, Christ has contracted various special covenants with his people, as administrative provisions for carrying out the engagements, and for applying to them the benefits of his covenant with the Father. Thus, the covenant of Jehovah (the Second Person, see above,

                Chapter 9., Question 14) with Noah, the second natural head of the human family, Genesis 9:11,15. The covenant with Abraham, the typical believer, bearing the visible sign and seal of circumcision, and thus founding the visible church as an aggregate of families. This covenant continues to be the charter of the visible church to this day. The sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s supper now attached to it, signifying and sealing the benefits of the Covenant of Grace, to wit, eternal life, faith, repentance, obedience, etc., on God’s part, as matters of promise; on ours as matters of duty, i.e., so far as they are to he performed by ourselves.—Compare Genesis 17:9–13, with Galatians 3:15–17. The national covenant with the Jews, then constituting the visible church, Exodus 34:27. The covenant with David, the type of Christ as Mediatorial King, 2 Samuel 7:15,16; 2 Chronicles 7:18. The universal offers of the gospel during the present dispensation, also, are presented in the form of a covenant. Salvation is offered to all on the condition of faith, but faith is God’s gift secured for and promised to the elect, and when given exercised by them. Every believer, when brought to the knowledge of the truth, enters into a covenant with his Lord, which he renews in all acts of faith and prayer. But these special covenants all and several are provisions for the administration of the eternal Covenant of Grace, and are designed solely to convey the benefits therein secured to those to whom they belong.

                For the statements of our standards upon this subject, compare "Confession of Faith," chapter 7., section 3, with "Larger Catechism," Questions 30–36.

                4. Prove from the Scriptures that a "Covenant of Grace "was actually formed in eternity betweenthe Divine Persons, in which the "Son" represented this elect.

                1st.  As shown at the opening of this chapter such a Covenant is virtually implied in the existence of an eternal plan of salvation mutually formed by and to be executed by three Persons.

                2nd.  That Christ represented his elect in that Covenant is necessarily implied in the doctrine of sovereign personal election to grace and salvation. Christ says of his sheep, "Thine they were, and thou gavest them me," and "Those whom thou gavest me I have kept," etc.—John 17:6,12.

                3rd.  The Scriptures declare the existence of the promise and conditions of such a Covenant, and present them in connection.—Isaiah 53:10,11.

                4th.  The Scriptures expressly affirm the existence of such a Covenant.—Isaiah 13:6; Psalm 89:3.

                5th.  Christ makes constant reference to a previous commission he had received of his Father.—John 10:18; Luke 22:29.

                6th.  Christ claims a reward which had been conditioned upon the fulfillment of that commission.—John 17:4.

                7th.  Christ constantly asserts that his people and his expected glory are given to him as a reward by his Father.— John 17:6,9,24; Philippians 2:6–11.

                5. Who were the parties to this Covenant of Grace; what were its promises or conditions on thepart of the Father; and what its conditions on the part of the Son?

                1st.  The contracting parties were the Father representing the entire Godhead in its indivisible sovereignty; and, on the other hand, God the Son, as Mediator, representing all his elect people, and as administrator of the Covenant, standing their surety for their performance of all those duties which were involved on their part.

                2nd.  The conditions upon the part of the Father were, (1) all needful preparation, Hebrews 10:5; Isaiah 13:1–7; (2) support in his work, Luke 22:43; (3) a glorious reward, first in the exaltation of his theanthropic person "above every name that is named," Philippians 2:6–11, and the universal dominion committed to him as Mediator, John 5:22; Psalm 110:1; and in committing to his hand the administration of all the provisions of the Covenant of Grace in behalf of all his people, Matthew 28:18; John 1:12; 17:2; 7:39; Acts 2:33; and, secondly, in the salvation of all those for whom he acted, including the provisions of regeneration, justification, sanctification, perseverance, and glory—Titus 1:2; Jeremiah 31:33; 32:40; Isaiah 35:10; 53:10,11; Dicks, "Theo. Lect.," Vol. 1., pp. 506–509.

                3rd.  The conditions upon the part of the Son were—(1) That he should become incarnate, made of a woman, made under the law.—Galatians 4:4,5. (2) That he should assume and fully discharge, in behalf of his elect, all violated conditions and incurred liabilities of the covenant of works, Matthew 5:17,18, which he was to accomplish, first, by rendering to the precept of the law a perfect obedience, Psalm 40:8; Isaiah 13:21; John 9:4,5; 8:29; Matthew 19:17; and, secondly, in suffering the full penalty incurred by the sins of his people.—Isaiah 53:; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 5:2.

                6. In what sense is Christ said to be the mediator of the Covenant of Grace?

                Christ is the mediator of the eternal Covenant of Grace because— 1st. As the one mediator between God and man, he contracted it. 2nd. As mediator, he fulfills all its conditions in behalf of his people. 3rd. As mediator he administers it and dispenses all its blessings. 4th. In all this, Christ was not a mere mediatorial internuntius, as Moses is called (Galatians 3:19), but he was mediator (1) plenipotentiary (Matthew 28:18), and (2) as high priest actually effecting reconciliation by sacrifice (Romans 3:25). 5th.

                The phrase mesi>thv diaqh>khv mediator of the covenant, is applied to Christ three times in the New Testament (Hebrews 8:6; 9:15; 12:24); but as in each case the term for covenant is qualified by either the adjective "new" or "better," it evidently here is used to designate not the Covenant of Grace properly, but that new dispensation of that eternal covenant which Christ introduced in person in contrast to the less perfect administration of it which was instrumentally introduced by Moses. In the general administration of the Covenant of Grace, Christ has acted as sacerdotal mediator from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). On the other hand, the first or "old dispensation," or special mode of administering that Covenant visibly among men, was instrumentally, and as to visible form, "ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator,"i.e., Moses (Galatians 3:19). It is precisely in contradistinction to this relation which Moses sustained to the outward revelation of those symbolical and typical institutions, through which the Covenant of Grace was then administered. That the superior excellence of the "new "and "better" dispensation is declared to consist in this, that now Christ the "Son in his own house" visibly discloses himself as the true mediator in the spiritual and personal administration of his covenant.

                Hence he who from the beginning was the "one mediator between God and man" (1 Timothy 2:5) now isrevealed  as in way of eminence, the mediator and surety of that eternal Covenant under the "new" and "better " dispensation of it, since now he is rendered visible in the fullness of his spiritual graces, as the immediate administrator thereof; whereas under the "first" and "old" dispensation he was hidden.—See Sampson’s Commentary on Hebrews. 6th. As Mediator also Christ undertakes to give His people faith and repentance and every grace, and guarantees for them that they shall on their part exercise faith and repentance and every duty.

                7. In what sense is Christ said to be Surety of the covenant of Grace?

                In the only instance in which the term surety is applied to Christ in the New Testament (Hebrews 7:22), "surety of a better testament," the word translated testament evidently is designed to designate the new dispensation of the Covenant of Grace, as contrasted with the old. Paul is contracting the priesthood of Christ with the Levitical. He is priest or surety after a higher order, under a clearer revelation, and a more real and direct administration of grace, than were the typical priests descended from Aaron. Christ is our surety at once as priest and as king. As priest because, as, such, he assumes and discharges all our obligations under the broken covenant of works. As king (the two in him are inseparable, he is always a royal priest), because, as such, he administers the blessings of his covenant to his people, and to this end entering into covenants with them, offering them grace upon the condition of faith and obedience, and then, as their surety, giving them the graces of faith and obedience, that they may fulfill their part.

                8. What general method has characterized Christ’s administration of his covenant under alldispensations?

                The purchased benefits of the covenant are placed in Christ’s hand, to be bestowed upon his people as free and sovereign gifts. From Christ to us they are all gifts, but from us to Christ many of them are duties. Thus, in the administration of the Covenant of Grace, many of these purchased blessings, which are to take effect in our acts, e.g., faith, etc., he demands of us as duties, and promises other benefits as a reward conditioned on our obedience. Thus, so to speak, he rewards grace with grace, and conditions grace, upon grace. Promising faith to his elect, then working faith in them, then rewarding them for its exercise with peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, and eternal life, etc., etc.

                9. What is the Arminian view of the Covenant of Grace?

                They hold, 1st., as to the parties of the Covenant of Grace, that God offers it to all men, and that he actually contracts it with all believers. 2nd. As to its promises, that they include all the temporal and eternal benefits of Christ’s redemption. 3rd. As to its conditions, that God now graciously accepts faith and evangelical obedience for righteousness, in the place of that perfect legal obedience he demanded of man under the Covenant of works, the meritorious work of Christ making it consistent with the principles of divine justice for him so to do. They regard all men as rendered by sufficient grace capable of fulfilling such conditions, if they will.

                10. In what sense can faith be called a condition of salvation?

                Faith is a condition sine qua non of salvation, i.e., no adult man can be saved if he does not believe, and every man that does believe shall be saved. It is, however, a gift of God and the first part or stage of salvation. Viewed on God’s side it is the beginning and index of his saving work in us. Viewed on our side it is our duty, and must be our own act. It is, therefore, as our act, the instrument of our union with Christ, and thus the necessary antecedent, though never the meritorious cause, of the gracious salvation which follows. Faith as the condition is of course living faith, which necessarily brings forth "confession" and obedience.

                11. What are the promises which Christ, as the administrator of the covenant of grace, makes to allthose who believe?

                The promise to Abraham to be a "God to him and to his seed after him" (Genesis 17:7) embraces all others. All things alike, physical and moral, in providence and grace, for time and eternity, are to work together for our good. "All are yours, and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s."—1 Corinthians 3:22,23.

                This gospel covenant is often called the "Covenant of Grace" as distinguished from the "Covenant of Redemption." See above, Q. 3, § 2. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned." Mark 16:16.

                12. Prove that Christ was mediator of men before as well as after his advent in the flesh.

                1st.  As mediator he is both priest and sacrifice, and as such it is affirmed that he is the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," and a "propitiation for the sins that are past." Revelation 3:8; Romans 3:25; Hebrews 9:15.

                2nd.  He was promised to Adam.—Genesis 3:15.

                3rd.  In the 3rd chapter of Galatians Paul proves that the promise made to Abraham (Genesis 17:7; 22:18) is the very same gospel that the apostle himself preached. Thus Abraham became the father of those that believe.

                4th.  Acts 10:43.—"To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name, whosoever believeth on him shall receive remission of sin."—See 53rd chap. of Isaiah ., also chap. 42:6.

                5th.  The ceremonial institutions of Moses were symbolical and typical of Christ’s work; as symbols they signified Christ’s merit and grace to the ancient worshipper for his present salvation, while as types they prophesied the substance which was to come.—Hebrews 10:1–10; Colossians 2:17.

                6th. Christ was the Jehovah of the old dispensation.—See above, Chap. 9., Question 14.

                13. Prove that faith was the condition of salvation before the advent of Christ, in the same sensethat it is now.

                1st.  This is affirmed in the Old Testament.—Habakkuk 2:4; Psalm 2:12.

                2nd.  The New Testament writers illustrate their doctrine of justification by faith by the examples of Old Testament believers.—See Romans 4., and Hebrews 11.

                14. Show that Christ, as administrator of the Covenant of Grace, gave to the members of the OldTestament Church precisely the same promises that he does to us.

                1st.  The promises given to Christ’s ancient people clearly embrace all spiritual and eternal blessings, e.g., the promise given to Abraham, Genesis 17:7, as expounded by Christ, Matthew 22:32, and the promise given to Abraham, Genesis 22:18; 12:3, as expounded by Paul, Galatians 3:16; see also Isaiah 43:25; Ezekiel 36:27; Daniel 12:2,3.

                2nd.  This is plain also from the expectation and prayers of God’s people.— Psalm 51 and Psalm 16; Job 19:24–27; Psalm 73:24–26.

                15. How was the covenant of grace administered from Adam to Abraham?

                1st.  By promise.—Genesis 3:15.

                2nd.  By means of typical sacrifices instituted in the family of Adam.

                3rd.  By means of immediate revelations and appearances of the Jehovah, or divine mediator to his people. Thus "the Lord" is represented throughout the first eleven chapters of Genesis as "speaking" to men. That these promises and sacrifices were then understood in their true spiritual intent is proved by Paul.—Hebrews 11:4–7. And that this administration of the covenant of grace reached many of the people of the earth, during this era, is proved by the history of Job in Arabia, of Abraham in Mesopotamia, and of Melchisedec in Canaan.

                16. How was it administered from Abraham to Moses?

                1st.  The promise given during the preceding period (Genesis 3:15), is now renewed in the form of a more definite covenant, revealing the coming Savior as in the line of Abraham’s posterity through Isaac, and the interest of the whole world in his salvation is more fully set forth.—Genesis 17:7; 22:18. This was the gospel preached beforehand.—Galatians 3:8.

                2nd.  Sacrifices were continued as before.

                3rd.  The church, or company of believers, which existed from the beginning in its individual members, was now formed into a general body as an a gathering of families, by the institution of circumcision, as a visible symbol of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and as a badge of church membership.

                17. What was the true nature of the covenant made by God with the Israelites through Moses?

                It may be regarded in three aspects—

                1st.  As a national and political covenant, whereby, in a political sense, they became his people, under his theocratic government, and in this peculiar sense he became their God. The church and the state were identical. In one aspect the whole system had reference to this relation.

                2nd.  It was in one aspect a legal covenant, because the moral law, obedience to which was the condition of the covenant of works, was prominently set forth, and conformity to this law was made the condition of God’s favor, and of all national blessings. Even the ceremonial system in its merely literal, and apart from its symbolical aspect, was also a rule of works for cursed was he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them.—Deuteronomy 27:26.

                3rd.  But, in the symbolical and typical significance of all the Mosaic institutions, they were a clearer and fuller revelation of the provisions of the Covenant of Grace than had ever before been made. This Paul abundantly proves throughout the Epistle to the Hebrews.—Hodge on Romans.

                18. What are the characteristic differences between the dispensation of the Covenant of Graceunder the law of Moses and after the advent of Christ?

                These differences. of course, relate only to the mode of administration, and not to the matter of the truth revealed, nor of the grace administered. 1st. The truth was then signified by symbols, which, at the same time, were types of the real atonement for sin afterwards to be made. Now the truth is revealed in the plain gospel history. 2nd. That revelation was less full as well as less clear. 3rd. It was so encumbered with ceremonies as to be comparatively a carnal dispensation. The present dispensation is spiritual. 4th. It was confined to one people. The present dispensation, disembarrassed from all national organizations, embraces the whole earth. 5th. The former method of administration was evidently preparatory to the present, which is final.

                For the Calvinistic view of the "Covenant of Grace," see Turretin, "Inst. Theo. Elench.," Loc. 12.; Witsius, "AEcon. of the Covs." For Arminian view see Fletcher’s works and Richard Watson’s "Inst. of Theo."

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Chapter 23: The Person of Christ

                1. How can it be proved that the promised Messiah of the Jewish Scriptures has already come, andthat Jesus Christ is that person?

                We prove that he must have already come by showing that the conditions of time and circumstances, which the prophets declare should mark his advent, are no longer possible. We prove, secondly, that Jesus of Nazareth was that person by showing that every one of those conditions was fulfilled in him.

                2. Prove that Genesis 49:10, refers to the Messiah, and show how it proves that the Messiah musthave already come.

                The original word translated Shiloh, signifies peace, and is applied to the Messiah.—Compare Micah 5:2,5. with Matthew 2:6. Besides, it is only to the Messiah that the gathering of the nations is to be.—See Isaiah 55:5; 60:3; Haggai 2:7. The Jews, moreover, have always understood this passage as referring to the Messiah.

                Up to the time of the birth of Jesus Christ the scepter and the lawgiver did remain with Judah; but seventy years after his birth, at the destruction of Jerusalem, they finally departed. If the advent of the Messiah had not occurred previously this prophecy is false.

                3. Do the same with reference to the prophecy of Daniel 9:24–27.

                This prophecy refers expressly to the Messiah, and to his peculiar and exclusive work. That the seventy weeks here mentioned are to be interpreted weeks of years is certain, 1st., from the fact that it was the Jewish custom so to divide time; 2nd., from the fact that this was precisely the common usage of the prophetical books, see Ezekiel 4:6; Revelation 12:6; 13:5; 3rd. from the fact that the literal application of the language as seventy common weeks is impracticable.

                The prophecy is, that seven weeks of years, or forty–nine years from the end of the captivity, the city would be rebuilt. That sixty–two weeks of years, or four hundred and thirty–four years after the rebuilding of the city, the Messiah should appear, and that during the period of one week of years he should confirm the covenant, and in the midst of the week be cut off.

                There is some doubt as to the precise date from which the calculation ought to commence. The greatest difference, however, is only ten years, and the most probable date causes the prophecy to coincide precisely with the history of Jesus Christ.

                4. What prophecies, relating to the time, place, and circumstances of the birth of the Messiah, have been fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth?

                As to time, it was predicted that he should come before the scepter departed from Judah (Genesis 49:10), at the end of four hundred and ninety years after the going forth of the command to rebuild Jerusalem, and while the second temple was still standing. Haggai 2:9; Malachi 3:1.

                As to place and circumstances, he was to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), of the tribe of Judah, of the family of David. Jeremiah 23:5,6. He was to be born of a virgin, Isaiah 7:14; and to be preceded by a forerunner.—Malachi 3:1. All these met in Jesus Christ, and can never again be fulfilled in another, since the genealogies of tribes and families have been lost.

                5. What remarkable characteristics of the Messiah, as described in the Old Testament, wereverified in our Savior?

                He was to be a king and conqueror of universal empire, Psalm 2:6 and Psalm 14:; Isaiah 9:6,7; and yet despised and rejected, a man of sorrow, a prisoner, pouring forth is soul unto death. Isaiah 53: He was to be a light to lighten the Gentiles, and under his administration the moral condition of the whole earth was to be changed.—Isaiah 42:6; 49:6; 60:l-7. His death was to be vicarious.—Isaiah 53:5,9,12. He was to enter the city riding upon an ass.—Zechariah 9:9. He was to be sold for thirty pieces of silver, and his price purchase a potter’s field. Zechariah 11:12,13. His garments were to be parted by lot.—Psalm 22:18.

                They were to give him vinegar to drink.—Psalm 69:21. The very words he was to utter on the cross are predicted, Psalm 22:1; also that he should be pierced, Zechariah 12:10; and make his grave with the wicked and with the rich, Isaiah 53:9.—See Dr. Alexander’s "Evidences of Christianity."

                6. What peculiar work was the Messiah to accomplish, which has been performed by Christ?

                All his mediatorial offices were predicted in substance. He was to do the work of a prophet (Isaiah 13:6; 60:3), and that of a priest (Isaiah 53:10), to make reconciliation for sin (Daniel 9:24). As king, he was to administer the several dispensations of his kingdom, closing one and introducing another, sealing up the vision and prophecy, causing the sacrifice and oblation to cease (Daniel 9:24), and setting up a kingdom that should never cease (Daniel 2:44)

                7. State the five points involved in the church doctrine as to the Person of Christ.

                1st. Jesus of Nazareth was very God, possessing the divine nature and all its essential attributes. 2nd. He is also true man, his human nature derived by generation from the stock of Adam. 3rd. These natures continue united in his Person, yet ever remain true divinity and true humanity, unmixed and as to essence unchanged. So that Christ possesses at once in the unity of his Person two spirits with all their essential attributes, a human consciousness, mind, heart, and will, and a divine consciousness, mind, feeling, and will. Yet it does not become us to attempt to explain the manner in which the two spirits mutually affect each other, or how far they meet in one consciousness, nor how the two wills cooperate in one activity, in the union of the one person. 4th. Nevertheless they constitute as thus united one single Person, and the attributes of both natures belong to the one Person. 5th. This Personality is not a new one constituted by the union of the two natures in the womb of the Virgin, but it is the eternal and immutable Person of the logov, which in time assumed into itself a nascent human nature, and ever subsequently embraces the human nature with the divine in the Personality which eternally belongs to the latter.

                8. How may it be proved that Christ is really a man?

                He is called man.—1 Timothy 2:5. His most common title is Son of Man, Matthew 13:37, also seed of the woman, Genesis 3:15; the seed of Abraham, Acts 3:25; Son of David, and fruit of his loins, Luke 1:32; made of a woman.—Galatians 4:4. He had a body, ate, drank, slept, and increased in stature, Luke 2:52; and through a life of thirty–three years was recognized by all men as a true man. He died in agony on the cross, was buried, rose, and proved his identity by physical signs.—Luke 24:36–44. He had a reasonable soul, for he increased in wisdom. He exercised the common feelings of our nature, he groaned in spirit and was troubled, he wept.—John 11:33,35. He loved Martha and Mary, and the disciple that Jesus loved leaned upon his bosom.—John 13:23. The absolute divinity of Christ has been proved above, Chapter 9.

                9. How may it be proved that both these natures constituted but one person?

                In many passages both natures are referred to, when it is evident that only one person was intended.—Philippians 2:6–11. In many passages both natures are set forth as united. It is never affirmed that divinity abstractly, or a divine power, was united to, or manifested in a human nature, but of the divine nature concretely, that a divine person was united to a human nature.—Hebrews 2:11–14; 1 Timothy 3:16; Galatians 4:4; Romans 8:3 and 1:3,4; 9:5; John 1:14; 1 John 4:3.

                The union of two natures in one person is also clearly taught by those passages in which the attributes of one nature are predicated of the person, while that person is designated by a title derived from the other nature. Thus human attributes and actions are predicated of Christ in certain passages, while the person of whom these attributes or actions are predicated, is designated by a divine title.—Acts 20:28; Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians 2:8; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:31,32; Colossians 1:13–14.

                On the other hand, in other passages, divine attributes and actions are predicated of Christ, while his person, of whom those attributes are predicated, is designated by a human title. John 3:13; 6:62; Romans 9:5; Revelation 5:12.

                10. What is the general principle upon which those passages are to be explained which designatethe person of Christ from one nature, and predicate attributes to it belonging to the other?

                The person of Christ, constituted of two natures, is one person. He may, therefore, indifferently be designated by divine or human titles, and both divine and human attributes may be truly predicated of him. He is still God when he dies, and still man when he raises his people from their graves.

                Mediatorial actions pertain to both natures. It must he remembered, however, that while the person is one, the natures are distinct, as such. What belongs to either nature is attributed to the one person to which both belong, but what is peculiar to one nature is never attributed to the other. God, i.e., the divine person who is at once God and man, gave his blood for his church, i.e., died as to his human nature (Acts 20:28). But human attributes or actions are never asserted of Christ’s divine nature, nor are divine attributes or actions ever asserted of his human nature.

                11. How have theologians defined the ideas of "nature," a "person" as they are involved in thisdoctrine?

                In the doctrine of the Trinity the difficulty is that one spirit exists as three Persons. In the doctrine of the Incarnation the difficulty is that two spirits exist in union as one Person.

                "Nature" in this connection has been defined by the terms, "essence," "being,""substance."

                "Person" in this connection has been defined as "an individual substance, which is neither part of, nor is sustained by some other thing," or as "an intelligent individual subsistence, per se subsistens." The human nature in Christ never was "per se subsistens," but since it began to be as a germ generated into personal union with the eternal Second Person of the Godhead, so from the beginning " in alterosustentatur."

                12. What were the elects of this personal union upon the Divine nature of Christ?

                His divine nature being eternal and immutable, and, of course, incapable of addition, remained essentially unchanged by this union. The whole immutable divine essence continued to subsist as the eternal Personal Word, now embracing a perfect human nature in the unity of his person, and as the organ of his will. Yet thereby is the relation of the divine nature changed to the whole creation, since he has become Emmanuel, "God with us," "God manifest in the flesh."

                13. What were the effects of that union upon his human nature?

                The human nature, being perfect after its kind, began to exist in union with the divine nature, and as one constituent of the divine Person, and as such it ever continues unmixed and essentially unchanged human nature.

                The effect of this union upon Christ human nature, therefore, was—

                1st.  Exaltation of all human excellencies above the standard of human and of creaturely nature.—John 1:14; 3:34; Isaiah 12:2.

                2nd.  Unparalleled exaltation to dignity and glory, above every name that is named, and a community of honor and worship with the divinity in virtue of its union therewith in the one divine Person.

                3rd.  As in the union of soul and body in the natural person, the soul although absolutely destitute of extension in itself, is in virtue of its union with the body present at once from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot—that is virtually, if not essentially, present in conscious perception and active volition—so through its personal union with the eternal Word is the human nature of Christ, (a) virtually present (although logically in heaven) with his people in the most distant parts of the earth at the same time, sympathizing with each severally as one who has himself also been tempted, (b) rendered practically inexhaustible in all those draughts made upon its energies by the constant exercise of those mediatorial functions which involve both natures.

                Hence the church doctrine concerning the "communicatio idiomatum vel proprietatum " of the two natures of Christ. It is affirmed in the concrete in respect to the person, but denied in the abstract in respect to the natures; it is affirmed utrius naturœ ad personam, but denied utrius naturoe ad naturam.

                14. To what extent is the human nature of Christ included in the worship due to him?

                We must distinguish between the object and the grounds  of worship. There can be no proper ground of worship, except the possession of divine attributes. The object of worship is not the divine excellence in the abstract, but the divine person Of whom that excellence is an attribute. The God–man, consisting of two natures, is to be worshipped in the perfection of his entire person, because only of his divine attributes.

                15. State the analogy presented in the union of two natures in the persons of men.

                1st.  Every human person comprehends two distinct natures, (a) a conscious, self–acting, self–determined spirit absolutely without extension in space, and (b) an extended highly organized body composed of passive matter.

                2nd.  These constitute but one person. The body is part of the person.

                3rd.  These natures remain distinct, the attributes of the spirit never being made common to the material body, nor the attributes of the body to the spirit, but the attributes of both body and spirit are common to the one person. The person is often designated by a title proper to one nature while the predicate is proper to the other nature.

                4th.  The spirit is the person. When the spirit leaves the body the latter is buried as a corpse, while the former goes to judgment. At the resurrection the spirit will resume the corpse into the person.

                5th.  While in union the person possesses and exercises the attributes of both natures. And in virtue of the union the unextended spirit is present virtually wherever the extended body is, and the inert insensible matter of the nerve tissues thrill with feeling and throb with will as organs of the feeling and willing soul.

                16. What is the peculiar view as to the " communicatio idiomatum" introduced into theology by theLutherans? and state the reasons for not accepting it.

                In connection with, and in the process of maintaining, his peculiar view as to the presence of the very substance of Christ’s body and blood in, with, and under the bread and the wine in the Eucharist, Luther and his followers introduced and elaborated a doctrine that, in consequence of the hypostatic union of the divine natures in the one person of Christ, each nature shares in the essential attributes of the other nature.

                When they came to explain the matter more fully, they did not affirm that any distinctive attribute of humanity was shared by the divinity, nor that the human nature shared all the attributes of the divine; they affirmed in detail simply that the humanity shared with the divine in its omniscience, omnipresence, and power of giving life.

                The advocates of this doctrine were divided into two schools:

                1st.  The most extreme and logically consistent, represented by John Brentz and the theologians of Tubingen. These maintained that the every act of incarnation effected, as the essence of the personal union, the participation of each nature in the properties of the other. From his conception in the womb of the Virgin the human nature of Christ was inalienably endowed with all the divine majesty, and all those properties which constitute it. These were necessarily exercised from the first., but not manifested during his earthly life, their exercise being hidden. The facts of Christ’s life during his estate of humiliation are therefore explained by a voluntary Krypsis, or hiding of the divine properties of his humanity.

                2nd.  The other less extreme view was represented by Martin Chemnitz, and the theologians of Giessen.

                They held also, that, by the very act of incarnation the humanity of Christ was endowed with divine perfections. That as to his relation to space, " Logos non extra carnem, et caro non extra Logon." Yet they taught that the exercise of these perfections was not necessary, but subject to the will of the divine person, who causes his human nature to be present wherever and whenever he wills, and who during the period of his humiliation on earth voluntarily emptied (Kenosis) his human nature of its use and exercise of its divine attributes. Prof. A. B. Bruce, D.D., "Humiliation of Christ," Lecture 3.—"The Lutherans held the exaltation of the humanity to meet the divinity, and (while on earth) the Kenosis of the humanity. The Reformed insisted on the reality of the human life of Christ, and the self–emptying (Kenosis) of the divinity to meet the humanity. The Lutherans held the double life of the glorified humanity (the local presence and the illocal omnipresence). The Reformed tendency was to recognize a double life of the Logos— totus extra Jesum, and totus in Jesu."

                We reject the Lutheran view because— 1st. It is not taught in the Bible. It really rests upon their mistaken interpretation of the words of Christ—"This is my body."

                2nd. It is impossible to reconcile it with the phenomena of Christ’s earthly life. It increases the difficulties of the problem it was invented to explain.

                3rd. It virtually destroys the incarnation by assimilating the human nature to the divine in the co–partnership of properties, whereby it is virtually abrogated, and in effect only the divine remains.

                4th. It involves the fallacy of conceiving of properties as separable from the substances of which they are the active powers, and thus is open to the same criticisms as the doctrine of transubstantiation.

                17. How can it be shown that the doctrine of the incarnation is a fundamental doctrine of theGospel?

                1st.  This doctrine, and all the elements thereof; is set forth in the Scriptures with preeminent clearness and prominence.

                2nd.  Its truth is essentially involved in every other doctrine of the entire system of faith; in every mediatorial act of Christ, as prophet, priest and king; in the whole history of his estate of humiliation, and in every aspect of his estate of exaltation; and, above all, in the significance and value of that vicarious sacrifice which is the heart of the gospel. If Christ is not in the same person both God and man, he either could not die, or his death could not avail. If he be not man, his whole history is a myth; if he be not God, to worship him is idolatry, yet not to worship him is to disobey the Father.—John 5:23.

                3rd.  Scripture expressly declares that this doctrine is essential.—1 John 4:2,3.

                18. In what Creeds and by what Councils has this doctrine been most accurately defined?

                1st.  The Creed of the Council of Nice, amended by the Council of Constantinople, and the Athanasian Creed, and the Creed of the Council of Chalcedon, are accurate and authoritative statements of the whole church as to this doctrine. They are all to be found above, Chapter 7.

                2nd.  The decision of the Council of Ephesus, AD. 431, condemning the Nestorians, and affirming the unity of the Person; the decision of the Council of Chalcedon (451) against Eutyches, affirming the distinction of natures; and the decision of the Council of Constantinople (681) against the Monothelites, affirming that Christ’s human nature retains in its unimpaired integrity a separate will as well as intelligence, closed the gradually perfected definition of the church doctrine as to the Person of Christ, and have been accepted by all Protestants.

                19. How may all Heresies on this subject be classified?

                As they seek relief from the impossibility which reason experiences in the effort fully to comprehend the mutual consistency of all the elements of this doctrine (1) in the denial of the divine element, (2) or in the denial of the human element in its reality and integrity, or (3) in the denial of the unity of the person embracing both natures.

                20. What parties have held that Jesus was a mere man?

                In the early church the Ebionites, and the Alogi. At the time of the Reformation the Socinians. In latter times Rationalists and Unitarians. for an account of their history and doctrines, see above, Ch. 6., Question 11, and Question 13, and below, at the close of this chapter.

                21. What parties denied Christ’s true humanity and on what grounds?

                These speculations were all of Gnostic origin. Hence came the conviction that matter was inherently evil, and that innumerable Æons, or great spiritual emanations from the absolute God, mediate between him and the actual world. Pne>umata come from God, but matter is self–existent, and the animal souls of men come from some being less than God. Hence the Docetæ (from doke>w to think, to appear) held that the human nature (body and soul) of Christ was a mere fa>ntasma, or appearance, having no real substantial existence. It was a mere vision or phantom through which the Logos chose to manifest himself to mankind for a time.

                22. State the Apollinarian Heresy.

                Apollinaris, bishop of Laodicea, circum. 370, of general repute for orthodoxy and learning, taught that as man naturally consists of a body, sw~ma, and an animal soul, yuch>, and a rational soul, pne~uma, all comprehended in one person, so in Christ the divine logos takes the place of the human pne~uma, and his one person consists of the divine pne~uma, or reasonable soul, and the human animal soul and body.

                He thus gets rid of the difficulty attending the coexistence of two rational, self–conscious, self–determining spirits in one person, and at the same time destroys the revealed fact that Christ is at once very man and very God. This was condemned by the Council of Constantinople, AD. 381.

                23. What was the Nestorian Heresy?

                This term rather expresses an exaggerated, one–sided tendency of speculation on this subject than a positive definable false doctrine. It is the tendency to so emphasize the distinction of the two complete, unmodified natures in Christ, as to throw into the shade the equally revealed fact of the unity of his Person.

                This tendency was most conspicuous in the writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia, the leader of the Antiochian school, and from him it became the general character of that school. The theology of the Eastern Church of the fourth and fifth centuries was divided between the two great rival schools of Alexandria and Antioch. "In the Alexandrian school, an intuitive mode of thought inclining to the mystical; in the Antiochian, a logical reflective bent of the understanding predominated."—Neander, "Hist.," Torrey’s Trans., Vol. 2., p. 352.

                Nestorius, who had been a monk at Antioch, became patriarch of Constantinople. He disapproved of the phrase, "Mother of God" (qeo>tokov), as applied to the Virgin, maintaining that Mary had given birth to Christ but not to God. Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, opposed him, and both pronounced anathemas against each other. Nestorius supposed, in accordance with the Antiochian mode of thought, that the divine and the human natures of Christ ought to be distinctly separated, and admitted only a suna>feia (junction) of the one and the other, an ejnoi>khsiv (indwelling) of the Deity. Cyril, on the contrary, was led by the tendencies of the Egyptian (Alexandrian) school, to maintain the perfect union of the two natures (fusikh< e[nwsiv). Nestorius, as the representative of his party, was condemned by the Council of Ephesus, AD. 431.—Hagenbach’s "Hist. of Doct.," Vol. 1., § 100.

                24. What was the Eutychian or Monophysite Heresy?

                Eutyches was an abbot at Constantinople, and an extreme disciple of Dioscuros, the successor of Cyril.

                He pressed the opposition to the Nestorians to the length of confounding the two natures of Christ, and hence holding that Christ possessed but one nature, resulting from the union of Divinity with humanity.

                They were styled Monophysites. They were condemned by the Council of Chalcedon (AD. 451), which adopted the statement communicated by Leo the Great, bishop of Rome, to Flavian, patriarch of Constantinople. " Totus in suis, totus in nostris."

                25. What was the doctrine of the Monothelites?

                The Emperor Heraclius attempted to reunite the Monophysites with the orthodox Church by adopting, as a compromise, the decision of the Council of Chalcedon as the coexistence of two distinct natures in the one Person of Christ, with the amendment that there was in consequence of the personal union but one divine–human energy (ejne>rgeia) and but one will in Christ. In opposition to this the sixth Ecumenical Council of Constantinople (AD. 681), with the cooperation of the bishop of Rome, adopted the doctrine of two wills in Christ, and two energies, as the orthodox doctrine, but decided that the human will must always be conceived as subordinate to the divine.—Hagenbach, "Hist. of Doct.," § 104.

                With this decision the definition of this doctrine, as received by the whole church, Greek, Roman, and Protestant, was closed.

                26. What is the modern doctrine of Kenosis?

                The old Socinian doctrine teaches that Jesus, a true man after his ascension, becomes the subject of an apotheosis, whereby he is exalted into a condition and rank between that of God and the universe. The Eutychians taught that the human nature was absorbed by and assimilated to the divine. The Lutherans taught that the human nature was endowed with the properties of the divine. The modern doctrine of Kenosis is that instead of man becoming God, or being personally united to divinity, God literally became man. It is taught with various modifications by Drs. Thomasius, Hofmann, Ebrard, Martensen, and others, and very clearly by Dr. W. F. Gess in a work translated admirably by Dr. J. A. Reubelt, of Indiana.

                The term signifies a voluntary emptying of himself; of his divinity, by the Logos. It is derived from Philippians 2:7, ejauto<n ejke>nwse, "he emptied himself;" and is supported by such declarations as John 1:14. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us."

                I.  The Father alone is from himself. He eternally communicates the fullness of his divine essence and perfections to the Son, thus giving to him to have life in himself. The Son thus eternally flowing from the Father unites with the Father in communicating their fullness to the Spirit, and is himself the life of the world.

                II.  "But the Logos is God; he has life in himself even as the Father; his volition to receive life from the Father is the source of his life; his self–consciousness is his own act. Hence it follows that he can suspend his self–consciousness."

                III.  In condescending to be conceived of the Virgin, the Logos laid aside his self–consciousness, and with it the communication of the Father’s life to the Son, by which the Son has life in himself even as the Father, and hence his omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotent government of the world was suspended.

                IV.  When the substance of the Logos awoke to self–consciousness as the infant Jesus, it was as a true human infant, and he grew and developed in knowledge and powers, as a true man without sin, endowed with preeminent grace and the fullness of the indwelling Spirit of God.

                V.  When glorified the ante–mundane eternal communication of the fullness of divine life from the Father to the Logos recommenced, and though continuing truly human, he is no less truly God. He is again eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. "Thus a man is received into the trinitarian life of the Deity, from and by the glorification of the Son."—"Script. Doc. Pers. Christ. Gess.," by Reubelt.

                This doctrine.—1st. Does violence to the infinite perfections and immutability of the divine nature. 2nd.

                It is not consistent with the Scriptural fact that Christ, while on earth, was real and absolute God. 3rd. It is not consistent with the fact that the humanity of Christ was real humanity generated of the seed of Abraham. 4th. It is confessedly different from the immemorial and universal faith of the Church.

                For a thorough discussion, see Dr. A. B. Bruce’s "Humiliation of Christ."


                The GREEK, ROMAN, and PROTESTANT Churches all agree in accepting the definitions of the Creeds, those of Nice and of Chalcedon and the Athanasian (so called).—See above Chapter 7.

                The LUTHERAN DOCTRINE as to the Relations of the two Natures.

                " Formula Concordiœ, " Pars. 1., Epitome, ch. 8, §§ 11 and 12.— "Therefore not only as God, but also as man, he knows all things, and had power to do all things, is present to all creatures, and has all things which are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, under his feet, and in his hands. ‘All things are given to me in heaven and On earth’ and ‘he ascended above all heavens, and fills all things.’ Being everywhere present, he is able to exercise this his power, neither is anything to him either impossible or unknown. Hence, moreover, and most easily, is he being present, able to distribute his true body and blood in the sacred Supper. But this is done not according to the mode and property of human nature, but according to the mode and property of the right hand of God. . . . And this presence of Christ in the sacred Supper is neither physical nor earthly, nor capernaitish (see John 6:52–59), nevertheless, it is most true and substantial."

                Pars. 2 ("Solida Declaratio "), ch. 8, § 4.—"For that communion of natures, and of properties, is not the result of an essential, or natural effusion of the properties of the divine nature upon the human:as if the humanity of Christ had them subsisting independently and separate from divinity, or as, if by that communion, the human nature of Christ had laid aside its natural properties, and was either converted into the divine nature, or was made equal in itself, and per se to the divine nature by those properties thus communicated, or that the natural properties and operations were identical or even equal. For these and like errors have justly been rejected, etc."

                Luther says, "Where you put God, there you must put the humanity (of Christ), they cannot be sundered or riven; it is one person, and the humanity is more closely united with God than is our skin with our flesh, yea, more intimately than body with soul."


                "Confessio Helvetica Posterior," ch. 11—"We acknowledge, therefore, that in one and the same Lord Jesus Christ, there are two natures, and we say that these are so conjoined and united that they are not absorbed, nor confused nor mixed; but are rather united and conjoined in one person, being preserved with their permanent properties; so that we worship one Lord the Christ, and not two; one we say, true God and man according to his divine nature consubstantial with the Father, and according to his human nature consubstantial with us men, and in all things like us, sin excepted. Therefore, as we abominate the Nestorian dogma making two out of one Christ, and dissolving the union of the Person so, also, we heartily execrate the madness of Eutyches and of the Monophysites and the Monothelites, expunging the property of the human nature. Therefore, we in no wise teach that the divine nature in Christ suffered, or that Christ according to his human nature has hitherto been in this world, and so is everywhere. "

                " West. Conf. ," Ch. 8, § 2.—"The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance, and equal with the Father, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon him man’s nature, and all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin: being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God and very man, yet one Christ, the only mediator between God and man."

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Chapter 24: Mediatorial Office of Christ

                1. What are the different senses of the word Mediator, and in which of these senses is it used whenapplied to Christ?

                1st.  In the sense of internuntius or messenger, to explain the will and to perform the commands of one or both the contracting parties, e.g., Moses, Galatians 3:19.

                2nd.  In the sense of simple advocate or intercessor, pleading the cause of the offending in the presence of the offended party.

                3rd.  In the sense of efficient peace–maker. Christ, as Mediator, 1st., has all power and judgment committed to his hands, Matthew 28:18, and 9:6; John 5:22,25,26,27; and, 2nd., he efficiently makes reconciliation between God and man by an all–satisfactory expiation and meritorious obedience.

                2. Why was it necessary that the Mediator should be possessed both of a divine and human nature?

                1st.  It was clearly necessary that the Mediator should be God.(1) That he might be independent, and not the mere creature of either party, or otherwise he could not be the efficient maker of peace. (2) That he might reveal God and his salvation to men, "for no man knoweth the Father save the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him."—Matthew 11:27; John 1:18. (3) That being, as to person, above all law, and as to dignity of nature, infinite, he might render to the law in behalf of his people a free obedience, which he did not otherwise owe for himself, and that his obedience and suffering might possess an infinite value. (4) That be might possess the infinite wisdom, knowledge, and power requisite to administer the infinite realms of providence and grace, which are committed to his hands as mediatorial prince.

                2nd.  It is clearly necessary that he should be man. (1) That he might truly represent man as the second Adam. (2) That he might be made under the law, in order to render obedience, suffering, and temptation possible.—Galatians 4:4,5; Luke 4:1–13 (3) "In all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest." Hebrews 2:17,18, and 4:15,16. (4) That in his glorified humanity he might be the head of the glorified church, the example and pattern to whom his people are "predestined to be conformed, that he might be the first–born among many brethren."—Romans 8:29.

                3. What diversity of opinion exists as to whether Christ acts as Mediator in one or both natures?

                The Romanists hold that Christ was Mediator only in his human nature, arguing that it is impossible that God could mediate between man and himself. The very opposite has been maintained, viz., that Christ was Mediator only in his divine nature. The doctrine of the Bible is, that Christ was Mediator as the God–man, in both natures.

                4. How may the acts of Christ be classified with reference to his two natures?

                Theologians have properly distinguished (vide Turretin, in loco) between the person who acts and the nature or inward energy whereby he acts.

                Thus we affirm of the one man, that he thinks and that he walks. The same person performs these two classes of action so radically distinct, in virtue of the two natures embraced in his single person. So the single person of the God–man performs all actions involving the attributes of a divine nature in virtue of his divine nature, and all actions involving the attributes of a human nature in virtue of his human nature.

                5. How can it be proved that he was Mediator, and acted as such both in his divine and humannatures?

                1st.  From the fact that the discharge of each of the three great functions of the mediatorial office, the prophetical, priestly, and kingly, involves the attributes of both natures, as has been fully proved under Question 2.

                2nd.  From the fact that the Bible attributes all his acts as Mediator to the one person, viewed as embracing both natures. The person is often designated by a term derived from the attributes of one nature, while the mediatorial action attributed to that person is plainly performed in virtue of the other nature embraced within it.—See Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 2:8; Hebrews 9:14.

                3rd. From the fact that he was Mediator from the foundation of the earth (see Chapter 22., Question 11), it is clear that he was not Mediator in his human nature alone; and from the fact that the Eternal Word became incarnate, in order to prepare himself for the full discharge of his mediatorial work (Hebrews 2:17,18), it is equally plain that he was not Mediator in his divine nature alone.

                6. In what sense do the Romanists regard saints and angels as mediators?

                They do not attribute either to saints or angels the work of propitiation proper. Yet they hold that the merits of the saint are the ground and measure of the efficiency of his intercession, as in the case of Christ.

                7. To what extent do they ascribe a mediatorial character to their priests?

                The Protestant holds that the church is composed of a company of men united to one another in virtue of the immediate union of each with Christ the head. The Romanist holds, on the contrary, that each individual member is united immediately to the church, and through the church to Christ. Their priests, therefore, of the true apostolic succession, subject to apostolic bishops, being the only authorized dispensers of the sacraments, and through them of Christ’s grace, are mediators—

                1st.  Between the individual and Christ, the necessary link of union with him.

                2nd.  In their offering the sacrifice of the Mass, and making therein a true propitiation for the venial sins of the people. Christ’s great sacrifice having atoned for original sin, and laid the foundation for the propitiatory virtue which belongs to the Mass.

                3rd.  In their being eminent intercessors.

                8. How can it be proved that Christ is our only Mediator in the proper sense of the term?

                1st.  Direct testimony of Scripture.—1 Timothy 2:5.

                2nd.  Because the Scriptures show forth Christ as fulfilling in our behalf every mediatorial function that is necessary, alike propitiation and advocacy, 1 John 2:1; on earth and in heaven, —Hebrews 9:12,24, and 7:25.

                3rd.  Because in virtue of the infinite dignity of his person and perfection of his nature, all these functions were discharged by him exhaustively.—Hebrews 10:14; Colossians 2:10.

                4th.  Because there is "complete" salvation in him, and no salvation in any other, and no man can come to the Father except through him.—John 14:6; Acts 4:12.

                5th.  There is no room for any mediator between the indi– vidual and Christ—(l) because he is our "brother" and sympathizing high priest, who invites every man immediately to himself, Matthew 11:28; (2) because the work of drawing men to Christ belongs to the Holy Ghost.—John 6:44, and 16:14.

                9. What relation do the Scriptures represent the Holy Ghost as sustaining to the mediatorial workof Christ?

                1st.  Begetting and replenishing his human nature.—Luke 1:35; 2:40; John 3:34; Psalm 45:7.

                2nd.  All Christ’s mediatorial functions were fulfilled in the Spirit; his prophetical teachings, his priestly sacrifice, and his kingly administrations. The Spirit descended upon him at his baptism, Luke 3:22; and led him into the wilderness to be tempted, Matthew 4:1; he returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, Luke 4:14; through the eternal Spirit he offered himself without spot to God.—Hebrews 9:14.

                3rd.  The dispensation of the Spirit, as "the Spirit of truth,""the Sanctifier," and "the Comforter," vests in Christ as Mediator, as part of the condition of the covenant of grace.—John 15:26, and 16:7; and 7:39; Acts 2:33.

                4th.  The Holy Spirit thus dispensed by Christ as Mediator acts for him,  and leads to him in teaching, quickening, sanctifying, preserving, and acting all grace in his people. As Christ when on earth led only to the Father, so the Holy Ghost now leads only to Christ.—John 15:26, and 6:13,14; Acts 5:32; 1 Corinthians 12:3.

                5th.  While Christ as Mediator is said to be our "para>klhtov,""advocate," with the Father (1 John 2:1), the Holy Ghost is said to be our "para>klhtov,""advocate," translated "Comforter"on earth, to abide with us forever, to teach us the things of Christ, and to hold a controversy with the world.—John 14:16,26, and 15:26, and 16:7–9.

                6th.  While Christ is said to be our Mediator to make inter– cession for us in heaven, Hebrews 7:25; Romans 8:34, the Holy Ghost, by forming thoughts and desires within us according to the will of God, is said to make intercession for us with unutterable groanings.—Romans 8:26,27.

                7th.  The sum of the whole is, "We have introduction to the Father through the Son by the Spirit."—Ephesians 2:18.

                10. On what ground are the threefold offices of prophet, priest, and king applied to Christ?

                1st.  Because these three functions are all equally necessary, and together exhaust the whole mediatorial work.

                2nd.  Because the Bible ascribes all of these functions to Christ. Prophetical, Deuteronomy 18:15,18; compare Acts 3:22, and 7:37; Hebrews 1:2; priestly, Psalm 110:4, and the whole Epistle to the Hebrews; kingly, Acts 5:31; 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14.

                It is always to be remembered that these are not three offices, but three functions of the one indivisible office of mediator. These functions are abstractly most distinguishable, but in the concrete and in their exercise they qualify one another in every act. Thus, when he teaches, he is essentially a royal and priestly teacher, and when he rules he is a priestly and prophetical king, and when he either atones or intercedes he is a prophetical and kingly priest.

                These were first grouped together as belonging to Christ by Eusebius (261–340), Bk. I, ch 3.—"So that all these have a reference to the true Christ, the divine and heavenly Word, the only high priest of all men, the only king of all creation, and the father’s only supreme Prophet of prophets."

                11. What is the Scriptural sense of the word prophet?

                Its general sense is one who speaks for another with authority as interpreter. Thus Moses was prophet for his brother Aaron.—Exodus 7:1.

                A prophet of God is one qualified and authorized to speak for God to men. Foretelling future events is only incidental.

                12. How does Christ execute the office of a prophet?

                I.  Immediately in his own person, as when (1) on earth with his disciples, and (2) the light of the new Jerusalem in the midst of the throne.—Revelation 21:23.

                II.  Mediately, 1st., through his Spirit, (1) by inspiration, (2) by spiritual illumination. 2nd. Through the officers of his church, (1) those inspired as apostles and prophets, and (2) those naturally endowed, as the stated ministry.—Ephesians 4:11.

                III.  Both externally, as through his word and works addressed to the understanding, and,

                IV.  Internally, by the spiritual illumination of the heart.—1 John 2:20, and 5:20.

                V.  In three grand successive stages of development. (a) Before his incarnation; (b) since his incarnation; (c) throughout eternity in glory.—Revelation 7:17, and 21:23.

                13. How can it be proved that he acted as such before his incarnation?

                1st.  His divine title of Logos, "Word," as by nature as well as office the eternal Revealer.

                2nd. It has been before proved (Chap. 22., Question 11, and Chap. 9., Question 14) that he was the Jehovah of the Old Testament economy. Called Counselor.—Isaiah 9:6. Angel of the Covenant.—Malachi 3:1. Interpreter.—Job 33:23.

                3rd.  The fact is directly affirmed in the New Testament.—1 Peter 1:11.

                14. What is essential to the priestly office, or what is a priest in the Scriptural sense of that term?

                As the general idea of a prophet is, one qualified and authorized to speak for God to men, so the general idea of a priest is, one qualified and authorized to treat in behalf of men with God.

                A priest, therefore, must—

                1st.  Be taken from among men to represent them.—Hebrews 5:1,2; Exodus 28:9,12,21,29.

                2nd.  Chosen by God as his special election and property.— Numbers 16:5; Hebrews 5:4.

                3rd.  Holy, morally pure and consecrated to the Lord.—Leviticus 21:6,8; Psalm 106:16; Exodus 39:30,31.

                4th.  They have a right to draw near to Jehovah, and to bring near, or offer sacrifice, and to make intercession.—Numbers 16:5; Exodus 19:22; Leviticus 16:3,7,12,15.

                The priest, therefore, was essentially a mediator, admitted from among men to stand before God, for the purpose, 1st., of propitiation by sacrifice, Hebrews 5:1,2,3; and, 2nd., of intercession, Luke 1:10; Exodus 30:8; Revelation 5:8, and 8:3,4. Taken from Fairbairn’s "Typology," Vol. 2., Part 3., Chap. 3.

                15. Prove from the Old Testament that Christ was truly a priest.

                1st.  It is expressly declared.—Compare Psalm 110:4, with Hebrews 5:1, 6:20; Zechariah 6:13.

                2nd.  Priestly functions are ascribed to him.—Isaiah 53:10,12; Daniel 9:24,25.

                3rd.  The whole meaning and virtue of the temple, of its services, and of the Levitical priesthood, lay in the fact that they were all typical of Christ and his work as priest. This Paul clearly proves in the Epistle to the Hebrews.

                16. Show from the New Testament that all the requisites of a priest were found in him.

                1st.  Christ was a man taken from among men to represent them before God.—Hebrews 2:16, and 4:15.

                2nd.  He was chosen by God.—Hebrews 5:5,6.

                3rd.  He was perfectly holy.—Luke 1:35; Hebrews 7:26.

                4th.  He had the right of the nearest access, and the greatest influence with the Father.—John 16:28, and 11:42; Hebrews 1:3, and 9:11,12,13,14,24.

                17. Show that he actually performed all the duties of the office.

                The duty of the priest is to mediate by (1) propitiation, (2) intercession.

                1st.  He mediated in the general sense of the word.—John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 8:6, and 12:24.

                2nd.  He offered propitiation.—Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9:26, and 10:12; 1 John 2:2.

                3rd.  He offered intercession.—Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1.

                That this propitiatory work of Christ was real, and not metaphorical, is evident from the fact that it superseded the temple services, which were only typical of it. A type and shadow necessarily presupposes a. literal substance.—Hebrews 9:10–12, and 10:1; Colossians 2:17.

                18. What part of his priestly work did Christ execute on earth, and what part in heaven?

                On earth he rendered obedience, propitiation, intercession. Hebrews 5:7–9, and 9:26,28; Romans 5:19.

                In heaven he has presented his sacrifice in the most holy place, and ever liveth to make intercession for us.—Hebrews 7:24,25, and 9:12,24.

                19. In what respects did the priesthood of Christ excel the Aaronic?

                1st.  In the dignity of his person. They were mere men. He was the eternal Son. They were sinners who had first to make atonement for their own sin, and afterwards for the sin of the people. He was holy, harmless and undefiled.—Hebrews 7:26,27. He was perfect man, and yet his access to God was infinitely nearer than that of any other being.—John 10:30; Zechariah 13:7.

                2nd.  In the infinite value of his sacrifice. Theirs could not cleanse from sin, Hebrews 10:4, and were repeated continually.—Hebrews 10:1–3. His sacrifice was perfectly efficacious, and once for all.—Hebrews 10:10–14. Thus theirs were only the shadow of his.—Hebrews 10:1.

                3rd.  In the manner of their consecration. They without, he with an oath.—Hebrews 7:20–22.

                4th.  They, being many, succeeded each other by generation. He continueth forever.—Hebrews 7:24.

                5th.  Christ’s priesthood is connected with a "greater and more perfect tabernacle," earth the outer court, heaven the true sanctuary.—Hebrews 9:11–24.

                6th.  Christ’s intercession is offered from a throne.—Romans 8:34, and Hebrews 8:1,2.

                7th.  While several of the Old Testament servants of God were at once both prophet and king, as David; and others both prophet and priest, as Ezra; Christ alone, and that in divine perfection, was at once prophet, priest, and king. Thus his divine, prophetical, and kingly perfections qualified and enhanced the transcendent virtue of every priestly act.—Zechariah 6:13.

                20. In what sense was Christ a priest after the order of Melchizedek?

                The Aaronic priesthood was typical of Christ, but in two principal respects it failed in representing the great antitype.

                1st.  It consisted of succeeding generations of mortal men.

                2nd.  It consisted of priests not royal.

                The Holy Ghost, on the other hand, suddenly brings Melchizedek before us in the patriarchal history, a royal priest, with the significant names "King of Righteousness "and "King of Peace," Genesis 14:18–20, and as suddenly withdraws him. Whence he comes and whither he goes we know not. As a private man he had an unwritten history, like others. But as a royal priest he ever remains without father, without mother, without origin, succession, or end; and therefore, as Paul says, Hebrews 7:3, made beforehand of God, an exact type of the eternity of the priesthood of Christ, Psalm 110:4. The prophecy was, "Thou shalt be a priest forever," or an eternal priest "after the order of Melchizedec."

                The similitude of this type, therefore, included two things: 1st., an everlasting priesthood; 2nd., the union of the kingly and priestly functions in one person.—Fairbairn’s "Typology," Vol. 2., Part 3., Chap. 3.

                21. How can it be proved that the Christian ministry is not a priesthood?

                1st.  Human priests were ever possible only as types, but types are possible only before the revelation of the antitype. The purpose of the Aaronic priesthood was fulfilled in Christ, and therefore the institution was forever abolished by Christ. Hebrews 10:1,9,18.

                2nd.  Christ exhaustively discharges all the duties and purposes of the priestly office, so that any human priest (so–called) is an antichrist.—Hebrews 10:14; Colossians 2:10.

                3rd.  There can be no need of any priest to open the way for us to Christ. Because, while the Scriptures teach us that we can only go to God by Christ, John 14:6, they teach us no less emphatically that we must come immediately to Christ, Matthew 11:28; John 5:40, and 7:37; Revelation 3:20, and 22:17.

                4th.  No priestly function is ever attributed to any New Testament officer, inspired or uninspired, extraordinary or ordinary. The whole duty of all these officers of every kind is comprised in the functions of teaching and ruling.—1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11,12; 1 Timothy 3:1–13; 1 Peter 5:2.

                5th.  They are constantly called by different designations, expressive of an entirely different class of functions, as "messengers, watchmen, heralds of salvation, teachers, rulers, overseers, shepherds, and elders."—See "Bib. Repertory," Jan., 1845.

                22. In what sense are all believers priests?

                Although there cannot be in the Christian church any class of priests standing between their brethren and Christ, yet in consequence of the union, both federal and vital, which every Christian sustains to Christ, which involves fellowship with him in all of his human graces, and in all of his mediatorial functions and prerogatives, every believer has part in the priesthood of his head in such a sense that he has immediate access to God through Christ, even into the holiest of all, Hebrews 10:19–22; and that being sanctified and spiritually qualified, he may there offer up, as a "holy priest," a "royal priest," spiritual sacrifices, not expiatory, but the oblation of praise, supplication, and thanksgiving, through Jesus Christ, and             intercession for living friends, Hebrews 13:15; 1 Timothy 2:1,2; 1 Peter 2:5,9.

                They are by equal reason also prophets and kings in fellowship with Christ.—1 John 2:20; John 16:13; Revelation 1:6, and 5:10.


                Catholic Doctrine of the Christian Priesthood.—" Council of Trent." Sess. 23, ch. 1.—"Sacrifice and priesthood are, by the ordinance of God, in such wise conjoined, as that both have existed in every law.

                Whereas, therefore, in the New Testament, the Catholic Church has received, from the institution of Christ, the holy visible sacrifice of the Eucharist, it must needs also be confessed, that there is, in that church, a new, visible, and external priesthood, into which the old has been translated. And the sacred Scriptures show, and the traditions of the Catholic Church have always taught, that this priesthood was instituted by the same Lord our Savior, and that to the apostles, and their successors in the priesthood, was the power delivered of consecrating, offering, and administering his body and blood, as also of forgiving and of retaining sins."

                Protestant Doctrine.—" Confession Helv.," 2. cap. 18.—"The priestly office and the ministerial office differ exceedingly from each other. The former is common to all Christians, the latter is not. . . . In the New Testament of Christ there is no more such a priesthood as that which existed among the ancient people, which had an external unction sacred vestments, and numerous ceremonies, which were types of Christ, who by coming and fulfilling them has abrogated all these things. But he remains eternally the only priest, and lest we should derogate aught from him, we give the name of priest to none of the class of ministers. For our Lord himself has not ordained in the church of the New Testament any priests to offer daily the sacrifice of his body and blood but only ministers to preach and to administer the sacraments."

                Socinian Doctrine as to the Mediatorial Offices of Christ.—The Racovian Catechism teaches that Christ is both Prophet, Priest, and King. But it occupies one hundred and eighty pages (Section 5.) in discussing his Prophetical office, and only eleven pages (Section 6.) in discussing his Priestly, and nine pages (Section 7.) his Kingly office. His death and the manner in which it contributes to our salvation is discussed (See. 5. ch. 8.) under the head of his Prophetical office, while his