by Augustus Hopkins Strong
I. MAN A CREATION OF GOD AND A CHILD OF GOD
The fact of man's creation is declared in Gen. 1:27—"And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him"; 2:7—"And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
(a) The Scriptures, on the one hand, negative the idea that man is the mere product of unreasoning natural forces. They refer his existence to a cause different from mere nature, namely, the creative act of God.
Compare Hebrews 12:9—"the Father of spirits"; Num. 16:22—"the God of the spirits of all flesh"; 27:16—"Jehovah, the God of the spirits of all flesh"; Rev. 22:6—"the God of the spirits of the prophets." Bruce, The Providential Order, 25—"Faith in God may remain intact, though we concede that man in all his characteristics, physical and psychical, is no exception to the universal law of growth, no breach in the continuity of the evolutionary process." By "mere nature" we mean nature apart from God. Our previous treatment of the doctrine of creation in general has shown that the laws of nature are only the regular methods of God, and that the conception of a nature apart from God is an irrational one. If the evolution of the lower creation cannot be explained without taking into account the originating agency of God, much less can the coming into being of man, the crown of all created things. Hudson, Divine Pedigree of Man: "Spirit in manis linked with, because derived from, God, who is spirit."
(b) But, on the other hand, the Scriptures do not disclose the method of man's creation. Whether man's physical system is or is not derived, by natural descent, from the lower animals, the record of creation does not inform us. As the command "Let the earth bring forth living creatures" (Gen. 1:24) does not exclude the idea of mediate creation, through natural generation, so the forming of man "of the dust of the ground" (Gen. 2:7) does not in itself determine whether the creation of man's body was mediate or immediate.
We may believe that man sustained to the highest preceding brute the same relation which the multiplied bread and fish sustained to the five loaves and two fishes (Mat. 14:19), or which the wine sustained to the water which was transformed at Cana (John 2:7–10), or which the multiplied oil sustained to the original oil in the O. T. miracle (2 K 4:1–7). The "dust," before the breathing of the spirit into it, may have been animated dust. Natural means may have been used, so far as they would go. Sterrett, Reason an Authority in Religion, 39—"Our heredity is from God, even though it be from lower forms of life, and our goal is also God, even though it be through imperfect manhood."
Evolution does not make the idea of a Creator superfluous, because evolution is only the method of God. It is perfectly consistent with a Scriptural doctrine of Creation that man should emerge at the proper time, governed by different laws from the brute creation yet growing out of the brute, just as the foundation of a house built of stone is perfectly consistent with the wooden structure built upon it. All depends upon the plan. An atheistic and undesigning evolution cannot include man without excluding what Christianity regards as essential to man; see Griffith-Jones, Ascent through Christ, 43–73. But a theistic evolution can recognize the whole process of man's creation as equally the work of nature and the work of God.
Schurman, Agnosticism and Religion, 42—"You are not what you have come from, but what you have become." Huxley said of the brutes: "Whether from them or not, man is assuredly not of them." Pfleiderer, Philos. Religion, 1:289—"The religious dignity of man rests after all upon what he is, not upon the mode and manner in which he has become what he is." Because he came from a beast, it does not follow that he is a beast. Nor does the fact that man's existence can be traced back to a brute ancestry furnish any proper reason why the brute should become man. Here is a teleology which requires a divine Creatorship.
J. M. Bronson: "The theist must accept evolution if he would keep his argument for the existence of God from the unity of design in nature. Unless man is an end, he is an anomaly. The greatest argument for God is the fact that all animate nature is one vast and connected unity. Man has developed not from the ape, but away from the ape. He was never anything but potential man. He did not, as man, come into being until he became a conscious moral agent." This conscious moral nature, which we call personality, requires a divine Author, because it surpasses all the powers which can be found in the animal creation. Romanes, Mental Evolution in Animals, tells us that: 1. Mollusca learn by experience; 2. Insects and spiders recognize offspring; 3. Fishes make mental association of objects by their similarity; 4. Reptiles recognize persons; 5. Hymenoptera, as bees and ants, communicate ideas; 6. Birds recognize pictorial representations and understand words; 7. Rodents, as rats and foxes, understand mechanisms; 8. Monkeys and elephants learn to use tools; 9. Anthropoid apes and dogs have indefinite morality.
But it is definite and not indefinite morality which differences man from the brute. Drummond, in his Ascent of Man, concedes that man passed through a period when he resembled the ape more than any known animal, but at the same time declares that no anthropoid ape could develop into a man. The brute can be defined in terms of man, but man cannot be defined in terms of the brute. It is significant that in insanity the higher endowments of man disappear in an order precisely the reverse of that in which, according to the development theory, they have been acquired. The highest part of man totters first. The last added is first to suffer. Man moreover can transmit his own acquisitions to his posterity, as the brute cannot. Weismann, Heredity, 2:69—"The evolution of music does not depend upon any increase of the musical faculty or any alteration in the inherent physical nature of man, but solely upon the power of transmitting the intellectual achievements of each generation to those which follow. This, more than anything, is the cause of the superiority of men over animals—this, and not merely human faculty, although it may be admitted that this latter is much higher than in animals." To this utterance of Weismann we would add that human progress depends quite as much upon man's power of reception as upon man's power of transmission. Interpretation must equal expression; and, in this interpretation of the past, man has a guarantee of the future which the brute does not possess.
(c) Psychology, however, comes in to help our interpretation of Scripture. The radical differences between man's soul and the principle of intelligence in the lower animals, especially man's possession of self-consciousness, general ideas, the moral sense, and the power of self-determination, show that that which chiefly constitutes him man could not have been derived, by any natural process of development, from the inferior creatures. We are compelled, then, to believe that God's "breathing into man's nostrils the breath of life" (Gen. 2:7), though it was a mediate creation as presupposing existing material in the shape of animal forms, was yet an immediate creation in the sense that only a divine reinforcement of the process of life turned the animal into man. In other words, man came not from the brute, but through the brute, and the same immanent God who had previously created the brute created also the man.
Tennyson, In Memoriam, XLV—"The baby new to earth and sky, what time his tender palm is pressed Against the circle of the breast, Has never thought that 'this is I': But as he grows he gathers much, And learns the use of 'I' and 'me,' And finds 'I am not what I see, And other than the things I touch.' So rounds he to a separate mind From whence clear memory may begin, As thro' the frame that binds him in His isolation grows defined." Fichte called that the birthday of his child, when the child awoke to self-consciousness and said "I." Memory goes back no further than language. Knowledge of the ego is objective, before it is subjective. The child at first speaks of himself in the third person: "Henry did so and so." Hence most men do not remember what happened before their third year, though Samuel Miles Hopkins, Memoir, 20, remembered what must have happened when he was only 23 months old. Only a conscious person remembers, and he remembers only as his will exerts itself in attention.
Jean Paul Richter, quoted in Ladd, Philosophy of Mind, 110—"Never shall I forget the phenomenon in myself, never till now recited, when I stood by the birth of my own self-consciousness, the place and time of which are distinct in my memory. On a certain forenoon, I stood, a very young child, within the house-door, and was looking out toward the wood-pile, as in an instant the inner revelation 'I am I,' like lightning from heaven, flashed and stood brightly before me; in that moment I had seen myself as I, for the first time and forever."
Höffding, Outlines of Psychology, 3—"The beginning of conscious life is to be placed probably before birth.… Sensations only faintly and dimly distinguished from the general feeling of vegetative comfort and discomfort. Still the experiences undergone before birth perhaps suffice to form the foundation of the consciousness of an external world." Hill, Genetic Philosophy, 282, suggests that this early state, in which the child speaks of self in the third person and is devoid of self-consciousness, corresponds to the brute condition of the race, before it had reached self-consciousness, attained language, and become man. In the race, however, there was no heredity to predetermine self-consciousness—it was a new acquisition, marking transition to a superior order of being.
Connecting these remarks with our present subject, we assert that no brute ever yet said, or thought, "I." With this, then, we may begin a series of simple distinctions between man and the brute, so far as the immaterial principle in each is concerned. These are mainly compiled from writers hereafter mentioned.
1. The brute is conscious, but man is self-conscious. The brute does not objectify self. "If the pig could once say, 'I am a pig,' it would at once and there by cease to be a pig." The brute does not distinguish itself from its sensations. The brute has perception, but only the man has apperception, i. e., perception accompanied by reference of it to the self to which it belongs.
2. The brute has only percepts; man has also concepts. The brute knows white things, but not whiteness. It remembers things, but not thoughts. Man alone has the power of abstraction, i. e., the power of deriving abstract ideas from particular things or experiences.
3. Hence the brute has no language. "Language is the expression of general notions by symbols" (Harris). Words are the symbols of concepts. Where there are no concepts there can be no words. The parrot utters cries; but "no parrot ever yet spoke a true word." Since language is a sign, it presupposes the existence of an intellect capable of understanding the sign,—in short, language is the effect of mind, not the cause of mind. See Mivart, in Brit. Quar., Oct. 1881:154–172. "The ape's tongue is eloquent in his own dispraise." James, Psychology, 2:356—"The notion of a sign as such, and the general purpose to apply it to everything, is the distinctive characteristic of man." Why do not animals speak? Because they have nothing to say, i. e., have no general ideas which words might express.
4. The brute forms no judgments, e. g., that this is like that, accompanied with belief. Hence there is no sense of the ridiculous, and no laughter. James, Psychology, 2:360—"The brute does not associate ideas by similarity.… Genius in man is the possession of this power of association in an extreme degree."
5. The brute has no reasoning—no sense that this follows from that, accompanied by a feeling that the sequence is necessary. Association of ideas without judgment is the typical process of the brute mind, though not that of the mind of man. See Mind, 5:402–409, 575–581. Man's dream-life is the best analogue to the mental life of the brute.
6. The brute has no general ideas or intuitions, as of space, time, substance, cause, right. Hence there is no generalizing, and no proper experience or progress. There is no capacity for improvement in animals. The brute cannot be trained, except in certain inferior matters of association, where independent judgment is not required. No animal makes tools, uses clothes, cooks food, breeds other animals for food. No hunter's dog, however long its observation of its master, ever learned to put wood on a fire to keep itself from freezing. Even the rudest stone implements show a break in continuity and mark the introduction of man; see J. P. Cook, Credentials of Science, 14. "The dog can see the printed page as well as a man can, but no dog was ever taught to read a book. The animal cannot create in its own mind the thoughts of the writer. The physical in man, on the contrary, is only an aid to the spiritual. Education is a trained capacity to discern the inner meaning and deeper relations of things. So the universe is but a symbol and expression of spirit, a garment in which an invisible Power has robed his majesty and glory"; see S. S. Times, April 7, 1900. In man, mind first became supreme.
7. The brute has determination, but not self-determination. There is no freedom of choice, no conscious forming of a purpose, and no self-movement toward a predetermined end. The donkey is determined, but not self-determined; he is the victim of heredity and environment; he acts only as he is acted upon. Harris, Philos. Basis of Theism, 537–554—"Man, though implicated in nature through his bodily organization, is in his personality supernatural; the brute is wholly submerged in nature.… Man is like a ship in the sea—in it, yet above it—guiding his course, by observing the heavens, even against wind and current. A brute has no such power; it is in nature like a balloon, wholly immersed in air, and driven about by its currents, with no power of steering." Calderwood, Philosophy of Evolution, chapter on Right and wrong: "The grand distinction of human life is self-control in the field of action—control over all the animal impulses, so that these do not spontaneously and of themselves determine activity" [as they do in the brute]. By what Mivart calls a process of "inverse anthropomorphism," we clothe the brute with the attributes of freedom; but it does not really possess them. Just as we do not transfer to God all our human imperfections, so we ought not to transfer all our human perfections to the brute, "reading our full selves in life of lower forms." The brute has no power to choose between motives; it simply obeys motive. The necessitarian philosophy, therefore, is a correct and excellent philosophy for the brute. But man's power of initiative—in short, man's free will—renders it impossible to explain his higher nature as a mere natural development from the inferior creatures. Even Huxley has said that, taking mind into the account, there is between man and the highest beasts an "enormous gulf," a "divergence immeasurable" and "practically infinite."
8. The brute has no conscience and no religious nature. No dog ever brought back to the butcher the meat it had stolen. "The aspen trembles without fear, and dogs skulk without guilt." The dog mentioned by Darwin, whose behavior in presence of a newspaper moved by the wind seemed to testify to 'a sense of the supernatural,' was merely exhibiting the irritation due to the sense of an unknown future; see James, Will to Believe, 79. The bearing of flogged curs does not throw light upon the nature of conscience. If ethics is not hedonism, if moral obligation is not a refined utilitarianism, if the right is something distinct from the good we get out of it, then there must be a flaw in the theory that man's conscience is simply a development of brute instincts; and a reinforcement of brute life from the divine source of life must be postulated in order to account for the appearance of man. Upton, Hibbert Lectures, 165–167—"Is the spirit of man derived from the soul of the animal? No, for neither one of these has self-existence. Both are self-differentiations of God. The latter is simply God's preparation for the former." Calderwood, Evolution and Man's Place in Nature, 337, speaks of "the impossibility of tracing the origin of man's rational life to evolution from a lower life.… There are no physical forces discoverable in nature sufficient to account for the appearance of this life." Shaler, Interpretation of Nature, 186—"Man's place has been won by an entire change in the limitations of his psychic development.… The old bondage of the mind to the body is swept away.… In this new freedom we find the one dominant characteristic of man, the feature which entitles us to class him as an entirely new class of animal."
John Burroughs, Ways of Nature: "Animal life parallels human life at many points, but it is in another plane. Something guides the lower animals, but it is not thought; something restrains them, but it is not judgment; they are provident without prudence; they are active without industry; they are skilful without practice; they are wise without knowledge; they are rational without reason; they are deceptive without guile.… When they are joyful, they sing or they play; when they are distressed, they moan or they cry;.… and yet I do not suppose they experience the emotion of joy or sorrow, or anger or love, as we do, because these feelings in them do not involve reflection, memory, and what we call the higher nature, as with us." Their instinct is intelligence directed outward, never inward, as in man. They share with man the emotions of his animal nature, but not of his moral or æsthetic nature; they know no altruism, no moral code." Mr. Burroughs maintains that we have no proof that animals in a state of nature can reflect, form abstract ideas, associate cause and effect. Animals, for instance, that store up food for the winter simply follow a provident instinct but do not take thought for the future, any more than does the tree that forms new buds for the coming season. He sums up his position as follows: "To attribute human motives and faculties to the animals is to caricature them; but to put us in such relation to them that we feel their kinship, that we see their lives embosomed in the same iron necessity as our own, that we see in their minds a humbler manifestation of the same psychic power and intelligence that culminates and is conscious of itself in man—that, I take it, is the true humanization." We assent to all this except the ascription to human life of the same iron necessity that rules the animal creation. Man is man, because his free will transcends the limitations of the brute.
While we grant, then, that man is the last stage in the development of life and that he has a brute ancestry, we regard him also as the offspring of God. The same God who was the author of the brute became in due time the creator of man. Though man came through the brute, he did not come from the brute, but from God, the Father of spirits and the author of all life. Œdipus' terrific oracle: "Mayst thou ne'er know the truth of what thou art!" might well be uttered to those who believe only in the brute origin of man. Pascal says it is dangerous to let man see too clearly that he is on a level with the animals unless at the same time we show him his greatness. The doctrine that the brute is imperfect man is logically connected with the doctrine that man is a perfect brute. Thomas Carlyle: "If this brute philosophy is true, then man should go on all fours, and not lay claim to the dignity of being moral." G. F. Wright, Ant, and Origin of Human Race, lecture IX—"One or other of the lower animals may exhibit all the faculties used by a child of fifteen months. The difference may seem very little, but what there is is very important. It is like the difference in direction in the early stages of two separating curves, which go on forever diverging.… The probability is that both in his bodily and in his mental development man appeared as a sport in nature, and leaped at once in some single pair from the plane of irrational being to the possession of the higher powers that have ever since characterized him and dominated both his development and his history."
Scripture seems to teach the doctrine that man's nature is the creation of God. Gen. 2:7—"Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul"—appears, says Hovey (State of the Impen. Dead, 14), "to distinguish the vital informing principle of human nature from its material part, pronouncing the former to be more directly from God, and more akin to him, than the latter." So in Zech. 12:1—"Jehovah, who stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him"—the soul is recognized as distinct in nature from the body, and of a dignity and value far beyond those of any material organism. Job 32:8—"there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty giveth them understanding"; Eccl. 12:7—"the dust returneth to the earth as it was, and the spirit returneth unto God who gave it." A sober view of the similarities and differences between man and the lower animals may be found in Lloyd Morgan, Animal Life and Intelligence. See also Martineau, Types, 2:65, 140, and Study, 1:180; 2:9, 13, 184, 350; Hopkins, Outline Study of Man, 8:23; Chadbourne, Instinct, 187–211; Porter, Hum. Intellect, 384, 386, 397; Bascom, Science of Mind, 293–305; Mansel, Metaphysics, 49, 50; Princeton Rev., Jan. 1881:104–128; Henslow, in Nature, May 1, 1879:21, 22; Ferrier, Remains, 2:39; Argyll, Unity of Nature, 117–119; Bib. Sac., 29:275–282; Max Müller, Lectures on Philos. of Language, no. 1, 2, 3; F. W. Robertson, Lectures on Genesis, 21; Le Conte, in Princeton Rev., May, 1884:236–261; Lindsay, Mind in Lower Animals; Romans, Mental Evolution in Animals; Fiske, The Destiny of Man.
(d) Comparative physiology, moreover, has, up to the present time, done nothing to forbid the extension of this doctrine to man's body. No single instance has yet been adduced of the transformation of one animal species into another, either by natural or artificial selection; much less has it been demonstrated that the body of the brute has ever been developed into that of man. All evolution implies progress and reinforcement of life, and is unintelligible except as the immanent God gives new impulses to the process. Apart from the direct agency of God, the view that man's physical system is descended by natural generation from some ancestral simian form can be regarded only as an irrational hypothesis. Since the soul, then, is an immediate creation of God, and the forming of man's body is mentioned by the Scripture writer in direct connection with this creation of the spirit, man's body was in this sense an immediate creation also.
For the theory of natural selection, see Darwin, Origin of Species, 398–424, and Descent of Man, 2:368–387; Huxley, Critiques and Addresses, 241–269, Man's Place in Nature, 71–13, Lay Sermons, 323, and art.: Biology, in Encyc. Britannica, 9th ed.; Romanes, Scientific Evidences of Organic Evolution. The theory holds that, in the struggle for existence, the varieties best adapted to their surroundings succeed in maintaining and reproducing themselves, while the rest die out. Thus, by gradual change and improvement of lower into higher forms of life, man has been evolved. We grant that Darwin has disclosed one of the important features of God's method. We concede the partial truth of his theory. We find it supported by the vertebrate structure and nervous organization which man has in common with the lower animals; by the facts of embryonic development; of rudimentary organs; of common diseases and remedies; and of reversion to former types. But we refuse to regard natural selection as a complete explanation of the history of life, and that for the following reasons:
1. It gives no account of the origin of substance, nor of the origin of variations. Darwinism simply says that "round stones will roll down hill further than flat ones" (Gray, Natural Science and Religion). It accounts for the selection, not for the creation, of forms. "Natural selection originates nothing. It is a destructive, not a creative, principle. If we must idealize it as a positive force, we must think of it, not as the preserver of the fittest, but as the destroyer, that follows ever in the wake of creation and devours the failures; the scavenger of creation, that takes out of the way forms which are not fit to live and reproduce themselves" (Johnson, on Theistic Evolution, in Andover Review, April, 1884:363–381). Natural selection is only unintelligent repression. Darwin's Origin of Species is in fact "not the Genesis, but the Exodus, of living forms." Schurman: "The survival of the fittest does nothing to explain the arrival of the fittest"; see also DeVries, Species and Varieties, ad finem. Darwin himself acknowledged that "Our ignorance of the laws of variation is profound.… The cause of each slight variation and of each monstrosity lies much more in the nature or constitution of the organism than in the nature of the surrounding conditions" (quoted by Mivart, Lessons from Nature, 280–301). Weismann has therefore modified the Darwinian theory by asserting that there would be no development unless there were a spontaneous, innate tendency to variation. In this innate tendency we see, not mere nature, but the work of an originating and superintending God. E. M. Caillard, in Contemp. Rev., Dec. 1893:873–881—"Spirit was the moulding power, from the beginning, of those lower forms which would ultimately become man. Instead of the physical derivation of the soul, we propose the spiritual derivation of the body."
2. Some of the most important forms appear suddenly in the geological record, without connecting links to unite them with the past. The first fishes are the Ganoid, large in size and advanced in type. There are no intermediate gradations between the ape and man. Huxley, in Man's Place in Nature, 94, tells us that the lowest gorilla has a skull capacity of 24 cubic inches, whereas the highest gorilla has 34½. Over against this, the lowest man has a skull capacity of 62; though men with less than 65 are invariably idiotic; the highest man has 114. Professor Burt G. Wilder of Cornell University: "The largest ape-brain is only half as large as the smallest normal human." Wallace, Darwinism, 458—"The average human brain weighs 48 or 49 ounces; the average ape's brain is only 18 ounces." The brain of Daniel Webster weighed 53 ounces; but Dr. Bastian tells of an imbecile whose intellectual deficiency was congenital, yet whose brain weighed 55 ounces. Large heads do not always indicate great intellect. Professor Virchow points out that the Greeks, one of the most intellectual of nations, are also one of the smallest-headed of all. Bain: "While the size of the brain increases in arithmetical proportion, intellectual range increases in geometrical proportion."
Respecting the Enghis and Neanderthal crania, Huxley says: "The fossil remains of man hitherto discovered do not seem to me to take us appreciably nearer to that lower pithecoid form by the modification of which he has probably become what he is.… In vain have the links which should bind man to the monkey been sought: not a single one is there to show. The so-called Protanthropos who should exhibit this link has not been found.… None have been found that stood nearer the monkey than the men of to-day." Huxley argues that the difference between man and the gorilla is smaller than that between the gorilla and some apes; if the gorilla and the apes constitute one family and have a common origin, may not man and the gorilla have a common ancestry also? We reply that the space between the lowest ape and the highest gorilla is filled in with numberless intermediate gradations. The space between the lowest man and the highest man is also filled in with many types that shade off one into the other. But the space between the highest gorilla and the lowest man is absolutely vacant; there are no intermediate types; no connecting links between the ape and man have yet been found.
Professor Virchow has also very recently expressed his belief that no relics of any predecessor of man have yet been discovered. He said: "In my judgment, no skull hitherto discovered can be regarded as that of a predecessor of man. In the course of the last fifteen years we have had opportunities of examining skulls of all the various races of mankind—even of the most savage tribes; and among them all no group has been observed differing in its essential characters from the general human type.… Out of all the skulls found in the lake-dwellings there is not one that lies outside the boundaries of our present population." Dr. Eugene Dubois has discovered in the Post-pliocene deposits of the island of Java the remains of a preeminently hominine anthropoid which he calls Pithecanthropus erectus. Its cranial capacity approaches the physiological minimum in man, and is double that of the gorilla. The thigh bone is in form and dimensions the absolute analogue of that of man, and gives evidence of having supported a habitually erect body. Dr. Dubois unhesitatingly places this extinct Javan ape as the intermediate form between man and the true anthropoid apes. Haeckel (in The Nation, Sept. 15, 1898) and Keane (in Man Past and Present, 3), regard the Pithecanthropus as a "missing link." But "Nature" regards it as the remains of a human microcephalous idiot. In addition to all this, it deserves to be noticed that man does not degenerate as we travel back in time. "The Enghis skull, the contemporary of the mammoth and the cave-bear, is as large as the average of to-day, and might have belonged to a philosopher." The monkey nearest to man in physical form is no more intelligent than the elephant or the bee.
3. There are certain facts which mere heredity cannot explain, such for example as the origin of the working-bee from the queen and the drone, neither of which produces honey. The working-bee, moreover, does not transmit the honey-making instinct to its posterity; for it is sterile and childless. If man had descended from the conscienceless brute, we should expect him, when degraded, to revert to his primitive type. On the contrary, he does not revert to the brute, but dies out instead. The theory can give no explanation of beauty in the lowest forms of life, such as molluscs and diatoms. Darwin grants that this beauty must be of use to its possessor, in order to be consistent with its origination through natural selection. But no such use has yet been shown; for the creatures which possess the beauty often live in the dark, or have no eyes to see. So, too, the large brain of the savage is beyond his needs, and is inconsistent with the principle of natural selection which teaches that no organ can permanently attain a size unrequired by its needs and its environment. See Wallace, Natural Selection, 338–360. G. F. Wright, Man and the Glacial Epoch, 242–301—"That man's bodily organization is in some way a development from some extinct member of the animal kingdom allied to the anthropoid apes is scarcely any longer susceptible of doubt.… But he is certainly not descended from any existing species of anthropoid apes.… When once mind became supreme, the bodily adjustment must have been rapid, if indeed it is not necessary to suppose that the bodily preparation for the highest mental faculties was instantaneous, or by what is called in nature a sport." With this statement of Dr. Wright we substantially agree, and therefore differ from Shedd when he says that there is just as much reason for supposing that monkeys are degenerate men, as that men are improved monkeys. Shakespeare, Timon of Athens, 1:1:249, seems to have hinted the view of Dr. Shedd: "The strain of man's bred out into baboon and monkey." Bishop Wilber force asked Huxley whether he was related to an ape on his grandfather's or grandmother's side. Huxley replied that he should prefer such a relationship to having for an ancestor a man who used his position as a minister of religion to ridicule truth which he did not comprehend. "Mamma, am I descended from a monkey?" "I do not know, William, I never met any of your father's people."
4. No species is yet known to have been produced either by artificial or by natural selection. Huxley, Lay Sermons, 323—"It is not absolutely proven that a group of animals having all the characters exhibited by species in nature has ever been originated by selection, whether artificial or natural"; Man's Place in Nature, 107—"Our acceptance of the Darwinian hypothesis must be provisional, so long as one link in the chain of evidence is wanting; and so long as all the animals and plants certainly produced by selective breeding from a common stock are fertile with one another, that link will be wanting." Huxley has more recently declared that the missing proof has been found in the descent of the modern horse with one toe, from Hipparion with two toes, Anchitherium with three, and Orohippus with four. Even if this were demonstrated, we should still maintain that the only proper analogue was to be found in that artificial selection by which man produces new varieties, and that natural selection can bring about no useful results and show no progress, unless it be the method and revelation of a wise and designing mind. In other words, selection implies intelligence and will, and therefore cannot be exclusively natural. Mivart, Man and Apes, 192—"If it is inconceivable and impossible for man's body to be developed or to exist without his informing soul, we conclude that, as no natural process accounts for the different kind of soul—one capable of articulately expressing general conceptions,—so no merely natural process can account for the origin of the body informed by it—a body to which such an intellectual faculty was so essentially and intimately related." Thus Mivart, who once considered that evolution could account for man's body, now holds instead that it can account neither for man's body nor for his soul, and calls natural selection "a puerile hypothesis" (Lessons from Nature, 300; Essays and Criticisms,2:289–314).
(e) While we concede, then, that man has a brute ancestry, we make two claims by way of qualification and explanation: first, that the laws of organic development which have been followed in man'sorigin are only the methods of God and proofs of his creatorship; secondly, that man, when he appears upon the scene, is no longer brute, but a self-conscious and self-determining being, made in the image of his Creator and capable of free moral decision between good and evil.
Both man's original creation and his new creation in regeneration are creations from within, rather than from without. In both cases, God builds the new upon the basis of the old. Man is not a product of blind forces, but is rather an emanation from that same divine life of which the brute was a lower manifestation. The fact that God used preëxisting material does not prevent his authorship of the result. The wine in the miracle was not water because water had been used in the making of it, nor is man a brute because the brute has made some contributions to his creation. Professor JohnH. Strong: "Some who freely allow the presence and power of God in the age-long process seem nevertheless not clearly to see that, in the final result of finished man, God successfully revealed himself. God's work was never really or fully done; man was a compound of brute and man; and a compound of two such elements could not be said to possess the qualities of either. God did not really succeed in bringing moral personality to birth. The evolution was incomplete; man is still on all fours; he cannot sin, because he was begotten of the brute; no fall, and no regeneration, is conceivable. We assert, on the contrary, that, though man came through the brute, he did not come from, the brute. He came from God, whose immanent life he reveals, whose image he reflects in a finished moral personality. Because God succeeded, a fall was possible. We can believe in the age-long creation of evolution, provided only that this evolution completed itself. With that proviso, sin remains and the fall." See also A. H. Strong, Christ in Creation, 163–180.
An atheistic and unteleological evolution is a reversion to the savage view of animals as brethren, and to the heathen idea of a sphynx-man growing out of the brute. Darwin himself did not deny God's authorship. He closes his first great book with the declaration that life, with all its potencies, was originally breathed "by the Creator" into the first forms of organic being. And in his letters he refers with evident satisfaction to Charles Kingsley's finding nothing in the theory which was inconsistent with an earnest Christian faith, It was not Darwin, but disciples like Haeckel, who put forward the theory as making the hypothesis of a Creator superfluous. We grant the principle of evolution, but we regard it as only the method of the divine intelligence, and must moreover consider it as preceded by an original creative act, introducing vegetable and animal life, and as supplemented by other creative acts, at the introduction of man and at the incarnation of Christ. Chadwick, Old and New Unitarianism, 33—"What seemed to wreck our faith in human nature [its origin from the brute] has been its grandest confirmation. For nothing argues the essential dignity of man more clearly than his triumph over the limitations of his brute inheritance, while the long way that he has come is prophecy of the moral heights undreamed of that await his tireless feet." All this is true if we regard human nature, not as an undesigned result of atheistic evolution, but as the efflux and reflection of the divine personality. R. E. Thompson, in S. S. Times, Dec. 29, 1906—"The greatest fact in heredity is our descent from God, and the greatest fact in environment is his presence in human life at every point."
The atheistic conception of evolution is well satirizd in the verse: "There was an ape in days that were earlier; Centuries passed and his hair became curlier; Centuries more and his thumb gave a twist, And he was a man and a Positivist." That this conception is not a necessary conclusion of modern science, is clear from the statements of Wallace, the author with Darwin of the theory of natural selection. Wallace believes that man's body was developed from the brute, but he thinks there have been three breaks in continuity: 1. the appearance of life; 2. the appearance of sensation and consciousness; and 3. the appearance of spirit. These seem to correspond to 1. vegetable; 2. animal; and 3. human life. He thinks natural selection may account for man's place in nature, but not for man's place above nature, as a spiritual being. See Wallace, Darwinism., 445–478—"I fully accept Mr. Darwin's conclusion as to the essential identity of man's bodily structure with that of the higher mammalia, and his descent from some ancestral form common to man and the anthropoid apes." But the conclusion that man's higher faculties have also been derived from the lower animals "appears to me not to be supported by adequate evidence, and to be directly opposed to many well-ascertained facts" (461).… The mathematical, the artistic and musical faculties, are results, not causes, of advancement,—they do not help in the struggle for existence and could not have been developed by natural selection. The introduction of life (vegetable), of consciousness (animal), of higher faculty (human), point clearly to a world of spirit, to which the world of matter is subordinate (474–476).… Man's intellectual and moral faculties could not have been developed from the animal, but must have had another origin; and for this origin we can find an adequate cause only in the world of spirit."
Wallace, Natural Selection, 338—"The average cranial capacity of the lowest savage is probably not less than five-sixths of that of the highest civilized races, while the brain of the anthropoid apes scarcely amounts to one-third of that of man, in both cases taking the average; or the proportions may be represented by the following figures: anthropoid apes, 10; savages, 26; civilized man, 32." Ibid., 360—"The inference I would draw from this class of phenomena is, that a superior intelligence has guided the development of man in a definite direction and for a special purpose, just as man guides the development of many animal and vegetable forms.… The controlling action of a higher intelligence is a necessary part of the laws of nature, just as the action of all surrounding organisms is one of the agencies in organic development,—else the laws which govern the material universe are insufficient for the production of man." Sir Wm. Thompson; "That man could be evolved out of inferior animals is the wildest dream of materialism, a pure assumption which offends me alike by its folly and by its arrogance." Hartmann, in his Anthropoid Apes, 302–306, while not despairing of "the possibility of discovering the true link between the world of man and mammals," declares that "that purely hypothetical being, the common ancestor of man and apes, is still to be found," and that "man cannot have descended from any of the fossil species which have hitherto come to our notice, nor yet from any of the species of apes now extant." See Dana, Amer. Journ. Science and Arts, 1876:251, and Geology, 603, 604; Lotze, Mikrokosmoe, vol. I, bk. 3, chap.1; Mivart, Genesis of Species, 202–222, 259–307, Man and Apes, 88, 149–192, Lessons from Nature,128–242, 280–301, The Cat, and Encyclop. Britannica, art.: Apes; Quatrefages, Natural History of Man, 64–87; Bp. Temple, Bampton Lect., 1884:161–189; Dawson, Story of the Earth and Man, 321–329; Duke of Argyll, Primeval Man, 38–75; Asa Gray, Natural Science and Religion; Schmid, Theories of Darwin, 115–140; Carpenter, Mental Physiology, 59; McIlvaine, Wisdom of Holy Scripture, 55–86; Bible Commentary, 1:43; Martensen, Dogmatics, 136; Le Conte, in Princeton Rev., Nov. 1878:776–803; Zöckler Urgeschichte, 81–105; Shedd, Dogm. Theol., 1:499–515. Also, see this Compendium, pages 392, 393.
(f) The truth that man is the offspring of God implies the correlative truth of a common divine Fatherhood. God is Father of all men, in that he originates and sustains them as personal beings like in nature to himself. Even toward sinners God holds this natural relation of Father. It is his fatherly love, indeed, which provides the atonement. Thus the demands of holiness are met and the prodigal is restored to the privileges of sonship which have been forfeited by transgression. This natural Fatherhood, therefore, does not exclude, but prepares the way for, God's special Fatherhood toward those who have been regenerated by his Spirit and who have believed on his son; indeed, since all God's creations take place in and through Christ, there is a natural and physical sonship of all men, by virtue of their relation to Christ, the eternal Son, which antedates and prepares the way for the spiritual sonship of those who join themselves to him by faith. Man's natural sonship underlies the history of the fall, and qualifies the doctrine of Sin.
Texts referring to God's natural and common Fatherhood are: Mal. 2:10—"Have we not all one father [Abraham]? hath not one God created us?" Luke 3:38—"Adam, the son of God"; 15:11–32—the parable of the prodigal son, in which the father is father even before the prodigal returns; John 3:16—"God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son"; John 15:6—"If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned";—these words imply a natural union of all men with Christ,—otherwise they would teach that those who are spiritually united to him can perish everlastingly. Acts 17:28—"For we are also his offspring"—words addressed by Paul to a heathen audience; Col. 1:16, 17—"in him were all things created.… and in him all things consist;" Heb. 12:9—"the Father of spirits." Fatherhood, in this larger sense, implies: 1. Origination; 2. Impartation of life; 3. Sustentation; 4. Likeness in faculties and powers; 5. Government; 6. Care; 7. Love. In all these respects God is the Father of all men, and his fatherly love is both preserving and atoning. God's natural fatherhood is mediated by Christ, through whom all things were made, and in whom all things, even humanity, consist. We are naturally children of God, as we were created in Christ; we are spiritually sons of God, as we have been created anew in Christ Jesus. G. W. Northrop: "God never becomes Father to any men or class of men; he only becomes a reconciled and complacent Father to those who become ethically like him. Men are not sons in the full ideal sense until they comport themselves as sons of God". Chapman, Jesus Christ and the Present Age, 39—"While God is the Father of all men, all men are not the children of God; in other words, God always realizes completely the idea of Father to every man; but the majority of men realize only partially the idea of sonship."
Texts referring to the special Fatherhood of grace are: John 1:12, 13—"as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name; who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God,"; Rom. 8:14—"for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God"; 15—"ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father"; 2 Cor. 6:17—"Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you, and will be to you a Father, and ye shall be to me sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty"; Eph. 1:5, 6—"having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself"; 3:14, 15,—"the Father, from whom every family [marg. 'fatherhood'] in heaven and on earth is named" (= every race among angels or men—so Meyer, Romans, 158, 159); Gal. 3:26—"for ye are all sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus"; 4:6—"And because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father"; 1 John 3:1, 2—"Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are.… Beloved, now are we children of God." The sonship of the race is only rudimentary. The actual realization of sonship is possible only through Christ. Gal. 4:1–7 intimates a universal sonship, but a sonship in which the child "differeth nothing from a bondservant though he is lord of all," and needs still to "receive the adoption of sons." Simon, Reconciliation, 81—"It is one thing to be a father; another to discharge all the fatherly functions. Human fathers sometimes fail to behave like fathers for reasons lying solely in themselves; sometimes because of hindrances in the conduct or character of their children. No father can normally discharge his fatherly functions toward children who are unchildlike. So even the rebellious son is a son, but he does not act like a son." Because all men are naturally sons of God, it does not follow that all men will be saved. Many who are naturally sons of God are not spiritually sons of God; they are only "servants" who "abide not in the house forever" (John 8:35). God is their Father, but they have yet to "become" his children (Mat. 5:45).
The controversy between those who maintain and those who deny that God is the Father of all men is a mere logomachy. God is physically and naturally the Father of all men; he is morally and spiritually the Father only of those who have been renewed by his Spirit. All men are sons of God in a lower sense by virtue of their natural union with Christ; only those are sons of God in the higher sense who have joined themselves by faith to Christ in a spiritual union. We can therefore assent to much that is said by those who deny the universal divine fatherhood, as, for example, C. M. Mead, in Am. Jour. Theology, July, 1897:577–600, who maintains that sonship consists in spiritual kinship with God, and who quotes, in support of this view, John 8:41–44—"If God were your Father, ye would love me.… Ye are of your father, the devil" = the Fatherhood of God is not universal; Mat. 5:44, 45—"Love your enemies … in order that ye may become sons of your Father who is in heaven"; John 1:12—"as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name." Gordon, Ministry of the Spirit, 103—"That God has created all men does not constitute them his sons in the evangelical sense of the word. The sonship on which the N. T. dwells so constantly is based solely on the experience of the new birth, while the doctrine of universal sonship rests either on a daring denial or a daring assumption—the denial of the universal fall of man through sin, or the assumption of the universal regeneration of man through the Spirit. In either case the teaching belongs to 'another gospel' (Gal. 1:7), the recompense of whose preaching is not a beatitude, but an anathema' (Gal 1:8)."
But we can also agree with much that is urged by the opposite party, as for example, Wendt, Teaching of Jesus, 1:193—"God does not become the Father, but is the heavenly Father, even of those who become his sons.… This Fatherhood of God, instead of the kingship which was the dominant idea of the Jews, Jesus made the primary doctrine. The relation is ethical, not the Fatherhood of mere origination, and therefore only those who live aright are true sons of God.… 209—Mere kingship, or exaltation above the world, led to Pharisaic legal servitude and external ceremony and to Alexandrian philosophical speculation. The Fatherhood apprehended and announced by Jesus was essentially a relation of love and holiness." A. H. Bradford, Age of Faith, 116–120—"There is something sacred in humanity. But systems of theology once began with the essential and natural worthlessness of man.… If there is no Fatherhood, then selfishness is logical. But Fatherhood carries with it identity of nature between the parent and the child. Therefore every laborer is of the nature of God, and he who has the nature of God cannot be treated like the products of factory and field.… All the children of God are by nature partakers of the life of God. They are called 'children of wrath' (Eph. 2:3), or 'of perdition' (John 17:12), only to indicate that their proper relations and duties have been violated.… Love for man is dependent on something worthy of love, and that is found in man's essential divinity." We object to this last statement, as attributing to man at the beginning what can come to him only through grace. Man was indeed created in Christ (Col. 1:16) and was a son of God by virtue of his union with Christ (Luke 3:38; John 15:6). But since man has sinned and has renounced his sonship, it can be restored and realized, in a moral and spiritual sense, only through the atoning work of Christ and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:10—"created in Christ Jesus for good works"; 2 Pet. 1:4—"his precious and exceeding great promises; that through these ye may become partakers of the divine nature").
Many who deny the universal Fatherhood of God refuse to carry their doctrine to its logical extreme. To be consistent they should forbid the unconverted to offer the Lord's Prayer or even to pray at all. A mother who did not believe God to be the Father of all actually said: "My children are not converted, and if I were to teach them the Lord's Prayer, I must teach them to say: 'Our father who art in hell'; for they are only children of the devil." Papers on the question: Is God the Father of all Men? are to be found in the Proceedings of the Baptist Congress,1896:106–136. Among these the essay of F. H. Rowley asserts God's universal Fatherhood upon the grounds: 1. Man is created in the image of God; 2. God's fatherly treatment of man, especially in the life of Christ among men; 3. God's universal claim on man for his filial love and trust; 4. Only God's Fatherhood makes incarnation possible, for this implies oneness of nature between God and man. To these we may add: 5. The atoning death of Christ could be efficacious only upon the ground of a common nature in Christ and in humanity; and 6. The regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is intelligible only as the restoration of a filial relation which was native to man, but which his sin had put into abeyance. For denial that God is Father to any but the regenerate, see Candlish, Fatherhood of God; Wright, Fatherhood of God. For advocacy of the universal Fatherhood, see Crawford, Fatherhood of God; Lidgett, Fatherhood of God.
II. UNITY OF THE HUMAN RACE
(a) The Scriptures teach that the whole human race is descended from a single pair.
Gen. 1:27, 28—"And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them, And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it"; 2:7—"And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul"; 22—"and the rib, which Jehovah God had taken from the man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man"; 3:20—"And the man called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living" = even Eve is traced back to Adam; 9:19—"These three were the sons of Noah; and of these was the whole earth overspread." Mason, Faith of the Gospel, 110—"Logically, it seems easier to account for the divergence of what was at first one, than for the union of what was at first heterogeneous."
(b) This truth lies at the foundation of Paul's doctrine of the organic unity of mankind in the first transgression, and of the provision of salvation for the race in Christ.
Rom. 5:12—"Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned"; 19—"For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one shall the many be made righteous"; 1 Cor. 15:21, 22—"For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive"; Heb. 2:16—"For verily not of angels doth he take hold, but he taketh hold of the seed of Abraham," One of the most eminent ethnologists and anthropologists, Prof. D. G. Brinton, said not long before his death that all scientific research and teaching tended to the conviction that mankind has descended from one pair.
(c) This descent of humanity from a single pair also constitutes the ground of man's obligation of natural brotherhood to every member of the race.
Acts 17:26—"he made of one every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth"—here the Rev. Vers. omits the word "blood" ("made of one blood"—Auth. Vers.). The word to be supplied is possibly "father," but more probably "body"; cf. Heb. 2:11—"for both he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one [father or body]: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, In the midst of the congregation will I sing thy praise,"
Winchell, in his Preadamites, has recently revived the theory broached in 1655 by Peyrerius, that there were men before Adam: "Adam is descended from a black race—not the black races from Adam." Adam is simply "the remotest ancestor to whom the Jews could grace their lineage.… The derivation of Adam from an older human stock is essentially the creation of Adam." Winchell does not deny the unity of the race, nor the retroactive effect of the atonement upon those who lived before Adam; he simply denies that Adam was the first man 297—He "regards the Adamic stock as derived from an older and humbler human type," originally as low in the scale as the present Australian savages.
Although this theory furnishes a plausible explanation of certain Biblical facts, such as the marriage of Cain (Gen. 4:17), Cain's fear that men would slay him (Gen. 4:14), and the distinction between "the sons of God" and "the daughters of men" (Gen. 6:1, 2), it treats the Mosaic narrative as legendary rather than historical. Shem, Ham, and Japheth, it is intimated, may have lived hundreds of years apart from one another (409). Upon this view, Eve could not be "the mother of all living" (Gen. 3:20), nor could the transgression of Adam be the cause and beginning of condemnation to the whole race (Rom. 5:12, 19). As to Cain's fear of other families who might take vengeance upon him, we must remember that we do not know how many children were born to Adam between Cain and Abel, nor what the age of Cain and Abel was, nor whether Cain feared only those that were then living. As to Cain's marriage, we must remember that even if Cain married into another family, his wife, upon any hypothesis of the unity of the race, must have been descended from some other original Cain that married his sister.
See Keil and Delitzsch, Com, on Pentateuch, 1:116—"The marriage of brothers and sisters was inevitable in the case of children of the first man, in case the human race was actually to descend from a single pair, and may therefore be justified, in the face of the Mosaic prohibition of such marriages, on the ground that the sons and daughters of Adam represented not merely the family but the genus, and that it was not till after the rise of several families that the bonds of fraternal and conjugal love became distinct from one another and assumed fixed and mutually exclusive forms, the violation of which is sin." Prof. W. H. Green: "Gen. 20:12 shows that Sarah was Abraham's half-sister;.… the regulations subsequently ordained in the Mosaic law were not then in force." G. H. Darwin, son of Charles Darwin, has shown that marriage between cousins is harmless where there is difference of temperament between the parties. Modern palæontology makes it probable that at the beginning of the race there was greater differentiation of brothers and sisters in the same family than obtains in later times. See Ebrard, Dogmatik, 1:275. For criticism of the doctrine that there were men before Adam, see Methodist Quar. Rev., April, 1881:205–231; Presb. Rev., 1881:440–444.
The Scripture statements are corroborated by considerations drawn from history and science. Four arguments may be briefly mentioned:
1. The argument from history
So far as the history of nations and tribes in both hemispheres can be traced, the evidence points to a common origin and ancestry in central Asia.
The European nations are acknowledged to have come, in successive waves of migration, from Asia. Modern ethnologists generally agree that the Indian races of America are derived from Mongoloid sources in Eastern Asia, either through Polynesia or by way of the Aleutian Islands. Bunsen, Philos. of Universal History, 2:112—the Asiatic origin of all the North American Indians "is as fully proved as the unity of family among themselves." Mason, Origins of Invention, 361—" Before the time of Columbus, the Polynesians made canoe voyages from Tahiti to Hawaii, a distance of 2300 miles." Keane, Man Past and Present, 1–15, 349–440, treats of the American Aborigines under two primitive types: Longheads from Europe and Roundheads from Asia. The human race, he claims, originated in Indomalaysia and spread thence by migration over the globe. The world was peopled from one center by Pleistocene man. The primary groups were evolved each in its special habitat, but all sprang from a Pleiocene precursor 100,000 years ago. W. T. Lopp, missionary to the Eskimos, at Port Clarence, Alaska, on the American side of Bering Strait, writes under date of August 31, 1892: "No thaws during the winter, and ice blocked in the Strait. This has always been doubted by whalers. Eskimos have told them that they sometimes crossed the Strait on ice, but they have never believed them. Last February and March our Eskimoshad a tobacco famine. Two parties (five men) went with dogsleds to East Cape, on the Siberian coast, and traded some beaver, otter and marten skins for Russian tobacco, and returned safely. It is only during an occasional winter that they can do this. But every summer they make several trips in their big wolf-skin boats—forty feet long. These observations may throw some light upon the origin of the prehistoric races of America."
Tylor, Primitive Culture, 1:48—"The semi-civilized nations of Java and Sumatra are found in possession of a civilization which at first glance shows itself to have been borrowed from Hindu and Moslem sources." See also Sir Henry Rawlinson, quoted in Burgess, Antiquity and Unity of the Race, 156, 157; Smyth, Unity of Human Races, 223–236; Pickering, Races of Man, Introd., synopsis, and page 316; Guyot, Earth and Man, 298–334; Quatrefages, Natural History of Man, and Unité de l'Espèce Humaine; Godron, Unité de l'Espèce Humaine, 2:412 sq. Per contra, however, see Prof. A. H. Sayce: "The evidence is now all tending to show that the districts in the neighborhood of the Baltic were those from which the Aryan languages first radiated, and where the race or races who spoke them originally dwelt. The Aryan invaders of Northwestern India could only have been a late and distant offshoot of the primitive stock, speedily absorbed into the earlier population of the country as they advanced southward; and to speak of 'our Indian brethren' is as absurd and false as to claim relationship with the negroes of the United States because they now use an Aryan language." Scribner, Where Did Life Begin? has lately adduced arguments to prove that life on the earth originated at the North Pole, and Prof. Asa Gray favors this view; see his Darwiniana, 205, and Scientific Papers, 2:152; so also Warren, Paradise Found; and Wieland, in Am. Journal of Science, Dec. 1903:401–430. Dr. J. L. Wortman, in Yale Alumni Weekly, Jan. 14, 1903:129—"The appearance of all these primates in North America was very abrupt at the beginning of the second stage of the Eocene. And it is a striking coincidence that approximately the same forms appear in beds of exactly corresponding age in Europe. Nor does this synchronism stop with the apes. It applies to nearly all the other types of Eocene mammalia in the Northern Hemisphere, and to the accompanying flora as well. These facts can be explained only on the hypothesis that there was a common centre from which these plants and animals were distributed. Considering further that the present continental masses were essentially the same in the Eocene time as now, and that the North Polar region then enjoyed a subtropical climate, as is abundantly proved by fossil plants, we are forced to the conclusion that this common centre of dispersion lay approximately within the Arctic Circle.… The origin of the human species did not take place on the Western Hemisphere."
2. The argument from language
Comparative philology points to a common origin of all the more important languages, and furnishes no evidence that the less important are not also so derived.
On Sanskrit as a connecting link between the Indo-Germanic languages, see Max Müller, Science of Language, 1:146–165, 326–342, who claims that all languages pass through the three stages: monosyllabic, agglutinative, inflectional; and that nothing necessitates the admission of different independent beginnings for either the material or the formal elements of the Turanian, Semitic, and Aryan branches of speech. The changes of language are often rapid. Latin becomes the Romance languages, and Saxon and Normanare united into English, in three centuries. The Chinese may have departed from their primitive abodes while their language was yet monosyllabic.
G. J. Romanes, Life and Letters, 195—"Children are the constructors of all languages, as distinguished from language." Instance Helen Keller's sudden acquisition of language, uttering publicly a long piece only three weeks after she first began to imitate the motions of the lips. G. F. Wright, Man and the Glacial Period, 242–301—"Recent investigations show that children, when from any cause isolated at an early age, will often produce at once a language de novo. Thus it would appear by no means improbable that various languages in America, and perhaps the earliest languages of the world, may have arisen in a short time where conditions were such that a family of small children could have maintained existence when for any cause deprived of parental and other fostering care.… Two or three thousand years of prehistoric time is perhaps all that would be required to produce the diversification of languages which appears at the dawn of history.… The prehistoric stage of Europe ended less than a thousand years before the Christian Era." In a people whose speech has not been fixed by being committed to writing, baby-talk is a, great source of linguistic corruption, and the changes are exceedingly rapid. Humboldt took down the vocabulary of a South American tribe, and after fifteen years of absence found their speech so changed as to seem a different language.
Zöckler, in Jahrbuch für deutsche Theologie, 8:68 sq., denies the progress from lower methods of speech to higher, and declares the most highly developed inflectional languages to be the oldest and most widespread. Inferior languages are a degeneration from a higher state of culture. In the development of the Indo-Germanic languages (such as the French and the English), we have instances of change from more full and luxuriant expression to that which is monosyllabic or agglutinative. The theory of Max Müller is also opposed by Pott, Die Verschiedenheiten der menschlichen Rassen, 202, 242. Pott calls attention to the fact that the Australian languages show unmistakable similarity to the languages of Eastern and Southern Asia, although the physical characteristics of these tribes are far different from the Asiatic.
On the old Egyptian language as a connecting link between the Indo-European and the Semitic tongues, see Bunsen, Egypt's Place, 1: preface, 10; also see Farrar, Origin of Language, 213. Like the old Egyptian, the Berber and the Touareg are Semitic in parts of their vocabulary, while yet they are Aryan in grammar. So the Tibetan and Burmese stand between the Indo-European languages, on the one hand, and the mono-syllabic languages, as of China, on the other. A French philologist claims now to have interpreted the Yh-King, the oldest and most unintelligible monumental writing of the Chinese, by regarding it as a corruption of the old Assyrian or Accadian cuneiform characters, and as resembling the syllabaries, vocabularies, and bilingual tablets in the ruined libraries of Assyria and Babylon; see Terrien de Lacouperie, The Oldest Book of the Chinese and its Authors, and The Languages of China before the Chinese, 11, note; he holds to "the non-indigenousness of the Chinese civilization and its derivation from the old Chaldæo-Babylonian focus of culture by the medium of Susiana." See also Sayce, in Contemp. Rev., Jan. 1884:934–936; also, The Monist, Oct. 1906:562–596, on The Ideograms of the Chinese and the Central American Calendars. The evidence goes to show that the Chinese came into China from Susiana in the 23d century before Christ. Initial G wears down in time into a Y sound. Many words which begin with Y in Chinese are found in Accadian beginning with G, as Chinese Ye, 'night,' is in AccadianGe, 'night.' The order of development seems to be: 1. picture writing; 2. syllabic writing; 3. alphabetic writing.
In a similar manner, there is evidence that the Pharaonic Egyptians were immigrants from another land, namely, Babylonia. Hommel derives the hieroglyphs of the Egyptians from the pictures out of which the cuneiform characters developed, and he shows that the elements of the Egyptian language itself are contained in that mixed speech of Babylonia which originated in the fusion of Sumerians and Semites. The Osiris of Egypt is the Asari of the Sumerians. Burial inbrick tombs in the first two Egyptian dynasties is a survival from Babylonia, as are also the seal-cylinders impressed on clay. On the relations between Aryan and Semitic languages, see Renouf, Hibbert Lectures, 55–61; Murray, Origin and Growth of the Psalms, 7; Bib. Sac., 1870:162; 1876:352–380; 1879:674–706. See also Pezzi, Aryan Philology, 125; Sayce, Principles of Comp. Philology, 132–174; Whitney, art. on Comp. Philology in Encyc. Britannica, also Life and Growth of Language, 269, and Study of Language, 307, 308—"Language affords certain indications of doubtful value, which, taken along with certain other ethnological considerations, also of questionable pertinency, furnish ground for suspecting an ultimate relationship.… That more thorough comprehension of the history of Semitic speech will enable us to determine this ultimate relationship, may perhaps be looked for with hope, though it is not to be expected with confidence." See also Smyth, Unity of Human Races, 199–222; Smith's Bib. Dict., art.: Confusion of Tongues.
We regard the facts as, on the whole, favoring an opposite conclusion from that in Hastings's Bible Dictionary, art.: Flood: "The diversity of the human race and of language alike makes it improbable that men were derived from a single pair." E. G. Robinson: "The only trustworthy argument for the unity of the race is derived from comparative philology. If it should be established that one of the three families of speech was more ancient than the others, and the source of the others, the argument would be unanswerable. Coloration of the skin seems to lie back of climatic influences. We believe in the unity of the race because in this there are the fewest difficulties. We would not know how else to interpret Paul in Romans 5." Max Müller has said that the fountain head of modern philology as of modern freedom and international law is the change wrought by Christianity, superseding the narrow national conception of patriotism by the recognition of all the nations and races as members of one great human family.
3. The argument from psychology
The existence, among all families of mankind, of common mental and moral characteristics, as evinced in common maxims, tendencies and capacities, in the prevalence of similar traditions, and in the universal applicability of one philosophy and religion, is most easily explained upon the theory of a common origin.
Among the widely prevalent traditions may be mentioned the tradition of the fashioning of the world and man, of a primeval garden, of an original innocence and happiness, of a tree of knowledge, of a serpent, of a temptation and fall, of a division of time into weeks, of a flood, of sacrifice. It is possible, if not probable, that certain myths, common to many nations, may have been handed down from a time when the families of the race had not yet separated. See Zöckler, in Jahrbuch für deutsche Theologie, 8:71–90; Max Müller, Science of Language, 2:444–455; Prichard, Nat. Hist. of Man, 2:657–714; Smyth, Unity of Human Races, 236–240; Hedge, Syst. Theol., 2:77–91; Gladstone, Juventus Mundi.
4. The argument from physiology
A. It is the common judgment of comparative physiologists that man constitutes but a single species. The differences which exist between the various families of mankind are to be regardedd as varieties of this species. In proof of these statements we urge: (a) The numberless intermediate gradations which connect the so-called races with each other. (b) The essential identity of all races in cranial, osteological, and dental characteristics. (c) The fertility of unions between individuals of the most diverse types, and the continuous fertility of the offspring of such unions.
Huxley, Critiques and Addresses, 163—"It may be safely affirmed that, even if the differences between men are specific, they are so small that the assumption of more than one primitive stock for all is altogether superfluous. We may admit that Negroes and Australians are distinct species, yet be the strictest monogenists, and even believe in Adam and Eve as the primeval parents of mankind, i. e., on Darwin's hypothesis"; Origin of Species, 113—"I am one of those who believe that at present there is no evidence whatever for saying that mankind sprang originally from more than a single pair; I must say that I cannot see any good ground whatever, or any tenable evidence, for believing that there is more than one species of man." Owen, quoted by Burgess, Ant. and Unity of Race, 185—"Man forms but one species, and differences are but indications of varieties. These variations merge into each other by easy gradations." Alex. von Humboldt: "The different races of men are forms of one sole species,—they are not different species of a genus."
Quatrefages, in Revue d. deux Mondes, Dec. 1860:814—"If one places himself exclusively upon the plane of the natural sciences, it is impossible not to conclude in favor of the monogenist doctrine." Wagner, quoted in Bib. Sac., 19:607—"Species = the collective total of individuals which are capable of producing one with another an uninterruptedly fertile progeny," Pickering, Races of Man, 316—"There is no middle ground between the admission of eleven distinct species in the human family and their reduction to one. The latter opinion implies a central point of origin."
There is an impossibility of deciding how many races there are, if we once allow that there are more than one. While Pickering would say eleven, Agassiz says eight, Morton twenty-two, and Burke sixty-five. Modern science all tends to the derivation of each family from a single germ. Other common characteristics of all races of men, in addition to those mentioned in the text, are the duration of pregnancy, the normal temperature of the body, the mean frequency of the pulse, the liability to the same diseases. Meehan, State Botanist of Pennsylvania, maintains that hybrid vegetable products are no more sterile than are ordinary plants (Independent, Aug. 21, 1884).
E. B. Tyler, art.: Anthropology, in Encyc. Britannica.: "On the whole it may be asserted that the doctrine of the unity of mankind now stands on a firmer basis than in previous ages." Darwin, Animals and Plants under Domestication, 1:39—"From the resemblance in several countries of the half-domesticated dogs to the wild species still living there, from the facility with which they can be crossed together, from even half tamed animals being so much valued by savages, and from the other circumstances previously remarked on which favor domestication, it is highly probable that the domestic dogs of the world have descended from two good species of wolf (viz., Canis lupus and Canis latrans), and from two or three other doubtful species of wolves (namely, the European, Indian and North American forms); fromat least one or two South American canine species; from several races or species of the jackal; and perhaps from one or more extinct species." Dr. E. M. Moore tried unsuccessfully to produce offspring by pairing a New foundland dog and a wolf-like clog from Canada. He only proved anew the repugnance of even slightly separated species toward one another.
B. Unity of species is presumptive evidence of unity of origin. Oneness of origin furnishes the simplest explanation of specific uniformity, if indeed the very conception of species does not imply the repetition and reproduction of a primordial type-idea impressed at its creation upon an individual empowered to transmit this type-idea to its successors.
Dana, quoted in Burgess, Antiq. and Unity of Race, 185, 186—"In the ascending scale of animals, the number of species in any genus diminishes as we rise, and should by analogy be smallest at the head of the series. Among mammals, the higher genera have few species, and the highest group next to man, the orang-outang, has only eight, and these constitute but two genera. Analogy requires that man should have preëminence and should constitute only one." 194—"A species corresponds to a specific amount or condition of concentrated force defined in the act or law of creation.… The species in any particular case began its existence when the first germ-cell or individual was created. When individuals multiply from generation to generation, it is but a repetition of the primordial type-idea.… The specificis based on a numerical unity, the species being nothing else than an enlargement of the individual." For full statement of Dana's view, see Bib. Sac., Oct. 1857:862–866. On the idea of species, see also Shedd, Dogm. Theol., 2:63–74.
(a) To this view is opposed the theory, propounded by Agassiz, of different centres of creation, and of different types of humanity corresponding to the varying fauna and flora of each. But this theory makes the plural origin of man an exception in creation. Science points rather to a single origin of each species, whether vegetable or animal. If man be, as this theory grants, a single species, he should be, by the same rule, restricted to one continent in his origin. This theory, moreover, applies an unproved hypothesis with regard to the distribution of organized beings in general to the very being whose whole nature and history show conclusively that he is an exception to such a general rule, if one exists. Since man can adapt himself to all climes and conditions, the theory of separate centres of creation is, in his case, gratuitous and unnecessary.
Agassiz's view was first published in an essay on the Provinces of the Animal World, in Nott and Gliddon's Types of Mankind, a book gotten up in the interest of slavery. Agasssiz held to eight distinct centres of creation, and to eight corresponding types of humanity—the Arctic, the Mongolian, the European, the American, the Negro, the Hottentot, the Malay, the Australian. Agassiz regarded Adam as the ancestor only of the white race, yet like Peyrerius and Winchell be held that man in all his various races constitutes but one species.
The whole tendency of recent science, however, has been adverse to the doctrine of separate centres of creation, even in the case of animal and vegetable life. In temperate North America there are two hundred and seven species of quadrupeds, of which only eight, and these polar animals, are found in the north of Europe or Asia. If North America be an instance of a separate centre of creation for its peculiar species, why should God create the same species of man in eight different localities? This would make man an exception in creation. There is, moreover, no need of creating man in many separate localities; for, unlike the polar bears and the Norwegian firs, which cannot live at the equator, man can adapt himself to the most varied climates and conditions. For replies to Agassiz, see Bib. Sac., 19:607–632; Princeton Rev., 1862:435–464.
(b) It is objected, moreover, that the diversities of size, color, and physical conformation, among the various families of mankind, are inconsistent with the theory of a common origin. But we reply that these diversities are of a superficial character, and can be accounted for by corresponding diversities of condition and environment. Changes which have been observed and recorded within historic times show that the differences alluded to may be the result of slowly accumulated divergences from one and the same original and ancestral type. The difficulty in the case, moreover, is greatly relieved when we remember (1) that the period during which these divergences have arisen is by no means limited to six thousand years (see note on the antiquity of the race, pages 224–226); and (2) that, since species in general exhibit their greatest power of divergence into varieties immediately after their first introduction, all the varieties of the human species may have presented themselves in man's earliest history.
Instances of physiological change as the result of new conditions: The Irish driven by the English two centuries ago from Armagh and the south of Down, have become prognathous like the Australians. The inhabitants of New England have descended from the English, yet they have already a physical type of their own. The Indians of North America, or at least certain tribes of them, have permanently altered the shape of the skull by bandaging the head in infancy. The Sikhs of India, since the establishment of Bába Nának's religion (1500 A.D.) and their consequent advance in civilization, have changed to a longer head and more regular features, so that they are now distinguished greatly from their neighbors, the Afghans, Tibetans, Hindus. The Ostiak savages have become the Magyar nobility of Hungary. The Turks in Europe are, in cranial shape, greatly in advance of the Turks in Asia from whom they descended. The Jews are confessedly of one ancestry; yet we have among them the light-haired Jews of Poland, the dark Jews of Spain, and the Ethiopian Jews of the Nile Valley. The Portuguese who settled in the East Indies in the 16th century are now as dark in complexion as the Hindus themselves. Africans become lighter in complexion as they go up from the alluvial river-banks to higher land, or from the coast; and on the contrary the coast tribes which drive out the negroes of the interior and take their territory end by becoming negroes themselves. See, for many of the above facts, Burgess, Antiquity and Unity of the Race, 195–202.
The law of originally greater plasticity, mentioned in the text, was first hinted by Hall, the palæontologist of New York. It is accepted and defined by Dawson, Story of the Earth and Man, 360—"A new law is coming into view: that species when first introduced have an innate power of expansion, which enables them rapidly to extend themselves to the limit of their geographical range, and also to reach the limit of their divergence into races. This limit once reached, these races run on in parallel lines until they one by one run out and disappear. According to this law the most aberrant races of men might be developed in a few centuries, after which divergence would cease, and the several lines of variation would remain permanent, at least so long as the conditions under which they originated remained." See the similar view of Von Baer in Schmid, Theories of Darwin, 55, note. Joseph Cook: Variability is a lessening quantity; the tendency to change is greatest at the first, but, like the rate of motion of a stone thrown upward, it lessens every moment after. Ruskin, Seven Lamps, 125—"The life of a nation is usually, like the flow of a lava-stream, first bright and fierce, then languid and covered, at last advancing only by the tumbling over and over of its frozen blocks." Renouf, Hibbert Lectures, 54—"The further back we go into antiquity, the more closely does the Egyptian type approach the European." Rawlinson says that negroes are not represented in the Egyptian monuments before 1500 B.C. The influence of climate is very great, especially in the savage state.
In May, 1891, there died in San Francisco the son of an interpreter at the Merchants' Exchange. He was 21 years of age. Three years before his death his clear skin was his chief claim to manly beauty. He was attacked by "Addison's disease," a gradual darkening of the color of the surface of the body. At the time of his death his skin was as dark as that of a full-blooded negro. His name was George L. Sturtevant. Ratzel, History of Mankind, 1:9, 10—As there is only one species of man, "the reunion into one real whole of the parts which have diverged after the fashion of sports" is said to be "the unconscious ultimate aim of all the movements" which have taken place since man began his wanderings. "With Humboldt we can only hold fast to the external unity of the race." See Sir Wm. Hunter, The Indian Empire, 223, 410; Encyc. Britannica, 12:808; 20:110; Zöckler, Urgeschichte, 109–132, and in Jahrbuch für deutsche Theologie, 8:51–71; Prichard, Researches, 5:547–552. and Nat. Hist. of Man, 2:644–656; Duke of Argyll, Primeval Man, 96–108; Smith, Unity of Human Races, 255–283; Morris, Conflict of Science and Religion, 325–385; Rawlinson, in Journ. Christ. Philosophy, April, 1883:359.
III. ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF HUMAN NATURE
1. The Dichotomous Theory
Man has a two-fold nature,—on the one hand material, on the other hand immaterial. He consists of body, and of spirit, or soul. That there are two, and only two, elements in man's being, is a fact to which consciousness testifies. This testimony is confirmed by Scripture, in which the prevailing representation of man's constitution is that of dichotomy.
Dichotomous, from δίχα, 'in two,' and τέμνω, 'to cut,' = composed of two parts. Man is as conscious that his immaterial part is a unity, as that his body is a unity. He knows two, and only two, parts of his being—body and soul. So man is the true Janus (Martensen), Mr. Facing-both-ways (Bunyan). That the Scriptures favor dichotomy will appear by considering:
(a) The record of man's creation (Gen. 2:7), in which, as a result of the inbreathing of the divine Spirit, the body becomes possessed and vitalized by a single principle—the living soul.
Gen. 2:7—"And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul"—here it is not said that man was first a living soul, and that then God breathed into him a spirit; but that God inbreathed spirit, and man became a living soul = God's life took possession of clay, and as a result, man had a soul. Cf. Job 27:3—"For my life is yet whole in me, And the spirit of God is in my nostrils"; 32:8—"there is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty giveth them understanding"; 33:4—"The Spirit of God hath made me, And the breath of the Almighty giveth me life."
(b) Passages in which the human soul, or spirit, is distinguished, both from the divine Spirit from whom it proceeded, and from the body which it inhabits.
Num. 16:22—"O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh"; Zech. 12:1—"Jehovah, who … formeth the spirit of man within him"; 1 Cor. 2:11—"the spirit of the man which is in him.… the Spirit of God"; Heb. 12:9—"the father of spirits." The passages just mentioned distinguish the spirit of man from the Spirit of God. The following distinguish the soul, or spirit, of man from the body which it inhabits: Gen. 35:18—"it came to pass, as her soul was departing (for she died)"; 1 K. 17:21—"O Jehovah my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again"; Eccl. 12:7—"the dust returneth to the earth as it was, and the spirit returneth unto God who gave it"; James 2:26—"the body apart from the spirit is dead." The first class of passages refutes pantheism; the second refutes materialism.
(c) The interchangeable use of the terms 'soul' and 'spirit.'
Gen. 41:8—"his spirit was troubled"; cf. Ps. 42:6—"my soul is cast down within me." John 12:27—"Now is my soul troubled"; cf. 13:21—"he was troubled in the spirit." Mat. 20:28—"to give his life (ψυχήν) a ransom for many"; cf. 27:50—"yielded up his spirit (πνεῦμα)." Heb. 12:23—"spirits of just men made perfect"; cf. Rev. 6:9—"I saw underneath the altar the souls of them that had been slain for the word of God." In these passages "spirit" and "soul" seem to be used interchangeably.
(d) The mention of body and soul (or spirit) as together constituting the whole man.
Mat. 10:28—"able to destroy both soul and body in hell"; 1 Cor. 5:3—"absent in body but present in spirit"; 3 John 2—"I pray that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth," These texts imply that body and soul (or spirit) together constitute, the whole man.
For advocacy of the dichotomous theory, see Goodwin, in Journ. Society Bib. Exegesis, 1881:73–86; Godet, Bib. Studies of the O. T., 32; Oehler, Theology of the O. T., 1:219; Hahn, Bib. Theol. N. T., 390 sq.; Schmid, Bib. Theology N. T., 503; Weiss, Bib. Theology N. T., 214; Luthardt, Compendium der Dogmatik, 112, 113; Hofmann, Schriftbeweis, 1:294–298,; Kahnis, Dogmatik, 1:549; 3:249; Harless, Com. on Eph., 4:23, and Christian Ethics, 22; Thomasius, Christi Person und Werk, 1:164–168; Hodge, in Princeton Review, 1865:116, and Systematic Theol., 2:47–51; Ebrard, Dogmatik, 1:261–263; Wm. H. Hodge, in Presb. and Ref. Rev., Apl. 1897.
2. The Trichotomous Theory
Side by side with this common representation of human nature as consisting of two parts, are found passages which at first sight appear to favor trichotomy. It must be acknowledged that πνεῦμα (spirit) and ψυχή (soul), although often used interchangeably, and always designating the same indivisible substance, are sometimes employed as contrasted terms.
In this more accurate use, ψυχή denotes man's immaterial part in its inferior powers and activities;—as ψυχή, man is a conscious individual, and, in common with the brute creation, has an animal life, together with appetite, imagination, memory, understanding. Πνεῦμα, on the other hand, denotes man's immaterial part in its higher capacities and faculties;—as πνεῦμα, man is a being related to God, and possessing powers of reason, conscience, and free will, which difference him from the brute creation and constitute him responsible and immortal.
In the following texts, spirit and soul are distinguished from each other: 1 Thess. 5:23—"And the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ"; Heb. 4:12—"For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart." Compare 1 Cor. 2:14—"Now the natural [Gr. 'psychical'] man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God"; 15:44—"It is sown a natural [Gr. 'psychical'] body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural [Gr. 'psychical'] body, there is also a spiritual body"; Eph. 4:23—"that ye be renewed in the spirit of your mind"; Jude 19—"sensual [Gr. 'psychical'], having not the Spirit."
For the proper interpretation of these texts, see note on the next page. Among those who cite them as proofs of the trichotomous theory (trichotomous, from τρίχα, 'in three parts,' and τέμνω 'to cut,' = composed of three parts, i. e., spirit, soul, and body) may be mentioned Olshausen, Opuscula, 134, and Com. on 1 Thess., 5:23; Beck, Biblische Seelenlehre, 31; Delitzsch, Biblical Psychology, 117, 118; Göschel, in Herzog, Realencyclopädie, art.: Seele; also, art. by Auberlen: Geist des Menschen; Cremer, N. T. Lexicon, on πνεῦμα and ψυχή; Usteri, Paulin. Lehrbegriff, 384 sq.; Neander, Planting and Training, 394; Van Oosterzee, Christian Dogmatics, 365, 366; Boardman, in Bap. Quarterly, 1:177, 325, 428; Heard, Tripartite Nature of Man, 62–114; Ellicott, Destiny of the Creature, 106–125.
The element of truth in trichotomy is simply this, that man has a triplicity of endowment, in virtue of which the single soul has relations to matter, to self, and to God. The trichotomous theory, however, as it is ordinarily defined, endangers the unity and immateriality of our higher nature, by holding that man consists of three substances, or three component parts—body, soul, and spirit—and that soul and spirit are as distinct from each other as are soul and body.
The advocates of this view differ among themselves as to the nature of the ψυχή and its relation to the other elements of our being; some (as Delitzsch) holding that the ψυχή is an efflux of the πνεῦμα, distinct in substance, but not in essence, even as the divine Word is distinct from God, while yet he is God; others (as Göschel) regarding the ψυχή, not as a distinct substance, but as a resultant of the union of the πνεῦμα and the σῶμα, Still others (as Cremer) hold the ψυχή to be the subject of the personal life whose principle is the πνεῦμα. Heard, Tripartite Nature of Man, 103—"God is the Creator ex traduce of the animal and intellectual part of every man.… Not so with the spirit.… It proceeds from God, not by creation, but by emanation."
We regard the trichotomous theory as untenable, not only for the reasons already urged in proof of the trichotomous theory, but from the following additional considerations:
(a) Πνεῦμα, as well as ψυχή, is used of the brute creation.
Eccl. 3:21—"Who knoweth the spirit of man, whether it goeth [marg. 'that goeth'] upward, and the spirit of the beast, whether it goeth [marg. 'that goeth'] downward to the earth?" Rev. 16:3—"And the second poured out his bowl into the sea; and it became blood, as of a dead man; and every living soul died, even the things that were in the sea" = the fish.
(b) Ψυχή is ascribed to Jehovah.
Amos 6:8—"The Lord Jehovah hath sworn by himself" (lit. 'by his soul,' LXX ἑαυτόν); Is. 42:1—"my chosen, in whom my soul delighteth"; Jer. 9:9—"Shall I not visit them for these things? saith Jehovah; shall not my soul be avenged?" Heb. 10:38—"my righteous one shall live by faith: And if he shrink back, my soul hath no pleasure in him."
(c) The disembodied dead are called ψυχαί.
Rev. 6:9—"I saw underneath the altar the souls of them that had been slain for the word of God"; cf. 20:4—"souls of them that had been beheaded."
(d) The highest exercises of religion are attributed to the ψυχή.
Mark 12:30—"thou shalt love the Lord thy God … with all thy soul" Luke 1:46—"My soul doth magnify the Lord"; Heb. 6:18, 19—"the hope set before us: which we have as an anchor of the soul"; James 1:21—"the implanted word, which is able to save your souls."
(e) To lose this ψυχή is to lose all.
Mark 8:36, 37—"For what doth it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life [or 'soul,' ψυχή]? For what should a man give in exchange for his life [or 'soul,' ψυχή]?"
(f) The passages chiefly relied upon as supporting trichotomy may be better explained upon the view already indicated, that soul and spirit are not two distinct substances or parts, but that they designate the immaterial principle from different points of view.
1 Thess. 5:23—"may your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire" = not a scientific enumeration of the constituent parts of human nature, but a comprehensive sketch of that nature in its chief relations; compare Mark 12:30—"thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength"—where none would think of finding proof of a fourfold division of human nature. On 1 Thess. 5:23, see Riggenbach (in Lange's Com.), and Commentary of Prof. W. A. Stevens. Heb. 4:12—"piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow" = not the dividing of soul from spirit, or of joints from marrow, but rather the piercing of the soul and of the spirit, even to their very joints and marrow; i. e., to the very depths of the spiritual nature. On Heb. 4:12, see Ebrard (in Olshausen's Com.), and Lüinemann (in Meyer's Com.); also Tholuck, Com. in loco. Jude 19—"sensual, having not the Spirit" (ψυχικοί, πνεῦμα μὴ ἔχοντες)—even though πνεῦμα = the human spirit, need not mean that there is no spirit existing, but only that the spirit is torpid and inoperative—as we say of a weak man: 'he has no mind,' or of an unprincipled man: 'he has no conscience'; so Alford; see Nitzsch, Christian Doctrine, 202. But πνεῦμα here probably = the divine πνεῦμα. Meyer takes this view, and the Revised Version capitalizes the word "Spirit." See Goodwin, Soc. Bib. Exegesis, 1881:85—"The distinction between ψυχή and πνεῦμα is a functional, and not a substantial, distinction." Moule, Outlines of Christian Doctrine, 161, 162—"Soul = spirit organized, inseparably linked with the body; spirit = man's inner being considered as God's gift. Soul = man's inner being viewed as his own; spirit = man's inner being viewed as from God. They are not separate elements." See Lightfoot, Essay on St. Paul and Seneca, appended to his Com. on Philippians, on the influence of the ethical language of Stoicism on the N. T. writers. Martineau, Seat of Authority, 39—"The difference between man and his companion creatures on this earth is not that his instinctive life is less than theirs, for in truth it goes far beyond them; but that in him it acts in the presence and under the eye of other powers which transform it, and by giving to it vision as well as light take its blindness away. He is let into his own secrets."
We conclude that the immaterial part of man, viewed as an individual and conscious life, capable of possessing and animating a physical organism, is called ψυχή; viewed as a rational and moral agent, susceptible of divine influence and indwelling, this same immaterial part is called πνεῦμα. The πνεῦμα, then, is man's nature looking Godward, and capable of receiving and manifesting the Πνεῦμα ἅγιον; the ψυχή is man's nature looking earthward, and touching the world of sense. The πνεῦμα is man's higher part, as related to spiritual realities or as capable of such relation; the ψυχή is man's higher part, as related to the body, or as capable of such relation. Man's being is therefore not trichotomous but dichotomous, and his immaterial part, while possessing duality of powers, has unity of substance.
Man's nature is not a three-storied house, but a two-storied house, with windows in the upper story looking in two directions—toward earth and toward heaven. The lower story is the physical part of us—the body. But man's "upper story" has two aspects; there is an outlook toward things below, and a skylight through which to see the stars. "Soul," says Hovey, "is spirit as modified by union with the body." Is man then the same in kind with the brute, but different in degree? No, man is different in kind, though possessed of certain powers which the brute has. The frog is not a magnified sensitive-plant, though his nerves automatically respond to irritation. The animal is different in kind from the vegetable, though he has some of the same powers which the vegetable has. God's powers include man's; but man is not of the same substance with God, nor could man be enlarged or developed into God. So man's powers include those of the brute, but the brute is not of the same substance with man, nor could he be enlarged or developed into man.
Porter, Human Intellect, 39—"The spirit of man, in addition to its higher endowments, may also possess the lower powers which vitalize dead matter into a human body." It does not follow that the soul of the animal or plant is capable of man's higher functions or developments, or that the subjection of man's spirit to body, in the present life, disproves his immortality. Porter continues: "That the soul begins to exist as a vital force, does not require that it should always exist as such a force or in connection with a material body. Should it require another such body, it may have the power to create it for itself, as it has formed the one it first inhabited; or it may have already formed it, and may hold it ready for occupation and use as soon as it sloughs off the one which connects it with the earth."
Harris, Philos. Basis of Theism, 547—"Brutes may have organic life and sensitivity, and yet remain submerged in nature. It is not life and sensitivity that lift man above nature, but it is the distinctive characteristic of personality." Parkhurst, The Pattern in the Mount, 17–30, on Prov. 20:27—"The spirit of man is the lamp of Jehovah"—not necessarily lighted, but capable of being lighted, and intended to be lighted, by the touch of the divine flame. Cf. Mat. 6:22, 23—"The lamp of the body … If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is the darkness."
Schleiermacher, Christliche Glaube, 2:487—"We think of the spirit as soul, only when in the body, so that we cannot speak of an immortality of the soul, in the proper sense, without bodily life." The doctrine of the spiritual body is therefore the complement to the doctrine of the immortality of the soul A. A. Hodge, Pop. Lectures, 221—"By soul we mean only one thing, i. e., an incarnate spirit, a spirit with a body. Thus we never speak of the souls of angels. They are pure spirits, having no bodies." Lisle, Evolution of Spiritual Man, 72—"The animal is the foundation of the spiritual; it is what the cellar is to the house; it is the base of supplies." Ladd, Philosophy of Mind, 371–378—"Trichotomy is absolutely untenable on grounds of psychological science. Man's reason, or the spirit that is in man, is not to be regarded as a sort of Mansard roof, built on to one building in a block, all the dwellings in which are otherwise substantially alike.… On the contrary, in every set of characteristics, from those called lowest to those pronounced highest, the soul of man differences itself from the soul of any species of animals.… The highest has also the lowest. All must be assigned to one subject."
This view of the soul and spirit as different aspects of the same spiritual principle furnishes a refutation of six important errors:
(a) That of the Gnostics, who held that the πνεῦμα is part of the divine essence, and therefore incapable of sin.
(b) That of the Apollinarians, who taught that Christ's humanity embraced only σῶμα and ψυχή, while his divine nature furnished the πνεῦμα.
(c) That of the Semi-Pelagians, who excepted the human πνεῦμα from the dominion of original sin.
(d) That of Placeus, who held that only the πνεῦμα was directly created by God (see our section on Theories of Imputation).
(e) That of Julius Müller, who held that the ψυχή comes to us from Adam, but that our πνεῦμα was corrupted in a previous state of being (see page 490).
(f) That of the Annihilationists, who hold that man at his creation had a divine element breathed into him, which he lost by sin, and which he recovers only in regeneration; so that only when he has this πνεῦμα restored by virtue of his union with Christ does man become immortal, death being to the sinner a complete extinction of being.
Tacitus might almost be understood to be a trichotomist when he writes: "Si ut sapientibus placuit, non extinguuntur cum corpore magnæ animæ." Trichotomy allies itself readily with materialism. Many trichotomists hold that man can exist without a πνεῦμα, but that the σῶμα and the ψυχή by themselves are mere matter, and are incapable of eternal existence. Trichotomy, however, when it speaks of the πνεῦμα as the divine principle in man, seems to savor of emanation or of pantheism. A modern English poet describes the glad and winsome child as "A silver stream, Breaking with laughter from the lake divine, Whence all things flow." Another poet, Robert Browning, in his Death in the Desert, 107, describes body, soul, and spirit, as "what does, what knows, what is—three souls, one man."
The Eastern church generally held to trichotomy, and is best represented by John of Damascus (ii:12) who speaks of the soul as the sensuous life-principle which takes up the spirit—the spirit being an efflux from God. The Western church, on the other hand, generally held to dichotomy, and is best represented by Anselm: "Constat homo ex duabus naturis, ex natura animæ et ex natura carnis."
Luther has been quoted upon both sides of the controversy: by Delitzsch, Bib. Psych., 460–462, as trichotomous, and as making the Mosaic tabernacle with its three divisions an image of the tripartite man. "The first division," he says, "was called the holy of holies, since God dwelt there, and there was no light there in. The next was denominated the holy place, for within it stood a candlestick with seven branches and lamps. The third was called the atrium or court; this was under the broad heaven, and was open to the light of the sun. A regenerate man is depicted in this figure. His spirit is the holy of holies, God's dwelling-place, in the darkness of faith, without a light, for he believes what he neither sees, nor feels, nor comprehends. The psyche of that man is the holy place, whose seven lights represent the various powers of understanding, the perception and knowledge of material and visible things. His body is the atrium or court, which is open to everybody, so that all can see how he acts and lives."
Thomasius, however, in his Christi Person und Werk, 1:164–168, quotes from Luther the following statement, which is clearly dichotomous: "The first part, the spirit, is the highest, deepest, noblest part of man. By it he is fitted to comprehend eternal things, and it is, in short, the house in which dwell faith and the word of God. The other, the soul, is this same spirit, according to nature, but yet in another sort of activity, namely, in this, that it animates the body and works through it; and it is its method not to grasp things incomprehensible, but only what reason can search out, know, and measure." Thomasius himself says: "Trichotomy, I hold with Meyer, is not Scripturally sustained." Neander, sometimes spoken of as a trichotomist, says that spirit is soul in its elevated and normal relation to God and divine things; ψυχή is that same soul in its relation to the sensuous and perhaps sinful things of this world. Godet, Bib. Studies of O. T., 32—"Spirit = the breath of God, considered as independent of the body; soul = that same breath, in so far as it gives life to the body."
The doctrine we have advocated, moreover, in contrast with the heathen view, puts honor upon man's body, as proceeding from the hand of God and as therefore originally pure (Gen. 1:31—"And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good"); as intended to be the dwelling place of the divine Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19—"know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God?"); and as containing the germ of the heavenly body (1 Cor. 15:44—"it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body"; Rom. 8:11—"shall give life also to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you"—here many ancient authorities read "because of his Spirit that dwelleth in you"—διά τὸ ἐνοικοῦν αὐτοῦ πνεῦμα). Birks, in his Difficulties of Belief, suggests that man, unlike angels, may have been provided with a fleshly body, (1) to objectify sin, and (2) to enable Christ to unite himself to the race, in order to save it.
IV. ORIGIN OF THE SOUL
Three theories with regard to this subject have divided opinion:
1. The Theory of Preëxistence
This view was held by Plato, Philo, and Origen; by the first, in order to explain the soul's possession of ideas not derived from sense; by the second, to account for its imprisonment in the body; by the third, to justify the disparity of conditions in which men enter the world. We concern ourselves, however, only with the forms which the view has assumed in modern times. Kant and Julius Müller in Germany, and Edward Beecher in America, have advocated it, upon the ground that the inborn depravity of the human will can be explained only by supposing a personal act of self-determination in a previous, or timeless, state of being.
The truth at the basis of the theory of preëxistence is simply the ideal existence of the soul, before birth, in the mind of God—that is, God's foreknowledge of it. The intuitive ideas of which the soul finds itself in possession, such as space, time, cause, substance, right, God, are evolved from itself; in other words, man is so constituted that he perceives these truths upon proper occasions or conditions. The apparent recollection that we have seen at some past time a landscape which we know to be now for the first time before us, is an illusory putting together of fragmentary concepts or a mistaking of a part for the whole; we have seen something like a part of the landscape,—we fancy that we have seen this landscape, and the whole of it. Our recollection of a past event or scene is one whole, but this one idea may have an indefinite number of subordinate ideas existing within it. The sight of something which is similar to one of these parts suggests the past whole. Coleridge: "The great law of the imagination that likeness in part tends to become likeness of the whole." Augustine hinted that this illusion of memory may have played an important part in developing the belief in metempsychosis.
Other explanations are those of William James, in his Psychology: The brain tracts excited by the event proper, and those excited in its recall, are different; Baldwin, Psychology, 263, 264: We may remember what we have seen in a dream, or there may be a revival of ancestral or race experiences. Still others suggest that the two hemispheres of the brain act asynchronously; self-consciousness or apperception is distinguished from perception; divorce, from fatigue, of the processes of sensation and perception, causes paramnesia. Sully, Illusions, 280, speaks of an organic or atavistic memory: "May it not happen that by the law of hereditary transmission … ancient experiences will now and then reflect themselves in our mental life, and so give rise to apparentlypersonal recollections?" Letson, The Crowd, believes that the mob is atavistic and that it bases its action upon inherited impulses: "The inherited reflexes are atavistic memories" (quotedin Colegrove, Memory, 204).
Plato held that intuitive ideas are reminiscences of things learned in a previous state of being; he regarded the body as the grave of the soul; and urged the fact that the soul had knowledge before it entered the body, as proof that the soul would have knowledge after it left the body, that is, would be immortal. See Plato, Meno, 82–85, Phædo, 72–75, Phædrus, 245–250, Republic, 5:460 and 10:614. Alexander, Theories of the Will, 36, 37—"Plato represents preëxistent souls as having set before them a choice of virtue. The choice is free, but it will determine the destiny of each soul. Not God, but he who chooses, is responsible for his choice. After making their choice, the souls go to the fates, who spin the threads of their destiny, and it is thenceforth irreversible. As Christian theology teaches that man was free but lost his freedom by the fall of Adam, so Plato affirms that the preëxistent soul is free until it has chosen its lot in life." See Introductions to the above mentioned works of Plato in Jowett's translation. Philo held that all souls are emanations from God, and that those who allowed themselves, unlike the angels, to be attracted by matter, are punished for this fall by imprisonment in the body, which corrupts them, and from which they must break loose. See Philo, De Gigantibus, Pfeiffer's ed., 2:360–364. Origen accounted for disparity of conditions at birth by the differences in the conduct of these same souls in a previous state. God's justice at the first made all souls equal; condition here corresponds to the degree of previous guilt; Mat. 20:3—"others standing in the market place idle" = souls not yet brought into the world. The Talmudists regarded all souls as created at once in the beginning, and as kept like grains of corn in God's granary, until the time should come for joining each to its appointed body. See Origen, De Anima, 7; περὶ ἀρχῶν, ii:9:6; cf. 1:2, 1:4, 1:18; 4:36. Origen's view was condemned at the Synod of Constantinople, 538. Many of the preceding facts and references are taken from Bruch, Lehre der Präexistenz, translated in Bib. Sac., 20:681–733.
For modern advocates of the theory, see Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, sec. 15; Religion in. d. Grenzen d. bl. Vernunft, 26, 27; Julius Müller, Doctrine of Sin, 2:357–401; Edward Beecher, Conflict of Ages. The idea of preëxistence has appeared to a notable extent in modern poetry. See Vaughan, The Retreate (1621); Wordsworth, Intimations of Immortality in Early Childhood; Tennyson, Two Voices, stanzas 105–119, and Early Sonnets, 25—"As when with downcast eyes we muse and brood, And ebb into a former life, or seem Tolapse far back in some confused dream To states of mystical similitude; If one but speaks or hems or stirs his chair, Ever the wonder waxeth more and more, So that we say 'All this hath been before, All this bath been, I know not when or where.' So, friend, when first I looked upon your face, Our thought gave answer each to each, sotrue—Opposed mirrors each reflecting each—That though I knew not in what time or place, Methought that I had often met with you, And either lived in either's heart and speech." Robert Browning, La Saisiaz, and Christina: "Ages past the soul existed; Here anage 't is resting merely, And hence fleets again for ages." Rossetti, House of Life: "I have been here before, But whenor how I cannot tell; I know the grass beyond the door, The sweet, keen smell, The sighing sound, the lights along the shore. You have been mine before, How long ago I may not know; But just when, at that swallow's soar, Your neck turned so, Some veil did fall—I knew it all of yore"; quoted in Colegrove, Memory, 103–106, who holds the phenomenon due to false induction and interpretation.
Briggs, School, College and Character, 95—"Some of us remember the days when we were on earth for the firsttime;"—which reminds us of the boy who remembered sitting in a corner before he was born and crying for fear he would be a girl. A more notable illustration is that found in the Life of Sir Walter Scott, by Lockhart, his son-in-law, 8:274—"Yesterday, at dinner time, I was strangely haunted by what I would call the sense of preëxistence—viz., a confused idea that nothing that passed was said for the first time—that the same topics had been discussed and the same persons had started the same opinions on them. It is true there might have been some ground for recollections, considering that three at least of the company were old friends and had kept much company together.… But the sensation was so strong as to resemble what is called a mirage in the desert, or a calenture on board of ship, when lakes are seen in the desert and sylvan landscapes in the sea. It was very distressing yesterday and brought to mindthe fancies of Bishop Berkeley about an ideal world. There was a vile sense of want of reality in all I did and said.… I drank several glasses of wine, but these only aggravated the disorder. I did not find the in vino veritas of the philosophers."
To the theory of preëxistence we urge the following objections:
(a) It is not only wholly without support from Scripture, but it directly contradicts the Mosaic account of man's creation in the image of God, and Paul's description of all evil and death in the human race as the result of Adam's sin.
Gen. 1:27—"And God created man in hisown image, in the image of God created he him"; 31—"And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." Rom. 5:12—"Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned." The theory of preëxistence would still leave it doubtful whether all men are sinners, or whether God assembles only sinners upon the earth.
(b) If the soul in this preëxistent state was conscious and personal, it is inexplicable that we should have no remembrance of such preëxistence, and of so important a decision in that previous condition of being;—if the soul was yet unconscious and impersonal, the theory fails to show how a moral act involving consequences so vast could have been performed at all.
Christ remembered his preëxistent state; why should not we? There is every reason to believe that in the future state we shall remember our present existence; why should we not now remember the past state from which we came? It may be objected that Augustinians hold to a sin of the race in Adam—a sin which none of Adam's descendants can remember. But we reply that no Augustinian holds to a personal existence of each member of the race in Adam, and therefore no Augustinian needs to account for lack of memory of Adam's sin. The advocate of preëxistence, however, does hold to a personal existence of each soul in a previous state, and therefore needs to account for our lack of memory of it.
(c) The view sheds no light either upon the origin of sin, or upon God's justice in dealing with it, since it throws back the first transgression to a state of being in which there was no flesh to tempt, and then represents God as putting the fallen into sensuous conditions in the highest degree unfavorable to their restoration.
This theory only increases the difficulty of explaining the origin of sin, by pushing back its beginning to a state of which we know less than we do of the present. To say that the soul in that previous state was only potentially conscious and personal, is to deny any real probation, and to throw the blame of sin on God the Creator. Pfleiderer, Philos. of Religion, 1:228—"In modern times, the philosophers Kant, Schelling and Schopenhauer have explained the bad from as intelligible act of freedom, which (according to Schelling and Schopenhauer) also at the same time effectuates the temporal existence and condition of the individual soul. But what are we to think of as meant by such a mystical deed or act through which the subject of it first comes into existence? Is it not this, that perhaps under this singular disguise there is concealed the simple thought that the origin of the bad lies not so much in a doing of the individual freedom as rather in the rise of it,—that is to say, in the process of development through which the natural man becomes a moral man, and the merely potentially rational man becomes an actually rational man?"
(d) While this theory accounts for inborn spiritual sin, such as pride and enmity to God, it gives no explanation of inherited sensual sin, which it holds to have come from Adam, and the guilt of which must logically be denied.
While certain forms of the preëxistence theory are exposed to the last objection indicated in the text, Julius Müller claims that his own view escapes it; see Doctrine of Sin, 2:393. His theory, he says, "would contradict holy Scripture if it derived inborn sinfulness solely from this extra-temporalact of the individual, without recognizing in this sinfulness the element of hereditary depravity in the sphere of the natural life, and its connection with the sin of our first parents." Müller, whose trichotomy here determines his whole subsequent scheme, holds only the πνεῦμα to have thus fallen in a preëxistentstate. The ψυχή comes, with the body, from Adam. The tempter only brought man's latent perversity of will into open transgression. Sinfulness, as hereditary, does not involve guilt, but the hereditary principle is the "medium through which the transcendent self-perversion of the spiritual nature of man is transmitted to his whole temporal mode of being." While man is born guilty as to his πνεῦμα, for the reason that this πνεῦμα sinned in a preëxistent state, he is also born guilty as to his ψυχή, because this was one with the first man in his transgression.
Even upon the most favorable statement of Müller's view, we fail to see how it can consist with the organic unity of the race; for in that which chiefly constitutes us men—the πνεῦμα—we are as distinct and separate creations as are the angels. We also fail to see how, upon this view, Christ can be said to take our nature; or, if he takes it, how it can be without sin. See Ernesti, Ursprung der Sünde, 2:1–247; Frohschammer, Ursprung der Seele, 11–17: Philippi, Glaubenslehre, 3:92–122; Bruch, Lehre der Präexistenz, translated in Bib. Sac., 20:681–733. Also Bib. Sac., 11:186–191; 12:156; 17:419–427; 20:447: Kahnis, Dogmatik, 3:250—"This doctrine is inconsistent with the indisputable fact that the souls of children are like those of the parents; and it ignores the connection of the individual with the race."
2. The Creatian Theory
This view was held by Aristotle, Jerome, and Pelagius, and in modern times has been advocated by most of the Roman Catholic and Reformed theologians. It regards the soul of each human being as immediately created by God and joined to the body either at conception, at birth, or at some time between these two. The advocates of the theory urge in its favor certain texts of Scripture, referring to God as the Creator of the human spirit, together with the fact that there is a marked individuality in the child, which cannot be explained as a mere reproduction of the qualities existing in the parents.
Creatianism, as ordinarily held, regards only the body as propagated from past generations. Creatianists who hold to trichotomy would say, however, that the animal soul, the ψυχή, is propagated with the body, while the highest part of man, the πνεῦμα, is in each case a direct creation of God,—the πνεῦμα not being created, as the advocates of preëxistence believe, ages before the body, but rather at the time that the body assumes its distinct individuality.
Aristotle (De Anima) first gives definite expression to this view. Jerome speaks of God as "making souls daily." The scholastics followed Aristotle, and through the influence of the Reformed church, creatianism has been the prevailing opinion for the last two hundred years. Among its best representatives are Turretin, Inst., 5:13 (vol. 1:425); Hodge, Syst. Theol., 2:65–76; Martensen, Dogmatics, 141–148; Liddon, Elements of Religion, 99–106. Certain Reformed theologians have defined very exactly God's method of creation. Polanus (5:31:1) says that God breathes the soul into boys, forty days, and into girls, eighty days, after conception. Göschel (in Herzog, Encyclop., art.: Seele) holds that while dichotomy leads to traducianism, trichotomy allies itself to that form of creatianism which regards the πνεῦμα as a direct creation of God, but the ψυχή as propagated with the body. To the latter answers the family name; to the former the Christian name. Shall we count George Macdonald as a believer in Preëxistence or in Creatianism, when he writes in his Baby's Catechism: "Where did you come from, baby dear? Out of the everywhere into here. Where did you get your eyes so blue? Out of the sky, as I came through. Where did you get that little tear? I found it waiting when I got here. Where did you get that pearly ear? God spoke, and it came out to hear. How did they all just come to be you? God thought about me, and so I grew."
Creatianism is untenable for the following reasons:
(a) The passages adduced in its support may with equal propriety be regarded as expressing God's mediate agency in the origination of human souls; while the general tenor of Scripture, as well as its representations of God as the author of man's body, favor this latter interpretation.
Passages commonly relied upon by creatianists are the following: Eccl. 12:7—"the spirit returneth unto God who gave it"; Is. 57:16—"the souls that I have made"; Zech. 12:1—"Jehovah … who formeth the spirit of man within him"; Heb. 12:9—"the Father of spirits." But God is with equal clearness declared to be the former of man's body: see Ps. 139:13, 14—"thou didst form my inward parts: Thou didst cover me [marg. 'knit me together'] in my mother's womb. I will give thanks unto thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Wonderful are thy works"; Jer. 1:5—"I formed thee in the belly." Yet we do not hesitate to interpret these latter passages as expressive of mediate, not immediate, creatorship,—God works through natural laws of generation and development so far as the production of man's body is concerned. None of the passages first mentioned forbid us to suppose that he works through these same natural laws in the production of the soul. The truth in creatianism is the presence and operation of God in all natural processes. A transcendent God manifests himself in all physical begetting. Shakespeare: "There's a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough hew them how we will." Pfleiderer, Grundriss, 112—"Creatianism, which emphasizes the divine origin of man, is entirely compatible with Traducianism, which emphasizes the mediation of natural agencies. So for the race as a whole, its origin in a creative activity of God is quite consistent with its being a product of natural evolution."
(b) Creatianism regards the earthly father as begetting only the body of his child—certainly as not the father of the child's highest part. This makes the beast to possess nobler powers of propagation than man; for the beast multiplies himself after his own image.
The new physiology properly views soul, not as something added from without, but as the animating principle of the body from the beginning and as having a determining influence upon its whole development. That children are like their parents, in intellectual and spiritual as well as in physical respects, is a fact of which the creatian theory gives no proper explanation. Mason, Faith of the Gospel, 115—"The love of parents to children and of children to parents protests against the doctrine that only the body is propagated." Aubrey Moore, Science and the Faith, 207,—quoted in Contemp. Rev., Dec. 1893:876—"Instead of the physical derivation of the soul, we stand for the spiritual derivation of the body." We would amend this statement by saying that we stand for the spiritual derivation of both soul and body, natural law being only the operation of spirit, human and divine.
(c) The individuality of the child, even in the most extreme cases, as in the sudden rise from obscure families and surroundings of marked men like Luther, may be better explained by supposing a law of variation impressed upon the species at its beginning—a law whose operation is foreseen and supervised by God.
The differences of the child from the parent are often exaggerated; men are generally more the product of their ancestry and of their time than we are accustomed to think. Dickens made angelic children to be born of depraved parents, and to grow up in the slums. But this writing belongs to a past generation, when the facts of heredity were unrecognized. George Eliot's school is nearer the truth; although she exaggerates the doctrine of heredity in turn, until all idea of free will and all hope of escaping our fate vanish. Shaler, Interpretation of Nature, 78, 90—"Separate motives, handed down from generation to generation, sometimes remaining latent for great periods, to become suddenly manifested under conditions the nature of which is not discernible.… Conflict of inheritances [from different ancestors] may lead to the institution of variety."
Sometimes, in spite of George Eliot, a lily grows out of a stagnant pool—how shall we explain the fact? We must remember that the paternal and the maternal elements are themselves unlike; the union of the two may well produce a third in some respects unlike either; as, when two chemical elements unite, the product differs from either of the constituents. We must remember also that nature is one factor; nurture is another; and that the latter is often as potent as the former (see Galton, Inquiries into Human Faculty, 77–81). Environment determines to a large extent both the fact and the degree of development. Genius is often another name for Providence. Yet before all and beyond all we must recognize a manifold wisdom of God, which in the very organization of species impresses upon it a law of variation, so that at proper times and under proper conditions the old is modified in the line of progress and advance to something higher. Dante, Purgatory, canto vii—"Rarely into the branches of the tree Doth human worth mount up; and so ordains He that bestows it, that as his free gift It may be called." Pompilia, the noblest character in Robert Browning's Ring and the Book, came of "a bad lot." Geo. A. Gordon, Christ of To-day, 123–126—"It is mockery to account for Abraham Lincoln and Robert Burns and William Shakespeare upon naked principles of heredity and environment.… All intelligence and all high character are transcendent, and have their source in the mind and heart of God. It is in the range of Christ's transcendence of his earthly conditions that we note the complete uniqueness of his person."
(d) This theory, if it allows that the soul is originally possessed of depraved tendencies, makes God the direct author of moral evil; if it holds the soul to have been created pure, it makes God indirectly the author of moral evil, by teaching that he puts this pure soul into a body which will inevitably corrupt it.
The decisive argument againt creatianism is this one, that it makes God the author of moral evil. See Kahnis, Dogmatik, 3:250—"Creatianism rests upon a justly antiquated dualism between soul and body, and is irreconcilable with the sinful condition of the human soul. The truth in the doctrine is just this only, that generation can bring forth an immortal human life only according to the power imparted by God's word, and with the special coöperation of God himself." The difficulty of supposing that God immediately creates a pure soul, only to put it into a body that will infallibly corrupt it—"sicut vinum in vase acetoso"—has led many of the most thoughtful Reformed theologians to modify the creation doctrine by combining it with traducianism.
Rothe, Dogmatik, 1:249–251, holds to creatianism in a wider sense—a union of the paternal and maternal elements under the express and determining efficiency of God. Ebrard, Dogmatik, 1:327–332, regards the soul as new-created, yet by a process of mediate creation according to law, which he calls 'metaphysical generation.' Dorner, System of Doctrine, 3:56, says that the individual is not simply a manifestation of the species; God applies to the origination of every single man a special creative thought and act of will; yet he does this through the species, so that it is creation by law,—else the child would be, not a continuation of the old species, but the establishment of a new one. So in speaking of the human soul of Christ, Dorner says (3:340–349) that the soul itself does not owe its origin to Mary nor to the species, but to the creative act of God. This soul appropriates to itself from Mary's body the elements of a human form, purifying them in the process so far as is consistent with the beginning of a life yet subject to development and human weakness.
Bowne, Metaphysics, 500—"The laws of heredity must be viewed simply as descriptions of a fact and never as its explanation. Not as if ancestors passed on something to posterity, but solely because of the inner consistency of the divine action" are children like their parents. We cannot regard either of these mediating views as self-consistent or intelligible. We pass on therefore to consider the traducian theory which we believe more fully to meet the requirements of Scripture and of reason. For further discussion of creatianism, see Frohschammer, Ursprung der Seele, 18–58; Alger, Doctrine of a Future Life, 1–17.
3. The Traducian Theory
This view was propounded by Tertullian, and was implicitly held by Augustine. In modern times it has been the prevailing opinion of the Lutheran Church. It holds that the human race was immediately created in Adam, and, as respects both body and soul, was propagated from him by natural generation—all souls since Adam being only mediately created by God, as the upholder of the laws of propagation which were originally established by him.
Tertullian, De Anima: "Tradux peccati, tradux animæ." Gregory of Nyssa: "Man being one, consisting of soul and body, the common beginning of his constitution must be supposed also one; so that he may not be both older and younger than himself—that in him which is bodily being first, and the other coming after" (quoted in Crippen, Hist. of Christ. Doct., 80). Augustine, De Pec. Mer. et Rem., 3:7—"In Adam all sinned, at the time when in his nature all were still that one man"; De Civ. Dei, 13:14—"For we all were in that one man, when we all were that one man.… The form in which we each should live was not as yet individually created and distributed to us, but there already existed the seminal nature from which we were propagated."
Augustine, indeed, wavered in his statements with regard to the origin of the soul, apparently fearing that an explicit and pronounced traducianism might involve materialistic consequences; yet, as logically lying at the basis of his doctrine of original sin, traducianism came to be the ruling view of the Lutheran reformers. In his Table Talk, Luther says: "The reproduction of mankind is a great marvel and mystery. Had God consulted me in the matter, I should have advised him to continue the generation of the species by fashioning them out of clay, in the way Adam was fashioned; as I should have counseled him also to let the sun remain always suspended over the earth like a great lamp, maintaining perpetual light and heat."
Traducianism holds that man, as a species, was created in Adam. In Adam, the substance of humanity was yet undistributed. We derive our immaterial as well as our material being, by natural laws of propagation, from Adam,—each individual man after Adam possessing a part of the substance that was originated in him. Sexual reproduction has for its purpose the keeping of variations within limit. Every marriage tends to bring back the individual type to that of the species. The offspring represents not one of the parents but both. And, as each of these parents represents two grandparents, the offspring really represents the whole race. Without this conjugation the individual peculiarities would reproduce themselves in divergent lines like the shot from a shot-gun. Fission needs to be supplemented by conjugation. The use of sexual reproduction is to preserve the average individual in the face of a progressive tendency to variation. In asexual reproduction the offspring start on deviating lines and never mix their qualities with those of their mates. Sexual reproduction makes the individual the type of the species and gives solidarity to the race. See Maupas, quoted by Newman Smith, Place of Death in Evolution, 19–22.
John Milton, in his Christian Doctrine, is a Traducian. He has no faith in the notion of a soul separate from and inhabiting the body. He believes in a certain corporeity of the soul. Mind and thought are rooted in the bodily organism. Soul was not inbreathed after the body was formed. The breathing of God into man's nostrils was only the quickening impulse to that which already had life. God does not create souls every day. Man is a body-and-soul, or a soul-body, and he transmits himself as such. Harris, Moral Evolution, 171—The individual man has a great number of ancestors as well as a great number of descendants. He is the central point of an hour-glass, or a strait between two seas which widen out behind and before. How then shall we escape the conclusion that the human race was most numerous at the beginning? We must remember that other children have the same great-grandparents with ourselves; that there have been inter-marriages; and that, after all, the generations run on in parallel lines, that the lines spread a little in some countries and periods, and narrow a little in other countries and periods. It is like a wall covered with paper in diamond pattern. The lines diverge and converge, but the figures are parallel. See Shedd, Dogm. Theol., 2:7–94, Hist. Doctrine, 2:1–26, Discourses and Essays, 259; Baird, Elohim Revealed, 137–151, 335–384; Edwards, Works, 2:483; Hopkins, Works, 1:289; Birks, Difficulties of Belief, 161; Delitzsch, Bib. Psych., 128–142; Frohschammer, Ursprung der Seele, 59–224.
With regard to this view we remark:
(a) It seems best to accord with Scripture, which represents God as creating the species in Adam (Gen. 1:27), and as increasing and perpetuating it through secondary agencies (1:28; cf. 22). Only once is breathed into man's nostrils the breath of life (2:7, cf. 22; 1 Cor. 11:8. Gen. 4:1; 5:3; 46:26; cf. Acts 17:21–26; Heb. 7:10), and after man's formation God ceases from his work of creation (Gen. 2:2).
Gen. 1:27—"And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him: male and female created he them"; 28—"And God blessed them; and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth"; cf. 22—of the brute creation: "And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth." Gen. 2:7—"And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul"; cf. 1:22—"and the rib which Jehovah God had taken from the man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man"; 1 Cor. 11:8—"For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man" (ἐξ ἀνδρός). Gen. 4:1—"Eve.… bare Cain"; 5:3—"Adam.… begat a son.… Seth"; 46:26—"All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, that came out of his loins"; Acts 17:26—"he made of one ['father' or 'body'] every nation of men"; Heb. 7:10—Levi "was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedek met him"; Gen. 2:2—"And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made." Shedd, Dogm. Theol., 2:19–29, adduces also John 1:13; 3:6; Rom. 1:3; 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:22; Eph. 2:3; Heb. 12:9; Ps. 139:15, 16. Only Adam had the right to be a creationist. Westcott, Com. on Hebrews, 114—"Levi paying tithes in Abraham implies that descendants are included in the ancestor so far that his acts have force for them. Physically, at least, the dead do rule the living. The individual is not a completely self-centred being. He is member in a body. So far traducianism is true. But, if this were all, man would be a mere result of the past, and would have no individual responsibility. There is an element not derived from birth, though it may follow upon it. Recognition of individuality is the truth in creatianism. Power of vision follows upon preparation of an organ of vision, modified by the latter but not created by it. So we have the social unity of the race, plus the personal responsibility of the individual, the influence of common thoughts plus the power of great men, the foundation of hope plus the condition of judgment."
(b) It is favored by the analogy of vegetable and animal life, in which increase of numbers is secured, not by a multiplicity of immediate creations, but by the natural derivation of new individuals from a parent stock. A derivation of the human soul from its parents no more implies a materialistic view of the soul and its endless division and subdivision, than the similar derivation of the brute proves the principle of intelligence in the lower animals to be wholly material.
God's method is not the method of endless miracle. God works in nature through second causes. God does not create a new vital principle at the beginning of existence of each separate apple, and of each separate dog. Each of these is the result of a self-multiplying force, implanted once for all in the first of its race. To say, with Moxom (Baptist Review, 1881:278), that God is the immediate author of each new individual, is to deny second causes, and to merge nature in God. The whole tendency of modern science is in the opposite direction. Nor is there any good reason for making the origin of the individual human soul an exception to the general rule. Augustine wavered in his traducianism because he feared the inference that the soul is divided and subdivided,—that is, that it is composed of parts, and is therefore material in its nature. But it does not follow that all separation is material separation. We do not, indeed, know how the soul is propagated. But we know that animal life is propagated, and still that it is not material, nor composed of parts. The fact that the soul is not material, nor composed of parts, is no reason why it may not be propagated also.
It is well to remember that substance does not necessarily imply either extension or figure. Substantia is simply that which stands under, underlies, supports, or in other words that which is the ground of phenomena. The propagation of mind therefore does not involve any dividing up, or splitting off, as if the mind were a material mass. Flame is propagated, but not by division and subdivision. Professor Ladd is a creatianist, together with Lotze, whom he quotes, but he repudiates the idea that the mind is susceptible of division; see Ladd, Philosophy of Mind, 206, 359–366—"The mind comes from nowhere, for it never was, as mind, in space, is not now in space, and cannot be conceived of as coming and going in space.… Mind is a growth.… Parents do not transmit their minds to their offspring. The child's mind does not exist before it acts. Its activities are its existence." So we might say that flame has no existence before it acts. Yet it may owe its existence to a preceding flame. The Indian proverb is: "No lotus without a stem." Hall Caine, in his novel The Manxman, tells us that the Deemster of the Isle of Man had two sons. These two sons were as unlike each other as are the inside and the outside of a bowl. But the bowl was old Deemster himself. Hartley Coleridge inherited his father's imperious desire for stimulants and with it his inability to resist their temptation.
(c) The observed transmission not merely of physical, but of mental and spiritual, characteristics in families and races, and especially the uniformly evil moral tendencies and dispositions which all men possess from their birth, are proof that in soul, as well as in body, we derive our being from our human ancestry.
Galton, in his Hereditary Genius, and Inquiries into Human Faculty, furnishes abundant proof of the transmission of mental and spiritual characteristics from father to son. Illustrations, in the case of families, are the American Adamses, the English Georges, the French Bourbons, the German Bachs. Illustrations, in the case of races, are the Indians, the Negroes, the Chinese, the Jews. Hawthorne represented the introspection and the conscience of Puritan New England. Emerson had a minister among his ancestry, either on the paternal or the maternal side, for eight generations back. Every man is "a chip of the old block." "A man is an omnibus, in which all his ancestors are seated" (O. W. Holmes). Variation is one of the properties of living things,—the other is transmission. "On a dissecting table, in the membranes of a new-born infant's body, can be seen 'the drunkard's tinge.' The blotches on his grand-child's cheeks furnish a mirror to the old debauchee. Heredity is God's visiting of sin to the third and fourth generations." On heredity and depravity, see Phelps, in Bib. Sac., Apr. 1884:254—"When every molecule in the paternal brain bears the shape of a point of interrogation, it would border on the miraculous if we should find the exclamation-sign of faith in the brain-cells of the child."
Robert G. Ingersoll said that most great men have great mothers, and that most great women have great fathers. Most of the great are like mountains, with the valley of ancestors on one side and the depression of posterity on the other. Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables illustrates the principle of heredity. But in his Marble Faun and Transformation, Hawthorne unwisely intimates that sin is a necessity to virtue, a background or condition of good. Dryden, Absalom and Ahithophel, 1:156—"Great wits are sure to madness near allied, And thin partititions do their bounds divide." Lombroso, The Man of Genius, maintains that genius is a mental disease allied to epileptiform mania or the dementia of cranks. If this were so, we should infer that civilization is the result of insanity, and that, so soon as Napoleons, Dantes and Newtons manifest themselves, they should be confined in Genius Asylums. Robert Browning, Hohenstiel-Schwangau, comes nearer the truth: "A solitary great man's worth the world. God takes the business into his own hands At such time: Who creates the novel flower Contrives to guard and give it breathing-room.… 'Tis the great Gardener grafts the excellence On wildlings, where he will."
(d) The traducian doctrine embraces and acknowledges the element of truth which gives plausibility to the creation view. Traducianism, properly defined, admits a divine concurrence throughout the whole development of the human species, and allows, under the guidance of a superintending Providence, special improvements in type at the birth of marked men, similar to those which we may suppose to have occurred in the introduction of new varieties in the animal creation.
Page-Roberts, Oxford University Sermons: "It is no more unjust that man should inherit evil tendencies, than that he should inherit good. To make the former impossible is to make the latter impossible. To object to the law of heredity, is to object to God's ordinance of society, and to say that God should have made men, like the angels, a company, and not a race." The common moral characteristics of the race can only be accounted for upon the Scriptural view that "that which is born of the flesh is flesh" (John 3:6). Since propagation is a propagation of soul, as well as body, we see that to beget children under improper conditions is a crime, and that fœticide is murder. Haeckel, Evolution of Alan, 2:3—"The human embryo passes through the whole course of its development in forty weeks. Each man is really older by this period than is usually assumed. When, for example, a child is said to be nine and a quarter years old, he is really ten years old." Is this the reason why Hebrews call a child a year old at birth? President Edwards prayed for his children and his children's children to the end of time, and President Woolsey congratulated himself that he was one of the inheritors of those prayers. R. W. Emerson: "How can a man get away from his ancestors?" Men of genius should select their ancestors with great care. When begin the instruction of a child? A hundred years before he is born. A lady whose children were noisy and troublesome said to a Quaker relative that she wished she could get a good Quaker governess for them, to teach them the quiet ways of the Society of Friends. "It would not do them that service," was the reply; "they should have been rocked in a Quaker cradle, if they were to learn Quakerly ways."
Galton, Natural Inheritance, 104—"The child inherits partly from his parents, partly from his ancestry. In every population that intermarries freely, when the genealogy of any man is traced far backwards, his ancestry will be found to consist of such varied elements that they are indistinguishable from the sample taken at haphazard from the general population. Galton speaks of the tendency of peculiarities to revert to the general type, and says that a man's brother is twice as nearly related to him as his father is, and nine times as nearly as his cousin. The mean stature of any particular class of men will be the same as that of the race; in other words, it will be mediocre. This tells heavily against the full hereditary transmission of any rare and valuable gift, as only a few of the many children would resemble their parents." We may add to these thoughts of Galton that Christ himself, as respects his merely human ancestry, was not so much son of Mary, as he was Son of man.
Brooks, Foundations of Zoölogy, 144–167—In an investigated case, "in seven and a half generations the maximum ancestry for one person is 382, or for three persons 1146. The names of 452 of them, or nearly half, are recorded, and these 452 named ancestors are not 452 distinct persons, but only 149, many of them, in the remote generations, being common ancestors of all three in many lines. If the lines of descent from the unrecorded ancestors were interrelated in the same way, as they would surely be in an old and stable community, the total ancestry of these three persons for seven and a half generations would be 378 persons instead of 1146. The descendants of many die out. All the members of a species descend from a few ancestors in a remote generation, and these few are the common ancestors of all. Extinction of family names is very common. We must seek in the modern world and not in the remote past for an explanation of that diversity among individuals which passes under the name of variation. The genealogy of a species is not a tree, but a slender thread of very few strands, a little frayed at the near end, but of immeasurable length. A fringe of loose ends all along the thread may represent the animals which having no descendants are now as if they had never been. Each of the strands at the near end is important as a possible line of union between the thread of the past and that of the distant future."
Weismann, Heredity, 270, 272, 380, 384, denies Brooks's theory that the male element represents the principle of variation. He finds the cause of variation in the union of elements from the two parents. Each child unites the hereditary tendencies of two parents, and so must be different from either. The third generation is a compromise between four different hereditary tendencies. Brooks finds the cause of variation in sexual reproduction, but he bases his theory upon the transmission of acquired characters. This transmission is denied by Weismann, who says that the male germ-cell does not play a different part from that of the female in the construction of the embryo. Children inherit quite as much from the father as from the mother. Like twins are derived from the same egg-cell. No two germ-cells contain exactly the same combinations of hereditary tendencies. Changes in environment and organism affect posterity, not directly, but only through other changes produced in its germinal matter. Hence efforts to reach high food cannot directly produce the giraffe. See Dawson, Modern Ideas of Evolution, 235–239; Bradford, Heredity and Christian Problems; Ribot, Heredity; Woods, Heredity in Royalty. On organic unity in connection with realism, see Hodge, in Princeton Rev., Jan. 1865:125–135; Dabney, Theology, 317–321.
V. THE MORAL NATURE OF MAN
By the moral nature of man we mean those powers which fit him for right or wrong action. These powers are intellect, sensibility, and will, together with that peculiar power of discrimination and impulsion, which we call conscience. In order to moral action, man has intellect or reason, to discern the difference between right and wrong; sensibility, to be moved by each of these; free will, to do the one or the other. Intellect, sensibility, and will, are man's three faculties. But in connection with these faculties there is a sort of activity which involves them all, and without which there can be no moral action, namely, the activity of conscience. Conscience applies the moral law to particular cases in our personal experience, and proclaims that law as binding upon us. Only a rational and sentient being can be truly moral; yet it does not come within our province to treat of man's intellect or sensibility in general. We speak here only of Conscience and of Will.
A. Conscience an accompanying knowledge.—As already intimated, conscience is not a separate faculty, like intellect, sensibility, and will, but rather a mode in which these faculties act. Like consciousness, conscience is an accompanying knowledge. Conscience is a knowing of self (including our acts and states) in connection with a moral standard, or law. Adding now the element of feeling, we may say that conscience is man's consciousness of his own moral relations, together with a peculiar feeling; in view of them. It thus involves the combined action of the intellect and of the sensibility, and that in view of a certain class of objects, viz.: right and wrong.
There is no separate ethical faculty any more than there is a separate æsthetic faculty. Conscience is like taste: it has to do with moral being and relations, as taste has to do with æsthetic being and relations. But the ethical judgment and impulse are, like the æsthetic judgment and impulse, the mode in which intellect, sensibility and will act with reference to a certain class of objects. Conscience deals with the right, as taste deals with the beautiful. As consciousness (con and scio) is a con-knowing, a knowing of our thoughts, desires and volitions in connection with a knowing of the self that has these thoughts, desires and volitions; so conscience is a con-knowing, a knowing of our moral acts and states in connection with a knowing of some moral standard or law which is conceived of as our true self, and therefore as having authority over us. Ladd, Philosophy of Mind, 183–185—"The condemnation of self involves self-diremption, double consciousness. Without it Kant's categorical imperative is impossible. The one self lays down the law to the other self, judges it, threatens it. This is what is meant, when the apostle says: 'It is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me' (Rom. 7:17)."
B. Conscience discriminative and impulsive.—But we need to define more narrowly both the intellectual and the emotional elements in conscience. As respects the intellectual element, we may say that conscience is a power of judgment,—it declares our acts or states to conform, or not to conform, to law; it declares the acts or states which conform to be obligatory,—those which do not conform, to be forbidden. In other words, conscience judges: (1) This is right (or, wrong); (2) I ought (or, I ought not). In connection with this latter judgment, there comes into view the emotional element of conscience,—we feel the claim of duty; there is an inner sense that the wrong must not be done. Thus conscience is (1) discriminative, and (2) impulsive.
Robinson, Principles and Practice of Morality, 173—"The one distinctive function of conscience is that of authoritative self-judgments in the conscious presence of a supreme Personality to whom we as persons feel ourselves accountable. It is this twofold personal element in every judgment of conscience, viz., the conscious self-judgment in the presence of the all-judging Deity, which has led such writers as Bain and Spencer and Stephen to attempt the explanation of the origin and authority of conscience as the product of parental training and social environment.… Conscience is not prudential nor advisory nor executive, but solely judicial. Conscience is the moral reason, pronouncing upon moral actions. Consciousness furnishes law; conscience pronounces judgments; it says: Thou shalt, Thou shalt not. Every man must obey his conscience; if it is not enlightened, that is his look-out. The callousing of conscience in this life is already a penal infliction." S. S. Times, Apl. 5, 1902:185—"Doing as well as we know how is not enough, unless we know just what is right and then do that. God never tells us merely to do our best, or according to our knowledge. It is our duty to know what is right, and then to do it. Ignorantia legis neminem excusat. We have responsibility for knowing preliminary to doing."
C. Conscience distinguished from other mental processes.—The nature and office of conscience will be still more clearly perceived if we distinguish it from other processes and operations with which it is too often confounded. The term conscience has been used by various writers to designate either one or all of the following: 1. Moral intuition—the intuitive perception of the difference between right and wrong, as opposite moral categories. 2. Accepted law—the application of the intuitive idea to general classes of actions, and the declaration that these classes of actions are right or wrong, apart from our individual relation to them. This accepted law is the complex product of (a) the intuitive idea, (b) the logical intelligence, (c) experiences of utility, (d) influences of society and education, and (e) positive divine revelation. 3. Judgment—applying this accepted law to individual and concrete cases in our own experience, and pronouncing our own acts or states either past, present, or prospective, to be right or wrong. 4. Command—authoritative declaration of obligation to do the right, or forbear the wrong, together with an impulse of the sensibility away from the one, and toward the other. 5. Remorse or approval—moral sentiments either of approbation or disapprobation, in view of past acts or states, regarded as wrong or right. 6. Fear or hope—instinctive disposition of disobedience to expect punishment, and of obedience to expect reward.
Ladd, Philos. of Conduct, 70—"The feeling of the ought is primary, essential, unique; the judgments as to what one ought are the results of environment, education and reflection." The sentiment of justice is not an inheritance of civilized man alone. No Indian was ever robbed of his lands or had his government allowance stolen from him who was not as keenly conscious of the wrong as in like circumstances we could conceive that a philosopher would be. The oughtness of the ought is certainly intuitive; the whyness of the ought (conformity to God) is possibly intuitive also; the whatness of the ought is less certainly intuitive. Cutler, Beginnings of Ethics, 163, 164—"Intuition tells us that we are obliged; why we are obliged, and what we are obliged to, we must learn elsewhere." Obligation = that which is binding on a man; ought is something owed; duty is something due. The intuitive notion of duty (intellect) is matched by the sense of obligation (feeling).
Bixby, Crisis in Morals, 203, 270—"All men have a sense of right,—of right to life, and contemporaneously perhaps, but certainly afterwards, of right to personal property. And my right implies duty in my neighbor to respect it. Then the sense of right becomes objective and impersonal. My neighbor's duty to me implies my duty to him. I put myself in his place." Bowne, Principles of Ethics, 156, 188—"First, the feeling of obligation, the idea of a right and a wrong with corresponding duties, is universal.… Secondly, there is a very general agreement in the formal principles of action, and largely in the virtues also, such as benevolence, justice, gratitude.… Whether we owe anything to our neighbor has never been a real question. The practical trouble has always lain in the other question: Who is my neighbor? Thirdly, the specific contents of the moral ideal are not fixed, but the direction in which the ideal lies is generally discernible.… We have in ethics the same fact as in intellect—a potentially infallible standard, with manifold errors in its apprehension and application. Lucretius held that degradation and paralysis of the moral nature result from religion. Many claim on the other hand that without religion morals would disappear from the earth."
Robinson, Princ. and Prac. of Morality, 173—"Fear of an omnipotent will is very different from remorse in view of the nature of the supreme Being whose law we have violated." A duty is to be settled in accordance with the standard of absolute right, not as public sentiment would dictate. A man must be ready to do right in spite of what everybody thinks. Just as the decisions of a judge are for the time binding on all good citizens, so the decisions of conscience, as relatively binding, must always be obeyed. They are presumptively right and they are the only present guide of action. Yet man's present state of sin makes it quite possible that the decisions which are relatively right may be absolutely wrong. It is not enough to take one's time from the watch; the watch may go wrong; there is a prior duty of regulating the watch by astronomical standards. Bishop Gore: "Man's first duty is, not to follow his conscience, but to enlighten his conscience." Lowell says that the Scythians used to eat their grandfathers out of humanity. Paine, Ethnic Trinities, 300—"Nothing is so stubborn or so fanatical as a wrongly instructed conscience, as Paul showed in his own case by his own confession" (Acts 26:9—"I verily thought with myself that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth").
D. Conscience the moral judiciary of the soul.—From what has been previously said, it is evident that only 3. and 4. are properly included under the term conscience. Conscience is the moral judiciary of the soul—the power within of judgment and command. Conscience must judge according to the law given to it, and therefore, since the moral standard accepted by the reason may be imperfect, its decision, while relatively just, may be absolutely unjust.—1. and 2. belong to the moral reason, but not to conscience proper. Hence the duty of enlightening and cultivating the moral reason, so that conscience may have a proper standard of judgment.—5. and 6. belong to the sphere of moral sentiment, and not to conscience proper. The office of conscience is to "bear witness" (Rom. 2:15).
In Rom. 2:15—"they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness there with, and their thoughts one with another accusing or else excusing them"—we have conscience clearly distinguished both from the law and the perception of law on the one hand, and from the moral sentiments of approbation and disapprobation on the other. Conscience does not furnish the law, but it bears witness with the law which is furnished by other sources. It is not "that power of mind by which moral law is discovered to each individual" (Calderwood, Moral Philosophy, 77), nor can we speak of "Conscience, the Law" (as Whewell does in his Elements of Morality, 1:259–266). Conscience is not the law-book, in the court room, but it is the judge,—whose business is, not to make law, but to decide cases according to the law given to him.
As conscience is not legislative, so it is not retributive; as it is not the law-book, so it is not the sheriff. We say, indeed, in popular language, that conscience scourges or chastises, but it is only in the sense in which we say that the judge punishes,—i. e., through the sheriff. The moral sentiments are the sheriff,—they carry out the decisions of conscience, the judge; but they are not themselves conscience, any more than the sheriff is the judge.
Only this doctrine, that conscience does not discover law, can explain on the one hand the fact that men are bound to follow their consciences, and on the other hand the fact that their consciences so greatly differ as to what is right or wrong in particular cases. The truth is, that conscience is uniform and infallible, in the sense that it always decides rightly according to the law given it. Men's decisions vary, only because the moral reason has presented to the conscience different standards by which to judge.
Conscience can be educated only in the sense of acquiring greater facility and quickness in making its decisions. Education has its chief effect, not upon the conscience, but upon the moral reason, in rectifying its erroneous or imperfect standards of judgment. Give conscience a right law by which to judge, and its decisions will be uniform, and absolutely as well as relatively just. We are bound, not only to "follow our conscience," but to have a right conscience to follow,—and to follow it, not as one follows the beast he drives, but as the soldier follows his commander. Robert J. Burdette "Following conscience as a guide is like following one's nose. It is important to get the nose pointed right before it is safe to follow it. A man can keep the approval of his own conscience in very much the same way that he can keep directly behind his nose, and go wrong all the time."
Conscience is the con-knowing of a particular act or state, as coming under the law accepted by the reason as to right and wrong; and the judgment of conscience subsumes this act or state under that general standard. Conscience cannot include the law—cannot itself be the law,—because reason only knows, never con-knows. Reason says scio; only judgment says conscio.
This view enabled us to reconcile the intuitional and the empirical theories of morals. Each has its element of truth. The original sense of right and wrong is intuitive,—no education could ever impart the idea of the difference between right and wrong to one who had it not. But what classes of things are right or wrong, we learn by the exercise of our logical intelligence, in connection with experiences of utility, influences of society and tradition, and positive divine revelation. Thus our moral reason, through a combination of intuition and education, of internal and external information as to general principles of right and wrong, furnishes the standard according to which conscience may judge the particular cases which come before it.
This moral reason may become depraved by sin, so that the light becomes darkness (Mat. 6:22, 23) and conscience has only a perverse standard by which to judge. The "weak" conscience (1 Cor. 8:12) is one whose standard of judgment is yet imperfect; the conscience "branded" (Rev. Vers.) or "seared" (A. V.) "as with a hot iron" (1 Tim. 4:2) is one whose standard has been wholly perverted by practical disobedience. The word and the Spirit of God are the chief agencies in rectifying our standards of judgment, and so of enabling conscience to make absolutely right decisions. God can so unite the soul to Christ, that it becomes partaker on the one hand of his satisfaction to justice and is thus "sprinkled from an evil conscience" (Heb. 10:22), and on the other hand of his sanctifying power and is thus enabled in certain respects to obey God's command and to speak of a "good conscience" (1 Pet. 3:16—of single act; 3:21—of state) instead of an "evil conscience" (Heb. 10:22) or a conscience "defiled" (Tit. 1:15) by sin. Here the "good conscience" is the conscience which has been obeyed by the will, and the "evil conscience" the conscience which has been disobeyed; with the result, in the first case, of approval from the moral sentiments, and, in the second case, of disapproval.
E. Conscience in its relation to God as law-giver.—Since conscience, in the proper sense, gives uniform and infallible judgment that the right is supremely obligatory, and that the wrong must be forborne at every cost, it can be called an echo of God's voice, and an indication in man of that which his own true being requires.
Conscience has sometimes been described as the voice of God in the soul, or as the personal presence and influence of God himself. But we must not identify conscience with God. D. W. Faunce: "Conscience is not God,—it is only a part of one's self. To build up a religion about one's own conscience, as if it were God, is only a refined selfishness—a worship of one part of one's self by another part of one's self." In The Excursion, Wordsworth speaks of conscience as "God's most intimate presence in the soul And his most perfect image in the world." But in his Ode to Duty he more discreetly writes: "Stern daughter of the voice of God! O Duty! if that name thou love, Who art a light to guide, a rod To check the erring, and reprove, Thou who art victory and law When empty terrors overawe, From vain temptations dost set free And calmst the weary strife of frail humanity!" Here is an allusion to the Hebrew Bath Kol. "The Jews say that the Holy Spirit spoke during the Tabernacle by Urim and Thummim, under the first Temple by the Prophets, and under the second Temple by the Bath Kol—a divine intimation as inferior to the oracular voice proceeding from the mercy seat as a daughter is supposed to be inferior to her mother. It is also used in the sense of an approving conscience. In this case it is the echo of the voice of God in those who by obeying hear" (Hershon's Talmudic Miscellany, 2, note). This phrase, "the echo of God's voice," is a correct description of conscience, and Wordsworth probably had it in mind when he spoke of duty as "the daughter of the voice of God." Robert Browning describes conscience as "the great beacon-light God sets in all.… The worst man upon earth.… knows in his conscience more Of what right is, than arrives at birth In the best man's acts that we bow before." Jackson, James Martineau, 154—The sense of obligation is "a piercing ray of the great Orb of souls." On Wordsworth's conception of conscience, see A. H. Strong, Great Poets, 365–368.
Since the activity of the immanent God reveals itself in the normal operations of our own faculties, conscience might be also regarded as man's true self over against the false self which we have set up against it. Theodore Parker defines conscience as "our consciousness of the conscience of God." In his fourth year, says Chadwick, his biographer (pages 12, 13, 185), young Theodore saw a little spotted tortoise and lifted his hand to strike. All at once something checked his arm, and a voice within said clear and loud: "It is wrong." He asked his mother what it was that told him it was wrong. She wiped a tear from her eye with her apron, and taking him in her arms said: "Some men call it conscience, but I prefer to call it the voice of God in the soul of man. If you listen and obey it, then it will speak clearer and clearer, and will always guide you right; but if you turn a deaf ear and disobey, then it will fade out little by little, and will leave you all in the dark and without a guide. Your life depends on your hearing this little voice." R. T. Smith, Man's Knowledge of Man and of God, 87, 171—"Man has conscience, as he has talents. Conscience, no more than talent, makes him good. He is good, only as he follows conscience and uses talent.… The relation between the terms consciousness and conscience, which are in fact but forms of the same word, testifies to the fact that it is in the action of conscience that man's consciousness of himself is chiefly experienced."
The conscience of the regenerate man may have such right standards, and its decisions may be followed by such uniformly right action, that its voice, though it is not itself God's voice, is yet the very echo of God's voice. The renewed conscience may take up into itself, and may express, the witness of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 9:1—"I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience bearing witness with me in the Holy Spirit"; cf. 8:16—"the Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God"). But even when conscience judges according to imperfect standards, and is imperfectly obeyed by the will, there is a spontaneity in its utterances and a sovereignty in its commands. It declares that whatever is right must be done. The imperative of conscience is a "categorical imperative" (Kant). It is independent of the human will. Even when disobeyed, it still asserts its authority. Before conscience, every other impulse and affection of man's nature is called to bow.
F. Conscience in its relation to God as holy.—Conscience is not an original authority. It points to something higher than itself, The "authority of conscience" is simply the authority of the moral law, or rather, the authority of the personal God, of whose nature the law is but a transcript. Conscience, therefore, with its continual and supreme demand that the right should be done, furnishes the best witness to man of the existence of a personal God, and of the supremacy of holiness in him in whose image we are made.
In knowing self in connection with moral law, man not only gets his best knowledge of self, but his best knowledge of that other self opposite to him, namely, God. Gordon, Christ of To-day, 236—"The conscience is the true Jacob's ladder, set in the heart of the individual and reaching unto heaven; and upon it the angels of self-reproach and self-approval ascend and descend." This is of course true if we confine our thoughts to the mandatory element in revelation. There is a higher knowledge of God which is given only in grace. Jacob's ladder symbolizes the Christ who publishes not only the gospel but the law, and not only the law but the gospel. Dewey, Psychology, 344—"Conscience is intuitive, not in the sense that it enunciates universal laws and principles, for it lays down no laws. Conscience is a name for the experience of personality that any given act is in harmony or in discord with a truly realized personality." Because obedience to the dictates of conscience is always relatively right, Kant could say that "an erring conscience is a chimæra." But because the law accepted by conscience may be absolutely wrong, conscience may in its decisions greatly err from the truth. S. S. Times: "Saul before his conversion was a conscientious wrong doer. His spirit and character was commendable, while his conduct was reprehensible." We prefer to say that Saul's zeal for the law was a zeal to make the law subservient to his own pride and honor.
Horace Bushnell said that the first requirement of a great ministry is a great conscience. He did not mean the punitive, inhibitory conscience merely, but rather the discovering, arousing, inspiring conscience, that sees at once the great things to be done, and moves toward them with a shout and a song. This unbiased and pure conscience is inseparable from the sense of its relation to God and to God's holiness. Shakespeare, Henry VI, 2d Part, 3:2—"What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted? Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though locked up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted." Huxley, in his lecture at Oxford in 1893, admits and even insists that ethical practice must be and should be in opposition to evolution; that the methods of evolution do not account for ethical man and his ethical progress. Morality is not a product of the same methods by which lower orders have advanced in perfection of organization, namely, by the struggle for existence and survival of the fittest. Human progress is moral, is in freedom, is under the law of love, is different in kind from physical evolution. James Russell Lowell: "In vain we call old notions fudge, And bend our conscience to our dealing: The ten commandments will not budge, And stealing will continue stealing."
R. T. Smith, Man's Knowledge of Man and of God, 161—"Conscience lives in human nature like a rightful king, whose claim can never be forgotten by his people, even though they dethrone and misuse him, and whose presence, on the seat of judgment can alone make the nation to be at peace with itself." Seth, Ethical Principles, 424—"The Kantian theory of autonomy does not tell the whole story of the moral life. Its unyielding Ought, its categorical Imperative, issues not merely from the depths of our own nature, but from the heart of the universe itself. We are self-legislative; but we reënact the law already enacted by God; we recognize, rather than constitute, the law of our own being. The moral law is an echo, within our own souls, of the voice of the Eternal, 'whose offspring we are' (Acts 17:28)."
Schenkel, Christliche Dogmatik, 1:135–155—"The conscience is the organ by which the human spirit finds God in itself and so becomes aware of itself in him. Only in conscience is man conscious of himself as eternal, as distinct from God, yet as normally bound to be determined wholly by God. When we subject ourselves wholly to God, conscience gives us peace. When we surrender to the world the allegiance due only to God, conscience brings remorse. In this latter case we become aware that while God is in us, we are no longer in God. Religion is exchanged for ethics, the relation of communion for the relation of separation. In conscience alone man distinguishes himself absolutely from the brute. Man does not make conscience, but conscience makes man. Conscience feels every separation from God as an injury to self. Faith is the relating of the self-consciousness to the God-consciousness, the becoming sure of our own personality, in the absolute personality of God. Only in faith does conscience come to itself. But by sin this faith-consciousness may be turned into law-consciousness. Faith affirms God in us; Law affirms God outside of us." Schenkel differs from Schleiermacher in holding that religion is not feeling but conscience, and that it is not a sense of dependence on the world, but a sense of dependence on God. Conscience recognizes a God distinct from the universe, a moral God, and so makes an unmoral religion impossible.
Hopkins, Outline Study of Man, 283–285, Moral Science, 49, Law of Love, 41—"Conscience is the moral consciousness of man in view of his own actions as related to moral law. It is a double knowledge of self and of the law. Conscience is not the whole of the moral nature. It presupposes the moral reason, which recognizes the moral law and affirms its universal obligation for all moral beings. It is the office of conscience to bring man into personal relation to this law. It sets up a tribunal within him by which his own actions are judged. Not conscience, but the moral reason, judges of the conduct of others. This last is science, but not conscience."
Peabody, Moral Philos., 41–60—"Conscience not a source, but a means, of knowledge. Analogous to consciousness. A judicial faculty. Judges according to the law before it. Verdict (verum dictum) always relatively right, although, by the absolute standard of right, it may be wrong. Like all perceptive faculties, educated by use (not by increase of knowledge only, for man may act worse, the more knowledge he has). For absolutely right decisions, conscience is dependent upon knowledge. To recognize conscience as legislator (as well as judge), is to fail to recognize any objective standard of right." The Two Consciences, 46, 47—"Conscience the Law, and Conscience the Witness. The latter is the true and proper Conscience."
H. B. Smith, System of Christ. Theology, 178–191—"The unity of conscience is not in its being one faculty or in its performing one function, but in its having one object, its relation to one idea, viz., right.… The term 'conscience' no more designates a special faculty than the term 'religion' does (or than the 'æsthetic sense').… The existence of conscience proves a moral law above us; it leads logically to a Moral Governor;.… it implies an essential distinction between right and wrong, an immutable morality;.… yet needs to be enlightened; … men may be conscientious in iniquity; … conscience is not righteousness; … this may only show the greatness of the depravity, having conscience, and yet ever disobeying it."
On the New Testament passages with regard to conscience, see Hofmann, Lehre von dem Gewissen, 30–38; Kähler, Das Gewissen, 225–293. For the view that conscience is primarily the cognitive or intuitional power of the soul, see Calderwood, Moral Philosophy, 77; Alexander, Moral Science, 20; McCosh, Div. Govt., 297–312; Talbot, Ethical Prolegomena, in Blap. Quar., July, 1877:257–274; Park, Discourses, 260–296; Whewell, Elements of Morality, 1:259–266. On the whole subject of conscience, see Mansel, Metaphysics, 158–170; Martineau, Religion and Materialism, 45—"The discovery of duty is as distinctly relative to an objective Righteousness as the perception of form to an external space"; also Types, 2:27–30—"We first judge ourselves; then others"; 53, 54, 74, 103—"Subjective morals are as absurd as subjective mathematics." The best brief treatment of the whole subject is that of E. G. Robinson, Principles and Practice of Morality, 26–78. See also Wayland, Moral Science, 49; Harless, Christian Ethics, 45, 60; H. N. Day, Science of Ethics, 17; Janet, Theory of Morals, 264, 348; Kant, Metaphysic of Ethics, 62; cf. Schwegler, Hist. Philosophy, 233; Haven, Mor. Philos., 41; Fairchild, Mor. Philos., 75; Gregory, Christian Ethics, 71; Passavant, Das Gewissen; Wm. Schmid, Das Gewissen.
A. Will defined.—Will is the soul's power to choose between motives and to direct its subsequent activity according to the motive thus chosen,—in other words, the soul's power to choose both an end and the means to attain it. The choice of an ultimate end we call immanent preference; the choice of means we call executive volition.
In this definition we part company with Jonathan Edwards, Freedom of the Will, in Works, vol. 2. He regards the will as the soul's power to act according to motive, i. e., to act out its nature, but he denies the soul's power to choose between motives, i. e., to initiate a course of action contrary to the motive which has been previously dominant. Hence he is unable to explain how a holy being, like Satan or Adam, could ever fall. If man has no power to change motives, to break with the past, to begin a new course of action, he has no more freedom than the brute. The younger Edwards (Works, 1:483) shows what his father's doctrine of the will implies, when he says: "Beasts therefore, according to the measure of their intelligence, are as free as men. Intelligence, and not liberty, is the only thing wanting to constitute them moral agents." Yet Jonathan Edwards, determinist as he was, in his sermon on Pressing into the Kingdom of God (Works, 4:381), urges the use of means, and appeals to the sinner as if he had the power of choosing between the motives of self and of God. He was unconsciously making a powerful appeal to the will, and the human will responded in prolonged and mighty efforts; see Allen, Jonathan Edwards, 109.
For references, and additional statements with regard to the will and its freedom, see chapter on Decrees, pages 361, 362, and article by A. H. Strong, in Baptist Review, 1883:219–242, and reprinted in Philosophy and Religion, 114–128. In the remarks upon the Decrees, we have intimated our rejection of the Arminian liberty of indifference, or the doctrine that the will can act without motive. See this doctrine advocated in Peabody, Moral Philosophy, 1–9. But we also reject the theory of determinism propounded by Jonathan Edwards (Freedom of the Will, in Works, vol. 2), which, as we have before remarked, identifies sensibility with the will, regards affections as the efficient causes of volitions, and speaks of the connection between motive and action as a necessary one. Hazard, Man a Creative First Cause, and The Will, 407—"Edwards gives to the controlling cause of volition in the past the name of motive. He treats the inclination as a motive, but he also makes inclination synonymous with choice and will, which would make will to be only the soul willing—and therefore the cause of its own act." For objections to the Arminian theory, see H. B. Smith, Review of Whedon, in Faith and Philosophy, 359–399; McCosh, Divine Government, 263–318, esp. 312; E. G. Robinson, Principles and Practice of Morality, 109–137; Shedd, Dogm. Theo1., 2:115–147.
James, Psychology, 1:139—"Consciousness is primarily a selecting agency." 2:393—"Man possesses all the instincts of animals, and a great many more besides. Reason, per se, can inhibit no impulses; the only thing that can neutralize an impulse is an impulse the other way. Reason may however make an inference which will excite the imagination to let loose the impulse the other way." 549—"Ideal or moral action is action in the line of the greatest resistance." 562—"Effort of attention is the essential phenomenon of will." 567—"The terminus of the psychological process is volition; the point to which the will is directly applied is always an idea." 568—"Though attention is the first thing in volition, express consent to the reality of what is attended to is an additional and distinct phenomenon. We say not only: It is a reality; but we also say: 'Let it be a reality.' " 571—"Are the duration and intensity of this effort fixed functions of the object, or are they not? We answer, No, and so we maintain freedom of the will." 584—"The soul presents nothing, creates nothing, is at the mercy of material forces for all possibilities, and, by reinforcing one and checking others, it figures not as an epiphenomenon, but as something from which the play gets moral support." Alexander, Theories of the Will, 201–214, finds in Reid's Active Powers of the Human Mind the most adequate empirical defense of indeterminism.
B. Will and other faculties.—(a) We accept the threefold division of human faculties into intellect, sensibility, and will. (b) Intellect is the soul knowing; sensibility is the soul feeling (desires, affections); will is the soul choosing (end or means). (c) In every act of the soul, all the faculties act. Knowing involves feeling and willing; feeling involves knowing and willing; willing involves knowing and feeling. (d) Logically, each latter faculty involves the preceding action of the former; the the soul must know before feeling; must know and feel before willing. (e) Yet since knowing and feeling are activities, neither of these is possible without willing.
Socrates to Theætetus: "It would be a singular thing, my lad, if each of us was, as it were, a wooden horse, and within us were seated many separate senses. For manifestly these senses unite into one nature, call it the soul or what you will. And it is with this central form, through the organs of sense, that we perceive sensible objects." Dewey, Psychology, 21—"Knowledge and feeling are partial aspects of the self, and hence more or less abstract, while will is complete, comprehending both aspects.… While the universal element is knowledge, the individual element is feeling, and the relation which connects them into one concrete content is will." 364—"There is conflict of desires or motives. Deliberation is the comparison of desires; choice is the decision in favor of one. This desire is then the strongest because the whole force of the self is thrown into it." 411—"The man determines himself by setting up either good or evil as a motive to himself, and he sets up either, as he will have himself be. There is no thought without will, for thought implies inhibition." Ribot, Diseases of the Will, 73, cites the case of Coleridge, and his lack of power to inhibit scattering and useless ideas; 114—"Volition plunges its roots into the profoundest depths of the individual, and beyond the individual, into the species and into all species."
As God is not mere nature but originating force, so man is chiefly will. Every other act of the soul has will as an element. Wundt: "Jedes Denken ist ein Wollen." There is no perception, and there is no thought, without attention, and attention is an act of the will. Hegelians and absolute idealists like Bradley, (see Mind, July, 1886), deny that attention is an active function of the self. They regard it as a necessary consequence of the more interesting character of preceding ideas. Thus all power to alter character is denied to the agent. This is an exact reversal of the facts of consciousness, and it would leave no will in God or man. T. H. Green says that the self makes the motives by identifying itself with one solicitation of desire rather than another, but that the self has no power of alternative choice in thus identifying itself with one solicitation of desire rather than another; see Upton, Hibbert Lectures, 310. James Seth, Freedom of Ethical Postulate: "The only hope of finding a place for real free will is in another than the Humian, empirical or psychological account of the moral person or self. Hegel and Green bring will again under the law of necessity. But personality is ultimate. Absolute uniformity is entirely unproved. We contend for a power of free and incalculable initiation in the self, and this it is necessary to maintain in the interests of morality." Without will to attend to pertinent material and to reject the impertinent, we can have no science; without will to select and combine the elements of imagination, we can have no art; without will to choose between evil and good, we can have no morality. Ælfric, A.D. 900: "The verb 'to will' has no imperative, for that the will must be always free."
C. Will and permanent states.—(a) Though every act of the soul involves the action of all the faculties, yet in any particular action one faculty may be more prominent than the others. So we speak of acts of intellect, of affection, of will. (b) This predominant action of any single faculty produces effects upon the other faculties associated with it. The action of will gives a direction to the intellect and to the affections, as well as a permanent bent to the will itself. (c) Each faculty, therefore, has its permanent states as well as its transient acts, and the will may originate these states. Hence we speak of voluntary affections, and may with equal propriety speak of voluntary opinions. These permanent voluntary states we denominate character.
I "make up" my mind. Ladd, Philosophy of Conduct, 152—"I will the influential ideas, feelings and desires, rather than allow these ideas, feelings and desires to influence—not to say, determine me." All men can say with Robert Browning's Paracelsus: "I have subdued my life to the one purpose Whereto I ordained it." "Sow an act, and you reap a habit; sow a habit, and you reap a character; sow a character, and you reap a destiny." Tito, in George Eliot's Romola, and Markheim in R. L. Stevenson's story of that name, are instances of the gradual and almost imperceptible fixation in evil ways which results from seemingly slight original decisions of the will; see art. on Tito Melema, by Julia H. Gulliver, in New World, Dec. 1895:688—"Sin lies in the choice of the ideas that shall frequent the moral life, rather than of the actions that shall form the outward life.… The pivotal point of the moral life is the intent involved in attention.… Sin consists, not only in the motive, but in the making of the motive." By every decision of the will in which we turn our thought either toward or away from an object of desire, we set nerve-tracts in operation, upon which thought may hereafter more or less easily travel. "Nothing makes an in road, without making a road." By slight efforts of attention to truth which we know ought to influence us, we may "make level in the desert a highway for our God" (Is. 40:3), or render the soul a hard trodden ground impervious to "the word of the kingdom" (Mat. 13:19).
The word "character" meant originally the mark of the engraver's tool upon the metal or the stone. It came then to signify the collective result of the engraver's work. The use of the word in morals implies that every thought and act is chiseling itself into the imperishable substance of the soul. J. S. Mill: "A character is a completely fashioned will." We may talk therefore of a "generic volition" (Dewey). There is a permanent bent of the will toward good or toward evil. Reputation is man's shadow, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter, than himself. Character, on the other hand, is the man's true self—"what a man is in the dark" (Dwight L. Moody). In this sense, "purpose is the autograph of mind." Duke of Wellington: "Habit a second nature? Habit is ten times nature!" When Macbeth says: "If 't were done when 't is done, Then 't were well 't were done quickly," the trouble is that when 't is done, it is only begun. Robert Dale Owen gives us the fundamental principle of socialism in the maxim: "A man's character is made for him, not by him." Hence he would change man's diet or his environment, as a means of forming man's character. But Jesus teaches that what defiles comes not from without but from within (Mat. 15:18). Because character is the result of will, the maxim of Heraclitus is true: ἦθος ἀνθρώπῳ δαίμων = man's character is his destiny. On habit, see James, Psychology, 1:122–127.
D. Will and motives.—(a) The permanent states just mentioned, when they have been once determined, also influence the will. Internal views and dispositions, and not simply external presentations, constitute the strength of motives. (b) These motives often conflict, and though the soul never acts without motive, it does notwithstanding choose between motives, and so determines the end toward which it will direct its activities. (c) Motives are not causes, which compel the will, but influences, which persuade it. The power of these motives, however, is proportioned to the strength of will which has entered into them and has made them what they are.
"Incentives comes from the soul's self: the rest avail not." The same wind may drive two ships in opposite directions, according as they set their sails. The same external presentation may result in George Washington's refusing, and Benedict Arnold's accepting, the bribe to betray his country. Richard Lovelace of Canterbury: "Stone walls do not a prison make, Nor iron bars a cage; Minds innocent and quiet take That for a hermitage." Jonathan Edwards made motives to be efficient causes, when they are only final causes. We must not interpret motive as if it were locomotive. It is always a man's fault when he becomes a drunkard: drink never takes to a man; the man takes to drink. Men who deny demerit are ready enough to claim merit. They hold others responsible, if not themselves. Bowne: "Pure arbitrariness and pure necessity are alike incompatible with reason. There must be a law of reason in the mind with which volition cannot tamper, and there must also be the power to determine ourselves accordingly." Bowne, Principles of Ethics, 135—"If necessity is a universal thing, then the belief in freedom is also necessary. All grant freedom of thought, so that it is only executive freedom that is denied." Bowne, Theory of Thought and Knowledge, 239–244—"Every system of philosophy must invoke freedom for the solution of the problem of error, or make shipwreck of reason itself.… Our faculties are made for truth, but they may be carelessly used, or wilfully misused, and thus error is born.… We need not only laws of thought, but self-control in accordance with them."
The will, in choosing between motives, chooses with a motive, namely, the motive chosen. Fairbairn, Philos. Christian Religion, 76—"While motives may be necessary, they need not necessitate. The will selects motives; motives do not select the will. Heredity and environment do not cancel freedom, they only condition it. Thought is transcendence as regards the phenomena of space; will is transcendence as regards the phenomena of time; this double transcendence involves the complete supernatural character of man." New World, 1892:152—"It is not the character, but the self that has the character, to which the ultimate moral decision is due." William Ernest Henly, Poems, 119—"It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."
Julius Müller, Doctrine of Sin, 2:54—"A being is free, in so far as the inner centre of its life, from which it acts, is conditioned by self-determination. It is not enough that the deciding agent in an act be the man himself, his own nature, his distinctive character. In order to accountability, we must have more than this; we must prove that this, his distinctive nature and character, springs from his own volition, and that it is itself the product of freedom in moral development. Matt. 12:33—"make the tree good, and its fruit good"—combines both. Acts depend upon nature; but nature again depends upon the primary decisions of the will ("make the tree good"). Some determinism is not denied; but it is partly limited [by the will's remaining power of choice] and partly traced back to a former self-determining." Ibid., 67—"If freedom be the self-determining of the will from that which is undetermined, Determinism is found wanting,—because in its most spiritual form, though it grants a self-determination of the will, it is only such a one as springs from a determinateness already present; and Indifferentism is found wanting too, because while it maintains indeterminateness as presupposed in every act of will, it does not recognize an actual self-determining on the part of the will, which, though it be a self-determining, yet begets determinateness of character.… We must, therefore, hold the doctrine of a conditional and limited freedom."
E. Will and contrary choice.—(a) Though no act of pure will is possible, the soul may put forth single volitions in a direction opposed to its previous ruling purpose, and thus far man has the power of a contrary choice (Rom. 7:18—"to will is present with me"). (b) But in so far as will has entered into and revealed itself in permanent states of intellect and sensibility and in a settled bent of the will itself, man cannot by a single act reverse his moral state, and in this respect has not the power of a contrary choice. (c) In this latter case he can change his character only indirectly, by turning his attention to considerations fitted to awaken opposite dispositions, and by thus summoning up motives to an opposite course.
There is no such thing as an act of pure will. Peters, Willenswelt, 126—"Jedes Wollen ist ein Etwas wollen"—"all willing is a willing of some thing"; it has an object which the mind conceives, which awakens the sensibility, and which the will strives to realize. Cause without alternative is not true cause. J. F. Watts: "We know causality only as we know will, i. e., where of two possibles it makes one actual. A cause may therefore have more than one certain effect. In the external material world we cannot find cause, but only antecedent. To construct a theory of the will from a study of the material universe is to seek the living among the dead. Will is power to make a decision, not to be made by decisions, to decide between motives, and not to be determined by motives. Who conducts the trial between motives? Only the self." While we agree with the above in its assertion of the certainty of nature's sequences, we object to its attribution even to nature of anything like necessity. Since nature's laws are merely the habits of God, God's causality in nature is the regularity, not of necessity, but of freedom. We too are free at the strategic points. Automatic as most of our action is, there are times when we know ourselves to have power of initiative; when we put under our feet the motives which have dominated us in the past; when we mark out new courses of action. In these critical times we assert our manhood; but for them we would be no better than the beasts that perish. "Unless above himself he can erect himself, How mean a thing is man!"
Will, with no remaining power of contrary choice, may be brute will, but it is not free will. We therefore deny the relevancy of Herbert Spencer's argument, in his Data of Ethics, and in his Psychology, 2:503—"Psychical changes either conform to law, or they do not. If they do not conform to law, no science of Psychology is possible. If they do conform to law, there cannot be any such thing as free will." Spinoza also, in his Ethics, holds that the stone, as it falls, would if it were conscious think itself free, and with as much justice as man; for it is doing that to which its constitution leads it; but no more can be said for him. Fisher, Nature and Method of Revelation, xiii—"To try to collect the 'data of ethics' when there is no recognition of man as a personal agent, capable of freely originating the conduct and the states of will for which he is morally responsible, is labor lost." Fisher, chapter on the Personality of God, in Grounds of Theistic and Christian Belief—"Self-determination, as the very term signifies, is attended with an irresistible conviction that the direction of the will is self-imparted.… That the will is free, that is, not constrained by causes exterior, which is fatalism—and not a mere spontaneity, confined to one path by a force acting from within, which is determinism—is immediately evident to every unsophisticated mind. We can initiate action by an efficiency which is neither irresistibly controlled by motives, nor determined, without any capacity of alternative action, by a proneness inherent in its nature.… Motives have an influence, but influence is not to be confounded with casual effiencey."
Talbot, on Will and Free Will, Bap. Rev., July, 1882—"Will is neither a power of unconditioned self-determination—which is not freedom, but an aimless, irrational, fatalistic power; nor pure spontaneity—which excludes from will all law but its own; but it is rather a power of originating action—a power which is limited however by in born dispositions, by acquired habits and convictions, by feelings and social relations." Ernest Naviile, in Rev. Chrétienne, Jan. 1878:7—"Our liberty does not consist in producing an action of which it is the only source. It consists in choosing between two preëxistent impulses. It is choice, not creation, that is our destiny—a drop of water that can choose whether it will go into the Rhine or the Rhone. Gravity carries it down,—it chooses only its direction. Impulses do not come from the will, but from the sensibility; but free will chooses between these impulses." Bowne, Metaphysics, 169—"Freedom is not a power of acting without, or apart from, motives, but simply a power of choosing an end or law, and of governing one's self accordingly." Porter, Moral Science, 77–111—Will is "not a power to choose without motive," It "does not exclude motives to the contrary." Volition "supposes two or more objects between which election is made. It is an act of preference, and to prefer implies that one motive is least are required." Lyall, Intellect, Emotions, and Moral Nature, 581, 592—"The will follows reasons, inducements—but it is not caused. It obeys or acts under inducement, but it does so sovereignly. It exhibits the phenomena of activity, in relation to the very motive it obeys. It obeys it, rather than another. It determines, in reference to it, that this is the very motive it will obey. There is undoubtedly this phenemonon exhibited: the will obeying—but elective, active, in its obedience. If it is be asked how this is possible—how the will can be under the influence of motive and yet possess an intellectual activity—we reply that this is one of those ultimate phenomena which must be admitted, while they cannot be explained."
F. Will and responsibility.—(a) By repeated acts of will put forth in a given moral direction, the affections may become so confirmed in evil or in good as to make previously certain, though not necessary, the future good or evil action of the man. Thus, while the will is free, the man may be the "bondservant of sin" (John 8:31–36) or the "servant of righteousness" (Rom. 6:15–23; cf Heb. 12:23—"spirits of just men made perfect"). (b) Man is responsible for all effects of will, as well as for will itself; for voluntary affections, as well as for voluntary acts; for the intellectual views into which will has entered, as well as for the acts of will by which these views have been formed in the past or are maintained in the present (2 Pet. 3:5 wilfully forget").
Ladd, Philosophy of Knowledge, 415—"The self stands between the two laws of Nature and of Conscience, and, under perpetual limitations from both, exercises its choice. Thus it becomes more and more enslaved by the one, or more and more free by habitually choosing to follow the other. Our conception of causality according to the laws of nature, and our conception of the other causality of freedom, are both derived from one and the same experience of the self. There arises a seeming antinomy only when we hypostatize each severally and apart from the other." R. T. Smith, Man's Knowledge of Man and of God, 69—"Making a will is significant. Here the action of will is limited by conditions: the amount of the testator's property, the number of his relatives, the nature of the objects of bounty within his knowledge."
Harris, Philos. Basis of Theism, 349–407—"Action without motives, or contrary to all motives, would be irrational action. Instead of being free, it would be like the convulsions of epilepsy. Motives = sensibilities. Motive is not cause; does not determine; is only influence. Yet determination is always made under the influence of motives. Uniformity of action is not to be explained by any law of uniform influence of motives, but by character in the will. By its choice, will forms in itself a character; by action in accordance with this choice, it confirms and develops the character. Choice modifies sensibilities, and so modifies motives. Volitional action expresses character, but also forms and modifies it. Man may change his choice; yet intellect, sensibility, motive, habit, remain. Evil choice, having formed intellect and sensibility into accord with itself, must be a powerful hindrance to fundamental change by new and contrary choice; and gives small ground to expect that man left to himself ever will make the change. After will has acquired character by choices, its determinations are not transitions from complete indeterminateness or indifference, but are more or less expressions of character already formed. The theory that indifference is essential to freedom implies that will never acquires character; that voluntary action is atomistic; that every act is disintegrated from every other; that character, if acquired, would be incompatible with freedom. Character is a choice, yet a choice which persists, which modifies sensibility and intellect, and which influences subsequent determinations."
My freedom then is freedom within limitations. Heredity and environment, and above all the settled dispositions which are the product of past acts of will, render a large part of human action practically automatic. The deterministic theory is valid for perhaps nine-tenths of human activity. Mason, Faith of the Gospel, 118, 119—"We naturally will with a bias toward evil. To act according to the perfection of nature would be true freedom. And this man has lost. He recognizes that he is not his true self. It is only with difficulty that he works toward his true self again. By the fall of Adam, the will, which before was conditioned but free, is now not only conditioned but enslaved. Nothing but the action of grace can free it." Tennyson, In Memoriam, Introduction: "Our wills are ours, we know not how; Our wills are ours, to make them thine." Studying the action of the sinful will alone, one might conclude that there is no such thing as freedom. Christian ethics, in distinction from naturalistic ethics, reveals most clearly the degradation of our nature, at the same time that it discloses the remedy in Christ: "If therefore the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" (John 8:36).
Mind, Oct. 1882:567—"Kant seems to be in quest of the phantasmal freedom which is supposed to consist in the absence of determination by motives. The error of the determinists from which this idea is the recoil, involves an equal abstraction of the man from his thoughts, and interprets the relation between the two as an instance of the mechanical causality which exists between two things in nature. The point to be grasped in the controversy is that a man and his motives are one, and that consequently he is in every instance self-determined.… Indeterminism is tenable only if an ego can be found which is not an ego already determinate; but such an ego, though it may be logically distinguished and verbally expressed, is not a factor in psychology." Morell, Mental Philosophy, 390—"Motives determine the will, and so far the will is not free; but the man governs the motives, allowing them a less or a greater power of influencing his life, and so far the man is a free agent." Santayana: "A free man, because he is free, may make himself a slave; but once a slave, because he is a slave, he cannot make himself free." Sidgwick, Method of Ethics, 51, 65—"This almost overwhelming cumulative proof [of necessity] seems, however, more than balanced by a single argument on the other side: the immediate affirmation of consciousness in the moment of deliberate volition. It is impossible for me to think, at each moment, that my volition is completely determined by my formed character and the motives acting upon it. The opposite conviction is so strong as to be absolutely unshaken by the evidence brought against it. I cannot believe it to be illusory."
G. Inferences from this view of the will.—(a) We can be responsible for the voluntary evil affections with which we are born, and for the will's inherited preference of selfishness, only upon the hypothesis that we originated these states of the affections and will, or had a part in originating them. Scripture furnishes this explanation, in its doctrine of Original Sin, or the doctrine of a common apostasy of the race in its first father, and our derivation of a corrupted nature by natural generation from him. (b) While there remains to man, even in his present condition, a natural power of will by which he may put forth transient volitions externally conformed to the divine law and so may to a limited extent modify his character, it still remains true that the sinful bent of his affections is not directly under his control; and this bent constitutes a motive to evil so constant, inveterate, and powerful, that it actually influences every member of the race to reäffirm his evil choice, and renders necessary a special working of God's Spirit upon his heart to ensure his salvation. Hence the Scripture doctrine of Regeneration.
There is such a thing as "psychical automatism" (Ladd, Philos. Mind, 169). Mother: "Oscar, why can't you be good?" "Mamma, it makes me so tired!" The wayward four-year-old is a type of universal humanity. Men are born morally tired, though they have energy enough of other sorts. The man who sins may lose all freedom, so that his soul becomes a seething mass of eructant evil. T. C. Chamberlain: "Conditions may make choices run rigidly in one direction and give as fixed uniformity as in physical phenomena. Put before a million typical Americans the choice between a quarter and a dime, and rigid uniformity of results can be safely predicted." Yet Dr. Chamberlain not only grants but claims liberty of choice. Romanes, Mind and Motion, 155–160—"Though volitions are largely determined by other and external causes, it does not follow that they are determined necessarily, and this makes all the difference between the theories of will as bond or free. Their intrinsic character as first causes protects them from being coerced by these causes and therefore from becoming only the mere effects of them. The condition to the effective operation of a motive—as distinguished from a motor—is the acquiescence of the first cause upon whom that motive is operating." Fichte: "If any one adopting the dogma of necessity should remain virtuous, we must seek the cause of his goodness elsewhere than in the innocuousness of his doctrine. Upon the supposition of free will alone can duty, virtue, and morality have any existence." Lessing: "Kein Mensch muss müssen." Delitzsch: "Der Mensch, wie der jetzt, ist, ist wahlfrei, aber nicht machtfrei."
Kant regarded freedom as an exception to the law of natural causality. But this freedom is not phenomenal but noumenal, for causality is not a category of noumena. From this freedom we get our whole idea of personality, for personality is freedom of the whole soul from the mechanism of nature. Kant treated scornfully the determinism of Leibnitz. He said it was the freedom of a turnspit, which when once wound up directed its own movements, i. e., was merely automatic. Compare with this the view of Baldwin, Psychology, Feeling and Will, 373—"Free choice is a synthesis, the outcome of which is in every case conditioned upon its elements, but in no case caused by them. A logical inference is conditioned upon its premises, but it is not caused by them. Both inference and choice express the nature of the conscious principle and the unique method of its life.… The motives do not grow into volitions, nor does the volition stand apart from the motives. The motives are partial expressions, the volition is a total expression, of the same existence.… Freedom is the expression of one's self conditioned by past choices and present environment." Shakespeare, Hamlet, 3:4—"Refrain to-night, And that shall lend a kind of easiness To the next abstinence: the next more easy: For use can almost change the stamp of nature, And either curb the devil or throw him out With wondrous potency." 3:2—"Purpose is but the slave to memory; Of violent birth but poor validity." 4:7—"That we would do, We should do when we would; for this would changes And bath abatements and delays as many As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents." Goethe: "Von der Gewalt die alle Wesen bindet, Befreit der Mensch sich der sich überwindet."
Scotus Novanticus (Prof. Laurie of Edinburgh), Ethics, 287—"The chief good is fulness of life achieved through law by the action of will as reason on sensibility.… Immorality is the letting loose of feeling, in opposition to the idea and the law in it; it is individuality in opposition to personality.… In immorality, will is defeated, the personality overcome, and the subject volitionizes just as a dog volitionizes. The subject takes possession of the personality and uses it for its natural desires." Maudsley, Physiology of Mind, 456, quotes Ribot, Diseases of the Will, 133—"Will is not the cause of anything. It is like the verdict of a jury, which is an effect, without being a, cause. It is the highest force which nature has yet developed—the last consummate blossom of all her marvellous works." Yet Maudsley argues that the mind itself has power to prevent insanity. This implies that there is an owner of the instrument endowed with power and responsibility to keep it in order. Man can do much, but God can do more.
H. Special objections to the deterministic theory of the will.—Determinism holds that man's actions are uniformly determined by motives acting upon his character, and that he has no power to change these motives or to act contrary to them. This denial that the will is free has serious and pernicious consequences in theology. On the one hand, it weakens even if it does not destroy man's conviction with regard to responsibility, sin, guilt and retribution, and so obscures the need of atonement; on the other hand, it weakens if it does not destroy man's faith in his own power as well as in God's power of initiating action, and so obscures the possibility of atonement.
Determinism is exemplified in Omar Kháyyám's Rubáiyat: "With earth's first clay they did the last man knead, And there of the last harvest sowed the seed; And the first morning of creation wrote What the last dawn of reckoning shall read." William James, Will to Believe, 145–183, shows that determinism involves pessimism or subjectivism—good and evil are merely means of increasing knowledge. The result of subjectivism is in theology antinomianism; in literature romanticism; in practical life sensuality or sensualism, as in Rousseau, Renan and Zola. Hutton, review of Clifford in Contemp. Thoughts and Thinkers, 1:254—"The determinist says there would be no moral quality in actions that did not express previous tendency, i. e., a man is responsible only for what he cannot help doing. No effort against the grain will be made by him who believes that his interior mechanism settles for him whether he shall make it or no." Royce, World and Individual, 2:342—"Your unique voices in the divine symphony are no more the voices of moral agents than are the stones of a mosaic." The French monarch announced that all his subjects should be free to choose their own religion, but he added that nobody should choose a different religion from the king's. "Johnny, did you give your little sister the choice between those two apples?" "Yes, Mamma; I told her she could have the little one or none, and she chose the little one." Hobson's choice was always the choice of the last horse in the row. The bartender with revolver in hand met all criticisms upon the quality of his liquor with the remark: "You'll drink that whisky, and you'll like it too!"
Balfour, Foundations of Belief, 22—"There must be implicitly present to primitive man the sense of freedom, since his fetichism largely consists in attributing to inanimate objects the spontaneity which he finds in himself." Freedom does not contradict conservation of energy. Professor Lodge, in Nature, March 26, 1891—"Although expenditure of energy is needed to increase the speed of matter, none is needed to alter its direction.… The rails that guide a train do not propel it, nor do they retard it; they have no essential effect upon its energy but a guiding effect." J. J. Murphy, Nat. Selection and Spir. Freedom, 170–203—"Will does not create force but directs it. A very small force is able to guide the action of a great one, as in the steering of a modern steamship." James Seth, in Philos. Rev., 3:285, 286—"As life is not energy but a determiner of the paths of energy, so the will is a cause, in the sense that it controls and directs the channels which activity shall take." See also James Seth, Ethical Principles, 345–388, and Freedom as Ethical Postulate, 9—"The philosophical proof of freedom must be the demonstration of the inadequacy of the categories of science: its philosophical disproof must be the demonstration of the adequacy of such scientific categories." Shadworth Hodgson: "Either liberty is true, and then the categories are insufficient, or the categories are sufficient, and then liberty is a delusion." Wagner is the composer of determinism; there is no freedom or guilt; action is the result of influence and environment; a mysterious fate rules all. Life: "The views upon heredity Of scientists remind one That, shape one's conduct as one may, One's future is behind one."
We trace willing in God back, not to motives and antecedents, but to his infinite personality. If man is made in God's image, why we may not trace man's willing also back, not to motives and antecedents, but to his finite personality? We speak of God's flat, but we may speak of man's fiat also. Napoleon: "There shall be no Alps!" Dutch William III: "I may fall, but shall fight every ditch, and die in the last one!" When God energizes the will, it becomes indomitable. Phil. 4:13—"I can do all things in him that strengtheneth me." Dr. E. G. Robinson was theoretically a determinist, and wrongly held that the highest conceivable freedom is to act out one's own nature. He regarded the will as only the nature in movement. Will is self-determining, not in the sense that will determines the self, but in the sense that self determines the will. The will cannot be compelled, for unless self-determined it is no longer will. Observation, history and logic, he thought, lead to necessitarianism. But consciousness, he conceded, testifies to freedom. Consciousness must be trusted, though we cannot reconcile the two. The will is as great a mystery as is the doctrine of the Trinity. Single volitions, he says, are often directly in the face of the current of a man's life. Yet he held that we have no consciousness of the power of a contrary choice. Consciousness can testify only to what springs out of the moral nature, not to the moral nature itself.
Lotze, Religionsphilosophie, section 61—"An indeterminate choice is of course incomprehensible and inexplicable, for if it were comprehensible and explicable by the human intellect, if, that is, it could be seen to follow necessarily from the preëxisting conditions, it from the nature of the case could not be a morally free choice at all.… But we cannot comprehend any more how the mind can move the muscles, nor how a moving stone can set another stone in motion, nor how the Absolute calls into existence our individual selves." Upton, Hibbert Lectures, 308–327, gives an able exposé of the deterministic fallacies. He cites Martineau and Balfour in England, Renouvier and Fonsegrive in France, Edward Zeller, Kuno Fischer and Saarschmidt in Germany, and William James in America, as recent advocates of free will.
Martineau, Study, 2:227—"Is there not a Causal Self, over and above the Caused Self, or rather the Caused State and contents of the self left as a deposit from previous behavior? Absolute idealism, like Green's, will not recognize the existence of this Causal Self"; Study of Religion, 2:195–324, and especially 240—"Where two or more rival preconceptions enter the field together, they cannot compare themselves inter se: they need and meet a superior: it rests with the mind itself to decide. The decision will not be unmotived, for it will have its reasons. It will not be unconformable to the characteristics of the mind, for it will express its preferences. But none the less is it issued by a free cause that elects among the conditions, and is not elected by them." 241—"So far from admitting that different effects cannot come from the same cause, I even venture on the paradox that nothing is a proper cause which is limited to one effect. 309—"Freedom, in the sense of option, and will, as the power of deciding an alternative, have no place in the doctrines of the German schools." 311—"The whole illusion of Necessity springs from the attempt to fling out, for contemplation in the field of Nature, the creative new beginnings centered in personal subjects that transcend it."
See also H. B. Smith, System of Christ. Theol., 236–251; Mansel, Proleg. Log., 113–155, 270–278, and Metaphysics, 366; Gregory, Christian Ethics, 60; Abp. Manning, in Contem. Rev., Jan. 1871:468; ward, Philos. of Theism, 1:287–352; 2:1–79, 274–349; Bp. Temple, Bampton Lect., 1884:69–96; Row, Man not a Machine, in Present Day Tracts, 5: no. 30; Richards, Lectures on Theology, 97–153; Solly, The Will, 167–203; William James, The Dilemma of Determinism, in Unitarian Review, Sept. 1884, and in The Will to Believe, 145–183; T. H. Green, Prolegomena to Ethics, 90–159; Upton, Hibbert Lectures, 310; Bradley, in Mind, July, 1886; Bradford, Heredity and Christian Problems, 70–101; Illingworth, Divine Immanence, 229–254; Ladd, Philos. of Conduct, 133–188. For Lotze's view of the Will, see his Philos. of Religion, 95–106, and his Practical Philosophy, 35–50.
Strong, A. H. (1907). Systematic Theology