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power without compulsion or constraint, to choose for himself in view of the motives apprehended by the intellect. It is our belief, that man, being created in the image of God, is as free in his choice, and has the same power in kind to choose, as bis Maker; that before he can be deprived of this power, he must be divested of the intellectual as well as moral image of bis Creator, the essential elements of his nature must be taken from him. In other words, he is essentially “unmade," or he is no longer a moral and accountable agent, if he has not the power, and all the power, requisite to choose in view of moral motives. True, he is a dependent moral agent, while God is independent. True, it is in God be lives, moves, and has his being. No doubt it is God who worketh in him to will and to do of his good pleasure;' but then it is himself who is capacitated to work out his own salvation with fear and trembling.' And in order to do this he must, as we believe and contend, have the power—we do not say, of being made to repent, and love, and believe—but actually to perform the conditions of salvation.*
From these statements you will perceive, 'that while we predicate of man the word power, we also predicate the thing, and do not deny that he has it even in the least degree. You will perceive, that your illustration of the man who affirms, that the African race are black, and then explains himself to mean by the term, not black, but white,' can have no manner of application to those for whom it was intended. You will also see, that we believe as firmly as you, that man's acts are his own acts ;—that bis love, repentance, faith, etc. are his own, truly, properly, strictly; that they are as really and essentially his own, as the acts of the Creator and his own acts. Hence your questions, “ Does a being act, when the whole truth is, that he is merely acted upon ? Is that an act of a being or thing who does not act ? Can God cause a being to act, who has not power to act? Can he cause non-entity to act? Can he be the sole agent in an act, and man be an agent in the same act?” receive as decided and hearty a negative from us, as from yourselves. We have no hesitance in subscribing to your proposition, “ that the necessary conception of AN ACT OF A BEING, involves in itself, as an essential element, the conception of active power in that being."
* Should it please you to accompany this letter with any remarks in your next No. allow us to solicit answers to the following questions : Is man, or is be not, a dependent moral agent? Has he, or has he not, the power to choose indepen. denily of any influence ab-ertra? Is he free and accountable no farther than he acts independently? he dependent for bis existence and the preservation of bis mental powers merely, and independent as it respects his choice? These questions, varied as they are in phraseology, contemplate one and the same fundamental principle in theology; and an unequivocal, unambiguous statement of your views respecting this principle, will oblige us. Vol. VIII.
Such, gentlemen, is an explicit avowal of our sentiments on the great point in question. We hold no opinions respecting the divine agency or efficiency, which militate against the views above presented. We call no man our master, or theological guide, who denies the truth of these sentiments, or whose writings cannot be fairly construed so as to support them. We are fully aware, that you may find statements in the works of Drs. West and Hopkins, which seem not to coincide with what we have advanced in this letter. But these eminent theologians were never members of Mendon Association ; and we hold ourselves responsible for their sentiments, no farther than they accord with the sentiments berein expressed. We are also aware, that you may point us to expressions in the writings of Dr. Emmons-on whom, perbaps, you have had your eye as a corps du reserve, which, at first view, may appear to be otherwise than accordant with the foregoing exposition of our belief. But Dr. Emmons by no means harmonizes with Dr. West, in the extracts which you have made from the latter. And, although he has made use of some strong language to express his views of divine efficiency-such as “God moved, hardened, caused,” etc.-yet it may be questioned, whether he has employed any stronger language on this point, than the inspired penman; and it is certain that he denies explicitly, any intention of ever asserting what would militate in the least, against the intrinsic power of every moral agent to be really and truly the author of his own moral actions." But suppose he bad made assertions of this kind. Suppose he had dwelt so much on divine efficiency, as to throw human freedom and accountableness into the shade. Nay, more ; suppose he had advanced sentiments which cannot possibly be made to harmonize with man's possession of active power. What then? Are all the members of an asso- · ciation to be charged with holding sentiments which they publicly and explicitly disavow? Nay which, as a body, they hold in utter abhorrence!
We repeat it, gentlemen, we call no man our master, or theological guide, who denies the truth of the sentiments expressed in this letter, or whose writings cannot be fairly construed so as to support them. Have we not, then, reason for saying that we have been unfairly classed in your publication with the fatalists ?" Since we "affirm, not the self-determining power of the will, but the intrinsic power of every moral agent to be really and truly the author of his own moral actions," --since we do "admit,” and are ready to advocate, “the active, and not merely passive, power of the mind," is it right to proclaim to the religious community, that we agree with the fatalists,-not designedly, perhaps, but really, in subverting " the moral responsibility of man?”' Have we not good reason to expect, that the preceding exposition of our views,
will secure in your next number, a fulfilment of the promise, “we will confess our mistake ?"
E. SMALLEY, Scribe of Mendon Ass.
On the above communication we wish to make a few remarks.
1. We would inquire of Mr. Sınalley, whether we are to consider his letter as an official document forwarded by direction of the Mendon Association. Does he make the avowals and denials which it contains at their request, and as acting for them? We observe, that the letter is signed E. Smalley, Scribe of Mendon Association. Are we to understand this designation subjoined by himself, as officially authorized? Or is it merely the communication of an individual who is the Scribe of that association, stating what are his views and his impressions respecting the opinions of his brethren? This is a question of some importance to us; especially as we see no evidence, that this letter has ever been submitted to the other members of the association. We might, as we conceive, without any violation of courtesy, decline publishing the letter of an individual, while we might feel under more obligation to notice an official document. By the letter itself it seems that he and his brethren do not agree with what have generally been considered their standard authorities. How can we be any more sure that his brethren will entirely accord with his staiements and views ? Such, indeed, are his impressions. But what evidence have we, that they may not disclaim what he has avowed for them, or avow what he has denied, and as a matter of justice require us to publish such a disclaimer ? We cannot be sure, that in publishing his letter, we are authorized to consider its opinions as ihose of Mendon Association as a body. Has there been any meeting of that body, or even a majority of them, with reference to this subject? The most that we can do, then, is to take it as the opinion of one who has had opportunities of becoming acquainted with their sentiments, and who claims to speak for them ; for he has not furnished us with a particle of evidence, that they have authorized hiin to publish what they do, or do not believe, or that they will consider themselves bound by his disclaimers. Mr. Smalley is, no doubt, bonest in his belief; but we apprehend he did not perceive the delicate situation in which he was placing himself, or the discourtesy there would be in urging the publication of a private communication, as if it was forwarded in an official capacity, as scribe of Mendon Association.
2. Our inquiry in the original article which gave offence to Mr. Smalley, referred to the Hopkinsians of the Mendon Association. Now if there are no Hopkinsians belonging to Mendon Association, we were in an error in supposing that there were. Or if Mr. Smalley and any of his brethren disclaim Hopkins as an authority, of course, they cannot feel themselves aggrieved by any remarks which place Hopkinsians in such an unfortunate juxta-position with fatalists. One cardinal point of Hopkinsianism, properly so called, is this, that God, by direct efficiency, produces the volitions of men, sinful as well as holy. We supposed, that this doctrine was decidedly maintained by Dr. Emmons, and other members of Mendon Association. Are we now to understand, that this association unanimously wish to disclaim this doctrine, and to be no longer regarded as Hopkinsians ? We wish to ask, and we hope if any answer is given, it will be an official one,-Do all the members of Mendon Association disclaim the doctrine of divine efficiency as taught by West, Hopkins, and Emmons ? Are none of them Hopkinsians, or Emmonsites, properly so called? If so, we shall rejoice in the fact, and own our mistake. But if some of them maintain the doctrine of divine efficiency, as taught either by Dr. West, Dr. Hopkins, or Dr. Emmons, we cannot see how we have misrepresented their opinion. What says Dr. Emmons ? Does he not constantly assert, that no created being can possess power to act in and of bimself—that nien are in such a sense, dependent agents, that all their exercises, or actions, must originate from a divine efficiency,'—that we can no more act, than we can exist, without the constant influence of the Deity,—that moral exercises, both sinful and holy, flow from a divine operation upon the mind of a moral agent, and not from a natural faculty enabling him to originate his own internal exercises,'—that there must be the exercise of divine agency in every human action, that mind cannot act, any more than matter can move, without a divine agency,'and that God is and must be the author of all human volitions, by his direct creative efficiency.'
Such are the opinions of Dr. Emmons, and as we believe, of other members of the Mendon Association. What, then, is the question ? Not whether all the members of this association hold these opinions,—not whether those who do hold them, do not also hold other and contradictory opinions. But the question is, whether Dr. Emmons and other members of Mendon Association, do not hold these opinions? Do they not hold, that it is impossible, in the nature of things, that God should create an agent having power to act, or to originate action, in view of motives, without the extrinsic agency of God producing bis acts? If so,-and to what less than the affirmation of this, do the positions of Dr. Emmons amount,-if so, to what purpose is it to say, that man has all the power requisite to choice,-that by power, they mean power,that man is really able, or has the power, to choose for himself, to what purpose is it to say all this? We have not denied, that they may and do assert the plainest contradictions. It is no concero
of ours, whether they do or not. The question is, whether they do not maintain, that God does, and must, from the necessity of nature, produce every human volition, by his own direct agency? that the human mind cannot act, any more than matter can move, without a divine agency? If to say these things, is not denying, " that man has all the power requisite to choice”—“that he has the intrinsic power to be really and truly the author of his own moral actions,” we wish to be told, how it can be denied. How a being, who cannot act without divine agency, can possess all the power requiste to action; how man can be the author of those exercises or acts, which God, by his direct efficiency creates,needs explanation.
3. As to the courteousness of our remarks, as well as those of the letter, we willingly leave our readers to judge. We are not aware of having intended any thing uncourteous, or of having done wrong in stating the grounds on which we felt, and do still feel, that the Hopkinsian views of divine efficiency in the production of human volitions, are liable to objections. We apprehend, that it would be an unheard of thing, to publish such a letter without some comments, nor could the writer (especially if he is to be considered as speaking merely as an individual, and not in an official capacity,) with the strictest regard to the courtesies of life between christian brethren, expect us to do so. We have no wish to wound the feelings of any; but when our candor, if not veracity, is called in question, it becomes us to exonerate ourselves from the charge. It is in the same spirit, that we propose now to continue our remarks. Let our mistakes, if we err, be corrected; but why call in question our intentions ?
4. There are parts in the above letter, which we find it utterly impossible to reconcile with other parts of it. Thus it is said, in stating the belief of the Hopkinsians of Mendon Association, " that man has the same power in kind to choose, as his Maker, that before he can be divested of that power, he must be divested of the intellectual as well as moral image of his Creator,—the essential elements of his nature must be taken from him. In other words, he is essentially “unmade,” or he is no longer a moral and accountable agent, if he has not the power, and all the power requisite to choose in view of moral motives." All this is well: we give it our most hearty concurrence. But how shall we reconcile it with what follows. “True he is a dependent moral agent, while God is independent." If this sentence mean any thing to the purpose, it means, that man is dependent as a moral agent. Has man, then, we ask, the same power in kind with his Maker? Is dependent moral agency the same in kind with independent moral agency? As a sort of explanatory addition, as well as scriptural proof, the passage in Phil. ii. 12, 13, is referred to. Great stress is laid, by