motives: for that is certainly a supposable case.* At ten o'clock they both oppose. At eleven Peter yields and Judas still resists. What has produced this difference? What caused Peter, with his powers and habits and temper, to love, while Judas, with the same powers and habits and temper, continues to hate? The same causes should produce the same effects. You must either say that Peter chose to love, (placing a volition before every volition, and one before the first,) and Judas did not, or you must look for a cause out of Peter. You cannot find it in the motives; for the same pressure of truth, by the supposition, is made upon Judas as upon Peter. In short there is an effect without a cause, unless that cause is found in God. Mind is doubtless the cause of mental exercises in a certain sense, as without mind there could be no exercises, and it is the mind itself that exercises. But when you see two minds of the same stamp, and under the pressure of the same motives, put forth opposite exercises, that difference must have a cause distinct from mind or motives. Or to fix the eye on one, the mighty change from hatred to love in Peter, while Judas remains the same, must have a cause other than the faculties, habits, and temper, which

* In the first chapter it was allowed to be doubtful, on their principles, whether the Spirit pressed motives so far upon Judas as upon Peter, on account of foreseeing that they would not prevail, but would only make him worse. Now, as the present argument is concerned, it matters not whether the Spirit actually applies an equality of motives without success, or sees that they would be without success if applied. The failure of the motives as contemplated by the Spirit, is the same to the argument as an actual failure.

are common; other than the motives which are common. The only question is about that cause : not whether Peter is capable of exercising love without the Spirit; for Judas is equally capable and does not do it: not whether Peter really puts forth the exercise himself, with all the spontaneity and freedom that mind can possibly have; for no one doubts of that : but what causes Peter's hatred to change to love when that of Judas remains the same ? If you say, it is the self-determining power, I meet no answer there. Why does the self-determining power act so differently in different men under exactly the same circumstances ? If you say again, Peter chose to love and Judas did not, the question still returns, why did Peter choose so differently from Judas under precisely the same circumstances? To say, he chose to choose differently, is only running back through an endless chain, and leaving at last an effect without a cause. If to escape from this difficulty you change the ground and say, the pressure

, of truth was not the same in both cases; then you give up your favourite tenet, that God does the best he can for all and each. Or if you say, he foresaw that no further pressure of motives would avail with Judas, then this contemplated failure of equal motives is the same to my argument as an actual failure of equal motives. What ground was there for God to foresee that the same motives would fail with one and prevail with the other? What was the cause of that foreseen certainty? But I deny that the mind, in the clearest view of truth, will love without the action of divine efficiency. No where below the heavens is truth more clearly seen than in hell, but no love is there. Το say, it is because the Spirit does not place it before them, is to say, it is because they do not see it with sufficient clearness. But that they see it less clearly than do the saints on earth, (bating their blindness to its glory,) is more than you can prove or I believe. And certainly they see it clearly enough to hate it with eternal rancour. To say, it is because there is no hope, is to say that no man can love God without a bribe. Dr Taylor reckons all love to God to be prompted by self-interest; but the very reason why the mere view of truth will not prevail, is that the love which the truth requires, and which alone can relish the truth, is altogether different from the promptings of self-love and of nature. And while the heart remains supremely selfish, the service of God to which the truth invites, will not appear the greatest good. There must be a direct action of the Spirit upon the heart, conforming it to the holy and benevolent nature of truth, before it will be persuaded by truth to love God.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]


Importance and Instrumentality of Truth.

The intellect, the memory, the heart, the will, cannot act without a subject or object or reason of action. Without truth there is no object, (except errour,) for the understanding to consider, the memory to recall, the heart to love, hate, desire, dread, rejoice in or regret, or by which the will can be moved. Except so far as errour thrusts itself into the place of truth, truth is the only thing seen or felt, loved, hated, desired, dreaded, rejoiced in, or sorrowed for, and offers the only considerations in view of which the mind acts. It presents all those considerations and objects from which the intellect forms its reasonings, its judgments, its expectations; which the heart regards with delight or aversion, with joy or sorrow, with gratitude, hope, or fear; and from which the will forms all its decisions. In short, truth is the necessary means of all the operations of mind which are not guided by errour. Without it there can be no right exercises at all. It is that which the heart enjoys, and without which there can be no holy happiness. It is that which forms all the ennobling furniture which we call knowledge. If knowledge serves any purpose in the exaltation and happiness of

« VorigeDoorgaan »