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erroneous opinions which certain writers have advocated, whom he divides into two classes, and describes as erring by defect or by redundancy. This happy classification raised my hopes, and I was almost prepared to trust to his pilotage through the middle passage I expected him to take. He has, certainly, steered entirely clear of the Charybdis of excess: I soon began, however, to fear that, in his anxiety to escape this danger, he was nearing the Scylla of defect, and cannot help thinking that he has fatally struck on one of its rocks.
The difference between the writer and Dr. P. may be brought into a narrow compass; but it is not on that account unimportant. Let it be remembered, then, that the question is, what is the nature of the faith that justifies? We agree respecting both the classes of writers who, he says, err by defect. We agree as to the absurdity of including assurance in faith; and further, as to the necessity of separating from it what are pure affections, as love, joy, &c. We also agree in the opinion, that it is not the divine veracity, but the gospel that is to be believed, the gospel rightly apprehended and understood; apprehended and understood in its true, spiritual, and divine meaning, through the illumination of the Holy Spirit. We further agree, and to the very letter, as to the ground of justification before God: it is not works in any sense, nor partly works and partly faith, nor partly faith and partly the sacrifice of Christ; it is not the moral excellence of faith, nor faith as uniting to Christ; but solely and exclnsively the righteousness and death of the Redeemer. But Dr. P. affirms that the faith which justifies, the belief of the truth thus spiritually apprehended, is AN ACT OF THE INTELLECT ALONE. Here we seriously differ; and I humbly submit, that, for this view of the nature of faith, he has not gone to the inspired page, but to that theory of mental science which he has been led to adopt, into whose vocabulary he has admitted the word faith, with a meaning attached to it drawn from certain physical analogies, and essentially defective.
I object to the account of faith given by Dr. Payne,
1st, That it is not borne out by the acknowledged import of those words of which faith and belief are translations, nor of the English terms themselves. If, in any Greek or Latin Lexicon, I turn to the words aloris, TenoOnois, fides, I find the meaning to be, “ belief, faith, trust, reliance, confidence.” In an English dictionary before me, faith is defined, “ Belief in the revealed truths of religion; trust in God; trust in the honesty and veracity of another; social con. fidence." I find that belief is, " the theological virtue of faith, or, firm confidence of the truths of religion ;' and even the verb, to credit, is said to signify “to believe, to trust, to confide in ;' nor can I find any definition or synonym, or meaning, given by any lexicographer, of either of the words in question, or in any of these languages, which is necessarily restricted to an intellectual act. Undoubtedly some of them may be used when an act of understanding only is involved ; none of them are necessarily thus limited, whilst most of them necessarily include more than the intellect can possibly embrace. Now if hlotis and faith bear these as proper and ordinary
meanings, I want to know by what warrant or for what reason such meaning is excluded here? and why these words, as employed in the Scriptures, should not have their full signification? Supported by such authorities therefore, I am by no means prepared to acquiesce in Dr. P.'s assumption “ that the term faith, when used in relation to any but religious subjects, denotes an intellectual act merely," or is “ but the recognition of a relation;" pp. 286, 287, and am at a loss to conceive by what process he arrived at such a conclusion.
2dly. Though I should have little objection to rest the question here, I observe again, that if it could be shown that the meaning which Dr. P. has attached to the term in its proper and classical meaning, it would not follow that this must be its scriptural import. When the inspired writers wished to convey an idea which no existing word would exactly express, they did not coin new words; their practice was to use those that came nearest, and to leave their precise conception to be gathered from the nature of the subject, the general tenor of their writings, or those further comments and illustrations which they might supply. I select the words dikalžív and èixalogúrn, because they have some relation to the subject under consideration. They are nowhere used in classical writing, in the sepse which they bear in the epistles of Paul; no notice is given of any departure from their ordinary signification, but the attentive reader soon perceives, that there is a departure, though he finds little difficulty in ascertaining their import. Being justified by faith; to say the least, the word faith may have a similar diversion to the word justify; and the explanatory terms may be looking, trusting, confiding, &c.
Should it be said that every word has one proper primary meaning; and that in this meaning of TLOTIS, fides, faith, an intellectual act alone is included, I reply, First, admitting the former part of this statement, the latter requires proof. Secondly, supposing this proof supplied, further proof is required, which the Doctor has not furnished, that the inspired penmen used it in this sense alone, and not in its equally common but derived and secondary import. But perhaps it is as a philosopher, and for the sake of securing precision of thought and writing, that the Doctor would limit the import of the term; but then the faith of the philosopher, and here is the danger, may thus be made a very different thing from the faith of the apostle ; and of such faith it may no longer be true that by it we are justified. But I am prepared to contend that, in the case before us, it cannot be so restricted ; and that,
3dly. Philosophically considered, it does and must include more than an act of pure intellect. Dr. Payne says that “ faith is a simple act of the mind ; " " that whatever be the nature of a report, the act of believing it is the same.” Here I am compelled to join issue with him, and cannot but think that the true philosophy coincides with the popular views of the case. As the affection of love, I imagine, is modified in its character by the nature of the object that excites it, so is that state of mind which we call faith, It depends on the object to which it has respect-on the nature of the proposition, the kind of truth submitted to the mind. The former principle may be called forth by natural scenery, by mental endowments, by moral excellence. It may be a mathematical problem-an historic facta moral or religious truth, which appeals to the latter. In each case there may be a common element of our nature addressed ; in each case the first principle of the state or emotion may be the same; but as the object before us rises in excellence, so does the condition of mind which it produces, and much more, I think, in one case than in the other, enters into that state which we call respectively love or faith, excluding altogether from such states the emotions of pleasure and pain, distress and delight. Dr. P. may say that these new elements do not enter into the essence of faith, and are easily separable from it. I reply, that without them, the faith would not be JUSTIFYING, and consequently that to disjoin them is perilous to religion, and forbidden by a sound philosophy.
But again, I say the faith of the gospel must be more than an exercise of pure intellect. In the second class of those who err by defect, Dr. P. has properly placed those who represent faith as mere belief of the facts of the gospel. Now if he had taken the position which he here controverts; if he had said this is saving faith, I could have understood how it may be a mere intellectual act. But he truly says, it is not the mere facts, but their import; their unrivalled glory, their infinite importance that must be believed ; in other words, it is the gospel in its moral, spiritual, divine meaning. But if this be so, is faith an intellectual act? It cannot be. The mere thinking faculty is unequal to the apprehension of such truths; they go beyond the province of simple intellect; it may ascertain the grammatical import of the terms in which they are presented, and determine their logical relations, but beyond this it cannot reach. A higher and nobler part of our nature must be called in. It is the moral man they now address, and it is in the moral man alone they find a snitable response ; and no state of mind which is not moral, which does not include the answer, not of the intellect alone, but of the soul, can be worthy of the name of faith, or be supposed to introduce a man to its blessings. *
* Having objected to any and every theory of mental science as an authority for the determination of the question before us, I shall not presume to propound one of my own. I may, however, be permitted to say, that it is the moral branch which I consider as in the least satisfactory state. Some have almost wholly overlooked our moral nature; they seem to identify the moral and intellectual principle, and to imagine that the whole mystery is explained, by saying that the understanding is engaged on moral truth. Others, on the contrary, speak of a moral sense as a totally distinct and independent principle, and have written much on the subject, that can neither be understood nor sustained. What, e.g., is moral perception? Is it an independent faculty ! Assuredly not; for the thinking principle is essential to it. Is it a purely intellectual exercise? I find equal difficalty in coming to this conclusion; for it may be blunted, if not eradicated, without any loss of mental vigour. Nor do I think it is the intellect that discerns beauty or appreciates excellence; a power which is indispensable to moral perception. Again, what is conscience ? A separate faculty, say some; but in the opinion of others, merely the judgment modified in its operation by the particular work it has to perform, or the moral
4thly. The nature of the case opposes Dr. Payne's view, and, as an act of mere intellect, faith cannot accomplish what it is designed to effect. We have sinned : on account of this transgression we are viewed by God with displacency and anger; we are under a sentence of condemnation and the curse of the law. " But God commendeth his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." “ He is our propitiation,” and by his death made atonement for our sins, that God might be just whilst he justifies the ungodly. But in order to this justification be requires faith ; and when that faith is exercised by us, the operation of that sentence and that curse ceases in relation to us; the guilt of our sins is removed; we are pardoned, and justified, and restored to a state of divine favour. Now, I ask, can the faith which performs such an office, which brings such a resnlt, which is the occasion of such a change in our relation to the Great Supreme, be an act of intellect alone? I may be told by the Sandemanian, that by making it more than this, I make void the grace of God. This, however, I feel at liberty distinctly to deny, because, whatever faith may be, I trace it up directly to that grace. I may be told, on the other hand, that the redemption which is in Christ Jesus is the sole consideration, on account of which we are pardoned ; that faith is only the occasion on which the blessing is bestowed, and therefore it is unnecessary to make it more. I admit the premises fully, but demur to the conclusion, and reply, that that state of mind, which is the occasion on which God forgives the sinner, must be in harmony with his act-must be a state in which it is suitable and proper for him, not as Sovereign alone, but as moral Governor, to bestow the blessing, otherwise no end is answered by requiring it, and we might as well be justified without faith as with it. Faith, I apprehend, was appointed to this place, because of its moral fitness. But that suitableness, if it be a mere intellectual act, I am quite unable to discern. It is not as an intellectual being alone that man stands condemned; nor is it as such alone he needs forgiveness. It is the MAN that is to be justified, and it is the man that must believe. The state of mind which constitutes that belief must surely be a state agreeing with God's glorious plan of redemption; approving, ac
subjects on which it is exercised. But who believes it, except those who have invented the answer, and fancy it to be an explanation ? On this subject Dr. P. has some striking and interesting remarks in his work on mental science. I think, however, that the theory of the late Sir J. Mackintosh is worthy of the most serious consideration ; nor am I without hope that several suggestions and hints found in that discussion may be pursued by some kindred mind, and lead to important discoveries, not only in relation to conscience, but to our whole moral nature. That something is wanting is, I apprehend, almost universally acknowledged. The conflicting opinions of the profoundest thinkers indicate a deficiency; it was evidently felt by Sir J. Mackintosh ; whether his speculations on conscience supply the lack it is not for me to say ; that they have done much toward it, I have little doubt. Now whatever goes to constitute the moral principle- whatever renders man a moral being, in that, I apprehend, we must look for the seat of that faith which justifies the sinner, and reconciles him to God.
quiescing in, receiving the great remedial scheme, and trusting in the appointed Saviour. There is an obvious propriety, if I may so speak, of the acts of the Lord Jehovah, in remitting sins in such circumstances, which otherwise does not appear.
5thly. And there are several qualifying expressions used by Dr. Payne and Dr. Russell, which appear to me not only irreconcilable with their theory, but confirmatory of this view. The former admits (by implication at least clearly,) that “ spiritual feeling enters into the nature of faith,” (p. 276,) and allows it to be “ a holy act of the mind,” (p. 284,) whilst both of them use such modifying terms as the following: saving, justifying, hearty, unfeigned, sincere. It is true that one passage contradicts these admissions, " as little of emotion,” says Dr. Payne, “ enters into its nature as into an act of judgment.” But to the whole paragraph in which this sentence occurs, the majority of readers, perhaps, will except, whilst its interrogatory tone renders it doubtful whether he is himself satisfied of the accuracy of its sentiments. Now to speak of an act of mere intellect as spiritual or holy, unfeigned or sincere, is, to me, speaking in an unknown tongue. The business of this faculty is to ascertain the relations of ideas, to compare, to judge, &c., and in its exercises, viewed separately and alone, there can be no moral quality; nothing holy or sinful. We certainly speak of a sanctified or unsanctified intellect; but we mean by the phrase, an intellect which is controlled by moral principle, be it good or evil; the intellect of a man who employs his power of thought to the moral benefit or injury of himself and others. But if spiritual feeling enters into faith, if it is a holy act, if it admits the epithets unfeigned, sincere, &c. it is a moral state; and if a moral state, must it not be more than an intellectual act? But the most important admissions of Dr. Payne are found in pp. 308–310; he there says that faith is a voluntary act ; that it is also an act of subjection and of obedience ; he even concedes that it is because of the obedience of faith, and because of that obedience only, that it can become a medium of interest in Christ. And is not this to admit that subjection enters into the essence of faith? I see not how this conclusion can be fairly avoided. To attempt to separate between the faith and the obedience, and to say it is by the former we are justified, only it must spring from a principle of obedience, would be to make a perfectly gratuitous, not to say unintelligible, distinction; a distinction which could only be such by reducing faith, if indeed it could then be considered an act, to a mere physical act,-a distinction which would contradict itself and defeat the purpose for which it was made ; for who, then, after asserting that it is an act of obedience only that it can avail, could come to any other conclusion than that it cannot be the faith but the obedience that justifies. We should then be led only by another route to the point which Dr. Payne is so properly anxious to avoid, and in reality deprive the apostle's statement of its force. “ It is of faith that it might be by grace.”
* Letters, chiefly Practical and Consolatory, by David Russell, Dundee. Letters 18, 19, vol. ii.