תמונות בעמוד

pute concerning the freedom of the We come, therefore, to the concluwill has been one of deep interest sion that the will is always governed to the cause of truth, and its deci- by the affections; and can never sion has an influence on the rules act contrary to them. Take anoand results of biblical interpreta- ther illustration or statement of the tion.

same fact; the heart is the spring Some have told us that the will or source of action or choice; the possesses, inherently, a self-deter- ultimate object is the excitement, inining power; and that such an and pleasure is the motive. This ability is necessary to freedom and every man will find to be the uni. responsibility. But we think such form law of his volition: and this a supposition impossible, as Presi- is the reason why a man's choice is dent Edwards'has conclusively considered the index of his characshown in his treatise on the “Free- ter. If it were otherwise, we should dom of the Will." We mean not have no rule of ascertaining human to advocate all the statements and character. If the objects, which a arguments of the work alluded to, man chooses for their own sake, were because we verily believe some of not chosen because they are agreethem erroneous; but in reference able to the temper of his heart, or to this single point, which was the affection, we should have no means president's main object in writing to ascertain the character of the the above treatise, he has satisfac- heart. The doctrine of motive will torily shown that the will cannot require some discussion, when we determine itself. Without enter- shall attend to that of ultimate and ing, at present, into the discussion subordinate objects. But lest it of the doctrine of freedom, whether should be thought by some, that we moral or external, we here observe are advocating a scheme of selfishthat it cannot belong to any one fa- ness when we say the motive is culty, but to the mind, considered pleasure, it may be proper to ob. as the agent, in the employment of serve here, that we speak of motive its capabilities. All we wish here in this place, not as applicable to to say is, that no such self-deter- the object chosen, or pursued, but mining power can belong to will, exclusively to the pleasure which because the supposition contravenes the object excites, or is expected to the laws of volition as inductively excite. In this statement, it will ascertained. Edwards recognised be perceived that the object, and this fact, when he said, “the will not the motive, determines the selfwas always as is the greatest appa- ishness or benevolence of the feelrent good.” This statement is sub- ings and the actions. The rule, stantially true, but we do not like therefore, by which the will acts, is the form of expression, because it known and uniform; the will is alis not sufficiently definite, and may ways governed by the feelings, and be liable to misconstruction. To cannot act otherwise. Whatever state the matter clearly, let it be inconsistency may appear in the observed that volition always sup- conduct of any man's will, in referposes an object chosen or refused ence to the same objects, at differthe object chosen is, on some ac ent times, that inconsistency must count, agreeable; and the object re- be traced to the feelings of the fused, for some reason, disagreea- heart, which are often influenced ble—the volition is always governed by a change of circumstances and by the affection of the heart. Pre. prospects. Whether objects shall viously to choice there must be an please or displease us, depends not object, apprehension, and feeling; on volition, but on the nature of the and the election is just according object or its relation: but whether to the character of that feeling. we shall choose them or not, depends

on our pleasure. If every object We say the greater part, because were chosen only for its own sake, there are some motions of the body we should never choose a disagree- which are wholly involuntary, such able object; but since we choose as digestion of food and the circusome objects for the sake of others lation of the blood. These, and with which they are inseparably some other motions which are conconnected, it may be our pleasure, stant or occasional, depend not at in such cases, to choose subordi- all upon volition. But the ordinary nately those which give us pain. movements of the hands, feet, tongue, Take an illustration of this remark &c. are the effect of will and under in the case of a good man, who vi- its control. All effects which are sists and relieves his friend in dis- under the direction of the will are tress. He is pained at the distress called voluntary motions, or the reof his friend, and all his sympa- sult of voluntary exertion. What thies, which are excited, are pain- constitutes the connexion between ful. He would not visit or sympa- the will and the effects which folthize with him for the sake of the low its volitions, we are not able to pain, but he chooses the painful in- discover. It is to be resolved into tercourse for the sake of that which the constitution of God. Our Maker is agreeable to him, the relief and has seen fit, in a way which we canhappiness of his friend. Take an- not comprehend, to connect the moother illustration from the case of tion of the hand, walking, &c. with the convinced sinner, who is alarm- the will, but not with other things ed at the view of his danger, but which, for aught that we can see, has not submitted his heart to God. might just as easily have been con He is told, and he accredits the nected with the will, if God had seen statement, that he must trust in fit. The facts, and the laws of those Christ or be lost for ever: With facts, and not the reasons of them, this view of his danger, and the are the subjects of inquiry. God only method of salvation before has formed and sustains this conhim, he will choose any thing that nexion in ordinary cases, but somehe believes will interpose for his times it is broken, as in the case of safety. He will choose Christ and a paralytic, where neither the hand coming to him, for the sake of escap- nor the foot obeys the volition : and ing hell, while he has no love to him force can overcome the influence of or his method of salvation. Show the will. Here it seems proper to him any other way of deliverance, remark, in passing, that from this and he will manifest his hatred to connexion between volition and efChrist, by refusing him and all that fect we get the idea of power. pertains to his method of eternal Wherever this connexion exists we salvation. Thus it is to be feared say there is power to produce the that many awakened sinners choose effects, and where it does not exist to come to Christ, and never do there is not power. come. But this will more fully ap Another use of the will is to dipear, when we discuss the doctrine rect the employment of the underof ultimate and subordinate objects derstanding. We can direct our and motives.

thoughts and investigations from The question now arises, what one subject to another, for the acare the uses of this faculty of vo- quisition of knowledge, and attainlition? The first use of the will ing the objects of desire. Our apwhich we mention is, to render men "prehensions and perceptions do not active. We speak more particu- depend on the will, except so far larly of bodily action. The will as the direction from one object to moves the body, and directly regu- another, and the fixedness of attenlates the greater part of its motions. tion necessary for greater distinct

ness, are concerned. It does not and the will is that by which the afdepend on the will whether we per- fections are manifested, and objects ceive the difference between a attained for the heart's gratification. square, circle and triangle, but it

The will is also necessary in may depend on the will whether we performing the duties enjoined by understand the properties of each, the second table of the law; indeed 80 as to be able to describe all the all the duties of an external characpoints of difference. It does not ter, and those which pertain to the depend on the will whether we per- government and direction of the ceive the difference between truth understanding, involve the agency and error, but it may depend on of the will. There is an obvious the will whether we discover truth distinction between those comunder certain circumstances of ob- mands which respect the heart and scurity and difficulty.

its affections exclusively, and those Another use of the will is to ma which respect other mental exernifest the character of the heart. It cises and external actions. In the is through the medium of the will former there is no agency of the as the servant of the heart, that we will, except in the indirect influbecome acquainted with each other's ence before stated. The heart characters. We judge of men by loves or hates in obedience to anotheir external actions; in doing ther law, not the will. But in this, we proceed upon the principle every other duty, the volitions are that those actions are voluntary, essential. In searching the Scripand that they express the feelings tures, prayer, observing the Sabof the heart." Through the opera- bath, feeding the hungry, clothing tions of this faculty, we learn how the naked, sending the gospel to we ought to treat others with whom the destitute, and doing good to all we have intercourse, and give men as we have opportunity, the others to understand how they agency of the will, as well as the should treat us; all that we do in affections of the heart, is involved. this world for the melioration of A destitution of this faculty, would man’s condition, is through its be a want of physical qualification agency. Every enterprise of good to obey the commands of God which or evil, of benevolence or wicked- respect human conduct. ness, is under the conduct of the What will be the use of this fawill, and shows the disposition of culty after the soul is separated the heart. The affections are in no from the body, we are not distinctcase under the control of the will, ly informed; but even in this inexcept so far as directing the un- quiry we can apply, to a certain derstanding to the investigation of extent, the principles of induction. truth, or objects calculated to affect We are furnished in the revelation the heart, the will may indirectly of God, with information concernexert an influence over the feelings; ing the employments of redeemed but as we have before stated, it does souls in heaven, which communicanot depend on the will, whether we tions, fairly and on philological shall be pleased or displeased with principles interpreted, are to be any given object. Volition can- taken as facts. From these facts it not change the heart: the will can- will be easily perceived, that the not bring the carnal heart under will is to be employed in praise, subjection to God's law, nor turn it however that may be expressed, in to love Christ. It must be, accord. doing the will of God, and in coning to the gospel, the medium by veying the spirit wherever it is to which the heart displays itself. be sent. What missions of good The understanding is the medium the souls of the redeemed are to by which objects affect the beart, execute in heaven, or in any part



of God's universe, we do not know, actions. These constitute man a and therefore we say not in what complete moral being, and qualify agencies this faculty may be em- him to be a moral agent. By these ployed. How spirits communicate he is qualified to be placed under with kindred spirits, we do not responsibility, and made accountaknow and do not affirm; but for ble to God for all his character. By aught that we can say, there may be these he is qualified to be employed, use for volition. When the bodies under all the weight of obligation, , shall be raised and reunited to their in effecting the purposes of God, spirits, it is likely they will be un- and promoting his declarative glory. der the control of the wills which By these faculties he is qualified to have before controlled them. In receive his Maker's law, to feel reheaven, we may suppose that this sponsible, to act with reference to faculty will be employed to bring the judgment to come, and accordevery power into holy subjection to ing to the moral estimate of his chaheavenly laws and principles. In racter, to be rewarded or punished. the world of misery, we affirm not What more is necessary to constithe precise agency of the will; but tute man a proper subject of moral we can conceive of its employment government? We answer nothing. to execute a torturing influence upon the associates in misery, as well as in uttering blasphemies against God and all that is good. THE PRESENT STATE OF THE PRESIt would seem as if there would be a restraint upon this faculty, as there

No. III. always is in confinement; and that while in the voluntary expression The presiding individual of a of the heart's inalignity, the will large deliberative body-whether shall not be employed, as here on the individual be denominated preearth, to procure the heart's grati. sident, speaker, chairman, or modefication. Its instrumentality will rator-has always a difficult office be self-infliction of misery upon the to perform; and for this reason his soul for ever. In this case, there. official acts ought certainly to be fore the use of will is fearful be- viewed with some indulgence, and yond description ; to blaspheme to receive, so far as they will fairly God, self-infliction of torture, and admit of it, a favourable construca malignant agency in augmenting tion. On this principle, as well as the wretchedness of associates in because small errors, left uncorrectmisery. But in heavenly blessed. ed, are a less evil than much delay ness and glory, its employment will and frequent interruption in busibe desirable, elevated and dignify. ness, appeals from the chair to the ing, beyond expression.

house are seldom sustained in deliIn concluding this article let it berative assemblies, except where be observed, that we know of no there is palpable evidence of error, phenomena of mental exercises, in- or partiality. capable of being classed according In cases, moreover, in which parto the principles we have recog- ties confessedly exist, and are in nised, in one or the other of these ardent conflict with each other, a three-apprehending, feeling, will presiding officer is always expected ing. We may make secondary to favour, in some measure, the and sub-classes, but all mental phe views of the party by whom he has nomena belong to those three; and been elected to office. It is underthe faculties of understanding, stood that he has been chosen for heart and will, are sufficient to ac this purpose, and there would be count for all mental exercises and disappointment on all sides, if he Vol. IX.-Ch. Adv.


showed it no regard. Still, there -Both parties being satisfied that are certain limits to his prerogatives their opinions have been fully stated and partialities, which every pre- and urged in committee, and that siding officer is expected sacredly every obtainable concession or moto regard-limits which, if he trans- dification has already been made, gress, he is always considered as will, it is supposed, perceive that highly censurable; and within which, it would be useless to prolong if he carefully confine himself, he debate, without any prospect of a is regarded by every candid mem more favourable result. That such ber of the body, as having honoura are the principles on which combly discharged the duties of his mittees are usually and properly station. There have been instances, appointed in deliberative assemif we mistake not, in the House of blies, will not, we think, be denied. Representatives of the Congress of That their reports, even when made the United States, and at periods with ability, do not always prevent too when parties ran high, in which long and ardent discussions in the the Speaker, at the close of a ses- house, is to be attributed to the sion, has received a vote of thanks, irrepressible love of speechifying, nearly if not quite unanimous, for which some members possess, and the fair, and 'able, and dignified the desire which they and others manner, in which he has discharged feel, to speak to the galleries rather his high official duties.

than to the chair. It is chiefly in the appointment But however or wherever else, a of committees, that the occupant of speaker, or a moderator, may mathe chair of a deliberative assem- nifest his partiality, he certainly bly is expected to favour his party. ought never to discover it, nor if On all important committees, espe- possible to feel it, while he presides cially those in which party ques. over the debates of the deliberating tions are to be discussed, a decided body. Then he ought to act and majority of the ascendant party is feel like a chief magistrate in a expected to appear; and we think court of justice-the debaters are such a majority ought to appear, the attorneys, he is the judge on the without any murmur

of the adverse bench. He may, and often must, party, under two provisos-namely, have his opinion on the subject disthat the members forming the majo. cussed, but he ought never to marity are those generally regarded as nifest it in the moderator's seat. respectable, for temper as well as During a debate, he ought most for talents; and that the minority are cautiously and impartially to watch allowed a representation consisting over the rights and privileges of of their best and ablest men, to the the members severally, that each amount of a fourth, or a third part, may be fairly and seasonably heard, of every such committee. It is in according to the established rules committees that all important busi- of order. He ought especially to ness is prepared for the considera consider himself as the protector of tion and sanction of the house; and the rights of the minority-for a we believe it is understood that minority have rights as sacred as they ought commonly to be consti. those of the majority and the tuted in the manner we have indi. weaker party are always in danger cated, that each committee may be, of being unduly overborne by the as it were, the house in miniature, stronger, if they have not a protecand hence its report be likely to tor in the common president of both. be adopted, without much change We have made the preceding reor amendment; and thus that a great marks, on the station and duties of abridgment of discussion, and a the presiding officer of a deliberagreat saving of time may be effected tive assembly, that our readers

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