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the theology of the allegation, we remptorily commands, and exashould bring it to the test of what mine the application of this phiGod has said, fairly and philolo- losophical doctrine of natural abigically interpreted. But we now lity. Have men natural ability inquire into its philosophy. How to love God? Our opposing phiare the facts?
losophy affirms: we deny. Is there We say the allegation is partly any physical power employed true, or it is utterly false, just as in this simple affection of the it may be understood. If the heart? We answer no; and this meaning be, that men havé natu- brings out the first reason and ral power to do all those things ground of our denial. It may be which appropriately belong to
connected with the exercise of their natural ability, then it is physical power, and followed by true; but these are not all the its employment in many ways, but things which God commands. So the affection itself is a moral feelthat in the form of its statement, ing of a moral faculty, and that is it is only true in part. Again, if its whole philosophical descripit mean that men have this kind of tion. There is no physical power power to perform all the duties in in it: and to think of looking for which natural power is employed, this moral feeling from the exerit is partly true. It is true, that cise of natural power, is no more men have just that natural ability, rational than the attempt to gather which God requires them to ex- grapes of thorns and figs of thisercise, or the employment of tles. We stand, therefore, on which is involved in obedience to firm ground in this denial. We the command. But this affects not show that the philosophical prethe point in controversy. It is not tension does violence to the printhe employment of physical ability ciple on which the distinction bewhich gives moral character to tween natural and moral ability is actions: nor is it the province of founded. Take any ground, which natural power to effect moral re- the advocates of the distinction sults. If the meaning be, what may choose, and this application seems to be the plain construction of it to the simple affection of love of the terms of its statement, that to God violates that ground. This men are naturally able to obey all we fearlessly assert. We have God's commands, it is utterly false seen, it is true, several, and widein its philosophy, and worse than ly different, reasons of this disfalse in its theology. It is admit- tinction, and several grounds on ted by all, that God's commands which it is maintained; and this are, many of them at least, moral, application of natural power to We know that many external ac- loving God is inconsistent with all tions, which God commands, men of them. If men loved God with are naturally able to perform the hand, or foot, or intellect, or Such are, labouring with their with any thing except their hearts, hands, tilling the ground, sowing the case would be different. The and reaping, together with many fact, that all the faculties of mind acts of beneficence. But the whole and body may be under the influcontroversy respects natural power ence of love to God as a principle to produce moral results; or in of action, is distinctly admitted; more common style, to do that but still, it is incontrovertibly true, which is exclusively moral. To that love is an affection of thé bring the examination to a point, heart, and belongs exclusively to let us take love to God, which is that faculty. indisputably a moral action of the A second reason of our denial heart, and which God most pe- is, that natural power never did govern, and it never can control, He does, externally, the same the affections of the heart. They things to great extent, which those are moral exercises of a moral fa- do, who love God; and he gives culty, and it would be degrading evidence that his intellect is emman from his high rank in the work- ployed about the same subjects. manship of his Creator, to place Could his volition change the chahis moral character under the con- racter of his affections, he is sure trol of physical power, in any sense it would be done without delay. which might be implied in the Where is the defect? There is insubjugation affirmed in the philo- ducement enough present to his sophy which we oppose. To bring mind; but after all, no love springs this matter to the test, we appeal up in his heart. The truth is, the to known and common facts, so defect is not in the employment of multiplied and familiar, that we his natural ability; the difficulty need only make one general state- lies in the temper of his heart, ment. It often occurs that men's which all his physical power can judgments are convinced that they never control. ought to love certain others whom Again, we ask these philosothey dislike, or to dislike others phers if they are acquainted with whom they love, but after all their the mental exercises called the conviction and continued efforts, Christian warfare within. If so, no change of affection takes place. will they explain, on their princiBut we will not spend time in il- ples, the facts, over which they lustrations from analogous facts, lament with an apostlem" a law in which must be familiar to all who their members warring against the will think. Let us examine the law of their mind, and bringing case as alleged. And here we ask them into captivity to the law of the advocates of the philosophy, sin?” Why are not Christians as if they have ever seen a man con- holy as they desire to be? If they vinced that he ought to love God, have natural power to perform all filled with agonizing distress at that God commands, why do they the discovery of his crime in not at least love him as much as hating God, employing all his time he requires? The fact is most and efforts to change his affections, evident that the hearts of Chrisfor days and weeks, without suc- tians have remaining propensities cess? During all this time, his to evil, and these constitute the whole physical ability has been controlling "law of sin,” to which employed to place the affections they are captivated, and by which on God and Christ, and holy ob- their natural ability is often dijects, without approximating the rected. change attempted. Will it be al- We have many reasons for deleged that it is because he mistakes, nying the allegation, which has or knows not the proper method been so popular with a certain class of employing his power? Where of theologians: but we have not is the defect? He apprehends his space to illustrate them. We have danger and his sin; he believes stated two, which present the phifully that he must perish, if he love losophical facts and principles connot God; he bends all his intel- travened by the dogma. These lectual efforts to the investigation might be presented in different of God's character and truth; he forms, and lead us to several inseeks instruction from those skill- ferences. We make two or three ed in the direction of sinners to inferences, from the principle inChrist; and, after all, he remains, volved in the use made of natural by the evidence of his own con- ability in the statement which we sciousness, unreconciled to God. oppose. Of course we do not ascribe our inferences to those who astonishment, while they listened hold and preach the dogma; but to those metaphysical distinctions; they are inferences which we could and when they left the place of not avoid, if we admitted the prin- preaching, we have heard them say, ciple. If it were a law of mental the preacher must be a very learnoperation that the affections obey ed man, he seems to be familiar the volition; or which is the same with things which we do not unthing, were under the control of derstand at all. We leave others physical ability, there would be no to estimate the value of this result. pain or mental suffering in the Another effect is produced on many world. All men would be happy, thinking minds, by the manner in no matter what objects might be which the terms natural ability are presented; what disappointments used by many preachers; they conmight occur, or what calamities clude there is some real contramight befall them: they would only diction in the revelation of God, have to choose to be pleased with to conceal which, the preacher rewhat is called calamity, or disap- sorts to metaphysical philosophy. pointment and theywould be happy. But these are comparatively harm
Again, men might always possess less effects, when some others are just such characters as they choose; considered. It misleads multibe just as penitent, humble, de- tudes in estimating their character, vout and holy as they choose, with- danger and duty. They perceive, out the mission or agency of the what is true, that they have pow. Holy Spirit. The whole plan of er, which they are told is physical, salvation by Jesus Christ, and the to perform the common actions of mission of the Holy Comforter, social life; and that they cannot would be unnecessary. In short, we be held responsible for the exersee not how, according to this law tion of power which they do not of mind, any man could be punished possess. This becomes a maxim in a future state, though he should of extensive application; and bebe cast into outer darkness; let him cause it is true in its legitimate choose to delight in what the Scrip- application, they think the more tures call torment, and his happi- confidently that it bears them out, in ness would be complete for ever. estimating their natural ability as To us these seem legitimate infe- fully competent to perform all that rences from the principle, and may God requires. An inference from be included in the reasons why we this strain of argument is practideny the statement.
cally felt and acted on, to a fearful What then, it may well be asked, extent, which leads them to think is the use of this famous distinction they have little need of a Saviour, between natural and moral ability? and less need of the Holy Spirit's Before we reply to this question, influence. They cannot, thereupon our own principles of philo- fore, be very criminal, and are in sophy, we beg leave to state some no danger but what it is in their of the uses which we think it ac- power, at any time, to avoid. Men tually subserves, as employed by will think, under the influence of those to whom we alluded in the this philosophy, that their intenstatement above. One purpose tions are very good: they may which it evidently subserves, whe- have committed some mistakes, ther intended or not, is to make which they are abundantly able to ignorant and undiscriminating correct and avoid in future. They hearers think the preacher very may be told, and told truly, that wise, while they profess not to it is their duty to repent and beunderstand the distinctions. We lieve on the Lord Jesus Christ at have seen such hearers gape with once: to this they may assent, but Ch. Adv.-VOL. X.
28 they have power to perform ness to God, because he owes to these duties at any time, they feel his Maker feelings which involve not the urgency of the obligation, no such ability. The highest act and rely upon their own ability to of obedience is love, is moral, and secure the boon, whenever they shall proceeds exclusively from a moral choose. We do not say this is the source. The plausibility of the instruction given them, but we do statement consists, in the truth of affirm, that such is the use; or, if its application to those actions it better please a certain class of which are appropriate to natural teachers, the abuse of such philo- ability; and its fallacy in its apsophy. By the way, the abuse is plication to feelings of the heart, not so great as many apprehend; in which there is no employment nor is it so great an abuse of their of natural power. There is still preaching, as is their abuse of the another fallacy; it implies that all doctrine of power. The abuse to moral good and evil belongs excluwhich we allude is this: after di- sively to volition. This is someviding man's power into natural times considered as an inference and moral, they represent him as from the maxim above stated; but capable of accomplishing, with by some it is considered as a primaone division, that which appropri- ry principle, and the doctrine of reately belongs to the other; and that sponsibleness, measured by power, which God requires to be perform- derived from the voluntary nature ed by both. It is not at all strange of all that is moral. It is immathat such a perversion of true phi. terial whether one or the other be losophy, should be followed by primary or inferential, both pringreater aberrations from truth. ciples are involved. We have not
There are some other evils con- room, in the present article, to nected with the use of this philo- pursue this topick... In our next sophy; but our intention is, in a number we hope to set this matter subsequent article, to examine, in its proper light. more at length, the different parts
F. of this system, misnamed philo
(To be continued.) sophy. We have only room to say here, that the advocates of the pretended improvement in mental science tell us, that it subserves an important purpose in bringing
MODERN MIRACLES, AND PHRENOLOmen to a consciousness of their responsibility. They set out with A series of extended and very the principle, that men are not interesting papers has lately apbound to do what they have not peared in the Christian Observer; power to perform; or in other and was still to be continued, when words, man's ability is the mea- the number of that work from sure of his responsibility. Hence which we have made the following the necessity of the distinction be- extract was published—The patween natural and moral power. pers bear the title of “ A Visit to a Men must have natural power to Cathedral.” The erudite and eleperform all that God commands, gant writer of these papers, makes or the commands are unjust. This, the historical recollections, awakif we do not mistake, is a candid ened by the monuments of antistatement of the principle, in its quity in the cathedral church of most plausible form. But plausi. Winchester, the starting point of ble as it may seem, we think it a variety of religious, moral, and unsound. Physical ability is not literary observations, of much inthe measure of man's responsible- terest and considerable instruction.
Among the rest, we find the fol- tantism claims her full share of lowing discussion on the subjects them. In proof of these positions, of modern miracles, and the science alleged miracles, old and new, of Craniology. In regard to the have been brought forward; and, former, we think it of some im- in particular, several recent cases portance to the whole religious of remarkable cures, which, it is publick, to know the wonderful ef- stated, have been wrought superfects which excitement may pro- naturally by a lively faith in Christ, duce on the human frame.' This and in answer to fervent prayer. knowledge is useful and necessary, The facts and discussions which in order to judge correctly of have taken place on the subject, many religious appearances, be- appear to me to have opened a side the pretension to miracles new chapter in the spiritual and It is the source and fountain of all physiological history of our spefanaticism. As to Craniology or cies. It was formerly the habit of Phrenology, we have always writers, either to deny such althought it was only fit to be leged extraordinary facts, or to laughed at; and this writer treats feel themselves called upon to adit according to its merits.
mit the inference of miraculous in
terposition. In this respect, the “ So much, at present, my dear Church of Rome has been too friend, for Wintonensian'cardinals hardly dealt with; and some of and popish saints. Most of these her alleged miracles have been atalleged saints in Winchester, as
tributed to imposture, where not a elsewhere, were in their day great shadow of candid reason existed workers of miracles, if we may be for such an inference. I need not lieve the distich which was in- go beyond Winchester for an apscribed on the Holy Hole,' where posite example; for Bishop Milreposed their mortal relics: ner, the well-known Roman Catho
lick historian and antiquary of Corpora sanctorum sunt hic in pace se- that place, published, in 1805, a
pulta, Ex meritis quorum fulgent miracula multa.
• Authentick pamphlet entitled
Documents of the Miraculous “ Papists have always maintain- Cure of W. White, July 25th, ed the uninterrupted succession of 1805;' in alluding to which he miracles in their church, and have says, “I have daily evidence before urged, in proof of the unscriptural my eyes of a cure as supernatural character of Protestantism, that it and sudden as any upon record.' cannot boast of this mark of di. The usual Protestant reply to such vine approbation. The general, allegations has been, What jugand I think the fair and scriptural, gling and mendacious impostors reply has been, that miracles are are these Papists! And lamentno test of a true church; that there ably true is the charge, in innumeis no promise of their continuance, rable instances; as, for example, or any necessity for their continu- the liquefaction of the blood of ance, at the present moment; and Januarius, which no Papist of that the alleged miracles of the common understanding but must Church of Rome are either impos- see to be a trick of priestcraft. tures, or mere contingencies, or to But this, I am persuaded, was not be accounted for natural causes. -a fair reply, in such cases as that Recently, however, a sect has alluded to by Bishop Milner, or in arisen among us, the members of those Roman Catholick cases menwhich assert that miracles have tioned in the pamphlet entitled never ceased, that they are in visi. Documents on the Cure of Miss ble action now, and that Protes- Fancourt. The reply was unphi.