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of Locke, who calls it that long agitated, and, I think, unreason“able, because unintelligible question, whether man's will be free or no; for, if I mistake not, it follows from what I have said, that the question itself is altogether improper; and it is as insignificant to ask whether man's will be free, as to ask whether bis sleep be swift, or his virtue square; liberty being as little ap‘plicable to the will

, as swiftness of motion is to sleep, or squareness to virtue.' He also quotes with approval Jonathan Edwards's well-known sentiment that, to talk of liberty, or the contrary, as 'belonging to the very will itself, is not to speak good sense. It is plain also, from what follows, that our author substantially agrees with the writers who take Edwards's side of the question, only blaming them for an abuse of terms. He strenuously affirms, that the mind is not exempted from the 'law of causation;' that, therefore, “the same certainty, though not the same necessity,'attends the phenomena of mind, as those of matter.

He also, though briefly yet satisfactorily, shows by Edwards's arguments, that the liberty for which the opponents of this doctrine contend, is a chimera and absurdity. Still he says, “as is usual in disputes, • both parties are in the wrong;' though it must be confessed, that his censure falls far less heavily on the advocates of moral necessity than on the claimants of an impossible and irrational liberty. He merely blames the one party for abusing terms, and pleads for the substitution of others as certainty' for ' necessity,' and so on. This proposition, however, is no novelty; nor if it were, do we think the expedient would make so material a difference in the controversy as to justify him in charging the great advocates of this side of the question with serious errors. For, first; many other writers have expressed a wish that such substitution could have been effected; secondly, some of the very writers he blames have used the terms necessity' and necessary,'&c. expressly because these terms have entered so largely into the controversy, that it is almost impossible to avoid them. Thirdly; the best of these writers have so explained the sense and guarded the meaning which they attached to these words, that no candid and intelligent person can possibly misunderstand them; and fourthly; it is more easy to recommend the disuse of such terms than to abide by it; since nothing is more common, even in popular language, than the transfer to mind of terms which, in strictness, are applicable only to the phenomena of matter, to mark the certainty of the connexion between cause and effect. Thus we say of one man, whose moral habits are fixed and inveterate, that he cannot be generous; and of another, that he cannot keep from drink. The great thing is, undoubtedly, to fence and guard the terms from misconstruction. However desirable, therefore, the proposed substitution may be, and we admit its desirableness, it is not necessary for a full appreciation of the merits of the controversy. We think the substitution very desirable in order to ovviate the prejudices of the captious or the dull-sighted; but we cannot admit that the great writers on this subject have been, as from Mr. Douglas's language we should almost suppose them to have been, groping in the dark for want of this wonder-working change.

What is chiefly objectionable,' says Mr. Douglas, .in Edwards's • Treatise, is the improper use of terms; alter a few words, and the whole will appear so simple and reasonable that, at least nine

tenths of the work might be dispensed with. This appears to us a very extravagant assertion. 'Mr. Douglas should have recollected that, half of Edwards's Treatise is taken up in the disproof of the theories of various classes of his opponents; and, though it is very easy now-a-days for Mr. Douglas to throw deserved ridicule on that impossible liberty for which such opponents contended, it was strenuously maintained by many writers previous to the appearance of Edwards's Treatise. Nor even as to the rest of that Treatise, can we flatter ourselves that the time is yet come when the simple substitution for which Mr. Douglas contends, would make it so palatable to the generality of readers, as to render nine-tenths of it superfluous.

For ourselves, we are astonished, we confess, that Mr. Douglas should appear to suppose that this exchange of terms, however desirable on the grounds above stated, would be so miraculously efficacious; or that he should seem to speak as if there would then be no great mystery any longer connected with the question. It is true that we feel even while we admit the doctrine of the certainty of volition, that we are still responsible for our actions, and this we should feel even if we retained the word necessity; we feel that so long as we are under no external restraint, that is, so long as we do what we do willingly, we have freedom of action ; that it in addition to this freedom from external restraint with regard to an action, we have the knowledge of duty, that is, that we ought to act in such and such a way; we cannot divest ourselves of the idea of responsibility. Wherever, therefore, these separate elements concur,-a knowledge of how we ought to act, and an entire freedom from external coercion or restraint,—they immediately suggest the idea of responsibility, though it may still be ever so true that volition will certainly be as is the conjoint influence of the understanding, of the passions, and of external circumstances. But though we may thus enumerate the conditions of responsibility, though we cannot conceive that any more should be necessary to constitute it, and though we cannot but feel that where they concur in the same being, that being is responsible; this is a very different thing from demonstrating how it is that these conditions harmonize with the great fact that volition will certainly follow the law of causation! We feel that there must be some mode of harmonizing them, but we cannot demonstrate VOL. VI.

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of Locke, who calls it that long agitated, and, I think, unreason“able, because unintelligible question, whether man's will be free or no; for, if I mistake not, it follows from what I have said, that the question itself is altogether improper; and it is as insignificant to ask whether man's will be free, as to ask whether bis sleep be swift, or his virtue square; liberty being as little ap‘plicable to the will, as swiftness of motion is to sleep, or square

ness to virtue. He also quotes with approval Jonathan Edwards's well-known sentiment that, to talk of liberty, or the contrary, as

belonging to the very will itself, is not to speak good sense. It is plain also, from what follows, that our author substantially agrees with the writers who take Edwards's side of the question, only blaming them for an abuse of terms. He strenuously affirms, that the mind is not exempted from the law of causation;' that

, therefore, the same certainty, though not the same necessity,' attends the phenomena of mind, as those of matter. He also, though briefly yet satisfactorily, shows by Edwards's arguments, that the liberty for which the opponents of this doctrine contend, is a chimera and absurdity. Still he says, “as is usual in disputes, • both parties are in the wrong;' though it must be confessed, that his censure falls far less heavily on the advocates of moral necessity than on the claimants of an impossible and irrational liberty. He merely blames the one party for abusing terms, and pleads for the substitution of others as certainty' for necessity, and so on. This proposition, however, is no novelty; nor if it were, do we think the expedient would make so material a difference in the controversy as to justify him in charging the great advocates of this side of the question with serious errors. For, first; many other writers have expressed a wish that such substitution could have been effected; secondly, some of the very writers he blames have used the terms “necessity' and 'necessary,' &c. expressly because these terms have entered so largely into the controversy, that it is almost impossible to avoid them. Thirdly; the best of these writers have so explained the sense and guarded the meaning which they attached to these words, that no candid and intelligent person can possibly misunderstand them; and fourthly; it is more easy to recommend the disuse of such terms than to abide by it; since nothing is more common, even in popular language, than the transfer to mind of terms which, in strictness, are only to the phenomena of matter, to mark the certainty of the connexion between cause and effect. Thus we say of one man, whose moral habits are fixed and inveterate, that he cannot be generous; and of another, that he cannot keep from drink. The great thing is, undoubtedly, to fence and guard the terms from misconstruction. However desirable, therefore, the proposed substitution may be, and we admit its desirableness, it is not necessary for a full appreciation of the merits of the controversy.

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We think the substitution very desirable in order to ovviate the prejudices of the captious or the dull-sighted; but we cannot admit that the great writers on this subject have been, as from Mr. Douglas 's language we should almost suppose them to have been, groping in the dark for want of this wonder-working change.

What is chiefly objectionable,' says Mr. Douglas, “in Edwards's " Treatise, is the improper use of terms; alter a few words, and 'the whole will appear so simple and reasonable that, at least nine

tenths of the work might be dispensed with.' This appears to us a very extravagant assertion. Mr. Douglas should have recollected that, half of Edwards's Treatise is taken up in the disproof of the theories of various classes of his opponents; and, though it is very easy now-a-days for Mr. Douglas to throw deserved ridicule on that impossible liberty for which such opponents contended, it was strenuously maintained by many writers previous to the appearance of Edwards's Treatise. Nor even as to the rest of that Treatise, can we flatter ourselves that the time is yet come when the simple substitution for which Mr. Douglas contends, would make it so palatable to the generality of readers, as to render nine-tenths of it superfluous.

For ourselves, we are astonished, we confess, that Mr. Douglas should appear to suppose that this exchange of terms, however desirable on the grounds above stated, would be so miraculously efficacious; or that he should seem to speak as if there would then be no great mystery any longer connected with the question. It is true that we feel even while we admit the doctrine of the certainty of volition, that we are still responsible for our actions, and this we should feel even if we retained the word necessity; we feel that so long as we are under no external restraint, that is, so long as we do what we do willingly, we have freedom of action ; that if in addition to this freedom from external restraint with regard to an action, we have the knowledge of duty, that is, that we ought to act in such and such a way; we cannot divest ourselves of the idea of responsibility. Wherever, therefore, these separate elements concur,-a knowledge of how we ought to act, and an entire freedom from external coercion or restraint,- they immediately suggest the idea of responsibility, though it may still be ever so true that volition will certainly be as is the conjoint influence of the understanding, of the passions, and of external circumstances. But though we may thus enumerate the conditions of responsi bility, though we cannot conceive that any more should be necessary to constitute it, and though we cannot but feel that where they concur in the same being, that being is responsible; this is a very different thing from demonstrating how it is that these conditions harmonize with the great fact that volition will certainly follow the law of causation! We feel that there must be some mode of harmonizing them, but we cannot demonstrate

YOL. VI.

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what it is; in other words, a mystery still remains. For, that a being all whose acts and resolves will certainly be as the conjoint influence of character and external circumstances, shall be held responsible for those acts and resolves, and yet that he should have had nothing whatever to do with the initiatory steps of the great series of acts which are to form the tissue of his life; that by the time he comes to be a responsible agent at all, his moral character should be set, or at least have received its general complexion, and in every case been subjected to far more important influences than will operate upon it at any after period of life; that he should be responsible for effects which certainly flow from their causes, though he has had no control over the causes; all this we say presents a stupendous mystery, for which the mere substitution of the word certainty' for ' necessity,' by no means delivers us, and from which we can only ultimately take refuge by referring ourselves to the irrepressible conviction,-a conviction which we cannot shake off,—that we are responsible for all those moral acts which we perform with a knowledge of duty and in entire freedom from external restraint; no matter what our previous history up to that moment; or what the conjoint influences which have operated upon us, and given our character its shaping and complexion. Let the doctrine of Edwards be ever so certain-and that doctrine seems our only escape from the most unmitigated absurdities and contradictions—it by no means invalidates these conclusions. To show how it harmonizes with them is a far different thing. To do this would indeed be fully to lift the veil from this great mystery.- No objection, however, on a moral ground, fairly lies against the doctrine of the dependence of volition on causation, in other words, against moral necessity, so long as it is felt that (whether it be admitted or not) he who possesses at the time of any act of a moral nature, a knowledge of duty and freedom from physical constraint, is responsible for that act. This we cannot but feel, and this it is probable is all that we know or are likely to know about the matter. *

The sections entitled • Theory of Morals' and Religion,' are both very short, much shorter than we could wish, or than the importance of the subjects deserved. Yet short as they are, we have left ourselves no space to comment on the many things we approve in them, or the few things that we should dispute. We should not, however, be doing justice to our author, and we should assuredly be robbing the reader of a high gratification if we withheld the following beautiful and forcible observations on

The reader will find some further remarks on this subject in the Essay on the Genius and Writings of Jonathan Edwards, by Professor Rogers.-P. xxxiii. .

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