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there is a future state, than whether we must. Sufficient for mortals, we think is it, in their wanderings, their crimes, and their sorrows, if they may believe there is a place where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary may be forever at rest; and if the thousand shades of doubt on that subject which thicken on the path of man, and which assume a deeper hue by infidel arts, may be removed. We ask only the privilege of believing that there is a world of purity; that the troubled elements of our chaotic abode may settle down into rest; and that from the heavings of this moving sea there may arise a fair moral system, complete in all its parts, where God shall be all in all, and where all creatures may admire the beauty of his moral character, and the grandeur of his sovereign control. We watch the progress of this system much as we may suppose a spectator would have watched the process of the first creation. At first, this now solid globe was a wild chaotic mass. Darkness and commotion were there. There was a vast heaving deep, a boundless commingling of elements, a dismal terrific wild. Who, in looking on that moving mass, would have found evidence that the beauty of Eden would so soon start up on its surface, and the fair proportions of our hills, and vales, and streams, would rise to give support to millions of animated and happy beings? And with what intensity would the observer behold the light bursting on chaos, the rush of waters to their deep caverns, the uprising of the hills clothed with verdure, inviting to life and felicity! With what beauty would appear the millions sporting with their new-created life in their proper elements! Myriads in the heaving ocean and gushing streams—myriads melodious in the groves-myriads joyful on a thousand hills and in a thousand vales. How grand the completion of the system! man, lord of all, clothed with power over the bursting millions; the priest of this new creation, rendering homage to its Great Sovereign Lord, and "extolling him first, him midst,
and him without end." Like beauty and grandeur, we expect, will come out of this deranged moral system. Our eye loves to trace its development. With tears we look back on "Paradise Lost;" with exultation we trace the unfolding elements of a process that shall soon exhibit the beauty and grandeur of "Paradise Regained."
There is still a most important part of the subject untouched the analogy of the Christian scheme, as we understand it, to the course of nature, and the fact that all the objections urged against Calvinism lie against the actual order of events. This part of the argument Butler has not touched. To this we propose now to call the attention of our readers-in some respects the most interesting and important part of "the analogy of religion, natural and revealed, to the constitution and course of nature."
Thus far we have had our eye fixed on the infidel. We wish now to direct our attention to the opponents of what we consider the Christian scheme, and inquire whether Butler has not furnished us materials to annihilate every objection against what are called the doctrines of grace. We say materials, for we are well aware that Butler did not complete the argument. We suppose, that had his object been to carry it to its utmost extent, there were two important causes which would have arrested its progress where it actually has stopped. The first is found in Butler's own views of the Christian scheme. We We are not calling in question his piety, but we have not seen evidence that he had himself fully embraced the evangelical system, and applied his argument to the peculiar doctrines of the gospel. We fear that he stopped short of such a result in his own feelings, and that this may have been the reason why that system had not a more prominent place in his work. Still we would not apply the language of severe criticism to this deficiency in the Analogy. We know his design. It was to meet the infidelity of an age of peculiar
thoughtlessness and vice. He did it. He reared an argument which infidels have thought it most prudent to let alone. They have made new attacks in other modes.
Driven from this field, they have yielded it into the hands of Butler,—and their wisdom has consisted in withdrawing as silently as possible from the field, and losing the recollection both of the din of conflict and the shame of defeat. It has always been one of the arts of infidelity and error, to forget the scene of previous conflict and overthrow. Singular adroitness is manifested in keeping from the public eye the fact, and the monuments of such disastrous encounters. Thus Butler stands as grand and solitary as a pyramid of Egypt, and we might add, nearly as much forsaken by those for whose benefit. he wrote. And thus Edwards on the Will is conveniently forgotten by hosts of Arminians, who continue to urge their arguments with as much self-gratulation, as though previous hosts of Arminians had never been prostrated by his mighty arm. Could we awaken the unpleasant reminiscence in the infidels of our age, that there was such a man as Butler, and in the opposers of the doctrines of grace, that there is extant in the English language such a book as "A Careful Inquiry into the Modern prevailing Notions on the Freedom of the Will," we should do more, perhaps, than by any one means to disturb the equanimity of multitudes, who live only to deal out dogmas as if they had never been confuted; and we might hope to arrest the progress of those destructive errors which are spreading in a thousand channels through the land.
The other cause of the deficiency which we notice in the Analogy is, that it was not possible for Butler, with the statements then made of the doctrines of grace, to carry out his argument, and give it its true bearing on those doctrines. The philosophical principles on which Calvinism had been defended for a century and a half were substantially those of
the schoolmen. The system had started out from darker ages of the world; had been connected with minds of singular strength and power, but also with traits in some degree stern and forbidding. Men had been thrown into desperate mental conflict. They had struggled for mental and civil freedom. They had but little leisure, and less inclination to polish and adorn-to go into an investigation of the true laws of the mind, and the proper explanation of facts in the moral world -little inclination to look on what was bland and amiable in
the government of God. Hence they took the rough-cast system, wielded in its defence the ponderous weapons which Augustine and even the Jansenites had furnished them, and prevailed in the conflict, not, however, by the force of their philosophy, but of those decisive declarations of the word of God, with which unhappily that philosophy had become identified. But when they told of imputing the sin of one man to another, and of holding that other to be personally answerable for it, it is no wonder that such minds as that of Butler recoiled, for there is nothing like this in nature. When they affirmed that men have no power to do the will of God, and yet will be damned for not doing what they have no capacity to perform, it is no wonder that he started back, and refused to attempt to find an analogy; for it is unlike the common sense of men. When they told of a limited atonement-of confining the original applicability of the blood of Christ to the elect alone, there was no analogy to this, in all the dealings of God toward sinners; in the sunbeam, in the dew, in the rain, in running rivulets or oceans; and here Butler must stop, for the analogy could go no farther upon the then prevalent notions of theology.
Still we record, with gratitude, the achievements of Butler. We render our humble tribute of thanksgiving to God that he raised up a man who has laid the foundation of an argument which can be applied to every feature of the Christian scheme.
We are not Hutchinsonians, but we believe there is a course of nature most strikingly analogous to the doctrines of revelation. We believe that all the objections which have been urged against the peculiar doctrines of the Christian scheme, lie with equal weight against the course of nature itself, and, therefore, really constitute no objections at all. This point of the argument Butler has omitted. To a contemplation of the outline of it we now ask the attention of our readers.
We are accustomed, in our ordinary technical theology, to speak much of the doctrines of Christianity; and men of system-making minds have talked of them so long, that they seem to understand, by them, a sort of intangible and abstract array of propositions, remote from real life and from plain matter of fact. The learner in divinity is often told that there is a species of daring profaneness, in supposing that they are to be shaped to existing facts or to the actual operations of moral agents. All this is metaphysics, and the moment he dares to ask whether Turretin or Ridgeley had proper conceptions of the laws of the mind, of moral agency, or of facts in the universe, that moment the shades of all antiquity are summoned to come around the adventurous theologian, and charge him with a guilty departure from dogmas long held in the church.
Now, we confess, we have imbibed somewhat different notions of the doctrines of the Bible. We have been accustomed to regard the word as denoting only an authoritative teaching (dida, Matt. vii. 28, compare v. 19, xxii. 33, 2 Tim. iv. 2, 9,) of what actually exists in the universe. We consider the whole system of doctrines as simply a statement of facts. The doctrine of the Trinity, for example, is a statement of a fact respecting the mode of God's existence. The fact is beyond any investigation of our own minds, and we receive the statement as it is. The doctrine of the mediation is a statement of facts respecting what Christ did, and taught,