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that under the same conditions they could have been done by others, and that they are probably prophetic of a time in which they shall be done by others. Looked at as mere signs or portents, he himself discouraged any attention being paid to them. Looked at as logical proofs to convince an unbeliever, he never brought them forward" (pp. 85, 86).
The Orthodox divines, although not exactly unanimous in adopting any theory of miracles, will be well nigh unanimous in rejecting this theory proposed by Dr. Clarke, and will be dissatisfied with his manner of representing them. For instance, he describes it as one "essential" point of the Orthodox view, that a miracle is "the only logical proof of the divine authority of the miracle-worker" (p. 61). A miracle is regarded as an important proof, but by no means as the sole proof of such authority. Dr. Clarke fails to notice the great stress which the Orthodox divines lay upon the internal evidence of the Bible, and he seems himself, however unintentionally, to disparage this evidence. He appears to think that, were it not for the "Christian prepossession" in favor of the Bible, were it not for the antecedent belief that the Bible has a divine origin and purpose, "it might be occasionally read by a student in the interest of science, but never by the mass of the community" (p. 123). We believe, however, that if the manuscripts of the Bible were now discovered, after having been long forgotten and lost, they would force their own way, by their intrinsic excellence, upon the attention and into the affections of men, and would be read not only "as Plato is read, that is, by one man in a million," but also by the million. The character of the Bible is its own momentum.
Passing to the fifth chapter, we are not satisfied with Dr. Clarke's statement of the Orthodox views in regard to the inspiration of the scriptures. He says that, according to these views, "every word which really belongs to these [canonical] books is God's truth, and to be received without question as truth, no matter how much it may seem opposed to reason, to the facts of nature, to common sense, and common morality" (p. 88). This implies that, according to the Orthodox view, when the Bible speaks of the "sun rising," this word is to be received without question of its truth, no matter how much it may seem opposed to the astronomical discoveries. In apparent opposition to the Orthodox theory, he says, Moses was not inspired to teach geology or history." But is it not a common remark of Orthodox divines, that the Bible was not inspired to teach secular science? What remark is more common?
On the subject of inspiration, Dr. Clarke fails to recognize some distinctions which are commonly made by the Orthodox. There is a distinction, for example, between infallibility as the impossibility of erring, and infallibility as the certainty of not erring. Dr. Clarke, speaking of a certain character in Cooper's novels, says: "He is an authority to them, a perfect authority; for they confide in him entirely, without a shade of doubt. But no one thinks hin infallible, nor supposes it necessary to VOL. XXIV. No. 93.
believe him infallible, in order to trust him entirely" (p. 114). Now if we believe a man to be a perfect authority whom we can trust entirely, we do believe him to be infallible in the sense of being certainly free from error, although not infallible in the sense of incapable of committing an
There is a distinction between the accuracy of inspired men in saying what they intended to teach as truth, and their literal accuracy in saying what they did not intend to teach as truth. When our Saviour stated that "the grain of mustard-seed is the least of all seeds," he did not mean to announce this as a fact of botanical science; and if the statement be scientifically inaccurate he was yet infallible in the designed instruction which this figurative statement was intended to illustrate. The alleged errors of the Bible are generally such as the writers of the Bible never meant to teach as truths.
There is a distinction between the knowledge of a doctrine and omniscience in regard to that doctrine. It is affirmed by the Orthodox writers, that what the inspired men intended to teach they knew, but it is not affirmed that they knew everything respecting it. Dr. Clarke says: “A Frenchman knows the French language; still he may make mistakes in speaking it. The man from California knows that country, but he may be mistaken about it" (p. 121). So far as a man makes mistakes about a thing, can he be said to know the thing? and so far as he knows it, can he be said to be mistaken about it? What the sacred writers intended to teach they knew; and how could they be mistaken in what they knew? So far forth as they were mistaken in their astronomy, they did not know the astronomical truth, and we do not suppose that they meant to teach, or to be considered as teaching, anything about it. Dr. Clarke uses language which seems to imply that a man may know that which he does not know. Thus he says : "And so Paul and John look steadily at the Christ formed within them till they see clearly what is Christ's thought concerning every question, every subject. For the truths seen by Newton, Milton, Descartes, and Columbus were not inventions of theirs, but divine realities shown to them by God" (p. 104). "It was an inward sight of Christ, an inward sight of his truth and love, which enabled them [the apostles] to speak and write with authority — the authority of those who saw what they said, and knew it to be true. 'We speak what we know, and testify what we have seen (p. 107). "Jesus sees so plainly all that he says there is no hesitation, no obscurity, no perhapses, in his language. He is like one describing what is before his eyes, what he knows to be true, because he sees it while he is saying it. It is, in short, the authority which always attends knowledge. He who knows anything, and can speak with certainty, carries conviction with him, though we do not suppose him to be infallible, nor is it thought necessary to believe him so, in order to give to him this authority" (pp. 115, 116). Now when we affirm
that a man sees clearly what is Christ's thought concerning every question, every subject; that he speaks what he knows to be true; that he utters with certainty what he sees to be divine realities which are shown him by God, we affirm herein that the man does not err, and in this sense is infallible. When Dr. Clarke says, (p. 121) that "inspiration gives knowledge," and that "knowledge is not infallibility," he must mean that the knowledge of one thing is not knowledge of another thing; that accuracy in seeing some truths is not accuracy in seeing some other truths. Subjective knowledge is the correlate of objective certainty, and really to know truths which are certain, is the same thing as not to err, and in this sense to be infallible in regard to them.
It may be said that Dr. Clarke supposes the inspired man to have a knowledge which is infallibly accurate, but to express what he knows in language that is inaccurate. Sometimes this may be his meaning (pp. 104, 105). But at other times he obviously means that the subject of the doctrine and the statement of it are both accurate. "The authority of the Spirit in the Bible," he says, "is that it awakens and appeals to whatever spiritual element exists in our soul, and compels it to feel and admit its truth" (p. 115). If we are compelled to admit the truth of the Bible, we must believe its statements to be true.
But are all of them true? All of them which the writers intended to teach as true. But do all of them give internal evidence of their accuracy? The statements either give this evidence or are so connected with other statements which give it, that they all stand or fall together. Dr. Clarke will admit this principle in some degree, for he says: "The writings of Paul are so intimately connected with the rest of the New Testament, that it is not easy to reject them, and yet to believe the rest. It can be done, no doubt; but it is done with difficulty. It is as if one part of the foundation of the house had given way: perhaps the house will not fall; but it has become unsafe. It is as if a part of the wall of a city had been battered down: the breach may be defensible from within; but it is also practicable from without. At all events, we miss the satisfaction of a complete faith, perfect and entire, round and full" (p. 211).
In the eighth, ninth, tenth, and sixteenth chapters, describing the Orthodox theories of the person and work of Christ, and of the Trinity, we find various statements which seem to misrepresent these theories. The author has failed to notice one distinction, which, we think, suggests a sufficient reply to some of his objections. He says: "the heaviest charge against the Church doctrine of the Trinity is, that, driven to despair by these difficulties, it has at last made Orthodoxy consist, not in any sound belief, but only in sound phrases. It is not believing anything, but saying something, which now makes a man Orthodox. If you will only use the word
Trinity' in any sense, if you will only call Christ God in any sense, you are Orthodox" (p. 428). In harmony with these remarks our author thus
condemns one Orthodox theory of the Trinity: "The three Persons are three somethings, which cannot be defined. It is a mystery. It is above reason. There is mystery in everything, and there must be mystery in the Deity.' So Augustine said, long ago, We say three Persons, not because we have anything to say, but because we want to say something.' [Dictum est tamen tres personae, non ut illud diceretur, sed ut ne taceretur,' Aug. de Trin., quoted by Hase, Dog. § 238.] But if one uses the phrase 'three Persons,' and refuses to define it positively merely defining it negatively, saying, 'It does not mean this, and it does not mean that, and I dont know what it does mean,' he avoids, it is true, the difficulties, and escapes the objections; but he does it by giving up the article of faith. No one can deny that there may be three unknown distinctions in the divine nature; but no one can be asked to believe in them, till he is told what they are. To say, therefore, that the Trinity is a mystery, is to abandon it as an article of faith, and make of it only a subject of speculation. We avoid the contradiction; but we do it by relinquishing the doctrine. This fact is not sufficiently considered by Trinitarians. They first demand of us to believe the doctrine of the Trinity, and, when pressed to state distinctly the doctrine, retire into the protection of mystery, and decline giving any distinct account of it. Now, no human being ever denied the existence of mysteries connected with God, and nature, and all life. To assure us, therefore, that such mysteries exist, is slightly superflu ous. But, on the other hand, no human being ever believed, or could believe, a mystery, any more than he could see anything invisible or hear anything inaudible. To believe a doctrine, the first condition is, that all its terms shall be distinct and intelligible" (p. 431).
The simple distinction between a positive and a negative object of thought suggests a sufficient answer to the preceding objection. A negative idea is not no idea, but it is an idea; as a negative answer to a question is not no answer, but it is an answer. A negative object of thought is a real object of thought. It is one of which the mind can judge what it is not, but cannot judge what it is; or, one of which the mind can judge that it is, but cannot comprehend what it is; or, one which in each of its moments can be apprehended, and the moments can be judged to be compatible with each other, but the manner in which they are compatible cannot be comprehended. If we are asked what is the substratum of mind as distinct from its qualities and powers, we cannot tell; we have no positive idea of it; but we do not "give up the article of our faith," that there is a mental substance distinct from the mental powers and attributes. If we are asked what is the substratum of matter as distinct from its properties, we can give no positive answer; what it is we have no positive idea; but that it is we know. We disbelieve the assertion that a man cannot be required to believe in a physical substratum as distinct from physical qualities, until the man is told what the substratum is. The being
of an object as distinct from the object being is apprehensible by the mind; but the mind has no positive idea of being, as distinct from an object being. We may say with Hegel that "Sein ist Nichts." but the nothing is a moment of which we have some idea, at least a negative idea; else we could say nothing about it. The substance apart from the properties of matter and of mind, the being of thing apart from the thing, are "mysteries"; still we believe in them, and reject the statement that no human being ever believed, or could be required to believe a "mystery." "No one can deny," says Dr. Clarke, "that there may be three unknown distinctions in the divine nature." No one then can deny the Trinity. But "to believe a doctrine," says Dr. Clarke, "the first condition is that all its terms shall be distinct and intelligible." They must suggest an idea, distinct from all other ideas; that is, we must be able to say, this idea is not that or that other. They must suggest an idea, intelligible in the sense of being apprehensible, so that we can affirm that the idea is not the same with other ideas into which the imagination may resolve it. But to affirm that in order to believe a doctrine "all its terms must be " positively “intelligible," is to overlook one distinction between apprehending and comprehending an object, and to affirm that we have no right to believe in an infinite space, or infinite duration, unless we have a positive comprehension of what is admitted to be incomprehensible. To say that an object is incomprehensible, is not to say that it is in all senses unknown; imperfect knowledge is not nescience, as knowledge is not omniscience.
In the tenth chapter we find various inadequate statements of the Orthodox doctrine of the atonement. After describing its three prominent theories, Dr. Clarke says: "In each of these three theories there is one constant element. And it is due to Orthodoxy to state it. This element is, that the necessity of the death of Christ lay in the divine attribute of justice. According to the first theory, Christ died to satisfy what was due by God to the devil; according to the second, he died to satisfy what was due by God to himself; according to the third, he died to satisfy what was due by God to the moral universe. Divine justice, in the first theory, owed a ransom to the devil, which Christ paid; in the second, it owed a debt to the divine honor, which Christ paid; in the third, it owed protection to the universe from the danger of evil example. The difficulty to be removed before God can forgive sin lay, according to all of these theories, in the divine justice. Christ died to reconcile justice and mercy, so as to make justice merciful, and mercy just. But, in opposition to this view, the Unitarian argument is so formidable as to seem quite unanswerable. On grounds of reason, the Unitarian maintains that there can be no such conflict among the divine attributes, waiting till an event should occur in human history by which they should be reconciled. That God's justice and mercy should have been in a state of antagonism down to A.M. 4034, when Jesus died, is an incredible supposition. No event