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of pain in view of whatsoever is pure and lovely and of good report. It condemns not only such feelings, but the corresponding desires and affections. When the chief priests and captains were "glad ” at Judas's purposed betrayal of Christ, were they not so far forth culpable? And is not the testimony of the Bible explicit as to the moral quality of feelings and desires regarding moral objects? Do they not signify, not only that they who do things worthy of death are wicked, but also those who “ have pleasure in them that do them” (Rom. i. 32) ? And where do they rank the “ desires of the flesh and the mind” (Eph. ii. 3) ? " the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life" (1 John ii. 16)? But the explicit command of God is conclusive on this point: “ Thou shalt not covet.” That this is decisive of the present question clearly appears from the experimental exegesis of the apostle (Rom. vii. 7): “I had not known sin but by the law, for I had not known lust, except the law had said, thou shalt not covet."
This incidentally settles the question so much controverted, whether concupiscence is of the nature of sin. So far as mere blind animal cravings, or cravings for things indifferent are concerned, it is doubtless void of moral quality. But so far as it consists in lawless cravings for what is morally wrong, it is in every degree of it sinful.
A deeper question still, respects the morality of dispositions, or permanent habits of the soul which involve a tendency and facility to any given class of exercises. The only dispositions here in question are moral dispositions ; that is, to good or bad moral exercises. On this point we have no doubt what is the judgment of the unperverted human conscience. Holy, benevolent, magnanimous dispositions men judge morally excellent and praiseworthy. And they no less certainly judge wicked, perverse, and malevolent dispositions criminal. They attach blame and illdesert to a disposition to lie, steal, slander, blaspheme, and this whether such disposition be natural or acquired. No ingenuity of metaphysics or metaphysical torture can en
tirely wrench such convictions out of the human soul. The collective dispositions of a man constitute his character.
If they have no moral quality, his character has no moral quality. The scriptures clearly indicate the reality, and the good or ill desert of moral dispositions, when they tell us of the “good treasure of the beart” and “ the evil treasure of the heart;” of the “good tree" and the “bad tree;” of the “old man” and the “new man;" the cáps, the opóvnua της σαρκός, and the φρόνημα του πνεύματος (Rom. viii. 6, 7). However any may criticise one or more of these instances as inconclusive to our purpose, it cannot be questioned that, as a whole, they, with other like phrases, import an inward state which disposes to act, and is, in its own nature, either morally good or evil, praise or blame worthy. Nor does this, as some contend, imply that the substance or essence of the soul is polluted. The substance or essence of anything does not consist of changing or separable states, which may be present or absent, that substance still remaining in its entirety. Such are all habits, all moral dispositions, all treasures of education and culture, all continued yet change, able states of the soul, whether innate, acquired, or infused. Take the soul of the habitual drunkard or libertine, as it is between his acts of debasing indulgence. Is its state precisely as pure as it would be without such polluting practices ? But does the very essence and substance of his soul therefore consist of corruption ? Take that " governing purpose ” into which some resolve the predominant character of man, be it holy or sinful. Whatever be its origin, it is none the less a state involving tendency or facility for a given kind of acts. It has moral character. But it is not the substance of the soul.
Nor does our psychology put the intellect, in some of its operations, wholly without the sphere of moral responsibility.
It is so implicated in the moral states and exercises of the soul, that its judgments connected with them cannot be wholly void of moral quality. To this the unperverted human conscience and scripture alike testify. If we find
men justifying iniquity and approving the wicked, or condemning righteousness, we condemn them. The conscience and the Bible are alike severe in their condemnation of false moral judgments. The woe is upon those who " call good evil, and evil good; who put light for darkness, and darkness for light.” If a man is blind to moral excellence, so that he does not appreciate and love it, we condemn him. In this region of what we may, so to speak, call moral aesthetics, such want of discernment of the beauty of moral excellence is the very core of depravity and guilt ; and, so far as the soul is blinded, the necessity of spiritual illumination in regeneration becomes indispensable. This, whatever theories we may have, accords with the uniform representations of scripture. The language of the apostle (Eph. iv. 18), describing the blindness induced by sin, cannot readily be misunderstood : " Having the understanding darkened, being alinated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts." All familiar with these subjects know that abundant citations, no less significant and unequivocal can be made; to some of which we may yet refer, as we come to speak of sin and grace.
THE NATURE OF VIRTUE. Our theology rejects all utilitarian theories of the nature of virtue, or moral goodness; that is to say, theories which deny that it is a good intrinsically, and make it a mere means to some extraneous good beyond itself, such as happiness. We deny that it can be analyzed into a mere means of anything other, simpler, better, than itself. We not only deny the Epicurean form of this theory, that it is a mere means of the happiness of the agent; but its broader and more generous form, which asserts virtue to be merely the means of happiness to the sentient universe. We hold that right is an intrinsic quality of actions, involving obligation to do them; that what is right is what ought to be done, and is meritorious ; that what is wrong is what ought to be VOL. XXI, No. 81.
shunned, and, if done, deserves punishment. We hold it right indeed, within due limits, to pursue our own happiness and the happiness of the universe. We hold that it is evermore right and obligatory to obey the will of God, because the will of God is evermore conformed to the perfect goodness and absolute rectitude of his own nature, wherein is found the first original standard, the norm of all righteousness. But much as might be said on this point we must hasten forward, to the
DEFINITION OF CERTAIN THEOLOGICAL TERMS. “ Sin is any want of conformity to, or transgression of, the law of God” (uvojla). Shorter Catechism, 9. 1 John iii. 4.
Righteousness is perfect obedience or conformity to the law of God. “ For whosoever shall keep the whole law and offend in one point shall be guilty of all ” (James ii. 10).
To justify is to declare or adjudge righteous, not to make inherently righteous. It is the opposite of condemning. “ He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord ” (Prov. xvii. 15).
To impute means, not the transfer of inherent qualities, but to reckon or put to the account of any one, as a ground of judicial treatment. This is the uniform scriptural meaning of the word, and also that which it bears in our standards. That this is the scriptural meaning can hardly be the subject of rational dispute to those who candidly examine the passages in which it is found, especially Rom. iv. 5. and the Greek words translated “impute,” viz. loyiCouai and exxoyśw. What else, indeed, can it mean when the apostle speaks of “ not imputing iniquity,” of “ imputing righteousness without works," or, as the same original Greek word is employed in the phrase " counted for righteousness.” That this is the meaning of the word in our symbols and standard theological writers is no less evident.
Guilt is equivalent to the Latin reatus, and means obligation to, or the being obnoxious to, the punishment of sin. Says Turretin (Loc. IX. Quaest. 3): “ Duo vulgo peccati eflecta dicuntur, Macula Reatus. M teacula est pollạtio spiritualis et ethica, quo hominis anima inficitur. Reatus est obligatio ad poenam ex praevio delicto.” Two effects of sin are commonly noted, its stain and guilt. Its stain is the moral and spiritual pollution with which the soul of man is infected. Guilt. is obligation to punishment arising from previous fault.” This is beyond doubt the usage of scripture. Thus one word translated guilty is čvoxos, (évézw) held or bound to. When Christ's accusers charged him with blasphemy, they said, “ he is guilty (čvoxos) of death;” i.e. held obnoxious to the punishinent of death (Matt. xxvi. 66 ; Mark. xvi. 64). The same word is translated “ in danger of,” in the phrase " in danger of eterwal damnation,” for the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (Mark iii. 29). The word translated guilty (Rom. iii. 19), in "all the world shall become guilty before God," is ÚTÓðikos, under condemnation, or obnoxious to punishment. In Matt. xxiii. 16, opeilei is rendered “he is a debtor," in vs. 18, “he is guilty," showing very clearly that it means the debt of, or obligation to, punishment. When David prays (Psalm li.) : “ Deliver me from blood-guiltiness,” what else does or can he mean, than from my exposure to pun. ishment for blood-shedding? Even the lexicographer Webster tells us that, according to one probable derivation of the word, “it denotes a debt contracted by an offence, à fine, and hence came its present signification.” He also quotes Chancellor Kent as saying: “A ship incurs guilt by the violation of a blockade,” in illustration of the definition " exposure to forfeiture or other penalty.” We have dwelt thus on the theological definition of this word as used in the Reformed theology and confessions, because it appears so unwarrantable to many, who have been accustomed only to its present popular meaning of personal criminality in the subject of it. Such criminality is the normal ground