« PreviousContinue »
1847.) Different Uses of the Verb in dependent Clauses. 75 this principle may be stated thus : The conception of an activity expressed by a verb, is regarded as a potential in Latin, and takes the subjunctive unless a reality is clearly to be implied; in Greek and in English it is regarded as a real and takes the indicative, unless a potential or conditional is to be implied. The German follows nearly the analogy of the Latin.
1. The attributive use of the verb in dependent clauses. In this use of the verb, the indicative generally prevails even in the Latin, for the conception is generally a real one: “ Hannibal male fecit, qui Capuae hiemavit.” In the following sentence, howev. er, the conception not necessarily being regarded as real, the subjunctive is preferred: "Sunt qui censeant una animum et corpus occidere.” In the English language, the indicative is used in such cases, unless necessity, potentiality, or contingency is clearly requisite; as “The Tarquin, who might have retained the consulship, but for the jealousy of a people just tasting their new liberty, was the last,” etc.
2. The substantive use. Instead of the noun we often find the conception of an activity expressed in the form of the verb and constituting the subject or predicate of a sentence. The infinitive is the more proper form for this use; but the modal inflections frequently occur, not only because modality can be expressed simply only by these, but, also, because the inflected forms are more energetic. In this use, the subjunctive is preferred in the Latin, unless the reality of the conception is to be made promident: "Non est verisimile, ut Chrysogonus horum literas adamarit." Where, however, the verb occurs in a proper case of apposition, we shonld expect the indicative as in the attributive use of the verb : “ Hoc me ipse consolabar, quod non dubitabam.”
3. The adverbial use. Here iwo specific uses of the verb are to be distinguished. The first is where the verb is employed to modify the copula of the principal verb. In this case, the Latin often takes the subjunctive where the Greek has the indicative, as si ti Eizouer, édi&ousy őr; si quid habuissemus, dedissemus. Indeed, the Latin always take the subjunctive, unless there is a clear implication of the reality of the conception expressed in the dependent verb. If the indicative occurs, it throws at once an emphasis on the existence of the conception; as “ si est ut dicat velle se, redde.” Accordingly, where the principal verb is in the future tense, if the condition on which the truth of its assertion depends, can be separated as a preceding event from the activity of the principal verb, the subjunctive is used; if however the condition is involved in the main assertion so as to partake of its reality, the indicative is used. Thus, “expectationem facilliere vinces, si hoc statueris,” but “nunquam labere, si te audies.”
The other adverbial use of the verb in a dependent clause is to modify the activity expressed in the verb. These modifications may be distinguished into those of time, place and manner. In all, however, the indicative or subjunctive is used according as the reality or only the possibility or contingency of the activity expressed by the dependent verb is fully to be implied or not. As, “ Dum singuli pugnant, universi vincuntur.” “Donec, spectante Vitellio, interfectus est.” ,“ Sed arma sumere non ante cui. quam moris quam civitas suffecturum probaverit.” In the sentence, “ Male fecit Hannibal qui Capuae hiemarit," the subjunctive is used because the fact of Hannibal's having wintered at Capua is intended to be entirely hidden behind the adverbial use of the verb. The expression is equivalent to this: in so far as he wintered at Capua. Where, thus, the mere adverbial use of the verb is intended, the subjunctive is always to be preferred.
4. The objective use of the verb. As the result of an activity is necessarily conceived of as future, the subjunctive mood as the proper expression of possibility and contingency, is employed in denoting the object of the verb. Here the Latin language always carefully distinguishes the objective from the attributive force of the verb. Where the indicative would be employed in the latter case, the subjunctive is found in the former; and the use of the one or the other determines the intention of the writer. As in the sentence, “praemisit in urbem edictum, quo vocabulum Augusti differeret, Caesaris non reciperet,” etc., the use of the subjunctive shows that the edict not merely contained the intelligence of the fact that the title of Augustus was spread abroad, but that it was sent for that very purpose. The use of the indicative would intimate nothing as to the intent or object of the edict; but merely that the delay to take the title was incidentally communicated in it.
Sometimes the verb when it is used to modify a noun, or is attributive, yet takes the objective form, and is then put in the subjunctive; as “neque sum in hac opinione, ut credam.” The adverbial form, sometimes, cloaks an objective sense, and accordingly takes the subjunctive: “Nam se quoque moveri interim finget, ut pro Rabirio Postumo Cicero, dum aditum sibi ad aures faciat, et auctoritatem induat vera sentientis,” etc.; where “dum faciat” is to be rendered “in order to make.”
1847. Consistency of God's Purposes with Man's Agency. 77
The reason for the use of the subjunctive in the objective clause obviously does not exist after verbs of affirming and the like, as Dicam qnod sentio. This may, indeed, be regarded as an attributive use of the verb.
The foregoing illustrations will suffice to explain the meaning and application of the principle we have proposed. This is our object in adducing them, and not to extend the induction, so far as might be thought necessary in order to establish, beyond doubt, the correctness of the view we have taken.
THE CONSISTENCY OF THE ETERNAL PURPOSES OF GOD
WITH THE FREE AGENCY OF MEN.
By Rev. J. W. Ward, Abington, Mass.
And it may
One of the most plausible objections ever urged against the doctrine of God's eternal purposes, is its alleged inconsistency with man's freedom of action. As this objection is, probably, more frequently advanced and more sensibly felt than any other, it may not be amiss to give it a careful examination. be proper to remark at the ontset, that the objection lies with as much force against the government and overruling agency of God, as against the doctrine of his eternal purposes. I would then ask those who object to the doctrine of the divine decrees on the supposed ground, that it is inconsistent with the free agency of man: do you believe that God reigns in the natural and moral world—that he does all his pleasure in the armies of heaven above and among the inhabitants of this lower world ? If not, you have dethroned the monarch of the universe. You have taken from him his sceptre and driven him from his kingdom. You are, to all intents and purposes, an atheist. You do not believe in the existence of a perfect moral Governor of the world. And the first question to be discussed with you must be,-not, has God from eternity formed a perfect plan of government? has he foreordained whatsoever comes to pass ?-but, is there a perfect God who reigns on the throne of the universe ? But if, on the other hand, you admit this truth, if you admit that God does reign and govern the universe, doing his pleasure in heaven and upon the earth, then I would ask : do you believe that this government of God is consistent with man's free moral agency? If you say, “ No," then you cannot believe in man's free moral agency. You have therefore no right to offer, as an objection to the divine decrees, the supposed fact that they are inconsistent with man's free moral agency. You do not believe that man is a free moral agent. And if he is not, then the doctrine of the divine decrees may be true, even though it be inconsistent with the free agency of man. It is only inconsistent with a falsehood (i. e. with what you believe to be a falsehood), and may therefore well be true, for truth is inconsistent with falsehood. Instead therefore of bringing objections against the doctrine of the divine decrees, you ought to receive it as truth. But if, on the other hand, you say, “Yes,” then I would ask you to reconcile your belief in God's universal government and overruling agency with your belief in man's free moral agency. And when you have gone through with the work and wrought out the problem, you may, by the very same process, demonstrate the consistency of God's decrees with man's freedom of action. If God governs the world he certainly chooses to do it. He chooses to perform what he does perform. And now, if you suppose this choice to have been eternal, you have the doctrine of the divine purposes or decrees, for all that is meant by this doctrine is, that God in eternity purposed to perform all that he actually does perform in time. And if God may perform what he does perform and man still be free, then he may purpose--and he may eternally purpose to perform what he does perform, and man still be free. The great difficulty, in fact the whole difficulty on this subject, lies in the work of reconciling God's agency with man's agency. And you admit that God rules throughout the universe and does all his pleasure. And you admit, too, man's freedom of action. You must therefore, and you do, admit the consistency of God's agency with man's free agency. If the two things are facts, as you believe, they must, of course, be consistent with each other. And when you have shown how they are consistent, you have solved the problem of the consistency of God's purposes with human freedom; for man's freedom, if infringed on in any way, is infringed on, not by what God purposes, but by what he does. If then you have relieved your own system from embarrassment on this point, you have relieved ours also. If you have ascertained how God may do all that he does do and man still be free, you have also ascertained 1847.] No Inconsistency can be pointed out.
79 how he may purpose—and eternally purpose to do all he does do and man still be free. If you have not as yet seen how these two parts of your own system harmonize with each other,—if you say they are both truths, but still there is something dark about them, something a little mysterious, something which you do not fully understand, that you believe they are consistent, though you cannot precisely see how they are so, then I say, you ought not to ask us to do your work for you, and relieve your system from a difficulty which you are not able yourselves to remove, or to shed light on a point in your system which you admit is enveloped in darkness. Yet in asking us to remove the darkness which you think rests on this point in our system, you do ask us also to remove that which you admit rests on the same point in your own. Is this reasonable? Is it reasonable to bring against the doctrine of the divine purposes an objection which lies with equal or greater force against the truth of the divine government, a truth which you fully admit? If, notwithstanding this objection, you believe in the fact of the divine government, may you not also believe in the doctrine of the divine decrees? If the darkness which rests on one point in your own system is no bar to your believing your sys. tem, then surely the same darkness—for the darkness is no denser in our system than in yours—the same darkness, on the same point in our system, can be no bar to your believing our system. Is it not thus plainly evident, that those who believe in the gov. ernment and overruling agency of God, cannot consistently object to the doctrine of the divine decrees on the ground that the doctrine is inconsistent with the free moral agency of man?
But though they cannot consistently make this objection, still they and others do make it. It may be well therefore to ask whether they have any good reason for making it. If they say that the doctrine of the divine decrees is inconsistent with man's free moral agency, it would seem as though they must have some good evidence of this inconsistency. It has been so long and so often asserted that an inconsistency does exist between the two, that it would seem as though somebody must have ascertained precisely where this inconsistency lies and be able to point it out to others. Yet, strange as it may appear, this has never been done. The existence of an inconsistency somewhere between the two, has been reiterated again and again, but when the inquiry has been made : "where is the inconsistency ? let us see it, point it out to us and show us precisely where it lies;” no one has been able to put his finger on it or tell exactly where it is to