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idence, or a special provision to meet a special human want. Without general laws, there could be no science, and none of the culture which science gives. Busines would be impossible if nature were not generally uniform, and constant in her operations. Otherwise there could be no foresight, no no forecast of the future results of present operations, without which agriculture, commerce, trade, invention, inechanics, and manufacturing, as forms of business enterprise, could not be prosecuted. The constancy of natural law is then a special arrangement of nature to meet the practical wants of man.
This is another form of Special Providence. The stability of nature, and the general constancy of natural law, are the natural and necessary conditions of the miracle which is the highest form of the action of special providence. Without a former order of nature, there could not be introduced a new or higher order, in which all the miracles of creation consist. If there were not stability of natural law, there could be nospecial, local and temporary suspension of such law in which we find the central fact of the religious miracle. The general order of nature is therefore necessary to the performance of a miracle which is a recognized form of special providence. One of the reasons for the order of nature may be to give us the moral benefit of its local, and temporary suspension for a special purpose.
The objection that special providence would destroy man's confidence in nature, and disqualify him for the study of science, and the practical business of life, is without foundation in reason or fact. Man's power over nature, to direct her forces in new methods of work, so as to produce new results, which we know to be a fact, does not destroy our confidence in nature, or disqualify us for the study of science. Why then should faith in God's power to do this produce any such result? The fact is, the scientific and practical men who believe in providence have as much confidence in nature's constancy as any other class of men. And this is rational. The philosophy and logic of induction are both defective unless
you can get a basis of reasoning outside of nature. This men who believe in providence have reached. To them the faithfulness of God is the ground of their confidence in the con:stancy of nature. We as naturally believe in the spiritual as the material, in man as in nature, in will as in law. The will of God is as reliable as a law of nature, and we can trust mind as well as inatter. The order of nature is the unfold. ing of the purpose of God. The laws of nature reveal the uniform action of the will of God.
William Tucker, D.D.
New Orthodoxy, or the Tendency of Sin to Permanence.
We begin this article by setting down some things expressed or implied in this doctrine of the permanence of evil, which we accept, and which are undoubtedly true. By doing this we shall clear the way for an exact view and perfect apprehension of that which is not true. By setting aside the admitted points we shall eliminate and bring directly before our mental vision the point or points that are not admitted.
We have seen that it is fundamental to this doctrine that endless punishment is based on endless sinning. It follows, therefore,
1. That sin will be punished just so long as it exists. In this world, and in the next - in all worlds there will be retri. bution just so long as there is sin.
2. That sin and punishment stand to each other as cause and effect; that they are bound together by the immutable laws of our being ; that punishment under the government of God is not arbitrary but legitimate ; that it flows directly out of transgression, and is the natural and legitimate consequence of wrong thinking, wrong feeling and wrong doiug. llence
3. Thus it is inward and spiritual, and not outward and material. Not in this world nor in any world does God shut the sinner up and torment him with external pains and penalties. His torments are those of the disordered, pain-boaring mind and heart, the cruel lashings of conscience, the moral castigations and spiritual woes that come from violating the moral and spiritual laws of our being. Each man makes liis own hell and burns in the fires his own hand kindles. This is true in this world, and in all worlds. It is the eternal process whereby God punishes sin when and where and just so long as sin exists.
4. Then punishment is certain. It is tied to sin by immu. table moral law, and there is no escape. As Emerson says, “You cannot halve things and get one end without the other. The parted water reunites behind your hand.” As surely as we sin so surely are we punished, and there is no respect of persons. God will by no means clear the guilty. Hence in the very nature of things there neither is nor can be any means, method, scheme or plan whereby the guilty can go unpunished. All notions of the gospel that regar i it as a means of clearing the guilty are contrary to the nature of things, and must be false. God has so frained the inoral universe that no being or beings, however willing they may be, can step between sin and its punishment, and save us from the consequences of our transgression. Punishment for sin is the moral effect of a moral cause, and is therefore inevitable.
5. Then it follows that judgment keeps even pace with transgression. Every day is a judgment day There is no postponing of the matter until some future time, but it follows right along with us and in us, every day and every hour of our being. The sentence of the law is passed upon tis every inoment of our existence, and we go up or down just as we are good or bad. All these positions are implicd in the doctrine under review, and they are all truc. They are among the most certain and imanswerable teachings of religious science," and we accept them most heartily.
There is also an element of truth in this doctrine of the
tendency of evil to permanence. That element is in the fact that there is such a tendency to a limited extent, – that in sinful character there is a tendency to grow worse and worse, to a certain degree ; tha by sinning we grow the habit of sinning until sin becomes very easy for us, and virtue very hard.
All know this. All know that by cultivating a vicious habit, that habit binds us in terrible chains, the breaking of which often seems well nigh impossible. Yea, we all know that men often go very deep in iniquity; sink very far down in the abyss of moral transgression. And the warning against this tendency downward in sint cannot be too earnest and emphatic. It is a fearful thing to shut our eyes to the truth and so become the slaves of error ; or to allow ourselves consciously to do wrong until we come under the power of wrong doing, and are dragged down into the very depths of moral transgression and spiritual death. Sin is a terrible thing, and we cannot be warned too often or too earnestly against allowing curselves to come under its blighting, withering and paralyzing power. All this is known. All this is most seri. ously and sorrowfully confessed.
And were this all that there is to be said, this doctrine of the final permanency of evil might be true. If we saw this downward tendency in sin and saw nothing else, if we saw no light along this dark way of iniquity, no redemptive powers in the universe, no saving and counteracting forces, then we might accept this doctrine; then we might believe that this tendency would be suffered to go on until it landed some, or many, or all mankind in the bottomless pit.
Just here is the fatal defect in all the reasoning and philosoplizing in support of this doctrine. It shuts its eyes to all the counteracting, saving and redemptive forces in the universe, and sees nothing but this tendency or, what amounts to the same thing, makes this tendency mightier than all of them. With this sinful tendency started, it virtually puts man in a
vacuum," and then essays to tell us what will be come of him. In its philosophy it sets the human soul off by itself, takes it away from God and his government, away from
all surroundings of nature and grace, places it in an utter moral desert where there is nothing but death, and then argues the impossibility of its salvation. Into the problem it essays to solve — the finality of this sinful soul — it admits none of the great redemptive forces of God and his universe ; but fastening its eye on the downward tendency in sin, proceeds to show that that tendency must go on until it ends in final permanency. Its defect is that its vision is too narrow; it does not cover the whole question ; it fails to take in all the facts in the case.
Mr. Cook is very fond of urging in his lectures, that upon all these great questions, we must look East, West, North and South, must examine them in the light that comes to us from all points of the compass. But in this case this is just where he himself fails. He looks neither East, West, North nor South, but down into a hole ; and then with flaming rhetoric and a pounding logic declares that there is no light anywhere. All this, according to his own showing, is very unwise and very unphilosophical.
The question as thus viewed is not the question at all. The sinful soul of man, as we all know, does not live nor act in a vacuum, and the question is not what it might do, or what might happen to it, if it did live and act in a vacuum. Neither does that soul live and act in a universe where there is no God nor Christ, and no reinedial and redemptive forces ; and the question is not wlrat would come of it if it did live and act in such a universe. Neither does that soul live and act in a universe governed by a bad God, and where all the forces conspire to perpetuate sin ; and the question is not, what it inight do if it did live and act in such a universe.
But the question is what will this sinful soul do, and what will happen to the man, what will be his final condition, admitting his evil tendency, in such a universe as this, in which he does live and act; a universe governed by the righteous Father," and full of remedial and redemptive forces; a universe conceived in goodness, brought forth in goodness and governed by goodness; a universe where God and Christ and