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more possible that man can reason, will, and eat in a holy manner, if God by his almighty concurrence does not influence the lioliness of it. Supposing therefore, that God had afforded his influenee to the natural act of reasoning, willing, and eating, as he actually did, but not the moral goodness of those acts, as he did not; it could not otherwise be, but that man should act at that time, and perform his action wrcag All this holds true, not only of this first sin of man, but of all other sids. I see not; therefore, why we may not boldly maintain these things, as they are most evidently true, and more especially as they tend to the glory of God, and to demonstrate bis supereminence, and the absolute dependence of the creatures upon him, as much in their operations as in their existence. Should those of the contrary Pelagian sentiments pervert these truths, it will be at their peril. Nor ought we so much to regard that, as on their account to conceal the truth

XIV. However, it will not be amiss to insist a little longer on this subject, that all the apparent harshness of this doctrine may be entirely removed by an evident demonstration of the truth, which we think we shall be able to effect, by beginning with the more evident truths in one continued chain of arguments, flowing from each other, in such a manner as to gain the assent even of the most obstinate.

XV. And first, I think it will be readily granted, that there is but one first cause;' that all other causes so depend upon that, both in existing and acting, as without it to be able neither to exist nor to act. Paul inculcated this upon the Athenians, Acts xvii. 28. " in him we live, and move, and have our being." Nor indeed can the most powerful monarch in the world, such as the Assyrian was, in the time of Isaiah, any more move without God, than “ the axe without him that heweth therewith, or the saw without him that shaketh it," Isa. X. 15.

XVI. Reason in this concurs with scripture. For if there was any cause besides God, which could act independently of him, it would follow, there were more first principles than one; as Thomas Aquinas reasons well in his Secundo sentent. distinct. xxxvii. quæst. 2. art. 2. whose, reasoning, "as-it is both solid, and very much to the purpose, we shall not scruple to give in his own words: “ It is, says he, essential to the first principle, that it can act without the assistånce and influence of a prior agent ; so that if the human will could produce any action, of which God was not author, the human will would have the nature of a first principle.”.

XVII. Though they endeavour to solve this, by saying, that notwithstanding the will be of itself capable of producing an



action, without the influence of a prior agent, yet it has not its being from itself, but from another, whereas the nature of a first principle is to be self-existent But it seems inconsistent. to say that what has not its being of itself, can yet act of itself;<for, what is not of itself, cannot continue of itself. For, all the power of acting arises from the essence, and the operation from the power. Consequently, what bas its essence from another must also have its power and operation from that other. Moreover, though this reply denies that it is simply the first; yet, we cannot but see, that it is the first agent, if its acting cannot be referred to some prior agent as the cause. Thus far Thomas Aquinas. 2*.

XVIII. Nor does God only concur with the actions of second causes when they act, but also influences the causes theme selves to act Because the begioning of actions depends if not more, at least not less on God, than their progress. This opinion is not unhappily expressed in the Roman Catechism, published by the decree of the council of Trent, at the command of Pope Pius V., part I. on the first article of the Creed, No. 22. to this purpose; " But God, not only by his providence, preserves and governs all things that exist; but he lkewise, by a secret energy, so influences those that move and act, to motion and action, that though he hinders not the efficiency of second causes, yet he prevents or goes before its seeing his most secret power extends to each in particular; and, as the 'wise, man testifies, reaches powerfully from one end to the other, and disposes all things sweetly. Wherefore it was said by the apostle, when declaring to she Athenians the God, whom they igno. rastly worshipped; he is not far from every one of us; for in him we live, and move, and have our being the

XIX. Moreover, as a second cause cannot act, unless acted upop and previously moved to act, by the preventing and preden termiding influence of the first cause : 80, in like manner, that influence of the first cause is so efficacious, as that apposing it, the second cause cannot but act. For, it is unworthy of God to imagine any concurrence of his to be so indifferent, as at last only to be determined by the co-operation of second causes : * if the rod should shake him who lifts it up; for, as if the staff should lift up what is not wood, Isa, s. 15. for, so the words properly run. And the meaning is, that it is highly

absurd to ascribe to an instrument of wood, the raising and spanaging of what is of a more excellent nature, namely spirit By this add legory, is intimated the absurdity of that opinion, which makes God to be determined in his actions by the creature.

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N. B. This is a quotation from the apocryp

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XX. Didacus Alvarez, de Auxiliis divinæ gratiæ, lib. ii. disput. 21.

p. 168. makes use of the following argument against this: namely, the manner of concurring by a will, of itself indifferent to produce this or the other effect, or its opposite, is very imperfect; because, in its efficacy, it depends on the con currence of a second cause;' and every dependence imports in the thing which depends, some imperfection and inferiority, in respect of him on whom it depends; and therefore, such a manner of concurrence cannot be ascribed to God, or agree with his will, which is an infinite and most perfect cause.

XXI. And then this insolvable difficulty likewise remains; if the second cause determines the concurrence of God, in itself indifferent; in that act of determination, it will be independent of God; and so become the first cause. And if in one action it can act independently of God, why not in a second ? If in the beginning of the action, why not also in the progress? Since the transition from non-acting to acting is greater than the continuing ad action once begun.

XXII. As these things are universally true, they may be applied to those free actions of rational creatures, in which there is a moral evil inherent: namely, that creatures may be determined to those actions by the efficacious influence of God, 80 far as they are actions, according to their physical entity. Elegantly to this purpose Thomas Aquinas, in the place just quoted. Since the act of sin is a kind of being, not only as negations and privations are said to be beings; but also as things, whaich in general exist, are beings because even these actions in general are ranked in that order, and if the actions of sin (as actions are not from God, it would follow that there would be some being, which had not its essence from God: and thus God would not be the universal cause of all beings. Which is contrary to the perfection of the first being.

XXIII. Neither does God only excite and predetermine the will of men to vicious actions, so far as they are actions; but he likewise so excites it, that it is not possible, but, thus'acted upon, it shall act. For, if upon supposition of that divine influx; it was possible for the created will not to act, these two absur

dities would follow: 1st. That the human will could baffle the providence of God, and either give to, or take from the divine influx, all its efficacy. Rdly. That there could be some act in the creature, of such weight as to resist the divine influence, and be independent of God. Nor do I imagine, they will say, that God concurs to the production of that action, whereby his influx is resisted. But we have already refuted any concur




rence as in itself indifferent, to be determined by the free will of the creatures

XXIV. Further, the free will of man excited to actions cano). not, according to its physical essence, give them a moral and spiritual goodness, without the divine providence influencing and poncurring to that goodness. This is evident from what has been said. For, as moral goodness is a superior and moore perfect degree of entity, than a physical entity alone, and man in the physical entity of his actions depends on God: so it is necessary he should much more depend on God, in producing the moral goodness of his actions, that the glory thereof ought to be rendered to God as the first cause.

XXY. If all these truths thus demonstrated be joined and linked together, they will produce that conclusion which we laid down 9 XII. For if all creatures depend on God in acting: it he not only concurs with them, when they act, but also excites them to act; if that excitation be sw powerful, as that upon supposing it, the effect cannot but follow; if God, with that same efficacy influences vicious actions,, 80 far as they are physical; if the creature cannot give its actions their due moral goodness without God; it infallibly, follows, that Adana, God himself moving him to understand, will, and eat, could not but understand, will, and eats and God not giving goodness to those actions, map could not understand and will in * right;

Which was to be proved. XXVI. But it does not follow, that man was obliged to what was simply impossible. For, it is only a consequential and even. tual infallibility and necessity, which we have established. God bestowed sufficient powers on man, even such as were proper for a creature, by which he could have overopme the temptation. But then he could not proceed to action without presup. posing the divine copourrepoe. Who shall deny, that man has a locomotive faculty, so suficient in its kind, that he negvitres ao more? For, will any affirm, that man, by that locomotive facule ty, can actually move independently of God, as the first cause, without discovering his ignorance both of the supremacy of God, and the subordination of man? In like manner, we alirm, that, though God granted man such sufficient abilities to fulfil all righteousness, that he had no need of any further habitual grace, as it is called yet, all this ability was given him in such a manner that he should act aply dependently of the Creator, and bis influence, as we binted chap. ä. & XIII.

XXVII. Much less should it be said, that man, by the abovementioned acts of divine providence, was forced to sin. For, he sinned with judgment and will; to which faculties, liberty, as





it is opposed to compulsion, is so peculiar, nay essential, as to be neither judgment nor will without it. And when we affirm, that God foreordained and infallibly foreknew, that man should sin freely, the sinner could not but sin freely; unless we would have the event not answer to the preordination and prescience of God. And it is so far from the decree of God, in ihe least to diminish the liberty of man in his acting, that, on the contrary, this liberty has not a more solid foundation than that infallible decree of Ġod.

XXVIII. To make God the author of sin, is such dreadful blasphemy, that the thought cannot, without horror, be entertained by any Christian. God, indeed created man mutably good, infallibly foresaw his sin, foreordained the permission of that sin, really gave man sufficient powers to avoid it, but which could not act without his influx; and though he influenced his faculties to' natural or physical actions, without influencing the moral goodness of those actions, all which appear from the event ; yet God neither is, nor in any respect can be, the author of sin. And though it be difficult, nay impossible for us, to reconcile these truths with each other; yet we ought not to deny what is manifest, on account of that which is hard to be understood. We will religiously profess both truths, because they are truths, and worthy of God; nor can the one overturn the other; though in this our state of blindness and ignorance of God, we cannot thoroughly see the amicable harmony between them. This is not the alone, nor single difficulty, whose solution the sober divine will ever reserve for the world to come.

XXIX. This is certain, that by this permission of sin, God had an opportumty of displaying his manifold perfections. There is a fine passage to this purpose in Clemens, Štrom. lib. i. which with pleasure we here insert. “ It is the greatest work of divine providence, not to suffer the evil arising from a voluntary apostacy, to remain unuseful, or in every respect to become noxious. For it is peculiar to divine wisdom and power not only to do good (that being, to speak so, as much the nature of God, as it is the nature

of fire to warm, or of light to shine) but much more, to make the evil devised by others, to answer a good and valuable end, and manage those things which appear to be evil to the greatest advantage."

XXX. It remains now lastly, to consider how, as Adam, in this covenant, was the head of mankind; upon his fall, all his posterity may be deemed to have fallen with him, and broken the covenant of God. The apostle expressly asserts this, Rom.

By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”


v. 12.

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