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to the moral agency of the soul. For these, some firmer foundation must be sought; a foundation which can be found only in that doctrine of natural liberty which Wesley, as we have seen, quotes from the most eminent of the Calvinistic confessions; which Edwards made familiar to the world, under the name of natural ability, and which his successors in the New England Theology, and particularly Dr. Taylor, have, by a yet more careful elucidation of its principles, made the basis of the soundest theology which has yet blessed the church, or been anywhere given to the world.
Our task-longer than we had designed-is substantially ended. We have examined the various subterfuges by which our view of Wesley has been met-we have vindicated our constructions of his language against them all. The arbitrary restrictions, the sweeping assertions, the unwarranted censures, of our opponent, we have passed in review. Our readers will bear witness to the faithfulness of our somewhat tedious investigation, and to the fullness with which we have examined every objection to our views. We cannot see that we have anything to retract or anything to modify, even in the extended statement of our second Article; while the accuracy of our original position in the first, has been substantially confirmed by the very distinctions which the critic has set up. We maintain that for his first objection to that position there was not the slightest ground, and that his charge that it is a misrepresentation, was wantonly unjust. That statement, therefore, we reaffirm in its original words:
“The same views which Edwards maintained of the increased blessedness derived from the introduction of sin into the world, Wesley himself expressed about the results of the fall,-yea, he says mankind have gained by the fall a capacity first of being more holy and happy on earth, and, secondly, of being more happy in heaven, than otherwise they could have been."
We set up the statement once more in public view ; let us see whether the editor of the Methodist Quarterly will again venture to take it down.
We had designed a reply to the last of our critic's objections, in which he discusses Dr. Taylor's view of foreordination; but our space is exhausted. We can only say that he mistakes utterly the whole scope of Dr. Taylor's reasoning, and overlooks his great and characteristic distinction. The subject is rather an inviting one, and we would gladly enter upon it; but this we may find an opportunity to do hereafter, should a further discussion of the subject be required. For the present, we must pass it by.
One additonal imputation, however, we may not omit to notice. In our review of Dr. Taylor we spoke of Dr. West as “the defender and advocate of the Edwardean philosophy;" and this constitutes another of our offenses, of which the critic speaks in the following strain:
“Dr. West did, we believe, exceptionally among New England Calvinists, maintain free-will. And upon that point our reviewer may have heard that West and Edwards were at issue. And yet he couples their names just as if they agreed !"
He proceeds still further to criticise Dr. West's theological position and passes his censure upon it by declaring that in Dr. West's scheme “Free agency was a dead corpse wrapped up in an eternal iron shroud."
The critic's charge is that in reality Dr. West differed from Edwards upon the great issue, and that we must have heard or known the fact; but that we have throughout our extended account of Dr. West's views corruptly represented him as fully agreeing with Edwards.
Now we referred distinctly, and by name, to Dr. Stephen West, to his book on Moral Agency—from which we made many careful quotations,—to his opponent, Dr. Dana, and to the precise character of his theological views, which we largely illustrated. We spoke of him thus particularly, because it is customary, among those who discuss the New England theology, to distinguish him from Dr. Samuel West of Newport, a writer of the same period, who was an opponent of the philosophy of Edwards and Hopkins, and is classed, not as our critic suggests, among New England Calvinists, but among New England Arminians. Our specific mention of the writer, and our full citations from his works, afforded all the evidence which it was possible to present, of original and independent study, and of honest and fair treatment, of the author.
We cannot but think that to one who fully describes and fairly quotes, and who thus affords all the facilities which ample references can, for the verification or the correction of his statements, some personal respect, and some presumption of honesty, are fairly due. Our critic has evidently never seen the writings of either of these divines, has no other knowledge of them than by rumor, and is perfectly aware of his own deficiency of information. That he should confound two such writers is by no means strange; that he should, however, undertake to criticise this mythical Dr. West, and to point out the precise nature of his errors, is certainly somewhat extraordinary; but that the critic should venture to cast imputations upon us, of such gross dishonesty and unfairness, in a point which he had never examined, and in which our familiar allusions to the work showed that we could not be laboring under any mistake—we will show our opponent the mercy to say nothing of the candor of his criticism, or of the charity of his censure.
And this is the writer who can speak of us as his youthful and uninformed reviewer-charge us boldly and repeatedly with misrepresentation, and even with misrepresentations which are not errors suggest a doubt whether the reviewer knows anything of the rise of Methodism—and finally close his essay with the remark, that "if the reviewer knows as little of the Romish as he does of the Wesleyan theology, our friendly advice is that he perform a full Pythagorean novitiate of silence and study, before he hazards any further public utterances concerning either!”
We will not aggravate the awkwardness of our opponent's position by any retort of the sarcasms which these unfortunate assumptions of superiority suggest and invite. He is in an attitude so painful that we almost regret to have exposed it; and could gladly consent to spare his feelings by the sacrifice of anything which is not essential to the defense which he has constrained us to make. As it is, we feel too much sympathy
with his embarrassment to be willing to inflict a single unnecessary pang upon him. At this point, therefore, we change
We turn back and review our manuscript, and we strike out from page after page every pointed epithet which has dropped from our pen. We obliterate the sarcasms which in the course of our Article we have been provoked to write. Let them go; these, at least, our defense does not require, and after the many inaccuracies which we have pointed out, our
, opponent can ill afford to incur any superfluous annoyances. We may, perhaps, gain no thanks for the forbearance that we show; our opponent may refuse to believe that we are honestly doing him a kindness; he may attribute our chastened language to weakness or timidity; and may visit us only with yet heavier "indignation.” Let it be so, if he please. We will nevertheless spare him the infliction of any unnecessary word which could occasion a pang, or subject to a mortification; and with something of kindly forbearance and patience bid the editor of the Methodist Quarterly Review depart in peace.
ARTICLE IV.-PRIVATE CHARACTER OF THOMAS
The Life of THOMAS JEFFERSON. By HENRY S. RANDALL,
LL. D. New York: Derby & Jackson. 1858. 3 vols. 8vo. North American Review, No. 188, July, 1860.
The North American Review, following the partisan biography of Dr. Randall, has undertaken to defend the private charter of Thomas Jefferson. It is one of the few instances in which that able Quarterly has left the discussion of grave questions in history to give a like importance to family affairs and trivial details, at the risk of doing some damage to its fame for affording only “solid articles.” Its thrifty laurels in the logical department seem not to have been cared for any more than its usual conservatism when certain topics of Christian faith and duty claim its attention. Over confident in hasty conclusions, and disposed to cast “theological odium” upon the religion of New England fifty years ago, it has stepped forth with the alacrity of an accepted champion to vindicate the private character of a man, who, whatever may be said of his intellectual eminence or distinguished public services, has, certainly, never been esteemed for moral purity or practical piety.
In some old pamphlets before us relating to Jefferson's personal history, though particular instances of disgraceful conduct or impious speech are affirmed or denied, his reputation for free thinking and loose morality is admitted. The wonder seems to be that the good people of the country should make such an ado about the private failings of a public man exposed to peculiar temptations. What cotemporaneous writers and speakers affirmed, posterity has believed. Rumor has been very communicative on the subject. The offensive tales afloat now, , particularly in the region of Monticello, concerning the practices of the great stateman during his repose from official duties and after his final retirement to private life, would fill two or