Imatges de pÓgina
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Gesenius and Rödiger, whose grammatical system has been mainly followed hitherto in the United States, he has diligently availed himself of the works of Nordheimer, Hupfeld, and other modern grammarians, and especially of Ewald, who unites, in a wonderful degree, profoundness of theory with copiousness and accuracy of detail. Prof. Green's plan, as given in his own language, is “ to combine whatever is valuable in each” of the three " leading grammars of Gesenius, Ewald, and Nordheimer.” The principles of the language are clearly and happily stated, and the numerous details are given under each head with a fulness that is at the same time devoid of prolixity. We are pleased to notice those numerous collections of particular forms, under specific heads, of which every student feels the need. As illustrations, we select at random the following: under the head of verbs Pe Nun, $ 131, Rem. 4, “ The rejection of Nun from the Kal construct infinitive occurs in but few verbs; viz.” — and then follows a list of all the cases. Again, in $ 112, Rem. 4, we have a list of all the verbs Pe Guttural that “always take simple Sheva under the first radical in the species whose initial letters are annexed to the root.” This is followed by lists of the verbs in which usage varies, either generally, or in particular passages.

The classification of nouns has always been a stumbling-block to beginners in Hebrew. Rejecting the arrangements of both Gesenius and Nordheimer, and all other arrangements of declensions, Prof. Green attempts to simplify the matter by the substitution of “a few general rules respecting the vowel-changes, which are liable to occur in different kinds of syllables,” which, he says, " solve the whole mystery, and are all that the case requires or even admits.” That no such thing as proper declensions exists in Hebrew, is certainly true; and also that those made out by Gesenius are “ cumbrous” and “ not exhaustive." Yet it seems to us that a classification of Hebrew nouns might be made, based on the fundamental distinction of mutable and immutable vowels, which should help, and not puzzle, the beginner.

In the department of Syntax, Prof. Green is very concise. In lieu of the three hundred and eighteen pages of Nordheimer, and the eighty-three pages of Rödliger's Gesenius (Conant's translation), he has but forty-seven pages. Nordheimer's Syntax, though very able, is too prolix and repetitious. The last seventeen pages of Rödiger's Gesenius belong, to a great extent, to the department of lexicography, and might be much abridged. Prof. Green's Syntax admits of no abridgment. It is as condensed as possible. Perhaps a somewhat larger space might have been profitably devoted to the fuller developement of its striking peculiarities.

The grammar now under consideration is highly creditable to American scholarship, in the department of sacred literature, and we hail its appearance with pleasure.

TII E

BIBLIOTHECA SACRA,

No, LXXIV.

AND

BIBLICAL REPOSITORY

No. CXXVI.

APRIL, 18 6 2.

ARTICLE I.

DOCTRINES OF METHODISM.

BY REV D, D. WHEDON, D.D., EDITOR OF THE METHODIST QUARTERLY

REVIEW.

It is our purpose in the present Article to furnish a brief statement of the doctrines of the Methodist Episcopal Church, especially those points in which there exists an issue with Calvinism. As a receiver of those doctrines, it will of course be expected, and probably desired, that the writer should present them favorably, and as they are viewed by their advocates. Occasional argumentative issues may be stated, in order that the points of collision may be more easily understood; but it forms no part of our province to prove the doctrines presented. It is believed that such a statement, at the present time, may tend to remove misunderstanding, and serve the cause of Chris

tian unity.

In regard to the issue, it may be generally remarked that in those points which more immediately concern the divine government, Calvinism affirms more than Arminianism, and Vol. XIX. No. 74.

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that more the latter declines to accept. Both sides, for instance, affirm foreknowledge, free-will, and the necessity of divine grace to salvation; Calvinism superadds to these respectively, foreordination, necessity, and irresistibleness, to which Arminianism declines assent. On points less central, as final apostasy, entire sanctification, and witness of the spirit, our Arminianism affirms, and Calvinism rejects.

Or we may

FUNDAMENTAL MAXIM OF DIVINE GOVERNMENT. The fundamental maxim upon which the issue above named is primarily grounded, and from which, if we mistake not, most of the other issues logically result, is the Edwardean maxim, that it is no matter how we come by our evil volitions, dispositions, or nature, in order to responsibility, provided we really possess them. state the maxim thus: God judges us as he finds us to be, good or evil, and holds us responsible without regard to the means by which we became so. We do not say that all who are considered Calvinists hold this maxim. But upon the acceptance or rejection of this proposition it logically depends, as it appears to us, whether the man should be a Calvinist or Arminian. From our rejection of this maxim it is, that we differ from some or all the classes of Calvinists on the subject of free-will, divine sovereignty, predestination, election, primary responsibility for inborn depravity, partial atonement, and final perseverance. To this maxim, that it is no matter how we come by volitional state in order to its being responsible, we oppose the counter maxim that in order to responsibility for a given act or state, power in the agent for a contrary act or state is requisite. In other words : no man is to blame for what he cannot help.Power underlies responsibility. Non-existence of power is non-existence of responsibility. The only limitation of this principle is the maxim that self-superinduced inability does not exclude responsibility. The agent who abdicates his powers we hold to be responsible for his impotence, and for all the nonperformances which legitimately result. Our entire axiom, then, is: all inability to an act or state, not self-superinduced,

excludes responsibility. The man who maintains, counter to this our position, the above-specified Edwardean maxim, must, we think, if a logical reasoner, support all the Calvinistic views above enumerated. The man who adopts our maxim is as logically bound to reject them.

FREE-Will. When a man trangresses a divine requirement by a wrong volition, the question arises : Could he have willed otherwise? He is held by the law penally responsible for the act. If, now, the maxim be true that God regards not the way in which he became possessed of the volition, then no power to the contrary is required. God may create him without power for other volition; may create him in fixed and necessitated possession of the volition, yet may still hold him responsible, and consign him to endless penalty. If, on the other hand, adequate power for a contrary volition must underlie obligation for a contrary volition, and so for responsibility for the actual volition, then there must have existed in the given agent power for a volition contrary to the volition actually put forth.

Methodism has, in accordance with this view, from the beginning maintained this doctrine of free-will. We have ever maintained that it imputes injustice to God to suppose that he holds us responsible for a necessitated act or condition; or that he ever requires an act or condition for which he does not furnish the adequate power. It is the apparent making of this imputation in the various doctrines of Calvinism with which Methodism has taken issue.

Our view of free-will is tolerably well expressed by the formula : “the power of contrary choice.” It would, perhaps, be more accurately expressed by the formula furnished and condemned by Edwards (p. 419, Andover Edition, 1840): "The power of choosing differently in given cases." The question proposed by Fletcher to Toplady was: Is the will at liberty to choose otherwise than it does, or is it not?" The man who affirms the first member of this question is bound to be an Arminian; the affirmant of the latter member

must, as we suppose, logically be a Calvinist. Hence we do not hold either of the four following positions:

1. The doctrine of volitional necessity (ordinarily called philosophical necessity), as it is ably maintained by Edwards. This doctrine, as we understand it, supposes that every choice is deterrained to be as it is by some one antecedent strongest motive. Preëxistent causes fix and limit the volition, excluding all adequate power for a different volition instead. Every transgression, therefore, as to us it appears, is volitionally committed without adequate power for a volitional avoidance. Sin is always a thing which cannot be helped by the sinner.

2. The distinction of moral and natural inability, as a solution of the problem of responsibility. This natural ability, as we understand it, is the power to do as we will, which has no relation to the question of volitional freedom; or it is the power to will as we will, that is, to will as we do will, and no other way. That is, the will is supposed to have the power to act solely and merely as it does act, and no otherwise; which is a power possessed by every machine and every physical cause. By our axiom above, this view appears to us to be necessity, and it excludes the possibility of responsibility.

3. The law of uniform action of the will. We understand some who affirm the doctrine of the power of contrary choice, also to affirm that, nevertheless, there is in all instances a one certain highest or strongest motive, in accordance with which, though possessed of diverse power, the will does certainly act. This substitutes for the law of causation the law of uniformity. Both laws we should view as equally universal and equally apodictical. But it is the law of uniformity in causation which renders the causative limitation of will to a sole possible volition subversive of responsibility. It appears logically as impossible for an act to take place contradictorily to the law of uniformity as to the law of causation; and responsibility in both cases seems equally excluded.

4. The antecedent securement of the certainty of the sole

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