The Practical Tendency Of The Various Theories

It has already been observed that this is a highly practical question, and one of surpassing interest and importance. I have gone through the discussion and examination of the several principal theories, for the purpose of preparing the way to expose the practical results of those various theories, and to show that they legitimately result in some of the most soul-destroying errors that cripple the church and curse the world. I will begin with the theory that regards the sovereign will of God...

Lecture 1 Moral Government

Law, in a sense of the term both sufficiently popular and scientific for my purpose, is a rule of action. In its generic signification, it is applicable to every kind of action, whether of matter or of mind whether intelligent or unintelligent whether free or necessary action. Physical law is a term that represents the order of sequence, in all the changes that occur under the law of necessity, whether in matter or mind. I mean all changes whether of state or action, that do not consist in the...

Lecture 5 Foundation Of Moral Obligation

The theory of Right as the foundation of obligation. In the examination of this philosophy I must begin by defining terms. What is right The primary signification of the term is straight. When used in a moral sense it means fit, suitable, agreeable to the nature and relations of moral agents. Right, in a moral sense, belongs to choice, intention, and is an intention straight with, or conformed to, moral law. The inquiry before us is, what is the ground of obligation to put forth choice or...

Lectures On Systematic Theology

Fairchild LECTURE 6 FOUNDATION OF MORAL OBLIGATION I now enter upon the discussion of the theory, that the goodness, or moral excellence of God is the foundation of moral obligation. 1. That the reason of obligation, or that which imposes obligation, is identical with the end on which the intention ought to terminate. If, therefore, the goodness of God be the reason, or foundation of moral obligation, then the goodness of God is the ultimate end to be intended. But...

Preface By The Author

To a great extent, the truths of the blessed gospel have been hidden under a false philosophy. In my early inquiries on the subject of religion, I found myself wholly unable to understand either the oral or written instructions of uninspired religious teachers. They seemed to me to resolve all religion into states either of the intellect or of the sensibility, which my consciousness assured me were wholly passive or involuntary. When I sought for definitions and explanations, I felt assured...

Lecture 3 Moral Obligation

Man is a subject of moral obligation. That man has intellect and sensibility, or the powers of knowing and feeling, has not, to my knowledge, been doubted. In theory, the freedom of the will in man has been denied. Yet the very deniers, have, in their practical judgment, assumed the freedom of the human will, as well, and as fully as the most staunch defenders of human liberty of will. Indeed, nobody ever did or can, in practice, call in question the freedom of the human will, without justly...

Lecture 7 Foundation Of Moral Obligation

I now come to consider the philosophy which teaches that moral order is the foundation of moral obligation. But what is moral order The advocates of this theory define it to be identical with the fit, proper, suitable. It is, then, according to the, synonymous with the right. Moral order must be, in their view, either identical with law or with virtue. It must be either an idea of the fit, the right, the proper, the suitable, which is the same as objective right or it must consist in conformity...

Moral Obligation

The idea of obligation, or of oughtness, is an idea of the pure reason. It is a simple, rational conception, and, strictly speaking, does not admit of a definition, since there are no terms more simple by which it may be defined. Obligation is a term by which we express a conception or idea which all men have, as is manifest from the universal language of men. All men have the ideas of right and wrong, and have words by which these ideas are expressed, and, perhaps, no idea among men more...

Lecture 2 Moral Government

The primary idea of government, is that of direction, guidance, control by, or in accordance with, rule or law. All government is, and must be, either moral or physical that is, all guidance and control must be exercised in accordance with either moral or physical law for there can be no laws that are neither moral nor physical. Physical government is control, exercised by a law of necessity or force, as distinguished from the law of free will, or liberty. It is the control of substance, as...

Lecture 4 Foundation Of Moral Obligation

In the discussion of this question, I will first state what is intended by the foundation, or ground, of obligation. I shall use the terms ground and foundation as synonymous. Obligation must be founded on some good and sufficient reason. Be it remembered, that moral obligation respects moral action. That moral action is voluntary action. That properly speaking, obligation respects intentions only. That still more strictly, obligation respects only the ultimate intention. That ultimate...