Info

Calvinists can assert freedom, since man?s will finds its highest freedom only in submission to God. Islam also cultivates submission but it is the submission not of love but of fear. The essential difference between Mohammedanism and Christianity is found in the revelation, which the latter gives of the love of God in Christ ? a revelation which secures from free moral agents the submission of love; see page 186. On fatalism, see McCosh, Intuitions, 266; Kant, Metaphysic of Ethics, 52-74; 93-108; Mill, Autobiography, 168-170, and System of Logic, 521-526; Hamilton, Metaphysics, 692; Stewart Active and Moral Powers of Man, ed. Walker, 268-324.

2. Casualism.

Casualism transfers the freedom of mind to nature, as fatalism transfers the fixity of nature to mind. It thus exchanges providence for chance.

Upon this view we remark:

(a) If chance be only another name for human ignorance, a name for the fact that there are trivial occurrences in life which have no meaning or relation to us, we may acknowledge this and still hold that providence arranges every so called chance, for purposes beyond our knowledge. Chance, in this sense, is providential coincidence, which we cannot understand, and do not need to trouble ourselves about.

Not all chances are of equal importance. The casual meeting of a stranger in the street need not bring God?s providence before me, although I know that God arranges it. Yet I can conceive of that meeting as leading to religious conversation and to the stranger?s conversion. When we are prepared for them, we shall see many opportunities which are now as unmeaning to us as the gold in the riverbeds was to the early Indians in California. I should be an ingrate, if I escaped a lightning stroke, and did not thank God; yet Dr. Arnold?s saying that every school boy should put on his hat for God?s glory and with a high moral purpose, seems morbid. There is a certain room for the play of arbitrariness. We must not afflict the Church of God or ourselves by requiring a Pharisaic punctiliousness in minutie. Life is too short to debate the question which shoe we shall put on first. ?Love God and do what you will,? said Augustine; that is, Love God and act out that love in a simple and natural way. Be free in your service yet be always on the watch for indications of God?s will.

(b) If chance be taken in the sense of utter absence of all causal connections in the phenomena of matter and mind, we oppose to this

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment