On Emmons, see Works, 4:502-507, and Bibliotheca Sacra, 7:479; 20:317; also H. B. Smith, in Faith and Philosophy, 215-263.
N. W. Taylor, of New Haven, agreed with Hopkins and Emmons that there is no imputation of Adam?s sin or of inborn depravity. He called that depravity physical, not moral. But he repudiated the doctrine of divine efficiency in the production of man?s acts and exercises, and made all sin to be personal. He held to the power of contrary choice. Adam had it, and contrary to the belief of Augustinians, he never lost it. Man ?not only can if he will, but he can if he won?t.? He can but, without the Spirit, will not. He said: ?Man can, whatever the Holy Spirit does or does not do? but also: ?Man will not, unless the Holy Spirit helps?. ?If I were as eloquent as the Holy Ghost, I could convert sinners as fast as he.? Yet he did not hold to the Armenian liberty of indifference or contingence. He believed in the certainty of wrong action, yet in power to the contrary. See Moral Government, 2:132 ? ?The error of Pelagius was not in asserting that man can obey God without grace, but in saying that man does actually obey God without grace.? There is a part of the sinner?s nature to which the motives of the gospel may appeal ? a part of his nature, which is neither holy nor unholy, viz., self-love, or innocent desire for happiness. Greatest happiness is the ground of obligation. Under the influence of motives appealing to happiness, the sinner can suspend his choice of the world as his chief good, and can give his heart to God. He can do this, whatever the Holy Spirit does, or does not do but the moral inability can be overcome only by the Holy Spirit, who moves the soul, without coercion by means of the truth. On Dr. Taylor?s system and its connection with prior New England theology, see Fisher, Discussions, 285-354.
This form of New School doctrine suggests the following questions:
1. Can the sinner suspend his selfishness before he is subdued by divine grace?
2. Can his choice of God from mere self-love be a holy choice?
3. Since God demands love in every choice, must it not be a positively unholy choice?
4. If it is not itself a holy choice, how can it be a beginning of holiness?
5. If the sinner can become regenerate by preferring God on the ground of self-interest, where is the necessity of the Holy Spirit to renew the heart?
6. Does not this asserted ability of the sinner to turn to God contradict consciousness and Scripture? For Taylor?s views, see his Revealed
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