righteousness would have a compelling power upon the will and the highest virtue would be impossible. Job?s friends accuse Job of acting upon this principle. The Hebrew children deny its truth, when they say: ?But if not? ? even if God does not deliver us ? ?we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up? ( <270318>Daniel 3:18).
Martineau, Seat of Authority, 298 ? ?Through some misdirection or infirmity, most of the larger agencies in history have failed to reach their own ideal, yet have accomplished revolutions greater and more beneficent. The conquests of Alexander, the empire of Rome, the Crusades, the ecclesiastical persecutions, the monastic asceticism, the missionary zeal of Christendom, have all played a momentous part in the drama of the world, yet a part which is a surprise to each. All this shows the controlling presence of a Reason and a Will transcendent and divine.? Kidd, Social Evolution, 99, declares that the progress of the race has taken place only under conditions which have had no sanction from the reason of the great proportion of the individuals who submit to them. He concludes that a rational religion is a scientific impossibility and that the function of religion is to provide a super-rational sanction for social progress. We prefer to say that Providence pushes the race forward even against its will.
James Russell Lowell, Letters, 2:51, suggests that God?s calm control of the forces of the universe, both physical and mental, should give us confidence when evil seems impending: ?How many times have I seen the fire engines of church and state clanging and lumbering along to put out a false alarm! And when the heavens are cloudy, what a glare can be cast by a burning shanty:? See Sermon on Providence in Political Revolutions, in Farrar?s Science and Theology, 228. On the moral order of the world, notwithstanding its imperfections, see Butler, Analogy, Bohn?s ed., 98; King, in Baptist Review, 1884:202-222.
III. THEORIES OPPOSING THE DOCTRINE OF PROVIDENCE. 1. Fatalism.
Fatalism maintains the certainty but denies the freedom of human self- determination thus substituting fate for providence.
To this view we object that
(a) it contradicts consciousness which testifies that we are free,
Was this article helpful?