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cent. None of our readers need to be reminded how the colored people from all the south crowd into the great cities of New-York; yet the increase of the colored population of that State was only 12.17 per cent. in ten years. In New-Jersey the increase was less than two per cent. Now cut off from these northern States the supply that pours from the south, and how long would there be here any colored population to be counted ?
We have no room to go into the theory of this subject. Let it suffice to indicate one or two principles. The only possible check upon the growth of a slave-population must be either the cruelty of the master, or his absolute inability to give them food. No moral “ preventive check," no prudence, no dread of poverty, can prevent slaves from ful6illing to the utmost that great mandate, “increase and multiply.” And when the children are once brought into the world, they are not the children of paupers, exposed to the want, the perils, the diseases of poverty; they belong to a rich man, who must feed them and provide for them, if he be not a monster. But when the slaves become free, all the checks upon population begin to operate. And the more sudden the emancipation, the more rapid will be the working of these checks.
What, then, may we anticipate, as the destiny of the colored population of this country? If there are districts of this country, where the climate forbids the white man to labor, those districts will undoubtedly be inhabited by blacks. But in every other part, will not the white man be ultimately the laborer and the sole possessor? It is not for us to answer this question positively. We only say, that the question is worth studying.
Art. XI.—THE MENDON ASSOCIATION.
Franklin, Mass., Dec. 21, 1835. To the Conductors of the Christian Spectator. GENTLEMEN,—No. 4, Vol. vii. of your Quarterly has just been handed me. On page 667, I find the following questions : “ Is it new divinity, to affirm, not the self-determining power of the will, but the intrinsic power of every moral agent to be really and truly the author of his own moral actions ? Who but the fatalists, and the Hopkinsians of the Mendon Association, intelligently hold the contrary ?”
As scribe of Mendon Association, I ought to know something respecting the opinions of its members. Some twelve or sixteen clergymen now compose this body; and at all its meetings there is a free interchange of thought respecting some important points of theological truth. During the six years in which I have bad the privilege of attending the meetings of this association, I have
never heard a syllable uttered or a thought expressed, which appeared even to question the truth, that man is " really and truly the author of bis own moral actions.” On the contrary, there are no clergymen within the circle of my acquaintance,-and I would venture the assertion that there are no clergymen in New-England, --who more fully believe or more frequently enforce the doctrine of man's entire, unimpaired, moral freedom, and his consequent accountableness, than the members of Mendon Association. In their conversation on this subject, and their sermons, they uniformly, and so far as I know, without exception, take the ground of toto cælo opposition to "the fatalists,” and “affirm, not the selfdetermining power of the will, but the intrinsic power of every moral agent to be really and truly the author of his own moral actions."
Such being the facts in the case, is it not right, that the same publication which has carried far and wide a palpable, though perhaps unintentional, misrepresentation of our sentiments on the point of moral agency, should also bear on a page of its next number a correction of this misrepresentation ? May not they, whose names have been placed in no enviable juxta-position with “fatalists,”_sball I say, whose names have been cast out as evil amongst men,'--as matter of christian courtesy as well as of right, claim, that the instrument which has circulated the erroneous statement, should also carry out its correction? I am, gentlemen, yours, very respectfully,
E. SJALLEY, Pastor of the Church in Franklin. We have inserted the above letter as an act of courtesy which we are not unwilling to show to one who appears as the representative of an association of christian brethren. Though we have classed them with fatalists in respect to their method of explaining mental phenomena, it cannot be supposed, that we could have any intention of implying that they possess a similarity of character, or have the same design to subvert the moral responsibility of man. It is not we who have created the necessity of this “no enviable juxta-position.” We explicitly disclaim any design to misrepresent the sentiments of our brethren, who maintain the divine-efficiency scheme. We have honestly stated our views of their doctrines, as derived from the writings of their standard authorities. But have we mistaken their meaning? On this point we wish to make a few remarks. We think we can detect the fallacy by which they themselves have been misled, and by which others have been not a little perplexed.
The author of the foregoing letter says, that he and his brethren do not deny but "affirm the intrinsic power of every moral agent to be really and truly the author of his own moral actions." Now we are perfectly aware, that these brethren do use the words
power, action, author, etc., in this connection, as readily as we ourselves do. Such has been the case with their most distinguished writers. We may instance Dr. Stephen West and Dr. Emmons; the one the father of the divine-efficiency scheme, the other, one of its most strenuous and able advocates in our country. We will even go farther, and concede, that this language, taken by itself, admits of a meaning contrary to that which we have charged on these brethren, and to which no objection can be made. But we claim, that such is not and cannot be the meaning in which they actually use this phraseology. The real question then is, What is the meaning of such terms, as they use them? Or, to confine the question to the principal term, which is sufficient for our purpose, What is the import of the word power, as used by these writers in this connection? Is it what Mr. Locke, by a gross departure from the correct and proper use of terms, called passive power? Or is it what with more propriety may be called active power, or in strict propriety simply power ? Is it that nature of the mind which qualifies the mind in and of itself to act? Or to recur to the distinction made by Mr. Locke, and since adopted by many others, Is it active power as distinguished from passive, to wit, that which is adequate io act, and thus to originate changes, in distinction from the mere possibility of a change being produced ? Is mental action proximately originated by the mind itself? Has the mind any efficiency in its own volitions, and in ihis sense of the word, any power to will or choose? This we think is the question. And on this point we appeal to one of their standard writers, the father of the divine efficiency scheine in this country, Dr. Stephen West. He says, (p. 44.) “ For a person to be a subject capable of having exercises of will, and for him to originate these exercises, are two very different things; the one is a power to operate, the other a power to be wrought upon : the one puts forth power and exerciseth influence, in order to produce effects, the other is a fitness or adaptedness to have effects of a certain kind appear in it; the one is what Mr. Locke calls active power, the other passive; the one exerts influence, the other is the subject of it.” (See West on Agency, p 44.) Again, (p. 49.) “Men may be said to have powers of will, understanding, etc., as they are subjects fitted for having such effects take place in them; or as they are adapted to receive or to be the subjects of that kind of influence which is the cause of human understanding and will. Thus air is fitted for receiving that kind of influence, and being the subject of it, which is the cause of its being expanded or compressed." So too, (p.51.) “the fitness or adaptedness, of any creature or thing, to become the subject of some certain influence from without, and in consequence of that infuence, to have some certain effects appear in it; together also, with the sufficiency which now actually appeareth in it for some external consequent effect; [is] the whole of the idea of any power which can with the least propriety be predicated of any mere creature." In confirmation of this view of the subject, the same writer says, (pp. 126, 127, 128.) “From this abstracted idea of action, we have been taught to look upon the agent as one thing his action as another. For what can be more absurd, say they, than to talk of an erercise, without something to act ?-an action, without an agent? But it is for from being true, that action (I mean mental, voluntary, exercise,) and agent may justly be considered under their different predicaments, and as sustaining the different relations to each other, wbich we mean to express by the terms cause and effect. The action of a man noteth only a certain mode of his existence; it being merely an accident of which man is the subject. There is as little reason in considering man and his exercise as
distinct things, sustaining the different relations to each other of u cause and effect, as there is for making a like distinction between
body and its motion.”'- L“ But if it is indeed so, that there is no ground for abstracting action from agent (meaning by action, internal voluntary exercise and exertion) any more than there is for abstracting accident from its subject, or motion from the body moved; it will certainly follow, that such a relative distinction as we mean to express by the words cause and effect, doth not subsist between agent and his action. And there must be as great and evident an impropriety of speech in saying that men are the causes of their own actions, as in saying that the loadstone is the cause of its magnetism, or sugar of its sweetness.”
According to these statements it is plain, that no power can be predicated of the human mind except passive power; nothing but the abstract possibility of being the subject of changes by extrinsic efficiency.
The action of a man denotes only a certain mode of his existence,-a mere accident of which inan is the subject! The mind is merely fitted to become the subject of certain effects produced by an influence from without itself! This is the whole idea of power which can be predicated of any mere creature! Man has no power to operate or act, but merely power to be wrought upon; he exerts no influence, but is only the subject of it; and is the cause, originator, or author of his own acts or exercises, in no other sense than a mass of inert matter is the cause or author of its own motion, or than air is the cause of its own expansion or compression, or the loadstone of its magnetism, or the sugar of its sweetness! We ask then, is not this denying "the intrinsic power of man to be really and truly the author of bis own moral actions ?” Has a mass of inert matter the intrinsic power to become really and truly the author of its own motion? In no other sense, according to Dr. West, does man possess such power.
We cannot think it necessary to quote from Dr. West, Dr. Enmons and others, as we might, passages in which they maintain, " that all the exercises and actions of men, whether holy or sinful, inust originate froin a divine efficiency;" that all these so called acts or exercises are as truly and literally created in the mind, as the body or soul is created. We shall only ask, whether such assercions do not involve the denial, that man has the intrinsic power to be really and truly the author of bis own moral actions? Has man the intrinsic power to be really and truly the author of his body or of his soul; or of anything whose existence must be derived solely from the creative power of God?
If now we have misrepresented our brethren, what does the misrepresentation amount to ? Simply to this, that wbile they predicate of man the word power, they do not predicate the thing, but deny that he has it even in the least degree. We were speaking of the thing denied, not of the terms used. Were a man to affirm, that the African race are black, and then explain himself to mean by the term, not black, but white, what would be the thing which he actually maintained, and truly and properly asserted ? Plainly, that they were not black, though he called ihem black. So when our brethren speak of man's power to act, and then tell us, that they mean nothing by the word different from what there is in inert inatter to put itself into motion, -nothing different from what there is in non-entity to be changed into existence by the creative power of God; what is the thing which they predicate of man? Plainly, that he has no power to act. If tben they persist in using the word power in a sense in which, as all the world will understand it, it means no power, and thus actually define their meaning; if they will assert, that all the acts of the mind are literally created, and must, in the nature of things, be created; what can they expect, but that they should be represented as denying, that man has the intrinsic power to be really and truly the author of his own moral actions ?
We may view the subject in another light. The only meaning which can be attached to the word power, as predicable of the human mind, is, according to Dr. West, merely that of passive power. What then is this? It is not active power; it is not a power to operate or act; not a power to originate action; for it is expressly distinguished from such power. It must of course be, and Dr. West accordingly so represents it to be, merely the same abstract possibility of change which is predicable of a body in respect to motion. All our ideas of this subject may be resolved into two; the idea of the active nature of a substance which qualifies it to originate action; and the idea of the abstract possibility of a change being produced ; that is, the mere negative idea of no contradiction and no effectual resistance in respect to the change. Now it is only in the latter sense, that the word power can be used by the