The Reformers and the Theology of the Reformation
This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1862. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... CALVINISM, DOCTRINE OF PHILOSOPHICAL NECESSITY. In his "Discussions," Sir William Hamilton makes a theological demonstration, of a somewhat imposing kind. It is contained in the following passage: -- "Averments to a similar effect might be adduced from the writings of Calvin, and certainly nothing can be conceived more contrary to the doctrine of that great divine than what has latterly been promulgated as Calvinism (and, in so far as I know, without reclamation), in our Calvinistic Church of Scotland. For it has been here promulgated, as the dogma of this church (though in the face of its Confession as in the face of the Bible), by pious and distinguished theologians, that man has no will, agency, moral personality of his own, God being the only real agent in every apparent act of His creatures; in short (though quite the opposite was intended), that the theological scheme of the absolute decrees implies fatalism, pantheism, the negation of a moral governor, as of a moral world. For the premises, arbitrarily assumed, are atheistic, the conclusion, illogically drawn, is Christian. Against such a view of Calvin's doctrine and of Scottish orthodoxy, I for one must humbly though solemnly protest, as (to speak mildly) not only false in philosophy, but heretical, ignorant, suicidal in theology."f This strange passage was intended as a deadly assault upon Dr Chalmers, and upon the views which he had promulgated upon * British and Foreign Evangelical Review. January 1858. "Discussions on Philosophy and Literature, Education and University Reform." By Sir William Hamilton, Bart. Second Edition, 1853. f Discussions, p. 628. the subject of philosophical necessity. The doctrine here so vehemently denounced cannot, from the nature of the case, be any other than tha...
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