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is a contradiction.'

If told that it is not the greater apparent good they often choose, but one which the judgment, if not misled, would acknowledge to be infinitely despicable in comparison, they would answer, that the judgment is often misled; that the uneasiness,' of which Locke speaks, so engrosses the mind and imagination that it magnifies the desired and immediate advantages, and diminishes the greater and more remote, immeasurably; that the mind looks at the enticing gratification through a solar microscope, and at the distant good through an inverted telescope. If told further that man thus acts the fool, because passion blinds the understanding, they answer that that is part of the very condition under which he chooses; and if further told that this, at least, is not the case when the consciousness of duty forbids, and yet is defied by a preference of the nearer and the meaner advantage, their answer is, that that is not because the greater apparent good is rejected, but because a wretched self-deception at the moment whispers to the fool that it may be postponed; that he will obtain that and the present good too; and that both together will be better than either alone! If further assured that though the man will act from the present view which his whole condition inevitably imposes on him, yet, that if it be not the most just or the most comprehensive view, the mind has brought itself into that condition by having in previous instances decided wrong; that it has obscured or neglected the light, strengthened and humoured passion, and rendered it clamorous and tyrannical, they reply that neither does this solve the mystery; for they have further to say that these previous decisions have been come at in a similar way, even from the first link in the chainfrom the first moment in which the mind began to act

at all; and that if we thus trace our volitions to their cradle, we shall find that the conditions of development, the germs of those first and determining actions of the series, which led to and virtually determined all the others, were provided for the mind, and in no way provided by it.

Whatever the fallacy which may lurk under such reasoning, we certainly should stare at the metaphysician who pretended to tell us that he saw no difficulty in the matter at all; or, admitting the difficulty, declared that he perfectly saw the point at which and the modes in which it all harmonised with the undeniable facts of our consciousness, which tells that we are free and responsible for the use of our freedom. We, for our parts, should simply content ourselves with asserting on the one hand that same consciousness of freedom; and on the other, with denying that the admission (if it must be admitted), in the most rigid sense, of the absolute dependence of volition on the prevailing motives, and of those motives on the entire conditions of him who feels them, and of those conditions on the primary conditions of development first assigned him by another cause than himself, — is inconsistent (though we know not how it may be shown to be consistent) with conscious freedom and conscious responsibility;-provided always these two things concur,—the knowledge of duty, and entire freedom from all external constraint in the performance of our actions; that is, if there be the knowledge of duty, and the acts be physically unconstrained. Give both these, and we cannot but suppose the agent responsible; take away either, and the moral quality of the agent is gone, but not, we contend, from the mere certainty of the volition. The feeling of responsibility, of moral worth and moral turpitude, remains, however

certain may be actions as involved in their causes; that is, however true may be the doctrine of 'moral necessity,' as it has been very unfortunately denominated.

Let us, for example, suppose a being created with faculties so comprehensive and so well adjusted-the understanding and the conscience, the affections and the passions in such harmony-that he never will act otherwise than in accordance with the true and the right;—that is, though physically he can, it is certain he never will, act against the knowledge of duty. We know not how it may be with others, but we cannot divest the actions of such a being of moral quality; and that, too, in proportion to the intensity of will, by which it becomes certain that he never will act otherwise; or, in the figurative sense in which the unlucky words have been used, 'morally necessary' that he never will. In this sense is the paradox true, that the greater the certainty of volition, the greater the freedom; and that genuine moral liberty is compatible only with the strictest moral necessity. In this sense, we are accustomed to say that God cannot but be holy and good: is he then the less free? If He can be free, is it impossible that a created being, similarly determined, and infallibly determined, by the dictates of truth and virtue, should be a free moral agent?—and if he, too, be free because he has a knowledge of duty, and voluntarily, however inevitably, complies with it, must not he also be who, under similar conditions, violates it?

We feel that if this be a paradox, we yet cannot deny its truth; though we acknowledge it impossible fully to reconcile the statement with the difficulties involved in the certainty of volitions, themselves involved in previous equally certain volitions, and these in others still prior, till we come to volitions formed

under conditions which no man has provided for himself, but which God, his parents, his temperament, his constitution of mind, his education, his country, have provided for him! Still we feel, as already said, that if the knowledge of duty and the freedom from external constraint be at any moment given, we cannot denude ourselves of the belief of the moral quality of the actions so performed, however certain may be the volitions, or however involuntary the conditions which formed the cradle of the first of the series. Let the above conditions coexist, in any degree or at any point of a man's history, and we cannot get rid of the idea of his responsibility as a moral agent. If the original circumstances of his lot have been such as to preclude all knowledge of duty, then his moral character wholly ceases; and in proportion as they render that knowledge obscure, or difficult to be ascertained in after life, they diminish his responsibility; -a fact, we confess, to us very consolatory, when we reflect on the condition in which millions have been born into the world, and who, by the mere impossibility of adequately ascertaining a knowledge of much of their duty, have the characteristics of moral beings reduced to nearly zero; as, for example, the child of a Hottentot or New Zealander. But let the knowledge of duty step in, and at any point, and then the notion of the 'ought,' applying to the class of actions voluntarily performed in obedience to it or in defiance of it, makes it impossible to rid ourselves of the consciousness of the moral quality of the agent, let the volitions be ever so certain, and let it be ever so impossible fully to explain the connection which harmonises the ultimate facts. As surely as we have the consciousness of freedom itself, so surely do we feel that no being of whom the above conditions can

be affirmed can be other than a moral agent, and therefore responsible.

If all this be so, there is a point surely at which the majority of those who have, from time immemorial, agitated this desperate controversy, may agree to unite and make a sincere truce. If they cannot exactly construct an eclectic system out of their dif ferent theories, they may cease to charge each other with the imagined absurd or terrible consequences which, in the opinion of each party, flow from the theory of the other. The controversy seems to us much to resemble that respecting the inscrutable mystery of the union and interaction of body and mind; in which, as in so many other departments of speculation, we are at length driven to a simultaneous admission of two propositions which seem as near a contradiction as possible, without our being able either to prove them so, or to deny them ;-to accept elements as actually made to coalesce by infinite wisdom into one puzzling harmony, though, in our hands, the analysis leaves them separate; just as we can reduce the diamond to its carbon, but cannot put it together again.

Thus, in relation to the union of body and mind, one metaphysician exclaims, 'If they are totally distinct substances, they cannot be united, and cannot have interaction; what you call matter, therefore, is an ideal phenomenon: there is nothing external to the mind; to suppose the contrary, is a sheer delusion.' 'I 'I agree with you in your premises,' exclaims a second, but I differ with you in your conclusion it is impossible that there can be reciprocal action between totally distinct substances, and therefore mind is material, an atom or a congeries of atoms (though doubtless very minute), as much as anything

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