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Occam's razor soon cut off relentlessly. But here Scotus does not draw the immediate consequence. Again, Scotus, with a little irresolution, it is true, abolishes the distinction between the active and the passive intellect. Here was a fertile thought destructive to the scholastic system, but pushed to its consequences only by his successors. In this connection, again, the doctrine of the Formalities, so significant in Scotus, makes its appearance. The faculties of the soul, not to be distinguished in reality from the inind itself, are to be distinguished “ formally and from the nature of the thing.” Again, and here was a most important distinction, Scotus insisted upon the activity of the mind in perception. The passivity of the intellect in perception was the current thought before him, and he broke really with this view. In so far as he admitted a species at all, he held that this was not a purely passive product of the intellect. Knowledge, he expressly declared, is brought about by a concurrent activity of the understanding. As the father without the mother, he says, cannot generate, so cannot the understanding generate knowledge without the object. By far the greater significance, according to him, attaches to the intellectual activity. He almost makes the external object a mere occasion of spiritual activity.
The immediate successors of Duns drew the consequences which flow from his positions, and banished species and phantasms from the field of philosophy. Peter Aureolus, the Scotist, who died only thirteen years after his master, declares the species unnecessary for the explanation of knowledge. His neat statement is as follows: “ That which we behold (intuemur) is not any form seen as it were in a mirror, (specularis,) but the thing itself, having phenomenal being, and this is the concept of the mind, or objective knowledge."
Durandus, who lived at the same time, and even belonged to the school of Thomas, reduced species to the physical impression of the external object. Besides, he makes a detinite distinction between intuitive and abstractive knowledge, and abolishes that between the active and the passive intellect, though cutting off the active. Occam, who, doubtless, attended upon Scotus lectures, most decidedly throws overboard all species whatever, and abolishes the distinction between the active and the passive intellect. A most important addition to the doctrine of perception made by Occam, and emerging by a scratch of the nail from Scotus, is this. He asks the question, In what consists the likeness between thought and thing in knowledge? The answer is, Our conceptions stand related to things as mere signs. As smoke indicates tire and groaning pain, so without any absolute likeness our perceptions guarantee the external world. He goes deeper yet, and asks after the nature of thought, as subjective fact in the knowing subject. There are three positions, he says, which may be taken here. It may be an image of the external object, or a certain quality of the soul, or, lastly, the act of thought itself. He decides for the last on the principle of parsimony. Still, further, his doctrine of signs is a most valuable one, and leads to a true theory of perception. There are three kinds of termini, as he expresses it, the written sign, the verbal sign, and the conceptual sign. This last is the natural sign of the object, and cannot be changed. Thus thought, the intention, is the sign of the thing thought, not an arbitrary but a natural sign. The mind, then, is constructive in perception, and so Scotus' thought hias led Occam almost to the phenomenalism of Lotze. Pierre D'Ailly declares God could annihilate all objects outside our minds, and still produce the representations of the same within us, and we should not note the loss of the objective world; a statement which anticipates Berkeley by more than three centuries. All that it is needfui to suppose is the constant divine activity and the uniform course of nature.
We pass now to his notion of human freedom. In Scotus' system, freedoin, as we have seen, plays the largest rôle. Spontaneity is his shibboleth every-where. Here he stands in diametrical opposition to St. Thomas. The latter is a Necessitarian, the former the most decided and uncompromising advocate of freedom. He asserts the power of alternativity, or contrary choice, saying explicitly, “ The will, in so far as it is first actuality, is free to opposite acts. The will is the total cause of its activity.” Again he says: “Nothing other than the will is total cause of volition in the will." The object may be the condition sine qua non, our knowledge of it may be indispensable, but the necessitation of the understanding, such as it is, can never be carried over to the will. It is only in the sense that we must know the object of desire that it can be called the partial cause of the will. Ile stands squarely against the modern statement of the strongest motive as determining the will, or of the higher good as that which must be a compellant motive. It is here that Scotus takes his ground against all Determinists. Edwards tells us, following Locke, that “ Freedom is the power that any one has to do as he pleases." True, but what if the choice is a necessitated one and wholly beyond the spontaneity of the individual? It has been often said that the position of Edwards involves the clock-haminer freedom to strike and no more. The arrow flying through the air, says Spinoza, if conscious, would say, “Behold how freely I 'move." Professor Fisher, in his article on “ The Philosophy of Edwards,” rehearses the same irrelevant matter as his master Edwards. Liberty, he tells us, relates to matters subsequent to volition, and this is the only proper use of the term freedom as applied to personal agents. The relevancy of dragging in Professor Fisher here is seen in the fact that he quotes St. Thomas to fortify Edwards. Aquinas says, “ God, in moving the will, does not compel it, because he gives it its own inclination.” Again he says, “ to be moved from itself is not repugnant to this that it is moved by another.” But this being moved by God, and this acting from a derived inclination, is the very thing which the advocates of freedom deny. Thus Scotus denies any such secret spring in the will, back of consciousness, whereby fata ducunt volentem. The statement of Scotus is: "Nothing else than the will is total cause of volition in the will.” Spontaneity in the fullest sense, over against the divine action, is thie solvent word. The Necessitarian assertion of freedom in the will, certainly as asserted by Edwards, is the boldest example of promise to the ear which is broken to the heart. Dr. A. A. Hlodge, in a recent statement on the subject of the will, asserts that “Edwards' infinite series remains a triumphant refutation of the old doctrine of the liberty of indifference.” The sole answer to this, forever exploding the infinite regress, may be given in the words of Scotus himself: "If we should ask, why the will wills this, there is no cause to be given, except that the will is will.” The will itself can throw the sword of Brennus into the scale and decide from its own autonomic center. This decides the question, then, as to the comparative rank of the intellect and the will. Thomas
declared that intellect has the primacy; Scotus ever assigns it to the will. Thus, while to the first, Theology is a theoretical science, to Scotus it is ever a practical one.
one. The object of theology is not so much to enlarge our knowledge as to accomplish our salvation. We are not united to God perfectly in knowledge, but only through the activity of will in love. It is true the will alone caunot bring salvation, for the divine charitas inust be infused. IIowever, this is not without our co-operation. True, Christ is the door, but the door must be entered, and this implies synergistic activity on the part of the sinner. The vision of God, of which Thomas talks so much, does not satisfy the ideal of Scotus. Delectatio even smacks too much of Quietism. Even the knowledge of God, of which Scripture speaks, includes love.
We have treated Scotus mainly as a philosopher, and not as a theologian. In this latter province, and because of his thorough-going emphasis of freedom, he has, it is evident, somewhat lost his balance. We can only stop to signify a few points in the briefest manner. In asserting freedom of God, he goes to the extreme of arbitrariness. The foundation of moral obligation, according to him, lies so completely in the will of God, that, had he chosen to do so, he might have made wrong to be right. Utter arbitrariness is thus enthroned in the very bosom of God, and spiritual freedom sweeps over into blind nature. Again, while Scotus struggles like a very Hercules with the problem of personality in his doctrine of the incarnation, he shows a vicious emphasis of the notion of freedom in asserting that God could have become a stone as well as man. A valuable thought, on the other hand, is this, that the incarnation was not conditioned by human sin. Once again we see the same thing in his doctrine of the atonement, or the acceptilatio, according to which the work of Christ was accepted as the ground of human salvation without reference to its exact adjustment to the relationship between God and man. Thus, as God could have saved the sinner without Christ's offering, and have justified him without the infusion of grace, so fallen man, by his native powers, may or might, apart from what he calls the ordinate power of God, obey the Divine Will.
We close the study of this great man, so marked by keenness of thought and originality full of the seeds of the future, by remarking that philosophy was in his day too deeply wedded to theology for Scotus to emancipate himself wholly from the rubrics of scholasticism. But he set to work a fermentation which began immediately to agitate thinkers. The image which Milton uses in his description of creation may be applied to Duns :
“Now half appeared
He never pawed hiinself loose from scholasticism. Hence the imperfect solution of the antinomy between faith and knowledge, the theoretical and the practical, intellect and will. Still he worked well at the problem, of which we are now finding the definitive solution—this, namely, the perfect harmony of theology and philosophy, the rational vindication of the Christian Faith.
Art. II.-METHODIST DOCTRINAL STANDARDS.
What are the doctrinal standards of the Methodist Episcopal Church? What is their authority over the teaching and denominational standing of members of the Church? What does the word of God require as touching those who publicly dissent from the doctrinal standards of the Church? are questions of vital importance to its peace and prosperity ?
I. What are the doctrinal standards of the Methodist Episcopal Church?
In ( 71 of the “Doctrines and Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church,” we read :
The General Conference shall have full powers to make rules and regulations for our Church, under the following limitations and restrictions, namely :
$ 1. The General Conference shall not revoke, alter, or change our Articles of Religion, nor establish any new standards or rules of doctrine contrary to our present existing and established standards of doctrine,
T 72 permits the General Conference, by a two thirds majority, and with the concurrent recommendation of three fourths of