<42057E> 315

J. N. Darby.

(Notes and Comments Vol. 2.)

I would say a word on consciousness. It is used, I think, in two senses - consciousness, properly speaking, and reflection on "I," or the conscious person. They are so closely connected, it is no wonder; but the difference is important, for I apprehend it is just the difference between a beast and a man in this respect.

The living "I" is always a will in thought or for act, and consciously wills - wills, knowing it wills - so does even a beast. If it wants to get out of a room, it knows it wants it. Will is always conscious of itself, but it does not set about to reflect therefore on itself as I am doing now.*

{*I find Reid makes this distinction.}

This reflective self-consciousness is man's distinctive prerogative, as having a spirit. "I" has the power of using the upper faculty to reflect on the workings of "I." I reflect, but the capacity is in the spirit of man. "There is," says Elihu, "a spirit in man." But how was this before the fall? I mean as to "will." And here I have to remark that I think "will" is used in two ways - intention, the tendency of nature or "I," towards something, and the determination of "I" to go out towards that something, and where this question is raised in a moral ground.

All will is sin, because it is not obedience, i.e., is assumed independence of God, and much more. Now unfallen Adam had no such will as this. It was tested in the tree, and he ought to have said "I can have no will - I obey" - but he distrusted and willed. But in the place where God had set him, as dressing the garden and keeping it, nature was free in the sphere God had given it authority in; and so as to animals. Here God had given authority, and will was in its place while the whole man was subject to God. But he used a will in the sphere of testing obedience and was lost - Christ in the most perfect testing said "Not my will but thine be done." His tendency of nature and "I" to escape suffering was right - that suffering eminently so. He had, being a perfect Man, a will of nature and morally too, but no will which willed when God's will was there. This is commonly, in its grosser form, called "Self-will." It is the determination of "I" to have its own way.

316 Now the determination of Christ's "I" was to have God's will absolutely - that will from heaven down (Psalm 40) was His only motive for acting. He was the obedient Man. We have a will which strives (not merely suffers) and it is checked - right it should be - but that was not Christ's case. His whole moral being was obedience, "I come to do thy will" - "Not my will but thine be done." The desire and intention of nature not to suffer was there, rightly there, but His determination, His only and perfect one, was to do God's will, suffering bring what it might. Save the testing point, there was with Adam no determination of will called for or in posse.

Now consciousness is itself, and, where real, like sense certain of itself. Senses give the certainty of the thing they are conscious of to themselves - adequate for use of what is learned from them by experience, particularly sight.

Memory is according to its vividness and strength. Testimony is according to the testifier. Divine - it is doubly certain - it is necessarily true, and the conviction of its truth where there is belief divinely given.