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when God holds forth sufficient objective light, the Will is at liberty whether to command the attention of the mind to it. Nothing can be more weak and inconsiderate than such a reply as this. For that preceding act of the Will, in determining to attend and consider, still is an act of the Will (it is so to be sure, if the liberty of the Will consists in it, as is supposed) and if it be an act of the Will, it is an act of choice or refusal. And therefore, if what the Doctor asserts be true, it is determined by some antecedent light in the Understanding concerning the greatest apparent good or evil. For he asserts, it is that light which alone doth move the Will to choose or refuse. And therefore the Will must be moved by that in choosing to attend to the objective light offered in order to another consequent act of choice; so that this act is no less necessary than the other. And if we suppose another act of the Will, still preceding both these mentioned, to determine both, still that also must be an act of the Will, and an act of choice; and so must, by the same principles, be: infallibly determined by some certain degree of light in the Understanding concerning the greatest good. And let us' suppose as many acts of the Will, one preceding anothcr; as we please, yet they are every one of them necessarily determined by a certain degree of light in the Understanding, concerning the greatest and most eligible good in that case ; and so, not one of them free according to Dr. Whitby's notion of freedom....And if it be said, the reason why men do not attend to light held forth, is because of ill habits contracted by evil acts committed before, whereby their minds are indisposed to attend to, and consider the truth held forth to them by God, the difficulty is not at all avoided : Still the question' returns, What determined the Will in those preceding evil acts : It must, by Dr. Whitby's principles, still be the view of the Understanding concerning the greatest good and evil." If this view of the Understanding be that alone which doth move the Will to choose or refuse, as the Doctor asserts, then every act of choice or refusal, from a man's first existence, is moved. and determined by this view ; and this view of the Understanding, exciting, and governing the act, must be before the Vol. V. N.
act: And therefore the Will is necessarily determined, in every one of its acts, from a man's first existence, by a cause beside the Will, and a cause that does not proceed from, or depend on any act of the Will at all. Which at once utterly abolishes the Doctor’s whole scheme of liberty of Will ; and he at one stroke, has cut the sinews of all his arguments from the goodness, righteousness, faithfulness and sincerity of God in his commands, promises, threatenings, calls, invitations, expostulations; which he makes use of, under the heads of reprobation, election, universal redemption, sufficient and effectual grace, and the freedom of the Will of man ; and has enervated and made vain all those exclamations against the doctrine of the Calvinists, as charging God with manifest unrighteousness, unfaithfulness, hypocrisy, fallaciousness, and cruelty ; which he has over, and over, and over again, numberless times in his book. Dr. Samuel Clark in his Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God,” to evade the argument to prove the necessity of volition, from its necessary Connexion with the last dictate of the Understanding, supposes the latter not to be diverse from the act of the Will itself. But if it be so, it will not alter the case as to the evidence of the necessity of the act of the Will. If the dictate of the Understanding be the very same with the determination of the Will or choice, as Dr. Clark supposes, then this determination is no fruit or effect of choice : And if so, no liberty of choice has any hand in it ; as to volition or choice, it is necessary ; that is, choice cannot prevent it. If the last dictate of the Understanding be the same with the determination of volition itself, then the existence of that determination must be necessary as to volition; in as much as volition can have no opportunity to determine whether it shall exist or no, it having existence already before volition has opportunity to determine any thing. It is itself the very rise and existence of volition. But a thing after it exists, has no opportunity to determine as to its own existence ; it is too late for that. would observe, that if it be so, and the Arminian notion of liberty consists in a selfdetermining power in the Understand* Edition. VI. P. 93.
If liberty consists in that which Arminians suppose, viz. in the Will's determining its own acts, having free opportunity, and being without necessity ; this is the same as to say, that liberty consists in the soul’s having power and opportunity to have what determinations of the Will it pleases or chooses. And if the determinations of the Will, and the last dictates of the Understanding be the same thing, then liberty consists in the mind's having power to have what dictates of the Understanding it pleases, having opportunity to choose its own dictates of Understanding. But this is absurd ; for it is to make the determination of choice prior to the dictate of Understanding, and the ground of it ; which cannot consist with the dictate of Understanding’s being the determination of choice itself.
Here is no way to do in this case, but only to recur to the old absurdity of one determination before another, and the cause of it ; and another before that, determining that; and soon in infinitum. If the last dictate of the Understanding be the determination of the Will itself, and the soul be free with regard to that dictate, in the Arminian notion of freedom ; then the soul before that dictate of its understanding exists, voluntarily and according to its own choice determines in every case, what that dictate of the Understanding shall be ; otherwise that dictate, as to the Will, is necessary; and the acts determined by it must also be necessary. So that here is a determination of the mind prior to that dictate of the Understanding, an act of choice going before it, choosing and determining what that dictate of the Understanding shall be : And this preceding act of choice, being a free act of Will, must also be the same with another last dictate of the Understanding ; and if the mind also be free in that dictate of Understanding, that must be determined still by another; and so on forever,
Besides, if the dictate of the Understanding, and deter
mination of the Will be the same, this confounds the Under
standing and Will, and makes them the same. Whether
they be the same or no, I will not now dispute ; but only, * .
ing, free of all necessity ; being independent, undetermin,
ed by any thing prior to its own acts and determinations; and the more the Understanding is thus independent and sovereign over its own determinations the more free then of course the freedom af the soul, as a moral agent, must consist in the independence of the Understanding on any evi. dence or appearance of things, or any thing whatsoever, that stands forth to the view of the mind, prior to the Understanding's determination. And what a sort of liberty is this 1 Consisting in an ability, freedom and easiness of judging, either according to evidence, or against it; having a sovereign command over itself at all times, to judge, either agreeably or disagreeably to what is plainly exhibited to its own view. Certainly it is no liberty that renders persons the proper subjects of persuasive reasoning, arguments, expostulations, and such like moral means and inducements. The use of which with
mankind is a main argument of the Arminians, to defend
their notion of liberty without all necessity. For according to this, the more free men are, the less they are under the government of such means, less subject to the power of evidence and reason, and more independent of their influence, in their determinations.
However whether the Understanding and Will are the same or no, as Dr. Clark seems to suppose, yet in order to maintain the Arminian notion of liberty without necessity, the free Will must not be determined by the Understanding, nor necessarily connected with the Understanding; and the further from such Connexion, the greater the freedom. And when the liberty is full and complete, the determinations of the Will must have no Connexion at all with the dictates of the Understanding. And if so, in vain are all applications to the Understanding, in order to induce to any free virtuous act; and in vain are all instructions, counsels, invitations, expostulations, and all arguments and persuasives whatsoever : For these are but applications to the Understanding,and a clear and lively exhibition of the objects of choice to the mind’s view. But if, after all, the Will must be selfdetermined, and independent of the Understanding, to what purpose are things thus repre
sented to the Understanding, in order to determine the choice?
Polition necessarily connected with the Influence of Motives ; with particular Observations on the great Inconsistence of Mr. Cubb's Assertions and reasonings, about the Freedom of the Will.
THAT every act of the Will has some cause, and consequently (by what has been already proved) has a necessary connexion with its cause, and so is necessary by a necessity of connexion and consequence is evident by this that every act of the Will whatsoever is excited by some Motive : Which is manifest, because, if the Will or mind, in willing and choosing after the manner that it does, is excited so to do by no motive or inducement, then it has no end which it proposes to itself, or pursues in so doing ; it aims at nothing, and seeks nothing. And if it seek nothing, then it does not go after any thing or exert any inclination or preference towards any thing : Which brings the matter to a contradiction ; because for the mind to Will something, and for it to go after something by an act of preference and inclination, are the same thing. But if every act of the Will is excited by a Motive, then that Motive is the cause of the act of the Will. If the acts of the Will are excited by motives, then Motives are the causes of their being excited ; or, which is the same thing, the cause of their being put forth into act and existence. And if so, the existence of the acts of the Will is properly the effect of their motives. Motives do nothing as Motives or inducements, but by their influence ; and so much as is done by their influence is the effect of them. For that is the notion of an effect, something that is brought to pass by the influence of another thing. And if volitions are properly the effects of their Motives, then they are necessarily connected with their Motives.....