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successful means of other things, do therein prove connected antecedents of them ; and therefore to assert, that a fixed connexion between antecedents and consequents makes means vain and useless, or stands in the way to hinder the connexion between means and end, is just as ridiculous as to to say, that a connexion between antecedents and consequents stands in the way to hinder a connexion between antecedents and consequents. Nor can any supposed connexion of the succession or train of antecedents and consequents, from the very beginning of all things, the connexion being made already sure and necessary, either by established laws of nature, or by these together with a decree of sovereign immediate interpositions of divine power, on such and such occasions, or any other way (if any other there be ;) I say, no such necessary connexion of a series of antecedents and consequents can in the least tend to hinder, but that the means we use may belong to the series; and so may be some of those antecedents which are connected with the consequents we aim at, in the established course of things. Endeavors which we use, are things that exist; and, therefore, they belong to the general chain of events; all the parts of which chain are supposed to be connected; and so endeavors are supposed to be connected with some effects, or some consequent things or other. And certainly this does not hinder but that the events they are connected with, may be those which we aim at, and which we choose, because we judge them most likely to have a connexion with those events, from the established order and course of things which we observe, or from something in divine revelation. Let us suppose a real and sure connexion between a man's having his eyes open in the clear day light, with good organs of sight, and seeing ; so that seeing is connected with his opening his eyes, and not seeing with his not opening his eyes; and also the like connexion between such a man's attempting to open his eyes, and his actually doing it. The supposed established connexion between these antecedents and consequents, let the connexion be ever so sure and necessary, certainly does not prove that it is in vain, for a man in such cir

cumstances, to attempt to open his eyes, in order to seeing ; his aiming at that event, and the use of the means, being the effect of his Will, does not break the connexion, or hinder the success. So that the objection we are upon does not lie against the doctrine of the necessity of events by a certainty of connexion and consequence: On the contrary, it is truly forcible against the Arminian doctrine of contingence and selfdetermination ; which is inconsistent with such a connexion. If there be no connexion between those events, wherein virtue and vice consist, and any thing antecedent ; then there is no connexion between these cvents and any means or endeavors used in order to them ; and if so, then those means must be vain. The less there is of connexion between foregoing things and following onés, so much the less there is between means and end, endeavors and success; and in same proportion are means and endeavors ineffectual and vain. It will follow from Arminian principles, that there is no degree of connexion between virtue or vice, and any foregoing event or thing ; or, in other words, that the determination of the existence of virtue or vice docs not in the least depend on the influence of anything that comes to pass antecedently, from which the determination of its existence is, as its cause, means, or ground ; because, so far as it is so, it is not from selfdetermination; and, therefore, so far there is nothing of the nature of virtue or vice. And so it follows, that virtue and vice are not in any degree, dependent upon, or connected with, any foregoing event or existence, as its cause, ground, or means. And if so, then all foregoing means must be totally

Waln. Hence it follows, that there cannot, in any consistence with the Arminian scheme, be any reasonable ground of so much as a conjecture concerning the consequence of any means and endeavors, in order to escaping ville or obtaining virtue, or any choice or preference of means, as having a greater probability of success by some than others; either from any natural connexion or dependence of the end on the means, or through any divine constitution, or revealed way of God's bestowing or bringing to pass these things, in consequence of any means, endeavors, prayers or deeds. Conjet ture, in this latter case, depends on a supposition, that God himself is the giver, or determining cause of the events sought; but if they depend on selfdetermination, then God is not the determining or disposing author of them ; and if these things are not of his disposal, then no conjecture can be made, from any revelation he has given, concerning any way or method of his disposal of them. Yea, on these principles, it will not only follow, that men cannot have any reasonable ground of judgment or conjecture, that their means and endeavors to obtain virtue or avoid vice, will be successful, but they may be sure, they will not; they may be certain, that they will be vain; and that if ever the thing, which they seek, comes to pass, it will not be at allowing to the means they use. For means and endeavors can have no effect, in order to obtain the end, but in one of these two ways; either, (1.) Through a natural tendency and influence, to prepare and dispose the mind more to virtuous acts, either by causing the disposition of the heart to be more in: favor of such acts, or by bringing the mind more into the view of powerful motives and inducements; or, (2.) By putting persons more in the way of God's bestowment of the benefit. But neither of these can be the case. Not the latter; for, as has been just now observed, it does not consist with the Arminian notion of selfdetermination, which they suppose essential to virtue, that God should be the bestower, or (which is the same thing) the determining, disposing author of virtue. Not the former, for natural influence and tendency supposes causality and connexion; and that supposes necessity of event, which is inconsistent with Arminian liberty. A tendency of means, by biasing the heart in favor of virtue, or by bringing the Will under the influence and power of motives in its determinations, are both inconsistent with Arminian liberty of Will, consisting in indifference, and sovereign selfdetermination, as has been largely demonstrated. But for the more full removal of this prejudice against the doctrine of necessity, which has been maintained, as though it tended to encourage a total neglect of all endeavors as vain; the following things may be considered. The question is not, whether men may not thus improve this doctrine : We know that many true and wholesome doctrines are abused ; but, whether the doctrine gives any just occasion for such an improvement ; or whether, on the Supposition of the truth of the doctrine, such a use of it would not be unreasonable 2 If any shall affirm, that it would not, but that the very nature of the doctrine is such as gives just occasion for it, it must be on this supposition, namely, that such an invariable necessity of all things already settled, must render the interposition of all means, endeavors, conclusions or actions of ours, in order to the obtaining any future end whatsoever, perfectly insignificant; because they cannot in the least alter or vary the course and series of things, in any event or circumstance; all being already fixed unalterably by necessity; and that therefore it is folly, for men to use any means for any end; but their wisdom, to save themselves the trouble of endeavors, and take their ease. No person can draw such an inference from this doctrine, and come to such a conclusion, without contradicting himself, and going counter to the very principles he pretends to act upon ; for he comes to a conclusion, and takes a course, in order to an end, even his ease, or the saving himself from trouble ; he seeks something future, and uses means in order to a future thing, even in his drawing up that conclusion, that he will seek nothing, and use no means in order to any thing in future ; he seeks his future ease, and the benefit and comfort of indolence. If prior nccessity, that determines all things, makes vain all actions or conclusions of ours, in order to any thing future ; then it makes vain all conclusions and conduct of ours, in order to our future ease. The measure of our ease, with the time, manner, and every circumstance of it, is already fixed, by alldetermining necessity, as much as any thing else. If he says within himself, “What future happiness or misery I shall have, is already, in effect, determined by the necessary course and connexion of things; therefore, I will save myself the trouble of labor and diligence, which cannot add to my deter

mined degree of happiness, or diminish my misery; but wif: take my ease, and will enjoy the comfort of sloth and negligence.” Such a man contradicts himself; he says, the measure of his future happiness and misery is already fixed, and he will not try to diminish the one, nor add to the other; but yet, in his very conclusion, he contradicts this; for, he takes up this conclusion, to add to his future happiness, by the ease and comfort of his negligence; and to diminish his future trouble and misery, by saving himself the trouble of using means and taking pains. Therefore persons cannot reasonably make this improvement of the doctrine of necessity, that they will go into a voluntary negligence of means for their own happiness. For the principles they must go upon in order to this, are inconsistent with their making any improvement at all of the doctrine : for to make some improvement of it, is to be influenced by it, to come to some voluntary conclusion, in regard to their own conduct, with some view or aim ; but this, as has been shown, is inconsistent with the principles they pretend to act upon. In short, the principles are such as cannot be acted upon, in any respect, consistently. And, therefore, in every pretence of acting upon them, or making any improvement of them, there is a selfcontradiction. As to that objection against the doctrine, which I have endeavored to prove, that it makes men no more than mere machines; I would say, that notwithstanding this doctrine, man is entirely, perfectly and unspeakably different from a mere machine, in that he has reason and understanding, and has a faculty of Will, and so is capable of volition and choice ; and in that, his Will is guided by the dictates or views of his understanding ; and in that his external actions and behavior, and, in many respects, also his thoughts, and the exercises of his mind, are subject to his Will ; so that he has liberty to act according to his choice, and do what he pleases; and by means of these things, is capable of moral habits and moral acts, such inclinations and actions as, according to the common sense of mankind, are worthy of praise, esteem, love and

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