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or the prevalence of a contrary inclination, in such circumstances, and under the influence of such views.

To give some instances of this moral Inability. A woman of great honor and chastity may have a moral Inability to prostitute herself to her slave. A child of great love and duty to his parents, may be unable to be willing to kill his father. A very lascivious man, in case of certain opportunities and temptations, and in the absence of such and such restraints, may be unable to forbear gratifying his lust. A drunkard, under such and such circumstances, may be unable to forbear taking of strong drink. A very malicious man may be unable to exert benevolent acts to an ememy, or to desire his prosperity; yea, some may be so under the power of a vile disposition, that they may be unable to love those who are most worthy of their esteem and affection. A strong habit of virtue, and a great de gree of holiness may cause a moral Inability to love wickedness in general, may render a man unable to take complacence in wicked persons or things; or to choose a wicked life, and prefer it to a virtuous life. And on the other hand, a great degree of habitual wickedness may lay a man under an inability to love and choose holiness ; and render him utterly unable to love an infinitely holy being, or to choose and cleave to him as his chief good.

Here it may be of use to observe this distinction of moral Inability, viz., of that which is general and habitual, and that which is particular and occasional. By a general and habitual moral Inability, I mean an Inability in the heart to all exercises or acts of will of that nature or kind, through a fixed and habitual inclination, or an habitual and stated defect, or want of a certain kind of inclination. Thus a very ill natured man may be unable to exert such acts of benevolence, as another, who is full of good nature, commonly exerts; and a man, whose heart is habitually void of gratitude, may be unable to exert such and such grateful acts, through that stated defect of a grateful inclination. By particular and occasional moral Inability, I mean an Inability of the will or heart to a particular act, through the strength or defect of present motives, or of inducements presented to the view of the understanding, on this occasion. If it be so, that the will is always determined by the strongest motive, then it must always have an Inability, in this latter sense, to act otherwise than it does; it not being possible, in any case, that the will should, at present, go against the motive which has now, all things considered, the greatest strength and advantage to excite and induce it. The former of these kinds of moral Inability, consisting in that which is stated, habitual and general, is most commonly called by the name of Inability, because the word Inability, in its most proper and original signification, has respect to some stated defect.

And this especially obtains the name of Inability also upon another account: I before observed, that the word Inability in its original and most common use, is a relative term ; and has respect to will and endeavor, as supposable in the case, and as insufficient to bring to pass the thing desired and endeavored. Now there may be more of an appearance and shadow of this, with respect to the acts which arise from a fixed and strong habit, than others that arise only from transient occasions and causes. Indeed will and endeavor against, or diverse from present acts of the will, are in no case supposable, whether those acts be occasional or habitual ; for that would be to suppose the will, at present, to be otherwise than, at present, it is. But yet there may be will and endeavor against future acts of the will, or volitions that are likely to take place, as viewed at a distance. It is no contradiction to suppose that the acts of the will at one time, may be against the acts of the will at another time ; and there may be desires and endeavors to prevent or excite future acts of the will ; but such desires and

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ir to d, a ore

endearors are, in many cases, rendered insufficient and vain, through fixedness of er the

habit : when the occasion returns, the strength of habit overcomes, and baisles

all such opposition. In this respect, a man may be in miserable slavery and or and bondage to a strong habit. But it may be comparatively easy to make an alteranild of tion with respect to such future acts as are only occasional and transient; because zther. the occasion or transient cause, if foreseen, may often easily be prevented or avoidnd in

ed. On this account, the moral Inability that attends fixed habits, especially

obtains the name of Inability. And then, as the will may remotely and indirectly bear resist itself, and do it in vain, in the case of strong habits; so reason may resist present acts of the will

, and its resistance be insufficient; and this is more coms the

monly the case also, when the acts arise from strong habit.

But it must be observed concerning moral Inability, in each kind of it, that de

the wordInability is used in a sense very diverse from its original import. The
word signifies only a natural Inability, in the proper use of it; and is applied to
such cases only wherein a present will or inclination to the thing, with respect to

a person is said to be unable, is supposablé. It cannot be truly said, according to the ordinary use of language, that a malicious man, let him be ever so oly | malicious

, cannot hold his hand from striking, or that he is not able to show his neighbor kindness; or that a drunkard, let his appetite be ever so strong, cannot of keep the cup from his mouth. In the strictest propriety of speech, a man has al

a thing in his power, if he has it in his choice, or at his election : and a man all

cannot be truly said to be unable to do.a thing, when he can do it if he will.
It is improperly said, that a person cannot perform those external actions which

are dependent on the act of the will, and which would be easily performed, if 28 | the act of the will were present. And if it be improperly said, that he cannot

perform those external voluntary actions, which depend on the will, it is in some 1

respect more improperly said, that he is unable to exert the acts of the will d themselves ; because it is more evidently false, with respect to these, that he cannot if he will : for to say so, is a downright contradiction : it is to say,

he cannot will, if he does will. And in this case, not only is it true, that it is

easy 2 for a man to do the thing it he will, but the very willing is the doing ; when

once he has willed, the thing is performed; and nothing else remains to be done. Therefore, in these things to ascribe a non-performance to the want of power or ability

, is not just ; because the thing wanting is not a being able, but a being willing

. There are faculties of mind, and capacity of nature, and every thing else sufficient, but a disposition : nothing is wanting but a will.


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Concerning the Notion of Liberty, and of Moral Agency. The plain and obvious meaning of the words Freedom and Liberty, in common speech, is power, opportunity or advantage, that any one has, to do as he plezses

. Or in other words, his being free from hinderance or impediment in the way of doing, or conducting in any respect, as he wills. * to Liberty, whatever name we call that by, is a person's being hindered or unable to conduct as he will, or being necessitated to do otherwise.

And the contrary

* 1 say not only doing, but conducting; because a voluntary forbearing to do, sitting still, keeping Elence, &c., ure instances of persons' conduct, about which Liberty is exercised; though they are not

properly called doing.

Vol. II,


If this which I have mentioned be the meaning of the word Liberty, in the ordinary use of language; as I trust that none that has ever learned to talk, and is unprejudiced, will deny; then it will follow, that in propriety of speech, neither Liberty, nor its contrary, can properly be ascribed to any being or thing, but that which has such a faculty, power or property, as is called will. For that which is possessed of no such thing as will, cannot have any power or opportunity of doing according to its will, nor be necessitated to act contrary to its will, nor be restrained from acting agreeably to it. And therefore to talk of Liberty, or the contrary, as belonging to the very will itself, is not to speak good sense ; it we judge of sense, and nonsense, by the original and proper signification of words. For the will itself is not an agent that has a will : the power of choosing itself, has not a power of choosing. That which has the power of volition or choice is the man or the soul, and not the power of volition itself

. And he that has the Liberty of doing according to his will, is the agent or doer who is possessed of the will; and not the will which he is possessed of. We say with propriety, that a bird let loose has power and Liberty to fly; but not that the bird's power of flying has a power and Liberty of flying. To be free is the property of an agent, who is possessed of powers and faculties, as much as to be cunning, valiant, bountiful, or zealous. But these qualities are the properties of men or persons ; and not the properties of properties.

There are two things that are contrary to this which is called Liberty in common speech. One is constraint; the same is otherwise called force, compulsion, and coaction ; which is a person's being necessitated to do a thing contrary to his will. The other is restraint; which is his being hindered, and not having power to do according to his will. But that which has no will, cannot be the subject of these things. I need say the less on this head, Mr. Locke having set the same thing forth, with so great clearness, in his Essay on the Human Understanding.

But one thing more I would observe concerning what is vulgarly called Liberty ; namely, that power and opportunity for one to do and conduct as he will, or according to his choice, is all that is meant by it ; without taking into the meaning of the word any thing of the cause or original of that choice; or at all considering how the person came to have such a volition ; whether it was caused by some external motive or internal habitual bias; whether it was determined by some internal antecedent volition, or whether it happened without a causę; whether it was necessarily connected with something foregoing, or not connected. Let the person come by his volition or choice how he will, yet, if he is able, and there is nothing in the way to hinder his pursuing and executing his will, the man is fully and perfectly free, according to the primary and common notion of freedom.

What has been said may be sufficient to show what is meant by Liberty, according to the common notions of mankind, and in the usual and primary acceptation of the word : but the word, as used by Arminians, Pelagians and others, who oppose the Calvinists, has an entirely different signification. These several things belong to their notion of Liberty 1. That it consists in a selfdetermining power in the will, or a certain sovereignty the will has over itself, and its own acts, whereby it determines its own volitions ; so as not to be dependent in its determinations, on any cause without itself, nor determined by any thing prior to its own acts. 2. Indifference belongs to Liberty in their notion of it, or that the mind, previous to the act of volition, be in equilibrio. 3. Contingence is another thing that belongs and is essential to it; not in the common acceptation of the word, as that has been already explained, but as opposed to

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all necessity, or any fixed and certain connection with some previous ground or
reason of its existence. They suppose the essence of Liberty so much to consist
in these things, that unless the will of man be free in this sense, he has no real
freedom, how much soever he may be at Liberty to act according to his will.

A moral Agent is a being that is capable of those actions that have a moral
quality, and which can properly be denominated good or evil in a moral sense,
virtuous or vicious, commendable or faulty. To moral Agency belongs a moral
faculty, or sense of moral good and evil, or of such a thing as desert or worthi-
ness, of praise or blame, reward or punishment ; and a capacity which an agent
has of being influenced in his actions by moral inducements or motives, exhibited
to the view of understanding and reason, to engage to a conduct agreeable to the

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moral faculty.

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The sun is very excellent and beneficial in its action and influence on the
earth, in warming it, and causing it to bring forth its fruits ; but it is not
a moral Agent. Its action, though good, is not virtuous or meritorious. Fire
that breaks out in a city, and consumes great part of it, is very mischievous in
its operation ; but is not a moral Agent. What it does is not faulty or sinful,
or deserving of any punishment. The brute creatures are not moral Agents.
The actions of some of them are very profitable and pleasant ; others are very
hurtful; yet, seeing they have no moral faculty, or sense of desert, and do not
act from choice guided by understanding, or with a capacity of reasoning and
reflecting, but only from instinct, and are not capable of being influenced by
moral inducements, their actions are not properly sinful or virtuous; nor are they
properly the subjects of any such inoral treatment for what they do, as moral
Agents are for their faults or good deeds.
Here it


be noted, that there is a circumstantial difference between the moral Agency of a ruler and a subject. I call it circumstantial, because it lies only in the difference of moral inducements they are capable of being influenced by, arising from the difference of circumstances. A ruler, acting, in that capacity only, is not capable of being influenced by a moral law, and its sanctions of threatenings and promises, rewards and punishments, as the subject is; though both may be influenced by a knowledge of moral good and evil. And therefore the moral agency of the Supreme Being, who acts only in the capacity of a ruler towards his creatures, and never as a subject, differs in that respect from the moral Agency of created intelligent beings. God's actions, and particularly those which are to be attributed to him as moral governor, are morally good in the highest degree. They are most perfectly holy and righteous; and we must conceive of Him as influenced in the highest degree, by that which, above all others

, is properly a moral inducement, viz., the moral good which He sees in
such and such things : and therefore He is, in the most proper sense, a moral

, the source of all moral ability and Agency, the fountain and rule of all
virtue and moral good; though by reason of his being supreme over all, it is not
possible He should be under the influence of law or command, promises or threat-
, rewards or punishinents

, counsels or warnings. The essential qualities
of a moral Agent are in God, in the greatest possible perfection ; such as under-
standing, to perceive the difference between moral good and evil; a capacity
of discerning that moral worthiness and demerit, by which some things are
praiseworthy, others deserving of blame and punishment; and also a capacity
of choice, and choice guided by understanding, and a power of acting according
to his choice or pleasure, and being capable of doing those things which are in
the highest sense praiseworthy. Ånd herein does very much consist that image
of God wherein he made man, (which we read of Gen. i. 26, 27, and chapter

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ix. 6,) by which God distinguishes man from the beasts, viz., in those faculties and principles of nature, whereby He is capable of moral Agency. Herein very much consists the natural image of God; as his spiritual and moral image, wherein man was made at first, consisted in that moral excellency, that he was endowed with.





Showing the manifest Inconsistence of the Arminian Notion of Liberty of Will,

consisting in the Will's Self-determining Power. Having taken notice of those things which may be necessary to be observed, concerning the meaning of the principal terms and phrases made use of in controversies, concerning human Liberty, and particularly observed what Liberty is, according to the common language and general apprehension of mankind, and what it is as understood and maintained by Arminians; I proceed to consider the Arminian notion of the Freedom of the Will, and the .' supposed necessity of it in order to moral agency, or in order to any one's being capable of virtue or vice, and properly the subject of command or counse), praise or blame, promises or threatenings, rewards or punishments; or whether that which has been described, as the thing meant by Liberty in common speech, be not sufficient, and the only Liberty which makes or can make any one a moral agent, and so properly the subject of these things. In this Part, I shall consider whether any such thing be possible or conceivable, as that Freedom of Will which Arminians insist on; and shall inquire, whether any such sort of Liberty be necessary to moral agency, &c., in the next Part.

And first of all, I shall consider the notion of a self-determining Power in the Will; wherein, according to the Arminians, does most essentially consist the Will's Freedom; and shall particularly inquire, whether it be not plainly absurd, and a manifest inconsistence, to suppose that the Will itself determines all the free acts of the Will. Here I shall not insist on the great impropriety of such phrases and ways

of speaking as the Will's determining itself; because actions are to be ascribed to agents, and not properly to the powers of agents; which improper way

ot speaking leads to many mistakes, and much confusion, as Mr. Locke observes. But I shall suppose that the Arminians, when they speak of the Will's determining itself, do by the Will mean the soul willing. I shall take it for granted, that when they speak of the Will, as the determiner, they mean the soul in the exercise of a power of willing, or acting voluntarily. I shall suppose this to be

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