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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 Connection 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; inasmuch 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.

If liberty consists in that which Arminians suppose, viz., in the Will's determining its own acts, having free opportunity, and being without all 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 the Understanding, and the ground of it, which cannot consist with the dictate of Understanding's being the determination of choice itself.

There 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 so on 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 deterrnines, 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 there 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 for ever.

Besides, if the dictate of the Understanding, and determination of the Will.

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Edition VI. p. 93.


be the same, this confounds the Understanding and Will, and makes them the

Whether they be the same or no, I will not now dispute ; but only would observe, that if it be so, and the Arminian notion of liberty consists in a self-determining power in the Understanding, free of all necessity; being independent, undetermined 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. By this therefore the freedom of the soul, as a moral agent, must consist in the independence of the Understanding on any evidence 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! 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.

And 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 connectior, the greater the freedom. And when the liberty is full and complete, the determinations of the Will have no connection at all with the dictates of the Understanding. And if so, in vain are all the applications to the Understanding, in order to induce to any free virtuous act; and so 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 self-determined, and independent of the Understanding, to what purpose are things thus represented to the Understanding, in order to determine the choice ?


Volition necessarily connected with the Influence of Motives ; with particular Ob

servations on the great Inconsistence of Mr. Chubb'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 connection with its cause, and so is necessary by a necessity of connection 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

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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 it 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 infiuence; 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. Every effect and event being, as proved before, necessarily connected with that, which is the proper ground and reason of its existence. Thus it is manifest, that volition is necessary, and is not from any self-determining power in the Will: the volition, which is caused by previous Motive and inducement, is not caused by the Will exercising a sovereign power over itself, to determine, cause and excite volitions in itself. This is not consistent with the Will's acting in a state of indifference and equilibrium, to determine itself to a preference; for the way in which Motives operate, is by biasing the Will, and giving it a certain inclination or preponderation one way.

Here it be proper to observe, that Mr. Chubb, in his Collection of Tracts on various subjects, has advanced a scheme of liberty, which is greatly divided against itself, and thoroughly subversive of itself; and that many ways.

1. He is abundant in asserting, that the Will, in all its acts, is influenced by Motive and excitement; and that this is the previous ground and reason of all its acts, and that it is never otherwise in any instance. He says (p. 262), "No action can take place without some motive to excite it.” And in page 263, “ Volition cannot take place without some previous reason or Motive to induce it.” And in page 310, “ Action would not take place without some reason or Motive to induce it; it being absurd to suppose, that the active faculty would be exerted without some previous reason to dispose the mind to action.” So also page 257. And he speaks of these things, as what we may be absolutely certain of, and which are the foundation, the only foundation we have of a certainty of the moral perfections of God. Page 252, 253, 254, 255, 261, 262, 263, 264.

And yet at the same time, by his scheme, the influence of Motives upon us to excite to action, and to be actually a ground of volition, is consequent on the Folition or choice of the mind. For he very greatly insists upon it, that in all free actions, before the mind is the subject of those volitions, which Motives excite

, it chooses to be so. It chooses, whether it will comply with the Motive, which presents itself in view, or not; and when various Motives are presented, it chooses which it will yield to, and which it will reject. So page 256, "Every man has power to act, or to refrain from acting agreeably with, or contrary to any Motive that presents.” Page 257, “Every man is at liberty to act, or refrain from acting agreeably with, or contrary to, what each of these Motives considered singly, would excite him to. Man has power, and is as much at liberty to reject the Motive that does prevail, as he has power, and is at liberty to reject those Motives that do not.” And so, page 310, 311, “In order to constitute a moral agent, it is necessary, that he should have power to act, or to refrain from acting, upon such moral Motives as he pleases." And to the

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like purpose in many other places. According to these things, the Will acts first, and chooses or refuses to comply with the Motive, that is presented, before it falls under its prevailing influence : and it is first determined by the mind's pleasure or choice, what Motives it will be induced by, before it is induced by them.

Now, how can these things hang together? How can the mind first act, and by its act of volition and choice determine what Motive shall be the ground and reason of its volition and choice? For this supposes the choice is already made, before the Motive has its effect; and that the volition is already exerted before the Motive prevails, so as actually to be the ground of the volition; and makes the prevailing of the Motive, the consequence of the volition, which yet it is the ground of. If the mind has already chosen to comply with a Motive, and to yield to its excitement, it does not need to yield to it after this : for the thing is effected already, that the Motive would excite to, and the Will is beforehand with the excitement; and the excitement comes in too late, and is needless and in vain afterwards. If the mind has already chosen to yield to a Motive which invites to a thing, that implies, and in fact is a choosing the thing invited to; and the very act of choice is before the influence of the Motive which induces, and is the ground of the choice; the son is beforehand with the father that begets him: the choice is supposed to be the ground of that influence of the Motive, which very influence is supposed to be the ground of the choice.And so vice versa, the choice is supposed to be the consequence of the influence of the Motive, which influence of the Motive is the consequence of that very choice.

And besides, if the Will acts first towards the Motive before it falls under its influence, and the prevailing of the Motive upon it to induce it to act and choose, be the fruit and consequence of its act and choice, then how is the Motive a PREVIOUS ground and reason of the act and choice, so that in the nature of the thing, volition cannot take place without some previous reason and motive to induce it; and that this act is consequent upon, and follows the Motive? Which things Mr. Chubb often asserts, as of certain and undoubted truth.So that the very same Motive is both previous and consequent, both before and after, both the ground and fruit of the very same thing!

II. Agreeable to the forementioned inconsistent notion of the Will's first acting towards the Motive, choosing whether it will comply with it, in order to its becoming a ground of the Will's acting, before any act of volition can take place, Mr. Chubb frequently calls Motives and excitements to the action of the Will the passive ground or reason of that action : which is a remarkable phrase; than which I presume there is nane more unintelligible, and void of distinct and consistent meaning, in all the writings of Duns Scotus, or Thomas Aquinas. When he represents the Motive to action or volition as passive, he must mean--passive in that affair, or passive with respect to that action which he speaks of; otherwise it is nothing to his purpose, or relating to the design of his argument: he must mean (if that can be called a meaning), that the Motive to volition, is first acted upon or towards by the volition, choosing to yield to it, making it a ground of action, or determining to fetch its influence from thence; and so to make it a previous ground of its own excitation and existence.

Which is the same absurdity as if one should say, that the soul of man, or any other thing, should, previous to its existence, choose what cause it would come into existence by, and should act upon its cause, to fetch influence from thence, to bring it into being; and so its cause should be a passive ground of its existence!

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Mr. Chubb does very plainly suppose Motive or excitement to be the ground of the being of volition. He speaks of it as the ground or reason of the Exertion of an act of the Will, p. 391, and 392, and expressly says, that volition cannot TAKE PLACE without some previous ground or Motive to induce to it, p. 363. And he speaks of the act as from the Motive, and FROM THE INFLUENCE of the Motive, p. 352, and from the influence that the Motive has on the man for the PRODUCTION of an action, p. 317. Certainly there is no need of multiplying words about this; it is easily judged, whether Motive can be the ground of volition's being exerted and taking place, so that the very production of it is from the influence of the Motive, and yet the Motive, before it becomes the ground of the volition, is passive, or acted upon by the volition. But this I will say, hat a man, who insists so much on clearness of meaning in others, and is so much in blaming their confusion and inconsistence, ought, if he was able, to have explained his meaning in this phrase of passive ground of action, so as to show it not to be confused and inconsistent.

If any should suppose, that Mr. Chubb, when he speaks of Motive as a passive ground of action does not mean passive with regard to that volition which it is the ground of, but some other antecedent volition, (though his purpose and argument

, and whole discourse, vill by no means allow of such a supposition) yet it would not help the matter in the least. For, (1.) If we suppose there to be an act of volition or choice, by which the soul chooses to yield to the invitation of a Motive to another volition, by which the soul chooses something else; both these supposed volitions are in effect the very same. A volition, or choosing to yield to the force of a Motive inviting to choose something, comes to just the same thing as choosing the thing, which the Motive invites to, as I observed before. So that here can be no room to help the matter, by a distinction of two volitions. (2.) If the Motive be passive with respect, not to the same volition that the Motive excites to, but one truly distinct and prior; yet, by Mr. Chubb, that prior volition cannot take place, without a Motive or excitement, as a previous ground of its existence. For he insists, that it is absurd to suppose any volition should take place without some previous Motive to induce it

. So that at last it comes to just the same absurdity: for if every volition must liave a previous Motive, then the very first in the whole series must be excited by a previous Motive; and yet the Motive to that first volition is passive; but cannot be passive with regard to another antecedent volition, because by the supposition, it is the very first: therefore if it be passive with respect to any volition, it must be so with regard to that very volition that it is the ground of, and that is excited by it.

III. Though Mr. Chubb asserts, as above, that every volition has some Motive, and that in the nature of the thing, no volition can take place without some Motive to induce it; yet he asserts, that volition does not always follow the strongest Motive; or, in other words, is not governed by any superior strength of the Motive that is followed, beyond Motives to the contrary, previous to the volition itself. His own words, p. 258, are as follow : “ Though with regard to physical causes, that which is strongest always prevails, yet it is otherwise with regard to moral causes. Of these, sometimes the stronger, sometimes the weaker, prevails. And the ground of this difference is evident, namely, that what we call moral causes, strictly speaking, are no causes at all, but barely passive reasons of, or excitements to the action, or to the refraining frorn acting: which excitements we have power, or are at liberty to comply with or reject

, as I have showed above.” And so throughout the paragraph, he, in a variety of phrases, insists, that the Will is not always determined by the strongest Motive, unless by strongest we preposterously mean actually prevail.

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