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PART whether he will have the least part or nothing; and scarcely so much.-But men have liberty of election. This is plain, Numb. xxx. 14 ,-If a wife make a vow, it is left to her husband's choice, either to "establish it," or to "make it void." And Josh. xxiv. 15,-"Choose you this day whom ye will serve," &c., "but I and my house will serve the Lord;" he makes his own choice, and leaves them to the liberty of their election. And 2 Sam. xxiv. 12,-"I offer thee three things, choose thee which of them I shall do;" if one of these three things was necessarily determined and the other two impossible, how was it left to him to choose what should be done? Therefore we have true liberty.
1. [Election is only
T. H.-And the first place of Scripture, taken from Numb. Xxx. 14 , is one of them that look another way. The words are, "If a wife make a vow, it is left to her husband's choice, either to establish it or make it void." For it proves no more but that the husband is a free or voluntary agent; but not that his choice therein is not necessitated, or not determined to what he shall choose by precedent necessary
J. D.-My first argument from Scripture is thus formed; -Whosoever have a liberty or power of election, are not determined to one by precedent necessary causes; but men have liberty of election. The assumption, or minor proposition, is proved by three places of Scripture; Numb. xxx. 14 , Josh. xxiv. 15, 2 Sam. xxiv. 12. I need not insist upon these; because T. H. acknowledgeth, that "it is clearly proved that there is election in man"." But he denieth the major proposition, because (saith he) man is "necessitated," or "determined to what he shall choose by precedent necessary causes."
I take away this answer three ways.
First, by reason. Election is evermore either of things of alterna- possible, or at least of things conceived to be possible: that is, efficacious election, when a man hopeth or thinketh of obtaining the object. Whatsoever the will chooseth, it chooseth under the notion of good, either honest or delightn [Below, T. H. at the end of Numb. vii. p. 44.]
ful or profitable; but there can be no real goodness ap- Discourse prehended in that which is known to be impossible. It is true, there may be some wandering pendulous wishes of known impossibilities; as a man who hath committed an offence, may wish he had not committed it: but to choose efficaciously an impossibility, is as impossible as an impossibility itself. No man can think to obtain that, which he knows impossible to be obtained. But he who knows that all things are antecedently determined by necessary causes, knows that it is impossible for anything to be otherwise than it is. Therefore to ascribe unto him a power of election, to choose this or that indifferently, is to make the same thing to be determined to one, and to be not determined to one; which are contradictories. Again, whosoever hath an elective power, or a liberty to choose, hath also a liberty or power to refuse. Isa. vii. 16,-" Before the child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good." He who chooseth this rather than that, refuseth that rather than this. As "Moses, Heb. xi. 24, choosing to suffer affliction with the people of God," did [25.] thereby refuse "the pleasures of sin." But no man hath any power to refuse that which is necessarily predetermined to be unless it be as the fox refused the grapes, which were beyond his reach. When one thing of two or three is absolutely determined, the others are made thereby simply impossible.
Secondly, I prove it by instances, and by that universal 2. [Universal connotion which the world hath of election. What is the diffesent.] rence between an elective and hereditary kingdom, but that in an elective kingdom they have power or liberty to choose 657 this or that man indifferently, but in an hereditary kingdom they have no such power nor liberty? Where the law makes a certain heir, there is a necessitation to one; where the law doth not name a certain heir, there is no necessitation to one, and there they have power or liberty to choose. An hereditary prince may be as grateful and acceptable to his subjects, and as willingly received by them (according to that liberty which is opposed to compulsion or violence), as he who is chosen; yet he is not therefore an elective prince. In Germany all the nobility and commons may assent to the choice of the emperor, or be well pleased
PART with it when it is concluded; yet none of them elect or choose the emperor, but only those six princes who have a consultative, deliberative, and determinative power in his election. And if their votes or suffrages be equally divided, three to three, then the king of Bohemia hath the casting voice". So likewise in corporations or commonwealths, sometimes the people, sometimes the common council, have power to name so many persons for such an office, and the supreme magistrate, or senate, or lesser council respectively, to choose one of those. And all this is done with that caution and secrecy, by billets or other means, that no man knows which way any man gave his vote, or with whom to be offended. If it were necessarily and inevitably predetermined, that this individual person and no other shall and must be chosen, what needed all this circuit and caution, to do that which is not possible to be done otherwise, which one may do as well as a thousand, and for doing of which no rational man can be offended, if the electors were necessarily predetermined to elect this man and no other? And though T. H. was pleased to pass by my university instance, yet I may not, until I see what he is able to say unto it. The junior of the mess in Cambridge divides the meat into four parts. The senior chooseth first, then the second and third in their order. The junior is determined to one, and hath no choice left; unless it be to choose whether he will take that part which the rest have refused, or none at all. It may be, this part is more agreeable to his mind than any of the others would have been, but for all that he cannot be said to choose it, because he is determined to this one. Even such a liberty of election is that which is established by T. H.: or rather much worse, in two respects. The junior hath yet a liberty of contradiction left, to choose whether he will take that part or not take any part; but he who is precisely predetermined to the choice of this object, hath no liberty to refuse it. Secondly, the junior, by dividing carefully, may preserve to himself an equal share; but he who is wholly
determined by extrinsecal causes, is left altogether to the DISCOURSE mercy and disposition of another.
Thirdly, I prove it by the texts alleged. Numb. xxx. 13; 3 [Holy "If a wife make a vow, it is left to her husband's choice, either to establish it' or 'make it void.'" But if it be predetermined that he shall "establish it," it is not in his power to "make it void." If it be predetermined that he shall "make it void," it is not in his power to "establish it." And howsoever it be determined, yet, being determined, it is not in his power, indifferently, either to "establish it" or to "make it void" at his pleasure. So Joshua xxiv. 15; "Choose you this day whom ye will serve, .. but I and my house will serve the Lord." It is too late to choose that "this day," which was determined otherwise yesterday. "Whom ye will serve, whether the gods whom your fathers served, or the gods of the Amorites:"-where there is an election of this or that, these gods or those gods, there must needs be either an indifferency to both objects, or at least a possibility of either. "I and my house will serve the Lord:" -if he were extrinsecally predetermined, he should not say, "I will serve," but, I must serve. And 2 Sam. xxiv. 12; "I offer thee three things, choose thee which of them I shall do." How doth God "offer three things" to David's choice, if He had predetermined him to one of the three by a concourse of necessary extrinsecal causes? If a sovereign prince should descend so far as to offer a delinquent his choice, whether he would be fined or imprisoned or banished, and had underhand signed the sentence of his banishment, what were it else but plain drollery, or mockery? This is the argument which in T. H. his opinion "looks another way." If it do, it is as the Parthians used to fight, flying". His reason follows next to be considered.
T. H.-For if there come into the husband's mind greater [That the last act of good by establishing than abrogating such a vow, the esta- the reason blishing will follow necessarily. And if the evil that will necessitates the will.] 658 follow thereon in the husband's opinion outweigh the good, the contrary must needs follow. And yet in this following P [Justin., in Trog. Pomp. Hist., lib. xli. c. 2.-&c.]
1. [The last act of
is itself an act of the
of one's hopes and fears consisteth the nature of election. So that a man may both choose this, and cannot but choose this. And consequently choosing and necessity are joined together.
J. D.—There is nothing said with more show of reason in this cause by the patrons of necessity and adversaries of true liberty than this, that the will doth perpetually and infallibly follow the last dictate of the understanding, or the last judgment of right reason. And in this, and this only, I confess T. H. hath good seconds. Yet the common and approved opinion is contrary. And justly. For,
First, this very act of the understanding is an effect of the the reason will, and a testimony of its power and liberty. It is the will, which, affecting some particular good, doth engage and command the understanding to consult and deliberate what means are convenient for attaining that end. And though the will itself be blind, yet its object is good in general, which is the end of all human actions. Therefore it belongs to the will, as to the general of an army, to move the other powers of the soul to their acts, and among the rest the understanding also, by applying it and reducing its power into act so as, whatsoever obligation the understanding doth put upon the will, is by the consent of the will, and derived from the power of the will; which was not necessitated to move the understanding to consult. So the will is the lady and mistress of human actions; the understanding is her trusty counsellor, which gives no advice but when it is required by the will. And if the first consultation or deliberation be not sufficient, the will may move a review, and require the understanding to inform itself better, and take advice of others, from whence many times the judgment of the understanding doth receive alteration.
2. [It determines the
Secondly, for the manner how the understanding doth determine the will, it is not naturally but morally. The will rally, not is moved by the understanding, not as by an efficient, having a causal influence into the effect, but only by proposing and representing the object. And therefore, as it were ridiculous
[E. g. Bellarmine, De Grat. et Lib. Arb., lib. iii. c. 8; Op. tom. iii. p. 667. C, &c.-"Voluntatis electio pendet ne
cessario ab ultimo judicio practicæ rationis."]