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than the "fire” hath power not to“ burn.” Though I honour Discourse T. H. for his person and for his learning, yet I must confess
[Horrid ingenuously, I hate this doctrine from my heart. And I believe both I have reason so to do, and all others who shall quences of seriously ponder the horrid consequences which flow from it. trine of
necessity. ] It destroys liberty, and dishonours the nature of man. It makes the second causes and outward objects to be the rackets, and men to be but the tennis-balls, of destiny. It makes the First Cause, that is, God Almighty, to be the introducer of all evil and sin into the world, as much as man; yea, more than man, by as much as the motion of the watch is more from the artificer, who did make it and wind it up, than either from the spring, or the wheels, or the thread. If God by His special influence into the second causes did necessitate them to operate as they did ; and if they, being thus determined, did necessitate Adam inevitably, irresistibly, not by an accidental but by an essential subordination of causes, to whatsoever he did; then one of these two absurdities must needs follow ;either that Adam did not sin,
and that there is no such thing as sin in the world, because 668 it proceeds naturally, necessarily, and essentially from God;
or that God is more guilty of it, and more the cause of evil, than man, because man is extrinsecally, inevitably determined, but so is not God; and in causes essentially subordinate, the cause of the cause is always the cause of the effect. What tyrant did ever impose laws that were impossible for those to keep upon whom they were imposed, and punish them for breaking those laws which he himself had necessitated them to break, which it was no more in their to break, than it is in the power of the "fire" not to "burn ?” Excuse me if I“hate” this doctrine“ with a perfect hatred ;” (Ps.cxxxix. which is so dishonourable both to God and man,
which makes men to blaspheme of necessity, to steal of necessity, to be hanged of necessity, and to be damned of necessity. And therefore I must say, and say again,
“Quicquid ostendes mihi sic incredulus odi.” It were better to be an atheist, to believe no God; or to be a Manichee, to believe two Gods, a God of good, and a God of evil; or with the heathens, to believe thirty thousand Gods; than thus to charge the true God to be the proper
cause and the true author of all the sins and evils which are in the world.
NUMBER XII. Argument J. D.-Fifthly, if there be no liberty, there shall be no Day 5.—(That the theory of Doom, no Last Judgment, no rewards nor punishments after of necessity death. A man can never make himself a criminal, if he be leaves no room for not left at liberty to commit a crime. No man can be justly reward or punish- punished for doing that, which was not in his power to shun. ment.]
To take away liberty, hazards Heaven; but undoubtedly it leaves no Hell.
[Answer.) T. H.-The arguments of greatest consequence are
third and fifth, and fall both into one: namely, if there be a necessity of all events, that it will follow, that praise and reprehension, reward and punishment, are all vain and unjust; and that if God should openly forbid, and secretly necessitate, the same action, punishing men for what they could not avoid, there would be no belief among them of
Heaven or Hell. [ St. Paul's To oppose hereunto, I must borrow an answer from argument in the Epistle
St. Paul, Rom. ix. vers. 11. From the eleventh verse of the to the Ro- chapter to the eighteenth is laid down the very same objecmans.]
tion in these words.—“When they” (meaning Esau and Jacob) “were yet unborn, and had done neither good nor evil, that the purpose of God according to election, not by works but by Him that calleth, might remain firm, it was said to her” (viz. to Rebekah)," that the elder shall serve the younger"... And what then shall we say? Is there injustice with God? God forbid. . . It is not therefore in him that willeth, nor in him that runneth, but in God, that sheweth mercy. For the Scripture saith to Pharaoh, I have stirred thee up, that I may shew My power in thee, and that My name may be set forth in all the earth. Therefore, whom God willeth, He hath mercy on, and whom He willeth He hardeneth.” Thus you see, the case put by St. Paul is the
same with that of J. D.; and the same objection in these [Rom. xi. words following,—“Thou wilt ask me then, why will God yet 19.)
[Hobbes has omitted here v. 13.- and Esau have I hated."'] " As it is written, Jacob have I loved
complain, for who hath resisted His will ?” To this there- Discourse fore the Apostle answers, not by denying it was God's will, or that the decree of God concerning Esau was not before he had sinned, or that Esau was not necessitated to do what he did, but thus,—“Who art thou, O man, that interrogatest (Rom. xi.
20,21.] God ? shall the work say to the workman, why hast thou made me thus ? hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same stuff, to make one vessel to honour, another to dishonour ?” According therefore to this answer of St. Paul, I ( The power answer J. D.'s objection, and say, the power of God alone, alone is without other help, is sufficient justification of any action He sufficient to doth. That which men make among themselves here by action He
doth.] pacts and covenants, and call by the name of justice, and according whereunto men are counted and termed rightly just and unjust, is not that by which God Almighty's actions are to be measured or called just; no more than His counsels are to be measured by human wisdom. That which He does is made just by His doing ; just, I say, in Him, not always just in us, by the example; for a man that shall command a thing openly, and plot secretly the hindrance of the same, if he punish him he so commanded for not doing it, is unjust. So also His counsels. They be therefore not in vain, because they be His; whether we see the use of them or not. When. God afflicted Job, He did object no sin to him, but justified that afflicting him by telling him of His power. “ Hast (Job a. 9;
xxxviii. 4, thou” (says God) "an arm like Mine ?"_“Where wast thou &c.) when I laid the foundations of the earth?”—and the like. So (John ix.3.] our Saviour, concerning the man that was born blind, said, 'it was not for his sin, nor his parents' sin, but that the power of God might be shewn in him.' Beasts are subject to death and torment, yet they cannot sin. It was God's will it
should be so. Power irresistible justifieth all actions really 669 and properly, in whomsoever it be found. Less power does
not. And because such power is in God only, He must needs be just in all His actions. And we, that not comprehending His counsels call Him to the bar, commit injustice in it.
I am not ignorant of the usual reply to this answer, by dis- [ There is tinguishing between will and permission : as, that God encebe Almighty does indeed permit sin sometimes, and that He tween a will also foreknoweth that the sin He permitteth shall be com- will per
PART mitted, but does not will it, nor necessitate it. I know also III.
they distinguish the action from the sin of the action, saying, a will causing the act God Almighty does indeed cause the action, whatsoever causing the action it be, but not the sinfulness or irregularity of it, that sin.) is, the discordance between the action and the law.
Such distinctions as these dazzle my understanding. I find no difference between the will to have a thing done, and the permission to do it, when He that permitteth it can hinder it, and knows it will be done unless He hinder it. Nor find I any difference between an action that is against the law,
and the sin of that action; as, for example, between the [2 Sam. xi.] killing of Uriah, and the sin of David in killing Uriah : nor
when one is cause both of the action and of the law, how another can be cause of the disagreement between them ; no more than how one man making a longer and shorter gar. ment, another can make the inequality that is between them. This I know, God cannot sin, because His doing a thing makes it just, and consequently no sin ; and because whatsoever can sin, is subject to another's law, which God is not. And therefore 'tis blasphemy to say, God can sin. But to say, that God can so order the world as a sin
be necessarily caused thereby in a man, I do not see how it is any dishonour to Him. Howsoever, if such or other distinctions can make it clear, that St. Paul did not think Esau's or Pharaoh's actions proceeded from the will and purpose of God, or that, proceeding from His will, [they] could not therefore without injustice be blamed or punished, I will, as soon as I understand them, turn unto J. D.'s opinion. For I now hold nothing in all this question between us, but what seemeth to me (not obscurely but) most expressly said in this place by St. Paul. And thus much in answer to his places of Scripture.
J. D.-T. H. thinks to kill two birds with one stone, and satisfy two arguments with one answer ; whereas in truth he satisfieth neither. First, for my third reason. Though all he say here, were as true as an oracle ; though punishment were an act of dominion, not of justice, in God; yet this is no sufficient cause why God should deny His own act; or why He should chide or expostulate with men, why they did that which He Himself did necessitate them to do, and whereof He
sage in St.
was the actor more than they, they being but as the stone, but Discourse He the hand that threw it. Notwithstanding anything which is pleaded here, this Stoical opinion doth stick hypocrisy and dissimulation close to God, Who is the Truth itself.
And to my fifth argument, which he changeth and relateth [The pas. amiss, as by comparing mine with his may appear, his Paul exchiefest answer is to oppose a difficult place of St. Paul, Rom. Pairedenas
. ix. 11. Hath he never heard, that to propose a doubt is not
ral scope.] to answer an argument ?
* Nec benè respondet qui litem lite resolvito.' But I will not pay him in his own coin. Wherefore to this place alleged by him I answer, the case is not the same. The question moved there is, how God did keep His promise made to Abraham, to be “the God of him and of his seed,” (Gen. xvii. if the Jews, who were the legitimate progeny of Abraham, were deserted. To which the Apostle answers, that that verses 6, 7, promise was not made to the carnal seed of Abraham, that is, the Jews, but to his spiritual sons, which were the heirs of his faith, that is, to the believing Christians; which answer he explicateth, first by the allegory of Isaac and Ishmael, and after, in the place cited, of Esau and of Jacob. Yet neither doth he speak there so much of their persons as of their posterities. And though some words may
be accommodated to God's predestination, which are there uttered, yet it is not the scope of that text to treat of the reprobation of any man to Hell-fire. All the posterity of Esau were not eternally reprobated; as holy Job, and many others. But this question which is now agitated between us, is quite of another nature; -how a man can be a criminal, who doth nothing but that which he is extrinsecally necessitated to do; or how God in justice can punish a man with eternal torments, for doing that, which it was never in his power to leave undone ; that He who did impress the motion in the heart of man, should punish man, who did only receive the impression from Him. So his answer “looks another wayp." But because he grounds so much upon this text, that if it (In its par
ticular pas670 can be cleared he is ready to change his opinion, I will examine sages.)
] all those passages which may seem to favour his cause.
o("Nil agit exemplum litem quod p (See above, T. H. Numb. v. p. 37.) lite resolvit.” Horat., Sat., II. ii. 103.]