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CHA P. V.

Of the Freedom of the Will of Man.

Have confider'd the nature of the power and liberty of man's will in the First Part of this work, where I have fhewn, that the liberty of it does not confift in an indifference or indetermination to either good or evil; that the will of man is free from co-action or force, but not from an obligation to the will of God, the powerful influence of whofe grace it ftands in need of, to move and act in any thing that is fpiritually good, without any infringement of the natural liberty of it; for the oppofition we make, is not to the natural, but moral liberty of the will, which is loft by the fall. And tho' we cannot allow that man has either will or power to act in things fpiritually good, as converfion, faith, repentance, and the like; yet we readily grant, that he has a power and liberty of performing the natural and civil actions of life, and the ex

! N°. V. p. 33, &c.

ternal

ternal parts of religion: hence all the inftances produced by Dr. Whitby, to prove the liberty of the will, as oppofite not only to co-action, but neceffity, are to no purpofe, fince they relate to fuch cafes as are allow'd to be within the compass of the natural power and will of man"; fuch as chufing and retaining virginity, a power of eating and drinking, giving of alms, and the external miniftration of the gospel. I have likewife confider'd, in the fame performance, the feveral paffages of scripture which are thought to contain arguments in favour of man's free will and power in converfion", taken from the calls, invitations, commands and exhortations of God to it, as is fuppofed. In the Second Part of this work, I have endeavoured to vindicate fuch paffages of fcripture objected to, which represent the depravity, and corruption of human nature, and the difability of man to that which is fpiritually good; what remains now, is to confider the arguments taken from reafon, to prove the liberty of the will from neceffity, that it cannot confist with a determination to one, viz. either good or evil; and that it does not lie under a difability of chufing and doing that which is fpiritually good. And,

" Whitby, p. 338, 339. Ed. 2. 329, 330.
See Whitby, p. 344, 345. Ed. 2. 335, 336.

I. It is faid, "That the freedom of the will, in this ftate of trial and temptation, cannot confift with a determination to one, viz. on the one hand, in a determination to good only, by the efficacy of divine grace; feeing this puts man out of a state of trial, and makes him equal to the ftate of Angels; nor with the contrary determination. to evil only, for then man, in this state of trial, must be reduced to the condition of the devil and of damned fpirits." And it is more than once urged, "That the doctrine which teacheth that man is fo utterly difabled by the fall of Adam, that, without the efficacious grace, which God vouchsafes only to fome few, who are the objects of his election to falvation, he hath no power to do what is fpiritually good, or to avoid what is fpiritually evil, muft be destructive of the liberty belonging to man, in a state of trial, probation, and proficiency." This feems to be the principal argument, and on which the greateft ftrefs is laid, fince it is fo often repeated and refer'd to. In my First Part", I have confider'd this cafe, whether man is now in fuch a state of trial and probation as is contended for; where I have fhewn, by feveral arguments, that man is not in fuch a

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ftate, and have given an answer to those which are brought in favour of it; and therefore am not concern'd to reconcile the doctrine of man's difability to do that which is fpiritually good, to the liberty of man in fuch a state; or what becomes of this imaginary ftate, and the liberty of man in it. But tho' man is not in such a state, and his will is biafs'd and determin'd, either by the efficacy of divine grace, to that which is good, or thro' the corruption of nature, to that which is evil; yet he is not, by the one, made equal to the state of Angels; nor by the other, reduced to the condition of the devil, and of damned fpirits: for tho' regenerated perfons, when, and while they are under the divine impulfe, or powerful operation of grace, are biafs'd and determin'd to that which is fpiritually good, as the Angels are, without any violation of the natural liberty of their wills; yet they are not in an equal state with them, for they are ftill liable to fin, and their obedience is imperfect; neither of which can be faid of Angels. Befides, at the fame time, there is a principle of corruption in them, fin, that dwells in them, the old man, which is as inuch biafs'd and determin'd to that which is evil, as the new creature, or the new man, is biafs'd and determin'd to that which is good. And as for unregenerate men, whose hearts are fully fet in them to do evil, tho'

their hearts and inclinations may be as bad as the devils and damned fpirits, yet they are not reduced to the fame condition with them; for, befides their not being in a state of punishment, and being in the enjoyment of many mercies, and in a capacity of attending to the external ordinances and duties of religion, there is a poffibility of their having the grace of God implanted in them.

II. Another argument against the disability of man, is thus formed: "That which difables any man from chufing what is fpiritually good, or refuting what is thus evil, and therefore must be deftructive to his foul and spirit, must alfo take away his liberty to chufe what is fpiritually good, and to refuse what is fpiritually evil." I reply, 'tis certain, that what difables man from chufing what is fpiritually good, or refufing what is thus evil, muft take away his liberty to chufe and refufe them. Nor do we fay that man, thus difabled, has still a freedom in reference to thefe actions, nor a power of doing otherwife; we deny both: these are the things in controverfy between us. We allow, that man has a faculty and power of willing and doing things natural, but not a power and faculty of willing and doing things

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