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have frequent Occafion to fpeak of (whatever it be, that gives the Occafion) this wants a Name and 'tis always a Defect in Language, in fuch Cafes, to be obliged to make use of a Description, inftead of a Name. Thus we have often Occafion to fpeak of those who are the Defcendants of the ancient Inhabitants of France, who were Subjects or Heads of the Government of that Land, and fpake the Language peculiar to it; in Distinction from the Defcendants of the Inhabitants of Spain, who belonged to that Community, and fpake the Language of that Country. And therefore we find the great Need of distinct Names to fignify these different Sorts of People, and the great Convenience of those distinguishing Words, French, and Spaniards; by which the Signification of our Minds is quick and cafy, and our Speech is delivered from the Burden of a continual Reiteration of diffuse Descriptions, with which it muft otherwife be embarrass'd.

That the Difference of the Opinions of thofe, who in their general Scheme of Divinity agree with thefe two noted Men, Calvin, and Arminius, is a Thing there is often Occafion to speak of, is what the Practice of the latter itself confeffes; who are often, in their Discourses and Writings, taking Notice of the fuppofed abfurd and pernicious Opinions of the former Sort. And therefore the making Ufe of different Names in this Cafe can't reasonably be objected against, or condemned, as a Thing which must come from


fo bad a Caufe as they affign. It is easy to be accounted for, without fuppofing it to arise from any other Source, than the Exigence and natural Tendency of the State of Things; confidering the Faculty and Difpofition God has given Mankind, to exprefs Things which they have frequent Occafion to mention by certain diftinguishing Names. It is an Effect that is fimilar to what we fee arife, in innumerable Cafes which are parallel, where the Caufe is not at all blame-worthy.

Nevertheless, at first I had Thoughts of carefully avoiding the Ufe of the Appellation, Arminian, in this Treatife. But I foon found I fhould be put to great Difficulty by it; and that my Difcourfe would be fo incumber'd with an often repeated Circumlocution, inftead of a Name, which would exprefs the Thing intended, as well and better, that I altered my Purpose. And therefore I must afk the Excufe of fuch as are apt to be offended with Things of this Nature, that I have fo freely used the Term Arminian, in the following Difcourfe. I profefs it to be without any Design to ftigmatize Perfons of any Sort with a Name of Reproach, or at all to make them appear more odious. If when I had Occafion to speak of thofe Divines who are commonly called by this Name, I had, instead of ftyling them Arminian, called them thefe Men, as Dr. Whitby does Calvinistic Divines; it probably would not have been taken any better, or thought to fhew a better Temper, or more good Manners. I have done as I would be A 4


done by, in this Matter. However the Term Calvinist is in these Days, among moft, a Term of greater Reproach than the Term Arminian; yet I fhould not take it at all amifs, to be called a Calvinist, for Diftinction's Sake: tho' I utterly disclaim a Dependance on Calvin, or believing the Doctrines which I hold, because he believed and taught them; and cannot justly be charged with believing in every Thing just as he taught.

But left I fhould really be an Occafion of Injury to fome Perfons, I would here give Notice, that though I generally speak of that Doctrine, concerning Free-will and moral Agency, which I oppofe, as an Arminian Doctrine; yet I would not be understood, as afferting that every Divine or Author whom I have Occafion to mention as maintaining that Doctrine, was properly an Arminian, or one of that Sort which is commonly called by that Name. Some of them went far beyond the Arminians: And I would by no Means charge Arminians in general with all the corrupt Doctrine, which thefe maintain'd. Thus, for Instance, it would be very injurious, if I should rank Arminian Divines in general, with fuch Authors as Mr. Chubb. I doubt not, many of them have fome of his Doctrines in Abhorrence; tho' he agrees, for the most Part, with Arminians, in his Notion of the Freedom of the Will. And on the other Hand, tho' I fuppofe this Notion to be a leading Article in the Arminian Scheme, that which, if purfued in its Confequences, will truly in


fer, or naturally lead to all the reft; yet I don't charge all that have held this Doctrine, with being Arminians. For whatever may be the Confequences of the Doctrine really, yet fome that hold this Doctrine, may not own nor see these Confequences; and it would be unjust, in many Inftances, to charge every Author with believing and maintaining all the real Confequences of his avowed Doctrines. And I defire it may be particularly noted, that though I have Occafion in the following Discourse, often to mention the Author of the Book entitled, An Essay on the Freedom of the Will, in God and the Creature, as holding that Notion of Freedom of Will, which I oppofe; yet I don't mean to call him an Arminian: however in that Doctrine he agrees with Arminians, and departs from the current and general Opinion of Calvinists. If the Author of that Effay be the fame as it is commonly afcribed to, he doubtlefs was not one that ought to bear that Name. But however good a Divine he was in many Refpects, yet that particular Arminian Doctrine which he maintain'd, is never the better for being held by fuch an One, nor is there lefs Need of oppofing it on that Account; but rather is there. the more Need of it; as it will be likely to have the more pernicious Influence, for being taught by a Divine of his Name and Character; fuppofing the Doctrine to be wrong, and in itself to be of an ill Tendency.

I have Nothing further to fay by Way of Preface ; but only to befpeak the Reader's Candour, and calm Attention to what I have written. The Subject is of fuch Importance, as to demand Attention, and the most thorough Confideration. Of all Kinds of Knowledge that we can ever obtain, the Knowledge of God, and the Knowledge of ourselves, are the most important. As Religion is the great Bufinefs, for which we are created, and on which our Happiness depends; and as Religion confifts in an Intercourfe between ourfelves and our Maker; and fo has its Foun→ dation in God's Nature and our's, and in the Relation that God and we ftand in to each other ; therefore a true Knowledge of both must be needful in Order to true Religion. But the Knowledge of ourselves confifts chiefly in right Apprehenfions concerning those two chief Faculties of our Nature, the Underflanding and Will. Both are very important: yet the Science of the latter must be confefs'd to be of greatest Moment; in as much as all Virtue and Religion have their Seat more immediately in the Will, confifting more efpecially in right Acts and Habits of this Faculty. And the grand Question about the Freedom of the Will, is the main Point that belongs to the Science of the Will. Therefore I fay, the Importance of this Subject greatly demands the Attention of Chriftians, and efpecially of Divines. But as to my Manner of handling the Subject, I will be far from prefuming to fay, that it is fuch as demands the


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