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And how is Indifference essential to this Act? The Answer must be, according to what is supposed in the Evasion under Consideration, That the Liberty of the Will in this Act of Suspension, consists in a Power to suspend even this Act, 'till there has been Opportunity for thorough Deliberation. But this will be to plunge directly into the groffest Nonsense: for 'tis the Act of Suspension itself that we are Speaking of; and there is no Room for a Space of Deliberation and Suspension, in order to determine whether we will suspend or no. For that supposes, that even Suspension itself may be defer'd : Which is absurd; for the very deferring the Determination of Suspension, to consider whether we will suspend or no, will be actually fulpending. For during the Space of Suspension, to consider whether to suspend, the Act is ipfo facto suspended. There is no Medium between suspending to act, and immediately acting; and therefore no Possibility of avoiding either the one or the other one Moment; and so no Room for prior Deliberation.
And besides, this is attended with ridiculous Absurdity another Way: For now it is come to that, that Liberty consists wholly in the Mind's having Power to suspend its Determination whether to suspend or no; that there may be Time for Consideration, whether it be best to suspend. And if Liberty consists in this only, then this is the Liberty under Consideration : We have to inquire now, how Liberty with Respect to this Act of suspending a Determination of Suspension, consists in Indifference, or how Indifference is essential to it? The Answer, according to the Hypothesis we are upon, must be, that it consists in a Power of suspending even this last mentioned Act, to have Time to consider whether to suspend that. And then the same Difficulties and Inquiries return over again with Respect to that; and fo on? for ever. Which, if it would shew any Thing, would shew only that there is no such Thing as a free Act. It drives the Exercise of Freedom back in infinitum ; and that is to drive it out of the World.
And besides all this, there is a Delusion, and a latent gross Contradiction in the Affair another Way; in as much as in explaining how, or in what Respect the Will is free with Regard to a particular Act of Volition, 'tis faid, that its Liberty consists in a Power to determine to suspend that Axt, which places Liberty not in that Axt of Volition which the Inquiry is about, but altogether in another antecedent Act : Which contradicts the Thing supposed in both the Question and Answer. The Question is, wherein consists the Mind's Liberty in any particular Axt of Volition ? And the Answer, in pretending to shew wherein lies the Mind's Liberty in that Azt, in Effect says, it don't lie in that Act at all, but in another, viz. a Volition to suspend that Axt. And therefore the Answer is both contradictory, and altogether impertinent and beside the Purpose. For it don't shew wherein the Liberty of the Will consists in the Act in Question; Instead of that, it supposes it don't consist in that Act at all, but in another distinct from it, even a Volition to suspend that Act, and rake. Time to consider of it. And no Account is pretended to be given wherein the Mind is free with Respect to that Act, wherein this Answer supposes the Liberty of the Mind indeed' confifts, viz. the Aft of Suspension, or of determining the Suspension.' iliye
On the whole, 'tis exceeding manifest, that the Liberty of the Mind does not consist in IndiffeH 3
rence, rence, and that Indifference is not essential or necessary to it, or at all belonging to it, as the Arminians suppose ; that Opinion being full of Nothing but Absurdity and Self-Contradiction.
Concerning the supposed Liberty of the Will, as
opposite to all Necessity.
T IS a Thing chiefly insisted on by Arminians, il in this controversy, as a Thing most important and essential in human Liberty, that Vositions, or the Acts of the Will, are contingent Events; understanding Contingence as opposice, not only to Constraint, but to all Necessity. Therefore I would particularly consider this Matter. And
1. I would inquire, whether there is, or can be any such Thing, as a Volition which is contingent in such a Sense, as not only to come to pass without any Necessity of Constraint or Co-action, but also without a' Necesity of Consequence, or an infallible Connection with any Thing foregoing. .
2. Whether, if it were so, this would at all help the Cause of Liberty.
I. I would consider whether Volition is a Thing that ever does, or can come to pass, in this Manner, contingently.
And here it must be remembered, that it has been already shewn, that Nothing can ever come to pass without a Cause, or Reason why it exists in this Manner rather than another; and the Evj. dence of this has been particularly applied to the
Acts Acts of the Will. Now if this be so, it will demonstrably follow, that the Acts of the Will-are never contingent, or without Necessity, in the Sense spoken of; in as much as those Things which have a Cause, or Reason of their Existence, must be connected with their Cause. This appears by the following Considerations.
1. For an Event to have a Cause and Ground of its Existence, and yet not be connected with its Cause, is an Inconsistence. For if the Event be not connected with the Cause, it is not dependent on the Cause ; its Existence is as it were loose from its Influence, and may attend it, or may not; it being a mere Contingence, whether it follows or attends the Influence of the Cause, or not : And that is the same Thing as not to be dependent on it. And to say, the Event is not dependent on its Cause, is absurd : 'Tis the same Thing as to say, it is not its Cause, nor the Event the Effect of it: For Dependence on the Influ. ence of a Cause, is the very Notion of an Effect. If there be no such Relation between one Thing and another, consisting in the Connection and Dependence of one Thing on the Influence of another, then it is certain there is no such Relation between them as is signified by the Terms Cause and Effect. So far as an Event is dependent on a Cause, and connected with it, so much Causality is there in the Cafe, and no more.' The Cause does, or brings to pass no more in any Event, than is dependent on it. If we say, the Connecțion and Dependence is not total, but partial, and that the Effect, tho' it has some Connection and Dependence, yet is not entirely dependent on it ; That is the same Thing as to say, that not all that is in the Event is an Effect of that Caufe, but that H 4
only Part of it arises from thence, and Part some other Way. ; .
2. If there are some Events which are not necessarily connected with their Causes, then it will follow, that there are some Things which come to pass without any Cause, contrary to the Supposition. For if there be any Event which was not necessarily connected with the Influence of the Cause under such Circumstances, then it was contingent whether it would attend or follow the InAuence of the Cause, or no ; It might have followed, and it might not, when the Cause was the same, its Influence the same, and under the same Circumstances. And if so, why did it follow, rather than not follow ? There is no Cause or Reason of this. Therefore here is something without any Cause or Reason why it is, viz. the following of the Effect on the Influence of the Cause, with which it was not necessarily connected. If there be not a necessary Connection of the Effect on any Thing antecedent, then we may suppose that sometimes the Event will follow the Cause, and sometimes not, when the Cause is the same, and in every Respect in the same State and Circumstances. And what can be the Cause and Reason of this strange Phenomenon, even this Diversity, that in one Instance, the Effect should follow, in another not ? 'Tis evident by the Supposition, that this is wholly without any Cause or Ground. Here is something in the present Manner of the Existence of Things, and State of the World, that is absolutely without a Cause. Which is contrary to the Supposition, and contrary to what has been before demonstrated. .
3. 'To suppose there are some Events which have a Cause and Ground of their Existence, that