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terially virtuous, yet at the same Time they take away the Form of Virtue, because they destroy Liberty; as they, by their own Power, put the Will out of its Equilibrium, determine and turn the Scale, and take the Work of self-determining Power out of its Hands. And the clearer the Instructions are that are given, the more powerful the Arguments that are used, and the more moving the Persuasions or Examples, the more likely they are to frustrate their own Design; because they have so much the greater Tendency to put the Will out of its Balance, to hinder its Freedom of Self-determination, and so to exclude the very Form of Virtue, and the Effence of whatsoever is Praise-worthy,
So it clearly follows from these Principles, that God has no Hand in any Man's Virtue, nor does at all promote it, either by a physical or moral Influence ; that none of the moral Methods He uses with Men to promote Virtue in the World, have Tendency to the Attainment of that End; that all the Instructions which He has given to Men, from the Beginning of the World to this Day, by Prophets, or Apostles, or by his Son Jesus Christ ; that all his Counsels, Invitations, Promises, Threatenings, Warnings and Expostulations ; that all Means He has used with Men, in Ordinances, or Providences; yea, all Influen-. ces of his Spirit, ordinary and extraordinary, have had no Tendency at all to excite any one virtuous Act of the Mind, or to promote any Thing inorally good and commendable, in any Respect. For there is no way that these or any other Means can promote Virtue, but one of these three. Either (1.) By a physical Operation on the Heart. But all Effects that are wrought in Men in this Way, have no Virtue in thein, by
in Ordinhis Spirtendency ind, of endable,
the concurring Voice of all Arminians. Or (2.) Morally, by exhibiting Motives to the Understanding, to excite good Acts in the Will. But it has been demonstrated, that Volitions which are excited by Motives, are necessary, and not excited by a self-moving Power ; and therefore, by their Principles, there is no Virtue in them. Or (3.) By merely giving the Will an Opportunity to determine itself concerning the Objects proposed, either to chuse or reječt, by its own uncaused, unmoved, uninfluenced Self-determination. And if this be all, then all those Means do no more to promote Virtue than Vice : For they do Nothing but give the Will Opportunity to determine itself either Way, either to Good or Bad, without laying it under any Bias to either : And so there is really as much of an Opportunity given to determine in Favour of Evil, as of Good.
Thus that horrid blafphemous Consequence will certainly follow from the Arminian Doctrine, which they charge on others; namely, that God acts an inconsistent Part in using so many Counsels, Warnings, Invitations, Intreaties, &c. with Sinners, to induce 'em to forsake Sin, and turn to the Ways of Virtue ; and that all are insincere and fallacious. It will follow from their Doctrine, that God does these Things when He knows at the fame Time, that they have no Manner of Tendency to promote the Effect He seems to aim at; yea, knows that if they have any Influence, this very Influence will be inconsistent with such an Effect, and will prevent it. But what an Imputation of Insincerity would this fix on Him who is infinitely holy and true! - So that their's is the Doctrine which if pursued in its Confequences, does horribly reflect on the most High,
and fix on Him the Charge of Hypocrisy; and not the Doctrine of the Calvinit; according to their frequent, and vehement Exclamations and Invectives.
Corol. 2. From what has been observed in this Section, it again appears, that Arminian Principles and Notions, when fairly examined, and pursued in their demonstrable Consequences, do evidently Thut all Virtue out of the World, and make it impossible that there should ever be any such Thing, in any Case ; or that any such Thing should ever be conceiv'd of. For by these Principles, the very Notion of Virtue or Vice implies Absurdity and Contradiction. For it is absurd in itself, and contrary to common Sense, to suppose a virtuous act of Mind without any good Intention or Aim ; and by their Principles, it is absurd to suppose a virtuous Act with a good Intention or Aim; for to act for an End, is to act from a Motive. So that if we rely on these Principles, there can be no virtuous Act' with a good Design and End; and 'tis self-evident, there can be none without : consequently there can be no virtuous Act at all.
Corol. 3. 'Tis manifest, that Arminian Notions of moral Agency, and the Being of a Faculty of Will, cannot consist together; and that if there be any such Thing as, either a virtuous, or vicious Act, it can't be an Act of Will; no Will can be at all concerned in it. For that Act which is performed without Inclination, without Motive, without End, must be performed without any Concern of the Will. To suppose an Act of the Will without these, implies a Contradiction. If the Soul in its Act has no Motive or End; then in that Act (as was observed before) it seeks Nothing, goes after Nothing, exerts no Inclination to any Thing; and this implies, that in that Act it desires Nothing, and chuses Nothing ; so that there is no Act of Choice in the Case : And that is as much as to say, there is no Act of Will in the Case. Which very effectually shuts out all vicious and virtuous Acts out of the Universe ; in as much as, according to this, there can be no vicious or virtuous Act wherein the Will is concerned ; and according to the plainest Dictates of Reason, and the Light of Nature, and also the Principles of Arminians themselves, there can be no virtuous or vicious Act wherein the Will is not concerned. And therefore there is no Room for any virtuous or vicious Acts at all.
Corol. 4. If none of the moral Actions of intelligent Beings are influenced by either previous Inclination or Motive, another strange Thing will follow ; and this is, that God not only can't foreknow any of the future moral Actions of his Creatures, but He can make no Conjecture, can give no probable Guess concerning them. For, all Conjecture in Things of this Nature, must depend on some Discerning or Apprehension of these two Things, previous Disposition, and Motive ; which, as has been observed, Arminian Notions of moral Agency, in their real Consequence, altogether exclude.
Reasonings of Arminians, in Support and Defence of the foremention’d Notions of Liberty, moral Agency, &c. and against the oppofite Doctrine, are considered.
SECTION 1. The Essence of the Virtue and Vice of Disposi
tions of the Heart, and Ačts of the Will, lies not in their Cause, but their Nature.
NE main Foundation of the Reasons, which
are brought to establish the foremention'd Notions of Liberty, Virtue, Vice, &c. is a Supposition, that the Virtuousness of the Dispositions or Acts of the Will consists not in the Nature of these Dispositions or Acts, but wholly in the Origin or Cause of them : so that if the Difposition of the Mind or Act of the Will be ever