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them in a clear Light, when their Eyes are open'd : so they assent to the Truth of certain Propolitions, as soon as the Terms are understood; as that two and two make four, that black is not white, that two parallel Lines can never cross one another : so by a natural Neceffity Men's Bodies move downwards, when there is nothing to support them.
But here several Things may be noted concern. ing these two kinds of Necessity.
1. Moral Neceflity may be as absolute, as natural Necessity. That is, the Effect may be as perfectly connected with its moral Cause, as a natural necessary Effect is with its natural Cause. Whether the Will in every Case is necessarily determined by the strongest Motive, or whether the Will ever makes any Resistance to such à Motive, or can ever oppose the strongest present Inclination, or not; if that Matter should be controverted, yet I fuppose none will deny, but that, in some Cafes, a previous Bias and Inclination, or the Motive prefented, may be so powerful, that the Act of the Will may be certainly and indissolubly connected therewith. When Motives or previous Bias are very strong, all will allow that there is some Dificulty in going against them. And if they were yet stronger, the Difficulty would be still greater. And therefore; if more were still added to their Strength, to a certain Degree, it would make the Difficulty so great, that it would be wholly impos sible to surmount it; for this plain Reason, because whatever Power Men may be supposed to have to surmount Difficulties, yet that Power is not infinite, and so goes not beyond certain Limits. If a Man can surmount ten Degrees of Difficulty of this Kind, with twenty Degrees of Strength, because the Degrees of Strength are beyond the Degrees of Difficulty; yet if the Difficulty be in. creased to thirty, or an hundred, or a thousand
Degrees, and his Strength not also increased, his Strength will be wholly insufficient to surmount the Difficulty. As therefore it must be allowed, that there may be such a Thing as a sure and perfeet Connection between moral Causes and Effects so this only is what I call by the Name of moral Necesity.
2. When I use this Distinction of moral and nice tural Necefity, I would not be understood to suppose, that if any Thing comes to pass by the fore mer Kind of Necessity, the Nature of Things is not concerned in it, as well as in the latter. I don't mean to determine, that when a moral Habit or Motive is so strong, that the Act of the Will infallibly follows, this is not owing to the Nature of Things. But these are the Names that these two Kinds of Necessity have usually been called by: and they must be distinguished by some Names or other; for there is a Distinction or Difference between them, that is very important in its Consequences. Which Difference does not lie so much in the Nature of the Connection, as in the two Terms connected. The Cause with which the Effect is connected, is of a particular Kind; viz. that which is of a moral Nature ; either fome previous habitual Disposition, or some Motive exhibited to the Understanding : And the Effect is also of a particular Kind; being likewise of a moral Nature ; consisting in some Inclination or Volition of the Soul or voluntary Action.
I suppose, that Necessity which is called natural, in Distinction from moral Neceflity, is so called; because mere Nature, as the Word is vulgarly used, is concerned, without any Thing of Choice. The Word Nature is often used in Opposition to Choice not because Nature has indeed never any Hand in
our our Choice ; But this probably comes to pass by Means that we first get our Notion of Nature from that discernable and obvious Course of Events, which we observe in many Things that our Choice has no Concern in; and especially in the material World; which, in very many parts of it, we easily perceive to be in a settled Course; the stated Order and Manner of Succession being very apparent. But where we don't readily discern the Rule and Connection, (tho' there be a Connection, according to an establish'd Law, truly taking Place) we signify the Manner of Event by some other Name. Even in many Things which are seen in the material and inanimate World, which don't discernably and obviously come to pass according to any settled Course, Men don't call the Manner of the Event by the Name of Nature, but by such Names as Accident, Chance, Contingence, &c. So Men make a Distinction between Nature and Choice ; as tho' they were completely and universally distinct. Whereas, I suppose none will deny but that Choice, in many Cafes, arises from Nature, as truly as other Events. But the Dependance and Connection between Acts of Volition or Choice, and their Causes, according to established Laws, is not so sensible and obvious. And we observe that Choice is as it were a new Principle of Motion and Action, different from that establish'd Law and Order of Things which is most obvious, that is seen especially in corporeal and sensible Things; And also that Choice often interposes, interrupts and alters the Chain of Events in these external Objects, and causes them to proceed otherwise than they would do, if let alone, and left to go on according to the Laws of Motion among themselves. Hence it is spoken of as if it were a Principle of Motion entirely distinct from Nature, and properly set in Opposition to it : Names being commonly given to
Things, according to what is most obvious, and is Suggested by what appears to the Senses without Reflection and Research.
· 3. It must be observed, that in what has been explain'd, as signified by the Name of moral Necelsity, the Word Necessity is not used according to the original Design and Meaning of the Word : For, as was observed before, such Terms necessary, imposible, irresistible, &c. in common Speech, and their most proper Sense, are always relative; having Reference to some supposable voluntary Opposition or Endeavour, that is insufficient. But no such Opposition, or contrary Will and Endeavour, is supposable in the Case of moral Necessity; which is a Certainty of the Inclination and Will it self; which does not admit of the Supposition of a Will to oppose and resist it. For 'tis absurd, to fuppose the same individual Will to oppose itself, in its present Act, or the present Choice to be opposite to, and resisting present Choice: as absurd as it is to talk of two contrary Motions, in the same moving Body, at the same Time. And therefore the very Case supposed never adrnits of any Trial, whether an opposing or resisting Will can overcome this Necessity.
What has been said of natural and moral Ne. ceffity, may serve to explain what is intended by natural and moral Inability. We are said to be na: turally unable to do a Thing, when we can't do it if we will, because what is most commonly called Nature don't allow of it, or because of some im. peding Defect or Obstacle that is extrinsic to the Will; either in the Faculty of Understanding, Constitution of Body, or external Objects. Moral Inability consists not in any of these Things; but either in the Want of Inclination; or the Strength
of of a contrary Inclination; or the Want of suffiçient Motives in View, to induce and excite the Act of the Will, or the Strength of apparent Motives to the contrary. Or both these may be refolved into one; and it may be faid in one Word, that moral Inability consists in the Opposition or Want of Inclination. For when a person is unable to will or chuse such a Thing, through a Defect of Motives, or Prevalence of contrary Motives, 'tis the same Thing as his being unable through the Want of an Inclination, or the Prevalence of a contrary Inclination, in such Circumstances, and under the Influence of such Views.
To give some Instances of this moral Inability, A Woman of great Honour and Chastity may have a moral Inability to prostitute herself to her Şlave. A child of great Love and Duty to his Parents, may be unable to be willing to kill his Father. A very lascivious Man, in Case of certain Opportunities and Temptations, and in the Abfence of such and such Řestraints, may be unable to forbear gratifying his Luft. A Drunkard, under such and such Circumstances, may be unable to forbear taking of strong Drink. A very malicious Man may be unable to exert benevolent Acts to an Enemy, or to desire his Prosperity : Yea, fome may be so under the Power of a vile Disposition, that they may be unable to love those who are most worthy of their Efteem and Affection. A strong Habit of Virtue, and great Degree of Holiness may cause a moral Inability to love Wickedness in general, may render a Man unable to take Complacence in wicked Persons or Things ; or to chure a wicked Life, and prefer it to a virtuous Life. And on the other Hand, a great Degree of habitual Wickedness may lay a Man under an Inability to love and chuse Holiness; and render him utterly