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stood, nor carefully reflected upon.--Let the Objector reflect again, if he has Candor and Patience enough, and don't fcorn to be at the Trouble of close Attention in the Affair. ---He would have a Man's Volition be from himself. Let it be from himself, most primarily and originally of any Way conceivable; that is, from his own Choice: How will that help the Matter, as to his being justly blamed or praised, unless that Choice itself be blame or praise-worthy ? And how is the Choice itself (an ill Choice, for Instance) blame-worthy, according to these Principles, unless that be from himself too, in the fame Manner; that is, from his own Choice? But the original and first-determining Choice in the Affair is not from his Choice: His Choice is not the Cause of it.--And if it be from himself some other Way, and not from his Choice, surely that will not help the Matter : If it ben't from himself of Choice, then it is not from himself voluntarily; and if so, he is surely no more to blame, than if it were not from himfelf at all. It is a Vanity, to pretend it is a sufficient Answer to this, to say, that it is nothing but metaphysical Refinement and Subtilty, and lo attended with Obscurity and Uncertainty,
If it be the natural Sense of our Minds, that what is blame-worthy in a Man must be from himself, then it doubtless is also, that it must be from something bad in himself, a bad Choice, or
bad bad Disposition. But then our natural Sense is, that this bad Choice or Disposition is evil in itself, and thé Man blame-worthy for it, on its own Account, without taking into our Notion of its Blameworthiness, another bad Choice, or Disposition going before this, from whence this arises : for that is a ridiculous Absurdity, running us into an immediate Contradiction, which our natural Sense of Blame-worthiness has nothing to do with, and never comes into the Mind, nor is supposed in the Judgment we naturally make of the Affair. As was demonstrated before, natural Sense, don't place the moral Evil of Volitions and Dispositions in the Cause of them, but the Nature of themi. An Evil Thing's being FROM a Man, or from fomething antecedent in him, is not essential to the original Notion we have of Blame-worthiness : But 'tis its being the Choice of the Heart ; as appears by this, that if a Thing be from us, and not from our Choice, it has not the Nature of Blame-worthiness or Ill-desert, according to our natural Şenfe. When a Thing is from a Man, in that Sense, that it is from his Will, or Choice, he is to blame for it, because his Will is IN IT: So far as the Will is in it, Blame is in it, and no further. Neither do we go any further in our Notion of Blame, to inquire whether the bad Will be FROM a bad Will: There is no Consideration of the Original of that bad Will; because according to our natural Apprehension, Blame originally consists in it. Therefore a Thing's being from a Man, is a secondary Consideration, in the Notion of Blame or Ill-desert. Because those Things in our external - Actions, are most properly said to be from us, which are from our Choice and no other external Actions but those that are from us in this Sense, have the Nature of Blame;
but by the Effect) and this, for ought I know, may make some imagine, that Volition has no Cause, or that it produces ita felf. But I have no more Reason from hence to determine any such Thing, than I have to determine that I gave myself my own Being, or that I came into Being accidentally without a Cause, because I first found myself poffcfíed of Being, before I had Knowledge of a Cause of my Being.
and they indeed, not so properly because they are from us, as because we are in them, i. e. our Wille are in them; not so much because they are from some Property of ours, as because 'they are our Properties. ,
However, all these external Actions being truly from us, as their Cause, and we being so used, in ordinary Speech, and in the common Affairs of Life, to speak of Men's Actions and Conduct that we fee, and that affect human Society, as deserving Ill or Well, as worthy of Blame or Praise; hence it is come to pass, that Philosophers have incautiously taken all their Measures of Good and Evil, Praise and Blame, from the Dictates of common Sense, about these overt Axts of Men ; to the running of every Thing into the most lamentable and dreadful Confusion. And therefore I observe,
III. 'Tis so far from being true (whatever may be pretended) that the Proof of the Doctrine which has been maintain'd, depends on certain abstruse, unintelligible, metaphysical Terms and Notions; and that the Arminian Scheme, without needing fuch Clouds and Darkness for its Defence, is supported by the plain Dictates of common Sense ; that the very Reverse is most certainly true, and that co a great Degree. 'Tis Fact, that they, and not we, have confounded Things with metaphysical, unincelligible Notions and Phrases, and have drawn them from the Light of plain Truth, into the gross Darkness of abstruse metaphysical Propositions, and Words without a Meaning. Their prétended Demonstrations depend very much on such unintelligible, metaphysical Phrases, as Self-determination, and Sovereignty of the Will; and the metaphysical Sense they put on such Terms, as Neceflity, Contingency,
Action, Agency, &c. quite diverse from their Meaning as used in common Speech; and which, as they use them, are without any consistent Meaning, or any Manner of distinct consistent Ideas; as far from it as any of the abstruse Terms and perplexed Phrases of the Peripatetic Philosophers, or the most unintelligible Jargon of the Schools, or the Cant of the wildest Fanaticks. Yea, we may be bold to say, these metaphysical Terms, on which they build so much, are what they use without knowing what they mean themfelves; they are pure metaphysical Sounds, without any Ideas whatsoever in their Minds to answer them; in-as-much as it has been demonftrated, that there cannot be any Notion in the Mind consistent with these Expressions, as they pretend to explain them; because their Explanations destroy themselves. No such Notions as imply Selfcontradiction, and Self-abolition, and this a great many Ways, can subsist in the Mind; as there can be no Idea of a Whole which is less than any of its Parts, or of folid Extension without Dimensions, or of an Effect which is before its Cause.--Arminians improve these Terms, as Terms of Art, and in their metaphysical Meaning, to advance and establish those Things which are contrary to common Sense, in a high Degree. Thus, instead of the plain vulgar Notion of Liberty, which all Mankind, in every part of the Face of the Earth, and in all Ages, have; confisting in Opportunity to do as one pleases; they have introduced a new strange Liberty, confisting in Indifference, Contingence, and Self-determination; by which they involve themselves and others in great Obscurity, and manifold gross Inconsistence. So, instead of placing Virtue and Vice, as common Sense places them very much, in fix'd Bias and Inclination, and greater Virtue and Vice in stronger and more establish'd Inclination; these, through their Refinings and abstruse Notions, suppose a Liberty consisting in Indifference, to be effential to all Virtue and Vice. So they have reasoned themselves, not by metaphysical Distinctions, but metaphysical Confusion, into many Principles about moral Agency, Blanie, Praise, Reward and Punishment, which are, as has been shewn, exceeding contrary to the common Sense of Mankind; and perhaps to their own Sense, which governs them in common Life.