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freedom of our actions," « But if the mind be influenced invariably by the strongest motive, then it is certain in the nature of things, previous to every choice, how it will terminate."-p. 69.

Specious as this argument appears at first view, a little attention will convince the unprejudiced mind, that it is very defective.

First, his account of our freedom is but a poor and partial account of that noble power with which man is endowed. To be convinced of this, we only need to review the above account quoted from Mr. Fletcher. There man is endowed with moral liberty ; but the liberty of which Mr. H. speaks, is the choosing with willingness, what we must choose of necessity : which is the same freedom with which water obeys the irresistible laws of gravitation. This will appear plain, if we but once put his doctrines together. 1. The mind is governed invariably by the strongest motive.

2. The great Jehovah disposes every motive before the mind just as it appears, and by that means carries the choice in


instance precisely as a weight turns a scale which way soever it is thrown in. What wonder that in view of this doctrine, the heathen poet should cry out

“O, ye mortals ! dismiss your cares, and unbend your minds. Predestination rules the world : all things happen according to a fixed deCrbe." MANILIUS.

The second error in the argument of Mr. H. is, the supposition that the mind is invariably goveined by the strong est motive; whereas from the above view of free-agency, it appears evident, that we not only have power to choose one out of various objects presented, but also to suspend a choice of either, for further consideration : and experience teaches the same thing. The great and glorious objects presented to the human mind in the gospel of Jesus Christ, are confessedly of the greatest value; and there are thousands of sinners in Christendom, who judge religion to be of all things the most valuable, who after all prefer a course of sin. A crim. inal walks up a gallows ladder, but he by no means presers that course. Every sinner is a living witness to the truth of these observations; whose judgment, under the all commanding motives of the gospel, constantly teaches him the good and the right way, and he acknowledges it to be so, and yet the wrong pursues. He does violence to his better judgment, not however because he judges a course of sin to be most valuable, but because of the corruptions of his heart. But suppose for a moment, that in every instance of choice, the mind did prefer that object which it judged most valuable, yet many of these objects are only delusions, and are not in reality the most valuable. And yet Mr. H. tells us that "the mind is influenced invariably by the strongest motive," and that the great Jehovah is the disposer of these motives before the sinner! Now what is the conclusion ? Why, that when the sinner prefers to sin, because he judges that to be the most valuable,” it is the great Jehovah who has deceived him by false and bad motives set before him! This is not all; for if the mind is invariably governed by the strongest motive, and God as invariably places these motives before the mind, what freedom has man in choosing? Why, as before observed, he has the same freedom with which the water by the irresistible laws of gravitation, runs down the unobstructed channel, and no more! Thus we see, that the Systein of our opponents, in a very few words, represents the Allwise and infinitely good God, as a deceiver of mankind, and a destroyer of their agency! The character of the devil himself could scarcely be represented in a worse light.

But he says, "If the mind be influenced invariably by the strongest motive, then it is certain in the nature of things:

previous to every choice, how it will terminate." O, yes ; IF Calvinism be true, it is certain in the nature of fate : but that is the question. Only prove this, and the dispute is at an'end. Again says he

“ So long as it is wholly uncertain with the mind in any given case how it will decide, though the mind may be said in that case to be free to choose, it is certainly not free in choosing."

Here Mr. H. after Mr. Edwards, represents the mind in a similar situation as a pair of scales, which are free to turn, but not free in the act of turning under the weight thrown into one side. Mechanical freedom then, is all the free agency allowed to moral agents by the Calvinists ! But I am sorry for one, that Mr. H. had not split this hair while he was upon this subject, and told us what the difference is between being free to choose and free in choosing. To choose, is generally defined to be the decision of the mind in favour of one among two or more objects; and of course in. cludes the whole process of choosing. But he acknowledges, that while it is wholly uncertain with the mind how it will decide, it is in that case free to choose.. I answer :-As it is only rendered certain by the choice of itself, and not by influencing motives which the mind cannot resist, if it be not free in choosing, it is not free at all; for freedom of choice, supposes freedom in the act of choosing, as well as freedom to the act, if there is any difference. But what has this to do with Calvinistic certainty, which supposes every choice to be governed by irresistible motives placed before the mind by the great Jehovah ? Sourely nothing. Again: “If we contend,” says he, “ that as soon as the mind is inclined to wards one or the other side of the question, it is no longer free, than it is certain that there is no such thing as freedom of choice."

I answer : This is not contended by us, but the system which we oppose goes much farther than this ; it teaches, that the very first inclination of the mind, towards either vir. tue or vice, is produced by foreign and compulsive influence: so much so, that in our opinion, all freedom of choice is thereby destroyed, and man the noblest work of God, is a slave to mere mechanical necessity. On the principle therefore of Calvinism itself, there is no such thing as freedom of choice. But our author presents a case for illustration. Three men are required to do an act of charity, which will require some thing of a sacrifice : the first had never complied—the secone had complied at times, but with reluctance—the third had never failed. When the request is made known, the first remains without deciding; the second, after a season of suspense, reluctantly complies; but the third determines with cheerfulness to do it, “ Now," says he, “was it not, previ. ous to the trial, more certain that the third would comply with the request, than either of the others ?” page 70. To this I reply : There is no more certainty (much less necessity) or freedom, in the one case than in the others; for it was no more certain that the third would comply, than that the first would not, or that the second would reluctantly. The third did not act more freely in complying, than the first did in refusing, or than the second did in holding his mind in suspense by reflection.

When therefore Mr. H. asks, "And will not every person acknowledge, that of the three he (the third) acted the most freely ?" If we abide by the dictates of common sense, we must say no; there was no more certainty or freedom in the one case than in the others; and all there was in either, was merely inferred from past conduct. There was no real certainty in either : 1. Be. cause men are not immutable. 2. Because necessity or absolute certainty, is inconsistent with free-agency; and men

are free agents. 3. Because God has not decreed the moral conduct of men. We conclude, therefore, that, that choice which vir. H. supposes was previously most certain, and at the same time most free, was neither the one nor the other: and of course absolute certainty is not essential to freedom.

Another argument by which Mr. H. would prove, that necessity or absolute cerlainty is essential to freedom, is the the following:

“From the very nature of the divine character, it is certain that God will always do right. Shall we say he is not free?" Ah! now, sir, you have found absolute certainty! and ab. solute certainty arising from the very nature of the divine character ; but unfortunately it is found in a being who can. not be made a similitude of in the case before us; for such is the very nature of the divine character, it is absolutely cer tain that God will and must always do right. Whereas, such is the nature, relations, and mutability of man, that he may, and often does, do wrong. To the question, “Shall we say that God is not free ?” I answer, yes; we shall say that God is not free to do right or wrong, but always free to do right. Therefore certainty or necessity in God, forms no argument for either in man, I am surprised that Mr. H. should leave the impression, that the Almighty may do wrong! whereas the very nature of God, renders it utterly impossible. But let us hear him again :

“ Is it not certain that the devil will always do that which is wrong? If he be not free, how can he be blamed ?” Ah! now, sir, you have found absolute certainty again ! and absolute certainty arising from the very nature of the infernal character; but unfortunately while the other was too high, this comes from rather too loro to form a similitude in this case; for such is the very nature of the infernal character, that it is absolutely certain that the devil will and must always

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