tudes, yea the far greater part of mankind, nine hundred and ninety-nine out of a thousand, would live and die without having any such Notion as that of fault ever entering into their heads, or without so much as once having any conception that any body was to be either blamed or commended for any thing. If this were the case, it would be a long time before men came to have such Notions. Whereas it is manifest, they are in fact some of the first Notions that appear in children; who discover, as soon as they can think, or speak, or act at all as rational creatures, a Sense of desert. And certainly, in forming their Notion of it, they make no use of metaphysics. All the ground they go upon consists in these two things; experience, and a natural sensation of a certain fitness or agreeableness which there is in uniting such moral evil as is above described, viz. a being or doing wrong with the will, and resentment in others, and pain inflicted on the person in whom this moral evil is. Which natural Sense is what we call by the name of conscience.

It is true, the common people and children, in their Notion of any faulty act or deed of any person, do suppose that it is the person's own act and deed. But this is all that belongs to what they understand by a thing being a person's own deed or action; even that it is something done by him of choice. That some exercise or motion should begin of itself, does not belong to their Notion of an action or doing. If so, it would belong to their Notion of it that it is the cause of its own beginning: and that is as much as to say, that it is before it begins to be. Nor is their Notion of an action some motion or exercise, that begins accidentally without any cause or reason; for that is contrary to one of the prime dictates of common Sense, namely, that every thing that begins to be, has some cause or reason why it is.

The common people, in their Notion of a faulty or praiseworthy work done by any one, do suppose, that the man does it in the exercise of liberty. But then their Notion of liberty is only a person having an opportunity of doing as he pleases. They have no Notion of liberty consisting in the will first acting, and so causing its own acts; determining, and so causing its own determinations; or choosing, and so causing its own choice. Such a Notion of liberty is what none have, but those that have darkened their own minds with confused metaphysical speculation, and abstruse and ambiguous terms. If a man is not restrained from acting as his will determines, or constrained to act otherwise; then he has liberty, according to common Notions of liberty, without taking into the idea that grand contradiction of all, the determinations of a man's free will being the effects of the determinations of his free will.-Nor have men commonly any Notion of freedom

consisting in indifference. For if so, then it would be agreeable to their Notion, that the greater indifference men act with, the more freedom they act with; whereas, the reverse is true. He that in acting proceeds with the fullest inclination, does what he does with the greater freedom, according to common Sense. And so far is it from being agreeable to common Sense that such liberty as consists in indifference is requisite to praise or blame, that, on the contrary, the dictate of every man's natural sense through the world is, that the further he is from being indifferent in his acting good or evil, and the more he does cither with full and strong inclination, the more is he esteemed or abhorred, .commended or condemned.

II. If it were inconsistent with the common Sense of mankind, that men should be either blamed or condemned in any volitions, in case of moral necessity or impossibility; then it would surely also be agreeable to the same Sense and reason of mankind, that the nearer the case approaches to such a moral necessity or impossibility-either through a strong antecedent moral propensity, on the one hand,* or a great antecedent opposition and difficulty, on the other-the nearer does it approach to a person being neither blameable nor commendable; so that acts exerted with such preceding propensity, would be worthy of proportionably less praise; and when omitted, the act being attended with such difficulty, the omission would be worthy of the less blame. It is so, as was observed before, with natural necessity and impossibility, propensity and difficulty: as it is a plain dictate of the sense of all mankind, that natural necessity and impossibility take away all blame and praise; and therefore, that the nearer the approach is to these, through previous propensity or difficulty, so praise and blame are proportionably diminished. And if it were as much a dictate of common Sense that moral necessity of doing, or impossibility of avoiding, takes away all praise and blame, as that natural necessity or impossibility does; then by a perfect parity of reason, it would be as much the dictate of common Sense, that an approach of moral necessity of doing, or impossibility of avoiding, diminishes praise and blame, as that an approach to natural necessity and impossibility does so. It is equally the voice of common Sense, that persons are excusable in part, in neglecting things difficult against their wills, as that they are excusable wholly in neglecting things impossible against their wills. And if it made no difference, whether the impossibility were natural and against the will, or moral, lying in the will, with regard to excusableness; so neither would it make any dif

It is here argued, on supposition that not all propensity implies moral ne cessity, but only some very high degree; which none will deny.

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ference, whether the difficulty, or approach to necessity be natural against the will, or moral, lying in the propensity of the will.

But it is apparent that the reverse of these things is true. If there be an approach to a moral necessity in a man's exertion of good acts of will, they being the exercise of a strong propensity to good and a very powerful love to virtue; it is so far from being the dictate of common Sense that he is less virtuous, and the less to be esteemed, loved and praised, that it is agreeable to the natural Notions of all mankind, that he is so much the better man, worthy of greater respect, and higher commendation. And the stronger the inclination is, and the nearer it approaches to necessity in that respect; or to impossibility of neglecting the virtuous act, or of doing a vicious one; still the more virtuous, and worthy of higher commendation. And, on the other hand, if a man exerts evil acts of mind; as, for instance. acts of pride or malice from a rooted and strong habit or principle of haughtiness and maliciousness, and a violent propensity of heart to such acts; according to the natural Sense of men he is so far from being the less hateful and blameable on that account, that he is so much the more worthy to be detested and condemned by all that observe him.

Moreover, it is manifest that it is no part of the Notion which mankind commonly have of a blameable or praiseworthy act of the will, that it is an act which is not determined by an antecedent bias or motive, but by the sovereign power of the will itself; because, if so, the greater hand such causes have in determining any acts of the will, so much the less virtuous or vicious would they be accounted; and the less hand, the more virtuous or vicious. Whereas, the reverse is true: men do not think a good act to be the less praiseworthy for the agent being much determined in it by a good inclination or a good motive, but the more. And if good inclination, or motive, has but little influence in determining the agent, they do not think his act so much the more virtuous, but the less. And so concerning evil acts, which are determined by evil motives or inclinations.

Yea, if it be supposed that good or evil dispositions are implanted in the hearts of men by nature itself (which, it is certain, is vulgarly supposed in innumerable cases) yet it is not commonly supposed that men are worthy of no praise or dispraise for such dispositions; although what is natural is undoubtedly necessary, nature being prior to all acts of the will whatsoever. Thus, for instance, if a man appears to be of a very haughty or malicious disposition, and is supposed to be so by his natural temper, it is no vulgar Notion, no dictate of the common Sense and apprehension of men, that

such dispositions are no vices or moral evils, or that such persons are not worthy of disesteem, or odium and dishonour; or that the proud or malicious acts which flow from such natural dispositions are worthy of no resentment. Yea, such vile natural dispositions, and the strength of them, will commonly be mentioned rather as an aggravation of the wicked acts that come from such a fountain, than an extenuation of them. It being natural for men to act thus, is often observed by men in the height of their indignation: they will say, "It is his very nature: he is of a vile natural temper; it is as natural to him to act so, as it is to breathe; he cannot help serving the devil, &c." But it is not thus with regard to hurtful mischievous things, that any are the subjects or occasions of, by natural necessity, against their inclinations. In such a case, the necessity, by the common voice of mankind, will be spoken of as a full excuse. Thus it is very plain, that common Sense makes a vast difference between these two kinds of necessity, as to the judgment it makes of their influence on the moral quality and desert of men's actions.


And these dictates are so natural and necessary, that it may very much doubted whether the Arminians themselves have ever got rid of them; yea, their greatest doctors, that have gone furthest in defence of their metaphysical Notions of liberty, and have brought their arguments to their greatest strength, and as they suppose to a demonstration, against the consistence of virtue and vice with any necessity: it is to be questioned whether there is so much as one of them, but that, if he suffered very much from the injurious acts of a man, under the power of an invincible haughtiness and malignancy of temper, would not, from the forementioned natural sense of mind, resent it far otherwise than if as great sufferings came upon him from the wind that blows, and the fire that burns by natural necessity; and otherwise than he would, if he suffered as much from the conduct of a man perfectly delirious; yea, though he first brought his distraction upon him some way by his own fault.

Some seem to disdain the distinction that we make between natural and moral necessity, as though it were altogether impertinent in this controversy: "that which is necessary, say they, is necessary; it is that which must be, and cannot be prevented. And that which is impossible, is impossible, and cannot be done: and, therefore, none can be to blame for not doing it." And such comparisons are made use of, as the commanding of a man to walk who has lost his legs, and condemning him and punishing him for not obeying; inviting and calling upon a man, who is shut up in a strong prison, to come forth, &c. But, in these things Arminians are very unreasonable. Let common sense determine whether there be not a great difference between those two cases; the one, that of a

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man who has offended his prince, and is cast into prison; and after he has lain there awhile, the king comes to him, calls him to come forth; and tells him, that if he will do so, and will fall down before him and humbly beg his pardon, he shall be forgiven, and set at liberty, and also be greatly enriched, and advanced to honour: the prisoner heartily repents of the folly and wickedness of his offence against his prince, is thoroughly disposed to abase himself, and accept of the king's offer; but is confined by strong walls, with gates of brass and bars of iron. The other case is, that of a man who is of a very unreasonable spirit, of a haughty, ungrateful, wilful dis position; and moreover, has been brought up in traitorous principles; and has his heart possessed with an extreme and inveterate enmity to his lawful sovereign; and for his rebellion is cast into prison, and lies long there, loaded with heavy chains, and in miserable circumstances. At length the compassionate prince comes to the prison, orders his chains to be knocked off, and his prison doors to be set wide open; calls to him, and tells him, if he will come forth to him, and fall down before him, acknowledge that he has treated him unworthily, and ask his forgiveness; he shall be forgiven, set at liberty, and set in a place of great dignity and profit in his court. But he is so stout and full of haughty malignity, that he cannot be willing to accept the offer: his rooted strong pride and malice have perfect power over him, and as it were bind him, by binding his heart: the opposition of his heart has the mastery over him, having an influence on his mind far superior to the king's grace and condescension and to all his kind offers and promises. Now is it agreeable to common sense to assert and stand to it, that there is no difference between these two cases as to any worthiness of blame in the prisoners; because, forsooth, there is a necessity in both, and the required act in each case is impossible? It is true, a man's evil dispositions may be as strong and immoveable as the bars of a castle. But who cannot see, that when a man, in the latter case, is said to be unable to obey the command, the expression is used improperly, and not in the sense it has originally and in common speech? and that it may properly be said to be in the rebel's power to come out of prison, seeing he can easily do it if he pleases; though by reason of his vile temper of heart, which is fixed and rooted, it is impossible that it should please him?

Upon the whole, I presume there is no person of good understanding who impartially considers these things, but will allow, that it is not evident, from the dictates of common sense or natural notions, that moral necessity is inconsistent with praise and blame. And, therefore, if the Arminians would

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