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He supports his scheme by the connexion between cause and effect, by God's certain foreknowledge of the volitions of moral agents, which is supposed to be inconsistent with such a contingence of those volitions as excludes all necessity. He shews that God's moral excellence is necessary, yet virtuous and praise-worthy; that the acts of the will of the human soul of Christ are necessarily holy, yet virtuous, praise-worthy, and rewardable; and that the moral inability of sinners, consisting in depravity of heart, instead of excusing, constitutes their guilt.* Lord Kaims has the following idea of necessity:—That, comparing together the moral and material world, every thing is as much the result of established laws in the one as in the other. There is nothing in the whole universe which can properly be called contingent; but every motion in the material, and every determination and action in the moral world, are directed by immutable laws: so that, while those laws remain in force, not the smallest link in the chain of causes' and effects can be broken, nor any one thing be otherwise than it is. That, as man must act with conscious

ness and spontaneity, it is necessary that he should have

some sense of things possible

and contingent. Hence the Deity has wisely implanted a delusive sense of liberty in the mind of man, which fits him to fulfil the ends of action to better advantage than he could do if he knew the necessity which really attends him. Lord Kaims observes that, in the material world, it is found that the representations of external objects and their qualities, conveyed by the senses, differ sometimes from what philosophy discovers these objects and their qualities to be. Were man endowed with a microscopic eye, the bodies which surround him would appear as different from what they do at present as if he were transported into another world. His ideas, upon that supposition, would be more agreeable to strict truth, but they would be far less serviceable in common life. Analogous to this in the moral world, the Deity has implanted in mankind the delusive notion of liberty of indifference, that they may be led to the proper exercise of that activity for which they were designed. The Baron de Montesquieu, in his Persian Letters, ob->

* See this argument enlarged upon in the article Hopkinsians. w

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any thing he always does know it ; because he need only will that it shall happen as he sees it, and direct the resolutions of his creatures according to his will. Thus he fetches the things which shall happen from among those which are merely possible, by fixing by his decrees the future determinations of the minds of his creatures, and depriving them of the power of acting or not acting which he has bestowed upon them. If we may presume to make comparison of a thing which is above all comparison, A monarch does not know what his ambassador will do in an affair of importance. If he thinks fit to know it, he need only give him direction to behave so and so, and he may be assured he will follow his directions. President Edwards makes

the following distinction between his and Lord Kaims’s ideas of necessity:—(1.) Lord Kaims supposes that such a necessity takes place, with respect to all men's actions, as is inconsistent with liberty. Edwards maintains that the moral necessity which universally takes place, is not inconsistent with the utmost liberty which can be defined or conceived.—(2.) Kaims seems every where to suppose that necessity, properly so called, attends all men's actions, and that the terms unavoidable, impossible, &c., are equally applicable to the case of moral and natural necessity. Edwards maintains that such a necessity as attends the acts of men's wills can with more propriety be called certainty, it being no other than the certain connexion between the subject and predicate of the proposition which affirms their existence.—(3.) Kaims supposes that if mankind could clearly see the real necessity of their actions, they would not appear to themselves or others praise-worthy, culpable, or accountable for their actions. Edwards maintains that moral necessity, or certainty, is perfectly consistent with praise and blame, rewards and punishments. Lord Kaims agrees with President Edwards in supposing that praise or blame rests ultimately on the disposition or frame of mind.

The Rev. Mr. Dawson, in a late pamphlet, entitled, “The Necessarian; or the Question concerning Liberty and Necessity stated and discussed;” endeavours to prove that the will is determined by motives. He accounts, however, every

act which proceeds not from

mechanical force a voluntary act. Every voluntary act he calls a free act, because it proceeds, from the will—from the man himself: but calls that voluntary act necessary; in conformity to their idea of necessity, who, on supposition of the will's being determined by motives, will not allow it to be free, though voluntary. Having established this species of necessity, he endeavours to shew that free-will leaves no foundation for attributing merit or demerit to the agent; and that, on the contrary, the doctrine of necessity does that which the doctrine of freewill does not. By leaving the foundation of morality secure, it leaves a foundation for merit and demerit; viz. the moral nature of actions. The morality of an action is its motive: that which gives the action its moral quality, gives it at the same time its worth, or merit. But, on the doctrine of freewill, there can be no founda

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tion for attributing merit of demerit to the agent, because it destroys all distinetions bee tween actions; good and bad being terms without meaning, when applied to actions without a moral motive. As, in the account of Dr. Priestley's sentiments, the manner in which that celebrated author distinguishes his scheme of philosophical necessity from the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination is inserted, perhaps those who are fond of speculating on this subject will be gratified by being presented on the other hand with the following distinction which the Rev. Dr. Emmons, of Franklin, has made between the Calvinistic idea of necessity and that o Dr. Priestley. It has long been a subject of controversy among Arminians and Calvinists, whether moral agents can act of necessity. Upon this subject Dr. Priestley takes the Calvinistic side, and labours to prove the doctrine of necessity from the general principle that no effect can exist without a cause. His train of reasoning runs very much in this form : ‘Every volition must be an effect, every effect must haye a cause, every cause must necessarily produce its effect: therefore every volition, as well as every othereffect, must be necessary,

But though he agrees with Calvinists in their first prineiples and general mode of reasoning, yet in one very capital point he differs from them totally; for he maintains that motives, which are the cause of volitions, must operate mechanically, which, they suppose, totally destroys the freedom of the will. He is obliged to maintain the mechanical operation of motives, by his maintaining the materiality of the soul. If the soul be material, the natural conclusion is, that motives must act upon it by a mechanical operation. This conclusion, he owns, he means to draw from the doctrine of materialism. In the preface to his illustrations of Philosophical Necessity, he says, “Every thing belonging to the doctrine of materialism is, in fact, an argument for the doctrine of necessity; and consequently the doctrine of necessity is a direct inference from materialism.” But President Edwards supposes that mechanical necessity is precisely the same as natural necessity, coercion, or constraint, which he therefore considers as entirely subver

sive of moral freedom. Hence he expressly denies, in his

treatise on the will, that mo

tives act upon the mind, as weights do upon the scale, by a mechanical operation. Indeed all Calvinists maintain that motives govern the will by a moral, and not by a mechanical influence: for though they allow that moral causes as really and as necessarily produce moral effects, as mechanical causes produce mechanical effects, yet they deny that moral and mechanical necessity are the same. It is therefore carefully to be observed, that the Materialists plead for such a mechanical operation of motives upon the mind, as the Calvinists suppose must inevitably destroy its liberty, or moral freedom.” NEONOMIANS, so called from the greek vios, new, and yogos, law; signifying a new law, the condition whereof is imperfect, though sincere and persevering obedience. [Neonomianism seems to be an essential part of the Arminian system. “The new covenant of grace which, through the medium of Christ's death, the Father made with men, consists, according to this sys

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Letters between Clarke and

153—Montesquieu's Persian Letters, Liberty and Necessity, pp. 12–71,

pp. 134–136. Dawson's Letters on * Acta Synodi, p. 253. * See Edwards on the Will, London edition, pp. 220, 221.

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in this, that God, abrogating remain condemned whilst un

the exaction of perfect legal obedience, reputes, or accepts of faith itself, and the imperfect obedience of faith, instead of the perfect obedience of the law, and graciously accounts them worthy of the reward of eternal life.” This opinion was examined at the synod of Dort,” and has been canvassed between the Calvinists and Arminians on various occasions.t Towards the close of the seventeenth century a controversy was agitated amongst the English dissenters, in which the one side, who were partial to the writings of Dr. Crisp, were charged with Antinomianism, and the other, who favoured those of Mr. Baxter, were accused of Neonomianism. Dr. Daniel Williams, who was a principal writer on what was called the Neonomian side, after manythings had been said of him, gives the following as a summary of his faith in reference to those subjects :

“(1.) God has eternally elected

a certain definite number of men, whom he will infallibly save by Christ, in that way prescribed by the gospel.— (2.) These very elect are not

converted to Christ.—(3.) By the ministry of the gospel there is a serious offer of pardon and

glory, upon the terms of the

gospel, to all that hear it: and

God thereby requires them to

comply with the said terms.

—(4.) Ministers ought to use these and other gospel bene

fits as motives, assuring men

that if they believe, they shall be justified; if they turn to God,

they shall live; if they repent,

their sins shall be blotted out : and whilst they neglect these duties, they cannot have a personal interest in these re

spective benefits.-(5.) It is

by the power of the Spirit of Christ freely exerted, and not

by the power of free-will, that

the gospel becomes effectual

for the conversion of any soul

to the obedience of faith.

(6.) When a man believes, yet

is not that very faith, and

much less any other work, the

matter of that righteousness

for which a sinner is justified;

i. e. entitled to pardon, ac

ceptance as righteous, and

eternal glory before God; and

it is the imputed righteousness

of Christ alone, for which the

gospel gives the believer a right

to these and all saving bless

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