but is willing to be carried by the strength of another, just the course that is taken ; he is not subject to constraint, because his will is not opposed. A man's being forced to any thing, implies that his will is counteracted. If his will does not stand opposed to the pow. er, which is exercised upon him, no one will pretend, that he is forced, or constrained. If the term is ever otherwise used, it is not in its natural, but in a figurative, sense. Should an admiral, at sea, finding it impossible to escape the enemy, or make any effectual resistance, at length set fire to his own fleet, no doubt he would justify the deed by say. ing, he was constrained to do it ; but this would not imply, that he was less voluntary in the act, than he would have been in the act of firing the enemy's fleet, could he have fouad an opportunity of doing it. This would be a figurative use of the term, expressing the great urgency of the reasons, under which he acted. A inan is forced, 'when he has a will, but that will cannot be gratified, or complied with. But, if he has no will at all, concerning any particular matter, how can he be said to be forced? And what hardship, or ground of complaint, is 'there in any force, that leaves the wjil en.. tire, unobstructed, and in a way to be gratified, in all it seeks ? That, which, generally, grieves inankind, and interrupts their tranquility, is the obstacles which are thrown in the way of their realizing the things, that are agrecable to their wills, and not that their

wills are as they be. The happiness a person has in willing and doing cannot be lessened by any thought, respecting the cause or man. ner of the existence of such an exercise. Suppose a person's mind engaged in willing the relief of an indigent and distressed neighbour; would it at all diminish the satisfaction, arising froin it, could he be made to believe,, that such exercises of his will were necessa: ry, or constrained ? It is evident, his happiness springs from the benevolent exercises, theinselves, and that it is, therefore, quite immaterial to him, as respects the pleasure, immediately issuing from them, whether the cause of them is grounded in something, called necessity, constraint, or contingence, or any thing else. It would be extremely hardi to point out any symptom, by which a con.. strained act of will may be distinguished from one, that is unconstrained. The murderers; of St. Stephen, in the height of their rage a-. gainst him, willed his death : now, suppose, after their fury is moderated, they begin to reflect upon their cruelty, and wish to find something to aliay the guilt of the deed.. They enquire, whether their wills were not: under a constraint. How may they come to a decision upon this question ? Are they, for this

purpose, to examine the exercises of their minds ? Upon this point they have no doubt. Shall they then inquire, whether their exercises have taken place of necessity, or chance? If they become convinced, that they were necessary, their nature appears just the same,


as full of malice and impiety, as they would upon supposition of their contingency, of - their coming into being by pure chance. Constraining the will, therefore, so as to take away the guilt of a bad action, is just as impossible, in the nature of things, as it is to make that innocent, which is, in its own nature, criminal.

A will, unconformed to the law of God, is blameworthy, in spite of all the constraint, that can be imagined. That the will should be destroyed, is not impossible ; but that it should be constrained, is impossible. Its nature is such, as to admit rf no such thing. Wherever there is a will, relating to moral objects, there is, necessarily, right or wrong, desert of praise or blame. You may say, it is free, or it is not ; that it acts under an irresistible necessity, or comes by chance ; still you leave

leave it just as you found it, a will, which delights in God, or turns the back upon him ; and is, therefore, holy or sinful. But if men do not beget, or originate, their own acts of will, may we not say, they are forced upon them? If they take place against the strivings of their will, no doubt, this consequence will follow ; but not without.. And no man will be absurd enough to say, that any act of his will is con. trary to his will. Would it be proper to say, that, when a man is created, he is forced into being ? Though his coming into existence is not consequent upon his own will ; so neither is it contrary to it.

And if men are not subjects of force, or constraints in

having their existence from God, rather than from themselves ; so neither are their wills forced, or constrained, because they are produced, not by themselves, but by a divine hand. No force can certainly be put upon them, before they exist ; and no one, I think, will pretend that they are liable to it afterwards. The conclusion of the matter is this; there can be no moral liberty, except what consists in will, or voluntary exercise ; and wherever this will is to be found, exercising itself towards moral objects, there we are presented with a complete moral agent.

a Having obtained, as I conceive, a just view of what it is that constitutes a moral agent, I proceed to enquire

Secondly, Whether such an one may not be dependent, in the fullest sense ; or as much so, as any instrument is on him, who makes and uses it. The objection against God's using creatures, both saints and sinners, as instruments of his glory, and making them entirely subservient to this end, is, that it does not comport with their being ·moral agents.

The ground, on which this absurdity is supposed to follow, I take to be this, viz. that an instrument is not under its own control and direction, but that of the agent, who uses it, and therefore, not hav. ing the freedom of self-disposal, it cannot be justly called to an account, which implies a 'destitution of moral agency. The object of the present discourse is to ascertain, that this dependence is; in no wise, inconsistent with moral agency. If an agency, totally depende ent, which is the immediate effect of divine influence, cannot be moral, so as to render the subject accountable to the Judge of all the earth, what has been offered would, truly, be liable to objection. But, being in this state of dependence, which is the undoubted situation of every human being, it is hoped, will appear to be in perfect concordance with moral agency; so that every one shall be or bliged to feel, that he is, in every respect, a creature of God, as dependent upon him, as the clay is upon the potter ; and yet, that he is holden to receive judg nent, at his rightcous tribunal, according to his works. To lose either of these ideas, would seem to leave an awful gap in the kingdom of God. But let us not be tenacious of any thing, which impartial reason, or scripture, bids us relinquish. The devout believer will not very readily subscribe to the abandonment of his standing in God's kingdom, as a moral subject, and take rank with the beasts that perish. And will he be pleased to see the Deity divested of any part of his Lord. ship, his supremacy, his dominion, over his own works? to see him sharing originality with his creatures ? and even reduced to the necessity of acting but a limited part in the universe which he upholds ? 'If it would be painful to piety to see man's inoral agency annihilated; would it not be equally so to see a creature aspiring to a nearer equality with God, than to be an instrument of his

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