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and certain solution. The controversy mining power was called upon to act? has been embarrassed by the use of Did this power of its sovereign pleathe term motive, which is not essential sure decree this state of the mind also, to it, and which being capable of dif- and before this a former state, and so ferent interpretations las left room for on to the first moment of conscious misapprehension and subterfuge. existence, always acting in a certain
The proposition of the Necessitarian state of mind, and always determining is precisely this, that every volition or that state? But in reality, the deterdetermination of the inind is the neces- mining the state of the mind, in which sary result of the state of the mind at a given volition shall take place, would the time when the determination is not differ from determining the volition formed.* Of the truth of this propo- itself. In a given state of mind, then, sition, in regard to myself, I am con- does it determine the volition? If so, scious; and presuming that the general can it determine in opposition to the constitution of all human minds is the state of the mind ut the time when the same, I suspect that, were the question volition is formed ? If not, it can do closely urged, the consciousness of nothing that is worth contending for, every other man would coincide in this If it can, whenever this case is realized respect with my own. And were it the will inclines one way, and the mind not for certain consequences, which another. But as the will in its exerare supposed to follow the admission cise cannot, even in imagination, be of this doctrine, I am persuaded that distinguished from the mind in the act no human being would have been found of willing, the mind wills against itself, to doubt its truth.
or wills and does not will the same But in opposition to this statement thing, at the same time. the advocate of Liberty maintains, that reasoning may not be confronted by there is in the human mind a self-de- classical authority, I just remark,
that termining power, to which, as their Homer's well-known oxymoron, came proper cause, all the volitions or de- UEXOST! ye Juuw, stands at an immcaterminations of the mind are to be surable distance froin the case which refcrred.
is here supposed. What, then, is the operation of this But let this self-letermining power self-deterinining power? By the very be examined a little more closely. And definition, it is not governed in its ex as it is stated to be the faculty of the ercise by the state or disposition of the mind which determines the volitions, mind. "Does it, then, itself determine and, therefore, the actions of men, it the state of mind in which a certain is reasonable to ask, whether it posvolition shall be formed? Then, as no sesses the properties of judgment, remental act can be performed except flection and other qualities which have in some certain state of mind, it may always been supposed to have some be asked, How came the mind to be influence upon the determinations of in that state in which the self-deter- the will ? If so, it is no longer a fa
culty of the mind, but the mind itself ; * Though I have avoided the use of and when we are told that it is the the term motive, I do not mean to inti- efficient cause of volition, all that is mate, that motives have nothing to do
meant is, that our volitions are the with volition. By motive, indeed, the volitions of the mind. If it does not Necessitarian means not only the induce- possess these properties, it is nothing ment which is presented to the mind, but but the simple power of volition, which, the mental disposition in which a given as it will not submit to be governed by volition is formed. But to use the term the state or habit of the mind, but inin its ordinary acceptation, it may be sists upon the privilege of determining remarked, that every state of mind in itself, is not distinguishable from blind which a volition takes place, results partly caprice, or what we usually terin from a former state, and partly from the influence of certain motives or conside
chance. rations which are suggested to the mind.
Shall it be said that the mind deterAnd no truth in the whole circie of intel: mines its volitions by means of a selflectual inquiry seems more self-evidert determining power, which is inherent than this, that from a definite state of in it, and essential to it? Can the wind, nothing but a dernite volition can mind, then, form either of two oppoproceed.
site volitions at the same time, and in
the same frame and disposition? If properties not of a self-determining
, in the strictest sense, determine independently of every mental feelitself
, and govern its own decisions. ing? If so, it is a manifest nonentity, The advocate of Liberty may say, that since a volition cannot take place exthis is not what he means, but he will cept in some state and disposition of hear in reply, that if he does not mean the mind. If it does not act indepenthis, be means nothing. But if the dently of mental feeling, it will again mind can form either of two opposite be asked, does it determine that state rolitions at the same time, then the of feeling in which it acts ? To what true and proper cause of definite voli- conclusion this question would lead, it tions is the abstract power of willing; must be needless to remark. a fit principle, in good truth, to which But let the advocate of Liberty plead the
government of life should be com- for himself in the language of that able mitted.
metaphysician, Dr. Clarke : The Will the advocate of Liberty lay down true, proper, immediate, physical effibis proposition in terms to the follow- cient cause of action,” says he, is ing effect: that though the state of the the power of self-motion in men, which mind has a certain influence upon the exerts itself freely, in consequence of self-determining power, yet that it does the last judgment of the understand29t
, strictly speaking, cause the voli- ing.” If this power always obeys the
Why, then, acts. *
* Dr. Clarke is disposed to consider peating this obedience ? No such the last judgment of the understanding thing. Reflection and judgment are
as the same with the act of volition.
mind exerts upon it?
· In a word, if definite volitions have fourthly, that the supposed operation not their causes in definite states of of this faculty contradicts the only na mind, they can be attributed to notions which mankind hure ever formed cause distinct from the mere power of of the connexion between cause and willing. But to say that the mere effect. We are, indeed, ignorant of faculty of the will, or what would here the operation of what we term causes, be the same thing, the self-determining but this ignorance does not diminish power,
is the sole cause of specific vo the force of the objection. For a defisitions, does not in reality differ from nite effect, we, in fact, look for a defisaying that a definite volition is the nite cause; and every variation in the cause of itself. The self-determining effect is always supposed to imply a power, in itself considered, is equally proportionable variation in the cause. indifferent to all volitions; but by à Let it, then, be remembered, that the determinate act, it is supposed to cause subject of controversy is not the cause a specific volition; but this act is the of volition in general, but of definite volition itself, nor can even for a mo- and specific volitions. Now a selfment be conceived of as distinct from determining power, if it means any it. The self-determining power, in thing, must mean a power which, at other words, wills this or that, because the same time and in the same circumit wills it ; that is, the only reason for stances, can form either of two different the volition is the volition itself. or opposite volitions. But to refer a
Were it necessary to reason any definite volition to the act of such a farther against this same self-deter- faculty, is, according to the only idea mming power, this independent faculty, which we have of causation, to say that which will submit to no controul, and a specific volition can be formed withacknowledge no principle of action out a cause. The sic volo of the selfbut the imperious maxim sit pro ra- determining power will not be a satistione voluntas, it might be objected factory answer to the question, how it in the first place, that its existence is came to be the pleasure of the will to a mere assumption; secondly, that the determine as it did. The prevalence assumption is unnecessary, as the phe- of one inclination at the very moment nomena of volition are satisfactorily when it was possible by the hypothesis accounted for without it; thirdly, that that another inclination should have the assumption is unwarrantable, as prevailed, requires a definite cause as we are acquainted with nothing in the much as any effect in nature ; or rather whole compass of nature which bears the supposition involves an impossiany analogy to such a faculty; and bility, unless mankind have been thus
far mistaken in reqniring a definite
cause for a definite effect. And if they Then, as in this case the power of self- have been herein mistaken, they may motion has nothing to do with volition, also have been mistaken in requiring but only acts in consequence of the de- any cause at all for that which they termination of the will or the understand- have denominated an effect; since the ing, it may be dismissed from the controversy, as having no relation to the
same reasoning which has led them to matter in dispute. “ But,” says he, “ if the notion of a cause, has led them to the act of volition be distinguished from conceive of it as a definite energy, the last judgment of the understanding, from which a definite result proceeds. then the nct of rolition, or rather the be- To deny, then, that a definite cause is ginning of action, consequent upon the necessary to a definite effect, or what last judgment of the understanding, is is the same thing, to deny that a difnot determined or caused by that last ference in the effect implies a difference judginent as the physical efficient, but in the cause, is to call in question the only as the moral molive.". If the last very existence of a cause. The term, judgment of the understanding causes the indeed, may be retained, but the only yolition, that is sufficient. By what name idea which we have of the thing is gone. its operation shall be cailed, the Neces- And when the advocate of Liberty imasitarian will not be very anxious to determine. For what avails the distinction gines a power which can at the same between the physical efficient, and the time cause either of two different volimoral motive, if the volition in given cir- tions, he deceives himself by a mere cumstances could not be different from abuse of language. A self-determining what it is?
power, then, is not only grutuitously
untit subject of reward and punish. I love himno infrequent reader of the
assumed, but involves another assump- Tact, to which even a self-determining tion, which sets at defiance what lave power must bow, will answer, Certainly hitherto been thought the most certain not. Consequently it cannot will conclusions of the human mind. against the state or disposition in
I will now say one word respecting which it is at any given time. And the moral consequences which are sup- here, were impartial reason to decide, posed to follow from the doctrine of the controversy must end. Necessity. The most formidable of these is, that it annihilates the accoun Sir, ,
English Divines of the Latitudinament. I shall consider the difficulty rian school, of whom Tillotson may be as pressing entirely on the side of pu- considered as the head, and I profess nishment, and shall observe, that as, myself an aulmirer of the author last according to the Necessitarian system, named, whom Dr. Lardner somewhere punishment can operate on the state justly quotes, under the epithets of of the mind, it may with the greatest a good man and a great preacher.” propriety be applied. But if man had But I confess there are passages in his within him such a capricious principle works, and incidents in his life, which as a self-determining power, the appli- griere me, and would puzzle ine if I cation of punishment would be impro- did not know the sad influence of dig. per, because it would be useless. What, nities, possessed or expected, in poliindeed, has been called vindictire pu- tical churches, upon the soundest wnishment, the doctrine of Necessity derstandings and best hearts. No lover does exclude; but this, instead of being of liberty can recollect, without a sigh, an objection to the doctrine, is one of that he and Burnet tampered with the its recommendations. Vindictive pu- conscience of the martyred Russell, in nishment, it is true, cannot be defended order to bewilder him into a dying upon any system ; but upon the prin- confession of the abominable doctrine ciples of the Necessitarian it is muni- of passive obedience and non-resistfestly and pulpably absurd.
His“ rare piece of Hobbism” It will easily be perceived that I have is already explained on your pages, not written for those who are altogether (Vol. III. p. 148,) but as he repented strangers to the controversy, nor for of that pulpit indiscretion, it ought not those who thoroughly understand the to be severely urged against his mesubject ; but, as I intimated above, for mory. There is a still worse instance those who have conceived that it can of his yielling to the iniquity of the not be thoroughly understood. And if times, which I cannot forbear to point the light in which it has now been out. I do so, I am sure, with no wish placed shall render it more intelligible to hurt his excellent name, but merely to any who have hitherto thonght it to shew in what manner the licentionsobscure and intricate, my end will be ness of a court may infect the pulpit, answered.
even when most worthily filled, and
E. COGAV. how offensive to posterity, if not to P.S. I am aware that I have written contemporaries, are all accommodamuch more than was necessary ; but tions of righteous principles to corruit the supposed difficulty of the subject political maxims. • seemed to require that it should be Tillotson's Sermon CXCVI (8vo.
treated somewhat at length. Other- edition of his Works, Vol. X. p. 267) wise the argument (like most other is on “ Our Saviour's Ascension,” arguments) lies in a small compass. preacheil on Ascension-day, which hapThe Necessitarian maintains, that every pened to be on the 29th of May, the volition necessarily results from the church festival in celebration of Charles state of mind in which the volition Thu's Restoration. After reading his takes place. His opponent, to set aside this proposition, contends for a selfdetermining power as the efficient cause
In extenuation of Tillotson's conduct of volition. Here a simple question it should be remembered that he hoped, presents itself. Can the mind will this by extorting a political confession from or that without a certain feeling or Lord Russell that should be agreeable to disposition that prompts the volition ? the Court, to save his life. Ev.
text, the solemn and sublime passage, But allowing this apology its Acts i. 9-11, the Doctor began : full weight, what justification can be
There are two occasions of this day framed for such adulation from such a accidentally met together, which bear man as Tillotson to any prince, and some resemblance to one another; the much more to such a prince as Charles ascension of our blessed Saviour into II., who sold his country to France, heaven, and his exaltation in his spilled the best blood which was in it, kingdom, being crowned with glory turned his palaces into stews, and as and honour, and set on the right hand to religion lived a hypocrite and died a of the Majesty on high :' and the re- dishonest Catholic? Can anything storation of our sovereign to his just worse be found in the sermons of the rights, and royal state and dignity Gaudens, the Allestrees, the Sheldons, here
upon earth, by a miraculous pro- the Parkers and the Souths of that vidence of God, and as it were by a age of ecclesiastical profligacy and corkind of resurrection from the dead”! ruption ? He proceeds, “ The first of these being
CANTABRIGIENSIS. of a more spiritual and excellent nature, shall be the subject of my present
Exeter', discourse, not forgetting the other in SIR,
December 8, 1819. the application of it.” He then treats Y late highly-valued friend, the usual ability, seriousness and dexterity city, having nominated me his sole in the Scriptures, and comes at length executor, in trust, an honour which, to the application, in the conclusion of though unworthy of, I cannot sufficiwhich he says, first,“ Let us heartily ently appreciate, I am become, in thank God for the whole dispensation consequence thereof, possessed of his of our salvation by the incarnation and manuscripts. It is my intention, should doctrine, by the holy life and merito- life and ability be granted me, with the rious death of our blessed Saviour ;” assistance of my much-respected friend, and secondly, “And let us likewise the Rev. Thomas Jervis, to make a bless God for the wonderful restora- selection from Mr. Bretland's sermons, tion of his majesty to the government for the purpose of publishing two voof these kingdoms, who, under Christ, lumes ; and I hope they may be ready is the greai defender of our faith and for delivery in a few months hence. religion; and let us pay that duty and It is probably unnecessary for me to obedience, which becomes us, to a say any thing in commendation of thesa prince whom God hath so miraculously Discourses, as every person who knew preserved and restorrel; and pour out the author is well aware that nothing our most fervent prayers to God, that but what is of sterling value, and highly he would long preserve him, and pro- adapted to promote the cause of virtue tect his person from all dangers, who and religion, could proceed from his is the great security of our religion, pen. This is one of the objects which and the life of all our hopes, and as I have in view in publishing, and the truly as any prince erer was to any other is to hand down to posterity the people, THE LIGHT OF OUR EYES AND name of one who, from the extreme THE BREATH OF OUR NOSTRILS; and diffidence with which he was ever acthat God would make him ‘wise as an customed to estimate his own attainangel of God, to go in and out beforements in science, has been, comparathis great people;' and grant to him, and tively, but little known in the world. all the people of this land, 'to know The confidence placed in me by my in this our day the things that belong late venerable friend may, by some at to our peace, before they be hid from least, be thought to require a paneour eyes.'
gyric on his talents and virtues; but In a note upon this passage it is this has been done already by two said, “ Preached towards the conclu- writers better qualified than myself, sion of the reign of King Charles II.” and whose opinions must have more This is meant to remind the reader, weight; and I have the happiness to that it was penned when the Protes- expect an extended memoir from the tants and Whigs were desirous of the Rev. Mr. Mardon, of Glasgow. life of that monarch, on account of the It is true my knowledge of Mr. imminent danger of a Popish succes- Bretland is not of a recent date,