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by, some cause out of the Will: and so all freedom in the case is excluded, and no act of the Will can be free, according to this notion of freedom. Thus, this Arminian notion of Liberty of the Will, consisting in the Will's self-determination, is repugnant to itself, and shuts itself wholly out of the world.
THE PERMISSION NOT THE PRODUCTION OF EVIL.
There is a great difference between God being concerned thus, by his permission, in an event and act which, in the inherent subject and agent of it, is sin, (though the event will certainly follow on his permission, and his being concerired in it by producing it and exerting the act of sin; or between his being the orderer of its certain existence by not hindering it, under certain circumstances, and his being the proper octor or author of it, by a positive agency or efficiency. As there is a vast difference between the sun being the cause of the lightsomeness and warmth of the atmosphere, and the brightness of gold and diamonds, by its presence and positive influence; and its being the occasion of darkness and frost, in the night, by its motion whereby it descends below the horizon. The motion of the sun is the occasion of the latter kind of events; but it is not the proper cause efficient or producer of them; though they are necessarily consequent on that motion, under such circumstances: no more is any action of the Divine Being the cause of the evil of men's wills. If the sun were the proper cause of cold and darkness, it would be the fountain of these things, as it is the fountain of light and heat: and then something might be argued from the nature of cold and darkness, to a likeness of nature in the sun; and it might be justly inferred that the sun itself is dark and cold, and that his beams are black and frosty. But from its being the cause no otherwise than by its departure, no such thing can be inferred, but the contrary; it may justly be argued that the sun is a bright and hot body, if cold and darkness are found to be the consequence of its withdrawment; and the more constantly and necessarily these effects are connected with, and confined to, its absence, the more strongly does it argue the sun to be the fountain of light and heat. So, inasmuch as sin is not the fruit of any positive agency or influence of the Most High, but, on the contrary, arises from the with holding of his action and energy, and, under certain circumstances, necessarily follows on the want of his influence; this is no argument that he is sinful, or his operation evil, or has any thing of the nature of evil; but, on the contrary, that he and his agency are altogether good and holy, and that he is the fountain of all holiness. It would be strange arguing, indeed, because men never commit sin, but only when God leaves them to themselves, and necessarily sin