The Freedom of the Will

Jonathan Edwards (1703 - 1758)

As religion is the great business, for which we are created, and on which our happiness depends; and as religion consists in an intercourse between ourselves and our Maker; and so has its foundation in God's nature and ours, and in the relation that God and we stand in to each other; therefore a true knowledge of both must be needful in order to true religion. But the knowledge of ourselves consists chiefly in right apprehensions concerning those two chief faculties of our nature, the Understanding and Will. Both are very important: yet the science of the latter must be confessed to be of greatest moment; inasmuch as all virtue and religion have their seat more immediately in the will, consisting more especially in right acts and habits of this faculty. And the grand question about the Freedom of the Will, is the main point that belongs to the science of the Will. Therefore I say, the importance of this subject greatly demands the attention of Christians, and especially of Divines. - Summary from the preface

Genre(s): Christianity - Other

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Preface Philip Naudus
Play 01 I.I - Concerning the nature of the will Philip Naudus
Play 02 I.II - Concerning the determination of the Will Philip Naudus
Play 03 I.III - Concerning the meaning of the terms Necessity, Impossibility, Inability, etc.; and of Contingence Jim Locke
Play 04 I.IV - Of the distinction of natural and moral necessity and inability Jim Locke
Play 05 I.V - Concerning the notion of liberty, and of moral agency Jim Locke
Play 06 II.I - Showing the manifest inconsistence of the Arminian notion of liberty of will, consisting in the will's self-determining power Jim Locke
Play 07 II.II - Several supposed ways of evading the foregoing reasoning considered Jim Locke
Play 08 II.III - Whether any event whatsoever, and volition in particular, can come to pass without a cause of its existence Jim Locke
Play 09 II.IV - Whether volition can arise without a cause, through the activity of the nature of the soul Jim Locke
Play 10 II.V - Showing, that if the things asserted in these evasions should be supposed to be true, they are altogether impertinent, and can't help the cause of Arminian liberty; and how (this being the state of the case) Arminian writers are obliged to talk inconsistently Jim Locke
Play 11 II.VI - Concerning the will's determining in things which are perfectly indifferent, in the view of the mind Jim Locke
Play 12 II.VII - Concerning the notion of liberty of will consisting in indifference Jim Locke
Play 13 II.VIII - Concerning the supposed liberty of the will, as opposite to all necessity Jim Locke
Play 14 II.IX - Of the connection of the acts of the will with the dictates of the understanding Jim Locke
Play 15 II.X - Volition necessarily connected with the influence of motives; with particular observations on the great inconsistence of Mr. Chubb's assertions and reasonings, about the freedom of the will Jim Locke
Play 16 II.XI - The evidence of God's certain foreknowledge of the volitions of moral agents Jim Locke
Play 17 II.XII - God's certain foreknowledge of the future volitions of moral agents, inconsistent with such a contingence of those volitions, as is without all necessity Jim Locke
Play 18 II.XIII - Whether we suppose the volitions of moral agents to be connected with anything antecedent, or not, yet they must be necessary in such a sense as to overthrow Arminian liberty Jim Locke
Play 19 III.I - God's moral excellency necessary, yet virtuous and praiseworthy Jim Locke
Play 20 III.II - The acts of the will of the human soul of Jesus Christ necessarily holy, yet truly virtuous, praiseworthy, rewardable, etc. Jim Locke
Play 21 III.III - The case of such as are given up of god to sin, and of fallen man in general, proves moral necessity and inability to be consistent with blameworthiness Jim Locke
Play 22 III.IV - Command, and obligation to obedience, consistent with moral inability to obey Jim Locke
Play 23 III.V - That sincerity of desires and endeavors, which is supposed to excuse in the nonperformance of things in themselves good, particularly considered Jim Locke
Play 24 III.VI - Liberty of indifference, not only not necessary to virtue, but utterly inconsistent with it; and all, either virtuous or vicious habits or inclinations, inconsistent with Arminian notions of liberty and moral agency Jim Locke
Play 25 III.VII - Arminian notions of moral agency inconsistent with all influence of motive and inducement, in either virtuous or vicious actions Jim Locke
Play 26 IV.I - The essence of the virtue and vice of dispositions of the heart, and acts of the will, lies not in their cause, but their nature Jim Locke
Play 27 IV.II - The falseness and inconsistence of that metaphysical notion of action, and agency, which seems to be generally entertained by the defenders of the arminian doctrine concerning liberty, moral agency, etc. Jim Locke
Play 28 The reasons why some think it contrary to common Sense, to suppose those things which are necessary to be worthy of either Praise or Blame. Jim Locke
Play 29 IV.IV - It is agreeable to common sense, and the natural notions of mankind, to suppose moral necessity to be consistent with praise and blame, reward and punishment Jim Locke
Play 30 IV.V - Concerning those objections, that this scheme of necessity renders all means and endeavors for the avoiding of sin, or the obtaining virtue and holiness, vain, and to no purpose; and that it makes men no more than mere machines in affairs of morality and religion Jim Locke
Play 31 IV.VI - Concerning that objection against the doctrine which has been maintained, that it agrees with the stoical doctrine of fate, and the opinions of Mr. Hobbes Jim Locke
Play 32 IV.VII - Concerning the necessity of the divine will Jim Locke
Play 33 IV.VIII - Some further objections against the moral necessity of god's volitions considered Jim Locke
Play 34 IV.IX - Concerning that objection against the doctrine which has been maintained, that it makes god the author of sin Jim Locke
Play 35 IV.X - Concerning sin's first entrance into the world Jim Locke
Play 36 IV.XI - Of a supposed inconsistence of these principles, with God's moral character Jim Locke
Play 37 IV.XII - Of a supposed tendency of these principles to atheism and licentiousness Jim Locke
Play 38 IV.XIII - Concerning that objection against the reasoning, by which the Calvinistic doctrine is supported, that it is metaphysical and abstruse Jim Locke
Play 39 Conclusion Jim Locke
Play 40 Appendix Jim Locke