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it is answer'd, "That it leaves it as uncertain, whether any one will be unconverted or not." I reply, Since this refistible grace finds all men unconverted, and confidering the refiftibility of it, and the ftate and condition of man, that he is dead in fin, in enmity against God, his heart hard, and his on will obftinate and perverfe, it is not fo uncertain, whether any one will be left by it unconverted, as that whether any one will be converted by it. It is moreover faid', That "a man may, notwithstanding this opinion, be infallibly certain otherwife, that many will be found true converts at the last, because he knows that many have already died in the fear of God, and in the faith of Chrift; and because the holy fcriptures do affure us, that some shall arife to everlasting life, and receive the end of their faith in the falvation of their fouls." This is very true, and yet, according to this opinion, it was poffible, that not one of these might have been converted, because they might have refifted the grace of God, and made it of none effect. Befides, fuch who will be found true converts at laft, who die in the fear of God, and in the faith of Chrift, who fhall rife again to everlasting life, and receive the end of their faith, the falvation of their fouls, are fuch who are regenerated
Whitby, p. 302. Ed. 2. 295.
r Whitby, P. 303.
and converted by the efficacious and irrefistible grace of God, and are kept by the power of God, thro' faith, unto falvation, It is further obferved, That "to say that it is barely poffible, in the nature of the thing, that none may be converted, hath no inconvenience in it, because it tends not to hinder any man's endeavours after his converfion" I reply, fuppofing it does not, yet it has these inconveniences in it, that if it is poffible that none may be converted, then it is poffible that God's choice of persons to eternal life may be made void, and all his counfels and purposes concerning his elect fruftrated. 'Tis poffible, that the purchase and redemption by Chrift may become of no effect, and he not fee the travail of his foul, and be fatisfy'd, tho' it is promised to him; and it is poffible, that the fpirit and grace of God may have none of the glory which arifes from the converfion of a finner, as well as that the falvation of every man muft be very precarious and uncertain.
Whitby, p. 303.
Of the Freedom of the Will of Man.
Have confider'd the nature of the power and liberty of man's will in the First Part of this work, where I have fhewn, that the liberty of it does not confift in an indifference or indetermination to either good or evil; that the will of man is free from co-action or force, but not from an obligation to the will of God, the powerful influence of whofe grace it ftands in need of, to move and act in any thing that is fpiritually good, without any infringement of the natural liberty of it; for the oppofition we make, is not to the natural, but moral liberty of the will, which is loft by the fall. And tho' we cannot allow that man has either will or power to act in things fpiritually good, as converfion, faith, repentance, and the like; yet we readily grant, that he has a power and liberty of performing the natural and civil actions of life, and the ex
No. V. p. 33, &c.
ternal parts of religion: hence all the inftances produced by Dr. Whitby, to prove the liberty of the will, as oppofite not only to co-action, but neceffity, are to no purpofe, fince they relate to fuch cases as are allow'd to be within the compass of the natural power and will of man"; fuch as chufing and retaining virginity, a power of eating and drinking, giving of alms, and the external miniftration of the gospel. I have likewife confider'd, in the fame performance, the feveral paffages of fcripture which are thought to contain arguments in favour of man's free will and power in converfion", taken from the calls, invitations, commands and exhortations of God to it, as is fuppofed. In the Second Part of this work, I have endeavoured to vindicate fuch paffages of scripture objected to, which represent the depravity, and corruption of human nature, and the disability of man to that which is fpiritually good; what remains now, is to confider the arguments taken from reafon, to prove the liberty of the will from neceffity, that it cannot confift with a determination to one, viz. either good or evil; and that it does not lie under a difability of chufing and doing that which is fpiritually good. And,
Whitby, p. 338, 339. Ed. 2. 329, 330.
I. It is faid, "That the freedom of the will, in this ftate of trial and temptation, cannot confift with a determination to one, viz. on the one hand, in a determination to good only, by the efficacy of divine grace; feeing this puts man out of a state of trial, and makes him equal to the state of Angels; nor with the contrary determination I to evil only, for then man, in this ftate of trial, must be reduced to the condition of the devil and of damned fpirits." And it is more than once urged, "That the doctrine which teacheth that man is fo utterly difabled by the fall of Adam, that, without the efficacious grace, which God vouchsafes only to fome few, who are the objects of his election to falvation, he hath no power to do what is fpiritually good, or to avoid what is fpiritually evil, must be destructive of the liberty belonging to man, in a state of trial, probation, and proficiency." This feems to be the principal argument, and on which the greatest stress is laid, fince it is fo often repeated and refer'd to. In my First Part", I have confider'd this cafe, whether man is now in fuch a state of trial and probation as is contended for; where I have thewn, by feveral arguments, that man is not in fuch a
* Whitby, p. 309, 310. Ed. 2. 301, 302.