That a Necessary Determination may arise several wayes, some where∣of are very consistent with Liberty, yea the more necessary the more free.
IT is good to observe, and it may clear many difficulties in this point, That a necessary determination may arise several wayes, some whereof are very consi∣stent with liberty, yea the more necessary the more free. Thus God himself doth ne∣cessarily will that which is good, and yet freely also: And if you ask, Whence doth it arise that God is thus determined to what is good? I answer, It is from the infinite and absolute perfection of his holinesse, whereby he is not, nor cannot be a God that willeth iniquity. Arminius indeed maketh it little lesse than bla∣sphemy to say, God is liberè bonus, but that is, because he cannot part with his Helena, or Dalilah (viz.) That liberty consists in an indifferency to good and evil, and in this sense to say, God doth so freely will good, that he can as freely will evil, would be blasphemy; but to will evil is no part at all of freedome, it is a defect in a mutable creature, as is to be shewed. Such a determination to good only was in Christ also from his perfection, and is likewise in the Angels confirm∣ed, and Saints glorified; here is no power to sinne, yet have they liberty in an eminent degree, though determined to good onely: On the contrary, the De∣vils and damned men they are necessarily determined to that which is evil, they cannot but hate God, they are not able to have one good thought, or one good desire to all eternity, yet all this is done freely by them; Now as the determina∣tion to good did arise from perfection, from the strong principles of holinesse within, so in these their necessary determination to evil doth arise from that pow∣er of iniquity and sinne they are delivered up unto: In this necessity of sinning are all natural men (till regenerated) absolutely plunged into, and that from the dominion which sinne hath over them; Onely herein they differ from the Devils and damned men, they are in their termino, in their journeys end, and so are not in a capacity of being ever freed from this necessity and thraldome to Page 313 sinne: There will never be a converted Devil, or a converted man in hell, their state is unchangeable, and they can never be recovered, but with wicked men in this life, God hath dealt in many plentifull wayes of mercy, so that though for the present determined only to evil all the day long, though for the present under the chains and bonds of sinne, Yet the grace of God may deliver them out of this prison, and set them at liberty, but till this be, they are as the Devils carried out necessarily in all hatred unto God, and this determination to one is from imper∣fection.
Lastly, There is a determination to one from principles of Nature without rea∣son and judgement, and where such is there cannot be any liberty, for reason and judgement is the root of liberty, though it be formally in the will.
By this then you see, That this necessity of sinning doth not take away the natural freedome that is in the will, so that a man and a beast should be both alike. Luther (De Servo Arbit.) indeed wished that the word Ne∣cessity might be laid aside; Neither doth Bradwardine like that expression, Ne∣cessitas immutabilitatis, as applied to man, but in the sense all that are Orthodox do agree.