The Works of President Edwards

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Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012 - 702 strani
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: troversy about the freedom of Will, whether the free acts of the Will are events which come to pass without a cause, I shall be particular in examining this point Ji the two following sections. SECTION III. Whether any Event whatsoever, and Volition in particular, can come to pass without a Cause of its existence. Before I enter on any argument on this subject, I would explain how I woulc be understood, when I use the word Cause in this discourse: since, for want of a better word, I shall have occasion to use it in a sense which is more extensive, than that in which it is sometimes used. The word is often used in so restrained a sense as to signify only that which has a positive efficiency or influence to produce a thing, or bring it to pass. But there are many things which have no such positive productive influence; which yet are Causes in that respect, that they have truly the nature of a ground or reason why some things are, rather than others; or why they are as they are, rather than otherwise. Thus the absence of the sun in the night, is not the Cause of the falling of the dew at that time, in the same manner as its beams are the Cause of the ascending of the vapors in the day time; and its withdrawment in the winter, is not in the same manner the Cause of the freezing of the waters, as its approach in the spring is the Cause oi their thawing. But yet the withdrawment or absence of the sun is an antecedent, with which these effects in the night and winter are connected, and on which they depend; and is one thing that belongs to the ground and reason why they come to pass at that time, rather than at other times; though the absence of the sun is nothing positive, nor has any positive influence. It may be further observed, that when I speak of connection of ...

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