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mind cannot love the object. By cannot, I mean it is impossible in the nature of things. God is a virtuous object, and the source of all virtue; therefore the mind to love him, must possess a virtuous nature, a nature to relish, or which is the same thing, to love virtuous objects. But the carnal mind has not this nature, but its nature is to hate virtuous objects, therefore it cannot love God, nor comply with the law, that requires this loving, « The carnal mind is enmity against God, not subject to his law; neither indeed can be." It is natural depravity, which causes this enmity, and makes it naturally impossible for the mind to obey the law in this respect. The law is right, but the mind is wrong.This wrong is what Adam brought upon himself and his posterity by his disobedience. The nature of God will never change, his law can never be altered; it is now perfect, and cannot be altered for the

; better; therefore, if we expect ever to love God, and obey this law, the nature of our minds must be changed. Suppose the nature of wormwood, which is bitter to our taste, cannot be changed; and suppose there is a perfect law, that cannot be altered for the better, which requires that wormwood should be sweet to our taste, is it not evident, ihat our taste must be changer, before the wormwood can be sweet? But suppose the taste has for its foundation the nature of the mind, then, tliere must be a change of this nature, before there is such a change of the taste, as to have wormwood sweet. I consider it precisely so as to laving God; the carwal mind must be changed, and have a nature to relish virtuous objects. But then, this depravity, as has been shewn, does not affect our liberty ;

and I presume, the law of God requires nothing of the will, that the human mind is not able to perform. The will cannot change the nature of the carnal mind, for this is the work of the Holy Spirit; it may however co-operate with the Holy Spirit in this work. Before any one complains, that he is under a law, that he cannot obey, let him consider, wheth. er he has obeyed the laws, that should govern his will. Let him put this question to himself “ Have I daily prayed to God to create within me a clean Spirit, that I might love him?" If he has wholly nego lected prayer, he has violated the law, that requires these exercises of his will; and perhaps this is the very reason, that he has not a clean spirit bestowed upon him, and he is now under a law to love God, that he cannot obey.

IV. From what has been said, we learn that God's government of the moral world is partly by force, and partly not by force. All'impressions that are made by God on our minds, are made in pursuance of fixt laws in nature that act uniformly on all minds pearly alike, except the difference that arises from the nature of the minds themselves, some being virtuous, and others vicious. I consider that this part of God's government is by force; that is, he has given to objects without us, their different natures, and makes them operate on our minds, so as therein to produce impressions. We call the perceptions of these impressions, operations of the understanding; and I believe, when the understanding perceives an impression, it always relishes, or disrelishes the impression, or is indifferent about it.The precepts of the Bible that require the exercise of love for virtuous objects, and the exercise of hatred for vicious objects, are not to be obeyed by the will ; for, a compliance with these, I think, depends wholly on the nature of the passive power of the mind; if its nature be virtuous, then the mind will have a relish for virtuous objects, and a disrelish for vicious objects, so that it can love and hate as the precepts require. But the will does not give to the mind its nature, nor to objects without the mind their different natures, nor cause their operations on the mind, when they make impressions--what then has the will to do with loving and hating objects? These exercises of the affections cannot be produced by the will; therefore, I conclude, that the precepts that require these exercises are not intended to govern the will; but to show us, what should be the nature of our minds. I believe this


doctrine is supported by what is said in Chap. xii. I use the words loving and hating as synonymous with the words, relishing and disrelishing. Now, if regeneration is a relish for spiritual objects communicated to the mind by the power of the Holy Ghost, as Dr. Dwight says in chap. xii. then, when this relish has not been communicated, or is not in the mind, natural depravity remains entire ; and I think it is evident, that the precepts, that require this relishing, cannot be obeyed, belore the relish is communicated; for the mind cannot exercise that, which it has not. Dr. Dwight does not consider this relish to be the same as volition ; for he says, “ The spirit of God does not in my view, when he regenerates mankind create in them any volitions whatever.” I consider this relish has for its foundation a virtuous nature in the mind, so that when spiritual objects make impressions upon the mind, or are thought of, the mind relishes or loves them. But this relishing or loving is excited in the mind by the operations of spirirual objects upon the mind; so, properly speaking, relishing, and loving are operations of the passive power of the mind. It

may alarm some honest people to be told their will is not concerned in loving God; but it is to be

1; noticed in what sense I use the word loving ; I use it as the exercise of the affection, called love ; I conder this exercise to be an effect, and it is evident the will cannot produce it; but the will may perform the exercises called attention, examen, &c. about the object to be loved; but these volitions cannot produce what is called, loving the object; this loving depends wholly on there being a relish in the mind for the object. We must be careful to distinguish between the exercises of the affections, which are effects, and in which the mind has no liberty, or freedom; and the exercises of the will, which are not effects, and in which the mind has freedom, or liberty. I consider the want of this distinction in President Edwards' writings on the freedom of the will to be a great defect: what he has said on this subject is rather a discourse upon the exercises of the affections, than upon the exercises of the will : choice is always an exercise of the affections, but volition is an exercise of the will,

2. The will is the active power of the mind; and this power, in itself considered, remains the same, whether the nature of the mind be virtuous or vi. cious. The precepts that require certain exercises of the will, and voluntary actions, and forbid others, are to govern the will. But these precepts do not produce our volitions, nor is there any thing that does; but in willing our minds are free: God does not govern them by force. I believe whatever the

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