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a possibility of infinite misery, which if he miss, there
not be taken to make any necessary part of our happi
For all that we desire, is only to be happy. But though this general desire of happiness operates constantly and invariably, yet the satisfaction of any particular desire can be suspended from determining the will to any subservient action, till we have maturely examined, whether the particular apparent good, which we then desire, makes a part of our real happiness, or be consistent or inconsistent with it. The result of our judgment upon that examination is what ultimately determines the man, who could not be free if his will were determined by any thing but his own desire, guided by his own judgment. I know that liberty by some is placed in an indifferency of the man, antecedent to the determination of his will. I wish they, who lay so much stress on such an antecedent indifferency, as they call it, lad told us plainly, whether this supposed indifferency be antecedent to the thought and judgment of the understanding, as well as to the decree of the will. For it is pretty liard to state it between them; i. c. immediately after the judgment of the understanding, and before the determination of the will, because the determination of the will immediately follows the judgment of the understanding: and to place liberty in an indifferency, antecedent to the thought and judgment of the understanding, seems to me to place liberty in a state of darkness, wherein we can neither. see nor say any thing of it; at least it places it in a subject incapable of it, no agent being allowed capable of liberty, but in consequence of thought and judgment. I am not nice about phrases, and therefore consent to say, with those that love to speak so, that liberty is placed in indifferency; but it is an indifferency which remains after the judgment of the understanding; yea, even after the determination of the will: and that is an indifferency not of the man, (for after he has once judged which is best, viz. to do, or forbear, he is no longer indiferent) but an indifferency of the operative powers of the man, which remaining cqually able to operate, or to forbear operating after, as, before the decree of the will. are in a state, which,
if one pleases, may be called indifferency; and as far as this indifferency reaches, a man is free, and no farther ; v. g. I have the ability to move my hand, or to let it rest; that operative power is indifferent to move, or not to move my hand; 1.am .then in that respect perfectly free. My will determines that operative powerto jest; I am yet free;. because the indifferency of that.my.operative power to act, or not to act, still romains; the power of moving my hand is not at all impaired by the determination of my will, which at present orders 'rest; the indifferency of that power to act, or not to act, is just as it was before, as will appear, if he will puts it to the trial, by ordering the contrary uiBut if during the rest of my hand, it be seized by a sudden palsy, the indifferency of that operative power is gone, and with it, my liberty; I have no longer freedom in that respect, but am under a necessity of letting my hand rest. On the other side, if my hand be put into inotion by a convulsion, the indifferency of that operative faculty is taken away by that motion, and my liberty in that case is lost; for I am under a necessity of having my hand move. I have added this, to show in what sort of indifferency liberty seems to me to consist, and not in any other, real or imaginary.
§. 79. True notions concerning the nature and extent of liberty are of so great importance, that I hope I shall be pardoned this digression, which my attempt to explain it has led me into. The idea of will, volition, liberty, and necessity, in this chapter of power, came naturally in my way.
In a former edition of this treatise, I gave an account of my thoughts concerning them, according to the light I then had; and now, as a lover of truth, and not a sworshipper of my own.doctrines, I own some change of my opinion, which I think I have discovered ground for. In: what:1. first writ, I with an unbiassed indifferency, followed truth, whither I thought she led me. But neither being so vain as to fancy infallibility, npr so disingenuous as to dissemble my mistakes, for fear: of bleinishing my repưl. tation, I have, with the same sincere design for truth 1
only, not been ashamed to publish what a severer inquiry has suggested. It is not impossible but that some may think my former notions right, and some (as I have already found) these latter, and some neither. I shall not at all wonder at this variety in men's opinions; impartial deductions of reason in controverted points being so rare, and exact ones in abstract notions not so very easy, especially if of any length. And therefore I should think myself not a little beholden to any one, who would upon these, or any other grounds, fairly clear this subject of liberty from any difficulties that may yet remain.
Before I close this chapter, it may perhaps be to our purpose, and help to give us clearer conceptions about power, if we make our thoughts take a little more exact survey of action. I have said above, that we have ideas but of two sorts of action, viz. motion and thinking. These, in truth, though called and counted actions, yet if nearly considered, will not be found to be always perfectly so. For, if I mistake not, there are instances of both kinds, which, upon due consideration, will be found rather passions than actions, and consequently so far the effects barely of passive powers in those subjects, which yet on their accounts are thought agents. For in these instances, the substance that hath motion or thought receives the impression, where it is put into that action purely from without, and so acts merely by the capacity it has to receive such an impression from some external agent; and such a power is not properly an active power, but a inere passive capacity in the subject. Sometimes the substance or agent puts itself into action by its own power ; and this is properly active power. Whatsoever inodification a substance has, whereby it produces any effect, that is called action; v. g. a solid substance by motion operates on, or alters the sensible ideas of another substance; and therefore this modification of motion we call action. But yet this motion in that solid substance is, when rightly considered, but a passion, if it received it only from some external agent. So that the active power of motion is in no substance
which cannot begin motion in itself, or in another substance, when at rest. So likewise in thinking, a power to receive ideas or thoughts, from the operation of any external substance, is called a power of thinking: but this is but a passive power, or capacity. But to be able to bring into view ideas out of sight at one's own choice, and to compare which of them one thinks fit, this is an active power. This reflection may be of some use to preserve us from mistakes about powers and actions, which grammar and the common frame of languages may be apt to lead us into; since what is signified by verbs that grammarians call active, does not always signify action : v. g. this proposition, I see the moon, or a star, or I feel the heat of the sun, though expressed by a verb active, does not signify any action in me, whereby I operate on those substances; but the reception of the ideas of light, roundness and heat, wherein I am not active, but barely passive, and cannot in that position of my eyes, or body, avoid receiving them. But when I turn my eyes another way, or remove my body out of the sunbeams, I am properly active; because of my own choice, by a power within myself, I put myself into that motion. Such an action is the product of active power.
8. 73. And thus I have, in a short draught, given a view of our original ideas, from whence all the rest are derived, and of which they are made up; which if I would consider, as a philosopher, and examine on what causes they depend, and of what they are made, I believe they all might be reduced to these very few primary and original ones, viz. Extension, Solidity, Mobility, or the power of being moved; which by our senses we receive from body; Perceptivity, or the power of perception, or thinking; Motivity, or the power of moving; which by reflection we receive from our minds. I crave leave to make use of these two new words, to avoid the danger of being mistaken in the use of those which are equivocal. To which if we add Existence, Duration, Number; which belong both to the one and the other; we have, perhaps, all the original ideas, on which the rest depend. For by , VOL. I. T