A Question in regards to Edward's Freedom of the Will

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by Unworthy_Servant, Jul 14, 2018.

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  1. Unworthy_Servant

    Unworthy_Servant Puritan Board Freshman

    Recently I've been going through Edward's Freedom of the Will with a friend, and the other day we read through part 2 sect. 1 where he gives his Infinite Regress Argument against Arminianism. My understanding is that our Wills are contingent upon previous acts of the Will, and each act is never truly self-determining as the Arminian asserts, yet I'm having trouble understanding what Jonathan means here:

    "If the Will be not free in the first act, which causes the next, then neither is it free in the next, which is caused by that first act; for though indeed the Will caused it, yet it did not cause it freely; because the preceding act, by which it was caused, was not free."

    So my question is, why is the first act of the will not free according to Jonathan Edwards? Does he make a connection with our nature as sinners thereby determining our Wills?

    Edit: Keep in mind I read this on my own a few years ago and had a hard time understanding a large portion of it. I don't recall him clarifying this point but I may have missed the boat.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
  2. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    He is saying that some act is needed to get the chain started, and it can't be the will itself, since it can only act from previous willings.
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