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[66] origin of evil in the world. It was a three-cornered contest. The Calvinists and the infidels both believed in a kind of determinism, but differed over the nature of the determining cause. The Calvinists found this cause in a personal Creator, omnipotent and omniscient, to whom they did not scruple to carry up all the evil as well as all the good of the universe--“c'est que Dieu,” as Calvin himself states categorically, “non seulement a preveu la cheute du premier homme, et en celle la ruine de toute sa posterity, mais qu'il l'a ainsi voulu.” The deists, who at this time formed the fighting line of the infidels, while verbally acknowledging the existence of God and theorizing on the nature of evil, virtually regarded the universe as a perfectly working machine in which there was no room for a personal governor or for real sin. To the Arminians, including the bulk of the orthodox churchmen, the alliance between Calvinism and deism seemed altogether to outweigh the differences. As Daniel Whitby declares in the preface to his discourses On the five points of Calvinism (1710; reprinted in America), to hold God responsible for evil is to play directly into the hands of the atheists. And so the age-old dispute between Augustinian and Pelagian, and between Calvinist and Arminian, took on a new life from the deistic controversy, and there sprang up a literature which undertook to preserve the idea of an omnipotent personal Creator and at the same time to save his face, if the expression may be tolerated, by attributing to men complete free will and accountability for their actions.

It was in answer to Whitby's book and one or two others of the kind that Edwards composed his Freedom of the will. His argument has a psychological basis. In the Treatise concerning religious affections he had divided the soul into two faculties: one called the understanding, by which it discerns, views, and judges things; the other called the heart or will, being nothing else but the inclination of the soul towards or the disinclination from what is discerned and judged by the understanding. In the Freedom of the will he starts with Locke's statement that “the Will is perfectly distinguished from Desire, which in the very same action may have a quite contrary tendency from that which our Wills set us upon.” This theory Edwards analyses and rejects, and

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