A REPERTORY OF CHRISTIAN THOUGHT & A RECORD OF CHRISTIAN WORK AMONG THE CALYINISTIC METHODISTS or PRESBYTERIANS of WALES. Vol. V. No. 3.] MARCH, 1889. Price One Penny. ©tfjics anb ©Ijjristicuutg. Lectures delivered to the Students in the year 1865, by the late Rev. L. Edwards, M.A., D.D., Principal of Bala College. Written by ft. Leigh Roose. Lecture III. THE WILL. One objection that I have to all the views that go to deny the liberty of the Will is, that they do away with this mystery, and try to resolve the whole question into something which may be brought under the cognizance of the understanding. Some of them describe the Will as if it were nothing more than desire. I believe this is Dr. Thomas Brown's view. The Will, according to him, is only the most prominent the ruling—desire of men for the time being. But you may take it for granted that when men have different words in general use there are different ideas represented by those words; and in this case the difference is obvious enough ; because desire refers to something absent— something which I do not possess ; while the Will refers to actions which I myself have to perform. Others again explain the whole question as if the Will were entirely under the domain of the law of cause and effect, even those who distinguish in some degree between Will and desire. This, it must be confessed, is a very intelligible system, but at the same time it reduces man to a mere machine. This view has gained considerable acceptance among Calvinists, as it seems to them the one most favourable to their belief in the eternal and immutable decrees of God. We ought, however, to understand that this was not the view of the soundest theologians in the early ages. I shall not speak of the Greek Fathers, because their attention was directed principally to other subjects; but their testimony, as far as it has any weight, is unanimous on behalf of the freedom of the Will. Those, however, who investigated this subject most profoundly were the Latin Fathers; especially Augustine, than whom there never was a writer who contended with greater ability for the Divine Decrees, and for the sinful state of man by nature; and yet it was a point of his creed which did not appear to admit of any doubt whatever, that man was created in the possession of full and perfect liberty. This was also the uniform opinion of the Protestant Reformers.