The third objection is in respect to contradictory wills.

He who, in his secret counsel, wills and prohibits by his law the same work, in him there are contradictory wills. But in God there are no contradictory wills. Therefore he does not, by his secret determination, will those things which he prohibits in his law, as robbery, murder, lust, theft, &c.

Ans.
1. We grant the whole argument in as far as these things are done by creatures contrary to the law, and are sins. In this sense God neither wills nor approves of them, but only in as far as they are certain motions and punishments of the wicked.

2. We must make a distinction in reference to the major proposition ; for it is contradictory to say he wills and forbids the same work in the same respect, and with the same end. God wills and forbids the same things, but in a different respect, and with a different end. He willed, for instance, the selling of Joseph in as far as it was the occasion of his elevation, the preservation of the family of Jacob and the fulfillment of the prophecies concerning the bondage of the seed of Abraham in Egypt. But in as far as he was sent away by the hatred of his brethren, he did not will it. but denounced arid condemned it as horrible fratricide. And so of the other examples we have adduced.

The fourth objection relates to liberty and contingency. That which is done by the immutable decree of God cannot be done contingently and freely, but necessarily. But many things are done contingently and freely. Therefore many things are not done by the immutable decree and providence of God, or else liberty and contingency are taken away.

Ans.
1. We reply to the major: that which is done by the unchangeable decree of God cannot be done contingently, viz : in respect to the first cause, or in respect to the same immutable divine decree : yet it may be done contingently in respect to a second and last cause working contingently or freely. For contingency is the order between a changeable cause and its effect : just as necessity is the order between a necessary cause and its effect. Hence the cause must be of the same character as the effect. But the same effect may proceed from a changeable and necessary cause in different respects, as is the case with all things which God does through his creatures ; of which both God and his creatures are the cause. Thus k. aspect to God there is an unchangeable order between cause and effect ; but in respect to creatures, there is a changeable order between the cause and the same effect. Hence in regard to God it is necessary, but in regard to the creature it is contingent in the same effect. Therefore it is not absurd that the same effect should be said to be necessary and contingent in respect to different causes, that is, in respect to an un changeable first cause acting necessarily, and in respect to a changeable second cause acting contingently.

2. We also deny what is said in the major, that that is not done, or may be done freely which is done by the immutable decree of God. For it is not immutability, but constraint ; or it is not the necessity of unchangeableness, but that of constraint which take away liberty. God is unchangeably and necessarily good, and yet he is at the same time most freely good : the devils are unchangeably and necessarily evil ; and yet they are evil, and do that which is evil with the greatest freedom of the will.