CHAPTER 9.–Of Free Will.
I. God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that is neither forced, nor by any absolute necessity of nature determined, to good or evil.[a]
[a] Matt. 17:12. James 1:14. Deut. 30:19.
II. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to do that which is good and well-pleasing to God;[b] but yet mutably, so that he might fall from it.[c]
[b] Eccl. 7:29. Gen. 1:26.
[c] Gen. 2:16,17. Gen. 3:6.
III. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation;[d] so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good,[e] and dead in sin,[f] is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.[g]
[d] Rom. 5:6. Rom 8:7. John 15:5.
[e] Rom. 3:10,12.
[f] Eph. 2:1,5. Col. 2:13.
[g] John 6:44,65. Eph. 2:2-5. 1 Cor. 2:14. Tit. 3:3-5.
IV. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, he freeth him from his natural bondage under sin,[h] and by his grace alone, enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good;[i] yet so as that, by reason of his remaining corruption, he doth not perfectly nor only will that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil.[k]
[h] Col. 1:13. John 8:34,36.
[i] Phil. 2:13. Rom. 6:18,22.
[k] Gal. 5:17. Rom. 7:15,18,19,21,23.
V. The will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to do good alone in the state of glory only.[l]
[l] Eph. 4:13. Heb. 12:23. 1 John 3:2. Jude ver. 24.