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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary

Will

That faculty of the soul by which it chooses or refuses any thing offered to it. When man was created, he had liberty and power to do what was pleasing in the sight of God; but by the fall, he lost all ability of will to any spiritual good; nor has he any will to that which is good until divine grace enlightens the understanding and changes the heart. "The nature of the will, indeed, is in itself indisputably free. Will, as will, must be so, or there is no such faculty; but the human will, being finite, hath a necessary bound, which indeed so far may be said to confine it, because it cannot act beyond it; yet within the extent of its capacity it necessarily is and ever will be spontaneous. "The limits of the will, therefore, do not take away its inherent liberty. The exercise of its powers may be confined, as it necessarily must, in a finite being; but where it is not confined, that exercise will correspond with its nature and situation. "This being understood, it is easy to perceive that man in his fallen state can only will according to his fallen capacities, and that, however freely his volitions may flow within their extent, he cannot possibly overpass them. He, therefore, as a sinful, carnal, and perverse apostate, can will only according to the nature of his apostacy; which is continually and invaribly evil, without capacity to exceed its bounds into goodness, purity, and truth; or otherwise he would will contrary to or beyond his nature and situation, which is equally impossible in itself, and contradictory to the revelation of God.

See Edwards on the Will; Theol. Misc. vol. 4: p. 391; Gill's Cause of God and Truth; Toplady's Historic Proof; Watts' Essay on the Freedom of the Will; Charnock's Works, vol. 2: p. 175, and 187; Locke on the Understanding; Reid on the Active Powers, p. 267, 291; and articles LIBERTY and NECESSITY in this work.

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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Will'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/w/will.html. 1802.

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