— 241 —
Powers belong to Agents.       §16. ’Tis plain then, That the Will is nothing but one Power
or Ability, and Freedom another Power or Ability: So that to ask,
whether the Will has Freedom, is to ask, whether one Power has
another Power, one Ability another Ability; a Question at first
sight too grosly absurd to make a Dispute, or need an Answer.
For who is it that sees not, that Powers belong only to Agents, and
are Attributes only of Substances, and not of Powers themselves? So that
this way of putting the question, viz. whether the Will be free, is in
effect to ask, whether the Will be a Substance, an Agent, or at least
to suppose it, since Freedom can properly be attributed to nothing
else. If Freedom can with any propriety of Speech be applied to
Power, it may be attributed to the Power, that is in a Man, to
produce, or forbear producing Motion in parts of his Body, by
choice or preference; which is that which denominates him free,
and is Freedom it self. But if any one should ask, whether Freedom
were free, he would be suspected, not to understand well what he
said; and he would be thought to deserve Midas’s Ears, who know-
ing that Rich was a denomination from the possession of Riches,
should demand whether Riches themselves were rich.
Locke Hum II, 21, §16, p. 241