Sämtliche schriften und briefe series VI volume 4
Deutsche Akademie der Wissenschaften (ed)
p 1528

Date: early 1686 (?)

Translated from the Latin

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[A VI 4, p1528]

A vindication of divine justice and human freedom,
based upon a consideration of the complete idea
God has about the creatable thing.

     There are two famous labyrinths of errors, one of which has chiefly exercised theologians, the other has exercised philosophers; the former is about freedom, the latter about the composition of the continuum, since the former touches upon the inner nature of the mind, the latter upon the inner nature of the body. And just as we can be geometers and physicists even if we do not consider whether a line is composed of points (so long as we assume, in place of indivisibles, quantities so small that any error which may then arise is smaller than a given number, i.e. as small as we want), so it is possible to satisfy theological truth even if we do not know the manner in which things and the action of things depend upon God as well as upon each other (provided that we assume, instead of actual things themselves, the complete concepts or ideas of possible things, which - it cannot be denied - are in the divine mind before every decree of the will and before the existence of things).

© Lloyd Strickland 2003. Revised 2014