Chapter XXI.—Freedom of the Will.
Then said Peter: “I advise that the first inquiry be, whether it be in our power to know whence we are to be judged.” But Simon said: “Not so; but concerning God, about whom all who are present are desirous to hear.” Then Peter: “You admit, then, that something is in the power of the will: only confess this, if it is so, and let us inquire, as you say, concerning God.” To this Simon answered: “By no means.” Then Peter said: “If, then, nothing is in our power, it is useless for us to inquire anything concerning God, since it is not in the power of those who seek to find; hence I said well, that this should be the first inquiry, whether p. 120 anything is in the power of the will.” 682 Then said Simon: “We cannot even understand this that you say, if there is anything in the power of the will.” But Peter, seeing that he was turning to contention, and, through fear of being overcome, was confounding all things as being in general uncertain, answered: “How then do you know that it is not in the power of man to know anything, since this very thing at least you know?”
[Comp. Homilies XI. 8, XIX. 15. But in the Recognitions this topic is more frequently treated. See chap. 26, and elsewhere.—R.]