These sections state and contrast the different conditions that “characterize the free agency of humanity in the four stages of innocence, hereditary sin, grace and glory.” In each state humanity is an unchangeable free agent. In each state humanity is responsible and always choosing or refusing in accordance with the innate desire. The faculties of humanity are according to their desires. The desires of the person are determined by the tastes (general or permanent), tendencies and habits of their character.
The responsibility lies within the person because they are desires that belong to the person. They are their tendencies and qualities of their own nature. Actions that are immoral come from a nature that is immoral. Actions that are immoral come from desires and decisions to act in accordance with those desires that are immoral. In the same way, if these actions are holy, they are his because he is holy.
What is meant by a free agent? Hodge:
(1.) That he has the power of originating action; that he is self-moved, and does not only move move as he is moved upon from without.
(2.) That he always wills that which, upon the whole view of the case presented by his understanding at the time, he desires to will.
(3.) That man is furnished with a reason to distinguish between the true and the false, and a conscience to distinguish between the right and the wrong, in order that his desires and consequent volitions may be both rational and righteous; and yet his desires are not necessarily either rational or righteous, but they are formed under the light of reason and conscience, either conformable or contrary to them, according to the permanent habitual disposition or moral character of the soul itself.