It can scarcely be doubted that this ready assent must have been no slight mortification to the vanity of Madame de Moret, while it is equally certain that it was perfectly sincere on the part of the King, although from a cause altogether independent of the Countess herself.
Although in this twilight region of opinion demonstrative proofs are replaced merely by an "occasion" for "taking" a given fact or idea "as true rather than false," yet assent is by no means an act of choice, as the Cartesians had erroneously maintained, for in knowledge it is determined by clearly discerned reasons, and in the sphere of opinion, by the balance of probability.
Luckily, assent is not belief; and mankind's feelings are for the most part superior to their opinions; otherwise the world would have been in a bad way indeed, and nature not been vindicated of her children.
This natural men may discourse of, and that very knowingly, and give a kind of natural credit to it as to a history that may be true; but firmly to believe that there is divine truth in all these things, and to have a persuasion of it stronger than of the very things we see with our eyes; such an assent as this is the peculiar work of the Spirit of God, and is certainly saving faith.
So that I think we may conclude, that, in propositions, where though the proofs in view are of most moment, yet there are sufficient grounds to suspect that there is either fallacy in words, or certain proofs as considerable to be produced on the contrary side; there assent, suspense, or dissent, are often voluntary actions.