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mand of you; and if either of us ought to be troubled in the case, it is I, because you did so much; and not you, because you did so little. But the reality of your friendship has so blended our concerns into one, that you will not permit me to observe, whether I do, or receive the favour, in what passes between us; and I am almost persuaded by you to believe, that sitting here by the fire I trudge up and down for you in London. Give me leave however to thank you, as if you had delivered Mr. Le Clerc's Harmony to Mr. Secretary Johnston for me, and sent me the two Bibles, which I received.

As for the rummaging over Mr. Norris's late book*, I will be sworn, it is not I have done that; for however I may be mistaken in what passes without me, I am infallible in what passes in my own mind; and I am sure, the ideas that are put together in your letter out of him, were never so in my thoughts, till I saw them there. What did I 66 say, put ideas together?" I ask your pardon, it is "put words together without ideas;" just as I should suspect I did, if I should say you disparaged a very good straight ruler I had, if you told me it would not enable me to write sense, though it were very good and useful, to show me whether I writ straight or no.

Men of Mr. Norris's way seem to me to decree, rather than to argue. They, against all evidence of sense and reason, decree brutes to be machines, only because their hypothesis requires it; and then with a like authority, suppose, as you rightly observe, what they should prove; viz. that whatsoever thinks, is immaterial. Cogitation, says Mr. Norris, " is more excellent than motion, or vegetation; and therefore must belong to another substance than that of matter, in the idea whereof, motion and vegetation are contained." This latter part, I think, would be hard for him to prove,

*An Essay towards the Theory of the ideal or intelligible World. Being the relative Part of it. Wherein the intelligible World is considered, with Relation to Human Understanding. Whereof some Account is here attempted, and proposed. Part II. By John Norris, Rector of Bemerton, near Sarum. Lond. 1704, in 8vo.

viz. "that motion and vegetation are contained in the idea of the substance of matter." But to let that pass at present; I ask, whether if this way of arguing be good, it will not turn upon him thus: "If the idea of a spirit does not comprehend motion and vegetation; then they must belong to another substance than a spirit; and therefore are more excellent than cogitation, or the affections of a spirit." For if its greater excellency proves any mode or affection to "belong to another substance;" will not its "belonging to another substance," by the same rule, prove it to be more excellent? But this is only to deal with these men of logic and subtilty, in their own way, who use the term "excellent," to prove a material question by, without having, as you remark, a clear and determined idea of what they mean by more or less excellent.

But not to waste your time, in playing with the argu. ments of men, that examine not strictly the meaning of the words they use; I will show you the fallacy whereby they impose on themselves; for such talkers commonly cozen themselves, as well as others. Cogitation, say they," is not comprehended in the idea of extension and solidity;" for that is it which they mean, when they say, the "idea of matter;" from whence they conclude right, that " cogitation belongs not to extension or solidity; or is not included in either of them, or both together;" but this is not the consequence that they draw, but infer a conclusion that is not contained in the premises, and is quite besides them; as Mr. Norris, if he would make use of syllogism to its proper purpose, might see. Extension, and solidity, we have the ideas of; and see, that cogitation has no necessary connexion with them, nor has any consequential result from them; and therefore is not a proper affection of extension and solidity, nor doth naturally belong to them; but how doth it follow from hence, that it may not be made an affection of, or be annexed to that substance, which is vested with solidity and extension? Of this substance we have no idea, that excludes cogitation, any more than solidity. Their conclusion, therefore, should be the exclusion of cogitation from

the substance of matter, and not from the other affections of that substance. But they either overlook this, which is the true state of that argument, or else avoid to set it in its clear light; lest it show too plainly, that their great argument either proves nothing, or, if it doth, it is against them.

What you say about my Essay of Human Understanding, that nothing can be advanced against it, but upon the principle of innate ideas, is certainly so; and therefore all who do not argue against it, from innate ideas, in the sense I speak of innate ideas; though they make a noise against me, yet at last they so draw and twist their improper ways of speaking, which have the appearance and sound of contradiction to me, that at last they state the question so, as to leave no contradiction in it to my Essay; as you have observed in Mr. Lee*, Mr. Lowde†, and Mr. Norris in his late treatise. It is reward enough for the writing my book, to have the approbation of one such a reader as you are. You have done me and my book a great honour, in having bestowed so much of your thoughts upon it. You have a comprehensive knowledge of it, and do not stick in the incidents; which I find many people do; which, whether true or false, make nothing to the main design of the Essay, that lies in a little compass; and yet, I hope, may be of great use to those who see and follow that plain and easy method of nature, to carry them the shortest and clearest way to knowledge. Pardon me this vanity; it was with a design of inquiring into the nature and powers of the understanding, that I writ it; and nothing but the hope that it might do some service to truth and knowledge, could excuse the publishing of it.

I know not whether I ever showed you an occasional sketch of mine, about" seeing all things in God." If

• Anti-Scepticism; or Notes upon each Chapter of Mr. Locke's Essay concerning Human Understanding, with an Explanation of all the Particulars of which he treats, and in the same Order. In four Books. By Henry Lee, B. D. formerly Fellow of Emanuel College, in Cambridge, now Rector of Tichmarsh, in Northamptonshire." Lond. 1702, in Fol.

In his Discourse concerning the Nature of Man, &c. and his Moral Essays, &c.

I did not, if it please God I live to see you here again, I will show it you*; and some other things. If you will let me know before-hand, when you design us that favour, it will be an addition to it. I beg your pardon for holding you so long from better employment. I do not, you see, willingly quit your conversation. If you were nearer me, you would see it more, for I am, &c.

To the same.


Oates, 3 April, 1704.

In good sooth, sir, you are an obstinate lover; there is no help for it, you must carry your point. Only give me leave to tell you, that I do not like the puling fit you fall into, at the lower end of the page; where you tell me, "I have given you an argument against presuming so far again upon the liberty I allow you." That is to say, you may give me books, you may buy books for me, you may get books bound for me, you may trudge up and down with them on my errand to ladies; but my book you may not presume to read, use your judgment about, and talk to me freely of; though I know nobody that understands it so well, nor can give me better light concerning it. Away with this squeamishness, I beseech you; and be assured, that, among the many good offices you daily do for me in London, there is none whereby I shall reap so much profit and pleasure, as your studying for me; and let us both, without scruple or reserve, help one another the best we can, in the way to truth and knowledge. And whenever you find me presume, that I know all that belongs to the subject of my own book, and disdain to receive light and instruction from another, though of much lower form than you; conclude that I am an arrant coxcomb, and know nothing at all.

That Dissertation was published in Mr. Locke's Posthumous Works; Lond. 1706, in 8vo.

You will see by the enclosed, that I can find business for you at Oxford, as well as at London. I have left it open, that you may read it before you seal and deliver it. In it you will see what he writ to me, on that affair. He is well acquainted with them in the university; and if he has not, may be prevailed on by you to fish out the bottom of that matter, and inform you in all the particulars of it. But you must not take his conjectures for matter of fact; but know his authors, for any matter of fact he affirms to you. You will think I intend to engage you in a thousand disputes with him ; quite the contrary. You may avoid all dispute with him; if you will but say after him; though you put him upon things that show you question all he says.

If Mr. Wynne of Jesus-College, who epitomised my book*, be in the university, it is like you will see him, and talk to him of the matter. Pray, give him my service. But be sure, forget me not, with all manner of respect, to Mr. Wright, for whom I have, as I ought, a very peculiar esteem.

hope you will be pleased with me; for you see I have cut out work for you; and that is all that is left for me to do, to oblige you. I am, &c.

To the same.


Oates, 19 May, 1704.

NOTHING works so steadily and effectually as friendship. Had I hired a man to have gone to town in my business, and paid him well, my commissions would not have been so soon, nor so well despatched, as I find, by yours of the 16th, they have been by you. You speak of my affairs, and act in them with such an air of interest and satisfaction, that I can hardly avoid thinking, that I oblige you with employing you in them. It is no small advantage to me, to have found such a friend, at the last

Mr. Wynne, afterwards lord bishop of St. Asaph, was the author of An Abridgment of Mr. Locke's Essay concerning Human Understanding. Lond. 1696, in 8vo.

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