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“ those sensations by all the definitions one could give 66 him of them." This is true of what he calls sentiments; and as true also of what he calls ideas. Show me one who has not got by experience, i. e. by seeing or feeling, the idea of space or motion, and I will as soon by words make one, who never felt what heat is, have a conception of heat, as he, that has not by his senses perceived what space or motion is, can by words be made to conceive either of them. The reason why we are apt to think these ideas belonging to extension got another way than other ideas, is because, our bodies being extended, we cannot avoid the distinction of parts in ourselves; and all that is for the support of our lives, being by motion applied to us, it is impossible to find any one who has not by experience got those ideas; and so by the use of language learnt what words stand for them, which by custom came to excite them in his mind; as the names of heat and pleasure do excite in the mind of those who have by experience got them the ideas they are by use annexed to. Not that words or definitions can teach or bring into the mind one more than another of those I call simple ideas; but can by use excite them in those who, having got them by experience, know certain sounds to be by use annexed to them as the signs of them.
50. Fourthly, “ The fourth way of knowing, he tells “ us, is by conjecture, and thus only we know the souls “ of other men and pure intelligences,” i. e. We know them not at all; but we probably think there are such beings really existing in “ rerum natura.” But this looks to me beside our author's business here, which seems to me to examine what ideas we have, and how we came by them. So that the thing here considered, should in my opinion be, not whether there were any souls of men or pure intelligences any-where existing, but what ideas we have of them, and how we came by them. For when he says, we know not angels, either “ in themselves, or by their ideas, or by conscious
ness,” what in that place does angels signify? What idea in him does it stand for? Or is it the sign of no idea at all, and so a bare sound without signification ? He that reads this seventh chapter of his with attention, will find that we have simple ideas as far as our experience reaches, and no farther. And beyond that we know nothing at all, no not even what those ideas are that are in us, but only that they are perceptions in the mind, but how made we cannot comprehend.
51. In his Eclaircissements on the nature of ideas, p. 535, of the quarto edition, he says, that " he is cer“ tain that the ideas of things are unchangeable.” This I cannot comprehend; for how can I know that the picture of any thing is like that thing, when I never see that which it represents ? For if these words do not mean that ideas are true unchangeable representations of things, I know not to what purpose they are.
And if that be not their meaning, then they can only signify, that the idea I have once had will be unchangeably the same as long as it recurs the same in my memory; but when another different from that comes into my mind, it will not be that. Thus the idea of an horse, and the idea of a centaur, will, as often as they recur in my mind, be unchangeably the same; which is no more than this, the same idea will be always the same idea ; but whether the one or the other be the true representation of any thing that exists, that, upon his principles, neither our author nor any body else can know.
52. What he says here of universal reason, which enlightens every one, whereof all men partake, seems to me nothing else but the power men have to consider the ideas they have one with another, and by this comparing them, find out the relations that are between them; and therefore if an intelligent being at one end of the world, and another at the other end of the world, will consider twice two and four together, he cannot but find them to be equal, i. e. to be the same number. These relations, it is true, are infinite, and God, who knows all things and their relations as they are, knows them all, and so his knowledge is infinite. But men are able to discover more or less of these relations, only as they apply their minds to consider any sort of ideas, and to find out intermediate ones, which can show the relation of those ideas, which cannot be
immediately compared by juxta position. But then what he means by that infinite reason which inen consult; I confess myself not well to understand. For if he means that they consider a part of those relations of things which are infinite, that is true; but then this is a very improper way of speaking, and I cannot think that a man of his parts would use it to mean nothing else by it. If he means, as he says, p. 536, that this infinite and universal reason, whereof men partake, and which they consult, is the reason of God himself; I can by no means assent to it. First, because I think we cannot say God reasons at all; for he has at once a view of all things. But reason is very far from such an intuition; it is a laborious and gradual progress in the knowledge of things, by comparing one idea with a second, and a second with a third, and that with a fourth, &c. to find the relation between the first and the last of these in this train, and in search for such intermediate ideas, as may show us the relation we desire to know, which sometimes we find, and sometimes not. This way therefore of finding truth, so painful, uncertain, and limited, is proper only to men of finite understandings, but can by no means be supposed in God; it is therefore in God understanding or knowledge. But then to say that we partake in the knowledge of God, or consult his understanding, is what I cannot receive for true. God has given me an understanding of my own; and I should think it presumption in me to suppose I apprehended any thing by God's understanding, saw with his eyes, or shared of his knowledge. I think it more possible for me to see with other men's eyes, and understand with another man's understanding, than with God's; there being some proportion between mine and another man's understanding, but none between mine and God's. But if this infinite reason which we consult, be at last nothing but those infinite unchangeable relations which are in things, some of which we make a shift to discover; this indeed is true, but seems to me to make little to our author's purpose of seeing all things in God; and that, “if we see not all things by the natu.
“ ral union of our minds with the universal and infinite “ reason, we should not have the liberty to think on “ all things,” as he expresses it, p. 538. To explain himself farther concerning this universal reason, or, as he there calls it by another name, order, p. 539, he says, that “ God contains in himself the perfections of all “ the creatures that he has created, or can create, after “ an intelligible manner.” Intelligible to himself, it is true; but intelligible to men, at least to me, that I do not find, unless,“ by containing in himself the per“ fections of all the creatures," be meant, that there is no perfection in any creature, but there is a greater in God, or that there is in God greater perfection than all the perfections of the creatures taken together. And therefore though it be true what follows in the next words, “that it is by these intelligible perfections that “ God knows the essence of every thing;” yet it will not follow from hence, or from any thing else that he has said, that those perfections in God, which contain in them the perfections of all the creatures, are “ the “ immediate objects of the mind of man;" or that
they are so the objects of the mind of man,” that he can in them see the essences of the creatures. For I ask in which of the perfections of God does a man see the essence of an horse or an ass, of a serpent or a dove, of hemlock or parsley? I for my part, I confess, see not the essence of any of these things in any of the perfections of God, which I have any notion of. For indeed I see not the distinct essence either of these things at all, or know wherein it consists. And therefore I cannot comprehend the force of the inference, which follows in these words, “ then the intelligible 6 ideas or perfections that are in God, which represent “ to us what is out of God, are absolutely necessary “ and unchangeable.” That the perfections that are in God are necessary and unchangeable, I readily grant: but that the ideas that are intelligible to God, or are in the understanding of God (for so we must speak of him whilst we conceive of him after the manner of men) can be seen by us; or, that the perfections that are in God represent to us the essences of things that are out of God, that I cannot conceive. The essence of matter, as much as I can see of it, is extension, solidity, divisibility, and mobility ; but in which of the perfections of God do I see this essence? To another inan, as to our author perhaps, the essence of body is quite another thing; and when he has told us what to him is the essence of body, it will be then to be considered in which of the perfections of God he sees it. For example, let it be pure extension alone, the idea then that God had in himself of the essence of body, before body was created, was the idea of pure extension ; when God then created body he created extension, and then space, which existed not before, began to exist. This, I confess, I cannot conceive; but we see in the perfections of God the necessary and unchangeable essences of things. He sees one essence of body in God, and I another : which is that necessary and unchangeable essence of body which is contained in the perfections of God, his or mine? Or indeed how do or can we know there is any such thing existing as body at all? For we see nothing but the ideas that are in God; but body itself we neither do nor can possibly see at all; and how then can we know that there is any such thing existing as body, since we can by no means see or perceive it by our senses, which is all the way we can have of knowing any corporeal thing to exist ? but it is said, God shows us the ideas in himself, on occasion of the presence of those bodies to our senses. This is gratis dictum, and begs the thing in question; and therefore I desire to have it proved to me that they are present. I see the sun, or an horse; no, says our author, that is impossible, they cannot be seen, because being bodies they cannot be united to my mind, and be present to it. But the sun being risen, and the horse brought within convenient distance, and so being present to my eyes, God shows me their ideas in himself : and I say God shows me these ideas when he pleases, without the presence of any such bodies to my eyes. For when I think I see a star at such a distance from me ; which truly I do not see, but the idea of it which God shows me; I would have it proved to me that there is such a star existing a