[Page] AN ABRIDGMENT OF Mr. Locke's Essay CONCERNING Humane Understanding.

LONDON, Printed for A. and J. Churchill at the Black Swan in Pater-noster-Row, and Edw. Castle next Scotland-Yard-Gate, near Whiiehall, 1696.

To the much Esteemed Mr. JOHN LOCKE.

Honoured Sir,

I Send you this imperfect Draught of your Excellent Essay con­cerning Humane Understanding, which I must confess, falls as much short of the Perfection, as it does of the Length of the Origi­nal. Nevertheless, as I lately in­timated to you (and you were plea­sed to think, that what I propos'd in reference to this Design, would not be wholly lost Labour) I am not without hopes, that it may in this contracted Form, prove in [Page] some measure serviceable to that Noble End, which you have so successfully aimed at in it, viz. The Advancement of Real and Useful Knowledge. The Induce­ment which moved me to think of abridging it, was a Consideration purely extrinsical to the work it self; and in Effect no other than this; That it would be better sui­ted, to the Ease and Convenience of some sort of Readers, when re­duced into this narrow Compass. In order to this, I thought the First Book, which is employ'd in refuting the common Opinion of Innate Notions and Ideas, might be best spared in this Abridgment; especi­ally, since the Reader may be convinced by what he shall find here, that such a supposition is at least needless, in regard he may [Page] attain to all the Knowledge he has, or finds himself capable of, with­out the help of any such Innate Ideas. Besides this, I have re­trench'd most of the larger Explica­tions; and some useful Hints, and instructive Theories I have wholly omitted, not because they are less considerable in themselves; but because they seemed not so necessa­ry to be insisted on in this Abridg­ment, considered as a previous Instrument, and preparatory Help, to Guide and Conduct the Mind in its Search after Truth and Know­ledge. I did particularly pass by that accurate Discourse, concerning the Freedom and Determination of the Will contained in Cap. 21. l. 2. because I found it too long to be inserted here at large, and too [Page] weighty and momentous to be but slightly and imperfectly represented. This I hope will prove no prejudice to the Essay it self; since none I presume will think it reasonable to form a Judgment of the whole Work, from this Abridgment of it: And I perswade my self, that few Readers will be content with this Epitome, who can conveniently furnish themselves with the Essay at large. However, I am apt to think, that this alone will serve to make the way to Knowledge some­what more plain and easie; and af­ford such Helps for the improve­ment of Reason, as are perhaps in vain sought after in those Books, which profess to Teach the Art of Reasoning. But nevertheless, whe­ther you shall think fit to let it [Page] come abroad, under the disadvan­tages that attend it in this Form, I must leave you to judge. I shall only add, that I think my own pains abundantly recom­penc'd by the Agreeable, as well as Instructive Entertainment, which this nearer View, and closer In­spection into your Essay, afforded me: And I am not a little plea­sed, that it has given me this op­portunity of expressing the just Value and Esteem I have for it, as well as the Honour and Respect I have for its Author. I am

Honoured SIR,
Your very Humble and Oblig'd Servant, JOHN WYNNE.


PAge 11, Line 2. r. for Body. l. 4. r. to Body. l. 13. r. to any. p. 12. l. 17. r. its stock. p. 23. l. 5. for esteem r. Existence. p 30. l. 17. r. not the. p. 32. l. 16. r or Jet) p. 33. l. 11. r. Vegetables many of them. p. 34. l. 11. r. receiv'd. p. 37. l. 4. r. occasions. p. 40. l. 17. Universals. p. 41. l. 3. Self. p. 42. l. 10. r. Substances, Thirdly. l. 26. Beholder. Theft. p. 43. l. 3. Substances. p. 44. penult. dele the. p. 53. l. 18. r. than. p. 65. l. 12. r. observed, p. 70. l. 9. r. by the, p. 73. l. 15. r. Complex one, p. 75. l. 14. r. Disposition. p. 77. l. 2. r. Ideas of. p. 78. l. 16. r. Ideas. l. 19. r. Idea. penult. r. Capacities. p. 81. l. 12. r. one. is as. p. 84. l. 2. r. this Notion. p. 90. l. 2. r. where. l. 19. dele they. p. 91. l. 17. r. united, l. 20. r. nourishment; p. 92. l. 15. r. Body, Animal is. p. 94. l. 7. dele A. p. 96. l. 6. r. shall be. p. 110. l. 17. r. represent. p. 111. l. 22. r. because it agrees. l. 23. to be its. p. 113. l. 3. dele in l. 8. r. Ideas. p. 132. l. 14. r. Classing. p. 223. l. 5. r. pr [...]econcessis. p. 248. l. 17. r. then. p. 251. l. 23. dele are. p. 253. l. 2. dele out. p. 256. l. 23. r. one on another. p. 257. l. 6. r. veritates. p. 259. l. 24. r. an. p. 261. l. 23. r. very. p. 280. l. 6. r. capricie's.

THE Introduction.

1. SINCE it is the Understanding that sets Man above the rest of Sen­sible Beings, and gives him all the Advantage and Dominion which he has over them; it is certainly a Subject, even, for its Nobleness, worth the enquiring into.

2. My purpose therefore is to enquire into the Original, Certainty, and Extent of Human Knowledge; together with the Grounds and Degrees of Belief, Opinion, and Assent, which I shall do in the following Method.

3. First, I shall enquire into the Origi­nal of those Ideas or Notions, which a Man ob­serves and is Conscious to himself he has in his Mind; and the Ways whereby the Under­standing comes to be furnished with them.

[Page 2] Secondly, what Knowledge the Under­standing hath by those Ideas; and the Cer­tainty, Evidence, and Extent of it.

Thirdly, I shall make some Enquiry into the Nature and Grounds of Faith and Opi­nion.

4. If by this Enquiry into the Nature of the Understanding, I can discover the Pow­ers thereof, how far they reach, and where they fail us, it may be of use to prevail with the busy Mind of Man to be more Cautious in medling with things exceeding its Compre­hension, to stop when it is at the utmost ex­tent of its Tether, and to sit down in a quiet Ignorance of those Things, which upon Exa­mination are found to be beyond the reach of our Capacities. We should not then perhaps be so forward, out of an Affectation of Uni­versal Knowledge, to perplex our selves with Disputes about Things to which our Un­derstandings are not suited; and of which we cannot frame in our Minds any clear or di­stinct Perceptions, or whereof (as it has perhaps too often happened) we have not any Notions at all: But should learn to content our selves with what is attainable by us in this State.

[Page 3] 5. For though the Comprehension of our Understanding comes exceeding short of the vast Extent of Things; yet we shall have cause enough to magnifie the bountiful Author of our Being, for that Portion and Degree of Knowledge, he has bestowed on us so far above all the rest of the Inhabitants of this our Mansion. Men have reason to be well sa­tisfied with what God hath thought fit for them, since he has given them (as St. Peter says, [...]) whatsoe­ver is necessary for the Conveniencies of Life, and Information of Virtue; And has put within the reach of their discovery, the com­fortable Provision for this Life, and the Way that leads to a better. How short soever their Knowledge may come of an Universal, or per­fect Comprehension of whatsoever is, it yet secures their great Concernments, that they have Light enough to lead them to the Know­ledge of their Maker, and the Sight of their own Duties. Men may find Matter suffici­ent to busie their Heads, and employ their Hands with Variety, Delight and Satisfacti­on; if they will not boldly Quarrel with their own Constitution, and throw away the Bles­sings their Hands are filled with, because they are not big enough to grasp every thing. We [Page 4] shall not have much Reason to complain of the Narrowness of our Minds, if we will but employ them about what may be of use to us; for of that they are very capable: And it will be an Unpardonable, as well as Childish Pel­vishness, if we undervalue the Advantages of our Knowledge, and neglect to improve it to the Ends for which it was given us, because there are some things that are set out of the reach of it. It will he no Excuse to an idle and untoward Servant, who would not attend his Business by Candle-light, to plead that he had not broad Sun-shine. The Candle that is set up in us, shines bright enough for all our purposes. The Discoveries we can make with this, ought to satisfie us. And we shall the [...] use our Understandings right, when we en­tertain all Objects in that Way and Proporti­on, that they are suited to our Faculties; and upon those Grounds, they are capable of being proposed to us; And not peremptorily or in­temperately require Demonstration, and demand Certainty, where Probability only is to be had, and which is sufficient to govern all our Concernments. If we will disbelive every Thing, because we cannot certainly know all Things; we shall do much what as wiseiy as he who would not use his Legs, but sit still [Page 5] and Perish because he had no Wings to Fly.

6. When we know our own Strength, we shall the better know what to undertake with hopes of Success. And when we have well Survey'd the Powers of our own Minds, we shall not be enclin'd either to sit still, and not set our Thoughts on Work at all, in despair of knowing any Thing; nor on the other side, question every Thing, and disclaim all Know­ledge, because some Things are not to be un­derstood. Our Business here, is not to know all Things but those Things which concern our Con­duct. If we can find out those Measures whereby a Rational Creature, put into that State which Man is in, in this World, may and ought to govern his Opinions and Actions depend­ing thereon, we need not be troubled that some other Things scape our Knowledge.

7. This was that which gave the first Rise to this Essay concerning the Understanding. For I thought that the first step towards satis­fying several Enquiries the Mind of Man was very apt to run into, was, To take a Survey of our Understandings, examine our own Powers, and see to what Things they were adapted. Till that was done, I suspected we began at the wrong end, and in vain sought for Satisfaction in a quiet and secure possession [Page 6] of Truths that most concern'd us, whilst we let loose our Thoughts in the vast Ocean of Being, as if all that boundless Extent were the natural and undoubted Possession of our Understandings; wherein there was nothing exempt from its Decisions, or that escaped its Comprehension. Thus Men extending their Enquiries beyond their Capacities, and letting their Thoughts wander into those Depths where they can find no sure Footing; it is no won­der, that they raise Questions, and multi­ply Disputes, which never coming to any clear Resolution, are proper only to continue and increase their Doubts, and to confirm them at last in perfect Scepticism. Whereas, were the Ca­pacities of our Understandings well Consider­ed, the Extent of our Knowledge once Disco­vered, and the Horizon found, which sets Bounds between the enlightened and dark Parts of Things, between what is, and what is not Comprehensible by us, Men would per­haps with less scruple Acquiesce in the avow'd Ignorance of the One, and imploy their Thoughts and Discourse, with more Advan­tage and Satisfaction to the Other.


CHAP. I. Of Ideas in General, and their Original.

BY the Term Idea, I mean whate­ver is the Object of the under­standing, when a Man Thinks; or whatever it is which the Mind can be employ'd about in Thinking.

I presume it will be easily granted me, that there are such Ideas in Mens minds: Every one is conscious of them in him­self; and Men's Words and Actions will satisfie him that they are in others. Our first Inquiry then shall be, How they come into the Mind.

It is an establish'd Opinion amongst some Men, that there are in the under­standing certain Innate Principles, some primary Notions, ( [...]) Characters, as it were stamp'd upon the Mind of Man, which the Soul receives in its very first Being, and brings into the World with it.

[Page 8] This Opinion is accurately discuss'd, and refuted in the First Book of this Essay, to which I shall refer the Reader, that desires Satisfaction in this particular.

It shall be sufficient here to shew, how Men barely by the use of their Natural Faculties, may attain to all the Know­ledge they have, without the help of any Innate Impressions; and may arrive at certainty without any such Original No­tions or Principles. For I imagine, any one will easily grant, That it would be impertinent to suppose the Ideas of Co­lours innate in a Creature to whom God hath given Sight, and a Power to receive them by the Eyes from External Objects. I shall shew by what Ways and Degrees all other Ideas come into the mind; for which I shall appeal to every ones own Experience and Observation.

Let us then suppose the Mind to be, as we say White Paper, void of all Charact­ers, without any Ideas: How comes it to be furnished? Whence has it all the Materials of Reason and Knowledge? To this I answer, in one word, from Ex­perience and Observation. This, when employ'd about External sensible Objects, we may call Sensation: By this we have [Page 9] the Ideas of Bitter, Sweet, Yellow, Hard, &c. which are commonly call'd Sensible Qualities, because convey'd into the Mind by the Senses. The same Experience, when employ'd about the internal Ope­rations of the Mind, perceiv'd, and re­flected on by us, we may call Reflection. Hence we have the Ideas of Perception, Thinking, Doubting, Willing, Reasoning, &c.

These two, viz. External Material Things, as the Objects of Sensation▪ and the Operations of our own Minds, as the Objects of Reflection, are to me the only Originals from whence all our Ideas take their Beginnings. The Under­standing seems not to have the least glimmering of Ideas, which it doth not receive from one of these two Sources. These, when we have taken a full Sur­vey of them, and their several Modes and Compositions, we shall find to contain out whole stock of Ideas; and that we have nothing in our Minds which did not come in one of these two Ways.

'Tis evident that Children come by de­grees to be furnish'd with Ideas from the Objects they are conversant with. They are so surrounded with Bodies that per­petually [Page 10] and diversly affect them, that some Ideas will (whether they will or no) be imprinted on their Minds. Light and Colours, Sounds and Tangible Quali­ties, do continually sollicite their proper Senses, and force an entrance into the Mind. 'Tis late commonly before Chil­dren come to have Ideas of the Operati­ons of their Minds; And some Men have not any very clear or perfect Ideas of the greatest part of them all their Lives. Be­cause, tho' they pass there continually; yet, like floating Visions, they make not deep Impressions enough to leave in the Mind clear and lasting Ideas, till the Understanding turns inward upon its self, and reflects on its own Operations, and makes them the Objects of its own Con­templation.

When a Man first perceives, then he may be said to have Ideas; having Ideas, and Perception, signifying the same thing. It is an Opinion maintain'd by some, That the Soul always Thinks, and that it always has the actual Perception of Ideas, as long as it Exists: And that actual Thinking is an inseparable from the Soul, as actual Extension is from the Bo­dy. But I cannot conceive it any more [Page 11] necessary for the Soul always to Think, than for the Body always to Move: The Perception of Ideas being (as I conceive) to the Soul, what motion is to the Body, not its Essence, but one of its Operations: And therefore, though Thinking be ne­ver so much the proper Action of the Soul; yet it is not necessary to suppose, that it should always Think, always be in Action. That perhaps is the privi­ledge of the Infinite Author and Preser­ver of all Things, Who never Slumbers nor Sleeps; but is not competent in any Finite Being. We know certainly by Experi­ence, that we sometimes Think; and thence draw this infallible Consequence, that there is something in us that has a Power to Think, but whether that Sub­stance perpetually Thinks or no, we can be no farther assured than Experience in­forms us.

I would be glad to learn from those Men, who so confidently pronounce, that the Human Soul always Thinks, how they come to know it: Nay, how they come to know that they themselves Think, when they themselves do not perceive it. The most that can be said of it, is, That 'tis possible the Soul may [Page 12] always Think; but not always retain it in Memory: And I say, it is as possi­ble the Soul may not always Think; and much more probable that it should sometimes not Think, than it should of­ten Think, and that a long while toge­ther, and not be Conscious to it self the next Moment after that it had Thought.

I see no reason therefore to believe, that the Soul Thinks before the Senses have furnished it with Ideas to Think on; and as those are increas'd and retain'd, so it comes by Exercise to improve its Faculty of Thinking, in the several parts of it; as well as afterwards by Com­pounding those Ideas, and Reflecting on its own Operations, it increases in Stock, as well as Facility in Remembring, Imagi­ning, Reasoning, and other Modes of Thinking.

CHAP. II. Of Simple Ideas.

OF Ideas some are Simple, others Complex. A Simple Idea, is one uniform Appearance or Conception in the Mind, which is not distinguishable into different Ideas. Such are Sensible Qualities, which though they are in the Things themselves so united and blend­ed, that there is no Separation, no Di­stance between them; yet the Ideas they produce in the Mind, enter by the Sen­ses simple and unmix'd. Thus, tho' the Hand feels Softness and Warmth in the same piece of Wax; yet the Simple Ideas thus united in the same Subject, are as perfectly distinct as those that come in by different Senses.

These Simple Ideas are suggested no o­ther way than from the two Ways above-mentioned, viz. Sensation and Reflexion.

The Mind being once stored with these Simple Ideas, has the power to re­peat, compare, and unite them to an in­finite [Page 14] variety: and so can make at pleasure new Complex Ideas. But the most enlarged Understanding can­not frame one new Simple Idea; nor by any force destroy them that are there.

CHAP. III. Of Ideas of one Sense.

IDeas with Reference to the different ways wherein they approach the Mind, are of Four Sorts.

First, There are some which come in­to our Minds by one Sense only.

Secondly, There are others convey'd in­to the Mind by more Senses than one.

Thirdly, Others that are had from Re­flexion only.

Fourthly, There are some suggested to the Mind by all the ways of Sensation and Reflection.

First, Some enter into the Mind only by one Sense peculiarly adapted to re­ceive them. Thus Colours, Sounds, Smells, &c. come in only by the Eyes, Ears, and [Page 15] Nose. And if these Organs are any of them so disorder'd as not to perform their Functions, they have no Postern to be admitted by; no other way to bring themselves in view, and be perceiv'd by the Understanding. It will be needless to enumerate all the particular Simple Ideas belonging to each Sense; nor indeed is it possible; there being a great many more than we have Names for.

CHAP. IV. Of Solidity.

I Shall here mention one which we receive by our Touch, because it is one of the chief Ingredients in many of our complex Ideas; and that is the Idea of Solidity: It arises from the Resistance, one Body makes to the Entrance of ano­ther Body into the Place it possesses, till it has left it. There is no Idea which we more constantly receive from Sensati­on than this. In whatever posture we are, we feel somewhat that supports us, and hinders us from sinking downwards: [Page 16] And the Bodies we daily handle, make us perceive that while they remain be­tween them, they do by an unsurmount­able force hinder the approach of the parts of our Hands that press them. This Idea is commonly called Impenetrability. I conceive Solidity is more proper to ex­press it, because this carries something more of Positive in it than Impenetrabi­lity, which is Negative, and is perhaps more a Consequence of Solidity, than Solidity it self. This seems to be the most Essential property of Body, and that whereby we conceive it to fill space: The Idea of which is, that where we ima­gine any space taken up by a solid Sub­stance, we conceive it so to possess it, that it excludes all other solid Substances. This Resistance is so great, that no Force can surmount it. All the Bodies in the World pressing a drop of Water on all sides, will never be able to overcome the Re­sistance it makes to their approaching one another, till it be removed out of their way.

The Idea of Solidity is distinguished from that of pure Space, in as much as this latter is neither capable of Resistance, nor Motion: 'Tis distinguished from [Page 17] Hardness, in as much as Hardness is a firm Cohaesion of the solid Parts of Mat­ter making up Masses of a sensible bulk, so that the whole doth not easily change its Figure. Indeed, Hard and Soft, as commonly apprehended by us, are but Relative to the Constitutions of our Bo­dies: That being called Hard, which will put us to Pain sooner than change its Figure, by the pressure of any part of our Bodies; and that Soft, which changes the Situation of its Parts upon an easie and unpainful Touch.

This difficulty of changing Situation amongst the Parts gives no more Solidity to the hardest Body, than to the softests nor is an Adamant one jot more solid than Water: He that shall fill a yielding soft Body well with Air or Water, will quick­ly find its Resistance. By this we may distinguish the Idea of the Extension of Body, from the Idea of the Extension of Space: That of Body, is the Cohaesion or Continuity of solid, separable, and move­able Parts; that of Space, the Continuity of unsolid, inseparable, and immoveable Parts. Upon the Solidity of Bodies de­pends their mutual Impulse, Resistance, and Protrusion: Of pure Space and Solidity [Page 18] there are several (among which I con­fess my self one) who perswade them­selves they have clear and distinct Ideas: And that they can think on Space with­out any thing in it that resists or is pro­truded by Body, as well as on some­thing that fills Space, that can be protru­ded by the Impulse of other Bodies, or resist their Motion; the Idea of the di­stance between the opposite Parts of a Concave Surface, being equally clear without, as with the Idea of any Solid Parts between. If any one ask what this Solidity is, I send him to his Senses to inform him: Let him put a Flint or Foot-ball between his Hands, and then endeavour to joyn them, and he will know.

CHAP. V. Of Simple Ideas of divers Senses▪

SOme Ideas we get into the Mind by more than one Sense, as Space, Exten­sion, Figure, Rest and Motion. These are perceivable by the Eyes or Touch.

CHAP. VI. Of Simple Ideas of Reflection.

SOme are had from Reflection, only: such are the Ideas we have of the Operations of our Minds: of which the two principal are Perception or Thinking; and Volition or Willing. The powers of producing these Operations are call'd Faculties, which are the Understanding and Will, the several Modes of thinking, &c. belong to this Head.

CHAP. VII. Of Simple Ideas of Sensation and Reflection.

THere are some Simple Ideas con­vey'd into the Mind by all the ways of Sensation and Reflection; such are Pleasure, Pain, Power, Existence, Unity, Succession. Pleasure or Delight, Pain or [Page 20] Uneasiness accompany almost every im­pression of our Senses, and every. Action or Thought of the Mind. By Pleasure or Pain we mean whatever delights or mo­lests us, whether it arises from the Thoughts of our Minds; or any thing operating on our Bodies. Satisfaction, Delight, Pleasure, Happiness and Unea­siness, Trouble, Torment, Misery, &c. are but different degrees, the one of Plea­sure, the other of Pain.

The Author of our Beings having gi­ven us a Power over several parts of our Bodies, to move or keep them at rest as we think fit; and also by their moti­on to move our selves and other conti­guous Bodies; having also given a Pow­er to our Minds in several instances, to chuse amongst its Ideas which it will think on: To excite us to these actions of Thinking and Motion he has joyn'd to several Thoughts and Sensations a Per­ception of Delight: without this we should have no reason to prefer one Thought or Action to another Motion to Rest: In which state Man however furnish'd with the Faculties of Under­standing and Will, would be a very idle unactive Creature, and pass his [Page 21] time only in a lazy Lethargick dream.

Pain has the same Efficacy to set us on work that Pleasure has; since we are as ready to avoid that, as to pursue this. This is worth our Consideration, that Pain is often produc'd by the same Objects and Ideas that produce Pleasure in us. This their near conjunction gives us new occasion of admiring the Wisdom and Goodness of our Maker, who designing the preser­vation of our Being, has annex'd Pain to the application of many things to our Bodies, to warn us of the harm they will do us, and as advices to withdraw us from them. But he not designing our preservation barely, but the preservation of every part and Organ in its Perfecti­on, hath in many cases annexed Pain to those very Ideas which delight us. Thus heat that is very agreeable to us in one degree, by a little greater increase of it, proves no ordinary Torment: which is wisely ordered by Nature, that when any Object does by the vehemence of its operation disorder the instruments of Sen­sation, whose structures cannot but be very delicate, we might by the pain be warn'd to withdraw before the Organ be quite put out of order. That this is [Page 22] the end of pain, appears from this consi­deration; that tho' great Light is insuf­ferable to the Eyes; yet the highest de­gree of darkness does not at all disease them: because that causes no disorderly motion in that curious Organ the Eye. But excess of cold, as well as heat pains us; because it is equally destructive to the temper which is necessary to the pre­servation of Life.

Another reason why God hath an­nex'd several degrees of Pleasure and pain to all the things that environ and affect us, and blended them together in all things that our Thoughts and Senses have to do with, is, that we finding imper­fection and dissatisfaction, and want of compleat Happiness in all the enjoyments of the Creatures, might be led to seek it in the enjoyment of Him with whom is fulness of Joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore. Thô what is here said concerning Pleasure and Pain may not perhaps make those Ideas clearer to us, than our own experience does, yet it may serve to give us due Sentiments of the Wisdom and Goodness of the So­vereign Disposer of all things, which is not unsuitable to the main end of these [Page 23] Enquiries: the knowledge and venerati­on of Him being the chief End of all our Thoughts, and the proper business of all Understandings.

[...] and Unity are two other Ideas suggested by every object without, and every Idea within: when Ideas are in our Minds, we consider them as being actually there, as well as we consider things to be actually without us; which is, that they exist, or have existence: and whatever we consider as one thing, whether a Real Being, or Idea, suggests the Idea of Unity.

Power is anothér Idea deriv'd from these sources: for finding in our selves that we can think, and move several parts of our Bodies at Pleasure; and observing the effects that natural Bodies produce in one another; by both these ways we get the Idea of Power.

Succession is another Idea suggested by our Senses, and by Reflection on what passes in our Minds. For if we look in­to our selves, we shall find our Ideas al­ways whilst we are awake, or have any Thought, passing in train, one going and another coming without intermission.

CHAP. VIII. Some farther Considerations con­cerning Simple Ideas.

WHatsoever is able by affecting our Senses, to cause any per­ception in the Mind, doth thereby pro­duce in the Understanding a Simple Idea; which whatsoever be the cause of it, is look'd upon as a real positive Idea in the Understanding. Thus the Ideas of Heat and Cold, Light and Darkness, Motion and Rest, &c. are equally Positive in the Mind, thô some of their Causes may be meer Privations. An enquiry into their Cau­ses concerns not the Ideas as in the Un­derstanding; but the nature of the things existing without us. Thus a Painter has distinct Ideas of White and Black, as well as the Philosopher, who tells us what kind of Particles, and how rang'd in the sur­face occasion'd those colours.

That a Privative Cause may produce a Positive Idea, appears from shadows, which (thô nothing but the absence of [Page 25] Light) are discernible; and cause clear and positive Ideas. The natural reason of which may be this, viz. That since Sensation is produced only by different degrees and modes of Motion in our animal Spirits, variously agitated by external Objects; the abatement of any former Motion must as necessarily pro­duce a new Sensation, as the increase and variation of it; and thereby intro­duce a new Idea. We have some nega­tive Names, which stand for no positive Ideas: but consist wholly in negation of some certain Ideas, as Silence, Invisible. these signify not any Ideas in the Mind, but their Absence.

It will be useful to distinguish Ideas as they are Perceptions in our Minds, from what they are in the Bodies that cause such Perceptions in us: for we are not to think the former exact Images and Re­semblances of something inherent in the subject. Most of those of Sensation be­ing in the mind, no more the likeness of something existing without us, than the names that stand for them are the likeness of our Ideas, which yet upon hear­ing, they are apt to excite in us.

[Page 26] Whatsoever the Mind perceives in it self, or is the immediate object of Perception, Thought or Understanding, that I call an Idea: and the power to produce any Idea in our Mind I call the quality of the subject wherein that power is: thus a Snow-ball having the power to produce in us the Ideas of White, Cold and Round, those powers as they are in the Snow-ball I call Qualities; and as they are Sensations or Perceptions in our Understandings I call them Ideas: which Ideas if I speak of sometimes, as in the things themselves, I would be understood to mean those Qualities in the Objects which produce them in us. These Qualities are of Two sorts, First Original or Primary, such are Solidity, Extention, Motion or Rest, Num­ber and Figure. These are inseparable from Body, and such as it constantly keeps in all its changes and alterations: Thus take a grain of Wheat, divide it in­to Two Parts, each Part has still Solidity, Extension, Figure, Mobility: Divide it again, and it still retains the same Quali­ties, and will do so still, thô you divide it on till the Parts become insensible. The next thing to be consider'd, is, How Bodies operate upon one another, and that is [Page 27] manifestly by Impulse, and nothing else. For Body cannot operate on what it does not touch: nor when it does touch, any other way than by Motion. If so, then when external Objects (which are not united to our Minds) produce Ideas in us; 'tis evident that some Motion must be thence continued by our Nerves or animal Spirits to the Brains, or seat of Sensation. And since Extension, Figure, Motion, &c. may be perceived at a di­stance by the Sight, tis evident that some Bodies must come from them to the Eyes, and thereby convey to the Brain some Motion which produces those Ideas we have in us.

Secondly, Secondary Qualities, such as Colours, Smells, Tasts; Sounds, &c, which whatever Reality we by mistake may attribute to them, are in truth nothing in the Objects themselves but Powers to produce various Sensations in us; and de­pend on the Qualities before-mention­ed.

The Ideas of Primary Qualities of Bo­dies are resemblances of them; and their patterns really exist in Bodies themselves: But the Ideas produced in us by Secunda­ry Qualities, have no resemblance of [Page 28] them at all, And what is Sweet, Blue, or Warm in the Idea, is but the certain Bulk, Figure, and Motion of the insensi­ble parts in the Bodies themselves, which we call so.

Thus we see that Fire at one distance produces in us the sensation of Warmth, which at a nearer approach causes the sensation of Pain. Now what reason have we to say that the Idea of Warmth is actually in the Fire, but that of Pain not in the Fire, which the same Fire pro­duces in us the same way. The Bulk, Number, Figure, and Motion of the Parts of Fire, are really in it, whether we per­ceive them or no; and therefore may be call'd Real Qualities, because they really exist in that Body. But Light and Heat are no more really in it, than Sickness or Pain: take away the Sensation of them; let not the Eyes see Light or Co­lours, nor the Ear hear Sounds; let the Palate not Taste, or the Nose Smell, and all Colours, Tasts, Odours, and Sounds, as they are such particular Ideas vanish and cease; and are reduced to their Causes, (that is) Bulk, Motion, Figure, &c. of Parts.

[Page 29] These Secondary Qualities are of Two sorts, first immediately perceiveable, which by immediately operating on our Bodies, produce several different Ideas in us. Secondly, mediately perceivable, which by operating on other Bodies, change their primary Qualities, so as to render them capable of producing Ideas in us different from what they did before. These last are Powers in Bodies which proceed from the particular constitution of those Primary and Original Qualities, to make such a change in the Bulk, Fi­gure, Texture, &c. of another Body, as to make it operate on our Senses different from what it did before; as in Fire to make Lead fluid: these two last being nothing but Powers relating to other Bo­dies, and resulting from the different Modifications of the Original Qualities are yet otherwise thought of; the former being esteemed Real Qualities; but the later barely Powers: The reason of this mistake seems to be this; That our Ideas of sensible Qualities contain­ing nothing in them of Bulk, Figure, &c. we cannot think them the effect of those primary Qualities which appear not to our Senses to operate in their producti­ons, [Page 30] and with which they have not any apparent congruity, or conceivable con­nexion: nor can Reason shew how Bo­dies by their Bulk, Figure, &c. should produce in the Mind the Ideas of Warm, Yellow, &c. But in the other case when Bodies operate upon one another, we plainly see that the Quality produced hath commonly no resemblance with any thing in the thing producing it, and therefore we look upon it as the effect of Power: But our Senses not being able to discover any unlikeness between the Idea produced in us, and the quality of the Object producing it, we imagine that our Ideas are resemblances of something in the Objects and not in the Effects of certain Powers placed in the modificati­on of the primary Qualities, with which primary Qualities the Ideas pro­duced in us, have no resemblance.

This little exeursion into Natural Phi­losophy was necessary in our present En­quiry to distinguish the primary and real Qualities of Bodies which are always in them, from those secundary and impu­ted Qualities, which are but the Powers of several combinations of those Prima­ry ones, when they operate without be­ing [Page 31] distinctly discern'd; whereby we learn to know what Ideas are, and what are not Resemblances of something really existing in the Bodies we denominate from them.

CHAP. IX. Of Perception.

PErception is the first Idea we receive from Reflection: it is by some cal­led Thinking in general: thô Thinking in the propriety of the English Tongue, sig­nifies that sort of operation of the Mind about its Ideas, wherein the Mind is active; where it considers any thing with some degree of voluntary attention: for in bare Perception the Mind is for the most part only Passive: and what it per­ceives it cannot avoid perceiving. What this is, we cannot otherwise know, than by Reflecting on what passes in our Minds when we See, Feel, Hear, &c.

Impressions made on the outward Parts if they are not taken notice of within, cause no Perception: as we see in those [Page 32] whose Minds are intently busied in the contemplation of certain Objects. A sufficient impulse there may be upon the organs of Sensation: but if it reach not the observation of the Mind, there fol­lows no Perception: so that wherever there is Sense or Perception, there some Idea is actually produced and present in the Understanding.

We may observe that the Ideas we re­ceive from Sensation, are often in grown People alter'd by the judgment without our taking notice of it. Thus a Globe of any uniform Colour (as of Gold) or Jet, being set before our Eyes, the Idea thereby imprinted is of a flat circle variously shadowed. But being accu­stomed to perceive what kind of appear­ances convex Bodies are wont to make in us; the Judgment alters the appear­ances into their Causes; and from that variety of Shadow or Colour, frames to it self the Perception of a convex Figure of one uniform Colour. This in many cases by a settl'd habit is perform'd so readily, that we take that for the per­ception of our Sensation, which is but an Idea formed by the Judgment: so that one serves only to excite the other, [Page 33] and is scarce taken notice of itself. As a Man who reads and hears with attenti­on, takes little notice of the Characters or Sounds, but of the Ideas that are ex­cited in him by them. Thus habits come at last to produce actions in us, which often scape our observation.

The faculty of Perception seems to be that which puts the distinction between the animal Kingdom, and the inferior parts of Nature: Since Vegetables have some degrees of Motion, and upon the different application of other Bodies to them, do very briskly alter their Figutes and Motions, and thence have obtain'd the name of Sensitive Plants: which yet is, I suppose, but bare Mechanism, and no otherwise produced, than the short­ning of a Rope by the affusion of Water. But Perception, I believe, is in some de­gree in all sorts of Animals: thô I think we may from the make of an Oister or Cockle, reasonably conclude that it has not so many, nor so quick Senses as a Man, or several other Animals.

Perception is also the first step and degree towards Knowledge, and the In­let of all the materials of it: so that the fewer Senses any Man has, and the dul­ler [Page 34] the impressions that are made by them are, the more remote he is from that Knowledge which is to be found in other Men.

CHAP. X. Of Retention.

THE next Faculty of the Mind whereby it makes a farther pro­gress towards Knowledge, I call Retention: which is the keeping of those Ideas it has receiv'd. which is done two ways.

First, By keeping the Idea which is brought into the Mind for some time actu­actually in view, which is called Con­templation.

Secondly, By reviving those Ideas in our Minds which have disappeared, and have been as it were, laid out of sight; and this is Memory, which is as it were, the Store-house of our Ideas, for the narrow Mind of Man not being capable of having many Ideas under view at once, it was necessary to have a Repository to lay up those Ideas which at another time it may [Page 35] have use of. But our Ideas being nothing but actual Perceptions in the Mind which cease to be any thing, when there is no perception of them, this laying up of our Ideas in the Repository of the Memo­ry signifies no more but this, That the Mind has a power in many cases to re­vive Perceptions it has once had, with this additional Perception annex'd to them, that it has had them before. And it is by the assistance of this Faculty, that we are said to have all those Ideas in our Understandings, which we can bring in sight, and make the object of our Thoughts, without the help of those sensible Qualities which first imprinted them there.

Attention and Repetition help much to the fixing Ideas in our Memories: but those which make the deepest and most lasting impressions are those which are ac­companied with Pleasure and Pain. Ideas but once taken in and never again re­peated are soon lost; as those of Colours in such as lost their Sight when very young.

The Memory in some Men is tena­cious, even to a miracle: but yet there seems to be a constant decay of all our [Page 36] Ideas, even of those which are struck deepest; and in Minds the most re­tentive: so that if they be not sometimes renewed, the Print wears out, and at last there remains nothing to be seen. Those Ideas that are often refresh'd by a frequent return of the Objects or Actions that pro­duce them, fix themselves best in the Memory, and remain longest there: Such are the Original qualities of Bodies, viz. Solidity, Extension, Figure, Motion, &c. and those that almost constantly affect us, as Heat and Cold: and those that are the Affections of all kinds of Beings, as Existence, Duration, Number: these and the like, are seldom quite lost while the Mind retains any Ideas at all.

In memory the Mind is oftentimes more than barely passive; for it often sets it self on work to search some hidden Ideas; sometimes they start of their own accord: and sometimes turbulent and tempestuous Passions tumble them out of their Cells.

The defects of the Memory are Two.

First, That it loses the Idea quite, and so far it produces perfect Ignorance.

[Page 37] Secondly, That it moves slowly and re­trieves not the Ideas laid up in store quick enough to serve the Mind upon occasi­ons. this if it be to a great degree is stupidity. In the having Ideas ready at hand on all occasions, consists what we call Invention, Fancy, and Quickness of Parts.

This Faculty other Animals seem to have to a great degree as well as Man, as appears by Birds learning of Tunes, and their endeavour to hit the Notes right. For it seems impossible that they should endeavour to conform their Voices (as 'tis plain they do) to Notes, whereof they have no Ideas.

CHAP. XI. Of Discerning, and other Operations of the Mind.

ANother Faculty of the Mind is, That of discerning between its Ideas: on this depends the evidence, and certainty of several even general Propositions, which [Page 38] pass for Innate Truths: whereas indeed they depend on this clear discerning Fa­culty of the Mind, whereby it perceives two Ideas to be the same or different. In being able nicely to distinguish one thing from another, where there is the least difference, consists in a great mea­sure, that Exactness of Judgment and Clear­ness of Reason, which is to be observed in one Man above another; which is quite opposite to Wit, which consists most in the assemblage of Ideas, and putting those together with quickness and varie­ty, which have the least resemblance, to form agreeable visions: whereas Judg­ment separates carefully those Ideas, where­in can be found the least difference to prevent Error and Delusion.

To the well distinguishing our Ideas, it chiefly contributes that they be clear and determinate, and when they are so, it will not breed any confusion or mistake about them, thô the Senses should con­vey them from the same Object diffe­rently on different occasions.

The comparing of our Ideas one with another in respect of Extent, Degree, Time, Place, or any other circumstances, is an­other Operation of the Mind about its [Page 39] Ideas, which is the ground of Relations. Brutes seem not to have this Faculty in any great degree. They have probably several Ideas distinct enough; but cannot compare them farther than some sensible circumstances annex'd to the Objects themselves. The power of comparing general Ideas, which we may observe in Men, we may probably conjecture Beasts have not at all.

Composition is another Operation of the Mind whereby it combines several of its simple Ideas into Complex ones: under which Operation we may reckon that of Enlarging, wherein we put seve­ral Ideas together of the same kind, as several Unites to make a Dozen. In this also I suppose Brutes come far short of Man; for tho' they take in and retain together several combinations of simple Ideas, as possibly a Dog does the Shape, Smell and Voice of his Master; yet these are rather so many distinct marks, where­by he knows him, than one Complex Idea made out of those several simple ones.

[Page 40] Abstraction is another Operation of the Mind, whereby the Mind forms ge­neral Ideas from such as it receiv'd from particular Objects, which it does by con­sidering them as they are in the Mind such appearances seperate from the cir­cumstance of real Existence, as Time, Place, &c. These become general Repre­sentatives of all of the same kind, and their names applicable to whatever ex­ists conformable to such abstract Ideas. Thus the Colour which I receive from Chalk, Snow, and Milk, is made a repre­sentative of all of that kind; and has a name given it (Whiteness) which signi­fies the same quality, wherever to be found or imagin'd. And thus Universally both Ideas and Terms are made.

This puts the great difference between Man and Brutes: they seem to reason about particular Objects, and Ideas, but there appear no footsteps of Abstraction in them, or of making general Ideas.

CHAP. XII. Of Complex Ideas.

IN the reception of Simple Ideas the Mind is only Passive, having no power to frame any to its self, but as these Simple Ideas do exist in several combinations united together, so the Mind may consider them as united, not only as they are really united in exter­nal Objects, but as it self has joyned them. Ideas thus made up of several ones put together, I call Complex, as a Man, Army, Beauty, Gratitude, &c. By this faculty of repeating and joyning to­gether its Ideas, the Mind has great power in varying and multiplying the Objects of its Thoughts. But it is still confin'd to those Simple Ideas which it received from the two Sources of Sen­sation and Reflection. It can have no other Ideas of sensible Qualities, than what come from without by the Senses, nor any other Ideas of the Operations of a thinking Substance, than what it finds in [Page 42] it self, but having once got these Sim­ple Ideas, it can by its own power put them together and make new Complex ones, which it never received so uni­ted.

Complex Ideas however compounded and decompounded, tho' their number be infinite, and their variety endless, may all be reduced under these three heads, First Modes, Secondly, Substances,

Thirdly, Relations.

Modes, I call such Complex Ideas which contain not the supposition of subsisting by themselves, but are consider'd as de­pendences on, and affections of Substan­ces, as Triangle, Gratitude, Murder, &c. These Modes are of Two sorts, First Simple, which are but the combinations of the same Simple Idea as a Dozen, Score, &c. which are but the Ideas of so many distinct Unites put together. Se­condly, Mix'd, which are compounded of Simple Ideas of several kinds, as Beau­ty, which consists in a certain composi­tion of Colour and Figure, causing de­light in the Beholder.

Theft, which is the concealed change of the possession of any thing without the consent of the Proprietor. These visibly [Page 43] contain a combination of several Ideas, of several kinds.

Secondly Substance, the Ideas of Sub­stances are only such combinations of Simple Ideas as are taken to represent distinct particular things subsisting by themselves; in which the confused Idea of Substance is always the chief. Thus a combination of the Ideas of a certain Figure, with the powers of Motion, Thought, and Reasoning joyn'd to Sub­stance, make the ordinary Idea of Man.

These again are either of single Substan­ces, as Man, Stone, or of collective, or seve­ral put together, as Army, Heap: Ideas of several substances thus put together, are as much each of them one single Idea, as that of a Man, or an Unite.

Thirdly, Relations which consist in the consideration and comparing one Idea with another. Of these several kinds we shall Treat in their Order.

CAAP. XIII. Of Simple Modes, and First of the Simple Modes of Space.

COncerning Simple Modes we may ob­serve that the Modifications of any Simple Idea, are as perfectly different, and distinct Ideas in the Mind, as those of the greatest distance or contrariety; Thus Two is as distinct from Three, as Blueness from Heat. Under this Head I shall first consider the Modes of Space.

Space is a Simple Idea which we get both by our Sight and Touch. When we consider it barely in length between two Bodies, 'tis called Distance,; when in length, breadth, and thickness, it may be called Capacity. When consider'd between the extremities of Matter which fills the capacity of Space with some­thing Solid, Tangible and Moveable, it is called Extension, and thus Extension will be an Idea belonging to the Body: but Space may be conceived without it.

[Page 45] Each different distance is a different modification of space: and each Idea of any different space is a Simple Mode of this Idea. Such are an Inch, Foot, Yard, &c. which are the Ideas of certain stated lengths, which Men settle in their Minds, for the use, and by the custom of mea­suring. When these Ideas are made fa­miliar to Men's Thoughts, they can in their Minds repeat them as often as they will, without joyning to them the Idea of Body, and frame to themselves the Ideas of Feet, Yards or Fathoms beyond the utmost bounds of all Bodies: and by adding these still one to another, enlarge their Idea of space as much as they please. From this power of repeating any Idea of Distance, without being ever able to come to an end, we come by the Idea of Immensity.

Another modification of Space is ta­ken from the Relation of the parts of the termination of Capacity or Extension amongst themselves: and this is what we call Figure. This the Touch disco­vers in sensible Bodies, whose extremi­ties come within our reach: and the Eye takes both from Bodies and Colours, whose boundaries are within its view; [Page 46] where observing how the extremities ter­minate either in straight lines, which meet at discernible Angles; or in crook­ed lines, wherein no Angles can be per­ceiv'd: by considering these as they re­late to one another in all parts of the ex­tremities of any Body or Space, it has that Idea we call Figure: which affords to the Mind infinite variety.

Another Mode belonging to this head, is that of Place. Our Idea of Place is nothing but the Relative position of any thing with reference to its distance from some fix'd, and certain points. Whence we say, that a thing has or has not chan­ged Place, when its distance either is, or is not altered with respect to those Bo­dies with which we have occasion to compare it. That this is so, we may easily gather from hence; that we can have no Idea of the place of the Universe, tho' we can of all its parts. To say that the World is somewhere means no more than that it does exist. The word Place is sometimes taken to signifie that Space which any body takes up; and so the Universe may be conceived in a Place.

CHAP. XIV. Of Duration and its Simple Modes.

THere is another sort of Distance, the Idea of which we get from the fleeting, and perpetually perishing parts of Succession which we call Duration. The Simple Modes of it are any different Lengths of it, whereof we have distinct Ideas, as Hours, Days, Years, &c. Time and Eternity.

The Idea of Succession is got by reflect­ing on that train of Ideas which constant­ly follow one another in our Minds as long as we are awake. The distance be­tween any parts of this Succession is what we call Duration: and the continuation of the existence of our Selves, or any thing else commensurate to the Succession of any Ideas in our Minds, is what we call our own Duration, or that of another thing co-existing with our Thinking. That this is so, appears from hence, that we have no Perception of Succession or Duration, when that Succession of our [Page 48] Ideas ceases, as in Sleep: the moment that we Sleep, and awake, how distant soever seems to be joyn'd and connect­ed. And possibly it would be so to a waking Man, could he fix upon one Idea without variation, and the successi­on of others. And we see that they whose Thoughts are very intent upon one thing, let slip out of their account a good part of that Duration,: and think that time shorter than it is. But if a Man during his Sleep Dream, and vari­ety of Ideas make themselves perceptible in his Mind, one after another he hath then, during such Dreaming, a Sense of Duration and of the length of it.

A Man having once got this Idea of Duration, can apply it to things which exist while he does not think: and thus we measure the Time of our Sleep, as well as that wherein we are awake.

Those who think we get the Idea of Succession from our observation of Moti­on, by our Senses, will be of our Opi­nion, when they consider that Motion produces in the Mind an Idea of Succes­sion, no otherwise than as it produces there a continu'd Train of distinguisha­ble Ideas. A Man that looks upon a [Page 49] body really moving perceives no mo­tion, unless that motion produces a con­stant train of successive Ideas. But wher­ever a Man is, tho' all things be at rest about him, if he thinks, he will be con­scious of Succession without perceiving any motion. Hence motions very slow are not perceived by us: because the change of distance is so slow, that it causes no new Ideas in us, but after a long Interval. The same happens in things that move very Swift, which not affecting the Sense with several distinguishable distances of their motion, cause not any train of Ideas in our Minds, and consequently are not perceived. Thus any thing that moves round in a Circle in less time than our Ideas are wont to succeed one another in our Minds, is not perceived to move, but seems to be a perfect entire Circle of that matter which is in motion. Such a part of duration as takes up the time of only one Idea in our Minds, wherein we per­ceive no succession, we call an Instant.

Duration, as mark'd by certain Periods and Measures, is what we most proper­ly call Time: which we measure by the Diurnal and Annual Revolutions of the Sun, as being constant, regular, and uni­versally [Page 50] observable by all Mankind, and supposed equal to one another,

It is not necessary that Time should be measured by motion: any constant periodi­cal appearance in seemingly equidistant spaces, may as well distinguish the Inter­vals of Time as what we make use of. For supposing the Sun to be lighted, and then extinguish'd every day: and that in the space of an Annual Revolution, it should sensibly increase in Brightness, and so decrease again; such a regular appearance would serve to measure out the distances of Duration, to all that could observe it, as well without, as with Mo­tion. The freezing of Water, the blow­ing of a Plant returning at equidistant Periods in all the parts of the Earth would serve for the same purpose. In effect, we find that a People of America counted their Years by the coming and going away of Birds at certain seasons.

The Mind having once got such a mea­sure of Time as the Annual Revolution of the Sun, can easily apply it to Duration wherein that measure it self did not exist: and the Idea of Duration equal to an An­nual Revolution of the Sun, is as easily ap­plicable in our Thoughts to Duration [Page 51] where no Sun, nor Motion was, as the Idea of a Foot or Yard to distances beyond the confines of the World.

By the same means we come by the Idea of Eternity: for having got the Ideas of certain Lengths of Duration, we can in our Thoughts add them to one ano­ther as oft as we please, without ever coming to an end.

CHAP. XV. Of Duration and Expansion con­sidered together.

TIme is to Duration as Place is to Space or Expansion. They are so much of those boundless Oceans of Eternity and Immensity as is set out, and distinguished from the rest; And so are made use of to denote the position of fi­nite real Beings in respect one to another, in those infinite Oceans of Duration and Space. Each of these have a twofold ac­ceptation.

First, Time in general is taken for so much of Infinite Duration as is coexistent with [Page 52] the Universe, and measured out by the motions of its great Bodies. Thus it is used in the Phrases before all Time, when Time shall be no more.

Place is likewise taken for that porti­on of infinite Space possessed by the ma­terial World, tho' this might be more properly called Extension. Within these two are confined the particular Time or Duration, Extension or Place of all cor­poreal Beings.

Secondly, Time is sometimes applied to Parts of that infinite Duration that were not really measured out by real Ex­istence, but such as we upon occasion do suppose equal to certain Lengths of measur'd Time. As in the Julian Period which makes an Excursion of seven hun­dred sixty four years beyond the Crea­tion. Thus we may speak of Place or Distance in the great Inane, wherein I can conceive a Space equal to, or capa­ble of receiving a Body of any assigned Dimensions.

CHAP. XVI. Of Numbers.

THe complex Ideas of Number are form'd by adding several Unites together. The Simple Modes of it are each several com­bination, as, Two, Three, &c. These are of all others most distinct, the nearest being as clearly different from each other as the most remote: Two being as distinct from One, as Two hundred. But it is hard to form distinct Ideas of every the least excess in Extension. Hence Demonstrations in Numbers are more general in their Use, and more determinate in their Applicati­on than those of Extension.

Simple Modes of Numbers, being in our Minds but so many Combinations of Unites which have no variety, but More or Less: Names for each distinct Combina­tion, seem more necessary then in any other sort of Ideas. For without a Name or Mark, to distinguish that precise Col­lection, it will hardly be kept from be­ing a heap of Confusion. Hence some Americans have no distinct Idea of any [Page 54] Number beyond Twenty: so that when they are discoursed with of greater Num­bers, they shew the hairs of their Head. So that to reckon right two things are required.

First, That the Mind distinguish care­fully two Ideas which are different one from another, only by the Addition or Substraction of one Unite.

Secondly, That it retain in memory the Names or Marks of the several Combi­nations from an Unite to that Number; and that in exact Order, as they follow one another. In either of which if it fails, the whole Business of Numbring will be disturbed: and there will remain on­ly the confused Idea of Multitude: but the Ideas necessary to distinct Numerati­on will not be attain'd to.

CHAP. XVII. Of Infinity:

THE Idea signified by the name Infi­nity, is best examined, by consider­ing to what Infinity is by the Mind attri­buted, [Page 55] and then how it frames it. Finite and Infinite then are look'd upon as the modes of Quantity, and attributed pri­marily to things that have Parts, and are capable of Increase or Diminution, by the Addition or Substraction of any the least part. Such are the Ideas of Space, Duration, and Number.

When we apply this Idea to the Supream Being: we do it primarily in respect of his Duration and Ubiquity; more figura­tively when to his Wisdom, Power, Good­ness, and other Attributes which are pro­perly inexhaustible and incomprehensible: for when we call them Infinite, we have no other Idea of this Infinity, but what carries with it some reflexion on the Num­ber, or the Extent of the Acts or Objects of God's Power and Wisdom, which can never be supposed so great or so many, which these attributes will not always surmount and exceed, thô we multiply them in our Thoughts, with the Infinity of endless Number. I do not pretend to say, how these Attributes are in God, who is infinitely beyond the reach of our narrow Capacities: but this is our way of conceiving them, and these our Ideas of their Infinity.

[Page 56] The next thing to be considered, is how we come by the Idea of Infinity. Eve­ry one that has any Idea of any stated lengths of Space, as a Foot, Yard, &c. finds that he can repeat that Idea, and joyn it to another, to a Third, and so on without ever coming to an end of his Additions: From this power of enlarging his Idea of Space, he takes the Idea of In­finite Space or Immensity. By the same power of repeating the Idea of any length of Duration we have in our Minds, with all the endless addition of Number, we come by the Idea of Eternity.

If our Idea of Infinity be got by repeat­ing without end our own Ideas; why do we not attribute it to other Ideas, as well as those of Space and Duration; since they may be as easily and as often repeat­ed in our Minds as the other? yet no body ever thinks of infinite Sweetness, Whiteness, thô he can repeat the Idea of Sweet or White as frequently, as those of Yard or Day. I Answer, that those Ideas that have Parts, and are capable of Increase, by the addition of any Parts, afford us by their repetition an Idea of Infinity; because with the endless re­petition there is continued an Enlarge­ment, [Page 57] of which there is no end: but it is not so in other Ideas: For if to the perfectest Idea I have of White, I add an­other of equal Whiteness; it enlarges not my Idea at all. Those Ideas that consist not of Parts, cannot be augmented to what proportion Men please, or be stretch'd beyond what they have re­ceived by their Senses; but Space, Du­ration and Number being capable of in­crease by Repetition, leave in the Mind an Idea of an endless room for more; and so those Ideas alone lead the Mind towards the Thought of Infinity.

We are carefully to distinguish be­tween the Idea of the Infinity of Space, and the Idea of a Space Infinite, The first is nothing but a supposed endless Pro­gression of the Mind over any repeated Idea of Space. But to have actually in the Mind the Idea of a Space Infinite, is to suppose the Mind already passed over all those repeated Ideas of Space, which an endless Repetition can never totally represent to it; which carries in it a plain Contradiction.

This will be plainer, if we consider In­finity in Numbers. The Infinity of Num­bers, to the end of whose addition every [Page 58] one perceives there is no approach, easi­ly appears to any one that reflects on it: But how clear soever this Idea of the In­finity of Number be, there is nothing yet more evident, than the Absurdity of the actual Idea of Infinite Number.

CHAP. XVIII. Of other Simple Modes.

THE Mind has several distinct Ideas of Sliding, Rolling, Walking, Creep­ing, &c. which are all but the different modifications of Motion. Swift and Slow are two different Ideas of Motion, the mea­sures whereof are made out of the distan­ces of Time and Space put together.

The like variety we have in Sounds: Every articulate word is a different mo­dification of Sound: as are also Notes of different length put together, which make that Complex Idea called Tune.

The Modes of Colours might be also very various: some of which we take notice of, as the different degrees, or as they are termed Shades of the same Co­lour. [Page 59] But since we seldom make assem­blages of Colours, without taking in Fi­gure also, as in Painting, &c. Those which are taken notice of do most commonly belong to mixed Modes, as Beauty, Rain­bow, &c.

All compounded Tastes and Smells are also Modes made up of the Simple Ideas of those Senses: But they being such as generally we have no Names for, cannot be set down in writing, but must be left to the Thoughts, and Experience of the Reader.

CHAP. XIX. Of the Modes of Thinking.

WHen the Mind turns its view inwards upon its self, Thinking is the first Idea that occurs: wherein it observes a great variety of Modificati­ons; and thereof frames to it self distinct Ideas. Thus the Perception annex'd to any impression on the Body made by an external Object, is call'd Sensation. When an Idea recurs without the presence of [Page 60] the Object, it is called Remembrance. When sought after by the Mind, and brought again in view, it is Recollection. When held there long under attentive consi­deration, it is Contemplation. When Ideas float in the Mind without Regard or Reflection, 'tis called in French Resvery, our Language has scarce a name for it. When the Ideas are taken notice of, and as it were Registred in the Memory, it is Attention. When the Mind fixes its view on any one Idea, and considers it on all sides, it is Intention and Study. Sleep without Dreaming is Rest from all these. And Dreaming, is the Perception of Ideas in the Mind, not suggested by any ex­ternal Objects, or known occasions; nor under any choice or conduct of the Un­derstanding. Of these various modes of Thinking, the Mind forms as distinct Ideas, as it does of White and Red, a Square or a Circle.

CHAP. XX. Of the Modes of Pleasure and Pain.

PLeasure and Pain are Simple Ideas which we receive both from Sensa­tion and Reflection. There are Thoughts of the Mind, as well as Sensations, ac­companied with Pleasure or Pain. Their Causes are termed Good or Evil. For things are esteemed Good or Evil only in reference to Pleasure or Pain. That we call Good which is apt to cause or in­crease Pleasure, or diminish Pain in us: to procure or preserve the possession of any Good, or absence of any Evil: And on the contrary, that we call Evil, which is apt to produce or increase any Pain, or diminish any Pleasure in us; or else to procure us any Evil, or deprive us of any Good, By Pleasure and Pain I would be understood to mean of Body or Mind, as they are commonly distinguished; thô in Truth they are only different con­stitutions of the Mind, sometimes occa­sion'd [Page 62] by disorder in the Body, sometimes by thoughts of the Mind. Pleasure and Pain, and their causes Good and Evil, are the Hinges upon which our Passions turn: by reflecting on the various Modificati­ons or Tempers of Mind, and the inter­nal Sensations which Pleasure and Pain, Good and Evil produce in us, we may thence form to our selves the Ideas of our Passions. Thus by reflecting upon the Thought we have of the Delight, which any thing is apt to produce in us, we have an Idea we call Love: and on the contrary, the thought of the Pain, which any thing present or absent produces in us, is what we call Hatred. Desire is that uneasiness which a Man finds in himself, upon the absence of any thing, the present enjoyment of which carries the Idea of Delight with it. Joy is a Delight of the Mind arising from the present or assur'd approaching possession of a Good. Sorrow is an un­easiness of the Mind, upon the thought of a Good lost, or the Sense of a pre­sent Evil. Hope is a pleasure in the Mind upon the thought of a probable future Enjoyment of a thing which is apt to delight. Fear is an uneasiness of [Page 63] the Mind upon the thought of a future Evil, likely to befall us. Anger is a dis­composure of Mind upon the receipt of Injury, with a present purpose of Re­venge. Despair is the thought of the unattainableness of any Good. Envy is an uneasiness of Mind, caused by the consideration of a Good we desire, ob­tained by one we think should not have had it before us.

It is to be considered that in reference to the Passions, the Removal or Lessening of a Pain, is considered, and operates as a Pleasure: and the loss or diminishing of a Pleasure, as a Pain. And farther, that the Passions in most Persons operate on the Body, and cause various Changes in it: But these being not always sensi­ble, do not make a necessary part of the Idea of each Passion. Besides these modes of Pleasure and Pain which result from the various considerations of Good and Evil, there are many others, I might have instanced in, as the pain of Hunger and Thirst, and the pleasure of Eating and Drinking; and of Musick, &c. but I rather chose to instance in the Passions, as being of much more concernment to us.

CHAP. XXI. Of Power.

THE Mind being every day infor­med by the Senses, of the altera­tion of those Simple Ideas it observes in things without: reflecting also on what passes within it self, and observing a con­stant Change of its Ideas, sometimes by the impressions of outward Objects up­on the Senses; and sometimes by the Determination of its own Choice: and concluding from what it has so constant­ly observed to have been, that the like changes will for the future be made in the same things, by the same Agents, and by the like ways, considers in one thing, the possibility of having any of its Simple Ideas changed; and in another, the possibility of making that Change, and so comes by that Idea which we call Power. Thus we say Fire has a power to melt Gold, and make it fluid; and Gold has a power to be melted.

[Page 65] Power thus considered is Twofold, viz.. as able to make or able to receive any change: the one may be called Act­ive, the other Passive Power. Of Passive Power all sensible things abundantly fur­nish us with Ideas, whose sensible Qua­lities and Beings we find to be in a con­tinual Flux, and therefore with reason we look on them as liable still to the same change. Nor have we of Active Power, fewer instances: since whatever change is observed: the Mind must col­lect a Power somewhere able to make that change. But yet if we will consi­der it attentively, Bodies by our Senses do not afford us, so clear and distinct an Idea of Active Power, as we have from Reflection on the Operations of our Minds. For all Power relating to Acti­on, and there being but Two sorts of Action, viz. Thinking and Motion, let us consider whence we have the clearest Ideas of the Powers, which produce these Actions.

Of Thinki [...]g, Body affords us no Idea at all: it is only from Reflection that we have that; neither have we from Body any Idea of the beginning of Motion. A Body at Rest affords us no Idea of any [Page 66] Active Power to move; and when it isset in motion it self, that Motion is rather a Passion than an Action in it. The Idea of the beginning of Motion we have on­ly by Reflection on what passes in our selves; where we find by Experience, that barely by willing it, we can move the parts of our Bodies, which were be­fore at Rest.

We find in our selves a Power to begin or forbear, continue or end several acti­ons of our Minds, and motions of our Bodies, barely by a Thought or Prefe­rence of the Mind. This Power which the Mind has thus to order the conside­ration of any Idea, or the forbearing to consider it; or to prefer the motion of any part of the Body to its Rest, and vice versa in any particular instance, is, that we call the Will. The actual exer­cise of that Power, is that which we call Volition or Willing: The forbearance or performance of that action, consequent to such order or command of the Mind, is called Voluntary: And whatsoever acti­on is performed without such a thought of the Mind is called Involuntary.

[Page 67] The Power of Perception is that we call the Understanding. Perception which we make the act of the Understanding is of Three sorts. First, The Perception of Ideas in our Minds, Secondly, The Per­ception of the signification of Signs. Thirdly, The Perception of the agreement or disagreement of any distinct Ideas. These Powers of the Mind, viz. of per­ceiving and preferring are usually called by another name; and the ordinary way of speaking is that the Understanding and Will are two Faculties of the Mind. A word proper enough, if it be used so as not to breed any confusion in Men's Thoughts, by being supposed, (as I sus­pect it has been) to stand for some real Beings in the Soul that performed those actions of Understanding and Volition.

From the consideration of the Extent of the power of the Mind, over the acti­ons of the Man, which every one finds in himself, arise the Ideas of Liberty and Necessity: So far as a Man has a power to think, or not to think; to move, or not to move, according to the preference or direction of his own Mind, so far is a Man Free. Wherever any performance or for­bearance, are not equally in a Man's pow­er; [Page 68] wherever doing or not doing will not equally follow upon the preference of his Mind, there, he is not Free, thô per­haps the action may be voluntary. So that the Idea of Liberty, is the Idea of a Pow­er in any Agent, to do or forbear any action according to the determination or Thought of the Mind, whereby either of them is preferred to the other; where either of them is not in the power of the Agent to be produced by him, accord­ing to his Volition, there he is not at Liberty: that Agent is under Necessity. So that Liberty cannot be where there is no Thought, no Volition, no Will: but there may be Thought, there may be Will, there may be Volition, where there is no Liberty. Thus a Tennis-ball, whether in motion by the stroke of a Racket, or ly­ing still at Rest, is not by any one taken to be a Free Agent; because we conceive not a Tennis-ball to think, and conse­quently not to have any Volition or Pre­ference of motion to Rest, or vice versâ. So a Man striking himself or his Friend by a convulsive motion of his Arm, which it is not in his power by Volition or the direction of his Mind, to stop or for­bear; no body thinks he has in this Li­berty, [Page 69] every one pities him as acting by Necessity, and Constraint. Again, suppose a Man be carried whilst fast asleep into a room where is a Person he longs to see, and be there locked fast in beyond his power to get out; he awakes, and is glad to see himself in so desirable company, which he stays willingly in; that is, prefers his staying to going away. Is not this stay voluntary? I think no body will doubt it, and yet being lock­ed fast in, he is not at liberty to stay, he has not freedom to be gone. So that Liberty is not an Idea belonging to Vo­lition or Preferring; but to the Person having the Power of doing or forbearing to do, according as the Mind shall chuse or direct.

As it is in the motions of the Body, so it is in the thoughts of our Minds: where any one is such, that we have power to take it up, or lay it by accord­ing to the preference of the Mind, there we are at liberty. A waking Man is not at libetty to think or not to think, no more than he is at liberty, whether his Body, shall touch any other or no: but whether he will remove his contem­plation from one Idea to another, is many [Page 70] times in his choice. And then he is in respect of his Ideas, as much at liberty as he is in respect of Bodies he rests on. He can at pleasure remove himself from one to another: But yet some Ideas to the Mind, like some motions to the Bo­dy are such, as in certain circumstances it cannot avoid nor obtain their absence by their utmost effort it can use. Thus a Man on the Rack, is not at liberty to lay by the Idea of Pain, and entertain other contemplations.

Wherever Thought is wholly want­ing, or the power to act or forbear, ac­cording to the direction of Thought, there necessity takes place. This in an Agent capable of Volition, when the beginning or continuation of any action is contrary to the preference of his Mind, is called Compulsion: when the hindring or stopping any action is contrary to his Volition, it is called Restraint. Agents that have no Thought, no Volition at all, are in every thing necessary Agents.

And thus I have in a short draught gi­ven a view of our Original Ideas, from whence all the rest are derived, and of which they are made up. And which may be all reduc'd to these few primary [Page 71] and original ones, viz. Extention, Solidity, and Mobility which by our Senses we re­ceive from Body: Thinking, and the pow­er of moving, which by reflection we re­ceive from our Minds. Existence, Dura­tion, Number which belong both to the one, and to the other. By these I ima­gine might be explained the nature of Co­lours, Sounds, Tasts Smells, and all other Ideas we have; if we had but Faculties acute enough to perceive the several mo­dified Extensions and Motions of these minute Bodies which produce those se­veral Sensations in us.

CHAP. XXII. Of Mixed Modes.

MIxed Modes are combinations of Simple Ideas of different kinds, (whereby they are distinguished from simple Modes, which consist only of simple Ideas of the same kind, put toge­ther by the Mind) as Virtue, Vice, a Lie, &c. The Mind being once furnished with Simple Ideas can put them together in se­veral [Page 72] compositions, without examining whether they exist so together in Nature: To form such Ideas it suffices, if they are consistent: There are three ways where­by we get these complex Ideas of Mixed Modes.

First, by Experience and observation of things themselves: thus by seeing two Men wrestle, we get the Idea of Wrest­ling.

Secondly, by Invention or voluntary put­ting together of several simple Ideas in our own Minds; so he that first invent­ed Printing, had an Idea of it first in his Mind, before it ever existed.

Thirdly, by Explaining the names of actions we never saw, or notions we can­not see; and by enumerating all those Ideas which go to the making them up. Thus the mixed Mode which the word Lie stands for, is made up of these Sim­ple Ideas: First, Articulate Sounds. Second­ly, Certain Ideas in the mind of the Spea­ker. Thirdly, Words, the signs of these Ideas. Fourthly, Those signs put together by Affirmation or Negation, otherwise than the Ideas they stand for, are in the mind of the Speaker. Since Languages are made, complex Ideas are usually got [Page 73] by the explication of those terms that stand for them, for since they consist of Simple Ideas combined, they may by words standing for those Simple Ideas be represented to the Mind of one who un­derstands those words, thô that combi­nation of Simple Ideas was never offer'd to his Mind by the real existence of things.

Mixed Modes have their Unity from an act of the Mind, combining those seve­ral Simple Ideas together, and consider­ing them as one Complex one: The mark of this Union, is one name given to that Combination. Men seldom reckon any number of Ideas to make one complex one: but such collections as there be Names for. Thus the Killing of an old Man, is as fit to be united into one Complex Idea, as that of a Father: yet there being no name for it, it is not taken for a particular Complex Idea; nor a distinct species of action, from that of killing any other Man.

Those collections of Ideas have names generally affixed, which are of frequent use in conversation: in which cases Men endeavour to communicate their thoughts to one another with all possible dispatch. Those others which they have seldom oc­casion to mention, they tie not together, nor give them names.

[Page 74] This gives the reason, why there are words in every Language, which can­not be rendred by any one single word of another. For the Fashions and Cu­stoms of one Nation, make several com­binations of Ideas familiar in one, which another had never any occasion to make. Such were, [...] among the Greeks, Proscriptio among the Romans. This al­so occasions the constant change of Lan­guages; because the change of Custom and Opinions, brings with it new com­binations of Ideas, which, to avoid long descriptions, have new Names annexed to them, and so they become new Species of Complex Modes.

Of all our Simple Ideas, those that have had most Mixed Modes made out of them are Thinking; and Motion; (which comprehend in them all Action) and Power, from whence these Actions are conceived to flow. For Actions being the great business of Mankind, it is no won­der if the several Modes of Thinking, and Motion should be taken notice of, the Ideas of them observed, and laid up in Memory, and have Names assigned them. For without such Complex Ideas with Names to them, Men could not [Page 75] easily hold any communication about them. Of this kind are the Modes of Actions distinguished by their Causes, Means, Objects, Ends, Instruments, Time, Place, and other Circumstances; as also of the Powers, sitted for those Actions: Thus Boldness is the Power to do or Speak what we intend without Fear or Disor­der: which Power of doing any thing, when it has been acquired by the fre­quent doing the same thing, is that Idea we call Habit: when forward and ready upon every occasion to break into Acti­on, we call it Dispositions. Thus Testiness, is a disposition or aptness to be Angry.

Power being the source of all Action, the Substances wherein these Powers are, whenthey exert this Power, are called Causes: and the substances thereupon pro­duced, or the Simple Ideas introduced in­to any subject, Effects. The Efficacy whereby the new Substance or Idea is pro­duced, is called, in the Subject Exerting that Power, Action; in the Subject where­in any Simple Idea is changed, or produ­ced, Passion: which Efficacy in intellectu­al Agents, we can I think, conceive to be nothing else but Modes of Thinking and Willing: In corporeal Agents, nothing [Page 76] else but modifications of Motion. What­ever sort of Action, besides these produ­ces any effect; I confess my self to have no Notion, or Idea of. And therefore many words which seem to express some Action, signify nothing of the Action, but barely the Effect, with some circumstan­ces of the Subject wrought on, or cause operating. Thus Creation, Annihilation, contain in them no Idea of the action or manner, whereby they are produced, but barely of the Cause, and the thing done. And when a Country-man says the Cold freezes Water, thô the word Freezing, seem to import some Action, yet it tru­ly signifies nothing but the effect, viz. That Water that was before fluid, is be­come hard, and consistent, without contain­ing any Idea of the Action whereby it is done.

CHAP. XXIII. Of our Complex Ideas or Substances.

THE Mind observing several Sim­ple Ideas to go constantly toge­ther, which being presumed to belong to one thing, are called, when so united by one name; and by mistake afterwards considered as one Simple Idea. We ima­gine not these Simple Ideas to subsist by themselves, but suppose some Substratum, wherein they subsist, which we call Sub­stance, The Idea of pure Substance is nothing but the suppos'd, but unknown Support of these Qualities, which are capable of producing Simple Ideas in us.

The Ideas of particular Substances are composed out of this obscure, and ge­neral Idea of Substance, together with such combinations of Simple Ideas, as are observed to exist together, and sup­posed to flow from the internal Consti­tution, and unknown Essence of that Sub­stance. Thus we come by the Ideas of [Page 78] Man, Horse, Gold, &c. Thus the sensible qualities of Iron, or a Diamond make the Complex Idea of those Substances, which a Smith or a Jeweller commonly knows better, than a Philosopher.

The same happens concerning the Operations of the Mind viz. Thinking, Reasoning, &c. which we concluding not to subsist by themselves, nor apprehend­ing how they can belong to Body, or be produced by it; we think them the Actions of some other Substance, which we call Spirit: of whose Substance or Nature we have as clear a Notion as of that of Body; the one being but the sup­posed Substratum of the Simple Idea, we have from without; as the other of those Operations which we experiment in our selves within: so that the Ideas of Corporeal Substance in matter, is as remote from our Conceptions as that of Spiritual Substance.

Hence we may conclude that he has the perfectest Idea of any particular Sub­stance, who has collected most of those Simple Ideas which do exist in it: among which we are to reckon its Active Pow­ers, and Passive Capacities. Tho' not strictly Simple Ideas.

[Page 79] Secondary Qualities for the most part serve, to distinguish Substances. For our Senses fail us in the discovery of the Bulk, Figure, Texture, &c. of the minute parts of Bodies on which their real Con­stitutions, and Differences depend: and Secondary Qualities are nothing, but Powers with relation to our Senses. The Ideas that make our Complex ones of Corporeal Substances, are of Three sorts. First, The Ideas of Primary Qualities of Things, which are discovered by our Sen­ses: Such are Bulk, Figure, Motion, &c. Secondly, the Sensible secondary Quali­ties, which are nothing but Powers to produce several Ideas in us by our Senses. Thirdly, The aptness we consider in any Substance to cause, or receive such alte­rations of Primary Qualities, as that the Substance so altered, should produce in us different Ideas, from what it did be­fore: And they are called Active and Passive Powers. All which, as far as we have any notice, or notion of them, ter­minate in Simple Ideas.

Had we Senses acute enough to di­scern the minute Particles of Bodies, it is not to be doubted, but they would produce quite different Ideas in us; as we [Page 80] find in viewing things with Microscopes. Such Bodies as to our naked Eyes are co­loured and opaque, will through Mi­croscopes appear pellucid. Bloud, to the naked Eye appears all Red; but by a good Microscope we see only some Red Globules swimming in a transparent Li­quor.

The Infinite wise Author of our Beings has fitted our Organs, and Faculties to the conveniences of Life and the business we have to do here: We may by our Sences know and distinguish Things so far as to accommodate them to the Exi­gencies of this Life. We have also Insight enough into their admirable con­trivances, and wonderful Effects to ad­mire, and magnify the Wisdom, Power, and Goodness of their Author. Such a Knowledge as this which is suited to our present condition, we want not Facul­ties to attain; and we are fitted well enough with Abilities to provide for the conveniencies of living.

Besides the Complex Ideas we have of material Substances; by the simple Ideas t [...]en from the operations of our own Minds, which we experiment in our selves, as Thinking, Understanding, Willing, Know­ing, [Page 81] &c. coexisting in the same Substance, we are able to frame the Complex Idea of a Spirit. And this Idea of an Immaterial Substance, is as clear as that we have of a Material. By joyning these with Sub­stance, of which we have no distinct Idea, we have the Idea of a Spirit: and by putting together the Ideas of cohe­rent, solid Parts, and Power of being moved, joyned with substance, of which likewise we have no positive Idea, we have the Idea of Matter. The one is so clear and distinct as the other. The sub­stance of Spirit is unknown to us; and so is the substance of Body equally un­known to us: Two primary Qualities or Properties of Body, viz. Solid coherent Parts, and Impulse, we have distinct clear Ideas of: So likewise have we, of two pri­mary Qualities or Properties of Spirit, Thinking, and a power of Action. We have also clear and distinct Ideas of seve­ral Qualities inherent in Bodies, which are but the various Modifications of the Extension of cohering solid Parts, and their Motion. We have likewise the Ideas of the several modes of Thinking, viz. Believing, Doubting, Hoping, Fearing, &c. As also of Willing and [Page 82] Moving the Body consequent to it.

If this motion of Spirit may have some difficulties in it, not easie to be explain­ed, we have no more reason to deny or doubt of the existence of Spirits, than we have, to deny or doubt of the existence of Body: because the notion of Body is cum­bred with some difficulties very hard, and perhaps impossible to be explained. The Divisibility in infinitum, for instance, of any finite Extension involves us, whether we grant or deny it in consequences im­possible to be explicated, or made con­sistent. We have therefore as much rea­son to be satisfied with our notion of Spi­rit, as with our notion of Body; and the existence of the one, as well as the other. We have no other Idea of the Supream Being, but a Complex one of Existence, Power, Knowledge, Duration, Pleasure, Hap­piness, and of several other Qualities, and Powers which it is better to have than be without, with the addition of Infi­nite to each of these.

In which Complex Idea we may ob­serve that there is no Simple one, bating Infinity, which is not also a part of our Complex Idea of other Spirits: because in our Ideas, as well of Spirits as other [Page 83] things, we are restrained to those we re­ceive from Sensation and Reflection.

CHAP. XXIV. Of Collective Ideas of Substances.

THere are other Ideas of Substances which may be call'd Collective, which are made up of many particular Substances considered as united into one Idea, as a Troop, Army, &c. which the Mind makes by its power of Composi­tion. These Collective Ideas, are but the artificial Draughts of the Mind bringing things remote, and independent into one view, the better to contemplate and discourse of them united into one Con­ception, and signified by one name. For there are no things so remote, which the Mind cannot by this Art of Composition, bring into one Idea as is visible in that sig­nified by the name, Universe.

CHAP. XXV. Of Relation.

THere is another Sett of Ideas which the Mind gets from the comparing of one thing with another. When the Mind so considers one thing, that it does as it were bring it to, and set it by another, and carry its view from one to the other, this is Relation or Respect: and the deno­minations given to things intimating that Respect, are what we call Relatives. And the things so brought together Re­lated. Thus when I call Cajus, Husband, or Whiter, I intimate some other Person, or Thing in both cases, with which I compare him. Any of our Ideas may be the foundation of Relation.

Where Languages have failed to give correlative Names, there the Relation is not so easily taken notice of: As in Con­cubine, which is a Relative name, as well as Wife.

The Ideas of Relation may be the same, in those Men who have far different Ideas [Page 85] of the things that are Related. Thus those who have different Ideas, of Man, may agree in that of a Father.

There is no Idea of any kind, which is not capable of an almost infinite num­ber of Considerations, in reference to other things: and therefore this makes no small part of Men's Words, and Thoughts. Thus one single Man, may at once sustain the Relations of Father, Brother, Son, Husband, Friend, Subject, Gene­ral, European, Englishman, Islander, Master, Servant, Bigger, Less, &c. to an almost infi­nite number; he being capable of as ma­ny Relations, as there can be occasions of comparing him to other things in any manner of Agreement, Disagreement, or Respect whatsoever.

The Ideas of Relations are much clear­er and more distinct, than of the Things related; because the Knowledge of one Simple Idea, is oftentimes sufficient to give me the notion of a Relation: but to the knowing of any substantial Being, an accurate collection of sundry Ideas is necessary.

CHAP. XXVI. Of Cause and Effect and other Relations.

THE Ideas of Cause and Effect, we get from our observation of the vicissi­tude of Things, while we perceive some Qualities or Substances begin to exist, and that they receive their existence from the due application and operation of other Beings: that which produces, is the Cause; that which is produced, the Effect. Thus Fluidity in Wax is the Effect of a certain degree of Heat, which we ob­serve to be constantly produced by the application of such Heat.

We distinguish the Originals of things into two sorts.

First When the thing is wholly made new, so that no part thereof did ever exist before, as when a new Particle of Matter, doth begin to exist which had b [...]fore no Being; 'tis ca [...]led Creation.

Secondly, When a thing is made up of [Page 87] Particles which did all of them before exist, but the thing so constituted of pre­existing Particles, which altogether make up such a collection of simple Ideas, had not any Existence before, as this Man, this Egg, this Rose, &c. when produced in the ordinary course of Nature, by an Internal Principle, but set on work by some External Agent, and working by insensible ways which we perceive not; 'tis called Generation.

When the Cause is Extrinsical, and the Effect introduced by a sensible Se­paration or Juxta-position of discernible Parts, we call it Making; and such are all Artificial Things. When any sim­ple Idea is produced, which was not in that Subject before, we call it Altera­tion.

The Denominations of Things taken from Time, are for the most part only Relations. Thus when it is said that Queen Elizabeth lived Sixty nine, and Reigned Forty five Years, no more is meant, than, that the duration of her Existence, was equal to Sixty nine, and of her Government to Forty five Annual Revolutions of the Sun: and so are all words answering, How long.

[Page 88] Young and Old, and other words of Time, that are thought to stand for po­sitive Ideas, are indeed Relative; and intimate a Relation to a certain length of Duration, whereof we have the Idea in our Minds. Thus we call a Man Young, or Old, that has lived little or much of that time that Men usually at­tain to. This is evident from our ap­plication of these Names to other things; for a Man is called Young at Twenty, but a Horse Old, &c. The Sun and Stars we call not Old at all, Because we know not what period God has set to that sort of Beings.

There are other Ideas, that are truly Relative, which we signify by names that are thought Positive and Absolute; such as Great and Little, Strong and Weak. The things thus denominated are referred to some Standards with which we compare them. Thus we call an Apple Great, that is bigger than the ordinary sort of those we have been used to. And a Man Weak, that has not so much Strength or Power to move as Men usually have, or those of his own size.

CHAP. XXVII. Of Identity and Diversity.

ANother occasion the Mind takes of comparing, is the very Being of Things: when considering a Thing as ex­isting at any certain time, or place, and comparing it with it self as existing at any other time, &c. we form the Ideas of Identity, and Diversity. When we see any thing in any certain time and place, we are sure, it is that very thing; and can be no other how like soever it may be in all other Respects.

We conceiving it impossible, that two Things of the same kind should exist to­gether in the same place, we conclude that whatever exists any where at the same time, excludes all of the same kind, and is there it self alone. When there­fore we demand whether any thing be the same, or no, it refers always to some­thing that existed such a time, in such a place, which it was certain at that in­stant was the same with it self, and no other.

We have Ideas of Three sorts of Sub­stances, First, God: Secondly, Finite In­telligence: Thirdly, Bodies.

[Page 90] First, God being Eternal, Unalterable, and every where concerning his Identity, there can be no doubt.

Secondly, Finite Spirits having had their determinate time and place of be­ginning to exist, the Relation to that time and place will always determine to each its Identity, as long as it exists.

Thirdly, The same will hold of every Particle of Matter to which no Addition or Substraction is made. These three exclude not one another out of the same place, yet each exclude those of the same kind, out of the same place.

The Identity and Diversity of Modes and Relations are determined after the same manner, that Substances are: on­ly the actions of Finite Beings, as Motion and Thought, consisting in Succession, they they cannot exist in different times, and places as permanent Beings: For no Mo­tion or Thought considered as at different times can be the same, each part thereof having a different beginning of Exist­ence.

From whence it is plain, that Exist­ence it self is the Principium Individuati­onis, which determins a Being to a par­ticular time, and place incommunicable [Page 91] to two Beings of the same kind. Thus, suppose an Atom existing in a determin'd time, and place; it is evident that consi­dered in any instant, it is the same with it self, and will be so, as long as its ex­stence continues. The same may be said of Two, or more, or any number of Par­ticles, whilst they continue together. The Mass will be the same however jumbled, but if one Atom be taken away, it is not the same Mass.

In Vegetables, the Identity depends not on the same Mass, and is not applied to the same thing. The reason of this is the difference between an animate Body, and mass of Matter; This being only the Cohesion of Particles any how united. The other, such a disposition and organi­zation of Parts, as is sit to receive and distribute nourishment. So as to conti­nue and frame the Wood, Bark, Leaves, &c. of an Oak, for instance, in which consists the vegetable Life. That there­fore which has such an Organization of Parts partaking of one common life, con­tinues to be the same Plant, thô that life be communicated to new Particles of Matter vitally united to the living Plant. The case is not so much different in [Page 92] Brutes, but that any one may hence see what makes an Animal, and continues it the same.

The Identity of the same Man likewise consists in a participation of the same con­tinued life, in succeeding Particles of Mat­ter vitally united to the same organized Body.

To understand Identity aright, we must consider what Idea the word it is applied to, stands for. It being one thing to be the same Substance, another the same Man, and a Third the same Person.

An Animal, is a living organized Bo­dy and the same Animal, is the same con­tinued life communicated to different particles of Matter, united to that orga­nized, living Body; our notion of Man, is but of a particular sort of Animal: Should we see a Creature of our own shape, thô it had no more reason than a Parret, we should call it a Man: or should we hear a Parret discourse ratio­nally, we should hardly call, or think it any thing but a Parret.

Person stands for an Intelligent Being, that reasons and reflects, and can consi­der it self the same thing in different Times and Places; which it doth by that [Page 93] consciousness that is inseparable from Think­ing. By this every one is to himself what he calls Self, without considering whether that Self be continued in the same, or di­vers substances. In this consists Perso­nal Identity, or the Sameness of a Ratio­nal Being: and so far as this Conscious­ness extends backward to any past Acti­on, or Thought, so far reaches the Iden­tity of that Person. It is the same Self now, it was then; And it is by the same Self, with this present one, that now re­flects on it, that that action was done.

Self is that conscious thinking Thing, whatever substance it matters not, which is conscious of Pleasure or Pain, capable of Happiness or Misery; and so is con­cerned for it self, as far as that conscious­ness extends. That with which the con­sciousness of this present thinking Thing, can joyn it self, makes the same Person, and is one Self with it; and so attri­butes to its Self, and owns all the actions of that thing, as its own, as far as that consciousness reaches.

This Personal Identity, is the object of Reward and Punishment, being that by which every one is concerned for him­self. If the Consciousness went along with [Page 94] the little Finger, when that was cut off it would be the same Self, that was just before concerned for the whole Body.

If the same Socrates, waking and sleep­ing, did not partake of the same consci­ousness, they would not be the same Person: A Socrates waking, could not be in justice accountable for what Socrates sleeping did, no more than one Twin, for what his Brother Twin did, because their outsides were so like, that they could not be distinguished.

But suppose I wholly lose the memory of some parts of my Life, beyond a pos­sibility of retrieving them; So that I shall never be conscious of them again: Am I not again the same Person that did those actions, thô I have now forgot them? I Answer, that we must here take notice what the word I is applied to, which in this case is the Man only: And the same Man being presumed to be the same Per­son, I is easily here suppos'd to stand also for the same Person. But if it be possible for the same Man, to have distinct in­communicable consciousness at different times, it is past doubt the same Man would, at different times, make different Persons. Which we see is the sense of [Page 95] Mankind in the solemnest Declaration of their Opinions, Human Laws not pu­nishing the Madman, for the sober Man's Actions, nor the sober Man, for what the Madman did; thereby making them two Persons. Thus we say in English, such a one is not himself, or is besides him­self, in which Phrases it is insinuated, that Self is changed, and the Self same Person is no longer in that Man.

But is not a Man Drunk or Sober the same Person? Why else is he punished for the same Fact he commits when Drunk, thô he be never afterwards conscious of it? Just as much the same Person, as a Man that walks, and does other things in his Sleep, is the same Person: and is as answerable for any mischief he shall do in it. Human Laws punish both, with a Justice suitable to their way of Know­ledge: Because in these cases, they can­not distinguish certainly what is real, and what is counterfeit: And so the ig­norance in Drunkenness or Sleep is not admitted as a Plea. For thô punishment be annexed to Personality, and Persona­lity to Consciousness; and the Drunkard perhaps is not conscious of what he did: yet Human Judicatures justly punish [Page 96] him, because the Fact is proved against; but want of consciousness cannot be pro­ved for him. But in the great day where­in the secrets of all hearts shall be laid open, it may be reasonable to think no one should be made to answer, for what he knows nothing of; but shall receive his doom, his own Conscience accusing, or else excusing him.

To conclude, whatever substance be­gins to exist, it must during its existence be the same: whatever compositions of Substances begin to exist, during the union of those Substances, the concrete must be the same. Whatsoever Mode begins to exist, during its existence it is the same: And so if the composition be of distinct Substances, and different Modes, the same Rule holds. Whence it appears that the difficulty or obscuri­ty that has been about this matter, rather arises from the names ill used, than from any obscurity in the things themselves. For whatever makes the specifick Idea, to which the name is applied, if that Idea be steadily kept to, the distinction of any thing into the same, and divers, will easily be conceived, and there can arise no doubt concerning it.

CHAP. XXVIII. Of other Relations.

ALL Simple Ideas, wherein are Parts or Degrees, afford an occasion of comparing the Subjects wherein they are to one another in respect of those Simple Ideas. As Whiter, Sweeter, More, Less, &c. These depending on the equality, and excess of the same simple Idea, in several Subjects may be called, Proportional Re­lations.

Another occasion of comparing things is taken from the circumstances of their Origine, as Father, Son, Brother, &c. These may be called Natural Relations.

Sometimes the foundation of consi­dering things, is some act whereby any one comes by a Moral Right, Power, or Obligation to do something: such are Ge­neral, Captain, Burgher; these are Instituted, and Voluntary Relations, and may be di­stinguished from the Natural, in that they are alterable and separable from the Persons to whom they sometimes belong­ed, [Page 98] thô neither of the Substances so Re­lated be destroyed. But Natural Rela­tions are not alterable, but are as lasting as their Subjects.

Another Relation is the conformity or disagreement of Mens voluntary Acti­ons to a Rule to which they are referred, and by which they are judged of: These may be called Moral Relations. It is this Conformity or Disagreement of our acti­ons to some Law (whereby Good or Evil is drawn on us from the Will and Power of the Law-maker, and is what we call Reward or Punishment) that ren­ders our Actions Morally Good, or Evil.

Of these Moral Rules or Laws there seem to be three sorts with their diffe­rent ensorcements. First, The Divine Law. Secondly, Civil Law. Thirdly, The Law of Opinion or Reputation. By their Rela­tion to the First, our Actions are either Sins or Duties: To the Second, Criminal or Innocent: to the Third Vertues or Vi­ces.

1st. By the Divine Law, I mean that Law which God has set to the Actions of Men, whether promulgated to them by the light of Nature, or the voice of Revelation.

[Page 99] That God has given a Law to Man­kind, seems undeniable, since he has, First, A Right to do it, we are his Crea­tures. Secondly, Goodness and Wisdom to direct our Actions to what is best. Thirdly, Power to enforce it by Reward, and Punishment of infinite Weight, and Duration. This is the only true Touch­stone of Moral Rectitude, and by which Men judge of the most considerable Moral Good or Evil of their Actions: That is, Whether as Duties or Sins they are like to procure them Happiness or Misery from the Hands of the Almigh­ty.

2ly. The Civil Law, is the Rule set by the Common-wealth, to the Actions of those that belong to it. This Law no body over-looks; the Rewards and Punishments being ready at hand to en­force it, extending to the protecting or taking away of Life, Liberty, and Estate of those who observe or disobey it.

3ly. The Law of Opinion or Reputa­tion. Vertue and Vice are Names suppo­sed every where, to stand for Actions in their own Nature, Right and Wrong. As far as they are really so applied, they so far are co-incident with the Divine [Page 100] Law. But it is visible that these Names in the particular instances of their appli­cation, through the several Nations and Societies of Men, are constantly attri­buted only to such Actions as in each Countrey and Society, are in Reputati­on or Discredit. So that the measure of what is every where called and esteem­ed Vertue and Vice, is the approbation or dislike, praise or blame, which by a tacit Consent establishes it self in the Societies and Tribes of Men in the World; whereby several Actions come to find Credit or Disgrace amongst them, accord­ing to the Judgment, Maxims or Fashi­ons of the place.

That this is so, appears hence; That tho' that passes for Vertue in one place, which is elsewhere accounted Vice; yet every where Vertue and Praise, Vice and Blame go together; Vertue is every where that which is thought Praise-worthy: and nothing else but that which has the allowance of publick Esteem, is called Vertue. These have so close an Alliance, that they are often called by the same name.

[Page 101] 'Tis true, Vertue and Vice. do in a great measure every where correspond with the unchangeable Rule of Right and Wrong, which the Laws of God have established; because the observation of these Laws visibly secures and advan­ces the general Good of Mankind, and the neglect of them breeds Mischief and Confusion: and therefore Men without renouncing all Sense and Reason, and their own Interest, could not generally mistake in placing their commendation and blame on that side, that deserved it not.

They who think not Commendation and Disgrace sufficient motives to en­gage Men to accommodate themselves to the Opinions and Rules of those with whom they converse, seem little skill'd in the History of Mankind. The great­est part whereof govern themselves chief­ly by this Law of Fashion.

The penalties that attend the breach of God's Laws are seldom seriously re­flected on, and those that do reflect on them, entertain Thoughts of future re­conciliation. And for the punishment due from the Laws of the Common-wealth, Men flatter themselves with the [Page 102] hopes of Impunity: But no Man escapes Censure and Dislike who offends against Fashion; nor is there one of ten thousand stiff and insensible enough, to bear up under the constant dislike and condem­nation of his own Club.

Morality then is nothing but a Relati­on to these Laws or Rules; And these Rules being nothing but a collection of several simple Ideas; The conformity thereto is but so ordering the Action, that the Simple Ideas belonging to it, may correspond to those which the Law requires. By which we see how Moral Beings, and Notions are founded on, and terminated in the Simple Ideas of Sensa­tion and Reflection. For example, Let us consider the Complex Idea signified by the word Murder. First from Reflection, we have the Ideas of Willing, Considering, Purposing, Malice, &c. Also of Life, Per­ception, and Self-motion. Secondly from Sensation, we have the Ideas of Man, and of some Action whereby we put an end to that Perception, and Motion in the Man, all which Simple Ideas, are comprehended in the word Murder.

[Page 103] This collection of Simple Ideas being found to agree or disagree with the esteem of the Country I have been bred in, and to be held worthy of praise or blame, I call the Action Vertuous, or Vi­cious. If I have the Will of a Supreme Invisible, Law-maker for my Rule, then, as I suppose the Action commanded or forbidden by God, I call it Good or Evil, Sin or Duty: If I compare it with the Civil-Law of my Country, I call it Law­ful or Unlawful, a Crime or no Crime.

Moral Actions may be considered Two ways,

First, as they are in themselves a col­lection of Simple Ideas, in which Sense they are positive absolute Ideas.

Secondly, As Good, or Bad, or Indiffe­rent: in this respect they are Relative, it being their conformity or disagreement with some Rule, that makes them be so. We ought carefully to distinguish between the positive Idea of the Action, and the reference it has to a Rule: both which are commonly comprehended un­der one name, which often occasions confusion, and misleads the Judgment.

It would be infinite to go over all sorts of Relations; I have here mention­ed [Page 104] some of the most considerable, and such as may serve to let us see from whence we get our Ideas of Relations, and wherein they are founded.

CHAP. XXIX. Of clear obscure, distinct and con­fused Ideas.

HAving shewn the Original of our Ideas, and taken a view of their several sorts: I shall offer some few other Considerations concerning them. The First, is that some are clear, others ob­scure: some distinct, and others confused.

Our Simple Ideas are clear, when they are such as the Objects themselves from whence they were taken, did in a well­ordered Sensation or Perception present them. Whilst the Memory retains them thus, and can produce them so to the Mind when it has occasion to consider them, they are clear Ideas.

Our Complex Ideas are clear when the Ideas that go to their Composition are clear: and the Number and Order of [Page 105] those Simple Ideas, that are their Ingre­dients, is determinate and certain.

The cause of Obscurity in Simple Ideas seems to be either dull Organs, or slight Impressions made by the Objects, or a weakness in the Memory, not able to retain them as received.

A distinct Idea is that wherein the Mind perceives a difference from all other: And a Confused, is such an one as is not suf­ficiently distinguishable from another from which it ought to be different. Ob­scurity is opposed to Clearness. Confu­sion to Distinctness.

Confusion is occasioned chiefly by the following defaults.

First, When any Complex Idea (for it is Complex Ideas that are most liable to Confusion) is made up of too small a number of Simple Ideas, and such as are common to other things: Whereby the differences that make it deserve a diffe­rent name, are left out. Thus an Idea of a Leopard being conceived only as a spotted Beast, is Confused; it not being thereby sufficiently distinguished from a Panther, and other sorts of Beasts that are spotted.

[Page 106] Secondly, When the Ideas are so jum­bled together in the Complex one, that it is not easily discernible, whether it more belongs to the name given it, than to any other. We may conceive this Con­fusion by a sort of Pictures, usually shewn, wherein the Colours mark out very odd and unusual Figures, and have no discernible Order in their position. This, when said to be the Picture of a Man or Caesar, we reckon Confused, be­cause it is not discernible in that State, to belong more to the name Man or Cae­sar, than to the name Baboon or Pompey. But when a Cylindrical Mirrour rightly placed, hath reduced those irregular Lines on the Table, into their due Order and Proportion, then the Eye presently sees that it is a Man, or Caesar: that is, that it belongs to those Names, and is sufficiently distinguishable from a Baboon or Pompey; that is, from the Ideas sig­nified by those Names.

Thirdly, When any one of our Ideas signified by a Name is uncertain and un­determined. Thus he that puts in, or leaves out an Idea out of his Complex one of Church or Idolatry, every time that he thinks of either, and holds not [Page 107] steady to any one precise combination of Ideas, that makes it up, is said to have a confused Idea of Church or Idolatry. Confu­sion always concerns Two Ideas, and those most which most approach one another. To avoid Confusion therefore we ought to examine what other it is in danger to be confounded with, or which it cannot easily be separated from; and that will be found an Idea belonging to another Name, and so should be a different thing, from which yet it is not suf­ficiently distinct, and so keeps not that difference from that other Idea which the different Name imports.

It is to be observed that our Complex Ideas may be very clear and distinct in one part, and very obscure and confused in another. Thus in Chiliaedrum, or Bo­dy of a thousand Sides, the Idea of the Fi­gure may be confused, tho' that of the Number be very distinct: We can dis­course and demonstrate concerning that part of this Complex Idea which depends on the Number Thousand; thô it is plain we have no precise Idea of its Figure, so as to distinguish it by that from One that has but Nine hundred ninety nine Sides. The not observing this, causes [Page 108] no small error in Men's Thoughts, and confusion in their Discourses.

CHAP. XXX. Of Real and Fantastical Ideas.

OUR Ideas in reference to things from whence they are taken, or which they may be supposed to represent, come under a Threefold Distinction, and are First either Real or Fantastical. Se­condly Adequate or Inadequate. Thirdly True or False.

By Real Ideas I mean such as have a Foundation in Nature; such as have a conformity with the Real Being and Ex­istence of Things, or with their Arche­types.

Fantastical are such as have no foun­dation in Nature, nor any conformity with that Reality of Being, to which they are referred as to their Archetypes. By examining the several sorts of Ideas we shall find, that First our Simple Ideas are all Real; not that they are Images or Representations of what does exist, but as they are the certain Effects of [Page 109] Powers in things without us, Ordained by our Maker, to produce in us such Sensations: They are Real Ideas in us, whereby we distinguish the Qualities that are really in things themselves.

Their Reality lies in the steady Cor­respondence they have with the distinct Constitutions of real Beings. But whe­ther they answer to those Constitutions as to Causes or Patterns, it matters not: it suffices that they are constantly pro­duced by them.

Complex Ideas being arbitrary combi­nations of Simple Ideas put together, and united under one general Name, in forming of which the Mind uses its li­berty; we must enquire which of these are Real, and which Imaginary Combi­nations, and to this I say, that,

First, Mixed Modes and Relations ha­ving no other Reality, than what they have in the Minds of Men; Nothing else is required to make them Real, but a possibility of Existing conformable to them. These Ideas being themselves Archetypes, cannot differ from their Ar­chetypes, and so cannot be Chimerical; unless any one will jumble together in them inconsistent Ideas. Those indeed [Page 110] that have Names assigned them in any Language, must have a conformity to the ordinary signification of the Name that is given them, that they may not be thought Fantastical.

Secondly, Our Complex Ideas of Sub­stances being made, in reference to things existing without us, whose Representa­tions they are thought, are no farther real, than as they are such combinations of Simple Ideas, as are really united, and co-exist in things without us. Those are Fantastical which are made up of se­veral Ideas, that never were found united, as Centaur, &c.

CHAP. XXXI. Of Ideas Adequate or Inadequate.

REal Ideas are either 1. Adequate, which perfectly represents those Arche­types which the Mind supposes them ta­ken from, and which it makes them to stand for. Secondly, Inadequate, which are such as do but partially or incom­pleatly represent those Archetypes to [Page 111] which they are referred: whence it ap­pears.

First, that all our Simple Ideas are Ad­equate, for they being but the effects of certain Powers in things fitted and or­dained by God, to produce such Sensa­tions in us; they cannot but be Corre­spondent and Adequate to such Powers, and we are sure they agree to the reality of things.

Secondly, Our Complex Ideas of Modes be­ing Voluntary collections of Simple Ideas, which the Mind puts together without reference to any real Archetypes, cannot but be Adequate Ideas. They are refer­red to no other Pattern, nor made by any Original, but the Good-liking and Will of him that makes the Combinati­on. If indeed one would conform his Idea, to that which is formed by ano­ther Person, it may be Wrong or Inad­equate, because they agree not to that which the Mind designs to be their Ar­chetype and Pattern. In which respect only, any Ideas of Modes can be Wrong, Imperfect or Inadequate.

Thirdly, Our Ideas of Substances, have in the Mind a double Reference: First, They are sometimes referred to a sup­posed [Page 112] real Essence, of each species of Things. Secondly, They are designed for Representations in the mind of Things that do exist, by Ideas discoverable in them: in both which respects they are Inadaequate.

First, If the Names of Substances stand for Things, as supposed to have certain real Essences, whereby they are of this or that Species, (of which real Essences Men are wholly ignorant and know no­thing) it plainly follows that the Ideas they have in their Minds, being referr'd to real Essences, as Archetypes which are unknown, they must be so far from be­ing Adequate, that they cannot be sup­posed to be any Representation of them at all. Our Complex Ideas of Substan­ces are, as has been shewn, nothing but certain collections of Simple Ideas that have been observed, or supposed constant­ly to Exist together. But, such a Com­plex Idea cannot be the real Essence of any Substance: For then the Properties we discover in it would be deducible from it, and their necessary connexion with it be known, as all the Properties of a Triangle depend on, and are deduci­ble from the Complex Idea of Three Lines [Page 113] including a Space: But it is certain that in our Complex Ideas of Substances, are not contained in such Ideas on which all the other Qualities that are to be found in them depend.

Secondly, Those that take their Ideas of Substances from their sensible Quali­ties, cannot form Adequate Idaeas of them: because their Qualities and Pow­ers are so various, that no Man's Com­plex Idaea can contain them all. Most of our Simple Idaeas, whereof our Complex ones of Substances do consist, are Pow­ers which being Relations to other Sub­stances; we cannot be sure we know all the Powers, till we have tryed what changes they are fitted to give and receive from other Substances, in their several ways of Application: which being im­possible to be tryed upon one Body, much less upon All, It is impossible we should have Adequate Idaeas of any Substance, made of a collection of all its proper­ties.

CHAP. XXXII. Of True and False Ideas.

TRuth and Falshood in propriety of Speech belong only to Propositi­ons; and when Ideas are termed True or False, there is some secret or tacit Pro­position, which is the foundation of that Denomination. Our Ideas being nothing but Appearances or Perceptions in the Mind, can in strictness of Speech no more be said to be True or False, than single Names of Things. The Idea of Centaur has no more Falshood in it, when it ap­pears in our Minds, than the name Cen­taur when it is pronounced or writ on Paper. For Truth or Falshood lying al­ways in some Affirmation or Negation, our Ideas are not capable any of them, of being false, till the Mind passes some Judgment on them; that is, affirms or denies something of them. In a Meta­physical Sense they may be said to be true, that is, to be really such as they exist; tho' in things called true, even in that [Page 115] Sense, there is perhaps a secret reference to our Ideas, looked upon as the Stan­dards of that Truth; which amounts to a Mental Proposition.

When the Mind refers any of its Ideas to any thing extraneous to it, they are then capable of being True or False: be­cause in such a reference the Mind makes a tacit supposition of their conformity to that thing; which supposition, as it is True or False, so the Ideas themselves come to be denominated, This happens in these cases:

First, When the Mind supposes its Idea, conformable to that in other Mens Minds, called by the same name, such as that of Justice, Vertue, &c.

Secondly, When the Mind supposes any Idea conformable to some real Existence. Thus that of a Man is True, that of Cen­taur False, the one having a conformity to what has really existed; the other not.

Thirdly, When the Mind refers any of its Ideas to that real Constitution, and Essence of any thing whereon all its Pro­perties depend: and thus the greatest part, if not all our Ideas of Substances, are false.

[Page 116] As to the First, When we judge of our Ideas by their conformity to those of other Men, they may be any of them False. But Simple Ideas are least liable to be so mistaken; we seldom mistake Green for Blue, or Bitter for Sweet; much less do we confound the Names belong­ing to different Senses, and call a Colour by the name of a Taste. Complex Ideas are much more liable to Falshood in this particular: and those of Mixed Modes more than Substances. Because in Sub­stances their sensible Qualities serve for the most part to distinguish them clear­ly: But in Mixed Modes we are more uncertain, and we may call that Justice, which ought to be called by another name. The reason of this is, That the abstract Ideas of Mixed Modes, being Mens voluntary Combinations of such a precise collection of Simple Ideas, we have nothing else to refer our Ideas of Mixed Modes as Standards to; but the Ideas of those who are thought to use names in their proper significations: and so as our Ideas conform or differ from them, they pass for True or False.

[Page 117] As to the Second, When we refer our Ideas to the real Existence of Things, none can be termed False, but our Com­plex Ideas of Substances. For our Sim­ple Ideas being nothing but Perceptions in us answerable to certain Powers in external Objects, their Truth consists in nothing but such appearances, as are produced in us suitable to those Powers: Neither do they become liable to the imputation of Falshood, whether we judge these Ideas to be in the Things themselves, or no. For God having set them as Marks of distinguishing Things, that we may be able to discern one thing from another; and thereby chuse them as we have occasion: It alters not the na­ture of our Simple Ideas, whether we think the Idea of Blue (for instance) to be in the Violet it self, or in the Mind on­ly: And it is equally from that appear­ance to be denominated Blue, whether it be that real Colour, or only a peculi­ar Texture in it, that causes in us that Idea: Since the name Blue notes proper­ly nothing but that mark of distinction, that is in a Violet, discernible only by our Eyes, whatever it consists in.

[Page 118] Neither would our Simple Ideas be False, if by the different structure of our Organs it were so ordered, that the same Object should produce in several Mens Minds different Ideas. For this could never be known, since Objects would operate constantly after the same man­ner. It is most probable nevertheless, that the Ideas produced by Objects in different Mens Minds, are very near and undiscernibly like. Names of Simple Ideas may be mis-applied, as a Man ig­norant in the English Tongue may call Purple, Scarlet: but this makes no Fals­hood in the Ideas.

Complex Ideas of Modes, cannot be False in reference to the Essence of any thing really Existing; Because they have no reference to any pattern Existing, or made by Nature.

Our Complex Ideas of Substances, be­ing all referr'd to patterns in Things themselves, may be False. They are so, First, When looked upon as representati­ons of the unknown Essences of Things. Secondly, When they put together Sim­ple Ideas which in the real Existence of Things, have no Union: as in Centaur. Thirdly, When from any collection of [Page 119] Simple Ideas, that do always Exist toge­ther, there is separated by a direct Negation any one Simple Idea, which is constantly joyned with them. Thus, if from Extension, Solidity, Fixedness, Malleableness, Fusibility, &c. we remove the Colour observed in Gold.

If this Idea be only left out of the Complex one of Gold, it is to be looked on as an inadequate and imperfect, ra­ther than a False one: since, thô it con­tains not all the Simple Ideas, that are united in Nature: yet it puts none to­gether, but what do really Exist toge­ther.

Upon the whole, I think that our Ideas as they are considered by the Mind, ei­ther in reference to the proper significa­tion of their Names, or in reference to the reality of Things, may more pro­properly be called Right or Wrong Ideas, according as they agree or disagree to those Patterns to which they are refer­red. The Ideas that are in Mens Minds simply considered, cannot be wrong, un­less Complex Ideas, wherein inconsistent Parts are jumbled together. All other Ideas are in themselves Right, and the Knowledge about them right, and true [Page 120] Knowledge. But when we come to re­fer them to any Patterns, or Archetypes, then they are capable of being wrong, as far as they disagree with such Arche­types.

Having thus given an account of the Original Sorts and Extent of our Ideas, which are the materials of our Knowledge, before I proceed to shew what use the Understanding makes of them, and what Knowledge we have by them, I find it necessary, because of that close connexi­on between Ideas, and Words; and that constant Relation, which our Abstract Ideas and General Words have one with another, to consider, First, The Nature, Use, and Signification of Language, which therefore must be the business of the next Book.


CHAP. I. Of Words or Language in General.

GOD having design'd Man for a sociable Creature, made him not only with an Inclination, and under a Necessity to have fellowship with those of his own kind: But furnish­ed him also with Language, which was to be the great Instrument and common Tye of Society. Man therefore had by Na­ture his Organs so fashioned, as to be fit to frame Articulate Sounds, which we call Words.

But besides Articulate Sounds (which Birds may be taught to imitate) it was further necessary that he should be able to use these Sounds as Signs of Internal Con­ceptions, and make them stand as marks [Page 122] of the Ideas of his Mind, whereby they might be made known to others.

But neither is it enough for the per­fection of Language, that Sounds can be made. signs of Ideas, unless these can be made use of, so as to comprehend seve­ral particular things: for the multiplica­tion of Words would have perplexed their use, had every particular thing need of a distinct name to be signified by. To remedy this inconvenience, Language had yet a farther improvement in the use of General Terms, whereby one Word was made to mark a multitude of parti­cular Existences, which advantageous use of Sounds was obtained only by the difference of the Ideas they were made Signs of. Those Names becoming gene­ral, which are made to stand for general Ideas; and those remaining particular, where the Ideas they are used for are par­ticular. There are other Words which signify the Want or Absence of Ideas, as Ignorance, Barrenness, &c. which relate to positive Ideas, and signify their Absence.

It is observable that the Words which stand for Actions and Notions, quite re­moved from Sense, are borrowed from sensible Ideas, v. g. to Imagine, Appre­hend, [Page 123] Comprehend, Understand, Adhere, Conceive, Instill, Disgust, Disturbance, Tranquillity, &c. which are all taken from the Operations of Things sensible, and applied to Modes of Thinking. Spirit in its primary signification is no more than Breath; Angel a Messenger. By which we may guess what kind of No­tions they were, and whence derived; which filled the Minds of the first Be­ginners of Languages, and how Nature, even in the naming of things unawares suggested to Men, the Originals of all their Knowledge: whilst to give names that might make known to others any operations they felt in themselves, or any other Ideas, that came not under their Senses, they were fain to borrow Words from the ordinary and known Ideas of Sensation.

The better to understand the Use and Force of Language, as subservient to Know­ledge, it will be convenient to consider,

First, To what it is that Names in the use of Language are immediately ap­plyed.

Secondly, Since all (except proper Names) are General, and so stand not for this or that single thing, but for Sorts [Page 124] and Ranks: it will be necessary to consi­der what those sorts and kinds of Things are; wherein they consist, and how they come to be made. This shall be consi­dered in the following Chapters.

CHAP II. Of the Signification of Words.

MAN, thô he have great variety of Thoughts, yet are they all with­in his own Breast, invisible and hidden from others, nor can of themselves be made to appear. It was necessary there­fore, for the comfort and advantage of Society, that Man should find out some External Signs, whereby those invisible Ideas might be made known to others. For which purpose nothing was so fit, ei­ther for Plenty or Quickness, as those Arti­culate Sounds he found himself able to make. Hence Words came to be made use of by Men, as Signs of their Ideas: not upon the account of any Natural connexion be­tween Articulate Sounds, and certain [Page 125] Ideas; for then there would be but one Language amongst all Men: but by a voluntary Imposition, whereby such a Word is made Arbitrarily the mark of such an Idea. The use then of Words, is to be sensible marks of our Ideas: and the Ideas they stand for, are their proper and immediate Signification. In which they stand for nothing more but the Ideas in the Mind of him that uses them. For when a Man speaks to another, it is that he may be understood; that is, That his Sounds may make known his Ideas to the Hearer.

Words being voluntary Signs cannot be imposed on Things we know not: this would be to make them Signs of nothing, Sounds without Significations. A Man cannot make his Words the Signs either of Qualities in Things, or of Conceptions in the Mind of another, whereof he has none in his own.

Words in all Mens Mouths (that speak with any meaning) stand for the Ideas which those that use them have: and which they would express by them. Thus a Child that takes notice of nothing more in the Mettal he hears called Gold, than the Yellow Colour, calls the same Colour in [Page 126] a Peacock's Tail Gold. Another, that hath better observed, adds to shining Yellow, great weight; and then the Sound Gold stands, when he uses it, for a Complex Idea of a shining Yellow, and very weighty substance.

Thô Words signify properly nothing but the Ideas in Mens Minds, yet they are in their Thoughts secretly referred to Two other Things.

First, They suppose their Words to be marks of Ideas, in the Minds of other Men with whom they communicate; else they could not discourse intelligibly with one another: In this case Men stand not to examine whether their Ideas, and those of other Men be the same; they think it enough that they use the word in the common Acceptation of that Lan­guage.

Secondly, They suppose their words to stand also for the reality of Things.

Words then being immediately the signs of Mens Ideas, whereby they ex­press their Thoughts and Imaginations to others, there arises by constant use such a connexion between certain Sounds and the Ideas they stand for; that the Names heard almost as readily excite [Page 127] certain Ideas, as if the Objects them­selves were present to the Senses.

And because we examine not precisely the signification of Words, we often in attentive consideration set our Thoughts more on Words, than Things: Nay, some (because we often learn Words before we know the Ideas they stand for) speak several Words no otherwise than Parrots do, without any meaning at all. But so far as Words are of use and signi­fication, so far there is a constant con­nexion between the Sound and Idea; And a designation that the one stand for the other; without which application of them, they are nothing but insignificant noise.

Since then Words signifie only Mens peculiar Ideas, and that by an arbitrary Imposition, it follows that every Man has an inviolable Liberty to make Words stand for what Ideas he pleases. It is true, common use by a tacit Consent appropriates certain Sounds to certain Ideas in all Languages; which so far li­mits the signification of each Sound, that unless a Man applies it to the same Ideas, he cannot speak properly: And unless a Man's Words excite the same Ideas in [Page 128] the Hearer, which he makes them stand for in speaking, he cannot speak intelligi­bly. But whatever be the consequence of any Man's use of Words, different ei­ther from their publick use, or that of the Persons to whom he addresses them; this is certain, their signification in his use of them is limited to his Ideas, and they can be signs of nothing else.

CHAP. III. Of General Terms.

ALL Things that Exist being par­ticulars, it might be expected that Words should be so too in their sig­nification: but we find it quite contrary, for most of the Words that make all Lan­guages are general Terms. This is the ef­fect of Reason and Necessity, For,

First, It is Impossible that every parti­cular Thing should have a distinct pecu­liar Name, because it is impossible to have distinct Ideas of every particular Thing; to retain its Name, with its pe­culiar appropriation to that Idea.

Secondly, It would be Useless, unless all could be supposed to have these same [Page 129] Ideas in their Minds. For Names apply­ed to particular things, whereof I alone have the Ideas in my Mind, could not be Significant or Intelligible to another, who is not acquainted with all those par­ticular Things which had fallen under my Notice.

Thirdly, It would be of no great Use for the Improvement of Knowledge, which thô founded in particular Things, enlar­ges it self by general views; to which, Things reduced into Sorts under general Names, are properly subservient. In Things where we have occasion to consider, and discourse of Individuals, and Particulars we use proper Names: as in Persons, Coun­treys, Cities, Rivers, Mountains, &c. Thus we see that Jockeys have particular names for their Horses, because they of­ten have occasion to mention this or that particular Horse when he is out of sight.

The next thing to be considered, is how General Words come to be made. Words become general by being made Signs of General Ideas: Ideas become ge­neral by separating from them, the cir­cumstances of Time, Place, or any other Ideas that may determinate them to this [Page 130] or that particular Existence. By this way of Abstraction, they become capa­ble of representing more Individuals, than one: each of which having a con­formity to that abstract Idea, is of that sort.

But it may not be amiss to trace our Notions and Names, from their begin­ning; and observe by what degrees we proceed, and enlarge our Ideas from our first Infancy. It is evident that the first Ideas Children get, are only particular, as of the Nurse or Mother, and the Names they give them are confined to these In­dividuals. Afterwards observing that there are a great many other things in the World, that resemble them in shape, and other qualities, they frame an Idea which they find those many particulars do partake in; to that they give with others the Name Man for example; in this they make nothing new, but only leave out of the Complex Idea they had of Peter, James, Mary, &c. that which is peculiar to each, and retain only what is common to all. And thus they come to have a general Name, and a gene­ral Idea.

[Page 131] By the same method they advance to more general Names and Notions. For observing several things that differ from their Idea of Man, and cannot therefore be comprehended under that name, to agree with Man in some certain Quali­ties, by retaining only those Qualities, and uniting them into one Idea, they have another more general Idea, to which giving a Name they make a Term of a more comprehensive Extension. Thus by leaving out the Shape, and some other Properties signified by the name Man, and retaining only a Body with life, Sense, and Spontaneous Motion; we form the Idea, signified by the Name Animal. By the same way the Mind proceeds to Bo­dy, Substance, and at last to Being, Thing, and such Universal Terms which stand for any Ideas whatsoever. Hence we see that the whole Mystery of Genus and Spe­cies, is nothing else but Abstract Ideas more or less comprehensive, with Names annexed to them.

This shews us the reason why in de­fining Words, we make use of the Genus: namely to save the labour of enumerating the several Simple Ideas, which the next general Term stands for: General Terms [Page 132] then belong not to the real Existence of Things; they are Inventions of the Understanding, and concern only Signs, either Words or Ideas.

It must be considered in the next place, what kind of signification it is that gene­ral Words have. It is evident that they do not barely signify one particular thing: for then they would not be general Terms, but proper Names: neither do they signify a Plurality: for then Man and Men would signifie the same thing; but that which they signifie, is a sort of Things, and this they do, by being made a sign of an Abstract Idea in the Mind, to which Idea, as Things existing are found to agree, so they come to be ranked under that name, or to be of that sort. The Essences then of the sorts or species of Things, are nothing but these Abstract Ideas.

It is not denyed here that Nature makes Things alike, and so lays the foundation of this Sorting and Cleansing: But the sorts of Species themselves are the workmanship of Human Understand­ing: so that every distinct Abstract Idea, is a distinct Essence, and the names that stand for such distinct Ideas, are the [Page 133] names of Things Essentially different Thus Oval, Circle, Rain and Snow are Essentially different. To make this clear­er, it may not be amiss to consider the several significations of the word Es­sence.

First, It may be taken for the very Being of any Thing whereby it is, what it is; Thus the real Internal, (but un­known) Constitution in Substances, may be called their Essence. This is the pro­per signification of the word.

Secondly, In the Schools the word Es­sence has been almost wholly applyed to the artificial Constitution of Genus and Species; it is true, there is ordinarily sup­posed a real Constitution of the sorts of Things: and it is past doubt there must be some real Constitution, on which any collection of Simple Ideas, co-existing, must depend. But it being evident, that Things are ranked into sorts, under names only as they agree to certain Ab­stract Ideas, to which we have annexed those names, the Essence of each Genus, or Species, is nothing but the Abstract Idea, which the name stands for; this the word Essence imports in its most fa­miliar use.

[Page 134] These two sorts of Essence may not unfitly be termed the one Real, the other Nominal. Between the Nominal Essence and the Name, there is so near a Con­nexion, that the name of any sort of Things, cannot be attributed to any par­ticular Being, but what has the Essence whereby it answers that Abstract Idea, whereof that Name is the sign.

Concerning the Real Essences of Cor­poreal Substances, there are Two Opi­nions.

First, Some using the word Essence for they know not what. suppose a cer­tain number of those Essences, according to which, all natural Things are made, and of which they equally partake, and do become of this or of that Species.

Secondly. Others look on all natural Things to have a Real, but unknown Constitution of their insensible Parts, from whence flow their sensible Quali­ties, which serve us to distinguish them one from another; and according to which we rank them into Sorts, under common Denominations. The former Supposition seems irreconcilable with the frequent production of Monsters, in all the Species of Animals: Since it is im­possible [Page 135] that Two Things partaking of the same Real Essence, should have dif­ferent Properties. But were there no other reason against it; yet the Supposition of Essences which cannot be known, and yet the making them to be that which distinguisheth the Species of Things, is so wholly useless and unserviceable to any part of Knowledge, that that alone were sufficient to make us lay it by.

We may farther observe that the No­minal, and Real Essences of Simple Ideas and Modes, are always the same: but in Substances always quite different. Thus a Figure including a Space between three Lines, is the Real as well as Nominal Essence of a Triangle; it being that foun­dation from which all its Properties flow, and to which they are inseparably an­nexed; But it is far otherwise in Gold or any other sort of Substance, it is the real Constitution of its insensible Parts, on which depend all those Properties that are to be found in it; which Constitution since we know not, nor have any parti­cular Idea of, we can have no name that is the sign of it. But yet it is its Colour, Weight, Fusibility, and Fixedness, &c. which makes it to be Gold, or gives it a right to [Page 136] that name; which is therefore its Nomi­nal Essence, since nothing can be called Gold but what has a conformity to that Abstract Complex Idea, to which that name is annexed.

That Essences are but Abstract Ideas, may farther appear by their being held Ingenerable and Incorruptible. This cannot be true of the real Constitution of Things. All Things in Nature (save the Author of it) are liable to Change: their Real Essences and Constitutions are destroyed and perish: but as they are Ideas established in the Mind, they re­main immutable. For whatever becomes of Alexander or Bucephalus, the Ideas of Man and Horse remain the same. By these means the Essence of a Species rests safe and entire, without the Existence of one Individual of that kind.

It is evident then that this Doctrine of the Immutability of Essences is founded only on the relation established between Abstract Ideas and certain Sounds: and will always be true, as long as the same Name can have the same Signification.

CHAP. IV. Of the Names of Simple Ideas.

WOrds, thô they signifie nothing immediately, but the Ideas in the Mind of the Speaker; yet we shall find that the Names of Simple Ideas, mix­ed Modes, and natural Substances have each of them something peculiar, And,

First, The Names of Simple Ideas and Substances, with the Abstract Ideas in the Mind, intimate some Real Existence, from which was derived their original Pat­tern: but the Names of Mixed Modes ter­minate in the Idea that is in the Mind.

Secondly, The Names of Simple Ideas and Modes signifie the Real as well as No­minal Essences of their Species: the Names of Substances signifie rarely, if ever any thing, but barely the Nominal Essences of those Species.

Thirdly, The Names of Simple Ideas are not capable of Definitions; those of Complex Ideas are: the reason of which [Page 138] I shall shew from the Nature of our Ideas, and the signification of Words.

It is agreed that a Definition is no­thing else but the shewing the meaning of one Word, by several other, not Sy­nonymous Terms. The meaning of Words being only the Ideas they are made to stand for; the meaning of any Term is then shewed, or the Word defined, when by other words the Idea it is made the sign of, is as it were, represented or set before the view of another, and thus its signification ascertained. The Names then of Simple Ideas are incapable of be­ing defined, because the several Terms of a Definition signifying several Ideas, they can altogether by no means repre­sent an Idea which has no composition at all, and therefore a Definition, which is but the shewing of the meaning of one word, by several others not signify­ing each the same thing, can in the names of Simple Ideas have no place.

The not observing this difference in our Ideas, has occasioned those trisling De­finitions which are given us of those Sim­ple Ideas: such as is that of Motion, viz. The Act of a Being in Power, as far forth as in Power.

[Page 139] The Atomists who define Motion to be a passage from one place to another, What do they more than put one Syno­nymous word for another? For what is Passage other than a Motion? Nor will the successive application of the parts of the Superficies of one Body to those of another, which the Cartesians give us, prove a much better definition of Motion when well examined.

The Act of Perspicuous, as far forth as perspicuous, is another Peripatetick defi­nition of a Simple Idea, which it is cer­tain can never make the meaning of the word Light, which it pretends to define understood by a blind Man, And when the Cartesians tell us, that Light is a great number of little Globules striking brisk­ly in the bottom of the Eye; these words would never make the Idea the word Light stands for, known to a Man that understood it not before.

Simple Ideas then can only be got by the impressions Objects make on our Minds, by the proper In-letts appointed to each sort. If they are not received this way, all the words in the World will never be able to produce in us the Ideas they stand for. Words being Sounds, [Page 140] can produce in us no other Simple Ideas, but Sounds, nor excite any in us, but by that voluntary connexion which they have with some Ideas, which com­mon Use has made them signs of: and therefore he that has not before received into his Mind by the proper In-lett the Simple Idea, which any word stands for, can never come to know the signification of that word, by any other Words or Sounds whatsoever.

But in Complex Ideas which consist of several Simple ones, the cause is quite otherwise; for Words standing for those several Ideas that make up the composi­tion, may imprint Complex Ideas in the Mind, that never were there before, and so make their Names be understood. In them Definitions take place. Thus the word Rainbow, to one who knew all those Colours, but yet had never seen that Phaenomenon, might by enumerating the Figure, Largeness, Position and order of the Colours be so well defined, that it might be perfectly understood.

The Names of Simple Ideas, Substances, and mixed Modes have al­so this disserence; that those of mixed Modes stand for Ideas perfectly ar­arbitrary: [Page 141] those of Substances are not per­fectly so, but refer to a pattern, thô with some Latitude: and those of Simple Ideas are perfectly taken from the Exist­ence of Things, and are not arbitrary at all.

The Names of Simple Modes, differ lit­tle from those of Simple Ideas.

CHAP. V. Of the Names of Mixed Modes and Relations.

THE Names of Mixed Modes being general, stand for Abstract Ideas in the Mind, as other general Names do; but they have something peculiar which may deserve our Attention.

And First, the Ideas they stand for, or if you please the Essences of the several Species of mixed Modes, are made by the Understanding; wherein they differ from those of Simple Ideas.

Secondly, They are made Arbitrarily, without patterns, or reference to any [Page 142] real Existence, wherein they differ from those of Substances. The Mind unites and retains certain Collections, as so many di­stinct Specifick Ideas, whilst other combi­nations that as often in Nature occur, and are as plainly suggested by outward Things, pass neglected without parti­cular Names, or Specifications.

The Mind in forming these Complex Ideas, makes no new Idea, but only puts together those which it had before, wherein it does Three Things. First, It chuses a certain Number. Secondly, It gives them Connexion, and makes them into one Idea. Thirdly, It ties them to­gether by a Name; all this may be done before any one Individual of that Species of Modes ever existed: as the Ideas of Sacrilege or Adultery might be framed, be­fore either of them was ever committed; and we cannot doubt but Law-makers have often made Laws about species of Actions, which were only the Creatures of their own Understanding.

But thô Mixed Modes depend on the Mind, and are made arbitrarily; yet they are not made at random, and jum­bled together without any reason at all, but are always made for the convenience [Page 143] of Communication, which is the chief end of Language, and therefore such Combi­nations are only made as Men have fre­quent occasion to mention. Thus Men having joyned to the Idea of killing the Idea of Father and Mother, and so made a distinct Species from the killing a Man's Son or Neighbour, because of the diffe­rent Heinousness of the Crime, and the distinct punishment due to it, found it necessary to mention it by a distinct Name, which is the end of making that distinct Combination.

In mixed Modes it is the Name that seems to preserve their Essences, and to give them their lasting Duration. The collection of Ideas is made by the Mind, but the name is as it were the Knot which ties them fast together; hence we seldom take any other for distinct Species of mixed Modes, but such as are set out by Names. We must observe that the names of mix­ed Modes always signify the real Essences of their Species, which being nothing but the Abstract Complex Ideas, and not referred to the real existence of Things; there is no supposition of any thing more signified by any Name of a mixed Mode, but barely that Complex Idea the Mind it [Page 144] self has formed: which when the Mind has formed, is all it would express by it, and is that on which all the Properties of the Species depend, and from which alone they flow: and so in these the real and nominal Essence is the same.

This also shews the reason why the Names of mixed Modes are commonly, got, before the Ideas they stand for are per­fectly known: because there being no Species of these ordinarily taken notice of, but such as have Names, and those Species being Complex Ideas made arbi­trarily by the Mind, it is convenient, if not necessary to know the Names, before we learn the Complex Ideas; unless a Man will fill his Head with a company of Abstract Complex Ideas, which others having no Names for, he has nothing to do with, but to lay by, and forget a­gain. In the beginning of Languages it was necessary to have the Idea before one gave it the Name; and so it is still, where a new Complex Idea is to be made, and a Name given it. In Simple Ideas and Substances I grant it is otherwise; which being such Ideas as have real Ex­istence and Union in Nature, the Ideas or Names are got, one before the other, as it happens,

[Page 145] What has been said here of mixed Modes, is with very little difference ap­plicable to Relations also, which since every Man himself may observe, I may spare my self the pains to enlarge on.

CHAP. VI. Of the Names of Substances.

THE common Names of Substances stand for Sorts as well as other general Terms; that is, for such Com­plex Ideas, wherein several particular Sub­stances do, or might agree, by virtue of which they are capable to be compre­hended in one common Conception, and be signified by one Name; I say do or might agree, for thô there be but one Sun existing, yet the Idea of it being Abstract­ed, is as much a Sort, as if there were as many Suns as there are Stars.

The measure and boundary of each Sort whereby it is constituted that par­ticular Sort, and distinguished from others; is what we call its Essence: which is nothing but that abstract Idea to which that [Page 146] Name is annexed, so that every thing contained in that Idea, is Essential to that Sort. This I call Nominal Essence, to distinguish it from that real constitution of Substances, on which this Nominal Es­sence, and all the Properties of that Sort depend, and may be called its Real Es­sence: Thus the Nominal Essence of Gold is that Complex Idea the word Gold stands for, let it be for instance a Body, Yellow, Weighty, Malleable, Fusible, and Fix­ed: but its real Essence is the constituti­on of its insensible parts, on which those Qualities, and all its other Properties depend; which is wholly unknown to us.

That Essence in the ordinary use of the Word, relates to Sorts, appears from hence, That if you take away, the Ab­stract Ideas by which we sort Individuals, and rank them under common Names, then the thought of any Thing essential to any of them, instantly vanishes: We have no notion of the one without the other, which plainly shews their Rela­tion. No Property is thought Essential to any Individual whatsoever, till the Mind refers it to some Sort or Species of Things, and then presently, according [Page 147] to the Abstract Idea of that sort, some­thing is found Essential; so that Essenti­al or not Essential, relates only to our Abstract Ideas, and the Names annexed to them, which amounts to no more but this, That whatever particular Thing has not in it those Qualities contained in the Abstract Idea which any general Term stands for, cannot be ranked un­der that Species, nor be called by that Name; since that Abstract Idea is the very Essence of that Species. Thus if the Idea of Body with some People be bare Exten­sion, or Space, then Solidity is not Es­sential to Body: If others make the Idea, to which they give the Name Body, to be Solidity and Extension; then Solidi­ty is Essential also to Body. That alone therefore is considered as Essential, which makes a part of the Complex Idea the name of a Sort stands for, without which no particular thing can be reckoned of that sort, nor be entituled to that Name.

Substances are distinguished into Sorts and Species by their Nominal Essence; for it is that alone, that the Name which is the mark of the Sort signifies: and the Spicies of Things to us are nothing but [Page 148] the ranking them under distinct Names, according to the Complex Ideas in Us, and not according to precise, distinct, Real Essences in Them.

We cannot rank and sort Things by their real Essences, because we know them not: our Faculties carry us no farther in the knowledge of Substances, than a collection of those sensible Ideas we ob­observe in them. But the internal Con­stitution whereon their Properties de­pend, is utterly unknown to us. This is evident when we come to examine but the Stones we tread on, or the Iron we daily handle: we soon find that we know not their Make, and can give no reason of the different Qualities we find in them; and yet how infinitely these come short of the fine Contrivances and unconceiv­able real Essences of Plants and Animals, every one knows. The workmanship of the All-wise and Powerful God in the great Fabrick of the Universe, and every part thereof farther exceeds the comprehensi­on of the most inquisitive and intelligent Man, than the best contrivance of the most ingenious Man, doth the concep­tions of the most ignorant of rational Creatures. In vain therefore do we pre­tend [Page 149] to range things into Sorts and dis­pose them into certain Classes, under Names by their real Essences, that are so far from our discovery or comprehen­sion.

But thô the Nominal Essences of Sub­stances are made by the Mind, they are not yet made so arbitrarily as those of mixed Modes. To the making of any No­minal Essence, it is necessary.

First, That the Ideas whereof it con­sists, have such an Union as to make but one Idea, how compounded soever.

Secondly, That the particular Ideas so united, be exactly the same, neither more or less: For if two Abstract Complex Ideas differ, either in Number or Sorts of their component Parts, they make two different, and not one and the same Essence.

In the First of these, the Mind in ma­king its Complex Ideas of Substances, only follows Nature, and puts none to­gether which are not supposed to have an Union in Nature. For Men observing certain Qualities always joyned and ex­isting together therein copy Nature, and of Ideas so united, make their Complex ones of Substances.

[Page 150] Secondly, Thô the Mind in making its Complex Ideas of Substances, never puts any together that do not really, or are not supposed to co-exist: yet the num­ber it combines depends upon the various Care, Industry or Fancy of him that makes it. Men generally content them­selves with some few obvious Qualities, and often leave out others as material and as firmly united as those that they take.

In Bodies organized and propagated by Seeds, as Vegetables and Animals, the Shape is that which to us is the leading Quality and most characteristical Part that determines the Species: in most other Bodies not propagated by Seed, it is the Colour we chiefly fix on, and are most led by. Thus where we find the Colour of Gold, we are apt to imagine all the other Qualities comprehended in our Com­plex Idea, to be there also.

Thô the Nominal Essences of Substan­ces are all supposed to be copied from Nature; yet they are all, or most of them very imperfect: and since the Composi­tion of those Complex Ideas is in several Men very different, we may conclude that these Boundaries of Species are as [Page 151] Men, and not as Nature makes them; if at least there are in Nature any such pre­fixed Bounds.

It is true, that many particular Sub­stances are so made by Nature, that they have an Agreement and Likeness one with another, and so afford a Foundation of being ranked into Sorts: but the Sort­ing of Things by us, being in order to naming and comprehending them under general Terms; I cannot see how it can be properly said, That Nature sets the Boundaries of the species of Things. But if it be so, our Boundaries of Species, are not exactly conformable to Nature.

If the first Sorting of Individuals de­pends on the Mind of Man, variously collecting the Simple Ideas, that make the Nominal Essence of the lowest Species; it is much more evident that the more comprehensive Classes, called Genera, do so. In forming more general Ideas that may comprehend different Sorts, the Mind leaves out those Qualities that distinguish them, and puts into its new Collection only such Ideas as are com­mon to several Sorts. Thus by leaving out those Qualities which are peculiar to, Gold, Silver, &c. and retaining a [Page 152] Complex Idea, made up of those that are common to each Species, there is a new Genus constituted, to which the Name Metal is annexed.

So that in this whole business of Ge­nera and Species, the Genus or more com­prehensive, is but a partial Conception of what is in the Species, and the Species but a partial Idea, of what is to be found in each Individual. In all which there is no new Thing made, but only more or less comprehensive Signs, whereby we may be enabled to express in a few Syl­lables great numbers of particular Things, as they agree in more or less general Conceptions, which we have fra­med to that purpose. If these Abstract General Idaeas be thought to be compleat, it can only be in respect of a certain esta­blished Relation between them, and cer­tain Names, which are made use of to signify them, and not in respect of any Thing existing as made by Nature.

This is adjusted to the true end of Speech, which is to be the easiest and shortest way of communicating our No­tions. This is the proper business of Genus and Species: And this Men do with­out any consideration of real Essences, [Page 153] and substantial Forms, which come not within the reach of our Knowledge, when we think of those Things; nor within the signification of our Words, when we discourse with others.

CHAP. VII. Of Particles.

BEsides Words which are the Names of Ideas in the Mind, there are others made use of to signify the Con­nexion that the Mind gives to Idaeas or Propositions one with another, and to intimate some particular Action of its own at that time relating to those Ideas. This it does several ways: as is, is Not, are marks of the Mind affirming or denying: Besides which, the Mind does in decla­ring its Sentiments to others connect not only the parts of Propositions, but whole Sentences one to another with their se­veral Relations, and Dependencies to make a coherent Discourse.

The Words signifying, that Connexi­on the Mind gives to several Affirmati­ons [Page 154] and Negations, that it unites in one continued Reasoning or Narration, are called Particles. And it is in the right use of these, that more particularly con­sists the Clearness and Beauty of a Good Stile. To express the dependance of his Thoughts and Reasonings one upon an­other, A Man must have Words to shew what Connexion, Restriction, Distincti­on, Opposition, Emphasis, &c. he gives to each respective part of his Discourse.

These cannot be understood rightly, without a clear view of the Postures, Stands, Turns, Limitations, Exceptions and several other thoughts of the Mind; of these there are a great variety, much exceeding the number of Particles that most Languages have to express them by, for which reason it happens, that most of these Particles have divers, and sometimes almost opposite Significations. Thus the Particle But in English, has several very dif­ferent Significations, as, But to say no more: Here it intimates a stop of the Mind, in the course it was going, before it came to the end of it. I saw but two Planets: Here it shews that the Mind limits the Sense to what is expressed with a Negation of all other; You pray, but it is not That God [Page 155] would bring you to the true Religion, but that he would confirm you in your own. The for­mer of these intimates a Supposition in the Mind of something otherwise than it should be: The latter shews, that the Mind makes a direct opposition between that and what goes before. All Animals have Sense, but a Dog is an Animal. Here it signifies the Connexion of the latter Proposition with the former. To these; divers other significations of this Particle might be added, if it were my business to examine it in its full Latitude.

I intend not here a full Explication of this sort of Signs, the Instances I have given in this one, may give occasion to reflect on their use and force in Lan­guage, and lead us into the Contempla­tion of several actions of our Minds in discoursing, which it has found a way to intimate to others by these Particles, some whereof constantly, and others in certain constructions, have the sense of a whole Sentence contained in them.

CHAP. VIII. Of Abstract and Concrete Terms.

THE Mind as has been shewn, has a power to Abstract its Idea, where­by the Sorts of Things are distinguished: now each Abstract Idaea being distinct, so that the one can never be the other, the Mind will by its intuitive Knowledge perceive their difference; and therefore in Propositions, no two whole Ideas can ever be affirmed one of another: Nor does the common use of Language per­mit that any two Abstract Words or Names of Abstract Ideas, should be af­firmed one of another. All our Affirma­tions are only in Concrete, which is the affirming one Abstract Idea to be joyned to another: which Abstract Ideas in Substances, may be of any sort, thô the most of them are of Powers: In all the rest these are little else but Relations.

All our Simple Ideas have Abstract as well as Concrete Names, as Whitness White, Sweetness Sweet, &c. The like also holds [Page 157] in our Ideas of Modes and Relations, as Justice Just, Equality Equal, &c. But as to our Ideas of Substances, we have very few Abstract Names at all. Those few that the Schools have forged, as Animalitas, Humanitas, &c. hold no pro­portion with the infinite number of names of Substances, and could never get ad­mittance into common use, or obtain the Licence of publick Approbation, which seems to intimate the confession of all Mankind, that they have no Ideas of the real Essences of Substances, since they have not names for such Ideas. It was only the Doctrine of Substantial Forms and the confidence of mistaken Preten­ders to a Knowledge they had not, which first coin'd, and then introduced Anima­litas, Humanitas, and the like: which yet went very little farther than their own Schools, and could never get to be cur­rent amongst understanding Men.

CHAP. IX. Of the Imperfection of Words.

TO examine the Perfection or Imper­fection of Words, it is necessary to consider their use, and end: which is two­fold, First, to record our own Thoughts; Secondly, to communicate our Thoughts to others: The First is for the help of our own Memories, whereby we do as it were talk to our selves: for this purpose any Words may serve turn: Words be­ing Arbitrary Signs, we may use which we please for this purpose; and there will be no Imperfection in them, if we con­stantly use the same Sign for the same Idea.

Secondly, As to Communication by Words; that too has a double Use: First, their Civil Use, which is such a communicati­on of Thoughts and Ideas by Words, as may serve in common Conversation and Commerce, about the ordinary Affairs and Conveniences of civil Life. Secondly, The Philosophical Use of Words, by which [Page 159] I mean such an use of them, as may serve to convey the precise Notions of Things, and to express certain Truths in general Propositions, these two uses are very di­stinct, and a great deal less exactness will serve in the one, than in the other.

The end of Language in Communica­tion is to be understood; that is, to ex­cite by Sounds in the Hearer, the same Idea which they stand for in the mind of the Speaker. The doubtfulness and un­certainty of their Signification, which is the imperfection we are here speaking of has its cause more in the Ideas themselves than in any incapacity in the Sounds to signifie them; for in that regard they are all equally perfect. That then which makes the difference, is the difference of Ideas they stand for, which must be learned and retained by those, who would discourse together intelligibly. Now this is difficult in these cases.

First, Where the Ideas they stand for are very Complex: Hence the names of Mixed Modes are liable to great uncertain­ty and obscurity in their Signification. For here the Idea being made up of many Parts, it is not easy to form and retain it exactly; of this sort chiefly are Moral [Page 160] Words, which have seldom in Two dif­ferent Men, the same precise significa­tion.

Secondly, where the Ideas they stand for, have no certain connexion in Nature, and therefore no settled Standard to recti­fie and adjust them by. This again is the case of the names of Mixed Modes, which are Assemblages of Ideas put toge­ther at pleasure. Common use indeed regulates the meaning of Words pretty well for common Conversation: but it is not sufficient to adjust them to Philoso­phical Discourses; there being scarce a Name of any very Complex Idea, which in common use has not a great Latitude; and is not made the sign of far different Ideas.

The way of learning these Names does not a little contribute to the doubtful­ness of their Signification. For we may observe that Children are taught the names of Simple Ideas, and Substances, by having the Things shewn them; and then they repeat the Name that stands for it; as White, Sweet, Milk, Sugar, ctc. But in Mixed Modes the Sounds are learn­ed first, and Men are to learn afterwards their Signification, by their own Obser­vation [Page 161] and Industry, or the Explication of others: which is the reason that these Words are little more than bare Sounds in the Minds of most, because few are at the pains to settle their Ideas, and Noti­ons precisely; and those which are, make them the signs of Ideas, different from what others understand by them, which is the occasion of most disputes.

Thirdly, Where the signification of a Word is referred to a Standard which is not easily known: This is the case of the names of Substances, which being suppo­sed to stand for their Real Essences must needs be of uncertain application, because these Essences are utterly unknown; and it will be impossible to know what is, or is not Antimony, v. g. when that Word is to stand for the Real Essence of it; whereof we have no Idea at all.

Or suppose these Names only stand for Simple Ideas, found to co-exist in Sub­stances, yet thus they will be liable to great uncerainty too: because these Sim­ple Ideas being very numerous, Men frame different Ideas os the same Sub­jects, by putting different Ideas into their Complex one, of such Substances. Seve­ral Men observe several Properties in the [Page 162] same Substance, and none of them all; who having but imperfect descriptions of Things, can have but uncertain signi­fications of Words.

Fourthly, Where the signification of the Word, and the real Essence of the Thing, are not the same. which is still the case of Substances; from hence we may ob­serve.

First, That the names of Simple Ideas are least liable to mistakes: First, Because the Ideas they stand for, being each but one single Perception, are easier got, and more clearly retained, than the more Com­plex ones of Substances and mixed Modes. Secondly, Because they are not referr'd to any other Essence, but barely that Perception they immediately sig­nify.

Secondly, Names of Simple Modes are next to Simple Ideas least liable to Doubt or Uncertainty, especially those of Fi­gure and Number, of which Men have so clear and distinct Ideas.

Thirdly, In Mixed Modes, when they are composed of a few and obvious Ideas, their Names are clear and distinct enough; otherwise doubtful and uncertain.

[Page 163] Fourthly, The Names of Substances be­ing annexed to Ideas, that are neither the real Essences, nor exact Representations of Things, are liable yet to greater Im­perfection, when we come to a Philoso­phical use of them.

CHAP X. Of the Abuse of Words.

BEside the natural and unavoidable Imperfections of Languages, there are wilful Faults and Neglects, which Men are often guilty of in their use of Words. For,

First, They use Words without clear and distinct Ideas, or, which is worse, Signs without any thing signified; such are for the most part introduced by Sects of Philosopy and Religion, either out of an affectation of Singularity, or to sup­port some strange Opinion; or to cover the weakness of their Hypothesis. These are commonly such as had no determi­nate collection of Ideas annexed to them, [Page 164] when they were first invented; or at least such, as if well examined, will be found inconsistent, and therefore may justly be called insignificant Terms: Instances of this kind may easily be had from the School-men and Metaphysicians. Others learn Words which the propriety of Lan­guage has affixed to very important Ideas, and often upon occasion use them with­out any distinct meaning at all: whence their Notions being unsteady and confu­sed, their Discourse must be filled with empty unintelligible Noise and Jargon, especially in Moral Matters where the Words stand for Arbitrary, and nume­rous Collections of Ideas, not regularly and permanently united in Nature.

Secondly, Another abuse is Inconstancy in the use of Words; it is hard to find a Discourse on any Subject wherein the same words are not used sometimes for one collection of Ideas, sometimes for an­other. The wilful doing whereof can be imputed to nothing but great Folly, or greater Dishonesty: And a Man in his Accompts with another, may with as much fairness make the characters of Numbers, stand sometimes for one, and sometimes for another collection of Unites; [Page 165] as in his Discourse, or Reasoning, make the same Words stand for different col­lections of Simple Ideas.

Thirdly, Another is an affected Obscurity, either by using old Words in new Signi­fications, or by introducing new and am­biguous Terms, without defining them, or putting them together, so as to con­found their ordinary meaning. Thô the Peripatetick Philosophy has been most emi­nent in this way, yet other Sects have not been wholly clear of it. The ad­mired Art of Disputing hath added much to the natural imperfection of Langua­ges, whilst it has been made use of, and fitted to perplex the signification of Words, more than to discover the Knowledge and Truth of Things: And he that will look into that sort of Learned Writings, will find the Words there much more ob­scure, uncertain, and undetermined in their meaning, than they are in ordinary Conversation.

Fourthly, Another is the Taking Words for Things: This, thô it in some degree concerns all Names in general; yet more particularly affects those of Substances. Thus in the Peripatetick Philosophy, Sub­stantial Forms, Abhorrence of Vacuum, &c. [Page 166] are taken for something Real. To this Abuse those Men are most subject, who confine their Thoughts to any one Sy­stem; and give themselves up into a firm belief of the perfection of any received Hypothesis; whereby they come to be perswaded, that the Terms of that Sect, are so suited to the nature of Things, that they perfectly correspond with their real Existence.

Fifthly, Another is the Setting them in the place of Things, which they can by no means signify. We may observe that in the general names of Substances, whereof the Nominal Essences are only known to us, when we affirm or deny any thing about them, we do most com­monly tacitly suppose or intend they should stand for the real Essence of a cer­tain sort of Substances. Thus when a Man says, Gold is malleable, he would in­sinuate something more than this, what I call Gold is malleable, (thô truly it amounts to no more) namely, That what has the real Essence of Gold is mal­leable, that is, that malleableness depends on, and is inseparable from the real Es­sence of Gold. But a Man not knowing wherein that real Essence consists the [Page 167] Connexion in his Mind of Malleableness, is not truly with an Essence he knows not, but with the Sound Gold he puts for it. It is true, the names of Substances would be much more useful; and Propo­sitions exprest by them much more cer­tain, were the real Essences of Substances the Ideas in our Minds, which those Words signified. And it is for want of those real Essences that our Words con­vey so little Knowledge, or certainty in our Discourses about them. But to sup­pose these Names to stand for a Thing, having the real Essence on which the Properties depend, is so far from dimi­nishing the imperfection of our Words, that by a plain abuse it adds to it; when we would make them stand for some­thing, which not being in our Complex Ideas, the name we use can no way be the sign of it. In Mixed Modes, any Idea of the complex one being left out, or changed, it is allowed to be another thing, that is, to be of another Species, as is plain in Chance-medley, Man-slaugh­ter, Murder, &c. because the Complex Idea signified by that name, is the Real as well as Nominal Essence; and there is no secret reference of that name to [Page 168] any other Essence, but that. But in Sub­stances it is not so; for thô in that called Gold, one puts in his Complex Idea, what another leaves out, and Vice versâ, yet Men do not usually think the Species changed, because they refer the name in their Minds to a real immutable Es­sence of a Thing Existing, on which those Properties depend: but this refe­rence of the Name to a Thing we have not the Idea of, is so far from helping us at all, that it only serves the more to involve us in difficulties. This reference is grounded on this Supposition, name­ly, that the same precise Internal Consti­tution goes always with the same speci­fick Name: In which are contained these two false Suppositions.

First, That there are certain precise Essences, according to which, Nature makes all particular Things; and by which they are distinguished into Species.

Secondly, This tacitly insinuates as if we had Ideas of these Essences; for why do we enquire, whether this or that Thing have the real Essence of that Spe­cies Man for Instance, if we did not sup­pose it known, which yet is utterly false; and therefore such applications of Names [Page 169] as would make them stand for Ideas we have not, must needs cause great disor­der in Discourse and Reasonings about them; and be a great Inconvenience in our Communication by Words.

Sixthly, Another more general, thô less observed, Abuse of Words, is, that Men having by long and familiar use, annexed to them certain Ideas, they are apt to imagine so near and necessary a Con­nexion, between the Names, and the Signi­fications they use them in, that they forward­ly suppose one cannot but understand what their meaning is; As if it were past doubt, that in the use of these common received Sounds, the Speaker and Hearer had ne­cessarily the same precise Ideas. And so likewise taking the Words of others, as naturally standing for Just, what they themselves have been accustomed to ap­ply them to, they never trouble them­selves to explain their own, or under­stand anothers meaning: From whence commonly proceeds Noise, and Wrang­ling without Improvement or Informa­tion; whilst Men take Words to be the constant regular Marks of agreed Noti­ons, which in truth are no more but the voluntary and unsteady Signs of their [Page 170] own Ideas. Thus Life is a Term, none more familiar: Any one almost would take it for an affront, to be asked what he meant by it, and yet if it comes in question, whether such a Thing has Life, or not, it is easy to perceive, that a clear distinct settled Idea, does not always ac­company the use of so known a Word.

Seventhly, Figurative Speech is also an abuse of Language: for thô in Discour­ses, where we seek rather Pleasure and Delight, than Information and Improve­ment, such Ornaments as are borrowed from Figurative Speeches and Allusions, can scarce pass for Faults; yet if we would speak of Things as they are, we must allow, that all the Art of Rhetorick, besides Order and Clearness, All the Ar­tificial and Figurative application of Words, Eloquence hath invented, are for nothing else, but to insinuate wrong Ideas, move the Passions, and thereby mislead the Judgment, and so indeed are perfect Cheat. And therefore however allow­able, they may be in Harangues and popu­lar Addresses; they are certainly in all Discourses that pretend to inform and instruct, wholly to be avoided; and where Truth and Knowledge are concerned, [Page 171] cannot but be thought a great fault, ei­ther of the Language or Person that makes use of them.

To conclude this Consideration, the Ends of Language, in our Discourse with others, are chiefly these Three.

First, To make our Thoughts or Ideas known to another; this we fail in First, when we use Names without clear and distinct Ideas in our Minds. Secondly, When we apply received Names to Ideas, to which the common use of that Lan­guage does not apply them. Thirdly, When we apply them unsteadily, ma­king them stand now for one, and by and by for another Idea.

Secondly, To make known our Thoughts with as much Ease and Quickness as is pos­sible. This Men fail in when they have Complex Ideas, without having distinct Names for them, which may happen, either through the defect of a Language, which has none, or the fault of that Man who has not yet learned them.

Thirdly, To convey the knowledge of Things: This cannot be done, but when our Ideas agree to the reality of Things.

[Page 172] He that hath Names without Ideas, wants meaning in his Words, and speaks only empty Sounds: He that hath Com­plex Ideas, without Names for them, wants Dispatch in his Expression. He that uses his Words loosely and unstea­dily, will either not be minded, or not understood. He that applies his Names to Ideas, different from their common Use, wants Propriety in his Language, and speaks Gibberish. And he that hath Ideas of Substances, disagreeing with the real Existence of Things, so far wants the materials of true Knowledge in his Understanding, and has instead thereof, Chimaeras.

Language being the great Conduit where­by Men convey their Discoveries, Rea­sonings, and Knowledge from one to an­other, he that makes an ill use of it, thô he does not corrupt the Fountains of Knowledge which are in Things them­selves; yet he does as much as in him lies, break or stop the Pipes whereby it is di­stributed to the publick use, and advantage of Mankind. He that uses Words with­out any clear and steady meaning, What does he but lead himself and others into Errors? And he that designedly does it, [Page 173] ought to be looked on, as an Enemy to Truth and Knowledge.

If we look into Books of Controversy of any kind, we shall see that the Effect of obscure, unsteady, and aequivocal Terms, is nothing but noise and wrang­ling about Sounds, without convincing or bettering a Man's Understanding. For if the Idea be not agreed on between Speaker and Hearer, for which the Words stand, the Argument is not about Things but Names.

It deserves to be considered, and care­fully examined, Whether the greatest part of the Disputes in the World, are not meerly Verbal, and about the Signi­fication of Words; and that, if the Terms they are made in were defined and reduced in their Significations, to the single Ideas they stand for, those Dis­putes would not end of themselves, and immediately vanish.

CHAP. XI. Of the Remedies of the foregoing Imperfections and Abuses.

TO remedy the defects of Speech above-mentioned, the following Rules may be of use.

First, A Man should take care to use no Word without a Signification, no Name without an Idea for which he makes it stand. This Rule will not seem needless to any one, who will take the pains to recollect how often he has met with such words, as Instinct, Sympathy, Antipathy. &c. so made use of, as he might easily conclude, that those that used them, had no Ideas in their Minds, to which they applied them.

Secondly, Those Ideas, he annexes them to, should be clear and distinct, which in Complex Ideas is by knowing the par­ticular ones, that make that Compositi­on; of which, if any one be again Com­plex, we must know also the precise col­lection [Page 175] that is united in each, and so till we come to Simple ones. In Substances the Ideas must not only be distinct, but also conformable to Things as they Exist.

Thirdly, He must apply his Words as near as may be to such Ideas, as com­mon use has annexed them to; for Words, especially of Languages already framed, are no Man's private Possession, but the common measure of Commerce and Com­munication; and therefore it is not for any one to change the stamp they are current in, nor alter the Ideas they are affixed to; or at least, when there is a necessity to do so, he is bound to give notice of it. And therefore,

Fourthly, When common use has left the signification of a Word uncertain, and loose, or where it is to be used in a pe­culiar Sense; or where the Term is lia­ble to any doubtfulness or mistake, there it ought to be defined, and its Significa­tion ascertained.

Words standing for Simple Ideas being not defineable, their Signification must be shewn either, First, By a Synonymous Word. Secondly, by naming a Subject, wherein that Simple Idea is to be found. [Page 176] Thirdly, By presenting to the Senses that subject, which may produce it in the Mind, and make him actually have the Idea that word stands for. Mixed Modes may be perfectly defined, by exactly enumerating those Ideas that go to each Composition. This ought more especi­ally to be done in mixed Modes belong­ing to Morality: since definition is the only way whereby the precise meaning of Moral Words can be known; and yet a way whereby their precise meaning may be known certainly, and without leaving any room for any Contest about it.

For the explaining the Signification of the names of Substances, both the fore­mentioned ways, viz. of Shewing, and Defining are requisite in many cases to be made use of; their Names are best defined by their leading Qualities, which are mostly Shape in Animals, and Vege­tables: and Colour in inanimate Bodies; and in some, both together. Now these leading Qualities are best made known by shewing, and can hardly be made known otherwise. The shape of a Horse or Cassowary will be but imperfectly im­printed on the Mind by Words: the sight of the Animals doth it much better. [Page 177] And the Idea of the particular Colour of Gold is not to be got by any description of it, but only by the frequent exercise of the Eyes about it. The like may be be said of those other Simple Ideas, pecu­liar in their kind to any Substance, for which precise Ideas there are no peculiar Names.

But because many of the Simple Ideas, which make up our specifick Ideas of Sub­stances, are Powers which lie not obvious to our Sense in the Things, as they or­dinarily appear; therefore in the Significa­tion of our Names of Substances, some part of the Signification will be better made known, by enumerating those Simple Ideas, than in shewing the Substance it self. For he that to the Yellow shining colour of Gold, got by Sight, shall from my enumera­ting them have the Ideas of great Ducti­bility, Fusibility, Fixedness, and Solubility in Aqua Regia will have a perfecter Idea of Gold, than he can have by seeing a piece of Gold, and thereby imprinting in his Mind only its obvious Qualities.

It were to be wished that Words stand­ing for Things, which are known and distinguished by their outward Shapes should be expressed by little Draughts and [Page 178] Prints made of them. A Vocabulary made after this fashion, would perhaps with more ease, and in less time teach the true Signification of many Terms, especially in Languages of remote Coun­treys, or Ages; and settle truer Ideas in Mens Minds of several Things, whereof we read the Names in ancient Authors, than all the large and laborious Com­ments of Learned Criticks. Naturalists that treat of Plants and Animals, have found the benefit of this way: And he that consults them will find that he has a clearer Idea of Apium and Ibex from a little Print, of that Herb or Beast, than he could have from a long Definition of the Names of either of them: and so no doubt he would have of Strigil, and Sistrum, if instead of a Curry-comb or Cym­bal, which are the English Names Dicti­onaries render them by, he could see stamped in the Margin small Pi­ctures of these Instruments, as they were in use amongst the Ancients.

Fifthly, The last Rule that I shall men­tion is, That in all Discourses wherein one Man pretends to instruct or convince another, he should use the same Word, constantly in the same Sense; if this [Page 179] were done (which no body can refuse, without great disingenuity) many of the Books extant might be spared; ma­ny of the Controversies in Dispute, would be at an end; several of those great Vo­lumes swollen with ambiguous Words, now used in one Sense, and by and by in another, would shrink into a very nar­row compass: and many of the Philoso­phers (to mention no other) as well as Poets Works, might be contained in a Nutshell.


CHAP. I. Of Knowledge in General.

SInce the Mind in all its Thoughts and Reasonings, has no other im­mediate Object but its own Ideas, which alone it does or can contemplate; it is evident that our Knowledge is only conversant about them. Knowledge then seems to be nothing but the Perception of the Connexion and Agreement, or Disagreement and Repugnancy of any of our Ideas: Where this Perception is, there is Knowledge; and where it is not, there thô we fancy, guess, or be­lieve, yet we always come short of Know­ledge. When we know that White is not Black, what do we but perceive that these two Ideas do not agree? Or that the three Angles of a Triangle, are equal to [Page 181] two Rightones; what do we more but perceive that Equality to two Right ones, does necessarily agree to, and is insepa­rable from the three Angles of a Trian­gle? But to understand a little more di­stinctly, wherein this Agreement or Disagreement consists; we may reduce it all to these Four sorts; First, Identity or Diversity; Secondly, Relation; Thirdly, Co-existence; Fourthly, Real Existence.

1. Identity or Diversity; 'Tis the first Act of the Mind, to perceive its Ideas; and so far as it perceives them, to know each what it is, and thereby to perceive their difference, that is, the One not to be the Other: by this the Mind clearly perceives each Idea to agree with it self, and to be what it is; and all distinct Ideas to disagree. This it does without any pains or deduction, by its natural Pow­er of Perception and Distinction. This is what Men of Art have reduced to those General Rules, viz. What is is. And It is impossible for the same thing to be, and not to be. But no Maxime can make a Man know it clearer, that Round is not Square, than the bare perception of those two Ideas, which the Mind at first sight perceives to disagree.

[Page 182] 2. The next sort of Agreement or Disagreement the Mind perceives in any of its Ideas may be called Relative, and is nothing but the Perception of the Re­lation, between any two Ideas of what kind soever: that is, their Agreement or Disagreement one with another in several ways the Mind takes of compa­ring them.

3. The Third sort of Agreement or Disagreement to be found in our Ideas, is Co-existence or Non-coexistence in the same Subject; and this belongs particularly to Substances. Thus when we pronounce concerning Gold, that it is fixed, it amounts to no more but this, that Fix­edness, or a power to remain in the Fire unconsumed, is an Idea that always ac­companies that particular sort of Yellow­ness, Weight, Fusibility, &c. which make our Complex Idea, signified by the word Gold.

4. The Fourth sort is that of actual and real Existence agreeing to any Idea. Within these Four sorts of Agreement or Disagreement, I suppose is contained all the Knowledge we have, or are capable of. For all that we know or can affirm concerning any Idea, is, that it is, or is [Page 183] not the same with some other: As that Blue is not Yellow. That it does, or does not co-exist with another in the same subject: As that Iron is susceptible of Mag­netical Impressions; That it has that or this Relation to some other Ideas: As that Two Triangles upon equal Bases between two parallels are equal: or that it has a re­al Existence without the Mind: As, That God is.

There are several ways wherein the Mind is possess'd of Truth, each of which is called Knowledge. First, There is Actual Knowledge, when the Mind has a present view of the Agreement or Disagreement of any of its Ideas, or of the Relation they have one with ano­ther. Secondly, A Man is said to know any Proposition, when having once evi­dently perceived the Agreement or Dis­agreement of the Ideas, whereof it con­sists, and so lodged it in his Memory, that whenever it comes to be reflected on again, the Mind assents to it without Doubt or Hesitation, and is cer­tain of the Truth of it. And this may be called Habitual Knowledge: And thus a Man may be said to know all those Truths which are lodged in his Memory, [Page 184] by a foregoing clear, and full Percep­tion.

Of this there are vulgarly speaking Two Degrees. The one is of such Truths laid up in the Memory, as whenever they occur to the Mind, it actually perceives the Relation, that is between those Ideas. And this is in all those Truths, where the Ideas themselves, by an immediate view, discover their Agreement or Dis­agreement one with another. The other is of such Truths, whereof the Mind ha­ving been convinced, it retains the Me­mory of the Conviction, without the proofs. Thus a Man that remembers certainly, that he once perceived the Demonstration, that the three Angles of a Triangle are equal to two Right ones, is commonly allowed to know it, because he cannot doubt of the Truth of it. But yet having forgot the Demonstration, he rather believes his Memory, than knows the thing; or rather it is something be­tween Opinion and Knowledge: A Sort of Assurance, that exceeds bare belief, which relies on the Testimony of another; and yet comes short of perfect Know­ledge.

CHAP. II. Of the Degrees of our Knowledge.

ALL our Knowlede consisting in the view the Mind has of its own Ideas, which is the utmost Light, and greatest Certainty we are capable of; The different clearness of our Knowledge, seems to lye in the different way of Perception, the Mind has of the Agreement or Dis­agreement of any of its Ideas.

When the Mind perceives this Agree­ment or Disagreement, of two Ideas, im­mediately by themselves, without the In­tervention of any other; we may call it Intuitive Knowledge, in which cases the Mind perceives the Truth, as the Eye does Light, only by being directed to­wards it; of this sort are, that White is not Black, that Three are more than Two, and equal to One and Two. This part of Knowledge is irresistible, and like the bright Sun-shine, forces it self immedi­ately to be perceived as soon as ever [Page 186] the Mind turns its view that way. It is on this Intuition, that depends all the Certainty and Evidence of our other Knowledge; which Certainty every one finds to be so great, that he cannot ima­gine, and therefore not require a grea­ter.

The next degree of Knowledge is, where the Mind perceives not this Agree­ment or Disagreement immediately, or by the Juxta-position as it were of the Ideas, because those Ideas, concerning whose Agreement or Disagreement the Enquiry is made, cannot by the Mind be so put together, as to shew it. In this case the Mind is sain to discover the Agreement or Disagreement which it searches, by the Intervention of other Ideas: and this is that which we call Reasoning: And thus if we would know the Agreement or Disagreement in big­ness, between the three Angles of a Tri­angle, and two right Angles; we can­not by an immediate view, and compa­ring them do it; because the three An­gles of a Triangle cannot be brought at once, and be compared with any other one, or two Angles. And so of this, the Mind has no immediate or Intuitive [Page 187] Knowledge. In this case the Mind is fain to find out some other Angles, to which the three Angles of a Triangle have equality, and finding those equal to two Right ones, comes to know the equality of these three Angles to two Right ones. Those intervening Ideas, which serve to shew the Agreement of any two others, are called Proofs And where the Agreement or Disagreement is by this means plainly and clearly per­ceived, it is called Demonstration. A quickness in the Mind to find those Proofs, and to apply them right, is, I suppose, that which is called Sagacity.

This Knowledge, thô it be certain, is not so clear and evident as Intuitive Knowledge. It requires pains and at­tention, and steady application of Mind, to discover the Agreement or Disagree­ment of the Ideas it considers, and there must be a Progression by Steps and De­grees, before the Mind can in this way arrive at Certainty. Before Demonstrati­on there was a Doubt, which in Intuitive Knowledge cannot happen to the Mind, that has its Faculty of Perception left to a Degree capable of distinct Ideas, no more than it can be a Doubt to the Eye [Page 188] (that can distinctly see White and Black) whether this Ink and Paper be all of a Colour.

Now in every step that Reason makes in Demonstrative Knowledge; there is an Intuitive Knowledge of that Agreement or Disagreement it seeks with the next intermediate Idea which it uses as a proof; for if it were not so, that yet would need a proof; since without the Percep­tion of such Agreement or Disagreement. there is no Knowledge produced. By which it is evident, that every step in reasoning, that produces Knowledge, has Intuitive Certainty; which when the Mind perceives, there is no more requi­red but to remember it, to make the Agreement or Disagreement of the Ideas concerning which we enquire, Visible and Certain. This Intuitive Perception of the Agreement or Disagreement of the Intermediate Ideas in each step and progression of the Demonstration, must also be exactly carried in the Mind; and a Man must be sure that no part is left out: which because in long Deducti­ons, the Memory cannot easily re­tain; this Knowledge becomes more imperfect than Intuitive; and Men of­ten [Page 189] embrace Falshoods, for Demonstra­tions.

It has been generally taken for granted, that Mathematicks alone are capable of Demonstrative Certainty. But to have such an Agreement or Disagreement as may be Intuitively perceived, being as I imagine not the priviledge of the Ideas of Number, Extension and Figure alone; it may possibly be the want of due Me­thod and Application in us, and not of sufficient Evidence in Things, that De­monstration has been thought to have so little to do in other parts of Know­ledge. For in whatever Ideas the Mind can perceive the Agreement or Disagree­ment immediately, there it is capable of Intuitive Knowledge: and where it can perceive the Agreement or Disagree­ment of any two Ideas, by an Intuitive Perception of the Agreement or Disagree­ment they have with any intermediate Ideas, there the Mind is capable of De­monstration, which is not limited to the Ideas of Figure, Number, Extension, or their Modes. The reason why it has been generally supposed to belong to them only, is because in comparing their Equality or Excess, the Modes of Num­bers [Page 190] have every the least difference, very clear and perceivable: And in Extension, thô every the least excess is not so per­ceptible, yet the Mind has found out ways to discover the just Equality of two Angels, Extensions or Figures: and both, that is, Numbers and Figures can be set down by visible and lasting Marks.

But in other Simple Ideas, whose Modes and Differences are made and counted by Degrees, and not Quantity, we have not so nice and accurate a di­stinction of their Differences, as to per­ceive, or find ways to measure their just Equality, or the least Differences. For those other Simple Ideas being Appear­ances or Sensations produced in us, by the Size, Figure, Motion, &c. of minute Corpuseles singly insensible; their dif­ferent Degrees also depend on the varia­tion of some, or all of those Causes, which since it cannot be observed by us in Particles of Matter, whereof each is too subtile to be perceived, it is impos­sible for us to have any exact measures of the different Degrees of these Simple Ideas. Thus for Instance, not knowing what number of Particles, nor what mo­tion [Page 191] of them is fit to produce any pre­cise degree of Whiteness; we cannot de­monstrate the certain Equality of any two degrees of Whiteness, because we have no certain Standard to measure them by, nor means to distinguish every the least difference: the only help we have being from our Senses, which in this point fail us.

But where the difference is so great as to produce in the Mind Ideas clearly di­stinct; there Ideas of Colours, as we see in different kinds, Blue and Red (for instance) are as capable of Demonstra­tion, as Ideas of Number and Extension. What is here said of Colours, I think holds true in all Secondary Qualities. These two then, Intuition and Demonstra­tion, are the degrees of our Knowledge, whatever comes short of one of these, is but Faith or Opinion, not Knowledge, at least in all General Truths. There is in­deed another Perception of the Mind employed about the particular Existence of finite Beings, without us, which going beyond probability, but not reaching to either of the foregoing degrees of Cer­tainty, passes under the name of Know­ledge.

[Page 192] Nothing can be more certain, than that the Idea we receive from an Exter­nal Object is in our Minds: this is Intui­tive Knowledge; but whether we can thence certainly infer the existence of any Thing without us, corresponding to that Idea, is that whereof some Men think there may be a question made, because Men may have such an Idea in their Minds, when no such Thing Exists, no such Object affects their Senses. But 'tis evident that we are invincibly Conscious to our selves of a different Perception, when we look upon the Sun in the Day, and think on it by Night; when we actually taste Wormwood, or smell a Rose, or only think on that Savour or Odour: so that I think we may add to the two former sorts of Knowledge, this also of the Existence of particular external Objects, by that Perception and Consciousness we have, of the actual entrance of Ideas from them, and allow these three degrees of Knowledge, viz. Intuitive, Demonstrative, and Sensitive,

But since our Knowledge is founded on, and employed about our Ideas only: Will it follow thence that it must be con­ [...]ormable to our Ideas, and that where [Page 193] our Ideas are clear and distinct, obscure and confused, there our Knowledge will be so too? I answer, No: For our Know­ledge consisting in the Perception of the Agreement or Disagreement of any two Ideas; its clearness or obscurity con­sists in the clearness or obscurity of that Perception, and not in the clearness or obscurity of the Ideas themselves. A Man (for instance) that has a clear Idea of the Angles of a Triangle, and of Equa­lity to two Right ones, may yet have but an obscure Perception of their Agree­ment; and so have but a very obscure Knowledge of it. But obscure and con­fused Ideas can never produce any clear or distinct Knowledge: because, as far as any Ideas are obscure or confused, so far the Mind can never perceive clearly, whether they Agree or Disagree.

CHAP. III. Of the Extent of Humane Knowledge.

FRom what has been said concerning Knowledge, it follows that, First, We can have no Knowledge farther than we have Ideas.

Secondly, That we have no Knowledge farther than we can have Perception of that Agreement or Disagreement of our Ideas, either by Intuition, Demonstration, or Sensation.

Thirdly, We cannot have an Intuitive Knowledge that shall extend it self to all our Ideas, and all that we would know about them; because we cannot examine and perceive all the Relations they have one to another, by Juxta-position, or an immediate Comparison one with another. Thus we cannot intuitively perceive the equality of two Extensions, the diffe­rence of whose Figures makes their parts uncapable of an exact and immediate ap­plication.

[Page 195] Fourthly, our rational Knowledge can not reach to the whole extent of our Ideas; because between two different Ideas we would examine, we cannot always find such proofs, as we can connect one to ano­ther, with an Intuitive Knowledge in all the parts of the Deduction.

Fifthly, Sensitive Knowledge reaching no farther than the Existence of Things actually present to our Senses, is yet much narrower than either of the for­mer.

Sixthly, From all which it is evident, that the extent of our Knowledge, comes not only short of the Reality of Things, but even of the extent of our own Ideas. We have the Ideas of a Square, a Circle and Equality, and yet perhaps shall never be able to find a Circle equal to a Square.

The Affirmations or Negations we make concerning the Ideas we have, be­ing reduced to the four Sorts above-men­tioned, viz. Identity, Co-existence, Relati­on, and Real Existence; I shall examine how far our Knowledge extends in each of these.

First, As to Identity and Diversity, our Intuitive Knowledge is as far extended as our Ideas themselves; and there can [Page 196] be no Idea in the Mind, which it does not presently by an Intuitive Knowledge, perceive to be what it is, and to be dif­ferent from any other.

Secondly, As to the Agreement or Dis­agreement of our Ideas in Co-existence: in this our Knowledge is very short, thô in this consists the greatest and most ma­terial part of our Knowledge, concern­ing Substances: for our Ideas of Substances being as I have shewed, nothing but cer­tain Collections of Simple Ideas, co-existing in one Subject, (Our Idea of Flame for In­stance, is a Body hot, Luminous and mo­ving upward.) When we would know any thing farther concerning this or any other sort of Substance, What do we but en­quire what other Qualities or Powers these Substances have or have not? which is nothing else but to know, what other Simple Ideas do, or do not Co-exist with those that make up that Complex Idea. The reason of this is, because the Simple Ideas which make up our Complex Ideas of Substances, have no visible neces­sary Connexion or Inconsistence with o­ther Simple Ideas, whose co-existence with them we would inform our selves about. These Ideas being likewise for the most [Page 197] part Secundary Qualities, which depend up­on the Primary Qualities of their minute or insensible Parts, or on something yet more remote from our Comprehension; it is impossible we should know which have a necessary Union, or Inconsistency one with another, since we know not the root from whence they spring, or the Size, Figure, and Texture of Parts on which they depend, and from which they result.

Besides this, there is no discoverable Connexion between any Secundary Qua­litie, and those Primary Qualities that it depends on. We are so far from know­ing what Figure, Size or Motion pro­duces, (for Instance) A Yellow Colour, or Sweet Taste, or a Sharp Sound, that we can by no means conceive how any Size, Figure, or Motion can possibly produce in us the Idea of any Colour, Taste or Sound whatsoever; and there is no conceiva­ble Connexion between the One and the Other.

Our Knowledge therefore of Co-ex­istence reaches little farther than Expe­rience. Some few indeed of the Primary Qualities have a necessary Dependance, and visible Connexion one with another: [Page 198] As Figure necessarily supposes Extension: receiving or communicating Motion by Im­pulse, supposes Solidity. But Qualities Co-existent in any Subject, without this Dependance and Connexion, cannot cer­tainly be known to Co-exist any farther, than Experience by our Senses informs us. Thus, thô upon trial we find Gold Yellow, Weighty, Malleable, Fusible and Fixed, yet because none of these have any evident Dependance, or necessary Con­nexion with the other; we cannot cer­tainly know, that where any Four of these are, the Fifth will be there also, how highly probable soever it may be: But the highest degree of Probability, amounts not to Certainty; without which there can be no true Knowledge: For this Co-existence can be no farther known, then it is perceived; and it cannot be percei­ved, but either in particular Subjects, by the observation of our Senses; or in ge­neral, by the necessary Connexion of the Ideas themselves.

As to Incompatibility, or Repugnancy to Co-existence, we may know that any Sub­ject can have of each sort of Primary Qualities, but One particular at once. One Extension, One Figure; and [Page 199] so of sensible Ideas peculiar to each Sense: For whatever of each kind, is present in any Subject, excludes all other of that Sort; for Instance, One Subject cannot have Two Smells, or Two Colours at the same time.

As to Powers of Substances, which makes a great part of our Enquiries about them, and is no inconsiderable branch of our Knowledge: Our Knowledge as to these reaches little farther than Experience; be­cause they consist in a Texture and Moti­on of Parts, which we cannot by any means come to discover; and I doubt whether with those Faculties we have, we shall ever be able to carry our general Knowledge much farther in this part. Experience is that which in this part we must depend on; and it were to be wish­ed that it were improved: we find the Advantages some Mens generous pains, have this way brought to the stock of Natural Knowledge. And if others, espe­cially the Philosophers by Fire who pretend to it, had been so wary in their Obser­vations, and sincere in their Reports, as those who call themselves Philosophers ought to have been: our acquaintance with the Bodies here about us, and our [Page 200] insight into their Powers and Operations had been yet much greater.

As to the Third Sort the Agreement or Disagreement of our Ideas in any other Rela­tion: This is the largest field of Know­ledge, and it is hard to determine how far it may extend. This part depending on our Sagacity in finding intermediate Ideas, that may shew the Habitudes and Relations of Ideas; It is an hard matter to tell when we are at an end of such Discoveries. They that are ignorant of Algebra, cannot imagine the Wonders in this kind, are to be done by it: and what farther Improvements and Helps, advantageous to other parts of Know­ledge, the Sagacious Mind of Man may yet find out, it is not easy to determine. This at least I believe that the Ideas of Quantity, are not those alone that are ca­pable of Demonstration and Knowledge: and that other, and perhaps more useful parts of Contemplation, would afford us Certainty, if Vices, Passions, and domi­neering Interests, did not oppose or me­nace Endeavours of this kind.

The Idea of a Supream Being, Infinite in Power, Goodness, and Wisdom, whose Workmanship we are, and on whom we [Page 201] depend; and the Idea of our Selves, as understanding rational Creatures, would I suppose, if duly considered, afford such Foundations of our Duty, and Rules of Action, as might place Morality among the Sciences capable of Demonstration: wherein I doubt not but from Principles as Incontestable as those of the Mathema­ticks, by necessary Consequences, the measure of Right and Wrong might be made out, to any one that will apply himself with the same Indifferency and Attention to the One, as he does to the Other of these Sciences. The Relations of other Modes may certainly be percei­ved as well as those of Number, and Ex­tension. Where there is no Property, there is no Injustice, is a Proposition as certain as any Demonstration in Euclid: for the Idea of Property, being a right to any thing; and the Idea of Injustice, being the invasion or violation of that Right: it is evident that these Ideas being thus established, and these Names annexed to them, I can as certainly know this Pro­position to be true, as that a Triangle has three Angles equal to Two right ones. Again, No Government allows absolute Liberty. The Idea of Government being the establish­ment [Page 202] of Society upon certain Rules or Laws, which require Conformity to them; and the Idea of Absolute Liberty, being for any one to do whatever he pleases, I am as capable of being certain of the Truth of this Proposition, as of any in Mathe­maticks.

What has given the advantage to the Ideas of Quantity, and made them thought more capable of Certainty and Demon­stration, is,

First, That they can be represented by sensible Marks, which have a nearer Correspondence with them, than any Words or Sounds. Diagrams drawn on Paper, are Copies of the Ideas, and not liable to the uncertainty that Words carry in their Signification. But we have no sensible Marks that resemble our Moral Ideas, and nothing but Words to express them by; which thô, when written, they remain the same; yet the Ideas they stand for, may change in the same Man; and it is very seldom that they are not diffe­rent in different Persons.

Secondly, Moral Ideas are commonly more Complex than Figures: whence these two Inconveniencies follow: First, That their Names are of more uncertain [Page 203] Signification; the precise collection of Simple Ideas they stand for, not being so easily agreed on, and so the sign that is used for them in Communication al­ways, and in Thinking often, does not steadily carry with it the same Idea. Se­condly, The Mind cannot easily retain those precise Combinations so exactly and perfectly as is necessary; in the examina­tion of the Habitudes and Correspon­dencies, Agreements or Disagreements of several of them one with another, espe­cially where it is to be judged of by long Deductions, and the intervention of se­veral other Complex Ideas, to shew the Agreement' or Disagreement of two re­mote ones.

One part of these Disadvantages in Moral Ideas, which has made them be thought not capable of Demonstration, may in a good measure be remedied by Definitions, setting down that collection of Simple Ideas which every Term shall stand for, and then using the Terms stea­dily and constantly for that precise Col­lection.

As to the Fourth sort of Knowledge, viz. of the real actual existence of Things, we have an Intuitive Knowledge of our [Page 204] own Existence: a Demonstrative Knowledge, of the Existence of God; and a Sensitive Knowledge of the Objects that present them­selves to our Senses.

From what has been said we may dis­cover the Causes of our Ignorance, which are chiefly these Three; First, want of Ideas; Secondly, Want of a discoverable Connexion between the Ideas we have. Thirdly, Want of tracing and examining our Ideas.

First, There are some things we are ignorant of for want of Ideas. All the Simple Ideas we have, are confined to the observation of our Senses, and the ope­rations of our own Minds, that we are conscious of in our Selves. What other Ideas it is possible other Creatures may have, by the assistance of other Senses and Faculties more or perfecter than we have, or different from ours, it is not for us to determine; but to say or think, there are no such, because we conceive nothing of them, is no better an Argu­ment, than if a blind Man should be po­sitive in it, that there was no such thing as Sight and Colours, because he had no manner of Idea of any such thing. What Faculties therefore other species of [Page 205] Creatures have to penetrate into the Na­ture and inmost constitutions of Things, we know not. This we know, and cer­tainly find, that we want other views of them, besides those we have to make dis­coveries of them more perfect. The In­tellectual and Sensible World are in this perfectly alike, that the parts which we see of either of them, hold no proporti­on with that we see not, and whatsoever we can reach with our Eyes, or our Thoughts of either of them, is but a point, almost nothing, in comparison of the rest.

Another great cause of Ignorance, is the want of Ideas that we are capable of. This keeps us in ignorance of Things we conceive capable of being known. Bulk, Figure and Motion we have Ideas of: yet not knowing what is the particular Bulk, Motion and Figure of the greatest part of the Bodies of the Universe, we are ignorant of the several Powers, Effi­cacies, and ways of Operation, where­by the effects we daily see, are produced. These are hid from us in some things, by being too Remote, in others by being too Minute.

[Page 206] When we consider the vast distance of the known and visible parts of the World, and the reasons we have to think that what lies within our Ken, is but a small part of the immense Universe; we shall then discover an huge abyss of Ig­norance. What are the particular Fa­bricks of the great Masses of Matter, which make up the whole stupendous frame of corporeal Beings, how far they are extended, and what is their motion, and how continued, and what influence they have upon one another, are con­templations that at first glimpse our Thoughts lose themselves in. If we confine our Thoughts to this little Can­ton, I mean this System of our Sun, and the grosser Masses of Matter that visibly move about it; What several sorts of Vegetables, Animals, and Intellectual corporeal Beings, infinitely different from those of our little spot of Earth, may probably be in other Planets, to the know­ledge of which, even of their outward Figures, and Parts, we can no way at­tain, whilst we are confined to this Earth, there being no natural means, either by Sensation or Reflection, to convey their certain Ideas into our Minds?

[Page 207] There are other Bodies in the Universe, no less concealed from us by their Mi­nuteness. These insensible Corpuscles be­ing the active parts of Matter, and the great instruments of Nature, on which depend all their Secundary Qualities and Operations, our want of precise distinct Ideas, and their Primary Qualities, keeps us in incurable Ignorance of what we desire to know about them. Did we know the Mechanical Affections of Rhu­barb or Opium, we might as easily ac­count for their Operations of Purging and causing Sleep, as a Watch-maker can for the Motions of his Watch. The dissol­ving of Silver in Aqua fortis, or Gold in Aqua Regia, and not Vice versâ, would be then perhaps no more difficult to know, than it is to a Smith, to under­stand why the turning of one Key, will open a Lock, and not the turning of an­other. But whilst we are destitute of Senses, acute enough to discover the minute Particles of Bodies, and to give us Ideas of their Mechanical Affections, we must be content to be ignorant of their Properties and Operations; nor can we be assured about them any far­ther, than some few Trials we make, are [Page 208] able to reach: but whether they will succeed again another time, we cannot be certain. This hinders our certain Knowledge of Universal Truths concern­ing Natural Bodies: and our Reason car­ries us herein very little beyond par­ticular Matter of Fact. And therefore I am apt to doubt, that how far soever Humane Industry may advance useful and Experimental Philosophy in Physical Things, yet Scientifical will still be out of our reach; because we want perfect and adequate Ideas of those very Bodies which are nearest to us, and most under our Command.

This at first sight shews us how dis­proportionate our Knowledge is to the whole extent, even of Material Beings: to which, if we add the Consideration of that infinite number of Spirits that may be, and probably are, which are yet more remote from our Knowledge, where­of we have no cognizance: we shall find this cause of Ignorance, conceal from us in an impenetrable Obscurity, almost the whole Intellectual World: a greater Cer­tainly, and more beautiful World than the material. For bating some very few Ideas of Spirit, we get from our own [Page 209] Mind by Reflection, and from thence the best we can collect, of the Father of all Spirits, the Author of them, and us, and all Things: we have no certain In­formation, so much as of the Existence of other Spirits but by Revelation: much less have we distinct Ideas of their diffe­rent Natures, States, Powers, and seve­ral Constitutions, wherein they agree or differ one from another, and from us. And therefore in what concerns their dif­ferent Species, and Properties, we are under an absolute Ignorance.

The Second cause of Ignorance is the want of discoverable Connexion between those Ideas we have; where we want that, we are utterly incapable of Universal and Certain Knowledge; and are as in the for­mer case, left only to Observation and Ex­periment. Thus the Mechanical Affecti­ons of Bodies, having no affinity at all with the Ideas they produce in us; we can have no distinct Knowledge of such operations beyond our Experience; and can reason no otherwise about them, than as the effects or appointment of an Infi­nitly Wise Agent, which perfectly surpass our Comprehensions.

[Page 210] The operation of our Minds upon our Bodies, is as unconceivable. How any Thought should produce a Motion in Bo­dy, is as remote from the nature of our Ideas, as how any Body should produce any Thought in the Mind. That it is so, if Experience did not convince us, the consideration of the Things themselves, would never be able in the least to dis­cover to us.

In some of our Ideas, there are certain Relations, Habitudes, and Connexions, so visibly included in the nature of the Ideas themselves, that we cannot con­ceive them separable from them by any Power whatsoever: In these only we are capable of Certain and Universal Knowledge. Thus the Ideas of a right lined Triangle, necessarily carries with it, an Equality of its Angles to two right ones. But the coherence and continuity of the Parts of Matter; the production of Sen­sation in us, of Colours and Sounds, &c. by Impulse, and Motion, being such wherein we can discover no natural Con­nexion with any Ideas we have, we can­not but ascribe them to the arbitrary Will and good Pleasure of the wise Ar­chitect.

[Page 211] The Things that we observe constant­ly to proceed regularly, we may con­clude do act by a Law set them; but yet by a Law that we know not; whereby, thô Causes work steadily, and effects con­stantly flow from them; yet their Con­nexions and Dependencies being not dis­coverable in our Ideas, we can have but an experimental Knowledge of them. Several Effects come every day within the notice of our Senses, of which we have so far Sensitive Knowledge. But the Causes, Manner and Certainty of their Production, we must for the fore­going reasons be content to be ignorant of. In these we can go no farther than particular Experience informs us of matter of Fact, and by Analogy, guess what Effects the like Bodies are upon other Tryals like to produce. But as to per­fect Science of Natural Bodies (not to mention Spiritual Beings) we are, I think, so far from being capable of any such thing, that I conclude it lost labour to seek after it.

The Third cause of Ignorance is our Want of tracing those Ideas we have, or may have; and finding out those inter­mediate Ideas which may shew us what [Page 212] Habitude of Agreement or Disagreement, they may have one with another: and thus many are ignorant of Mathematical Truths, for want of application in enqui­ring, examining, and by due ways com­paring those Ideas.

Hitherto we have examined the Ex­tent of our Knowledge, in respect of the several sorts of Beings that are. There is another Extent of it, in respect of Uni­versality, which will also deserve to be considered; and in this regard our Knowledge follows the Nature of our Ideas. If the Ideas are Abstract, whose Agreement or Disagreement we perceive, our Knowledge is Universal. For what is known of such general Ideas, will be true of every particular thing in which that Essence, that is, that Abstract Idea is to be found: And what is once known of such Ideas, will be perpetually, and for ever true. So that as to all general Knowledge, we must search and find it only in our own Minds: and it is only the examining of our own Ideas, that furnishes us with the Truths belong­ing to Essences of Things (that is, to Abstract Ideas) that are Eternal, and are to be found out by the Contempla­tion [Page 213] only of those Essences; as the Ex­istence of Things is to be known only from Experience. But I shall say more of this in the following Chapters, where I shall speak of General, and Rèal Know­ledge.

CHAP. IV. Of the Reality of our Knowledge.

I Doubt not but my Reader by this time, may be apt to think that I have been all this while, only building a Castle in the Air: and be ready to ob­ject, If it be true, that all Knowledge lies only in the perception of the Agreement or Disagreement of our own Ideas, the Visions of an Enthusiast, and the reason­ings of a Sober Man will be equally Cer­tain: It is no matter how Things are, so a Man observe but the Agreement of his own Imaginations, and talk conformably, It is all Truth, all Certainty, That an Harpy is not a Centaur, is by this way as certain Knowledge, and as much Truth, as that a Square is not a Circle. [Page 214] But of what use is all this knowledge of Mens own imaginations, to a Man that enquires after the reality of Things?

To which I Answer, That if our know­ledge of our Ideas should terminate in them, and reach no farther, where there is something farther intended; our most serious Thoughts would be of little more use, than the Reveries of a crazy Brain. But I hope before I have done, to make it evident, that this way of Cer­tainty by the knowledge of our own Ideas, goes a little farther, than bare ima­gination: and that all the certainty of ge­neral Truths a Man has, lies in nothing else but this knowledge of our Ideas.

'Tis evident that the Mind knows not Things immediately, but by the inter­vention of the Ideas it has of them. Our Knowledge therefore is real, only so far as there is a conformity between our Ideas, and the reality of Things. But how shall we know when our Ideas agree, with Things themselves? I Answer, There be Two sorts of Ideas that, we may be assured agree with Things: These are,

[Page 215] First, Simple Ideas; Which since the Mind can by no means make to it self, must be the effect of Things operating upon the Mind, in a natural way; and producing therein those Perceptions, which by the Will of our Maker, they are or­dained and adapted to. Hence it follows, that Simple Ideas are not fictions of our Fancies, but the natural and regular pro­ductions of Things without us, really operating upon us; which carry with them all the conformity our State re­quires, which is to represent Things, un­der those appearances they are fitted to produce in us. Thus the Idea of White­ness, as it is in the Mind, exactly an­swers that Power which is in any Body to produce it there. And this conformi­ty between our Simple Ideas, and the ex­istence of Things, is sufficient for real Knowledge.

Secondly, All our Complex Ideas, except those of Substances, being Archetypes, of the Mind's own making, and not referred to the Existence of Things as to their Originals, cannot want any Conformity necessary to real Knowledge. For that which is not designed to represent any thing but it self, can never be capable of [Page 216] a wrong Representation. Here the Ideas themselves are considered as Archetypes, and Things no otherwise regarded, than as they are conformable to them. Thus the Mathematician considers the Truth and Properties belonging to a Rectangle or Circle only, as they are Ideas in his own Mind, which possibly he never found existing Mathematically, that is, precisely True: yet his Knowledge is not only Certain, but Real; because Re­al Things are no farther concern'd nor intended to be meant by any such Pro­positions, than as Things really agree to those Archetypes in his Mind. It is true of the Idea of a Triangle, that its three An­gles are equal to two right ones; It is true also of a Triangle, wherever it Exists: what is true of those Figures, that have barely an Ideal Existence in his Mind, will hold true of them also, when they come to have a Real Existence in Mat­ter.

Hence it follows that Moral Know­ledge, is as capable of Real Certainty as Mathematicks. For Certainty being no­thing but the Perception of the Agree­ment or Disagreement of our Ideas,, and Demonstration nothing, but the Perception [Page 217] of such Agreement by the intervention of other Ideas; our Moral Ideas as well as Ma­thematical, being Archetypes themselves, and so Adequate or Complete Ideas all the Agreement or Disagreement we shall find in them, will produce Real Knowledge as well as in Mathematical Figures. That which is requisite to make our Know­ledge Certain, is the clearness of our Ideas; and that which is required to make it Real, is, that they answer their Archetypes.

But it will here be said, That if Moral Knowledge be placed in the Contem­plation of our own Moral Ideas; and those be of our own making, what strange Notions will there be of Justice and Tem­perance? What confusion of Vertues and Vices, if every Man may make what Ideas of them he pleases? I Answer, No Con­fusion, nor Disorder at all, in the Things themselves, nor the Reasonings about them; no more, than there would be a change in the Properties of Figures, and their Relations one to another, If a Man should make a Triangle with four corners, or a Trapezium with four right Angles; that is in plain English, change the Names of the Figures, and call that by [Page 218] one Name, which is called ordinarily by another. The change of Name will indeed at first disturb him, who knows not what Idea, it stands for: but as soon as the Figure is drawn, the Consequences and Demonstration are plain, and clear. Just the same is it in Moral Knowledge: Let a Man have the Idea of taking from others, without their consent, what they are justly possessed of, and call this Ju­stice, if he pleases: he that takes the Name here, without the Idea put to it, will be mistaken by joyning another Idea of his own to that Name; but strip the Idea of that Name, or take it such as it is in the Speakers Mind; and the same Things will agree to it, as if you called it Injustice.

One thing we are to take notice of, That where God, or any other Law-ma­ker has defined any Moral Names, there they have made the Essence of that Spe­cies to which that Name belongs: And there it is not safe to apply, or use them otherwise. But in other cases it is bare impropriety of Speech, to apply them contrary to the common usage of the Country they are used in.

[Page 219] Thirdly, But the Complex Ideas which we refer to Archetypes without us, may differ from them, and so our Knowledge about them may come short of being real: and thus are our Ideas of Substances. These must be taken from something, that does or has Existed, and not be made up of Ideas arbitrarily put together, without any real Pattern. Herein therefore is founded the reality of our Knowledge concerning Substances, that all our Com­plex Ideas of them must be such, and such only, as are made up of such Simple ones, as have been discovered to co-exist in Nature. Wherever then we perceive the Agreement or Disagreement of any of our Ideas, there is Certain Know­ledge; and wherever we are sure those Ideas agree with the reality of Things, there is Certain real Knowledge.

CHAP V. Of Truth in General.

TRuth in the proper import of the Word, signifies the joyning or separating of Signs; as the Things sig­nified by them, do Agree or Disagree one with another. The joyning or separa­ting of Signs, is what we call Propositi­ons; so that Truth properly belongs only to Propositions; whereof there are Two sorts, Mental and Verbal, as there are Two sorts of Signs commonly made use of, Ideas and Words.

'Tis difficult to treat of Mental Propo­sitions without Verbal: because in speak­ing of Mental, we must make use of Words, and then they become Verbal. Again, Men commonly in their Thoughts and Reasonings, use Words instead of Ideas; especially if the subject of their Medita­tion contains in it Complex Ideas. If we have occasion to form Mental Propositi­ons about White, Black, Circle, &c. we can, and often do, frame in our Minds [Page 221] the Ideas themselves, without reflecting on the Names. But when we would con­sider, or make Propositions about the more Complex Ideas, as of a Man, Vitriol, For­titude, Glory, &c. we usually put the Name for the Idea; because the Idea these Names stand for, being for the most part confused, imperfect, and undetermined; we reflect on the Names themselves, as being more Clear, Certain, and Distinct, and readier to occur to our Thoughts, than pure Ideas: and so we make use of these Words instead of the Ideas themselves, even when we would Meditate and Rea­son within our selves, and make tacit Mental Propositions.

We must then observe Two sorts of Propositions that we are capable of ma­king. First, Mental Propositions, where­in the Ideas in our Understandings are put together, or separated by the Mind, perceiving or judging of their Agreement or Disagreement. Secondly, Verbal Pro­positions, which are Words put together, or separated in Affirmative or Negative Sentences: So that Proposition consists, in joyning or separating Signs: and Truth consists, in putting together or separa­ting these Signs, according as the Things [Page 222] they stand for, Agree or Disagree.

Truth as well as Knowledge may well come under the Distinction of Verbal and Real; That being only Verbal Truth, wherein Terms are joyned according to the Agreement or Disagreement of the Ideas they stand for, without regarding whether our Ideas are such as really have or are capable of having an Existence in Nature. But then it is they contain Re­al Truth, when these Signs are joyned, as our Ideas agree; and when our Ideas are such as we know, are capable of ha­ving an Existence in Nature: which in Substances we cannot know, but by know­ing that such have Existed. Truth is the marking down in Words, the Agree­ment or Disagreement of Ideas, as it is. Falshood is the marking down in Words, the Agreement or Disagreement of Ideas, otherwise than it is; and so far as these Ideas thus marked by Sounds, agree to their Archetypes, so far only is the Truth Real. The knowledge of this Truth con­sists in knowing what Ideas the Words stand for, and the Perception of the Agreement or Disagreement of those Ideas, according as it is marked by those Words.

[Page 223] Besides Truth taken in the strict Sense before-mentioned; there are other sorts of Truths, As First, Moral Truth, which is, speaking Things according to the per­swasion of our own Minds. Secondly, Metaphysical Truth, which is nothing but the Real Existence of Things confor­mable to the Ideas, to which we have annexed their Names.

These Considerations of Truth, either having been before taken notice of, or not being much to our present purpose; it may suffice here only to have menti­oned them.

CHAP. VI. Of Universal Propositions, their Truth and Certainty.

THE prevailing Custom of using Sounds, for Ideas, even when Men think and reason within their own Breasts, makes the consideration of Words and Pro­positions so necessary a part of the Treatise of Knowledge, that it is very hard to speak intelligibly of the one, without [Page 224] explaining the other. And since General Truths, which with Reason are most sought after, can never be well made known, and are seldom apprehended, but as conceived and expressed in Words; it is not out of our way in the Examina­tion of our own Knowledge to enquire in­to the Truth and Certainty of Universal Pro­positions. But it must be observed, that Certainty is Twofold, Certainty of Truth, and Certainty of Knowledge.

Certainty of Truth is, when Words are so put together in Propositions, as exactly to express the Agreement or Disagree­ment of the Ideas they stand for; as really it is. Certainty of Knowledge, is to perceive the Agreement or Disagreement of Ideas, as expressed in any Propositions. This we usually call Knowing, or being Certain of the Truth of any Proposition.

Now because we cannot be Certain of the truth of any General Proposition, unless we know the precise Bounds and Extent of the Species its Terms stand for; it is necessary we should know the Essence of each Species, which is that which consti­tutes and bounds it. This in all Simple Ideas, and Modes is not hard to do: for in these the Real and Nominal Essence be­being [Page 225] the same, there can be no doubt how far the Species extends, or what Things are comprehended under each Term: which it is evident are all that have an exact Conformity with the Idea it stands for, and no other. But in Sub­stances, wherein a Real Essence, distinct from the Nominal, is supposed to consti­tute, and bound the Species, the extent of the general Word is very uncertain; because not knowing this Real Essence, we cannot know what is, or is not of that Species, and consequently what may, or may not with Certainty be affirmed of it.

Hence we may see that the Names of Substances, when made to stand for Species, supposed to be constituted by Real Essences, which we know not, are not capable of conveying Certainty to the Understanding, Of the Truth of General Propositions made up of such Terms, we cannot be sure. For how can we besure that this or that Quality is in Gold, for Instance, when we know not what is, or is not Gold, that is, what has, or has not the Real Essence of Gold, whereof we have no Idea at all. On the other side, the Names of Substances when made [Page 226] use of for the Complex Ideas, Men have in their Minds; thô they carry a clear and determinate Signification with them, will not yet serve us to make many Univer­sal Propositions, of whose Truth we can be certain: because the Simple Ideas, out of which the Complex are combined, car­ry not with them any discoverable Con­nexion, or Repugnancy, but with a very few other Ideas. For Instance, All Gold is fixed, is a Proposition we cannot be cer­tain of how Universally soever it be be­lieved: For if we take the Term Gold, to stand for a Real Essence, it is evident we know not what particular Substances are of that Species, and so cannot with cer­tainty affirm any Thing Universally of Gold. But if we make the Term Gold stand for a Species, determined by its No­minal Essence, be its Complex Idea what it will; for Instance, A Body Yellow, Fu­sible, Malleable, and very heavy; no Qua­lity can with Certainty be Denyed or Af­firmed Universally of it, but what has a discoverable Connexion, or Inconsistency with that Nominal Essence: Fixedness, for Instance, having no necessary Connexi­on that we can discover with any Simple Idea that makes the Complex one, or with [Page 227] the whole Combination together: it is impossible that we should certainly know the truth of this Proposition, All Gold is fixed.

But is not this an Universal certain Proposition, All Gold is Malleable? I an­swer, it is so, if Malleableness be a part of the Complex Idea, the word Gold stands for: But then here is nothing affirmed of Gold, but that, that Sound stands for an Idea, in which Malleableness is contained. And such a sort of Truth and Certainty it is, to say, a Centaur is Four-footed. I ima­gine amongst all the Secundary Quali­ties of Substances, and the Powers rela­ting to them, there cannot any two be named, whose necessary Co-existence or Repugnance to Co-exist can be certainly known, unless in those of the same Sense, which necessarily exclude one another. Thus by the Colour we cannot certainly know what Smell, Tast, &c. any Body is of. 'Tis no wonder then that Certainty is to be found but in very few general Propositions concerning Substances: Our Knowledge of their Qualities and Pro­perties goes very seldom farther than our Senses reach, or inform us. Inquisitive and Observing Men may by strength of [Page 228] Judgment, penetrate farther; and on Pro­babilities taken from wary Observations, and Hints well laid together, often guess right at what Experience has not yet dis­covered to them: But this is but guessing still, it amounts only to Opinion; and has not that certainty, which is requisite to Knowledge.

To conclude, general Propositions of what kind soever, are then only capable of Certainty, when the Terms used in them, stand for such Ideas, whose Agree­ment or Disagreement, as there expres­sed, is capable to be discovered by us. And we are then certain of their Truth or Falshood, when we perceive the Ideas they stand for, to Agree or not Agree, according as they are affirmed or denyed one of another; whence we may take no­tice, that general Certainty, is never to be found but in our Ideas.

CHAP. VII. Of Maxims.

THERE are a sort of Propositions, which under the Name of Maxims and Axioms, have passed for Principles of Science: and because they are Self-evident, have been supposed Innate. It may be worth while to enquire into the reason of their Evidence, and examine how far they influence our other Know­ledge.

Knowledge being but the perception of the Agreement or Disagreement of Ideas, where that Agreement or Disa­greement is perceived immediately by it self, without the intervention or help of any other, there our Knowledge is Self-evident: which being so, not only Maxims, but an infinite number of other Proposi­tions partake equally with them in this Self-evidence. For,

In respect of Identity and Diversity, we may have as many Self-evident Proposi­tions as we have distinct Ideas. Tis the [Page 230] First Act of the Mind, to know every one of its Ideas by it self, and distinguish it from others. Every one finds in him­self, that he knows the Ideas he has; that he knows also when any one is in his Understanding, and what it is; and that when more than one are there, he knows them distinctly and unconfusedly, one from another; so that all Affirmati­ons, or Negations concerning them, are made without any possibility of doubt or uncertainty; and must necessarily be as­sented to, as soon as understood: that is, as soon as we have in our Minds the Ideas clear and distinct, which the Terms in the Proposition stand for. Thus a Circle is a Circle, Blue is not Red, are as Self-evident Propositions, as those general ones, What is, is, and 'Tis impossible for the same thing to be and not to be; nor can the consideration of these Axioms add any thing to the Evidence, or Certainty of our Knowledge of them.

As to the Agreement or Disagreement of Co-existence, the Mind has an imme­diate perception of this, but in very few. And therefore, in this sort we have very little Intuitive Knowledge: thô in some few Propositions we have. Two Bodies [Page 231] cannot be in the same place I think is a self-evident Proposition. The Idea of fitting a Place equal to the Contents of its Su­perficies, being annexed to our Idea of Body.

As to the Relations of Modes, Mathe­maticians have framed many Axioms con­cerning that one Relation of Equality, as Equals taken from Equals, the remainder will be Equal, &c. which however recei­ved for Axioms, yet I think have not a clearer Self-Evidence than these, that One and One are equal to Two, that if from the Five Fingers of one Hand, you take Two, and from the Five Fingers of the other Hand Two, the remaining Num­bers will be equal. These, and a thou­sand other such Propositions may be found in Numbers, which carry with them an equal, if not greater clearness, than those Mathematical Axioms.

As to Real Existence, since that has no Connexion with any other of our Ideas, but that of our Selves, and of a First Being; we have not so much as a De­monstrative, much less a Self-Evident Knowledge, concerning the Real Exist­ence of other Beings.

[Page 232] In the next place let us consider what influence these Maxims have upon the o­ther parts of our Knowledge. The Rules established in the Schools, That all Rea­sonings are Ex praecognitis & praeconceptis, seem to lay the foundation of all other Knowledge in these Maxims, and to sup­pose them to be Praecognita; whereby I think is meant Two Things: First, That these Axioms are those Truths that are first known to the Mind: Secondly, That upon them the other parts of our Knowledge depend.

First, That these Axioms are not the Truths first known to the Mind, is evi­dent from Experience: For who knows not that a Child perceives that a Stranger is not its Mother, long before he knows, that it is impossible for the same thing to be and not to be? And how many Truths are there about Numbers, which the Mind is perfectly acquainted with, and fully convinced of, before it ever thought on these general Maxims? Of this the reason is plain; for that which makes the Mind assent to such Propositions, be­ing nothing but the Perception it has of the Agreement or Disagreement of its Ideas, according as it finds them affirm­ed [Page 233] or denied in Words one of another; and every Idea being known to be what it is, and every two distinct Ideas not to be the same, it must necessarily follow, that such Self-evident Truths must be first known, which consist of Ideas, that are first in the Mind; and the Ideas first in the Mind, it is evident, are those of particular Things; from whence, by slow degrees the Understanding proceeds to some few general ones, which being ta­ken from the ordinary and familiar Ob­jects of Sense, are settled in the Mind, with general Names to them. Thus particular Ideas are first received and di­stinguished, and so Knowledge got about them, and next to them the less general or specifick, which are next to particular ones.

Secondly, From what has been said, it plainly follows, that these magnified Maxims are not the Principles and Foun­dations of all our other Knowledge: for if there be a great many other Truths, as Self-evident as they, and a great ma­ny that we know before them, it is im­possible that they should be the Princi­ples, from which we deduce all other Truths. Thus, that One and Two are equal to Three, is as evident, and easier known [Page 234] then that the Whole is equal to all its parts. Nor after the knowledge of this Maxim, do we know that One and Two are equal to Three, better, or more certainly, than we did before. For if there be any odds in these Ideas, the Ideas of Whole, and Parts, are more obscure, or at least more difficult to be setled in the Mind, than those of One, Two and Three. Either therefore all Knowledge does not depend on certain Praecognita, or general Max­ims, called Principles; or else, such as these (That One and One are Two, that Two and Two are Four, &c.) and a great part of Numeration will be so. To which if we add all the Self-evident Pro­positions that may be made about all our distinct Ideas; Principles will be almost infinite, at least innumerable, which Men arrive to the knowledge of, at different Ages; and a great many of those innate Principles, they never come to know all their Lives. But whether they come in view earlier or later, they are all known by their Native Evidence, and receive no Light, nor are capable of any Proof one from another; much less the more particular, from the more general; or the more simple from the more com­pounded: [Page 235] the more simple, and less ab­stract, being the most familiar, and the easier and earlier apprehended.

These general Maxims then, are only of use in disputes, to stop the Mouths of Wranglers; but not of much use to the discovery of unknown Truths; or to help the Mind forwards in its search af­ter Knowledge. Several general Max­ims, are no more than bare verbal Pro­positions; and teach us nothing but the respect and import of Names, one to an­other, as, The whole is equal to all its Parts: What real Truth does it teach us more, than what the signification of the word Totum, or whole does of it self import?

But yet, Mathematicians do not with­out reason place this, and some other such amongst their Maxims; that their Scho­lars having in the Entrance perfectly acquainted their Thoughts with these Propositions, made in such general Terms, may have them ready to apply to all par­ticular Cases: not that if they be equal­ly weighed, they are more clear and evi­dent, than the particular Instances they are brought to confirm, but that being more familiar to the Mind, the very na­ming them is enough to satisfy the Un­derstanding. [Page 236] But this I say, is more from our Custom of using them, than the different Evidence of the Things.

So that if rightly consider'd, I think we may say, that where our Ideas are clear and distinct, there is little, or no use at all of these Maxims, to prove the Agreement or Disagreement of any of them. He that cannot discern the Truth, or falshood of such Propositions, with­out the help of these and the like Max­ims, will not be helped by these Maxims to do it. He that needs any proof to make him certain, and give his assent to this Proposition, that Two are equal to Two, or that White is not Black, will also have need of a proof to make him admit that, What is, is, or, That it is impossible for the same thing to be and not to be.

And as these Maxims are of little use, where we have clear and distinct Ideas; so they are of dangerous use, where our Ideas are confused, and where we use words that are not annexed to clear and distinct Ideas; but to such as are of a loose and wandring signification, some­times standing for one, and sometimes for another Idea, from which follows Mi­stake and Error, which these Maxims [Page 237] (brought as proofs to establish Propositi­ons wherein the Terms stand for confu­sed and uncertain Ideas) do by their Au­thority confirm and rivet.

CHAP. VIII. Of Trifling Propositions.

THere are Universal Propositions, which thô they be certainly true, yet add no Light to our Understandings, bring no increase to our Knowledge, such are,

First, All Purely Identical Propositions. These at first blush, appear to contain no Instruction in them: for when we affirm the same Term of it self, it shews us no­thing but what we must certainly know before, whether such a Proposition be either made by, or proposed to us.

Secondly, Another sort of trifling Pro­positions is, when a part of the Complex Idea is praedicated of the name of the whole; a part of the definition, of the word defi­ned, as; Lead is a Metal, Man an Animal. These carry no Information at all, to [Page 238] those who know the Complex Ideas, the Names Lead, and Man stand for: Indeed, to a Man that knows the signification of the word Metal, and not of the word Lead, it is a shorter way to explain the signifi­cation of the word Lead, by saying it is a Metal, than by enumerating the Simple Ideas one by one, which make up the Complex Idea of Metal.

Alike trifling it is to predicate any one of the Simple Ideas of a Com­plex one, of the name of the whole Com­plex Idea: as All Gold is fusible; for fusi­bility being one of the Simple Ideas that goes to the making up the Complex one, the Sound Gold stands for; what can it be but playing with Sounds, to affirm that of the name Gold, which is compre­hended in its received signification? What instruction can it carry, to tell one that which he is supposed to know before? For I am supposed to know the signification of the word another uses to me, or else he is to tell me.

The general Propositions that are made about Substances, if they are certain, are for the most part but Trifling. And if they are Instructive, are Uncertain; and such as we have no knowledge of their [Page 239] real Truth, how much soever constant Observation and Analogy may assist our Judgments in Guessing. Hence it comes to pass, that one may often meet with very clear and coherent Discourses, that amount yet to nothing. For names of Substantial Beings, as well as others, ha­ving setled Significations affixed to them, may with great Truth be joyned Nega­tively and Affirmatively in Propositions, as their Definitions make them fit to be so joyned; and Propositions consisting of such Terms, may with the same clear­ness be deduced one from another, as those that convey the most real Truths; and all this without any knowledge of the Nature or Reality of Things existing without us. Thus he that has learnt the following words, with their ordinary Acceptations annexed to them, viz. Sub­stance, Man, Animal Form, Soul, Vegeta­tive, Sensitive, Rational, may make seve­ral undoubted Propositions about the Soul, without any Knowledge at all of what the Soul really is. And of this sort a Man may find an infinite number of Pro­positions, Reasonings and Conclusions in Books of Metaphysicks, School-Divinity, and some part of Natural Philosophy; and [Page 240] after all, know as little of God, Spirits, or Bodies, as he did before he set out.

Thirdly, The worst sort of Trifling, is, To use words loosely and uncertainly, which sets us yet farther from the certainty of Knowledge we hope to attain to by them, or find in them. That which oc­casions this, is, That Men may find it convenient to shelter their Ignorance or Obstinacy, under the Obscurity or Per­plexedness of their Terms; to which, perhaps, Inadvertency and ill Custom does in many Men much contribute.

To conclude, barely Verbal Propositions may be known by these following marks.

First, All Propositions, wherein two Abstract Terms are affirmed one of an­other, are barely about the signification of Sounds. For since no Abstract Idea can be the same with any other, but it self; when its Abstract Name is affirm­ed of any other Term, it can signifie no more but this, that it may, or ought to be called by that name; or that these two Names signify the same Idea.

Secondly, All Propositions, wherein a part of the Complex Idea, which any Term stands for, is predicated of that Term, are only Verbal: and thus all [Page 241] Propositions wherein more comprehen­sive Terms called Genera, are affirmed of Subordinate, or less Comprehensive, cal­led Species, or Individuals, are barely Verbal. When by these two Rules we ex­amine the Propositions that make up the Discourses we ordnarily meet with, both in and out of Books; we shall, per­haps find, that a greater part of them, than is usually suspected, are purely a­bout the signification of Words, and con­tain nothing in them, but the use and application of these Signs.

CHAP. IX. Of our Knowledge of Existence.

HItherto we have only considered the Essences of Things, which be­ing only Abstract Ideas, and thereby re­moved in our Thoughts from particular Existence, give us no Knowledge of Ex­istence at all. We proceed now to enquire concerning our Knowledge of the Existence of Things, and how we come by it.

[Page 242] I say then that we have the Know­ledge of our own Existence, by Intuition; of the Existence of God, by Demonstration; and of other Things, by Sensation. As for our own Existence, we perceive it so plainly, that it neither needs, nor is ca­pable of any proof. I think, I reason; I feel Pleasure and Pain; Can any of these be more evident to me, than my own Existence? If I doubt of all other Things, that very Doubt makes me per­ceive my own Existence, and will not suf­fer me to doubt of that. If I know I doubt, I have as certain a Perception of the Thing Doubting, as of that Thought which I call Doubt. Experience then convinces us that we have an Intuitive Knowledge of our own Existence; and an Internal Infallible Perception that we are. In every act of Sensation, Reasoning or Thinking, we are conscious to our selves of our own Being, and in this matter come not short of the highest Degree of Certainty.

CHAP X. Of our Knowledge of the Existence of a God.

THO' God has given us no innate Ideas of himself, yet having fur­nished us with those Faculties our Minds are endowed with, he hath not left him­self without a Witness, since we have Sense, Perception, and Reason; and cannot want a clear proof of him, as long as we carry our selves about us: nor can we justly complain of our Ignorance in this great point, since he has so plentifully provided us with means to discover, and know him, so far as is necessary to the end of our Being, and the great concern­ment of our Happiness. But thô this be the most obvious Truth that Reason dis­covers, yet it requires Thought and At­tention: and the Mind must apply it self to a Regular deduction of it, from some part of our Intuitiv Knowledge; or else we shall be as ignorant of this as of [Page 244] other Propositions which are in them­selves capable of clear demonstration. To shew therefore, that we are capable of Knowing, that is, being certain, that there is a God, and how we may come by this Certainty, I think we need go no farther than our selves, and that un­doubted Knowledge we have of our own Existence. I think it is beyond question, that Man has a clear Perception of his own Being: he knows certainly, that he Ex­ists, and that he is Something. In the next place, Man knows by an Intuitive Certainty, that bare nothing can no more produce any real Being, than it can be equal to two Right Angles. If therefore we know there is some Real Being, it is an evi­dent Demonstration, that from Eternity there has been Something; since what was not from Eternity, had a Beginning; and what had a Beginning, must be produ­ced by something else Next it is evi­dent, that what has its Being from another, must also have all that which is in, and be­longs to its Being from another too: All the Powers it has must be owing to, and re­ceived from the same Source. This E­ternal Source then of all Being must he also the Source and Original of all Pow­er; [Page 245] and so this Eternal Being, must be also the most powerful.

Again, Man finds in himself Perception, and Knowledge: we are certain then that there is not only some Being, but some Knowing, Intelligent Being in the World. There was a time then, when there was no knowing Being, or else there has been a knowing Being from Eternity. If it be said, there was a time when that Eter­nal Being, had no Knowledge; I reply, that then it is impossible there should have ever been any Knowledge. It being as impossible that Things wholly void of Knowledge, and operating blind­ly, and without any Perception, should produce a knowing Being, as it is impos­sible that a Triangle should make it self Three Angles, bigger than Two Right ones.

Thus from the Consideration of our selves, and what we infallibly find in our own Constitutions, our Reason leads us to the knowledge of this certain and evi­dent Truth, that there is an Eternal, most Powerful, and Knowing Being, which, whe­ther any one will call God, it matters not. The thing is evident, and from this Idea duly consider'd, will easily be deduced [Page 246] all those other Attributes, we ought to ascribe to this Eternal Being.

From what has been said, it is plain to me, we have a more certain Knowledge of the Existence of a God, than of any thing our Senses have not immediately discovered to us. Nay, I presume I may say, that we more certainly know that there is a God, than that there is any thing else without us. When I say, we know, I mean, there is such a Knowledge within our reach, which we cannot miss, if we will but apply our Minds to that, as we do to several other Enquiries.

It being then unavoidable for all ratio­nal Creatures to conclude, that something has Existed from Eternity; let us next see What kind of Thing that must be: there are but two sorts of Beings in the World, that Man knows or conceives; First, Such as are purely material, without Sense or Perception, as the clippings of our Beards, and parings of our Nails. Secondly, Sen­sible perceiving Beings; such as we find our selves to be. These two sorts we shall hereofter call Cogitative and Incogi­tative Beings; which to our present pur­pose are better than Material and Immaterial.

[Page 247] If then there must be something Eter­nal, it is very obvious to Reason, that it must necessarily be a Cogitative Being, Because it is as impossible to conceive that ever bare Incogitative Matter should produce a Thinking intelligent Being, as that nothing should of it self produce Matter. Let us suppose any parcel of Matter Eternal, we shall find it in it self unable to produce any thing. Let us suppose its parts firmly at rest together: if there were no other Being in the World, must it not Eternally remain so, a dead unactive Lump? Is it possible to conceive it can add Motion to it self, or produce any thing? Matter then by its own Strength cannot produce in it self, so much as Motion. The Motion it has, must also be from Eternity, or else added to Matter by some other Being, more pow­erful than Matter. But let us suppose Motion Eternal too, yet Matter, Incogi­tative Matter and motion could never produce Thought: Knowledge will still be as far beyond the power of Motion and Matter to produce, as Matter is beyond the pow­er of Nothing to produce. Divide Mat­ter into as minute parts as you will, va­ry the Figure and Motion of it, as much [Page 248] as you please, it will operate no otherwise upon other Bodies of proportionable bulk, than it did before this division. The minutest Particles of Matter, knock, impell, and resist one another, just as the greater do, and that is all they can do, so that if we will suppose nothing Eternal, Matter can never begin to be. If we suppose bare Matter without Motion Eternal, Motion can never begin to be. If we suppose only Matter and Motion Eternal, Thought can never begin to be: For it is impossible to conceive, that Mat­ter either with, or without Motion, could have originally in and from it self, Sense, Perception, and Knowledge, as is evi­dent from hence, that the Sense, Per­ception and Knowledge, must be a Pro­perty Eternally inseparable from Matter, and every Particle of it. Since therefore whatsoever is the first Eternal Being, must necessarily be Cogitative: and whatsoever is first of all Things, must necessarily contain in it, and actually have, at least, all the Perfections that can ever after Ex­ist, it necessarily follows, that the First Eternal Be [...]ng cannot be Matter.

[Page 249] If therefore it be evident that some­thing necessarily must exist from Eterni­ty, it is also as evident that, that Some­thing must necessarily be a Cogitative Being. For it is as impossible that Incogitative Matter should produce a Cogitative Being, as that Nothing, or the Negation of all Being should produce a positive Being or Matter.

This discovery of the necessary Exist­ence of an Eternal Mind, does sufficient­ly lead us into the knowledge of God. For it will hence follow, that all other knowing Beings, that have a Beginning, must depend on him, and have no other ways of Knowledge or extent of Power, than what he gives them: and therefore if he made those, he made also the less excellent Pieces of this Universe, all in­animate Bodies, whereby his Omniscience, Power and Providence will be established; and from thence all his other Attributes necessarily follow.

CHAP. XI. Of our Knowledge of the Existence of other Things.

THE knowledge of our own Being we have by Intuition: the Exist­ence of a God, Reason clearly makes known to us, as has been shewn: The knowledge of the Existence of any other Thing, we can have only by Sensation; for there being no necessary Connexion of Real Existence with any Idea, a Man hath in his Memo­ry; nor of any other Existence, but that of God, with the Existence of any parti­cular Man; no particular Man can know the Existence of any other Being, but only, when by actual operating upon him, it makes it self be perceived by him. The having the Idea of any thing in our Mind, no more proves the Ex­istence of that thing, than the Picture of a Man evidences his Being in the World, or the Visions of a Dream, make there­by a true History. It is therefore the actual receiving of Ideas from without, [Page 251] that gives us notice of the Existence of other Things, and makes us know that something doth Exist at that time with­out us, which causes that Idea in us, thô perhaps we neither know nor con­sider how it does it; for it takes not from the Certainty of our Senses, and the Ideas we receive by them, that we know not the manner wherein they are produ­ced. This notice we have by our Senses of the existing of Things without us, thô it be not altogether so Certain as In­tuition and Demonstration, deserves the name of Knowledge, if we perswade ourselves that our Faculties act and inform us right, concerning the existence of those Objects, that affect them. But besides the assurance we have from our Senses themselves, that they do not err in the Information they give us of the exist­ence of Things without us, we have other concurrent Reasons: As First, It is plain those Perceptions are are produ­ced in us by Exterior Causes affecting our Senses, because those that want the Organs of any Sense; never can have the Ideas belonging to that Sense produced in their Minds. This is too evident to be doubted, and therefore we cannot [Page 252] but be assured, that they come in by the Organs of that Sense, and no other way.

Secondly, Because we find sometimes that we cannot avoid the having those Ideas produced in our Minds, as when my Eyes are shut, I can at pleasure recall to my Mind the Ideas of Light or the Sun, which for­mer Sensations had lodged in my Memo­ry; but if I turn my Eyes towards the Sun, I cannot avoid the Ideas which the Light or the Sun, then produces in me: which shews a manifest difference between those Ideas laid up in the Memory, and such as force themselves upon us, and we cannot avoid having. And there­fore it must needs be some Exterior Cause, whose Efficacy I cannot resist, that produces those Ideas in my Mind, whether I will or no. Besides, no Man but perceives the difference in himself, between actually looking upon the Sun, and contemplating the Idea he has of it in his Memory; and therefore he hath certain Knowledge, that they are not both Memory or Fancy; but that actual Seeing has a Cause without.

[Page 253] Thirdly, Add to this, that many Ideas are produced in us without pain, which we afterwards remember without the least offence. Thus the pain of Heat or Cold, when the Idea of it is received in our Minds, gives us no disturbance: which when felt was very troublesome; and we remember the pain of Hunger, Thirst, Head-ach, &c. without any pain at all; which would either never disturb us, or else constantly do it, as often as we thought of it, were there nothing more but Ideas floating in our Minds, and ap­pearances entertaining our Fancies, with­out the real Existence of Things affect­ing us from abroad.

Fourthly, Our Senses in many cases, bear witness to the Truth of each others Report, concerning the Existence of sen­sible Things without us: He that doubts when he sees a Fire, whether it be Real, may, if he please, feel it too; and by the exquisite pain he will be convinced, that it is not a bare Idea or Phantom.

If after all this, any one will be so Scep­tical, as to distrust his Senses, and to que­stion the Existence of all Things, or our Knowledge of any Thing; Let him con­sider that the certainty of Things exist­ing [Page 254] in Rerum naturâ, when we have the Testimony of our Senses for it, is not on­ly as great as our Frame can attain to, but as our condition needs. For our Fa­culties being not suited to the full extent of Being, nor a clear comprehensive knowledge of all Things, but to the pre­servation of us, in whom they are, and ac­commodated to the use of Life; they serve our purpose well enough, if they will but give give us certain notice of those Things, that are convenient or inconve­nient to us. For he that sees a Candle burning, and has experimented the force of the Flame, by putting his Finger in it, will little doubt, that this is something Existing without him, which does him harm, and puts him to pain, which is assurance enough; when no Man requires greater Certainty to govern his Actions by, than what is as certain as his Acti­ons themselves: So that this Evidence is as great as we can desire, being as Cer­tain to us as our Pleasure or Pain, that is Happiness or Misery, beyond which we have no concernment, either of Know­ing, or Being.

[Page 255] In fine, when our Senses do actually convey into our Understandings any Idea, we are assured that there is something at that time really Existing without us. But this Knowledge extends only as far as the present Testimony of our Senses, em­ployed about particular Objects, that do then affect them, and no farther My seeing a Man a Minute since, is no cer­tain Argument of his present Existence.

As when our Senses are actually em­ployed about any Object, we know that it does Exist: so by our Memory we may be assured, that heretofore Things that af­fected our Senses, have Existed: and thus we have the knowledge of the past Ex­istence of several Things; whereof our Senses having informed us, our Memo­ries still retain the Ideas: and of this we are past all doubt, so long as we Re­member well.

As to the Existence of Spirits, our ha­ving Ideas of them, does not make us know, that any such Things do Exist with­out us; or that there are any Finite Spirits; or any other Spiritual Beings but the Eter­nal God. We have ground from Revela­tion, and several other Reasons, to be­lieve with assurance, that there are such [Page 256] Creatures: but our Senses not being able to discover them, we want the means of knowing their particular Existence, for we can no more know that there are Finite Spirits really Existing, by the Idea we have of such Beings, than by the Ideas any one has of Fairies or Centaurs, he can come to know that Things answering those Ideas, do really Exist.

Hence we may gather, that there are Two sorts of Propositions, One concerning the Existence of any Thing answerable to such an Idea; as that of an Elephant, Phenix, Motion, or Angel, viz. Whether such a Thing does any where Exist: and this Knowledge is only of Particulars, and not to be had of any Thing without us, but only of God, any other way than by our Senses.

Another sort of Propositions is, where­in is expressed the Agreement or Disagree­ment of our Abstract Ideas, and their Dependence of another. And these may be Universal and Certain: So having the Idea of God, and my Self, of Fear and Obedience, I cannot but be sure that God is to be feared and obeyed by me; and this Proposition will be certain concerning Man in general; If I have made an Ab­stract [Page 257] Idea of such a Species, whereof I am one Particular. But such a Proposi­tion, how Certain soever, proves not to me the Existence of Men in the World; but will be true of all such Creatures, whenever they do Exist: which Cer­tainty of such general Propositions, de­pends on the Agreement or Disagree­ment discoverable in those Abstract Ideas. In the former Case, our Knowledge is the consequence of the Existence of Things, producing Ideas in our Minds by our Senses: In the later, the consequence of the Ideas that are in our Minds, and pro­ducing these general Propositions, many whereof are called, Eternae veritatis; and all of them indeed are so, not from be­ing written all, or any of them in the Minds of all Men, or that they were any of them Propositions in any ones Mind, till he having got the Abstract Ideas, joyned or separated them by Af­firmation or Negation: But wheresoever we can suppose such a Creature as Man is, endowed with such Faculties, and thereby furnished with such Ideas, as we have; we must conclude, he must needs, when he applies his Thoughts to the Consideration of his Ideas, know the [Page 258] truth of certain Propositions, that will arise from the Agreement or Disagree­ment he will perceive in his own Ideas. Such Propositions being once made about Abstract Ideas, so as to be true, they will whenever they can be supposed to be made again, at any time past, or to come by a Mind having those Ideas, alway actually be true. For Names being sup­posed to stand perpetually for the same Ideas; and the same Ideas having im­mutably the same Habitudes one to an­other; Propositions concerning any Ab­stract Ideas, that are once true, must needs be Eeternal Verities.

CHAP. XII. Of the Improvement of our Knowledge.

IT being the received Opinion amongst Men of Letters, that Maxims are the Foundations of all Knowledge, and that Sciences are each of them built upon certain Proecognita, from whence the Un­derstanding [Page 259] was to take its rise, and by which it was to Conduct it self in its In­quiries in the Matters belonging to that Science, the beaten Road of the Schools has been to lay down in the beginning one or more general Propositions, cal­led Principles, as Foundations whereon to build the Knowledge, was to be had of that Subject.

That which gave occasion to this way of proceeding, was, I suppose, the good Success it seem'd to have in Mathematicks, which of all other Sciences, have the greatest Certainty, Clearness, and Evi­dence in them. But if we consider it, we shall find that, the great Advancement and Certainty of Real Knowledge Men arri­ved to in these Sciences, was not owing to the influence of these Principles, but to the clear distinct and compleat Ideas their Thoughts were employed about; and the relation of Equality and Excess, so clear between some of them, that they had a Intuitive Knowledge; and by that, a way to discover it in others: and this without the help of those Maxims: For I ask, Is it not possible for a Lad to know that his whole Body is bigger than his little Finger, but by virtue of this Axi­om, [Page 260] The Whole is bigger than the Part; nor be assured of it, till he has learned that Maxim? Let any one consider from what has been elsewhere said, which is known first and clearest by most People, the par­ticular Instance, or the general Rule; and which it is that gives Life and Birth to the other. These general Rules are but the comparing our more general and Abstract Ideas, which Ideas are made by the Mind, and have Names given them, for the ea­sier dispatch in its reasonings: But Know­ledge began in the Mind, and was found­ed on Particulars, thô afterwards perhaps no notice be taken thereof: It being na­tural for the Mind, to lay up those gene­ral Notions, and make the proper use of them, which is to disburthen the Memo­ry of the cumbersome load of Particu­lars.

The way to improve in Knowledge, is not to swallow Principles, with an im­plicite Faith, and without examination, which would be apt to mislead Men, in­stead of guiding them into Truth; but to get and fix in our Minds, clear and complete Ideas, as far as they are to be had, and annex to them proper, and con­stant Names: and thus barely by consi­dering [Page 261] our Ideas, and comparing them together, observing their Agreement or Disagreement, their Habitudes and Re­lations, we shall get more true and clear Knowledge by the conduct of this one Rule, than by taking up Principles, and thereby putting our Minds into the Dis­posal of others.

We must therefore, if we will proceed as Reason advises, adapt our methods of Enquiry, to the nature of the Ideas we examine, and the truth we search after. General and Certain Truths, are only foun­ded in the Habitudes and Relations of Abstract Ideas. Therefore a Sagacious Methodical Application of our Thoughts for the finding out these Relations, is the only way to discover all that can with Truth and Certainty be put into general Propositions. By what steps we are to proceed in these, is to be Learned in the Schools of the Mathematicians, who from every plain and easie beginnings, by gentle Degrees, and a continued chain of Reasonings, proceed to the Discovery and Demonstration of Truths, that appear at first sight beyond Humane Capacity. This, I think I may say, that if other Ideas, that are Real as well as [Page 262] Nominal Essences of their Species, were pursued in the way familiar to Mathe­maticians, they would carry our Thoughts farther, and with greater Evidence and Clearness, than possibly we are apt to imagine. This gave me the confidence to advance that conjecture, which I sug­gest, Chapter the Third, viz. that Mora­lity is capable of Demonstration, as well as Mathematicks: for Moral Ideas being real Essences, that have a discoverable Con­nexion and Agreement one with another, so far as we can find their Habitudes and Relations, so far we shall be possessed of Real and General Truths.

In our knowledge of Substances, we are to proceed after a quite different Me­thod: the bare Contemplation of their Abstract Ideas (which are but Nominal Essences, will carry us but a very little way, in the search of Truth and Cer­tainty. Here Experience must teach us what Reason cannot: and it is by trying alone, that we can certainly know, what other Qualities co-exist with those of our Complex Idea; (for Instance) Whether that Yellow heavy fusible Body, I call Gold, be Malleable, or no, which Experience (however it prove in that particular Bo­dy [Page 263] we examine) makes us not certain that it is so in all, or any other Yellow, Heavy, Fusible Bodies, but that which we have tried; because it is no consequence one way or the other from our Complex Idea: The necessity or inconsistence of Malleability, hath no visible Connexion with the combination of that Colour, Weight, and Fusibility in any Body. What I have here said of the Nominal Essence of Gold, supposed to consist of a Body of such a determinate Colour, Weight, and Fusibility, will hold true, if other Qualities be ad­ded to it. Our Reasonings from those Ideas, will carry us but a little way in the certain discovery of the other Properties, in those masses of Matter wherein all those are to be found. As far as our Ex­perience reaches, we may have certain Knowledge, and no farther.

I deny not, but a Man accustomed to rational and regular Experiments, shall be able to see farther into the nature of Bodies, and their unknown Properties, than one that is a stranger to them. But this is but Judgment, and Opinion, not Knowledge and Certainty. This makes me suspect that Natural Philosophy is not ca­pable of being made a Science: From [Page 264] Experiments and Historical Observations we may draw advantages of Ease and Health, and thereby increase our stock of Conveniences for this Life; but be­yond this, I fear our Talents reach not; nor are our Faculties, as I guess, able to advance.

From whence it is obvious to con­clude, That since our Faculties are not fitted to penetrate the Real Essences of Bo­dies, but yet plainly to discover to us the Being of a God, and the Knowledge of our Selves; enough to give us a clear discovery of our Duty, and great Con­cernment; it will become us as Rational Creatures, to employ our Faculties, about what they are most adapted to, and fol­low the direction of Nature, where it seems to point us out the way. For it is rational to conclude, that our proper Em­ployment lies in those Enquiries, and that sort of Knowledge which is most sui­ted to our natural Capacities, and car­ries in it our greatest Interest, that is, the condition of our Eternal State: And therefore it is, I think, that Morality is the proper Science and Business of Man­kind in general (who are both concerned and fitted to search out their Summum [Page 265] Bonum) as several Arts conversant about the several parts of Nature, are the Lot and private Talent of particular Men, for the common use of Humane Life, and their own particular Subsistance in this World.

The ways to enlarge our Knowledge, as far as we are capable, seem to me to be these Two: The First is to get and set­tle in our Minds, as far as we can, clear, distinct, and constant Ideas of those Things we would consider and know. For it being evident that our Knowledge cannot exceed our Ideas; where they are either imperfect, confused or obscure, we cannot expect to have certain, perfect, or clear Knowledge. The other is the Art of finding out the intermediate Ideas, which may shew us the Agreement or Repugnancy of other Ideas, which can­not be immediately compared.

That these Two (and not the relying on Maxims, and drawing Consequences from some general Propositions) are the right method of improving our Know­ledge, in the Ideas of other Modes, besides those of Quantity, the consideration of Mathematical Knowledge will easily in­form us. Where First, We shall find [Page 266] that he that has not clear and perfect Ideas of those Angles or Figures, of which he desires to know any thing, is utterly thereby incapable of any knowledge a­bout them. Suppose a Man not to have an exact Idea of a Right Angle, Scalenum, or Trapezium, and it is clear, that he will in vain seek any Demonstration about them. And farther it is evident, that it was not the influence of Maxims or Prin­ciples, that hath led the Masters of this Science into those wonderful Discoveries they have made. Let a Man of good Parts know all the Maxims of Mathema­ticks never so well, and contemplate their Extent and Consequences as much as he pleases, he will by their assistance, I sup­pose, scarce ever come to know, that the Square of the Hypotenuse, in a Right An­gl'd Triangle, is equal to the Squares of the Two other sides. This, and other Mathe­matical Truths have been discovered by the Thoughts, otherwise applied. The Mind had other Objects, other views be­fore it, far different from those Maxims which Men well enough acquainted with those received Axioms, but ignorant of their method, who first made these Demon­strations, can never sufficiently admire.

CHAP. XIII. Some farther Considerations con­cerning Knowledge.

OUR Knowledge, as in other things, so in this, has a great conformity with our Sight, that it is neither wholly Necessary, nor wholly Voluntary. Men that have Senses cannot chuse but receive some Ideas by them; and if they have Memory, they cannot but retain some of them; and if they have any distinguish­ing Faculty, cannot but perceive the Agreement or Disagreement of some of them, one with another. As he that has Eyes, if he will open them by day, cannot but see some Objects, and per­ceive a difference in them, yet he may chuse whether he will turn his Eyes to­wards an Object, curiously survey it, and observe accurately all that is visible in it. But what he does see, he cannot see otherwise than he does: it depends not on his Will, to see that Black which ap­pears Yellow: Just thus it is with our Un­derstanding; [Page 268] All that is voluntary in our Knowledge, is the employing or with-holding any of our Faculties from this or that sort of Objects; and a more or less accurate Survey of them: But they being employed, our Will hath no power to determine the Knowledge of the Mind, one way or other. That is done only by the Objects themselves, as far as they are clearly discovered.

Thus he that has got the Ideas of Numbers, and hath taken the pains to compare One, Two and Three, to Six, can­not chuse but know that they are equal. He also that hath the Idea of an Intelli­gent, but weak and frail Being, made by and depending on another, who is Eter­nal, Omnipotent, perfectly Wise and Good, will as certainly know that Man is to Honour, Fear, and Obey God, as that the Sun shines when he sees it. But yet these Truths, being never so certain, ne­ver so clear, he may be ignorant of either or both of them, who will not take the pains to employ his Faculties as he should, to inform himself about them.

CHAP. XIV. Of Judgment.

THE Understanding Faculties being given to Man, not barely for Spe­culation, but also for the conduct of his Life; A Man would be at a great loss if he had nothing to direct him, but what has the certainty of true Knowledge: he that will not Eat till he has demonstrati­on that it will nourish him; nor Stir till he is infallibly assured of Success in his Business, will have little else to do, but Sit still and perish.

Therefore as God has set some things in broad Day-light, as he has given us some certain Knowledge, thô limited to a few Things, in comparison, probably as a Taste of what Intellectual Creatures are capable of, to excite in us a Desire and Endeavour after a better State: so in the greatest part of our concernment, he has afforded us only the Twilight, as I may so say, of Probability, suitable to that state of Mediocrity and Probationership, he has been pleased to place us in here.

[Page 270] The Faculty which God has given Man to enlighten him, next to certain Know­ledge is Judgment, whereby the Mind takes its Ideas to Agree or Disagree, with­out perceiving a demonstrative Evidence in the Proofs. The Mind exercises this Judgment, sometimes out of necessity, where demonstrative Proofs, and certain Knowledge are not to be had▪ and some­times out of Laziness, Unskilfulness, or Haste, even where they are to be had.

This Faculty of the Mind when it is exercised immediately about Things, is called Judgment; when about Truths de­livered in Words, is most commonly cal­led Assent, or Dissent. Thus the Mind has Two Faculties conversant about Truth and Falshood: First, Knowledge, where­by it certainly perceives, and is un­doubtedly satisfied of the Agreement or Disagreement of any Ideas. Secondly, Judgment, which is the putting Ideas together, or separating them from one another in the Mind, when their certain Agreement or Disagreement is not per­ceived, but presumed to be so. And if it so unites or separates them, as in Reality Things are, it is right Judgment.

CHAP. XV. Of Probability.

PRobability is nothing but the appear­ance of the Agreement or Disagree­ment of two Ideas, by the intervention of Proofs, whose connexion is not constant, and immutable; or is not perceived to be so; but is, or appears for the most part to be so, and is enough to induce the Mind to judge the Proposition to be true or false, rather than the contrary.

Of Probability there are Degrees from the neighborhood of Certainty and Demon­stration, quite down to Improbability and Unlikeliness, even to the confines of Im­possibility: And also degrees of Assent from certain Knowledge and what is next it, full Assurance and Confidence, quite down to conjecture Doubt, Distrust, and Disbelief.

That Proposition then is Probable, for which there are Arguments or Proofs to make it pass, or be received for True. The [Page 272] Entertainment the Mind gives to this sort of Propositions, is called Belief, Assent or Opinion. Probability then being to supply the defect of our Knowledge, is always conversant about a Thing, whereof we have no Certainty, but only some Inducements to receive it for true. The Grounds of it are in short these Two following.

First, The Conformity of any thing with our own Knowledge, Experience or Ob­servation.

Secondly, The Testimony of others, vouch­ing their Observation and Experience. In the Testimony of others, is to be consi­dered; First, The Number; Secondly, The Integrity; Thirdly, The Skill of the Wit­nesses; Fourthly, The Design of the Au­thor, if it be a Testimony cited out of a Book; Fifthly, The consistency of the Parts and Circumstances of the Relation; Sixthly, Contrary Testimonies.

The Mind before it rationally Assents or Dissents to any probable Proposition, ought to examine all the Grounds of Probality, and see how they make, more or less, for or against it; and upon a due balancing of the whole, reject or re­ceive [Page 273] it, with a more or less firm Assent, according to the Preponderancy of the greater Grounds of Probability, on one side or the other.

CHAP. XVI. Of the Degrees of Assent.

THE Grounds of Probability laid down in the foregoing Chapter, as they are the foundations on which our Assent is built; so are they also the measure where­by its several Degrees are, (or ought) to be regulated. Only we are to take notice that no grounds of Probability operate any farther on the Mind, which searches after Truth, and endeavours to judge right, than they appear; at least in the first Judgment, or Search that the Mind makes. It is indeed in many ca­ses impossible, and in most very hard, even for those who have admirable Me­mories, to retain all the proofs, which upon a due Examination, made them embrace that side of the Question. It suffices that they have once with Care [Page 274] and Fairness, sifted the matter as far as they could, and having once found on which side the Probability appeared to them, they lay up the Conclusion in their Memories, as a Truth they have disco­vered; and for the future remain satisfi­ed with the testimony of their Memo­ries, that this is the Opinion, that by the proofs they have once seen of it, de­serves such a Degree of their Assent as they assord it.

It is unavoidable then that the Memory be relied on in this case, and that Men be perswaded of several Opi­nions, whereof the proofs are not actu­ally in their Thoughts, nay, which perhaps they are not able actually to re­call; without this the greatest part of Men, must be either Scepticks, or change every Moment, when any one offers them Arguments, which for want of Me­mory, they are not presently able to An­swer.

It must be owned that Men's sticking to past Judgments, is often the cause of a great Obstinacy in error and mistake. But the fault is not, that they relye on their Memories, for what they have be­fore well judged; but because they [Page 275] judged, before they had well examined. Who almost is there that hath the Lei­sure, Patience, and Means to collect to­gether, all the proofs concerning most of the Opinions he has, so as safely to con­clude that he has a clear and full view, and that there is no more to be alledged for his better information? and yet we are forced, to determine our selves on one fide or other: The conduct of our Lives, and the management of our great Concerns, will not bear delay. For those depend for the most part, on the determination of our Judgment in points wherein we are not capable of certain Knowledge, and wherein it is necessary for us to em­brace one side or the other.

The Propositions we receive upon In­ducements of Probability, are of Two sorts: First, Concerning some particular Exist­ence, or matter of Fact, which falling under Observation, is capable of Humane Testimony. Secondly, Concerning Things which being beyond the discovery of our Senses, are not capable of Humane Testimony.

Concerning the First of these, viz. Particular matter of Fa [...]t.

[Page 276] First, Where any particular Thing, consonant to the constant Observation of our selves, and others in the like case, comes attested with the concurrent Re­ports of all that mention it, we receive it as easily, and build as firmly upon it, as if it were certain Knowledge. Thus, if all Englishmen who have occasion to men­tion it, should report, that it Froze in England last Winter, or the like, I think a Man would as little doubt of it, as that Seven and four are eleven.

The First and highest Degree of Proba­bility then is, when the general consent of all Men, in all Ages, as far as can be known, concurs with a Man's own con­stant Experience in the like cases, to con­firm the Truth of any particular matter of Fact, attested by fair Witnesses: Such are the stated Constitutions and Properties of Bodies, and the regular proceedings of Causes and Effects in the ordinary course of Nature; this we call an Argument from the nature of Things themselves. For what we and others always observe to be after the same manner, we conclude with Reason, to be the Effects of steddy and regular Causes, thô they come not within the reach of our Knowledge. As [Page 277] that Fire warmed a Man, or made Lead fluid; that Iron sunk in Water, swam in Quick-silver. A Relation affirming any such thing to have been, or a Predicati­on that it will happen again in the same manner, is received without doubt or hesitation: and our Belief thus ground­ed, rises to Assurance.

Secondly, The next degree of Probabi­lity, is when by my own Experience, and the Agreement of all others that mention it: a Thing is found to be for the most part so, and that the particular Instance of it is attested by many and undoubted Witnesses: Thus History giving us such an account of Men in all Ages, and my own Experience confirming it, that most Men prefer their own private Advantage, to the Publick: If all Historians that write of Tiberius, say that he did so, it is ex­treamly probable: And in this case, our Assent rises to a Degree which we may call Confidence.

Thirdly, In matters happening indiffe­rently, as that a Bird should fly this or that way: when any particular matter of Fact comes attested by the concurrent Testimony of unsuspected Witnesses, there our Assent is also unavoidable. Thus, [Page 278] that there is in Italy such a City as Rome; that about One thousand and se­ven hundred Years ago, there lived such a Man in it as Julius Caesar, &c. A Man can as little doubt of this, and the like, as he does of the Being and Actions of his own Acquaintance, whereof he him­self is a witness.

Probability, on these grounds, carries so much Evidence with it, that it leaves us as little liberty to Believe or Disbe­lieve, as Demonstration does, whether we will know or be ignorant. But the difficulty is, when Testimonies contra­dict common Experience, and the Re­ports of Witnesses clash with the ordi­nary course of Nature, or with one an­other. Here Diligence, Attention, and Exactness is required to form a Right Judg­ment, and to proportion the Assent to the Evidence and Probability of the Thing, which rises and falls, according as the two Foundations of Credibility, Favour, or contradict it. These are liable to such variety of contrary Observations, Cir­cumstances, Reports, Tempers, Designs, Over sights, &c. of Reporters, that it is impossible to reduce to precise Rules, the various Degrees wherein Men give their [Page 279] Assent. This in general may be said, That as the Proofs upon due Examination, shall to any one appear, in a greater or less Degree, to Preponderate on either side, so they are fitted to produce in the Mind, such different Entertainments, as are called Belief, Conjecture, Guess, Doubt, Wavering, Distrust, Disbelief, &c.

It is a Rule generally approved, that any Testimony the farther off it is remo­ved from the Original Truth, the less Force it has: and in Traditional Truths, each Remove weakens the force of the Proof. There is a Rule quite contrary to this, advanced by some Men, who look Opinions to gain Force by growing Older: Upon this ground, Propositions evidently false or doubtful in their first beginning, come by an inverted Rule of Probability, to pass for Authentick Truths; and those which deserved little Credit from the Mouths of their first Relators, are thought to grow venerable by Age, and are urged as undeniable.

But certain it is, that no Probability can rise above its First Original. What has no other Evidence than the single Testi­mony of one Witness, must stand or fall by his only Testimony, thô afterwards [Page 280] cited by Hundreds of others; and is so far from receiving any Strength thereby that it becomes the weaker. Because Passion, Interest, Inadvertency, Mistake of his Meaning, and a thousand odd Reasons, or Caprichois Mens Minds are acted by, may make one Man quote an­other's Words or Meaning wrong. This is certain, that what in one Age was affirm­ed upon slight grounds, can never after come to be more valid in future Ages, by being often repeated.

The Second sort of Probability, is concern­ing Things not falling under the reach of our Senses, and therefore not capable of Testimony: And such are,

First, The Existence, Nature and Ope­rations of Finite, Immaterial Beings without us, as Spirits, Angels, &c. or the Exist­ence of material Beings, such as for their smallness or remoteness, our Senses can­not take notice of: As whether there be any Plants, Animals, &c. in the Planets, and other Mansions of the vast Uni­verse.

Secondly, Concerning the manner of Operation in most parts of the works of Nature, wherein, thô we see the sensible Effects; yet their Causes are unknown, [Page 281] and we perceive not the ways, and man­ner how they are produced. We see Ani­mals are generated, nourished and move; the Loadstone draws Iron, &c. but the Causes that operate, and the manner they are produced in, we can only guess, and probably conjecture. In these matters Ana­logy is the only help we have; and it is from that alone we draw all our grounds of Probability. Thus observing, that the bare rubbing of two Bodies violently up­on one another, produces Heat, and ve­ry often Fire; we have reason to think that what we call Heat and Fire, consists, in a certain violent agitation of the im­perceptible minute Parts of the burning Matter. This sort of Probability, which is the best conduct of rational Experi­ments, and the rise of Hypotheses has also its use and influence. And a wary rea­soning from Analogy leads us often into the discovery of Truths, and useful De­ductions, which would otherwise lie con­cealed.

Thô the common Experience, and the ordinary course of Things, have a migh­ty influence on the Minds of Men, to make them give or refuse Credit, to any thing proposed to their Belief; yet there [Page 282] is one case wherein the strangeness of the Fact lessens not the Assent to a fair Testi­mony given of it. For where such su­pernatural Events are suitable to Ends aimed at by him, who has the power to change the course of Nature; there under such Circumstances they may be the fitter to procure Belief, by how much the more they are beyond, or contrary to ordinary Observation. This is the pro­per case of Miracles, which well attested, do not only find Credit themselves, but give it also to other Truths.

There are Propositions that challenge the highest degree of our Assent upon bare Testimony, whether the Thing propo­sed Agree or Disagree with common Ex­perience, and the ordinary course of Things or no: The reason whereof is, because the Testimony is of such an one, as cannot deceive nor be deceived; and that is God himself. This carries with it Certainty beyond Doubt, Evidence be­yond Exception. This is called by a pe­culiar Name, Revelation, and our Assent to it, Faith; which has as much Certain­ty in it, as our Knowledge it self; and we may as well doubt of our own Being, as we can, whether any Revelation from [Page 283] God be True. So that Faith is a settled and sure Principle of Assent and Assurance, and leaves no manner of room for Doubt or Hesitation; only we must be sure, that it be a Divine Revelation, and that we un­derstand it right; else we shall expose our selves to all the extravagancy of Enthusiasm, and all the error of wrong Principles, if we have Faith and Assu­rance, in what is not Divine Revelation.

CHAP. XVII. Of Reason.

THE word Reason in English, has different Significations. Sometimes it is taken for True and Clear Principles: Sometimes for Clear and Fair Deducti­ons from those Principles: Sometimes for the Cause, and particularly for the Final Cause; but the Consideration I shall have of it here, is, as it stands for a Faculty, whereby Man is supposed to be distin­guished from Beasts; and wherein it is evident, he much surpasses them.

[Page 284] Reason is necessary, both for the en­largement of our Knowledge, and regu­lating our Assent: for it hath to do both in Knowledge and Opinion, and is ne­cessary and assisting to all our other In­tellectual Faculties; and indeed, con­tains Two of them, viz. First, Sagacity. whereby it finds intermediate Ideas. Secondly, Illation, whereby it so orders and disposes of them, as to discover what connexion there is in each link of the Chain, whereby the Extremes are held together, and thereby, as it were, to draw into view the Truth sought for; which is that we call Illation or Inference: and consists in nothing, but the Percep­tion of the Connexion there is between the Ideas, in each step of the Deduction, whereby the Mind comes to see, either the Certain Agreement or Disagreement of any two Ideas, as in Demonstration, in which it arrives at Knowledge: or their probable Connexion, on which it gives or with-holds its Assent, as in Opinion.

Sense and Intuition reach but a little way: the greatest part of our Knowledge depends upon Deductions, and interme­diate Ideas. In those Cases where we must take Propositions for true, without [Page 285] being certain of their being so, we have need to find out, examine, and compare the grounds of their Probability: In both Cases, the Faculty which finds out the Means, and rightly applies them to dis­cover Certainty in the one, and Probabi­lity in the other, is that which we call Reason. So that in reason we may con­sider these Four Degrees; First, The dis­covering and finding out of Proofs. Secondly, The regular and methodical Disposition of them, and laying them in such order, as their Connexion may be plainly perceived. Thirdly, The percei­ving their Connexion. Fourthly, The making a right Conclusion.

There is one thing more which I shall desire to be considered concerning Reason, and that is, whether Syllogism, as is ge­nerally thought, be the proper instrument of it; ant the usefullest way of exerci­sing this Faculty. The Causes I have to doubt of it, are these.

First, Because Syllogism serves our Reason, but in one only of the fore-men­tioned parts of it, and that is to shew the Connexion of the proofs of any one In­stance, and no more: but in this it is of no great use, since the Mind can per­ceive [Page 286] such Connexion, where it really is; as easily, nay, perhaps better without it. We may observe that there are many Men that reason exceeding clear and rightly, who know not how to make a Syllogism: and I believe scarce any one makes Syllogisms in reasoning within him­self. Indeed, sometimes they may serve to discover a Fallacy, hid in a Rhetorical Flourish; or by stripping an absurdity of the cover of Wit and good Language, shew it in its naked deformity. But the Mind is not taught to reason by these Rules; It has a native Faculty to per­ceive the Coherence or Incoherence of its Ideas, and can range them right, with­out any such perplexing Repetitions: and I think every one will perceive in Mathe­matical Demonstrations, that the Know­ledge gained thereby comes shortest and clearest without Syllogism.

Secondly, Because thò Syllogism serves to shew the force or fallacy of an Argu­ment made use of in the usual way of Dis­coursing, by supplying the absent Pro­position, and so setting it before the view in a clear Light; yet it no less en­gages the Mind in the perplexity of ob­scure and equivocal Terms, wherewith [Page 287] this artificial way of reasoning, always abounds: it being adapted more to the attaining of victory in Dispute, than the discovery or confirmation of Truth in fair Enquiries. But however it be in Knowledge, I think it is of far less, or no use at all in Probabilities: For the Assent there being to be determined by the Pre­ponderancy, after a due weighing of all the proofs on both sides; nothing is so unfit to assist the Mind in that, as Syllo­gism; which running away with one as­sumed Probability, pursues that till it has led the Mind quite out of sight of the Thing under Consideration.

But let it help us (as perhaps may be said) in convincing Men of their Errors or Mistakes; yet still it fails our Reason in that part, which if not its highest perfection, is yet certainly its hardest Task; and that which we must need its help in, and that is, The finding out of Proofs, and making new Discoveries. This way of Reasoning, discovers no new proofs, but is the Art of Marshalling and Ranging the old ones we have alrea­dy. A Man knows first, and then he is able to prove Syllogistically; so that Syl­logism comes after Knowledge; and then [Page 288] a Man has little or no need of it. But it is chiefly by the finding out those Ideas that shew the Connexion of distant ones, that our stock of Knowledge is increa­sed; and that useful Arts and Sciences are advanced.

Reason, Thô of a very large Extent fails us in several Instances: as First, Where our Ideas fail. Secondly, It is often at a loss, because of the Obscurity, Confusion, or Imperfection of the Ideas, it is employ­ed about. Thus having no perfect Idea of the least Extension of Matter, nor of Infinity, we are at a loss about the Di­visibility of Matter. Thirdly, Our Rea­son is often at a stand, because it perceives not those Ideas which would serve to shew the certain or probable Agreement or Disagreement of any two other Ideas. Fourthly, Our Reason, is often engaged in Absurdities and Difficulties, by proceed­ing upon false Principles, which being followed, lead Men into Contradictions to themselves, and inconsistancy in their own Thoughts. Fifthly, Dubious Words, and uncertain Signs often puzzle Mens Reason, and bring them to a Non-plus.

[Page 289] In Reasoning, Men ordinarily use Four sorts of Arguments.

The First, is to alledge the Opinions of Men, whose Parts, Learning, Eminen­cy, Power, or some other Cause, has gained a Name, and settled their Reputa­tion in the common Esteem with some kind of Authority. This may be called Argumentum ad Verecundiam.

Secondly, Another way is, to require the Adversary to admit what they al­ledge as a proof; or to assign a better. This I call Argumentum ad Ignorantiam.

A Third way, is to press a Man with Consequences drawn from his own Prin­ciples or Concessions. This is already known under the name of Argumentum ad hominem.

Fourthly, The using of Proofs drawn from any of the foundations of Know­ledge or Probability. This I call Argu­mentum ad Judicium. This alone of all the Four, brings true Instruction with it, and advances us in our way to Know­ledge. For First, It argues not another Man's Opinion to be right, because I, out of respect, or any other consideration, but that of Conviction, will not contra­dict [Page 290] him. Secondly, It proves not ano­ther Man to be in the right way, nor that I ought to take the same with him, because I know not a better. Thirdly, Nor does it follow, that another Man is in the right way, because he has shewn me that I am in the wrong. This may dis­pose me perhaps, for the reception of Truth, but helps me not to it: that must come from Proofs and Arguments, and Light arising from the nature of Things themselves; not from my shame faced­ness, Ignorance or Error.

By what has been said of Reason, we may be able to make some guess at the distinction of Things, into those that are according to, above, and contrary to Reason. According to Reason, are such Propositions, whose Truth we can disco­ver, by examining and tracing those Ideas we have from Sensation and Reflecti­on, and by natural Deduction find to be true, or probable. Above Reason are such Propositions, whose Truth or Probability we cannot by Reason derive from those Principles. Contrary to Reason, are such Propositions as are inconsistent with, or irreconcilable to, our clear and distinct [Page 291] Ideas. Thus the Existence of one God, is ac­cording to Reason: the Existence of more than one God, contrary to Reason: the Resur­rection of the Body after Death, above Rea­son. Above Reason, may be also taken in a double Sense, viz. Above Probability, or Above Certainty. In that large Sense also, Contrary to Reason, is, I suppose, sometimes taken.

There is another use of the word Rea­son, wherein it is opposed to Faith; which, thô authorized by common use, yet is it in it self, a very improper way of Speaking: For Faith is nothing but a firm Assent of the Mind, which if it be regulated, as is our Duty, cannot be af­forded to any thing but upon good Rea­son; and so cannot be opposite to it. He that believes without having any Reason for believing, may be in love with his own Fancies; but neither seeks Truth as he ought, nor pays the Obedience due to his Maker, who would have him use those discerning Faculties he has given him, to keep him out of Mistake and Error. But since Reason and Faith are by some Men opposed, we will so consider them in the following Chapter.

CHAP XVIII. Of Faith and Reason, and their distinct Provinces.

REason, as contra-distinguished to Faith, I take to be the discovery of the Certainty or Probability of such Pro­positions or Truths which the Mind ar­rives at by deductions made from such Ideas, which it has got by the use of its natural Faculties, viz. by Sensation or Reflection.

Faith on the other side, is the Assent to any Proposition, upon the credit of the Proposer, as coming immediately from God; which we call Revelation: con­cerning which we must observe.

First, That no Man inspired by God, can by any Revelation communicate to others, any new Simple Ideas, which they had not before from Sensation or Reflection: Be­cause Words, by their immediate Ope­ration on us, cannot cause other Ideas, [Page 293] but of their natural Sounds, and such as Custom has annexed to them, which to us they have been wont to be signs of, but cannot introduce any new, and for­merly unknown Simple Ideas. The same holds in all other Signs, which cannot sig­nify to us Things, of which we have ne­ver before had any Idea at all. For our Simple Ideas, we must depend wholly on our natural Faculties, and can by no means receive them from Traditional Re­velation; I say Traditional, in distinction to Original Revelation. By the One, I mean that impression which is made immedi­ately by God on the Mind of any Man, to which we cannot set any bounds. And by the Other, those Impressions de­livered over to others in Words, and the ordinary ways of conveying our Con­ceptions one to another.

Secondly, I say, that the same Truths may be discovered by Revelation, which are disco­verable to us by Reason; but in such there is little need or use of Revelation: God having furnished us with natural means to arrive at the knowledge of them: and Truths discovered by our natural Facul­ties, are more certain, than when con­veyed [Page 294] to us by Traditional Revelation. For the Knowledge we have, that this Revelation came at first from God, can ne­ver be so sure as the Knowledge we have from our own clear and distinct Ideas. Th [...]s also holds in matters of Fact, know­ [...]le by our Senses: as the History of the Deluge is conveyed to us by Writings, which had their Orignal from Revelati­on, and yet no bo [...]y, I think, will say he has as certain and clear Knowledge of the Flood, as Noah that saw it, or that he himself would have had, had he then been alive and seen it. For he has no greater assurance, than that of his Senses, that it is writ in the Book, supposed to be writ by Moses inspired. But he has not so great an assurance, that Moses writ that Book, as if he had seen Moses write it; so that the assurance of its be­ing a Revelation, is still less than our assu­rance of his Senses.

Revelation cannot be admitted against the clear evidence of Reason. For since no evidence of our Faculties, by which we receive such a Revelation, can exceed, if equal, the Certainty of our Intuitive Knowledge; we can never receive for a [Page 295] Truth any, that is directly contrary to our clear and distinct Knowledge. The Ideas of One Body and One Place do so clearly agree, that we can never assent to a Proposition that affirms the same Bo­dy to be in two distinct places at once; how­ever, it should pretend to the Authority of a Divine Revelation: Since the Evi­dence First, That we deceive not our Selves in ascribing it to God. Secondly. That we understand it right, can never be so great as the Evidence of our own Intuitive Knowledge, whereby we discern it impossible, for the same Body to be in two places at once.

In Propositions therefore, contrary to our distinct and clear Ideas, it will be in vain to urge them as matters of Faith. For Faith can never convince us of any thing that contradicts out Knowledge. Be­cause, thô Faith be founded upon the Testimony of God, who cannot lye, yet we cannot have an assurance of the truth of its being a Divine Revelation, greater than our own Knowledge. For if the Mind of Man can never have a clearer Evidence of any thing to be a Divine Revelation, than it has of the Principles [Page 296] of its own Reason; it can never have a ground to quit the clear Evidence of its Reason, to give place to a Proposition, whose Revelation has not a greater Evi­dence than those Principles have.

In all things therefore where we have clear Evidence from our Ideas, and the Principles of Knowledge above-mention­ed Reason is the proper Judge; and Reve­lation cannot in such cases invalidate its Decrees; nor can we be obliged, where we have the clear and evident Sentence of Reason, to quit it for the contrary Opi­nion, under a pretence that it is Matter of Faith, which can have no Authority against the plain and clear dictates of Reason. But,

Thirdly, There being many Things, of which we have but imperfect Notions, or none at all; and other things, of whose past, present, or future Existence, by the natural use of our Faculties, we can have no knowledge at all: These being be­yond the discovery of our Faculties, and above Reason, when revealed, become the proper matter of Faith. Thus, that part of the Angels rebelled against God: that the Bodies of Men shall rise and live [Page 297] again, and the like, are purely matters of Faith, with which Reason has directly nothing to do.

First then, Whatever Proposition is revealed, of whose Truth our Mind, by its natural Faculties and Notions cannot judge; that is purely Mater of Faith, and above Reason.

Secondly, All Propositions, whereof the Mind by its natural Faculties, can come to determine and judge from natu­ral acquired Ideas, are Matter of Reason: but with this difference; that in those concerning which it has but an uncer­tain Evidence, and so is perswaded of their Truth only upon probable grounds: in such I say, an Evident Revelation ought to determine our Assent, even against Probability. Because the Mind, not be­ing certain of the Truth of that, it does not evidently know, is bound to give up its Assent to such a Testimony, which it is satisfied comes from one, who can­not err, and will not deceive. But yet it still belongs to Reason to judge of the truth of its being a Revelation, and of the signification of the words wherein it is delivered.

[Page 298] Thus far the Dominion of Faith reach­es; and that without any violence to Reason, which is not injured or disturb­ed, but assisted and improved by new discoveries of Truth, coming from the Eternal Fountain of all Knowledge. What­ever God hath Revealed is certainly true; no doubt can be made of it, This is the proper object of Faith: But whether it be a Divine Revelation, or no, Reason must judge; which can never permit the Mind, to reject a greater Evidence, to embrace what is less evident, nor prefer less Certainty to the greater. There can be no Evidence, that any Traditional Revelation is of Divine Ori­ginal, in the words we receive it, and the Sense we understand it, so clear and so certain, as those of the Principles of Reason: and therefore, Nothing that is contrary to the clear and self-evident Dictates of Reason, has a right to be urged or assent­ed to, as a matter of Faith, wherein Reason has nothing to do. Whatsoever is Divine Revelation, ought to over-rule all our Opinions, Prejudices and Interests, and hath a right to be received with a full Assent. Such a submission as this, of [Page 299] our Reason to Faith, takes not away the Land-marks of Knowledge: this shakes not the foundations of Reason, but leaves us that use of our Faculties, for which they were given us.

CHAP. XIX. Of wrong Assent or Error.

ERROR is a mistake of our Judg­ment, giving Assent to that which is not true. The Reasons whereof may be reduced to these Four; First, Want of Proofs. Secondly, Want of Ability to use them. Thirdly, Want of Will to use them. Fourthly, Wrong measures of Probability.

First, Want of Proofs, by which I do not mean only the want of those Proofs which are not to be had, but also of those Proofs which are in being, or might be procured. The greatest part of Mankind want the Conveniencies, and Opportunities of making Experiments and Observations themselves, or of col­lecting [Page 300] the Testimonies of others, being enslaved to the necessity of their mean condition, whose Lives are worn out on­ly in the provisions for living. These Men are by the constitution of Humane Affairs, unavoidably given over to in­vincible Ignorance of those Proofs, on which others build; and which are ne­cessary to establish those Opinions. For having much to do to get the means of living, they are not in a condition to look after those of learned and laborious Enquiries.

It is true, that God has furnished Men with Faculties sufficient to direct them in the way they should take, if they will but seriously employ them that way, when their ordinary Vocations allow them leisure. No Man is so wholly ta­ken up with the attendance on the means of living, as to have no spare time at all, to think on his Soul, and inform himself in matters of Religion, were Men as in­tent on this, as they are on Things of lower concernment. There are none so enslaved to the necessity of Life, who might not find many Vacancies, that might be husbanded to this advantage of their Knowledge.

[Page 301] Secondly, Want of Ability to use them. There be many who cannot carry a Train of Consequences in their Heads, nor weigh exactly the preponderancy of con­trary Proofs, and Testimonies. These cannot discern that side on which the strongest Proofs lie; nor follow that which in it self is the most probable Opi­nion. It is certain that there is a wide difference in Mens Understandings, Ap­prehensions and Reasonings, to a very great Latitude, so that one may, with­out doing injury to Mankind, affirm that there is a greater distance between some Men and others in this respect, than be­tween some Men and some Beasts; But how this comes about, is a speculation, thô of great consequence; yet not neces­sary to our present purpose.

Thirdly, For want of Will to use them. Some, thô they have opportunities and leisure enough, and want neither Parts nor Learning, nor other Helps, are yet never the better for them, and never come to the knowledge of several Truths that lie within their reach; either upon the account of their hot pursuit of Pleasure, constant Drudgery in Business, Laziness [Page 302] and Oscitancy in general, or a particu­lar aversion for Books and Study: and some out of Fear that an impartial inqui­ry would not favour those Opinions, which best suit their Prejudices, Lives, Designs, Interests, &c. as many Men forbear to cast up their Accounts, who have reason to fear that their Affairs are in no very good posture.

How Men, whose plentiful Fortunes allow them leisure to improve their Un­derstandings, can satisfie themselves with a lazy Ignorance, I cannot tell: But me­thinks they have a low Opinion of their Souls, who lay out all their Incomes in Provisions for the Body, and employ none of it to procure the means and helps of Knowledge. I will not here mention how unreasonable this is for Men that ever think of a future state, and their concernment in it, which no rational Man can avoid to do sometimes: nor shall I take notice what a shame it is to the great­est Contem [...]ers of Knowledge, to be found ignorant in Things they are con­cerned to know. But this, at least, is worth the consideration of those who call themselves Gentlemen; that however [Page 303] they may think Credit, Respect, and Authority, the Concomitants of their Birth and Fortune; yet they will find all these still carried away from them by Men of lower condition, who surpass them in Knowledge. They who are blind, will always be led by those that see, or else fall into the Ditch: and he is certainly the most subjected, the most enslaved, who is so in his Understand­ing.

Fourthly, Wrong measures of Probabi­lity, which are,

First, Propositions that are not in them­selves certain and evident, but doubtful and false, taken for Principles. Propositions looked on as Principles, have so great an influence upon our Opinions, that it is usually by them we judge of Truth, and what is inconsistent with them, is so far from passing for Probable with us, that it will not be allowed Possible. The reve­rence born to these Principles is so great, that the Testimony, nor only of other Men, but the Evidence of our own Sen­ses are often rejected, when they offer to vouch any thing contrary to these esta­blished Rules. The great obstinacy that [Page 304] is to be found in Men, firmly believing quite contrary Opinions, thô many times equally absurd, in the various Religions of Mankind, are as evident a proof, as they are an unavoidable consequence of this way of reasoning from received tradi­tional Principles: so that Men will disbe­lieve their own Eyes, renounce the Evi­dence of their Senses, and give their own Experience the Lye, rather than admit of any thing disagreeing with these Sacred Tenents.

Secondly, Received Hypotheses. The difference between these and the former, is, that those who proceed by these, will admit of matter of Fact, and agree with Dissenters in that; but differ in assigning of Reasons, and explaining the manner of Operation. These are not at that open defiance with their Senses as the former▪ they can endure to hearken to their In­formation a little more patiently: but will by no means admit of their Reports in the explanation of Things; nor be prevailed on by Probabilities which would convince them, that things are not brought about just after the same manner, that they have decreed within themselves that they are.

[Page 305] Thirdly, Predominant Passions or Incli­nations: Let never so much Probability hang on one side of a Covetous Man's Reasoning, and Mon [...]y on the other, it is easie to foresee which will prevail. Thô Men cannot always openly gain-say, or resist the force of manifest Probabilities, that make against them, yet yield they not to the Argument. Not but that it is the nature of the Understanding, con­stantly to close with the more probable side; but yet a Man hath power to sus­pend, and restrain its Enquiries, and not permit a full and satisfactory Examina­tion. Until that be done there will be always these Two ways left of evading the most apparent Probabilities.

First, That the Arguments being brought in Words, there may be a fallacy latent in them; and the consequences be­ing perhaps, many in train, may be some of them incoherent. There are few Dis­courses so short and clear, to which Men may not, with satisfaction enough to themselves raise this Doubt, and from whose Conviction they may not without reproach of Disingenuity or Unreasona­bleness set themselves free.

[Page 306] Secondly, Manifest Probabilities may be evaded upon this Suggestion, that I know not yet all that may be said on the contrary side: and therefore, thô a Man be bea­ten, it is not necessary he should yield, not knowing what Forces there are in re­serve behind.

Fourthly, Authority, or the giving up our Assent to the common received Opinions, either of our Friends or Party, Neigh­bourhood or Country. How many Men have no other ground for their Tenents, than the supposed Honesty or Learning, or Number of those of the same Profes­sion? As if Honest or Bookish Men could not err; or Truth were to be esta­blished by the Vote of the Multitude. Yet this with most Men, serves the turn. All Men are liable to Error, and most Men are in many points by Passion or In­terest under temptation to it. This is certain, that there is not an Opinion so absurd, which a Man may not receive upon this ground. There is no Error to be named, which has not had its Pro­fessors. And a Man shall never want crooked paths to walk in, if he thinks that he is in the right way, wherever he [Page 307] has the Footsteps of others to follow▪ But, notwithstanding the great noise is made in the World about Errors and Opinions, I must do Mankind that right as to say, there are not so many Men in Errors and wrong Opinions as is commonly supposed: not that I think they embrace the Truth, but indeed, because, con­cerning those Doctrines they keep such a stirr about, they have no Thought, no Opi­nion at all. For if any one should a little Catechize the greatest part of the Par­tisans of most of the Sects in the World, he would not find concerning those mat­ters they are so zealous for, that they have any Opinions of their own. Much less would he have reason to think, that they took them upon the examination of Arguments, and appearance of Pro­bability. They are resolved to stick to a Party, that Education or Interest has engaged them in; and there, like the common Soldiers of an Army, shew their Courage and Warmth, as their Leaders direct, without ever examining, or so much as knowing the Cause they con­tend for.

CHAP. XX. Of the Division of the Sciences.

ALL that can fall within the com­pass of Humane Understanding, being either, First, The Nature of Things; their Relations, and their manner of Ope­ration: Or, Secondly, That which Man himself ought to do as a rational and voluntary Agent, for the attainment of any End, especially Happiness: Or, Thirdly, The ways and means whereby the Knowledge of both of these are at­tained, and communicated: I think Sci­ence may be properly divided into these Three Sorts.

First, The Knowledge of Things, Their Constitutions, Properties, and Operations; whether Material or Imma­terial: This, in a litt [...]e more enlarged Sense of the Word, I call [...], or Na­tural Philosophy. The end of this is bare Speculative Truth, and whatsoever can afford the Mind of Man any such, falls under this branch: whether it [Page 309] be God himself, Angels, Spirits, Bodies, or any of their Affections, as Number, Fi­gure, &c.

Secondly, [...], The skill of Right applying our own Powers and Actions for the attainment of Things, good and useful. The most considerable under this head, is Ethicks, which is the seeking out those Rules and Measures of humane Actions, which lead to Happiness, and the means to practise them. The end of this is not bare Speculation but Right, and a Conduct suitable thereto.

Thirdly, [...], Or the Doctrine of Signs: the most usual being Words, it is aptly enough termed Logick: The Busi­ness whereof is to consider the nature of Signs, which the Mind makes use of for the Understanding of Things, or convey­ing its Knowledge to others. Things are represented to the Mind by Ideas: and Mens Ideas are communicated to one another, by Articulate Sounds, or Words. The Consideration then of Ideas and Words, as the great Instruments of Know­ledge makes no despicable part of their Contemplation, who would take a view of Humane Knowledge in the whole Ex­tent of it.

[Page 310] This seems to me the First and most general, as well as natural Division, of the Objects of our Understanding. For a Man can employ his Thoughts about nothing, but either the Contemplation of Things themselves for the discovery of Truth, or about the Things in his own Power, which are his Actions, for the attainment of his own Ends; or the Signs the Mind makes use of, both in the one and the other, and the right ordering of them, for its clearer Information. All which Three, viz. Things, as they are in themselves Knowable: Actions, as they depend on us in order to Happiness, and the right use of Signs, in order to Know­ledge, being Toto Coelo different, they seemed to me to be the Three great Pro­vinces of the Intellectual World wholly separate, and distinct one from another

  • THe Introduction. Page 1
  • Chap. I. Of Ideas in General, and their Ori­ginal. 7
  • Chap. II. Of Simple Ideas. 13
  • Chap. III. Of Ideas of one Sense. 14
  • Chap. IV. Of Solidity. 15
  • [Page] Chap. 5. Of Simple Ideas of divers Senses. 18
  • Chap. 6. Of Simple Ideas of Reflection. 19
  • Chap. 7. Of Simple Ideas of Sensation and Reflection. 19
  • Chap. 8. Some farther Considerations con­cerning Simple Ideas. 24
  • Chap. 9. Of Perception. 31
  • Chap. 10. Of Retention. 34
  • Chap. 11. Of Discerning, and other Operations of the Mind. 37
  • Chap. 12. Of Complex Ideas. 41
  • Chap. 13. Of Simple Modes; and first of the Simple Modes of Space. 44
  • [Page] Chap. 14. Of Duration, and its Simple Modes. 47
  • Chap. 15. Of Duration and Expansion conside­red together. 51
  • Chap. 16. Of Numbers. 53
  • Chap. 17. Of Infinity. 54
  • Chap. 18. Of other Simple Modes. 58
  • Chap. 19. Of the Modes of Thinking. 59
  • Chap. 20. The Modes of Pleasure and Pain. 61
  • Chap. 21. Of Power. 64
  • Chap. 22. Of Mixed Modes. 71
  • Chap. 23. Of our Complex Ideas of Substances. 77
  • [Page] Chap. 24. Of Collective Ideas of Substances. 83
  • Chap. 25. Of Relation. 84
  • Chap. 26. Of Cause and Effect, and other Re­lations. 86
  • Chap. 27. Of Identity and Diversity. 89
  • Chap. 28. Of other Relations. 97
  • Chap. 29. Of Clear, Obscure, Distinct, and confused Ideas. 104
  • Chap. 30. Of Real and Fantastical Ideas. 108
  • Chap. 31. Of Ideas Adequate or Inadequate. 110
  • Chap. 32. Of True and False Ideas. 114
  • [Page]Chap. 1. OF Words or Language in General Page 121
  • Chap. 2. Of the Signification of Words. 124
  • Chap. 3. Of General Terms. 128
  • Chap. 4 Of the Names of Simple Ideas. 137
  • Chap. 5. Of the Names of Mixed Modes [Page] and Relations. 141
  • Chap. 6. Of the Names of Substances. 145
  • Chap. 7. Of Particles. 153
  • Chap. 8. Of Abstract and Concrete Terms. 156
  • Chap. 9. Of the Imperfection of Words. 158
  • Chap. 10. Of the Abuse of Words. 163
  • Chap. 11. Of the Remedies of the foregoing Imperfections and Abuses. 174
  • [Page]Chap. 1. OF Knowledge in General. Page 180
  • Chap. 2. Of the Degrees of our Knowledge. 185
  • Chap. 3. Of the Extent of Humane Know­ledge. 194
  • Chap. 4. Of the Reality of our Knowledge. 213
  • [Page] Chap. 5. Of Truth in General. 220
  • Chap. 6. Of Universal Propositions, their Truth and Certainty. 223
  • Chap. 7. Of Maxims. 229
  • Chap. 8. Of Trifling Propositions 237
  • Chap. 9. Of our Knowledge of Existence. 241
  • Chap. 10. Of our Knowledge of the Existence of a God. 243
  • Chap. 11. Of our Knowledge of the Existence other Things. 250
  • Chap. 12. Of the Improvement of our Know­ledge. 258
  • Chap. 13. Some farther Considerations con­cerning [Page] Knowledge. 267
  • Chap. 14. Of Judgment. 269
  • Chap. 15. Of Probability. 271
  • Chap. 16. Of the Degrees of Assent. 273
  • Chap. 17. Of Reason. 283
  • Chap. 18. Of Faith and Reason, and their distinct Provinces. 292
  • Chap. 19. Of wrong Assent or Error. 299
  • Chap. 20. Of the Division of the Sciences. 308

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