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hough with a lot of our dutyowledge of the h in the crea
to attain. But it appears not that God intended we should have a perfect, clear, and adequate knowledge of them : That perhaps is not in the comprehension of any finite being. We are furnished with faculties (dull and weak as they are) to discover enough in the creatures to lead us to the knowledge of the Creator, and the knowledge of our duty; and we are fitted well enough with abilities to provide for the conveniencies of living : These are our business in this world. But were our senses altered and made much quicker and acuter, the appearance and outward scheme of things would have quite another face to us, and, I am apt to think, would be inconsistent with our being, or at least well. being, in this part of the universe which we inhabit. He that considers how little our constitution is able to bear a remove into parts of this air, not much higher than that we commonly breathe in, will have reason to be satisfied, that in this globe of earth allotted for our mansion, the allwise Architect has suited our organs, and the bodies that are to affect them, one to another. If our sense of hearing were but 1000 times quicker than it is, how would a perpetual noise distract us? and we should, in the quietest retirement, be less able to sleep or meditaté, than in the middle of a sea-fight. Nay, if that most instructive of our senses, feeing, were in any man 1000 or 100,000 times more acute than it is now by the best microscope, things several millions of times less than the smallest object of his fight now, would then be visible to his naked eyes, and so he would come nearer the discovery of the texture and motion of the minute parts of corporeal things, and in many of them, probably get ideas of their internal conftitutions : But then he would be in a quite different world from other people : Nothing would appear the fame to him and others; the visible ideas of every thing would be different : So that I doubt, whether he and the rest of men could discourse concerning the objects of light, or have any communication about colours, their appearances being so wholly different. And perhaps such a quickness and tenderness of light could not entdure bright sunshine, or so much as open day-light; nor take in but a very small part of any objedt at once, and that too only at a very near distance. And if, by the help of such microscopical eyes (if I may so call them), a man could penetrate farther than ordinary into the secret composition and radical texture of bodies, he would not make any great advantage by the change, if fuch an acute fight would not serve to conduct him to the market and exchange; if he could not see things he was to avoid, at a convenient distance, nor diftinguith things he had to do with, by those sensible quali. ties others do. He that was sharp-fighted enough to fee the configuration of the minute particles of the spring of a clock, and obferve upon what peculiar structure and impulse its elastic motion depends, would no doubt discover something very admirable : But if eyes lo framed could not view, at once, the hand and the characters of the hour-plate, and thereby, at a distance, see what o'clock it was, their owner could not be much benefited by that acuteness, which, whilft it discovered the secret contrivance of the parts of the machine, made kim lose its ule.
$ 13. Conjecture about Spirits. And here give me leave to propose an extravagant conjecture of mine, viz. that since we have some reason (if there be any credit to be given to the report of things that our philosophy cannot account for) to ima, gine, that spirits can assume to themselves bodies of different bulk; figure, and conformation of parts; whether one great advantage some of them have over us, may not lie in this, that they can fo frame and shape to themselves organs of sensation or perception, as to fuit them to their present design, and the circumstances of the object they would consider. For how much would that man exceed all others in knowledge, who had but the faculty, so to alter the structure of his eyes, that one fense, as to make it capable of all the several die grees of vision which the alliance of glafles (casually at firit lit on) has taught us to conceive? What wonders would he discover, who could so fit his eyes to all sorts of objects, as to see, when he pleased, the figure and motion of the minute particles in the blood, and other juices of animals, as distinctly as he does, at other times, the shape and motion of the animals themselves ? But to us, in our present state, unalterable organs, so contrived as to discover the figure and motion of the minute parts of bodies, whereon depend those fenfible qualities we now observe in them, would perhaps be of no advantage. God has, no doubt, made them so as is beft for us in our prefent condition : He hath fitted us for the neighbourhood of the bodies that surround us, and we have to do with : And though we cannot, by the faculties we have, actain to a perfect knowledge of things, yet they will serve us well enough for those ends above mentioned, which are our great concernmenta I beg my reader's pardon, for laying before him so wild a faney, concerning the ways of perception in bea ings above us : But how extravagant foever it be, I doubt whether we can imagine any thing about the knowledge of angels, but after this manner, some way or other in proportion to what we find and observe in ourselves. And though we cannot but allow, that the infinite power and wisdom of God may frame creatures with a thousand other faculties and ways of perceiving things without them, than what we have, yet our thoughts can go no further than our own; so imposible it is for us to enlarge our very gueffes beyond the ideas. received from our own sensation and reflection. The fuppoftion, at least, that angels do sometimes assume bodies, needs not startle us; since some of the most ancient and most learned Fathers of the Church seemed to bea lieve that they had bodies ; and this is certain, that their itate and way of existence is unknown to us.
§ 14. Complex Ideas of Subtiinces. But to return to the matter in hand; the ideas we have. of substances, and the ways we come by them: I say, our specific ideas of fubflances are nothing else but a cola lection of a certain number of simple ideas, considered as united in one thing. These ideas of substances, though they are commonly called limple apprehenfons, and the
names of them simple terms, yet in effect are complex and compounded. Thus, the idea which an Englishman signifies by the name fwan, is white colour, long neck, red beak, black legs, and whole feet, and all these of a certain size, with a power of swimming in the water, and making a certain kind of noise ; and perhaps, to a man who has long observed those kind of birds, some other properties which all terminate in sensible simple ideas, all united in one common subject. Ø 15. Idea of Spiritual Substances as clear as of Bodily
Substances. Besides the complex ideas we have of material sensible substances, of which I have laft spoken, by the simple ideas we have taken from those operations of our own minds, which we experiment daily in ourselves, as thinking, understanding, willing, knowing, and power of beginning, motion, &c. co-existing in some substance; we are able to frame the complex idea of an immaterial spirit. And thus, by putting together the ideas of thinking, perceiving, liberty and power of moving themselves and other things, we have as clear a perception and notion of immaterial substances, as we have of material : For, putting together the ideas of thinking and willing, or the power of moving or quieting corporeal motion, joined to substance, of which we have no distinct idea, we have the idea of an immaterial spirit; and, by putting together the ideas of coherent solid parts, and a power of being moved, joined with substance, of which likewise we have no positive idea, we have the iden of matter. The one is as clear and distinct an idea as the other; the idea of thinking, and moving a bo. dy, being as clear and distinct ideas, as the ideas of ex. tension, solidity, and being moved. For our idea of substance is equally obscure, or none at all in both ; it is but a supposed i know not what, to support those ideas we call accidents. It is for want of reflection that we are apt to think that our senses show us nothing but material things. Every act of sensation, when duly considered, gives us an equal view of both parts of nature, the corporeal and spiritual: For whilst
I know, by seeing or hearing, &c. that there is some corporeal being without me, the object of that sensation, I do more certainly know, that there is some spiritual being within me that fees and hears. This, I must be convinced, cannot be the action of bare insenfible matter, nor ever could be, without an immaterial thinking being.
$ 16. No Idea of abstract Substance. By the complex idea of extended, figured, coloured, and all other sensible qualities, which is all that we know of it, we are as far from the idea of the substance of body, as if we knew nothing at all: Nor, after all the acquaintance and familiarity which we imagine wę bave with matter, and the many qualities men assure themselves they perceive and know in bodies, will it perhaps, upon examination, be found that they have
any more or clearer primary ideas belonging to body, than - they have belonging to immaterial fpirit. Ø 57. The Cohesion of Solid” Parts and Impulse, the
primary Ideas of Body. The primary ideas we have peculiar to body, as contradistinguished to spirit, are the cohesion of Solid, and consequently separable parts, and a power of communicating motion by impulfe. These, I think, are the original ideas proper and peculiar to body; for figure is but the consequence of finite extension. § 18. Thinking and Motivity the primary Ideas of
Spirit. The ideas we have belonging and peculiar to fpirit, are thinking and will, or a power of putting body into motion by thought, and, which is consequent to it, liberty. For as body cannot but communicate its motion by impulse to another body, which it meets with at relt, so the mind can put bodies into motion, or forbear to do so, as it pleases. The ideas of existence, duration, and mobility, are common to them both.
$ 19. Spirits capable of motion. There is no reason why it should be thought strange, that I make mobility belong to Spirit : For, having no other idea of motion but change of distance with other