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and part are innate ideas, extension and number must be so tvo; it being impossible to have an idea of a relation, without having any at all of the thing to which it belongs, and in which it is founded. Now whether the minds of men have naturally imprinted on them the ideas of extension and number, I leave to be considered by those, who are the patrons of innate principles.
$. 7. “ That God is to be worshipped," Idea of wor. is, without doubt, as great a truth as any ship not in. can enter into the mind of inan, and de- nate... . serves the first place amongst all practical principles. But yet it can by no means be thought innate, unless the ideas of God and worship are innate. That the idea the term worship stands for, is not in the understanding of children, and a character stamped on the mind in its first original, I think, will be easily granted, by any one that considers how few there be, amongst grown men, who have a clear and distinct notion of it. And, I suppose, there cannot be any thing more ridiculous, than to say that children have this practical principle innate, “ that God is to be worshipped;" and yet, that they know not what that worship of God is, which is their duty. But to pass by this:
§. 8. If any idea can be imagined innate,
y not innate.
(a) Roe apud Theyenot, p. 2.
16) Jo, de Lery, c. 16. Ovington 78%
sione, has these words (d): “Reperi eam gentem nul“ lum nomen habere, quod Deum & hominis animam ď significet, nulla sacra habet, nulla idola." These are instances of nations where uncultivated nature has been left to itself, without the help of letters, and discipline, and the improvements or arts and sciences. But there are others to be found, who have enjoyed these in a very great measure; who yet, for want of a due application of their thoughts this way, want the idea and knowledge of God. It will, I doubt not, be a surprize to others, as it was to me, to find the Siamites of this number. But for this, let them consult the king of France's late envoy thither (e), who gives no better account of the Chinese themselves (A). And if we will not believe La Loubere, the missionaries of China, even the Jesuits themselves, the great encomiasts of the Chinese, do all to a man agree, and will convince us tiat the sect of the literati, or learned, kecping to the old religion of China, and the ruling party there, are all of them atheists. Vid. Navarette, in the collection of voyages, vol. the first, and Historia cultus Sinensium. Ind perhaps if we should, with attention, mind the lives and discourses of people not so far off, we should have too much reason to fear, that many in more civilized countries have no very strong and clear impressions of a deity upon their minds; and that the complaints of atheism, made from the pulpit, are not without reason. And though only some protligate wretches own it too bare-facedly now; yet perhaps we should hear more than we do of it from others, did not the fear of the magistrate's sword, or their neighbour's censure, tie up people's tungues : which, were the apprehensions of punishment or shame taken away, would as openly proclaim their atheism, as their lives do (9).
§. 9. $. 9. But had all mankind, every where, a notion of a God (whereof yet history tells us the contrary) it would not from thence follow, that the idea of him was innate. For though no nation were to be found without a name, and some few dark notions of him ; yet that would not prove them to be natural impressions on tlie mind, any more than the names of fire, or the sun, heat, or number, do prove the ideas they stand for to be innate: because the names of those things, and the ideas of them, are so universally received and known amongst mankind. Nor, on the contrary, is the want
(d) Relatio triplex de rebus Indicis Caaiguarum 43. (e) La Lop. bere du Royaume de Siam, t. 1. c. 9. sect. 15, & c. 20, sect, 22, & c. 22. sect. 6.
(/) Ib. t. 1. c. 20. sect. 4, & c. 23. (8) On this reasoning of the author against innate ideas, great blame hath been laid : because it seems to invalidate an argument commonly scd to prove the being of a God, viz, unii ersal consent: To which our
author * answers, I think that the universal consent of mankind, as to the being of a God, amounts to thus much, that the vastly greater ma. jority of mankind have in all ages of the world actually believed a God; that the majority of the remaining part have not achially disbelieved it; and consequently those who have actually opposed the belief of a God, have truly been very few. So that comparing those that have actually disbelieved, with those who have actually believed a God, their number is so inconsiderable, that in respect of this incomparably greater majority, of those who have owned the belief of a God, it may be said to be the universal consent of mankind.
'This is all the universal consent which truth or matter of fact will allow; and therefore all that can be made use of to prove a God. But 11 any one would extend it farther, and speak deceitfully for God, if This universality should be urged in a strict sense, not for much the ma. jority, but for a general consent of every one, even to a man, in all ages and countries; this would make it either no argument, or a perSectly useless and unnecessary one. For if any one deny a God, such a universality of consent is destroyed; and if nobody does deny a God, what need of arguments to convince atheists?
I would crave leave to ask your lordship, were there ever in the world any atheists or no? If there were not, what need is there of raising a question about the being of a God, when nobody questions it? What need of provisional arguments against a fault, from which mankind are So wholly free, and which, by an universal consent, they may be pre. sumed to be secure from? If you say (as I doubt not but you will) that there have been atheists in the world, then your lordship’s universal con. sent reduces itself to only a great majority; and then make that majority as great as you will, what I have said in the place quoted by your lordIhip, leaves it in its full force; and I have not said one word that does in the least invalidate this argument for a God. The argument I was upon there, was to shew, that the idea of God was not innate; and to my pur. pose it was sufficient, if there were but a less number found in the world, who had no idea of God, than your lordship will allow there have been
* In his third letter to the bishop of Worcester.
of such a name, or the absence of such a notion out of men's minds, any argument against the being of a God; any more than it would be a proof that there was no load-stone in the world, because a great part of inankind had neither a notion of any such thing, 'nor a name, for it; or be any show of argument to prove, that there are no distinct and various species of angels, or intelligent beings above us, because we have no ideas of such distinct species, or names for them : for men being furnished with words, by the common language of their own countries, can scarce avoid having some
of professed atheists; for whatsoever is innate, must be universal in the strictest sense. One exception is a sufficient proof against it. So that all that I said, and which was quite to another purpose, did not at all tend, nor can be made use of, to invalidate the argument for a Deity, grounded on such an universal consent, as your lordship, and all that build on it, must own; which is only a very disproportioned majority ; such an uni. versal consent my argument there neither affirms nor requires to be less than you will be pleased to allow it. Your lordship therefore might, without any prejudice to those declarations of good will and favour you have for the author of the “ Essay of Human Understanding,'' have spared the mentioning his quoting authors that are in print, for matters of fact to quite another purpose, “as going about to invalidate the argument for a Deity, from the universal consent of mankind;" since he leaves that universal consent as entire and as large as you yourself do, or can own, or suppose it. But here I have no reason to be sorry that your lordship has given me this occasion for the vindication of this passage of my book; if there should be any one besides your lordship, who should so far mistake it, as to think it in the least invalidates the argument for a God, from the universal consent of mankind,
But because you question the credibility of those authors I hare quoted, which you say were very ill chosen ; I will crave leave to say, that he whom I relied on for his testimony concerning the Hottentots of Solda. nia, was no less a man than an ambassador from the king of England to the Great Mogul : of whose relation, monsieur Thevenot, no ill judge in the case, had so great an esteem, that he was at the pains to translate into French, and publish it in his (which is counted no injudicious) col. lection of travels. But to intercede with your lordship, for a little more favourable allowance of credit to sir Thomas Roe's relation ; Coore, an inhabitant of the country, who could speak English, assured Mr. Terry*, that they of Soldania had no God, But if he too have the ill luck to find no credit with you, I hope you will be a little more favourable to a divine of the church of England, now living, and admit of his testimony in confirmation of fir Thomas Roe's. This worthy gentleman, in the relation of his voyage to Surat, printed but two years since, speaking of * Terry's Voyage, p. 17, 23. .
kind of ideas of those things, whose names, those they converse with, have occasion frequently to mention to them. And if they carry with it the notion of excellency, greatness, or something extraordinary: if apprehension and concernment accompany it; if the fear of absolute and irresistible power set it on upon the mind, the idea is likely to sink the deeper, and spread the farther; especially if it be such an idea as is agreeable to the common light of reason, and naturally deducible from every part of our knowledge, as that of a God is. For the visible marks of extraordinary wisdom and power appear so plainly in all the works of the creation, that a rational creature, who will but seriously reflect on them, cannot miss the discovery of a deity.
the same people, has these words: + They are sunk even below idola. try, are destitute of both priest and temple, and saving a little show of rejoicing, which is made at the full and new moon, have lost all kind of religious devotion. Nature has so richly provided for their convenience in this life, that they have drowned all sense of the God of it, and are grown quite careless of the next."
But to provide against the clearest evidence of atheism in these people, you say, “ that the account given of them, inakes them not fit to be a standard for the sense of mankind.” This, I think, may pass for nothing, till somebody be found, that makes them to be a standard for the sense of mankind. All the use I made of them was to show, that there were men in the world that had no innate idea of a God. But to keep some, thing like an argument going for what will not that do?) you go near denying those Cafers to be men. What else do these words signify? « a people so strangely bereft of common sense, that they can hardly be reca koned among inankind, as appears by the best accounts of the Cafers of Soldania, &c." I hope, it any of them were calleri Peter, James, or John, it would be past scruple that they were men: however, Courwee, Wewena, and Cowsheda, and those others who had names, that had no places in your nonienclator, would hardly pass muster with your lordship.
My lord, I should not mention this, but that what you yourself say here, may be a motive to you to consider, that what you have laid such a stress on concerning the general nature of man, as a real being, and the subject of properties, amounts to nothing for the distinguishing of species ; since you yourself own that there may be individuals, wherein there is a common nature with a particular subsistence proper to each of them; whereby you are so little able to know of which of the ranks or sorts they are, into which you say God has ordered beings, and which he hath distinguished by essential properties, that you are in doubt whether they ought to be reckoned among mankind or no. + Ms, Ovington, p. 489.