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the whole argument amounts to no more but this: we have all ideas, because we are capable of having all ideas; and so proves not at all that we actually have them by being united to God, who, “ contains them « all in the simplicity of his being.” That any thing else is, or can be meant by it, I do not see; for that which we desire to see, being nothing but what we see already, (for if it can be any else, the argument falls and proves nothing,) and that which we desire to see, being, as we are told here, something particular, t6 sometimes one thing, sometimes another;" that which we do see must be particular too; but how to see a particular thing in general, is past my comprehension. I cannot conceive how a blind man has the particular idea of scarlet confusedly or in general, when he has it not at all, and yet that he might desire to have it, I cannot doubt, no more than I doubt that I can desire to perceive, or to have the ideas of those things that God has prepared for those that love him, " though they be such as eye hath not seen, or ear “ hath not heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of “ man to conceive," such as I have yet no idea of. He who desires to know what creatures are in Jupiter, or what God hath prepared for them that love him, hath, it is true, a supposition that there is something in Jupiter, or in the place of the blessed; but if that be to have the particular ideas of things there, enough to say that we see them already, nobody can be ignorant of any thing. He that has seen one thing hath seen all things; for he has got the general ideas of something. But this is not, I confess, sufficient to convince me, that hereby we see all things “ in the simplicity of “ God's being,” which comprehends all things. For if the ideas I see are all, as our author tells us, real beings in him, it is plain they must be so many real distinct beings in him; and if we see them in him, we must see them as they are, distinct particular things, and so shall not see them confusedly and in general. And what it is to see any idea (to which I do not give a name) confusedly, is what I do not well understand. What I see I see, and the idea I see is distinct from
all' others that are not the same with it: besides, I see them as they are in God, and as he shows them me. Are they in God confusedly? Or does he show them me confusedly? ,30. Secondly, This “ seeing of all things,” because we“ can desire to see all things,” he makes a proof that “ they are present" to our minds; and if they « be present, they can no ways be present but by the « presence of God, who.contains them all in the sim- plicity of his being.” This reasoning seems to be founded on this, that the reason of seeing all things, is their being present to our minds ; because God, in whom they are, is present. This, though the foundation he seems to build on, is liable to a very natural objection, which is, that then we should actually always see all things, because in God, who is present, they are all actually present to the mind. This he has endeavoured to obviate, by saying we see all the ideas in God, which he is pleased “ to discover to us;" which indeed is an answer to this objection; but such an one as overturns his whole hypothesis, and renders it useless, and as un: intelligible as any of those he has for that reason laid aside. He pretends to explain to us how we come to perceive any thing, and that is by having the ideas of them present in our minds: for the soul cannot perceive things at a distance, or remote from it. And those ideas are present to the mind, only because God, in whom they are, is present to the mind. This so far hangs together, and is of a piece. But when after this I am told, that their presence is not enough to make them be seen, but God must do something farther to discover them to me, I am as much in the dark as I was at first: and all this talk of their presence in my mind explains nothing of the way wherein I perceive them, nor ever will, till he also makes me understand, what God does more than make them present to my, mind, when he discovers them to me. For I think nobody denies, I am sure I affirm, that the ideas.we have, are in our minds by the will and power of God, though in a way that we conceive not, nor are able to comprehend. God, says our author, is strictly united to
the soul, and so the ideas of things too. But yet that presence or union of theirs is not enough to make them seen, but God must show or exhibit them; and what does God do more than make them present to the mind when he shows them? Of that there is nothing said to help me over this difficulty, but that when God shows them, we see them ; which in short seems to me to say only thus much, that when we have these ideas we have them, and we owe the having of them to our Maker; which is to say no more than I do with my ignorance. We have the ideas of figures and colours by the operation of exteriour objects on our senses, when the sun shows them us; but how the sun shows them us, or how the light of the sun produces them in us; what, and how the alteration is made in our souls; I know not: nor does it appear, by any thing our author says, that he knows any more what God does when he shows them us, or what it is that is done upon our minds, since the presence of them to our minds, he confesses, does it not..
31. Thirdly, One thing more is incomprehensible to me in this matter, and that is, how the “ simplicity “ of God's being."? should contain in it 'a variety of real beings, so that the soul can discern them in him distinctly one from another?. it being said, chap. 5th. That the ideas in God“ are not different from God “ himself.” This seems to me to express a simplicity made up of variety, a thing I cannot understand. God I believe to be a simple being, that by his wisdom knows all things, and by his power can do: all things; but how he does it, I think myself less able to comprehend, than to contain the ocean in my hand, or grasp the universe with my span. “ Ideas " are real beings,” you say; if so, it is evident they must be distinct“ real beings;" for there is nothing more certain than that there are distinct ideas; and they are in God, in whom we see them. There they are then actually distinct, or else we could not see them distinct in him. Now these distinct real beings that are in God, are they either parts, or modifications of the Deity, or comprehended in him as things in a place ? For besides these three, I think we can scarce think of another way wherein we can conceive them to be in him, so that we can see them. For to say they are in him “ eminenter," is to say they are not in him actually and really to be seen; but only if they are in him *6 eminenter,” and we see them only in him, we can be said to see them only “ eminenter” too. So that though it cannot be denied that God sees and knows all things; yet when we say we see all things in him, it is but a metaphorical expression to cover our ignorance, in a way that pretends to explain our knowledge; seeing things in God signifying no more than that we perceive them we know not how.
32. He farther adds, That he “ does not believe " that one can well give an account of the manner “ wherein the mind knows many abstract and general “ truths, but by the presence of him who can enlighten " the mind after a thousand different fashions." It is not to be denied that God can enlighten our minds after a thousand different fashions; and it cannot also be denied, that those thousand different fashions may be such, as we comprehend not one of them. The question is, whether this talk of seeing all things in God does make us clearly, or at all, comprehend one of them; if it did so to me, I should gratefully acknowledge that then I was ignorant of nine hundred and ninety-nine of the thousand, whereas I must yet confess myself ignorant of them all.
33. The next paragraph, if it proves any thing, seems to me to prove that the idea we have of God is God himself, it being something, as he says, “ uncreated." The ideas that men have of God are so very different, that it would be very hard to say that it was God himself. Nor does it avail to say they would all have the same, if they would apply their minds to the contemplation of him; for this being brought here to prove that God is present in all men's minds, and that therefore they see him, it must also, in my apprehension, prove that he being immutably the same, and they seeing him, must needs see him all alike.
34. In the next section we are told that we have
“ not only the idea of infinite, but before that of finite." This being a thing of experience, every one must examine himself; and it being my misfortune to find it otherwise in myself, this argument, of course, is like to have the less effect on me, who therefore cannot so easily admit the inference, viz. “ That the mind per“ceives not one thing, but in the idea it has of infinite." And I cannot but believe many a child can tell twenty, have the idea of a square trencher, or a round plate, and have the distinct clear ideas of two and three, long before he has any idea of “ infinite" at all.
35. The last argument which he tells us is a demonstration that we see all things in God, is this : “ God " has made all things for himself; but if God made a “spirit or mind, and gave it the sun for its idea, or “the immediate object of its knowledge, God would “ have made that spirit or mind for the sun, and not “ for himself.” The natural inference from this argu. ment seems to me to be this, therefore God has given himself for the idea, or immediate object of the knowledge of all human minds. But experience too mani. festly contradicting this, our author has made another conclusion, and says thus, “ It is necessary then that
the light which he gives the mind, should make us “ know something that is in him," v. g. Because “ all “ things that come from God cannot be but for God." Therefore a covetous man sees in God the money, and a Persian the sun that he worships; and thus God is the “ immediate object” of the minds, both of the one and the other. I confess this demonstration is lost on me, and I cannot see the force of it. All things, it is true, are made for God, i. e. for his glory; and he will be glorified even by those rational beings, who would not apply their faculties to the knowledge of him. : # 36. But the next paragraph explains this: “ God “ could not then make a soul for to know his works, ” were it not that that soul sees God after a fashion in “ seeing his works:" just " after such a fashion,” that if he never saw more of him, he would never know any thing of a God, nor believe there was any such being. A child, as soon as he is born, sees a candle, or before