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he can speak, the ball he plays with ; these he « sees “ in God” whom he has yet no notion of. Whether this be enough to make us say that the mind is made for God, and this be the proof of it, other people must judge for themselves. "I must own that if this were the knowledge of God, which intelligent beings were made for, I do not see but they might be made for the knowledge of God without knowing any thing of him; and those that deny him, were made for the knowledge of him. Therefore I am not convinced of the truth of what follows, that " we do not see any one thing, but by the “ natural knowledge which we have of God.” Which seems to me a quite contrary way of arguing to what the apostle uses, where he says, that," the invisible “ things of God are seen by the visible things he has “ made.” For it seems to me a quite contrary way of arguing, to say we see the Creator in, or by the creatures, and we see the creatures in the Creator. The apostle begins our knowledge in the creatures, which lead us to the knowledge of God, if we will make use of our reason: our author begins our knowledge in God, and by that leads us to the creatures.
37. But to confirm his argument, he says, “all the par“ ticular ideas we have of the creatures are but limita“tions of the idea of the Creator.” As for example, I have the idea of the solidity of matter, and of the motion of body, what is the idea of God that either of these limits? And, when I think of the number ten, I do not see how that any way concerns or limits the idea of God. r' 38. The distinction he makes a little lower between 6 sentiment” and “ idea," does not at all clear to me, but cloud, his doctrine. His words are, “ It must be “ observed, that I do not say that we have the senti“ ment of material things in God, but that it is from « God that acts in us: for God knows sensible things, “ but feels them not. When we perceive any sensible “ thing, there is in our perception sentiment and pure • idea.” If by « sentiment," which is the word he uses in French, he means the act of sensation, or the operation of the soul in perceiving; and by “ pure
kidea," the immediate object of that perception, which is the definition of ideas he gives here in the first chapter; there is some foundation for it, taking ideas for real beings or substances. But, taken thus, I cannot see how it can be avoided, but that we must be said to smell a rose in God, as well as to see a rose in God; and the scent of the rose that we smell, as well as the colour and figure of the 'rose that we see, must be in God; which seems not to be his sense here, and does not well agree with what he says concerning the ideas we see in God, which I shall consider in its due place. If by “ sentiment" here he means something that is neither the act of perception nor the idea perceived, I confess I know not what it is, nor have any conception at all of it. When we see and smell a violet, we perceive the figure, colour, and scent of that flower. Here I cannot but ask whether all these three are is pure “ ideas," or all “ sentiments?" If they are all “ ideas," then according to his doctrine they are all in God; and then it will follow, that as I see the figure of the violet in God; so also I see the colour of it, and smell the scent of it in God, which way of speaking he does not allow, nor can I blame him. For it shows a little too plainly the absurdity of tha' doctrine, if he should say we smell a violet, taste wormwood, or feel cold in God; and yet I can find no reason why the action of one of our senses is applied only to God, when we use them all as well as our eyes in receiving ideas. If the figure, colour, and smell are all of them “sentiments,” then they are none of them in God, and so this whole business of seeing in God is out of doors. If (as by what he says in his Eclaircissements it appears to me to be his meaning) the figure of the violet be to be taken for an “idea," but its “ colour” and “ smell for sentiments: I confess it puzzles me to know by what rule it is, that in a violet the purple colour, whereof whilst I write this I seem to have as clear an idea in my mind as of its figure, is not as much an idea as the figure of it ; especially, since he tells me in the first chapter here, which is concerning the nature of ideas, that, “ by this word so idea he understands here nothing else, but what is
“ the immediate or nearest object of the mind when it " perceives any thing."
39. The “ sentiment,” says he in the next words, " is a modification of our soul,” This word “ modi“ fication” here, that comes in for explication, seems to me to signify nothing more than the word to be explained by it; v.g. I see the purple colour of a violet, this, says he, is a sentiment:" I desire to know what 6 sentiment” is; that, says he, is a “ modification of “ the soul.” I take the word, and desire to see what I can conceive by it concerning my soul; and here, I confess, I can conceive nothing more, but that I have the idea of purple in my mind, which I had not before, without being able to apprehend any thing the mind does or suffers in this, besides barely having the idea of purple; and so the good word “ modification” signifies nothing to me more than I knew before ; v, g. that I have now the idea of purple in it, which I had not some minutes since. So that though they say sensations are modifications of the mind; yet having no manner of idea what that modification of the mind is, distinct from that very sensation, v. g. the sensation of a red colour or a bitter taste: it is plain this explication amounts to no more than that a sensation is a sensation, and the sensation of red or bitter is the sensation of a red” or “ bitter;" for if I have no other idea, when I say it is a modification of the mind, than when I say it is the sensation of “ red” or “ bitter," it is plain sensation and modification stand both for the same idea, and so are but two names of one and the same thing. But to examine their doctrine of modifi. cation a little farther. Different sentiments are different modifications of the mind. The mind or soul that perceives, is one immaterial indivisible substance. Now I see the white and black on this paper, I hear one singing in the next room, I feel the warmth of the fire I sit by, and I taste an apple I am eating, and all this, at the same time. Now I ask, take “ modifica“ tion” for what you please, can the same unextended indivisible substance have different, nay inconsistent and opposite (as these of white and black must be) modifications at the same time? Or must we suppose distinct parts in an indivisible substance, one for black, another for white, and another for red ideas, and so of the rest of those infinite sensations which we have in sorts and degrees; all which we can distinctly perceive, and so are distinct ideas, some whereof are opposite, as heat and cold, which yet a man may feel at the same time? I was ignorant before how sensation was performed in us, this they call an explanation of it. Must I say now I understand it better? If this be to cure one's ignorance, it is a very slight disease, and the charm of two or three insignificant words will at any time remove it; “ probatum est,” But let it signify what it will, when I recollect the figure of one of the leaves of a violet, is not that a new modification of my soul, as well as when I think of its purple colour? Does my mind do or suffer nothing anew when I see that figure in God?
40. The idea of that figure, you say, is in God; let it be so, but it may be there, and I not see it, that is allowed; when I come to see it, which I did not before, is there no new modification, as you call it, of my mind? If there be, then seeing of figure in God, as well as having the idea of purple, is a “ modification “ of the mind,” and this distinction signifies nothing: If seeing that figure in God now, which a minute or two since I did not see at all, be no new modification or alteration in my mind, no different action or passion from what was before, there is no difference made in my apprehensions between seeing and not seeing. The ideas of figures, our author says, are in God, and are real beings in God; and God being united to the mind, these are also united to it. This all seems to me to have something very obscure and inconceivable in it, when I come to examine particulars; but let it be granted to be as clear as any one would suppose it; yet it reaches not the main difficulty, which is in “ seeing.” How after all do I see? The ideas are in God, they are real things, they are intimately united to my mind, because God is so, but yet I do not see them. How at last after all this preparation, which hitherto is in
effectual, do I come to see them? And to that I am told; “ when God is pleased to discover them to me:” This in good earnest seems to me to be nothing but going a great way about to come to the same place, and this learned circuit, thus set out, brings me at last no farther than this, that I see or perceive, or have ideas when it pleases God I should, but in a way I cannot compre: hend; and this I thought without all this ado. :41. This “ sentiment” he tells us in the next words, “ it is God causes in us, and he can cause it in us, al
though he has it not, because he sees in the idea that « he has of our soul, that it is capable of them.” This I take to be said to show the difference between
sentiments” and “ ideas" in us. V. g. “ figures" and « numbers" are ideas, and they are in God. “ Colours” and “ smells," &c. are « sentiments" in us, and not ideas in God. First, ás to ourselves I ask, why, when I recollect in my memory a violet, the purple colour as well as figure is not an idea in me? The making then the picture of any visible thing in my mind, as of a landscape I have seen, composed of figure and colour, the colour is not an idea, but the figure is an idea, and the colour a “sentiment.” Every one I allow may use his words as he pleases; but if it be to instruct others, he must when he uses two words where others use but one, show some grounds of the distinction. And I do not find but the colour of the marigold I now think of, is as much “ the immediate object of “ my mind," as its figures and so according to his definition is an “idea." Next as to God, I ask, whether, before the creation of the world, the idea of the whole marigold colour as well as figure was not in God ? « God," says he, “ can cause those sentiments “ in us, because he sees in the idea that he has of our • soul, that it is capable of them:" God, before he created any soul, knew all that he would make it capable 'of. He resolved to make it capable of having the perception of the colour as well as figure of a marigold; he had then the idea of that colour that he resolved to make it capable of, or else he made it capable (with reverence let it be spoken) of he knew not what: and