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“ quently very intelligible.” It seems as impossible to me, that an infinite simple being, in whom ihere is no variety, nor shadow of variety, should represent a finite thing, as that a finite thing should represent an infinite; nor do I see how its « containing all things in it after “ a very spiritual manner, makes it so very intelligible;" since I understand not what it is to contain a material thing spiritually, nor the manner how God contains any thing in himself, but either as an aggregate contains all things which it is made up of; and so indeed that part of him may be seen, which comes within the reach of our view. But this way of containing all things can by no means belong to God, and to make things thus visible in him, is to make the material world a part of him,' or else as having a power to produce all things; and in this way, it is true, God contains all things in himself, but in a way not proper to make the being of God a representative of those things to us; for then his being, being the representative of the effects of that power, it must represent to us all that he is ca pable of producing, which I do not find in myself that it does nou!!! i

! . ..'dir ir?;" he Secondly, “ The second way of knowing things, he " tells us, is by ideas, that is, by something that is « different from them, and thus we know things when C. they are not intelligible by themselves, either because “ they are corporeal or because they cannot penetrate & the mind, or discover themselves to it; and this is « the way we know corporeal things." This reasoning I do not understand : first, because I do not understand why a line or a triangle is not as intelligible as any thing that can be named; for we must still carry along with us, that the discourse here is about our perception, or what we have any idea or conception of in our own minds. Secondly, because I do not understand what is meant by the penetrating a spirit; and till I can comprehend these, upon which this reasoning is built, this reasoning cannot work on me. But from these reasons he concludes, “ thus it is in God, and by their ideas 66 that we see bodies and their properties, and it is for « this reason that the knowledge we have of them is


« most perfect." Whether others will think that what we see of bodies, is seen in God, by seeing the ideas of them that are in God, must be left to them. Why I cannot think so, I have shown; but the inference he makes here from it, I think, few will assent to, that we know bodies and their properties most perfectly. For who is there that can say, he knows the properties either of body in general, or of any one particular body perfectly? One property of body in general is to have parts cohering and united together; for wherever there is body, there is cohesion of parts; but who is there that perfectly understands that cohesion? And as for particular bodies, who can say that he perfectly under. stands gold or a loadstone, and all its properties? But to explain himself, he says, “ that the idea we have of 56 extension, suffices to make us know all the proper“ ties whereof extension is capable, and that we cannot “ desire to have an idea more distinct, and more fruite ful of extension, of figures, and of motions, than that 6 which God has given us of them." This seems to me a strange proof that we see bodies and their properties in God, and know them perfectly, because God hath given us distinct and fruitful ideas of extension, figure, and motion; for this had been the same, whether God had given these ideas by showing them in himself, or by any other way; and his saying, that God has given us as distinct and fruitful ideas of them as we can desire, seems as if our author himself had some other thoughts of them. If he thought we see them in God, he must think we see them as they are in themselves, and there would be no room for saying, God hath given them us as distinct as we could desire: the calling them fruitful, shows this yet more; for one that thinks he sees the ideas of figures in God, and can see no idea of a figure but in God, with what thought can he call any one of them feconde, which is said only of such things as produce others? Which expression of his seems to proceed only from this thought in him, that when I have once got the idea of extension, I can frame the ideas of what figures, and of what bigness I please. And in this I agree with him, as appears in what I

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have said, L. 2. C. 13. But then this can by no means proceed from a supposition, that I see these figures only in God; for there they do not produce one another, but there are, as it were, in their first pattern to be seen, just such, and so many as God is pleased to show them to us. But it will be said, our desire to see them is the occasional cause of God's showing them us, and so we see whatever figure we desire. Let it be so, this does not make any idea feconde, for here is no production of one out of another: but as to the occasional cause, can any one say that it is so? I, or our author, desire to see an angle next in greatness to a right angle; did upon this God ever show him or me such an angle? That God knows, or has in himself the idea of such an apgle, I think will not be denied; but that he ever showed it to any man, how much soever he desired it, I think may be doubted. But after all, how comes it by this means that we have a perfect knowledge of bodies and their properties, when several men in the world have not the same idea of body, and this very author and I differ in it? He thinks bare extension to be body, and I think extension alone makes not, body, but ex. tension and solidity; thus either he, or I, one of us, has a wrong and imperfect knowledge of bodies and their properties. For if bodies be extension alone, and nothing else, I cannot conceive how they can move and hit one against another, or what can make distinct surfaces in an uniform simple extension, A solid extended thing I can conceive moveable; but then, if I have a clear view of bodies and their properties in God, I must see the idea of solidity in God, which yet I think, by what our author, has said in his Eclaircissements, he does not allow that we do. He says farther, “that whereas & the ideas of things that are in God contain all their “ properties; he that sees their ideas may see successively

all their properties.” This seems to me not to conacein our ideas more, whether we see them in God, or have them otherwise. Any idea that we have, whencesoever we have it, contains in it all the properties it has, which are nothing but the relations it has to other ideas, which are always the same. What he says concerning the properties, that we may successively know them, is equally true, whether we see them in God, or have them by any other means. They that apply them as they ought to the consideration of their ideas, may successively come to the knowledge of some of their properties; but that they may know all their properties, is more than I think the reason proves, which he subjoins in these words, “ for when one sees the things “ as they are in God, one sees them always in a most or perfect manner.” We see, for example, in God, the idea of a triangle, or a circle; does it hence 'follow, that we can know all the properties of either of them? He adds, that the manner of seeing them or would be « infinitely perfect, if the mind which sees them in " God was infinite,” I confess myself here not well to comprehend his distinction between seeing after a manner « [tres parfait] most perfect and infinitely per- fect;" he adds, “ that which is wanting to the know“ ledge that we have of extension, figures, and motion, " is not a defect of the idea which represents it, but of

our mind which considers it.” If by ideas be meant here the real objects of our knowledge, I easily agree, that the want of knowledge in us is a defect in our minds, and not in the things to be known. But if by ideas be here meant the perception or representation of things in the mind, that I cannot but observe in myself to be very imperfect and defective, as when I desire to perceive what is the substance of body or spirit, the idea thereof fails me. To conclude, I see not what there is in this paragraph that makes any thing for the doctrine of seeing all things in God.

46. “ The third way of knowing is by consciousness 6 or interiour sentiments; and thus," he says, “ wè • know our souls; and it is for this reason that the 66 knowledge we have of them is imperfect, we know 66 nothing of our souls but what we feel within our“ selves.This confession of our author brings me back, do what I can, to that original of all our ideas which my thoughts led me to when I writ my book, viz, sensation and reflection; and therefore I am forced to ask any one who is of our author's principles, whether God had not the idea of mind, or of an human soul, before he created it? Next, whether that idea of an human soul be not as much a real being in God as the idea of a triangle? If so, why does not my soul, being intimately united to God, as well see the idea of my soul which is in him, as the idea of a triangle which is in bim? And what reason can there be given, why God shows the idea of a triangle to us, and not the idea of our souls, but this, that God has given us external sensation to perceive the one, and none to perceive the other, but only internal sensation to perceive the operation of the latter! He that pleases may read what our author says in the remainder of this, and the two or three next paragraphs, and see whether it carries him beyond where my ignorance stopped; I must own that me it does not. · 47. This, (i. e. the ignorance we are in of our own

souls,) says he, may serve to prove that the ideas that “ represent any thing to us that is without us are not “ modifications of our souls; for if the soul saw all “ things by considering its own proper modifications, 6 it should know more clearly its own essence, or its 6 own nature, than that of bodies; and all the sensa66 tions or modifications whereof it is capable, than the “ figures or modifications of which bodies are capable. « In the mean time, it knows not that it is capable of 6. any such sensation by sight, as it has of itself, but s only by experience; instead of that it knows that 6 extension is capable of an infinite number of figures 66 by the ideas that it has of extension. There are, “ moreover, certain sensations, as colours and sounds, 6 which the greatest part of men cannot discover whe. so ther they are modifications of the soul; and there " are figures which all men do not discover by the idea 66 of extension to the modifications of bodies." This paragraph is, as he tells us, to prove, “ That the ideas " that represent to us something without us, are not 6 modifications of the soul;' but instead of that, it seems to prove that figure is the modification of space, and not of our souls. For if this argument had tended to prove, " That the ideas that represent any thing

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