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assent to them when they come to the use of reason, be meant, that the use of reason assists us in the knowledge of these maxims, it is utterly false; and were it true, would prove them not to be innate.

SECT. 12. The coming to the use of reason, not the time we come to know these maxims.—If by knowing and assenting to them, when we come to the use of reason, be meant, that this is the time when they come to be taken notice of by the mind; and that, as soon as children come to the use of reason, they come also to know and assent to these maxims; this also is false and frivolous. First, it is false: because it is evident these maxims are not in the mind so early as the use of reason, and therefore the coming to the use of reason is falsely assigned as the time of their discovery. How many instances of the use of reason may we observe in children, a long time before they have any knowledge of this maxim, "that it is impossible for the same thing to be, and not to be?" And a great part of illiterate people, and savages, pass many years, even of their rational age, without ever thinking on this and the like general propositions. I grant, men come not to the knowledge of these general and more abstract truths, which are thought innate, till they come to the use of reason; and I add, nor then neither: which is so because, till after they come to the use of reason, those general abstract ideas are not framed in the mind, about which those general maxims are, which are mistaken for innate principles: but are indeed discoveries made, and verities introduced and brought into the mind, by the same way, and discovered by the same steps, as several other propositions, which nobody was ever so extravagant as to suppose innate. This I hope to make plain in the sequel of this discourse. I allow therefore a necessity that men should come to the use of reason before they get the knowledge of those general truths, but deny that men's coming to the use of reason is the time of their discovery.

SECT. 13. By this they are not distinguished from other knowable truths. -In the mean time it is observable, that this saying, That men know and assent to these maxims when they come to the use of reason, amounts, in reality of fact, to no more but this, That they are never known nor taken notice of, before the use of reason, but may possibly be assented to, some time after, during a man's life, but when, is uncertain; and so may all other knowable truths, as well as these; which therefore have no advantage nor distinction from others, by this note of being known when we come to the use of reason, nor are thereby proved to be innate, but quite contrary. SECT. 14. If coming to the use of reason were the time of their discovery, it would not prove them innate.-But, secondly, were it true that the precise time of their being known and assented to were when men come to the use of reason, neither would that prove them innate. This way of arguing is as frivolous as the supposition of itself is false. For by what kind of logic will it appear, that any notion is originally by nature imprinted in the mind in its first constitution, because it comes first to be observed and assented to, when faculty of the mind, which has quite a distinct province, begins to exert itself? And therefore, the coming to the use of speech, if it were supposed the time that these maxims are first assented to, (which it may be with as much truth as the time when men come to the use of reason) would be as good a proof that they were innate, as to say, they are innate, because men assent to them when they come to the use of reason. I agree then with these men of innate principles, that there is no knowledge of these general and self-evident maxims in the mind, till it comes to the exercise of reason; but I deny that the coming to the use of reason is the precise time when they are first taken notice of; and if that were the precise time, I deny that it would prove them innate. All that can, with any truth, be meant by this proposition, that men assent to them when they come to the use of reason, is no more but this; that the

making of general abstract ideas, and the understanding of general names, being a concomitant of the rational faculty, and growing up with it, children commonly get not those general ideas, nor learn the names that stand for them, till, having for a good while exercised their reason about familiar and more particular ideas, they are, by their ordinary discourse and actions with others, acknowledged to be capable of rational conversation. If assenting to these maxims, when men come to the use of reason, can be true in any other sense, I desire it may be shown; or at least, how in this, or any other sense, it proves them innate.

SECT. 15. The steps by which the mind attains several truths.-The senses at first let in particular ideas, and furnish the yet empty cabinet; and the mind by degrees growing familiar with some of them, they are lodged in the memory, and names got to them: afterward the mind, proceeding farther, abstracts them, and by degrees learns the use of general names. In this manner, the mind comes to be furnished with ideas and language, the materials about which to exercise its discursive faculty; and the use of reason becomes daily more visible, as these materials that give it employment increase. But though the having of general ideas, and the use of general words and reason, usually grow together, yet, I see not how this any way proves them innate. The knowledge of some truths, I confess, is very early in the mind, but in a way that shows them not to be innate. For, if we will observe, we shall find it still to be about ideas, not innate, but acquired; it being about those first which are imprinted by external things, with which infants have earliest to do, which make the most frequent impressions on their senses. In ideas thus got, the mind discovers that some agree and others differ, probably as soon as it has any use of memory; as soon as it is able to retain and perceive distinct ideas. But whether it be then, or no, this is certain; it does so long before it has the use of words, or comes to that, which we commonly call "the use of reason." For a child knows as certainly, before it can speak, the difference between the ideas of sweet and bitter (i. e. that sweet is not bitter) as it knows afterward (when it comes to speak) that wormwood and sugar plums are not the same thing. SECT. 16.-Á child knows not that three and four are equal to seven, till he comes to be able to count seven, and has got the name and idea of equality; and then, upon explaining those words, he presently assents to, or rather perceives the truth of, that proposition. But neither does he then readily assent, because it is an innate truth, nor was his assent wanting till then, because he wanted the use of reason; but the truth of it appears to him, as soon as he has settled in his mind the clear and distinct ideas that these names stand for; and then he knows the truth of that proposition, upon the same grounds, and by the same means, that he knew before that a rod and a cherry are not the same thing; and upon the same grounds also, that he may come to know afterward, "that it is impossible for the same thing to be, and not to be,” as shall be more fully shown hereafter. So that the later it is before any one comes to have those general ideas, about which those maxims are; or to know the signification of those general terms that stand for them; or to put together in his mind the ideas they stand for; the later also will it be before he comes to assent to those maxims, whose terms, with the ideas they stand for, being no more innate than those of a cat or a weasel, he must stay till time and observation have acquainted him with them; and then he will be in a capacity to know the truth of these maxims, upon the first occasion that shall make him put together those ideas in his mind, and observe whether they agree or disagree, according as is expressed in those propositions. And therefore it is, that a man knows that eighteen and nineteen are equal to thirty-seven, by the same self-evidence that he knows one and two to be equal to three; yet a child knows this not so soon as the other, not for want of the use of reason, but because the ideas

the words eighteen, nineteen, and thirty-seven stand for, are not so soon got, as those which are signified by one, two, and three.

SECT. 17. Assenting as soon as proposed and understood, proves them not innate. This evasion therefore of general assent, when men come to the use of reason, failing as it does, and leaving no difference between those supposed innate, and other truths that are afterward acquired and learnt, men have endeavoured to secure a universal assent to those they call maxims, by saying, they are generally assented to as soon as proposed, and the terms they are proposed in, understood: seeing all men, even children, as soon as they hear and understand the terms, assent to these propositions, they think it is sufficient to prove them innate. For since men never fail, after they have once understood the words, to acknowledge them for undoubted truths they would infer, that certainly these propositions were first lodged in the understanding, which, without any teaching, the mind, at the very first proposal, immediately closes with, and assents to, and after that never doubts again.

SECT. 18. If such an assent be a mark of innate, then "that one and two are equal to three; that sweetness is not bitterness," and a thousand the like, must be innate.-In answer to this, I demand "whether ready assent given to a proposition upon first hearing, and understanding the terms, be a certain mark of an innate principle?" If it be not, such a general assent is in vain urged as a proof of them: if it be said, that it is a mark of innate, they must then allow all such propositions to be innate which are generally assented to as soon as heard, whereby they will find themselves plentifully stored with innate principles. For upon the same ground, viz. of assent at first hearing and understanding the terms, that men would have those maxims pass for innate, they must also admit several propositions about numbers to be innate; and thus, that one and two are equal to three; that two and two are equal to four; and a multitude of other the like propositions in numbers, that every body assents to at first hearing and understanding the terms, must have a place among these innate axioms. Nor is this the prerogative of numbers alone, and propositions made about several of them; but even natural philosophy and all the other sciences, afford propositions which are sure to meet with assent as soon as they are understood. That two bodies cannot be in the same place, is a truth that nobody any more sticks at, than at these maxims: "that it is impossible for the same things to be, and not to be; that white is not black; that a square is not a circle; that yellowness is not sweetness;" these, and a million of other such propositions (as many at least as we have distinct ideas of), every man in his wits, at first hearing, and knowing what the names stand for, must necessarily assent to. If these men will be true to their own rule, and have assent at first hearing and understanding the terms to be a mark of innate, they must allow, not only as many innate propositions, as men have distinct ideas, but as many as men can make propositions, wherein different ideas are denied one of another. Since every proposition, wherein one different idea is denied of another, will as certainly find assent at first hearing and understanding. the terms, as this general one, "it is impossible for the same thing to be, and not to be;" or that which is the foundation of it, and is the easier understood of the two, "the same is not different:" by which account they will have legions of innate propositions of this one sort, without mentioning any other. But since no proposition can be innate, unless the ideas, about which it is, be innate; this will be, to suppose all our ideas of colours, sounds, taste, figure, &c. innate, than which there cannot be any thing more opposite to reason and experience. Universal and ready assent, upon hearing and understanding the terms, 18 (I grant) a mark of self-evidence; but self-evidence, depending not on innate impressions, but on something else (as we shall show hereafter), belongs to several propositions, which nobody was yet so extravagant as to pretend to be innate.

SECT. 19. Such less general propositions known before these universal maxims.-Nor let it be said, that those more particular self-evident propositions, which are assented to at first hearing, as, that one and two are equal to three; that green is not red, &c.; are received as the consequence of those more universal propositions, which are looked on as innate principles; since any one, who will but take the pains to observe what passes in the understanding, will certainly find, that these, and the like less general propositions, are certainly known, and firmly assented to, by those who are utterly ignorant of those more general maxims; and so, being earlier in the mind than those (as they are called) first principles, cannot owe to them the assent wherewith they are received at first hearing.

SECT. 20. One and one equal to two, &c. not general nor useful, answered.-If it be said, that "these propositions, viz. two and two are equal to four; red is not blue, &c. are not general maxims, nor of any great use;" I answer, that makes nothing to the argument of universal assent, upon hearing and understanding: for, if that be the certain mark of innate, whatever proposition can be found that receives general assent as soon as heard and understood, that must be admitted for an innate proposition, as well as this maxim, "that it is impossible for the same thing to be, and not to be;" they being upon this ground equal. And as to the difference of being more general, that makes this maxim more remote from being innate; those general and abstract ideas being more strangers to our first apprehensions, than those of more particular self-evident propositions; and therefore it is longer before they are admitted and assented to by the growing understanding. And as to the usefulness of these magnified maxims, that perhaps will not be found so great as is generally conceived, when it comes in its due place to be more fully considered.

SECT. 21. These maxims not being known sometimes until proposed, proves them not innate.-But we have not yet done with assenting to propositions at first hearing and understanding their terms; it is fit we first take notice, that this, instead of being a mark that they are innate, is a proof of the contrary; since it supposes that several, who understand and know other things, are ignorant of these principles, until they are proposed to them; and that one may be unacquainted with these truths, until he hears them from others. For if they were innate, what need they be proposed in order to gaining assent; when, by being in the understanding, by a natural and original impression (if there were any such), they could not but be known before? Or doth the proposing them print them clearer in the mind than nature did? If so, then the consequence will be, that a man knows them better after he has been thus taught them than he did before. Whence it will follow, that these principles may be made more evident to us by others' teaching, than nature has made them by impression; which will ill agree with the opinion of innate principles, and give but little authority to them; but, on the contrary, makes them unfit to be the foundations of all our other knowledge, as they are pretended to be. This cannot be denied; that men grow first acquainted with many of these self-evident truths, upon their being proposed; but it is clear, that whosoever does so, finds in himself that he then begins to know a proposition which he knew not before, and which, from thenceforth, he never questions; not because it was innate, but because the consideration of the nature of the things contained in those words, would not suffer him to think otherwise, how or whensoever he is brought to reflect on them: and if whatever is assented to, at first hearing and understanding the terms, must pass for an innate principle, every wellgrounded observation, drawn from particulars into a general rule, must be innate; when yet it is certain, that not all, but only sagacious heads, light at first on these observations, and reduce them into general propositions, not innate, but collected from a preceding acquaintance, and reflection on particular instances. These, when observing men have made them, un

observing men, when they are proposed to them, cannot refuse their as

sent to.

SECT. 22. Implicitly known before proposing, signifies, that the mind is capable of understanding them, or else signifies nothing.—If it be said, "the understanding hath an implicit knowledge of these principles, but not an explicit, before this first hearing," (as they must, who will say, "that they are in the understanding, before they are known") it will be hard to conceive what is meant by a principle imprinted on the understanding implicitly, unless it be this; that the mind is capable of understanding and assenting firmly to such propositions. And thus all mathematical demonstrations, as well as first principles, must be received as native impressions on the mind; which I fear they will scarce allow them to be, who find it harder to demonstrate a proposition, than assent to it when demonstrated. And few mathematicians will be forward to believe, that all the diagrams they have drawn were but copies of those innate characters which nature had engraven upon their minds.

SECT. 23. The argument of assenting on first hearing, is upon a false supposition of no precedent teaching.There is, I fear, this further weakness in the foregoing argument, which would persuade us, that therefore those maxims are to be thought innate, which men admit at first hearing, because they assent to propositions, which they are not taught, nor do receive from the force of any argument or demonstration, but a bare explication or understanding of the terms. Under which, there seems to me to lie this fallacy; that men are supposed not to be taught, nor to learn any thing de novo; when, in truth, they are taught, and do learn something they were ignorant of before. For first, it is evident, that they have learned the terms and their signification, neither of which was born with them. But this is not all the acquired knowledge in the case: the ideas themselves, about which the proposition is, are not born with them, no more than their names, but got afterward. So that in all propositions that are assented to at first hearing, the terms of the proposition, their standing for such ideas, and the ideas themselves that they stand for, being neither of them innate, I would fain know what there is remaining in such propositions that is innate. For I would gladly have any one name that proposition, whose terms or ideas were either of them innate. We by degrees get ideas and names, and learn their appropriated connexion one with another; and then to propositions made in such terms, whose signification we have learnt, and wherein the agreement or disagreement we can perceive in our ideas, when put together, is expressed, we at first hearing assent; though to other propositions, in themselves as certain and evident, but which are concerning ideas not so soon or so easily got, we are at the same time no way capable of assenting. For though a child quickly assents to this proposition, that an "apple is not fire," when, by familiar acquaintance, he has got the ideas of those two different things distinctly imprinted on his mind, and has learnt that the names apple and fire stand for them; yet, it will be some years after, perhaps, before the same child will assent to this proposition, "that it is impossible for the same thing to be, and not to be;" because, that though, perhaps, the words are as easy to be learnt, yet the signification of them being more large, comprehensive, and abstract, than of the names annexed to those sensible things the child hath to do with, it is longer before he learns their precise meaning, and it requires more time plainly to form in his mind those general ideas they stand for. Till that be done, you will in vain endeavour to make any child assent to a proposition made up of such general terms: but as soon as ever he has got those ideas, and learned their names, he forwardly closes with the one as well as the other of the fore-mentioned propositions, and with both for the same reason, viz. because he finds the ideas he has in his mind to agree or disagree, according as the words standing for them are affirmed or denied one of another in the proposition. But if propositions

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