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the fame thing to be, and not to be, are by nature imprinted, children cannot be ignorant of them; infants, and all that have fouls, muft neceffarily have them in their understandings, know the truth of them, and affent to



To avoid this, it is ufually answered, that all men know and affent to them when they come to the use of reafon, and this is enough to prove them innate. anfwer,


§ 7. That Men know them when they come to the use of Reafon, anfwered.

DOUBTFUL expreffions, that have fcarce any fignification, go for clear reasons to those who, being prepoffeffed, take not the pains to examine even what they themfelves fay. For to apply this answer with any tolerable fenfe to our prefent purpose, it muft fignify one of these two things, either that as foon as men come to the use of reafon, these fuppofed native inferiptions come to be known and obferved by them, or else that the use and exercife of mens reafons affifts them in the discovery of these principles, and certainly makes them known to them.

§ 8. If Reafon difcovered them, that would not prove

them Innate.

If they mean, that by the use of reafon men may difcover these principles, and that this is fufficient to prove them innate, their way of arguing will ftand thus, viz. that whatever truths reafon can certainly discover to us, and make us firmly affent to, those are all naturally imprinted on the mind, fince that univerfal affent, which is made the mark of them, amounts to no more but this, that by the use of reafon we are capable to come to a certain knowledge of, and affent to them; and by this means there will be no difference between the maxims of the mathematicians and theorems they deduce from them; all must be equally allowed innate, they being all discoveries made by the use of reafon, and truths that a rational creature may certainly come to know, if he apply his thoughts rightly that way.

$9. It is falfe that Reafon difcovers them. BUT how can these men think the use of reafon neceffary to discover principles that are fuppofed innate, when reafon (if we may believe them) is nothing else but the faculty of deducing unknown truths from principles or propofitions that are already known? That certainly can never be thought innate which we have need of reafon to difcover, unless, as I have said, we will have all the certain truths that reafon ever teaches us to be innate. We may as well think the ufe of reafon neceflary to make our eyes difcover visible. ob jects, as that there should be need of reafon, or the exercife thereof, to make the understanding fee what is originally engraven in it, and cannot be in the underflanding before it be perceived by it: So that to make. reafon discover thofe truths thus imprinted, is to fay, that the ufe of reafon difcovers to a man what he knew before; and if men have thofe innate impreffed truths originally, and before the ufe of reafon, and yet are always ignorant of them till they come to the use of reafon, it is in effect to say, that men know and know them not at the fame time.


IT will here perhaps be faid, that mathematical demonftrations, and other truths that are not innate, are not aflented to as foon as propofed, wherein they are diftinguished from these maxims and other innate truths. I fhall have occafion to speak of affent upon the first propofing more particularly by and by. I fhall here enly, and that very readily, allow that these maxims and mathematical demonftrations are in this different, that the one has need of reafon, ufing of proofs, to make them out, and to gain our affent; but the other, as foon as understood, are, without any the least reafoning, embraced and affented to. But I withal beg leave to obferve, that it lays open the weakness of this fubterfuge, which requires the use of reafon for the discovery of thefe general truths, fince it muft be confeffed, that in their discovery there is no ufe made of reasoning at all: And I think those who give this anfwer will

not be forward to affirm, that the knowledge of this maxim, That it is impoffible for the fame thing to be, and not to be, is a deduction of our reason; for this would be to deftroy that bounty of Nature they feem fo fond of, whilft they make the knowledge of thofe principles to depend on the labour of our thoughts; for all reafoning is fearch, and cafting about, and requires pains and application. And how can it with any tolerable fenfe be fuppofed, that what was imprinted by Nature as the foundation and guide of our reafon, fhould need the use of reason to discover it?

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THOSE Who will take the pains to reflect with a little attention on the operations of the understanding, will find, that this ready affent of the mind to fome truths depends not either on native infcription or the use of reafon, but on a faculty of the mind quite diftinct from both of them, as we shall fee hereafter. Reason, therefore, having nothing to do in procuring our affent to thefe maxims, if by faying, that men know and affsent to them when they come to the use of reason, be meant, that the use of reafon affifts us in the knowledge of these maxims, it is utterly falfe, and were it true, would prove them not to be innate.

12. The coming to the Ufe of Reafon, not the Time we come to know thefe Maxims.

IF by knowing and affenting to them when we come to the use of reafon, be meant, that this is the time when they come to be taken notice of by the mind, and that as foon as children come to the ufe cf reafon they come also to know and affert to these maxims, this alfo is falfe and frivolous. First, It is falfe, because it is evident these maxims are not in the mind so early as the ufe of reason, and therefore the coming to the ufe of reafon is falfely affigned as the time of their discovery.. How many inftances of the use of reafon may we obferve in children long time before they have any knowledge of this maxim, That it is impoffible for the fame thing to be, and not to be? And a great part of illiterate people and favages pafs many years, even of their ra

tional age, without ever thinking on this, and the like general propofitions. 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 reafon; and I add, nor then neither: Which is fo, 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 fame way, and difcovered by the fame fteps, as feveral other propofitions, which nobody was ever fo extravagant as to fuppofe innate. This I hope to make plain in the fequel of this difcourfe. I allow, therefore, a neceffity, that men fhould come to the use of reason, before they get the knowledge of those general truths; but deny that mens coming to the use of reafon is the time of their difcovery.

§ 13. By this they are not diftinguished from other

knowable Truths.

In the mean time it is obfervable, that this saying, that men know, and affent to these maxims, when they come to the use of reafon, amounts, in reality of fact, to no more but this, that they are never known, nor taken. notice of, before the ufe of reafon, but may poffibly be affented to fome time after, during a man's life, but when, is uncertain; and fo may all other knowable truths, as well as these which therefore have no advantage, nor diftinction 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 the contrary.

14. If coming to the Ufe of Reafon were the Time of their Difcovery, it would not prove them Innate. BUT, Secondly, Were it true that the precife time of their being known and affented to, were, when men come to the use of reason, neither would that prove them innate. This way of arguing is fo frivolous, as the fuppofition of itself is falfe. For by what kind of logic will it appear, that any notion is originally by nature imprinted in the mind in its firft conftitution, because

Book I. it comes firft to be observed and affented to, when a faculty of the mind, which has quite a diftinct province, begins to exert itself? And therefore, the coming to the ufe of fpeech, if it were fuppofed the time that thefe maxims are first affented to (which it may be with as much truth, as the time when men come to the ufe of reafon), would be as good a proof that they were innate, as to fay, they are innate because men affent to them, when they come to the ufe of reafon. I agree then with these men of innate principles, that there is no knowledge of thefe general and felf-evident maxims in the mind, till it comes to the exercise of reafon: But I deny that the coming to the ufe of reafon is the precise time when they are first taken notice of; and if that were the precife time, I deny that it would prove them innate. All that can with any truth be meant by this propofition, that men affent to them when they come to the ufe of reafon, 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 thofe general ideas, nor learn the names that itand for them, till having for a good while exercised their reafon about familiar and more particular ideas, they are, by their ordinary difcourfe and actions with others, acknowledged to be capable of rational converfation. If affenting to these maxims, when men come to the use of reafon, can be true in any other fenfe, I defire it may be shown; or, at leaft, how in this, or any other fenfe, it proves them innate.

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§ 15. The Steps by which the Mind attains feverak


THE fenfes at first let in particular ideas and furnish the yet empty cabinet; and the mind by degrees growing. familiar with fome of them, they are lodged in the memory, and names got to them. Afterwards the mind proceeding farther, abftracts 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 exercife its difcurfive fa

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