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B. IV, c. v, $$ 3,5.
id. How known, c. viii, $ 12.
ceach nothing. Ibid. 2.

As to simple ideas and modes easily had. \ 4.

Not so as to substances. ibid. &
C. vi,

Often trifling. c. viii, g 9.
Concern not existence. c. ix, | 1.

Their certainty, in what. c. vi, 16. pable of demonstration. c. iii, $ 8. c. xii, $ 8. Of little use, Not first known, c. vii, 1$ 8,9. c. xii, 1

because Nor the foundations of science. c. vii, 10 May be of sin disputing. $ 11.

use {in teaching the sciences. Ibid. diversity. c. i, $ 4. c. iii, 8. c. vii, 4. c. i, $ 5. c. iii, $ 18. c. vii, $ 6. ce. c. i, $ 6. c. iii, 9. C. vii, 05. ice.c.i,37. Sof ourselves. c. ix, 13. by intuition.

by demonstration. Lof other things. c. xi. by our senses.

cinguished. c. iv. Association, vid. Retention. Part II, 2: Intuition. c. i, 1 1, 2. and c. xvii. Demonstration. c. ii, $2. Sense. 14. and c. iii, $ 5. one without ideas. $ 1. arrower than our ideas. $ 6. ery scanty as to substances. $09-12. rant of ideas. c. iii, $ 23. of a discoverable connexion between them. 928.c.xvii, 11. of tracing and examining them. c. ii, j 30. y comparing clear ideas. $ 3, 6, 7. xperience. 9. mploying it about its most proper objects. $11. voiding hypotheses. 12.

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c. xviii, $ 2.
ects of faith. Ibid. 987, 8.
it. 10.
from want of ) Ability. 05.

Inclination. 86.
Propet measures or rules of probability. $7.

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§ 1. An inquiry into the understanding, pleasant and

useful. Since it is the understanding that sets man above the rest of sensible beings, and gives him all the advantage and dominion which he has over them, it is certainly a subject, even for its nobleness, worth our labour to inquire into. The understanding, like the eye, whilst it makes us see and perceive all other things, takes no notice of itself: And it requires art and pains to set it at a distance, and make it its own object. But whatever be the difficulties that lie in the way of this inquiry, whatever it be that keeps us so much in the dark to ourselves, sure I am, that all the light we can let in upon our own minds, all the

acquaintance we can make with our own understandings, will not only be very pleasant, but bring uis great advantage, in directing our thoughts in the search of other things.

§ 2. Design. This, therefore, being my purpose to inquire into the original, certainty, and extent of human knowledge; together with the grounds and degrees of belief, opinion, and assent; I shall not at present meddle with the physical consideration of the mind,

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or trouble myself to examine, wherein its essence consists, or by what motions of our spirits, or alterations of our bodies, we come to have any sensation by our organs, or any ideas in our understandings; and whether those ideas do, in their formation, any or all of them, depend on matter or no. These are speculations which, however curious and entertaining, I shall decline, as lying out of my way, in the design I am now upon : It shall suffice to my present purpose, to consider the discerning faculties of a man, as they are employed about the objects which they have to do with : And I shall imagine I have not wholly misemployed myself in the thoughts I shall have on this occasion, if, in this historical plain method, I can give any account of the ways whereby our understandings come to attain those notions of things we have, and can set down any measures of the certainty of our knowledge, or the grounds of those persuasions which are to be found amongst men, so various, different, and wholly contradictory; and

yet asserted somewhere or other with such assurance and confidence, that he that shall take a view of the opinions of mankind, observe their opposition, and at the same time consider the fondness and devotion wherewith they are embraced, the resolution and eagerness wherewith they are maintained, may perhaps have reason to suspect, that either there is no such thing as truth at all, or that mankind hath no sufficient means to attain a certain knowledge of it.

§ 3. Melhod. It is therefore worth while to search out the bounds between opinion and knowledge ; and examine by what measures, in things whereof we have no certain knowledge, we ought to regulate our assent, and moderate our persuasions. In order whereunto, I shall pursue this following method.

First, I shall inquire into the original of those ideas, notions, or whatever else you please to call them, which a man observes, and is conscious to himself he has in his mind; and the ways whereby the understanding comes to be furnished with them.

Secondly, I shall endeavour to show, what knowledge the understanding hath by those ideas; and the certainty, evidence, and extent of it.

Thirdly, I shall make some inquiry into the nature and grounds of faith, or opinion ; whereby I mean that assent which we give to any proposition as true, of whose truth yet we have no certain knowledge: And here we shall have occasion to examine the reasons and degrees of assent, $ 4. Useful to know the extent of our comprehension.

If, by this inquiry into the nature of the understanding, I can discover the powers thereof, how fathey reach, to what things they are in any degree proportionate, and where they fail us, I suppose it may be of use to prevail with the busy mind of man, to be more cautious in meddling with things exceeding its comprehension; to stop, when it is at the utmost extent of its tether; and to sit duwn in a quiet ignorance of those things, which, upon examination, are found to be beyond the reach of our capacities. We should not then perhaps be so forward, out of an affectation of an universal knowledge, to raise questions, and perplex ourselves and others with disputes about things to which our understandings are not suited, and of which we cannot frame in our minds any clear or distinct perceptions, or whereof (as it has perhaps too often happened) we have not any. notions at all. If we can find out, how far the understanding can extend its view; how far it has faculties to attain certainty; and in what cases it can only judge and guess, we may learn to content ourselves with what is attainable by us in this state.

§ 5. Our capacity suited to our state and concerns.

For though the comprehension of our understand ings comes exceeding short of the vast extent of things; yet we shall have cause enough to magnify the bountiful Author of our being, for that proportion and degree of knowledge he has bestowed on us, so far above all the rest of the inhabitants of this our mansion. Men have reason to be well satisfied with what God hath thought fit for them, since he hath given them (as St. Peter says) serta seos Canin xai svréßetav, whatsoever is necessary for the conveniences of life, and information of virtue; and has put within the reach of their discovery, the comfortable provision for this life, and the way that leads to a better. How short soever their knowledge may.come of an universal or perfect comprehension of whatsoever is, it yet secures their great concernments, that they have light enough to lead them to the knowledge of their maker, and the sight of their own duties. Men may find matter sufficient to busy their heads, and employ their hands with variety, delight, and satisfaction ; if they will not boldly quarrel with their own constitution, and throw away the blessings their hands are filled with, because they are not big enough to grasp every thing. We shall not have much reasop to.complain of the narrowness of our minds, if we will but employ them about what may be of use to us; for of that they are very capable : and it will be an unpardonable, as well as childish peevishness, if we undervalue the advantages of our knowledge, and neglect to improve it to the ends for which it was given us, because there are some things that are set out of the reach of it. It will be no excuse to an idle and untoward servant, who would not attend his business by candlelight, to plead that he had not broad sun-shine. The candle, that is set up in us, sbines bright enough for all our purposes. The discoveries we can make with this, ought to satisfy us; and we shall then use our understandings right, when we entertain all objects in that way and proportion that they are suited to our faculties, and upon those

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