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and we become furnished with this idea by consulting such instances, whether they involve both mind and matter, or only material existences.

A cause is that, which immediately and always, in similar circumstances, is followed by a certain change; the change being the sequence or effect.

For example, fire and the melting of metals may be considered as standing to each other in the relation of cause and effect, or of antecedence and sequence; but although it be admitted to be true, that we know nothing more than the mere fact, that one precedes and the other follows, yet we at once and as it were of necessity have the idea of power.

Again, we learn, that the loadstone has the quality of drawing iron, but all we can properly understand from this statement, is, that when the loadstone is made to approach the iron, the iron moves; still we leave it to any one to say, whether we have not the idea of power. It is the same in other cases, where material bodies placed in certain circumstances are constantly followed by changes in other bodies; we associate with all such instances the idea of power.

But let us in particular reflect a moment on those instances, where the antecedent to the effect produced, is mind, is some intellectual operation or existence.

We exercise that desire or choice, to which we give the name of volition, and, immediately consequent on that volition, there is a motion of the hand.

In the beginning the world was in darkness; God said, Let there be light, and light was.

The Saviour said, Lazarus, come forth, and he arose from the dead.

In these cases we have the antecedent and consequent, the volition and the effect.

It seems to us very clear, that, in all cases when such antecedents and sequences are placed before the mind, especially when the antecedent, as in the cases last mentioned, is intellectual and intelligent, we immediately have

the idea of power, the same as when bodies of a certain colour, are placed before us, and we have the idea of whiteness or redness.

But we are perhaps called upon to give a definition or explanation of power. The reply is, that power is a simple and uncompounded perception. In all cases of invariable and immediate antecedence and sequence, it at once and necessarily arises in the soul. In such cases as when God said, Let there be light and light was; it is an idea vivid and overwhelming.

Introduced, therefore, into the mind under such cir cumstances, and being a simple idea, which can be resolved into no subordinate elements, we could give no definition of it, if we desired to; and to insist on a definition, where the idea is so obviously of such a character, seems to have no more reason in it, than to demand a verbal definition of the simple perceptions of taste, of hearing, and of sight.

§. 58. Of the evidence in favour of this account of the origin of our ideas.

It was remarked in a preceding section, that no positive proof could be brought in confirmation of the once prevalent doctrine of innate ideas, and it is natural to inquire what direct and positive evidence is there in favour of the account, which has now been given of the origin of our early thoughts?

In answer to this inquiry let it be observed, in the first place, that the statement, which has been made on this subject, recommends itself to the common experience, to what every individual can testify, to a greater or less degree, in regard to himself.

Our ideas at first are few in number; they are suggested by the objects, by which we are immediately surrounded; the greater number are from the senses or are forced upon us by our immediate wants, and a very small proportion only are abstract and remote. But we find, as we advance in years, as we become more and more acquainted

with facts in the natural world, and have more acquaint ance with our fellow men, our ideas multiply, our views are more extensive, and that we no more jump at once into the full stature of knowledge, than we advance without any intermediate growth from infancy into manhood.

This is the general experience, the testimony, which each one can give for himself.

If, in the second place, having ourselves arrived to some degree of mental capacity and information, we observe the progress of the mind in infancy and childhood in those of our fellow beings, who have just entered on the early stages of their pilgrimage, we shall find, as far as we are able to judge from the facts coming within our observation, the same process going on in them, which our consciousness of the present and our memory of the past, "even from our boyish days," enables us to testify with no little confidence

in our own case.

To the infant its nursery is the world. Its first ideas of the human race are its particular conceptions of its nurse and its mother; and the origin and history of all its notions may be traced to its animal wants, to the light, that breaks in from its window, and the few objects in the immediate neighbourhood of the cradle and of the hearth.

And, in the third place, it is not too much to say, that all the observations, which have been made on persons, who from their birth or at any subsequent period, have been deprived of any of the senses, and all the extraordinary facts, which have come to knowledge, having a bearing on this inquiry, go strongly in favour of the views which have been given.

It appears, for instance, from the observations, which have been made in regard to persons, who have been deaf until a particular period, and then have been restored to the faculty of hearing, that they have never previously had those ideas, which naturally come in by that sense. If a person has been born blind, the result is the same; or if having the sense of sight, it has so happened, that he has never seen any colours of a particular description. In the

one case he has no ideas of colours at all, and in the other, only of those colours, which he has seen.

Of those extraordinary instances, to which we alluded, as having thrown some light on the history of our intellectual acquisitions, is the account, which is given in the Memoirs of the French Academy of Sciences for the year 1703, of a deaf and dumb young man in the city of Chartres. At the age of three and twenty, it so happened, to the great surprise of the whole town, that he was suddenly restored to the sense of hearing, and in a short time he acquired the use of language. Deprived for so long a period of a sense, which in importance ranks with the sight and the touch, unable to hold communication with his fellow beings by means of oral or written language, and not particularly compelled, as he had every care taken of him by his friends, to bring his faculties into exercise, the powers of his mind remained without having opportunity to unfold themselves. Being examined by some men of discernment, it was found, that he had no idea of a God, of a soul, of the moral merit or demerit of human actions, and what might seem to be yet more remarkable, he knew not what it was to die; the agonies of dissolution, the grief of friends, and the ceremonies of interment being to him inexplicable mysteries.

Here we see how much knowledge a person was deprived of, merely by his wanting the single sense of hearing; a proof that the senses were designed by our Creator to be the original sources of knowledge, and that without them the faculties of the soul would never become operative.

The instance of the young man of Chartres is more particularly examined into, in Condillac's Essay on the Origin of Knowledge, at Section fourth of Part first, and the whole book may well be consulted by those, who wish for further information on this whole inquiry.

§. 59. Simple ideas the elements of all our knowledge.

Admitting the correctness of the views, which have been given, it follows, that from our simple ideas all others are derived.

As to the power, which we possess over the ideas in the mind, it may be observed, that we have no power to destroy or annul them by a mere volition; nor does it appear, that we are always able to detain an idea in the mind and make it an object of contemplation to the entire exclusion of others, at least, for any length of time. We can exert this power only in an imperfect degree.

But we have power,

(1) Of comparing ideas together in various respects, such as extent, degrees, time, place.

We have the power,

(2) of combining or compounding, an operation, by means of which we form what are termed complex ideas out of two or more simple ones variously put together.



§. 60. Division of complex ideas into three kinds.

Those ideas, which are purely simple, are few in number, and may all be either traced, on the one hand, to some affection of the senses, or, on the other, to reflection, which is that observation or notice, which the mind takes of its own operations. But by the aid of the small number of simple ideas, a vast number of others are formed, which are termed complex. The power, which we possess, of forming complex ideas from simple ones, may be compared to our power of uniting together the letters of the alphabet in the formation of words, which are of themselves few in number, but lay the foundation of almost innumerable combinations.

Complex ideas are divided into three kinds, MODES, SUBSTANCES, and RELATIONS.

Modes are that class of complex ideas, which are sup

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