— 370 —

much beyond the smallest, that occur to any of our Senses: and

therefore when we talk of the divisibility of Matter

though we have clear

also clear

have but very obscure, and confused

Bodies, so to be divided, when by former Divisions, they are reduced

to a smalness, much exceeding the perception of any of our Senses;

and so all that we have clear, and distinct

in general, or abstractly is, and the Relation of

of the bulk of the Body, to be thus infinitely divided after certain

Progressions, I think, we have no clear, nor distinct

I ask any one, Whether taking the smallest Atom of Dust he ever

saw, he has any distinct

cerns not Extension,) betwixt the 100 000, and the 1000 000 part

of it. Or if he think he can refine his

losing sight of them, let him add ten Cyphers to each of those

Numbers. Such a degree of smalness is not unreasonable to be

supposed, since a Division carried on so far brings it no nearer the

end of infinite Division, than the first Division into two halfs does.

I must confess for my part, I have no clear, distinct

ent Bulk, or Extension of those Bodies, having but a very obscure

one of either of them. So that, I think, when we talk of Division of

Bodies

Subject and Foundation of Division, comes after a little progression,

to be confounded, and almost lost in Obscurity. For that

which is to represent only Bigness, must be very obscure and

confused, which we cannot distinguish from one ten times as big,

but only by Number: so that we have clear, distinct

say of Ten and One, but no distinct

’Tis plain from hence, that when we talk of infinite Divisibility of

Body, or Extension, our distinct and clear

but the clear, distinct

Division, is quite lost; and of such minute Parts, we have no dis-

tinct

— 371 —

to that of Number always to be
added; but thereby never amountsto any distinct

clear

have no more a clear

clear

Numbers to any assigned Number we have: endless Divisibility

giving us no more a clear and distinct

than endless Addibility (if I may so speak) gives us a clear and

distinct

in a Power still of increasing the Number, be it already as great as it

will. So that of what remains to be added, (wherein consists the

Infinity,) we have but an obscure, imperfect, and confused

from or about which we can argue, or reason with no Certainty or

Clearness, no more than we can in Arithmetick, about a Number of

which we have no such distinct

only this relative obscure one, that compared to any other, it is

still bigger: and we have no more a clear, positive

say or conceive it is bigger, or more than 400,000,000, than if we

should say, it is bigger than 40, or 4: 400,000,000, having no nearer

a proportion to the end of Addition, or Number, than 4. For he that

adds only 4 to 4, and so proceeds, shall as soon come to the end of

all Addition, as he that adds 400,000,000, to 400,000,000. And so

likewise in Eternity, he that has an

much a positive complete

400,000,000 of Years: For what remains of Eternity beyond either

of these two Numbers of Years, is as clear to the one as the other;

adds only 4 Years to 4, and so on, shall as soon reach Eternity, as

he that adds 400,000,000 of Years, and so on; or if he please,

doubles the Increase as often as he will: The remaining Abyss being

still as far beyond the end of all these Progressions, as it is from the

length of a Day, or an Hour. For nothing finite bears any proportion

to infinite; and therefore our

any. Thus it is also in our

Addition, as well as when we diminish it by Division, and would

enlarge our Thoughts to infinite Space. After a few doublings of

those

have, we lose the clear distinct

confusedly great one, with a Surplus of still greater; about which,

— 372 —

when we would argue, or reason, we shall always find our selves at aloss; confused

of them which is confused, always leading us into confusion.

Locke* Hum* II, 29, §16, pp. 370-371-372