— 446 —
Whereof there are probably numberless Species.       §12. It is not impossible to conceive, nor repugnant to reason,
that there may be many Species of Spirits, as much separated and
diversified one from another by distinct Properties, whereof we
have no Ideas, as the Species of sensible Things are distinguished one
from another, by Qualities, which we know, and observe in them.
That there should be more Species of intelligent Creatures above us,
than there are of sensible and material below us, is probable to me
from hence; That in all the visible corporeal World, we see no
Chasms, or Gaps. All quite down from us, the descent is by easy
steps, and a continued series of Things, that in each remove, differ
— 447 —
very little one from the other. There are Fishes that have Wings,
and are not Strangers to the airy Region: and there are some Birds,
that are Inhabitants of the Water; whose Blood is cold as Fishes,
and their Flesh so like in taste, that the scrupulous are allow’d them
on Fish-days. There are Animals so near of kin both to Birds and
Beasts, that they are in the middle between both: Amphibious
Animals link the Terrestrial and Aquatique together; Seals live at
Land and at Sea, and Porpoises have the warm Blood and Entrails of
a Hog, not to mention what is confidently reported of Mermaids, or
Sea-men. There are some Brutes, that seem to have as much Know-
ledge and Reason, as some that are called Men: and the Animal and
Vegetable Kingdoms, are so nearly join’d, that if you will take the
lowest of one, and the highest of the other, there will scarce be
perceived any great difference between them; and so on till we
come to the lowest and the most inorganical parts of Matter, we
shall find every-where, that the several Species are linked together,
and differ but in almost insensible degrees. And when we consider
the infinite Power and Wisdom of the Maker, we have reason to
think, that it is suitable to the magnificent Harmony of the Uni-
verse, and the great Design and infinite Goodness of the Architect,
that the Species of Creatures should also, by gentle degrees, ascend
upward from us toward his infinite Perfection, as we see they
gradually descend from us downwards: Which if it be probable, we
have reason then to be perswaded, that there are far more Species of
Creatures above us, than there are beneath; we being in degrees of
Perfection much more remote from the infinite Being of GOD, than
we are from the lowest state of Being, and that which approaches
nearest to nothing. And yet of all those distinct Species, for the
reasons above-said, we have no clear distinct Ideas.
Locke Hum III, 6, §12, pp. 446-447