— 637 —
The Existence of Spirits not knowable.
      §12. What Ideas we have of Spirits, and how we come by them, I
have already shewn. But though we have those Ideas in our Minds,
and know we have them there, the having the Ideas of Spirits does
not make us know, that any such Things do exist without us, or
that there are any finite Spirits, or any other spiritual Beings, but the
Eternal GOD. We have ground from revelation, and several other
Reasons, to believe with assurance, that there are such Creatures:
but our Senses not being able to discover them, we want the means
of knowing their particular Existences. For we can no more know,
that there are finite Spirits really existing, by the Idea we have of
such Beings in our Minds, than by the Ideas any one has of Fairies, or
Centaurs, he can come to know, that Things answering those Ideas,
do really exist.
      And therefore concerning the Existence of finite Spirits, as well
as several other Things, we must content our selves with the
Evidence of Faith; but universal certain Propositions concerning
this matter are beyond our reach. For however true it may be, v.g.
that all the intelligent Spirits that GOD ever created, do still exist;
yet it can never make a part of our certain Knowledge. These and
the like Propositions, we may assent to, as highly probable, but are
not, I fear, in this state, capable of knowing. We are not then to put
others upon demonstrating, nor our selves upon search of universal
Certainty in all those matters, wherein we are not capable of any
other Knowledge, but what our Senses give us in this or that par-
Locke Hum IV, 11, §12, p. 637