— 689 —
No new simple Idea can be conveyed by Traditional Revelation.
      §3. First, Then, I say, That no Man inspired by GOD, can by any
Revelation communicate to others any new simple Ideas which they had not
before from Sensation or Reflexion. For whatsoever Impressions he
himself may have from the immediate hand of GOD, this Revela-
tion, if it be of new simple Ideas, cannot be conveyed to another,
either by Words, or any other signs. Because Words, by their im-
mediate Operation on us, cause no other Ideas, but of their natural
Sounds: and ’tis by the Custom of using them for Signs, that they
excite, and revive in our Minds latent Ideas; but yet only such Ideas,
as were there before. For Words seen or heard, re-call to our
Thoughts those Ideas only, which to us they have been wont to be
Signs of: But cannot introduce any perfectly new, and formerly
unknown simple Ideas. The same holds in all other Signs, which
cannot signify to us Things, of which we have before never had any
Idea at all.
— 690 —
Thus whatever Things were discovered to St. Paul, when he was
rapp’d up into the Third Heaven; whatever new Ideas his Mind
there received, all the description he can make to others of that
Place, is only this, That there are such Things, as Eye hath not seen,
nor Ear heard, nor hath it entred into the Heart of Man to conceive.I Cor. 2: 9. And,
supposing GOD should discover to any one, supernaturally, a
Species of Creatures inhabiting, For Example, Jupiter, or Saturn
(for that it is possible there may be such, no body can deny) which
had six Senses; and imprint on his Mind the Ideas convey’d to theirs
by that sixth Sense, he could no more, by Words, produce in the
Minds of other Men those Ideas, imprinted by that sixth Sense, than
one of us could convey the Idea of any Colour, by the sound of
Words into a Man, who having the other four Senses perfect, had
always totally wanted the fifth of Seeing. For our simple Ideas then,
which are the Foundation, and sole Matter of all our Notions, and
Knowledge, we must depend wholly on our Reason, I mean, our
natural Faculties; and can by no means receive them, or any of
them, from Traditional Revelation. I say, Traditional Revelation, in
distinction to Original Revelation. By the one, I mean that first
Impression, which is made immediately by GOD, on the Mind of
any Man, to which we cannot set any Bounds; and by the other,
those Impressions delivered over to others in Words, and the
ordinary ways of conveying our Conceptions one to another.
Locke Hum IV, 18, §3, pp. 689-690