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Enthusiasm how to be discover’d.
      §10. But to examine a little soberly this internal Light, and this
feeling on which they build so much. These Men have, they say,
clear Light, and they see; They have an awaken’d Sense, and they
feel: This cannot, they are sure, be disputed them. For when a Man
says he sees or he feels, no Body can deny it him, that he does so.
But here let me ask: This seeing is it the perception of the Truth of
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the Proposition, or of this, that it is a Revelation from GOD? This
feeling is it a perception of an Inclination or Fancy to do something,
or of the Spirit of GOD moving that Inclination? These are two
very different Perceptions, and must be carefully distinguish’d, if
we would not impose upon our selves. I may perceive the Truth of a
Proposition, and yet not perceive, that it is an immediate Revela-
tion from GOD. I may perceive the Truth of a Proposition in
Euclid, without its being, or my perceiving it to be, a Revelation:
Nay I may perceive I came not by this Knowledge in a natural way,
and so may conclude it revealed, without perceiving that it is a
Revelation from GOD. Because there be Spirits, which, without
being divinely commissioned, may excite those Ideas in me, and lay
them in such order before my Mind, that I may perceive their Con-
nexion. So that the Knowledge of any Proposition coming into my
Mind, I know not how, is not a Perception that it is from GOD.
Much less is a strong Perswasion, that it is true, a Perception that it
is from GOD, or so much as true. But however it be called light
and seeing; I suppose, it is at most but Belief, and Assurance: and the
Proposition taken for a Revelation is not such, as they know, to be
true, but take to be true. For where a Proposition is known to be
true, Revelation is needless: And it is hard to conceive how there can
be a Revelation to any one of what he knows already. If therefore it
be a Proposition which they are perswaded, but do not know, to be
true, whatever they may call it, it is not seeing, but believing. For
these are two ways, whereby Truth comes into the Mind, wholly
distinct, so that one is not the other. What I see I know to be so by
the Evidence of the thing it self: what I believe I take to be so upon
the Testimony of another: But this Testimony I must know to be
given, or else what ground have I of believing? I must see that it is
GOD that reveals this to me, or else I see nothing. The question
then here is, How do I know that GOD is the Revealer of this to
me; that this Impression is made upon my Mind by his holy Spirit,
and that therefore I ought to obey it? If I know not this, how great
soever the Assurance is, that I am possess’d with, it is groundless;
whatever Light I pretend to, it is but Enthusiasm. For whether the
Proposition supposed to be revealed, be in it self evidently true, or
visibly probable, or by the natural ways of Knowledge uncertain,
the Proposition that must be well grounded, and manifested to be
true is this, that GOD is the Revealer of it, and that what I take to
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be a Revelation is certainly put into my Mind by him, and is not an
Illusion drop’d in by some other Spirit, or raised by my own phancy.
For if I mistake not, these Men receive it for true, because they
presume GOD revealed it. Does it not then stand them upon, to
examine upon what Grounds they presume it to be a Revelation
from GOD? or else all their Confidence is mere Presumption: and
this Light, they are so dazled with, is nothing, but an ignis fatuus
that leads them continually round in this Circle. It is a Revelation,
because they firmly believe it, and they believe it, because it is a Revelation.
Locke Hum IV, 19, §10, pp. 700-701-702