— 74 —
      §13. From what has been said, I think we may safely conclude,
That, whatever practical Rule is, in any Place, generally, and with
allowance, broken, cannot be supposed innate, it being impossible, that
Men should, without Shame or Fear, confidently and serenely
break a Rule, which they could not but evidently know, that God
had set up, and would certainly punish the breach of (which they
must if it were innate) to a degree to make it a very ill Bargain to
the Transgressor. Without such a Knowledge as this, a Man can
never be certain, that any thing is his Duty. Ignorance or Doubt of
the Law; hopes to escape the Knowledge or Power of the Law-maker,
or the like, may make Men give way to a present Appetite: But let
any one see the Fault, and the Rod by it, and with the Transgres-
sion, a Fire ready to punish it; a Pleasure tempting, and the Hand of
the Almighty visibly held up, and prepared to take Vengeance (for
this must be the Case, where any Duty is imprinted on the Mind)
and then tell me, whether it be possible, for People, with such a
Prospect, such a certain Knowledge as this, wantonly, and without
— 75 —
scruple, to offend against a Law, which they carry about them in
indelible Characters, and that stares them in the Face, whilst they
are breaking it? Whether Men, at the same time that they feel in
themselves the imprinted Edicts of an Omnipotent Law-maker,
can, with assurance and gaity, slight and trample under Foot his
most sacred Injunctions? And lastly, Whether it be possible, that
whilst a Man thus openly bids defiance to this innate Law, and
supreme Law-giver, all the By-standers; yea even the Governors
and Rulers of the People, full of the same Sense, both of the Law
and Law-maker, should silently connive, without testifying their
dislike, or laying the least blame on it? Principles of Actions indeed
there are lodged in Men’s Appetites, but these are so far from being
innate Moral Principles, that if they were left to their full swing,
they would carry Men to the over-turning of all Morality. Moral
Laws are set as a curb and restraint to these exorbitant Desires,
which they cannot be but by Rewards and Punishments, that will
over-balance the satisfaction any one shall propose to himself in the
breach of the Law. If therefore any thing be imprinted on the Mind
of all Men as a Law, all Men must have a certain and unavoidable
knowledge, that certain, and unavoidable punishment will attend
the breach of it. For if Men can be ignorant or doubtful of what is
innate, innate Principles are insisted on, and urged to no purpose;
Truth and Certainty (the things pretended) are not at all secured
by them: But Men are in the same uncertain, floating estate with,
as without them. An evident indubitable knowledge of unavoid-
able punishment, great enough to make the transgression very un-
eligible, must accompany an innate Law: Unless with an innate
Law, they can suppose an innate Gospel too. I would not be here
mistaken, as if, because I deny an innate Law, I thought there were
none but positive Laws. There is a great deal of difference between
an innate Law, and a Law of Nature; between something imprinted
on our Minds in their very original, and something that we being
ignorant of may attain to the knowledge of, by the use and due
application of our natural Faculties. And I think they equally
forsake the Truth, who running into the contrary extreams, either
affirm an innate Law, or deny that there is a Law, knowable by the
light of Nature; i.e. without the help of positive Revelation.
Locke Hum I, 3, §13, pp. 74-75