— 84 —
Principles must be examined.       §27. By this progress, how many there are, who arrive at Prin-
ciples, which they believe innate, may be easily observed, in the
variety of opposite Principles, held, and contended for, by all sorts
and degrees of Men. And he that shall deny this to be the method,
wherein most Men proceed to the assurance they have, of the truth
and evidence of their Principles, will, perhaps, find it a hard matter,
any other way to account for the contrary Tenets, which are firmly
believed, confidently asserted, and which great numbers are ready at
any time to seal with their Blood. And, indeed, if it be the privilege
of innate Principles, to be received upon their own Authority,
without examination, I know not what may not be believed, or how
any one’s Principles can be questioned. If they may, and ought to be
examined, and tried, I desire to know how first and innate Principles
can be tried; or at least it is reasonable to demand the marks and
characters, whereby the genuine, innate Principles, may be dis-
tinguished from others; that so, amidst the great variety of Pre-
tenders, I may be kept from mistakes, in so material a point as this.
When this is done, I shall be ready to embrace such welcome, and
useful, Propositions; and till then I may with modesty doubt, since I
fear universal Consent, which is the only one produced, will scarce
prove a sufficient mark to direct my Choice, and assure me of any
innate Principles. From what has been said, I think it is past doubt,
that there are no practical Principles wherein all Men agree; and
therefore none innate.
Locke Hum I, 3, §27, p. 84