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Idea of GOD not innate.       §8. If any Idea can be imagin’d innate, the Idea of God may, of all
others, for many Reasons, be thought so; since it is hard to con-
ceive, how there should be innate Moral Principles, without an
innate Idea of a Deity: Without a Notion of a Law-maker, it is
impossible to have a Notion of a Law, and an Obligation to observe
it. Besides the Atheists, taken notice of amongst the Ancients, and
left branded upon the Records of History, hath not Navigation
discovered, in these latter Ages, whole Nations, at the Bay of
Soldania Rhoe apud Thevenot, p. 2 , in Brasil Jo. de Lery, c. 16. , in Boranday Martiniere 201/322. Terry 17/545 & 23/545. Ovington 489/606., and the Caribee Islands,
etc. amongst whom there was to be found no Notion of a
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God, no Religion. Nicolaus del Techo in literis, ex Paraquaria de Caaiguarum
, has these Words Relatio triplex de rebus Indicis Caaiguarum 43/70. , Reperi eam gentem nullum nomen
habere, quod Deum, et Hominis animam significet, nulla sacra habet, nulla
Idola. These are Instances of Nations where uncultivated Nature has
been left to it self, without the help of Letters, and Discipline, and
the Improvements of Arts and Sciences. But there are others to be
found, who have enjoy’d these in a very great measure, who yet,
for want of a due application of their thoughts this way, want the
Idea, and Knowledge of God. ’Twill I doubt not be a Surprise to
others, as it was to me, to find the Siamites of this number. But for
this, let them consult the King of France’s late Envoy thitherLa Loubere du Royaume de Siam. T. Ι. c. 9. sect.15 & c. 20 sect. 22 & c. 22. sect. 6. ,
who gives no better account of the Chineses themselves Ib. T. Ι c. 20. sect. 4 & c. 23. . And if we
will not believe La Loubere, the Missionaries of China, even the Jesuits
themselves, the great Encomiasts of the Chineses, do all to a Man
agree and will convince us that the Sect of the Litterati, or Learned,
keeping to the old Religion of China, and the ruling Party there, are
all of them Atheist. Vid. Navarette in the Collection of Voyages, Vol.
the First, and Historia cultus Sinensium. And, perhaps, if we should,
with attention, mind the Lives, and Discourses of People not so far
off, we should have too much Reason to fear, that many, in more
civilized Countries, have no very strong, and clear Impressions of a
Deity upon their Minds; and that the Complaints of Atheism, made
from the Pulpit, are not without Reason. And though only some
profligate Wretches own it too barefacedly now; yet, perhaps, we
should hear, more than we do, of it, from others, did not the fear
of the Magistrate’s Sword, or their Neighbour’s Censure, tie up
Peoples Tongues; which, were the Apprehensions of Punishment,
or Shame taken away, would as openly proclaim their Atheism, as
their Lives do.
Locke Hum I, 4, §8, pp. 87-88