— 89 —
      §9. But had all Mankind, every where, a Notion of a God, (where-
of yet History tells us the contrary) it would not from thence
follow, that the Idea of him was innate. For, though no Nation were
to be found without a Name, and some few dark Notions of him;
yet that would not prove them to be natural Impressions on the
Mind, no more than the Names of Fire, or the Sun, Heat, or Num-
ber, do prove the Ideas they stand for, to be innate, because the
Names of those things, and the Ideas of them, are so universally
received, and known amongst Mankind. Nor, on the contrary, is the
want of such a Name, or the absence of such a Notion out of Men’s
Minds, any Argument against the Being of a God, any more, than it
would be a Proof, that there was no Load-stone in the World,
because a great part of Mankind, had neither a Notion of any such
thing, nor a Name for it; or be any shew of Argument to prove, that
there are no distinct and various species of Angels, or intelligent
Beings above us, because we have no Ideas of such distinct species,
or names for them: For Men, being furnished with Words, by the
common Language of their own Countries, can scarce avoid having
some kind of Ideas of those things, whose Names, those they con-
verse with, have occasion frequently to mention to them: and if
it carry with it the Notion of Excellency, Greatness, or something
extraordinary; if Apprehension and Concernment accompany it; if
the Fear of absolute and irresistible Power set it on upon the Mind,
the Idea is likely to sink the deeper, and spread the farther; especi-
ally if it be such an Idea, as is agreeable to the common light of
Reason, and naturally deducible from every part of our Knowledge,
as that of a God is. For the visible marks of extraordinary Wisdom
and Power, appear so plainly in all the Works of the Creation, that
a rational Creature, who will but seriously reflect on them, cannot
miss the discovery of a Deity: And the influence, that the discovery
of such a Being must necessarily have on the Minds of all, that have
but once heard of it, is so great, and carries such a weight of Thought
and Communication with it, that it seems stranger to me, that a
whole Nation of Men should be any where found so brutish, as to
want the Notion of a God; than that they should be without any
Notion of Numbers, or Fire.
Locke Hum I, 4, §9, pp. 88-89