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Chapter XVII

Of Infinity.

Infinity, in its original intention, attributed to Space, Duration, and Number.       §1. He that would know what kind of Idea it is to which we give
the name of Infinity, cannot do it better, than by considering to
what Infinity is by the Mind more immediately attributed, and
then how the Mind comes to frame it.
      Finite, and Infinite, seem to me to be looked upon by the Mind,
as the Modes of Quantity, and to be attributed primarily in their first
designation only to those things, which have parts, and are
capable of increase or diminution, by the addition or subtraction of
any the least part: and such are the Ideas of Space, Duration, and
Number, which we have considered in the foregoing Chapters.
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’Tis true, that we cannot but be assured, That the Great GOD, of
whom, and from whom are all things, is incomprehensibly Infinite:
but yet, when we apply to that first and supreme Being, our Idea of
Infinite, in our weak and narrow Thoughts, we do it primarily in
respect of his Duration and Ubiquity; and, I think, more figura-
tively to his Power, Wisdom, and Goodness, and other Attributes,
which are properly inexhaustible and incomprehensible, etc. For
when we call them Infinite, we have no other Idea of this Infinity,
but what carries with it some reflection on, and intimation of that
Number or Extent of the Acts or Objects of God’s Power, Wisdom,
and Goodness, which can never be supposed so great, or so many,
which these Attributes will not always surmount and exceed, let us
multiply them in our Thoughts, as far as we can, with all the
infinity of endless number. I do not pretend to say how these
Attributes are in GOD, who is infinitely beyond the reach of our
narrow Capacities: They do, without doubt, contain in them all
possible perfection: but this, I say, is our way of conceiving them,
and these our Ideas of their Infinity.
Locke Hum II, 17, §1, pp. 209-210