— 219 —
We have no positive Idea of an infinite Duration.       §16. I ask those who say they have a positive Idea of Eternity,
whether their Idea of Duration includes in it Succession, or not? If
it does not, they ought to shew the difference of their Notion of
Duration, when applied to an eternal Being, and to a finite: Since,
perhaps, there may be others, as well as I, who will own to them
their Weakness of Understanding in this point; and acknowledge,
That the Notion they have of Duration, forces them to conceive,
That whatever has Duration, is of a longer continuance to day, than
it was yesterday. If to avoid Succession in eternal Existence, they
recur to the Punctum Stans of the Schools, I suppose, they will
thereby very little mend the matter, or help us to a more clear and
positive Idea of infinite Duration, there being nothing more in-
conceivable to me, than Duration without Succession. Besides, that
Punctum Stans, if it signify any thing, being not Quantum, finite or
infinite, cannot belong to it. But if our weak Apprehensions cannot
separate Succession from any Duration whatsoever, our Idea of
Eternity can be nothing but of infinite Succession of Moments of
Duration, wherein any thing does exist; and whether any one has,
or can have, a positive Idea of an actual infinite Number, I leave him
to consider, till his infinite Number be so great, that he himself can
add no more to it; and as long as he can increase it, I doubt, he
himself will think the Idea, he hath of it, a little too scanty for
positive Infinity.
Locke Hum II, 17, §16, p. 219