1 Edwards originally began this article in his “Miscellanies” as Miscell. no. 78. After writing the first sentences there he deleted the entire passage, apparently having decided to make his essay on excellency the beginning of a separate notebook The deleted Miscell. no. 78 has been transcribed by Thomas Schafer as follows, with the words Edwards crossed out while writing put in parentheses: “78. Excellency There has nothing been more without a definition than excellency tho it be what (alone we are concerned with in any case) we are more concerned with than any thing else Yea (it is what) we are concerned with nothing else but what is this excellency wherin is one thing excellent and another evil one beautifull and another deformed, some have said that all excellency consists in harmony land) symmetry & proportion, but they have not yet explaind it. they have told us of a thing that is excellent viz proportion but we (have) would know why proportion is more excellent than disproportion, that is why proportion is pleasing to the mind, and disproportion unpleasing. Proportion is a thing that may be explaind yet further tis an equality or likeness of ratios.” This entry was probably written in the late autumn or winter of 1723 (see above, p. 326).
2 Edwards could have meant the Earl of Shaftesbury, whose Characteristicks he might have read by this time. Shaftesbury’s moral theory bases virtue upon a “natural affection” that arises from the love of truth, proportion, order, and symmetry in external things, a passion very distinct from self-interest. See “An Inquiry concerning Virtue” in Characteristicks, 2.
3 Dwight: “mere.”
4 Dwight’s text separates the following four sections from the main body of the article, as though they were separated in some way in the manuscript. Connections between the content of the first three of these sections and passages in Miscell. nos. 89 and 117 indicate that Edwards probably wrote them soon after the foregoing essay, and in the order in which Dwight presents them.
5 The words “in general” might be Dwight’s own addition, for they do not agree with Edwards’ conception of excellency: he considers it may be greater or less according to the degree and extensiveness of the consent, but not general or specific.
6 JE’s point of departure in this article is almost certainly Locke’s discussion of the place and motion of spirits in Essay Bk. II, ch. 23, nos. 1722. It is perhaps the earliest passage in his writings that shows the evident influence of Locke. Most of the immediately following entries are similarly related to topics suggested by Locke, indicating that JE was currently reading the Essay, possibly for the first time. No. 11 shows he was not using the first, but a later edition (see below, p. 342, n. 8).
7 “Or chiefly,” as in the version in Dwight’s ch. 3; these words are omitted in his app. H version of the text.
8 Townsend suggests the word “bodies” instead of ”minds” was intended (Philosophy of JE, p. 28, n. 10). Dwight reads “minds” in both ch. 3 and app. H.
9 Dwight, ch. 3: “in the”; app. H: “their.”
10 Ch. 3: “for what is perfectly without the mind, the mind has nothing to do with”; omitted in app. H. Among the notes JE penned at the back of his copy of William Brattle’s “Compendium of Logic” during his Yale tutorship are the following upon “verity”: “Verity 1. truly of its kind 2. truly agreeable to its idea 3. truly agreeable to the name.”
11 At the back of his copy of Brattle’s “Compendium” JE writes: “What is a genus and species: a creature of the mind. Arbitrary. One highest genus. Lowest species. What difference: difference the essence or wherein it essentially differs. The more general the more simple and abstracted the idea, although the more comprehensive. Thus for instance till we come to being. The more special the more compounded. Difference the idea that is added to the genus. Sometimes the difference consists not in attributes but in the conjunction of several attributes. The difference need not be positive.” These comments show JE correcting and improving Brattle on the basis of Locke’s Essay, Bk. III, ch. 3.
12 App. H: “in part”; ch. 3: “in fact.”
13 Ch. 3: “sufficient”; omitted in app. H.
14 In “Of Being,” above, p. 203.
15 See Descartes, Principles of Philosophy, Pt. II, prin. 16-18 (Haldane and Ross ed., I, pp. 262-63). Locke comments in objection, Essay, Bk. II, ch. 13, nos. 2127.
16 JE’s title is omitted in app. H.
17 Essay, Bk. II, ch. 27, nos. 911. This chapter was not included in the first ed;tioI1 of 1690, but was first inserted in the second edition of 1694. Hence JE must have been reading the second or a later edition.
18 Ch. 3: “the very same”; app. H: “individually the very same.”
19 Ch. 3: “with”; app. W: “as.”
20 JE’s title is omitted in app. H.
21 App. H: “Extension”; ch. 3: “existence.”
22 Ch. 3: “necessity”; app. H: “reality.”
23 App. H omits “the creation of.”
24 App. H inserts “the universe was.”
25 App. H omits “the creation.”
26 The following two paragraphs are not included in Dwight’s ch. 3 version of the article. In app. H they are printed as an addendum to the main article; JE probably wrote them afterward on a later page of the MS (perhaps on that which contained Nos. 42 and 43), and might have keyed them for insertion here. See discussion above, pp. 31.5-16, 319.
27 App. H omits “and resolve.”
28 Ch. 3: “perceivable”; app. H: “perceptible.”
29 Ch. 3: “desires”; app. H: “discerns.”
30 As in ch. 3; app. H: “feels when it hates.”
31It is probable that by the “old logic” JE means either that of Ramus, or the Aristotelian logic of Burgersdijck’s Institutio LogicÆ and Morton’s manual Compendium LogicÆ, or perhaps both the Ramist and Aristotelian systems. He was probably teaching both in Some form to the Yale undergraduates at the time this article was written, and each may be seen to have left its mark upon certain aspects of his later thought. The “other” logic might be either that of Arnauld’s Art of Thinking or Locke’s “way of ideas.” The influence of each may be seen in various articles in “The Mind” and elsewhere.
32 App. H omits the title.
33 Ch. 3: “with”; app. H: “by.”
34 JE’s Miscell. no. 231 reads, ((INSPIRATION vid. ye Mind p. 7.7.” This is the article to which the citation refers.
35 This is one of two entries Dwight numbered 21. According to the MS index to “The Mind,” both it and the other, 21(b) below, were written on the same page of the MS. No. 21(a) is evidently the article JE cites in Miscell. no. 361: “Soul of man. Matter. Thought vid. Mind p. 8.”
36 Especially Locke in Essay, Bk. IV, ch. 3, no. 6.
37 Dwight reads “observe,” but this is almost certainly an error in reading and copying the MS.
38 Dwight reads “there,” but JE obviously intends to contrast the latter with the former.
39 Dwight numbered both this and the following entry 25. According to the MS index to “The Mind” the two were written on the same page of the MS.
40 JE’s notes at the back of his copy of Brattle’s “Compendium” include the following on the topic of “totum”: “What a totum–So I am used always to think of all the particulars of this table together, etc. Many totums the determination of which is arbitrary–an acre, a yard. Foundation for a totum is either the coexistence, likeness or dependence. ‘Tis not everything that is a totum. Intellectual constituted of essential parts. Some totums contain an infinite number of parts. Murder an essential totum.”
41 Modes, as understood by Locke, are complex, not simple ideas (Essay, Bk. II, ch. 12, nos. 3-4). JE here reflects the Cartesian concept, as presented in Amauld, Art of Thinking, Pt. II, ch. 2, and in Brattle’s “Compendium.”
42 JE’s copy of Brattle’s “Compendium” distinguishes the four Aristotelian causes, adds ten distinctions relative to the efficient cause, and two (primary and secondary) relative to the final cause. Edwards’ notes at the back of the volume, written in 1724 or 1725 while he was a tutor at Yale, include the following: “What a cause, how we get a notion of it. Army in taking a town. In most natural things partial causes. ‘Tis the proper effect of rain to be advantageous, the hurt by wetting accidental to it. ‘Tis the proper effect of virtue to get a good name, accidental that it gets a bad one. Proper effect of God’s Word to make a man better, an accidental to make him worse. ‘Tis the proper effect of fire to make more hard, accidental that it softens. Of water to cool, accidental that it heats. The rays of the sun the next cause of corn’s growing; the remote, the plowing the ground. The string is the next cause of the flying of the arrow, and powder of the bullet; remote, man’s hand. . . . Light in the sun is the universal cause of light in the looking glass. Knowledge in the teacher is the universal cause of knowledge in the scholar. Holiness in God of holiness in man. The heat of the sun is the universal cause of plants’ growing.”
43 In app. H the following two paragraphs are printed as a separate addendum to No. 27. JE probably wrote them shortly after it, and perhaps keyed them for insertion here. Dwight might originally have numbered them 33, before he added the passage to this article. For discussion, see above, pp. 315-16, 318.
44 No. 26 above, p. 350.
45 This is apparently intended as Corol. 2 of No. 27 above.
46 That is, No. 2 above, pp. 338-39
47 In Dwight’s edition the following passage is separated from the main article of No. 34, as though they were separated in some way in the MS. JE probably wrote the passage on a later page of the MS, perhaps not long after No. 34, and keyed it for addition to this entry.
48 No. 31 above, p. 352.
49 JE seems to refer to this article in a passage in Miscell. no. 194, in discussing the extension of God: “The soul of man is not present anywhere as bodies are present, as we have shewn elsewhere” (see Townsend, p. 183).
50 Dwight: “taking.”
51 JE’s reflections upon the unregenerate man’s desire for grace in Miscell. no. 164, and on the happiness of the saints in heaven in Miscell. nos. 182 and 188, may have led to his writing this article.
52 The citation which JE added to “Natural Philosophy,” LS No. 14, namely, “The Mind, p. 12, 13, 14,” undoubtedly refers to this article.
53 Dwight: “that was before was.”
54 JE quotes from ch. 1, §19, p. 19. There is no independent evidence that he read Cudworth’s work before 1756 or 1757, when he copied passages from it in “Images of Divine Things,” Nos. 208―10 and in Miscell. no. 1359.
55 “Mixed mode” is Locke’s term for combinations of simple ideas which the mind forms arbitrarily, in contrast with ideas of substances which are formed in accordance with perceived regular connections among ideas as they are presented in experience. See Essay, Bk II, ch. 23.
56 JE’s earlier view is indicated in “The Mind,” No. 1 (above, pp. 335-36), and in “Natural Philosophy,” US No. 5 (above, p. 265).
57 Locke describes abstraction as an operation in which our minds have created nothing new, but only leave out of the complex ideas of several particulars that which is peculiar to each, and retain only what is common to them all. See Essay, Bk. III, ch. 3, no. 7.
58 See also “Subjects to be Handled in the Treatise on the Mind,” No. 43, below, pp. 391-92.
59 In Miscell. no. 150, JE holds that the nature of God differs from that of created spirits only in greatness: “If we should suppose the faculties of a created spirit to be enlarged infinitely, there would be the Deity to all intents and purposes, the same simplicity, immutability, etc.” (See Townsend, p. 189.)
60 In Miscell. No. 187, which was probably written in the same general period as this article, JE holds that the restoration of spiritual beauty, which consists in virtue and holiness, is “by way of an immediate emanation from God.”
61 JE’s discussion of free grace and the obligation of gratitude in Miscall. no. IY1 is related to these themes.
62 In Miscell. no. 232, on the misery of the damned, JE develops these same ideas. In that article he refers to “what has been said under the head of excellency and love in our discourse on the mind.” “The Mind,” No. 45, which he probably intended, must have been written not long before.
63 Dwight: “divided.”
64 Many seventeenth-century philosophers cited the peripatetic definition of motion, Actus antis in potentia guatenus in potentia, as a primary example of the futility of scholastic definitions for purposes of science or common understanding. See Amauld, Art of Thinking, Pt. II, ch. 16; Locke, Essay, Bk. III, ch. 4, nos. 6-7.
65 This reference might have been inserted by Dwight, though he put it in parentheses rather than square brackets. JE might just as appropriately have intended to refer to ‘The Mind,” No. 40, Corol.
66 Dwight separates this paragraph from the main article for No. 51, as though it were separated in some manner in the MS itself. It is most probable, however, that the paragraph was written soon after No. 51, and that JE marked it as an addition to that entry. Dwight might originally have numbered it No. 52; his edition as published has no article of that number.
67 JE might be referring to his projected treatise on natural philosophy. See especially “Natural Philosophy,” Cover, side ii, Nos. 17 and 20, below, pp. 194, 195. “The Mind,” No. 51 might have been written in the same general period as these memoranda, i.e., within the first year or two after his settlement in Northampton in 1726.
68 The addition of “not” seems required here. According to Descartes and many other philosophers, sensations are not false in themselves, and we cannot be deceived by them unless we judge real external objects according to them. See Descartes’ Meditation III; Arnauld’s Art of Thinking, Pt. I, ch. 11.
69 Dwight: “or.”
70 See also “Subjects to be Handled in the Treatise on the Mind,” No. 10, below, p. 388.
71 In Miscell. nos. 199 and 200JE argues for God’s existence from the “contrivance” of the human soul (see Townsend, pp. 76, 77); and in Miscell. no. 267, from “the mere exertion of a new thought” (see ibid., p. 78).
72 In Miscell. no. 880 JE develops this argument at great length. See ibid., pp. 87-103.
73 JE might be referring to the discussion of George Berkeley, in New Theory of Vision. JE lists this work, together with Berkeley’s Principles of Human Knowledge, in his “Catalogue,” p. 3, nos. 23 and 24.
74 John Locke considered habitual associations of ideas as having mainly a pernicious influence upon human judgment and conduct (see Essay, Bk. II, ch. 33). In this article JE appears to have explored a larger and more constructive role of association in intelligent performances. See also “Subjects to be Handled in the Treatise on the Mind,” No. 43, below, pp. 391-92.
75 In Dwight’s edition this section is separated from the main article of No. 59 as though they appeared separated in some way in the MS. It is quite possible that this section, or at least the first two paragraphs of it, were located on an earlier page of the MS, and that Dwight had originally numbered the passage “44.” For discussion, see above, p. 315.
76 Dwight: “own.”
77 Dwight: “where.”
78 Dwight: “own.”
79 This article and the following addendum are closely related to JE’s discussion in Freedom of the Will, Pt. I, ~2. See Works (Yale ed.), I, pp. 141-48. The date of No. 60 is undetermined; it is the last of those articles Dwight considered to have been written while JE was still a student (see above, pp. 324-25).
80 Dwight presents this as a separate addendum to No. 60. There is no evidence that JE might have written it at a significantly earlier or later time than the article to which it is attached.
81 In a footnote to this number Dwight writes, “This article, and the numbers following, viz. 62, 63, etc. are inserted in the manuscript distinctly from the rest, and were probably written at a somewhat later period of life” (p. 674). No definite indications of the dates of these later entries have been found, but Nos. 61―69 were probably written by the time JE formed his new index for the series (about 1747); Nos. 70―72 were probably composed afterward (see above, pp. 328―29).
82 Dwight presents the following paragraph as a separate addendum to No. 61. There is no indication that it might have been written elsewhere in the MS, or at a significantly different time, than the main article.
83 The following section appears in Dwight’s edition as a separate addendum to No. 62. It is possible that this section was written on another and earlier page of the MS, and that Dwight originally numbered it separately. For discussion, see above, p. 317.
84 This is the first of’ two entries Dwight numbered 65. According to the MS index, both it arid the other, 65b, were written on the same page of the MS. The discussion of No. 65a seems to continue that of No. 57 above.
85 See Newton, Principia, Definitions, Scholium. In this beginning section Newton distinguishes between absolute and relative space, time, and motion. The absolute in each case is real and independent of particular observers, while the relative is observed or apparent, and so depends upon the places, times, and motions of the observers themselves.
86 JE makes a similar point in Miscell. no. 238 (see Townsend, p. 247).
87 See Essay, Bk. II, ch. 21, nos. 31ff. These sections were added in the second and later editions of the Essay.
88 See Locke, Essay, Bk. IV, ch. 1, no. 1.
89 See Locke’s account in Essay, Bk. II, ch. 27. This chapter was added in the second and later editions of the Essay.