1 42 SAMUEL JOHNSON
ceive any thing without extension: what is extended must have parts, and you allow that whatever has parts may be destroyed."
" Consider your own conceptions," replied Imlac, " and the difficulty will be less. You will find substance without extension. An ideal form is no less real than material bulk; yet an ideal form has no extension. It is no less certain, when you think on a pyramid, that your mind possesses the idea of a pyra- mid, than that the pyramid itself is standing. What space does the idea of a pyramid occupy more than the idea of a grain of corn ? or how can either idea suffer laceration? As is the effect, such is the cause; as thought, such is the power that thinks, a power impassive and indiscerptible."
" But the Being," said Nekayah, " whom I fear to name, the Being which made the soul, can destroy it."
" He surely can destroy it," answered Im- lac, " since, however unperishable, it receives from a superior nature its power of duration. That it will not perish by any inherent cause of decay, or principle of corruption, may be shown by philosophy; but philosophy can tell no more. That it will not be annihilated by Him that made it, we must humbly learn from higher authority."