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has or unknown essence of that substance. Thus we come in P to have the ideas of a man, horse, gold, water, &c.
of which substances, whether any one has any other clear idea, farther than of certain simple ideas co-exiftent together, I appeal to every man's own experience. It is the ordinary qualities observable in iron, or a diamond, put together, that make the true complex idea
of those substances, which a smith or a jeweller cotir carafago monly knows better than a philosopher; who, whatever
without : and the other supposed (with a like ignorance of what it is) * to be the substratum to those operations, which we experiment in our
selves within.' And again, 8. 6. " Whatever therefore be the secret * nature of substance in general, all the ideas we have of particular dis.
nature of suh * tinct substances, are nothing but several combinations of simple ideas,
co-existing in such, though unknown cause of their union, as makes the whole subsist of itself. And I farther say in the same section, that We suppose these combinations to rest in, and to be adherent to that "unknown common subject, which inheres not in any thing else.' And 1. 3. 'That our complex ideas of substances, besides all those simple
ideas they are made up of, have always the confused idea of something "to which they belong, and in which they subsist; and therefore, when "we speak of any sort of substànce, we say it is a thing having such
and such qualities ; às body is a thing that is extended, figured, and capable of motion ; spirit, a thing capable of thinking. "Thèse, and the like fashions of speaking, intimate, that the substance is supposed always something besides the extension, figure, soli. 'dity, motion, thinking, or other observable idea, though we know not what it is.'
"Our idea of body, I say, * is an extended, solid substance ; and our ? idea of soul, is of a substance that thinks.' So that as long as there is any such thing as body or spirit in the world, I have done nothing towards the discarding substance out of the reasonable part of the world. Nay, as long as there is any simple idea or sensible quality left, according to iny way of arguing, substance cannot be discarded ; because all simple ideas, all sensible qualities, carry with them a supposition of a substratuin to exist in, and of a substance wherein they inhere : and of this that whole chapter is so 'full, that I challenge any one who reads it, to think I have almost, or one jot, discarded substance out of the reasonable part of the world." And of this, man, horse, sun, water, iron, diamond, &c, which I have mentioned of distinct sort's of sabstances, will be my witnesses, as long as any such things remain in being; of which I say, **That the ideas of substances are such combinations of simple idcas às
are taken to represent distinct particular thingssubsisting by themselves,
• B. 2. Č. 23. &. 22,
+ B. 2. C. 12. $.6.
substantial forms he may talk of, has no other idea of those substances, than what is framed by a col. lection of those simple ideas which are to be found in them; only we inust take notice, that our complex ideas of substances, besides all those simple ideas they are made up of, have always the confused idea of something to which they belong, and in which they subsist. And therefore when we speak of any sort of substance, we say it is a thing having such or such qualities; as
in which the supposed or confused idea of substance is always the first and chief."
If, by almost discarding substance out of the reasonable part of the world, your lordship means, that I have destroyed, and almost discarded the true idea we have of it, by calling it a substratum, *a supposition of we know not what support of such qualities as are capable of producing simple ideas in us, an obscure and relative idea : + That withovi knowing what it is, it is that which supports accidents; so that of substance we have no idea of what it is, but only a confused, obscure one of what it does: I must confess, this and the like I have said of our idea of substance : and should be very glad to be convinced by your lordship, or any body else, that I have spoken too meanly of it. He that would show me a more clear and distinct idea of substance, would do me a kindness I should thank him for. But this is the best I can hitherto find, either in my own thoughts, or in the books of logicians: for their account or idea of it is, that it is ens, or res per se subsistens, & substans accidentibus; which in effect is no more, but that substance is a being or thing; or, in short, something, they know not what, or of which they have no clearer idea, than that it is something which supports ac. cidents, or other simple ideas or modes, and is not supported itself, as a mode, or an accident. So that I do not see but Burgersdicius, Sander. son, and the whole tribe of logicians, must be reckoned with the gentle. men of this new way of reasoning, who have almost discarded substance out of the reasonable part of the world.
But supposing, my lord, that I, or these gentlemen, logicians of note in the school, should own that we have a very imperfect, obscure, inadequate idea of substance, would it not be a little too hard to charge us with discarding substance out of the world ? For what almost discarding, and reasonable part of the world, signifies, I must confess I do not clearly comprehend: but let almost and reasonable part signify here what they will, for I dare say your lordship meant something by them; would no? your lordship think you were a little hardly dealt with, if, for acknox. jedging yourself to have a very imperfect and inadequate idea of God, or of several other things which in this very treatise you confess our under
* B. 2. C. 23, 8. 1. §. 2. . 3,
+ B. 2. C. 13. 4. 19.
body is a thing that is extended, figured, and capable of motion; spirit,* a thing capable of thinking; and so hardness, friability, and power to draw iron, we say, are qualities to be found in a loadstone. These, and the like fashions of speaking, intimate, that the substance is supposed always something besides the extension, figure, solidity, motion, thinking, or other observable ideas, though we know not what it is. .
9. 4. Hence, when we talk or think of Noclearidea any particular sort of corporeal substances, of substance as horse, stone, &c. though the idea we in general.
standings come short in, and cannot comprehend, you should be accused to be one of these gentlemen that have almost discarded God, or those other mysterious things, whereof you contend we have very imperfect and inadequate ideas, out of the reasonable world ? For I suppose your lordship means by almost discarding out of the reasonable world, some. thing that is blameable, for it seems not to be inserted for a commenda, tion; and yet I think he deserves no biame, who owns the having im. perfect, inadequate, obscure ideas, where he has no better; however, if it be inferred from thence, that either he almost excludes those things ont of being, or out of racional discourse, if that be meant by the rea. sonable world; for the first of these will not hold, because the being of things in the world depends not on our ideas: the latter indeed is true in some degree, but it is no fault : for it is certain, that where we have imperfect, inadequate, confused, obscure ideas, we cannot discourse and reason about those things so well, fully, and clearly, as if we had perfect,
adequate, clear, and distinct ideas. BILD Other objections are made against the following parts of this paragraph
by that reverend prelate, viz. The repetition of the story of the Indian
philosopher, and the talking like children about substance : to which our By author replies :.
Yoor lordship, I must own, with great reason, takes notice, that I paa se ralleled more than once our idea of substance with the Indian philuso.
pher's he-knew-not-what, which supported the tortoise, &c. on This repetition is, I confess, a fault in exact writing : but I have ma acknowledged and excused it in these words in my preface : 'I am
not ignorant how little I herein consult my own reputation, when I
knowingly let my essay go with a fault so apt to disgust the mosi judi. koncious, who are always the nicest readers. And there farther add,
"That I did not publish my essay for such great masters of knowledge as to your lordship; but fitted it to men of my own size, to whom repetitions pot might be sometimes'useful.' It would not therefore have been beside
your lordship’s generosity (who were not intended to be provoked by this Here repetition) to have passed by such a fault as this, in one who pretends not
beyond the lower rank of writers. But I see your lordship would have
have of either of then be but the complication or col. lection of those several simple ideas of sensible qualities, which we used to find united in the thing called horse or stone; yet because we cannot conceive how they should subsist alone, or one in another, we suppose them existing in and supported by some common subject; which support we denote by the name substance, though it be certain we have no clear or distinct idea of that thing we suppose a support, As clearan $. 5. The same thing happens concern. idea of spiriting the operations of the mind, viz. thinkas bedy. ing reasoning, fearing, &c. which we cou
me exact, and without any faults ; and I wish I could be so, the better 10 deserve your lordship’s approbation.
My saying, “That when we talk of substance, we talk like children; who being asked a question about something wbich they know noi,
readily give this satistaciory answer, That it is something;' your lord. ship seems mightily to lay to heart in these words that follow; If this be the truth of the case, we must still talk like childre:, and I know not how it can be remedied. For we cannot come at a rational idea of substance, we can have no principle of certainty to go upon in this de, bate.
If your lordship has any better and distincter idea of substance than mine is, which I have given an account of, your lordship is not at all concerned in what I have there said, But those whose idea of substance, whether a rational or not rational idea, is like mine, something, they know not what, must in that, with me, talk like children, when they speak of something, they know not what, For a philosopher that says,
That which supports accidents, is something, he knows not what; and a countryman that says, the foundation of the great church at Harlem, is supported by something, he knows not what; and a child that stands in the dark upon his mother's muff, and says he stands upon something, he knows not what, in this respect' talk all three alike. But if the country, man knows, that the foundation of the church of Harlem is supported by a rock, as the houses about Bristol are; or by gravel, as the houses about London are; or by wooden piles, as the houses in Amster, dam are; it is plain, that then having a clear and distinct idea of the thing that supports the church, he does not talk of this matter as a child ; nor will he of the support of accidents, when he has a clearer and more discinct idea of it, than that it is barely something. But as long as we think like children, in cases where our ideas are no clearer nor distincter than theirs, I agree with your lordship, that I know nof how it can be remedied, but that we must talk like them.
Tarther, the bishop asks, Whether there be no difference between the bare being of a thing, and its subsistence by itself: To which our 24.
cluding not to subsist of themselves, nor apprehending how they can belong to any body, or be produced by it, we are apt to think thiese the actions of some other substance, which we call spirit; whereby yet it is evident, that having no other idea or notion of matter, but something wherein those many sensible qualities which affect our senses do subsist; by supposing a suis. stance, wherein thinking, knowing, doubting, and a power of moving, &c. do subsis, we have as clear a notion of the substance of spirit, as we have of body: the one being supposee? to be (withont knowing what it is, the substratum to those skaple ideas we have from
thor answers, Yes *. But what will that do to prove, that upon my principles, we can come to no certainty of reason, that there is any such thing as substance? You scem by this question to conclude, That the idea of a thing that subsists by itself, is a clear and distinct idea of substance; but I beg leave to ask, Is the idea of the manner of subsistence of a thing, the idea of the thing itself? If it be not, we may have a clear and distinct idea of the manner, and yet have none but a very obscure and confused one of the thing. For example; I tell your lordship, that I know a thing that cannot subsist without a support, and I know ano. ther thing that does subsist without a support, and say no more of them; can you, by having the clear and distinct ideas of having a support, and not having a support, say, that you have a clear and distinct idea of the ining that I know which has, and of the thing that I know which has not a suppori? If your lordship can, I beseech you to give me the clear and distinct ideas of these, which I only call by the general name, things, that have or have not supports; for such there are, and such I shall give your lordship clear and distinct ideas of, when you shall please to call upon me for them, though I think your lordship will scarce find them by the general and confused idea of things, nor in the clearer and more distinct idea of having or not having a support.
To show a blind man, that he has ro cicar and distinct idea of scar, let, I tell him, that his notion of is, that it is a thing or being, does pot prove he has any clear or distinct idea of it; but barely that he takes U to be something, he knows not what. He replies, that he knows
more than that, y, g, he knows that it subsists, or inheres in another ; thing; and is there no difference, says he, in your lordship's words, be.
tween the bare being of a thing, and its subsistence in another? Yes, say 27 to him, a great deal, they are very different ideas. But for ali that, Den you have no clear and distinct idea of scarlet, nor such a one as I have, De way! Who see and know it, and have another kşind of idea of it, besides that of The only inherence,
Mr. Locke's zd lettere . .