Imágenes de página



all distinct ideas, and some of them, being relative, are again compounded of others ; all which being, as has been shown, originally got from sensation and reflection, go to make up the idea or notion we have of God.

$. 36. This farther is to be observed, No idea in

that there is no idea we attribute to God, our complex oneofspirits, bating infinity, which is not also a part of but those got our complex idea of other spirits. Because from sensa being capable of no other simple ideas, betion or re- longing to any thing but body, but those flection.

which by reflection we receive from the operation of our own minds, we can attribute to spirits no other but what we receive from thence : and all the difference we can put between them in our contemplation of spirits, is only in the several extents and degrees of their knowledge, power, duration, happiness, &c. For that in our ideas, as well of spirits, as of other things, we are restrained to those we receive from sensation and reflection, is evident from hence, that in our ideas of spirits, how much soever advanced in perfection beyond those of bodies, even to that of infinite, we camot yet have any idea of the manner wherein they discover their thoughts one to another: though we must necessarily conclude, that separate spirits, which are beings that have perfecter knowledge and greater happiness than we, must needs have also a perfecter way of communicating their thoughts than we have, who are fain to make use of corporeal signs and particular sounds; which are therefore of most general use, as being the best and quickest we are capable of. But of immediate communication, having no experiment in ourselves, and consequently no notion of it at all, we have no idea how spirits, which use not words, can with quickness, or much less how spirits, that have no bodies, can be masters of their own thoughts, and communicate or conceal them at pleasure, though we cannot but necessarily suppose they have such a power. Recapitula- $. 37. And thus we have seen, what kind tion. of ideas we have of substances of all kinds,



[ocr errors]

wherein they consist, and how we came by them. From whence, I think, it is very evident,

First, That all our ideas of the several sorts of substances are nothing but collections of simple ideas, with a supposition of something to which they belong, and in which they subsist; though of this supposed something we have no clear distinct idea at all. :

Secondly, That all the simple ideas, that thus united in one common substratum make up our complex ideas of several sorts of substances, are no other. but such as we have received from sensation or reflection. So that even in those which we think we are most intimately acquainted with, and that come nearest the comprehension of our most enlarged conceptions, we cannot go beyond those simple ideas. And even in those which seem most remote from all we have to do with, and do infinitely surpass any thing we can perceive in ourselves by reflection, or discover by sensation in other things, we can attain to nothing but those simple ideas, which we originally received from sensation or reflection; as is evident in the complex ideas we have of angels, and particularly of God himself.

Thirdly, That most of the simple ideas, that make up our complex ideas of substances, when truly considered, are only powers, however we are apt to take them for positive qualities ; v. g. the greatest part of the ideas that make our complex idea of gold are yellowness, great weight, ductility, fusibility and solubility in aqua regia, &c. all united together in an unknown substratuin: all which ideas are nothing else but so many relations to other substances, and are not really in the gold, considered barely in itself, though they depend on those real and primary qualities of its internal constitution, whereby it has a fitness differently to operate, and be operated on by several other substances. . .. i

[ocr errors]


CHA P. xxiv.
Of collective Ideas of Substances.

. 1. DESID

One idea.

. 1. DESIDES these complex ideas of

D several single substances, as of man, horse, gold, violet, apple, &c. the mind hath alsó complex collective ideas of substances ; which I so call, because such ideas are made up of many particular substances considered together, as united into one idea, and which so joined are looked on as one ; v. g. the idea of such a collection of men as make an army, though consisting of a great number of distinct substances, is as much one idea, as the idea of a man: and the great collective idea of all bodies whatsoever, signified by the name world, is as much one idea, as the idea of any the least particle of matter in it; it sufficing to the unity of any idea; that it be considered as one represensation or picture, though made up of ever so many particulars.

ince 29th


de by the S. 2. These collective ideas of substances power of the mind makes by its power of composicomposing, tion, and uniting severally either simple or in the mind. complex ideas into one, as it does by the same faculty make the complex ideas of particular substances, consisting of an aggregate of divers simple ideas, united in one substance: and as the mind, by putting together the repeated ideas of unity, makes the collective mode, or complex idea of any number, as a score, or a gross, &c. so by putting together several particular substances, it makes collective ideas of substances, as a troop, an army, a swarm, a city, a fleet; each of which, every one finds, that he represents to his own mind by one idea, in one view, and so under that notion considers those several things as .perfectly one, as one ship, or one atom. Nor is it harder to conceive, how an army of ten thousand men should make one idea, than how a man should make one idea: it being as easy to the mind to unite into one the idea of a great

numbers are

kre a

number' of men, and consider it as one, as it is to unite into one particular all the distinct ideas that make up the composition of a man, and consider them all together as one. .

$. 3. Amongst such kind of collective All artificial ideas, are to be counted níost part of arti- things are ficial things, at least such of them as are o made up of distinct substances: and, in 14

ideas. truth, if we consider all these collective ideas aright, as army, constellation, universe, as they are united into so many single ideas, they are but the artificial draughts of the mind; bringing things very remote, and independent on one another, into one view, the better to contemplate and discourse of them, united into one conception, and signified by one namne. For there are no things so remote, nor so contrary, which the mind cannot, by this art of composition, bring into one idea; as is visible in that signified by the universe.


of Relation

$. 1. DESIDES the ideas, whether sim- R

Relation ple or complex, that the mind what. has of things, as they are in themselves, there are others it gets from their comparison one with another. The understanding, in the consideration of any thing, is not confined to that precise object: it can carry any idca as it were beyond itself, or at least look beyond it, to see how it stands in conformity to any other. When the mind so considers one thing, that it does as it wcre bring it to and set it by another, and carry its view from one to the other: this is, as the words import, relation and respect; and the denominations given to positive things, intimating that respect, and serving as marks to lead the thoughts beyond the subject itself denominated to something distinct from it, are wląt we call relatives : and the things, so brought

together, together, related. Thus, when the mind considers Caius as such a positive being, it takes nothing into that idea, but what really exists in Caius; v. g. when I consider him as a man, I have nothing in my mind but the complex idea of the species, man. So likewise, when I say Caius is a white man, I have nothing but the bare consideration of a man who hath that white colour. But when I give Caius the name husband, I intimate some other person; and when I give him the name whiter, I intimate some other thing: in both cases my thought is led to something beyond Caius, and there are two things brought into consideration. And since any idea, whether simple or complex, may be the occasion why the mind thus brings two things together, and as it were takes a view of them at once, though still considered as distinct; therefore any of our ideas may be the foundation of relation. As in the above-mentioned instance, the contract and ceremony of marriage with Sempronia is the occasion of the denomination or relation of husband ; and the colour white the occasion why he is said to be whiter than free-stone. Relations

§. 2. These, and the like relations, exwithout cor. pressed by relative terms, that have others relative answering them, with a reciprocal intimaterms not tion, as father and son, bigger and less, easily per.

cause and effect, are very obvious to every ceived.

one, and every body at tirst sight perceives the relation. For father and son, husband and wife, and such other correlative terms, seem so nearly to be long one to another, and through custom do so readily "Com chime and answer one another in people's memories, that, upon the naming of either of them, the thoughts j are presently carried beyond the thing so named; and no-body overlooks or doubts of a relation, where it is so plainly intimated. But where languages have failed to give correlative names, there the relation is not alwars so easily taken notice of. Concubine is, no doubt, a relative nanie, as well as wife : but in lancuaces where this, and the like words, have not a correlative term, there people are not so ant to take them

« AnteriorContinuar »