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said concerning the mind's getting of simple ideas, and those simple ideas being the sole matter and foundation of all our reasonings; your lordship thus concludes:

“ Then it follows, that we can have no foundation of reasoning, where there can be no such ideas from sensation or reflection."

“Now this is the case of substance; it is not intromitted by the senses, nor depends upon the operation of the mind; and so it cannot be within the compass of our reason. And therefore I do not wonder, that the gentlemen of this new way of reasoning have almost discarded substance out of the reasonable part of the world. For they not only tell us,” &c.

This, as I remember, is the first place where your lordship is pleased to quote any thing out of my " Essay of Human Understanding,” which your lordship does in these words following:

“That we can have no idea of it by sensation or reflection : but that nothing is signified by it, only an uncertain supposition of we know not what.” And therefore it is paralleled, more than once, with the Indian philosopher's “ He-knew-not-what; which supported the tortoise, that supported the elephant, that supported the earth : so substance was found out only to support accidents. And that when we talk of substances, we talk like children; who, being asked a question about somewhat which they knew not, readily gave this satisfactory answer, that it is something."

These words of mine your lordship brings to prove, that I am one of “the gentlemen of this new way of reasoning, that have almost discarded substance out of the reasonable part of the world.” An accusation which your lordship will pardon me, if I do not readily know what to plead to, because I do not understand what is “almost to discard substance out of the reasonable part of the world.” If your lordship means by it, that I deny or doubt that there is in the world any such thing as substance, that your lordship will acquit me of, when your lordship looks again into that chapter,


Mr. Locke's Letter to the

which you have cited more than once, where your lordship will find these words:

“* When we talk or think of any particular sort of corporeal substances, as horse, stone, &c. though the idea we have of either of them be but the complication or collection of those several simple ideas of sensible qualities which we use to find united in the thing called horse or stone; yet because we cannot conceive how they should subsist alone, nor 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 and distinct idea of that thing we suppose a support.” And again,

“+ The same happens concerning the operations of the mind, viz. thinking, reasoning, fearing, &c. which we considering not to subsist of themselves, nor apprehending how they can belong to body, or be produced by it, we are apt to think these 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 substance, wherein thinking, knowing, doubting, and

a power of moving, &c. do subsist, we have as clear a notion of the nature or substance of spirit, as we have of body; the one being supposed to be (without knowing what it is) the substratum to those simple ideas we have from without; and the other supposed (with a like ignorance of what it is) to be the substratum to those operations, which we experiment in ourselves within.” And again,

“Whatever therefore be the secret nature of substance in general, all the ideas we have of particular distinct 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."


* Human Understanding, B. ii. c. 23. $ 4. † Ib. $ 5. Ib. $ 6.

And I further 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 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 and such qualities; a body is a thing that is extended, figured, and capable of motion ; a spirit, a thing capable of thinking."

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 idea, though we know not what it is.

“* Our idea of body, I say, is an extended, solid substance; and our idea of our souls 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 my way of arguing, substance cannot be discarded; because all simple ideas, all sensible qualities, carry with them a supposition of a substratum 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 sorts of substances, will be my witnesses as long as any such thing remains in being; of which I say,“ | that the ideas of substances are such combinations of simple ideas as are taken to represent distinct, particular things, subsisting by themselves, 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 without 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 and 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 et 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 accidents, 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, Sanderson, and the whole tribe of logicians, must be reckoned with “the gentlemen of this new way of reasoning, who have almost discarded substance out of the reasonable part of the world.”

* B. ï. c. 23. $ 22. + B. ii, c. 12. & 6.

But supposing, my lord, that I or these gentlemen, logicians of note in the schools, 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, signify, 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 not your lordship think you were a little too hardly dealt with, if for acknowledging yourself to have a very imperfect and inadequate idea of God, or of several other things which, in this very treatise, you confess our understandings 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 something that is blamable, for it seems not to be inserted for a commendation; and yet I think he deserves no blame, who owns the having imperfect, inadequate, obscure ideas, where he has no better : however, if it be inferred from thence, that either he almost excludes those things out of being, or out of rational discourse, if that be meant by the reasonable 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 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.

* B. ii. c. 23. $ 1.9 2. $ 3. B. ii. c. 13. $ 19.

Your lordship, I must own, with great reason, takes notice that I paralleled, more than once, our idea of substance with the Indian philosopher's he-knew-notwhat, which supported the tortoise, &c.

This repetition is, I confess, a fault in exact writing: but I have 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 most judicious, who are always the nicest readers.” And there further add, " that I did not publish my Essay for such great masters of knowledge as your lordship; but fitted it to men of my own size, to whom repetitions might be sometimes useful.” It would not therefore have been besides your lordship’s generosity (who were not intended to be provoked by the 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 me exact and without any faults; and I

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