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Observing certain mental operations, thinking, remembering, willing, assenting, doubting, and the like, we cannot avoid the conviction of the existence of something, to which they belong, or of which they are qualities; and we call it spirit or a spiritual being.

The same of matter;—we learn its qualities, primary and secondary, colour, extension, figure, motion, divisibility, &c.; and these, viewed by the mind in their state of combination or as having a common and coetaneous origin, give us the idea of what we call matter or substance.

If it be asked, how it happens, that we so uniformly refer these operations to what we term substance or spirit, or rather how they are so promptly suggested on the observation of the properties, (there being an universal belief in the existence of the material and spiritual world,) the only answer is that, already remarked upon in the second chapter; viz. That we thus constituted; we are under a sort of necessity, in consequence of the natural tendencies of our constitution, of connecting with the appearances, which we witness, the idea of a really existing something, which we call, either matter or mind, material or spiritual, according to the character of those appearances.

But when this idea is once suggested, we are taught by the inutility of our efforts to proceed any further, that we have reached one boundary of our knowledge, which we cannot pass; and that while we have an idea of matter and spirit, and cannot but believe in their existence, we know no more of them, nor shall we probably ever know more, than those appearances and operations, whatever they may be, which they shall exhibit.

6. 73. Of cohesion of bodies and motion by impulse.

If there be any, who, after what has been said, think they understand matter better than they do spirit, then would we desire them to give an explanation of what that is in matter, which is termed cohesion. That the particles of gold, of iron, of water, and other material bodies are held together by what is termed cohesion, is a fact, which

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being within our daily observation, no one is inclined to doubt, but it is the fact only which we know, and nothing


One body impinging on another puts it in motion, and we term it motion by impulse. But how motion passes from one body to another, when the particles of those bodies come in contact, if indeed there can be any actual contact, is by no means so easy to be determined. It will be found as difficult to be understood and explained as any of those obstacles, which are supposed to stand in the way of a full knowledge of spiritual existences.

Some further illustrations of this subject in particular instances remain to be made.

§. 74. Explanations on certain ideas of this class.

If called upon to give an account of the loadstone, which is the name of one of the many ideas of substance, we could give no other answer than by an enumeration of its qualities, something, which has colour, hardness, friability, power to draw iron.

The sun has been mentioned, as one among the complex ideas of substances, but little more do we know of it than this, that it is an aggregate of certain qualities or simple ideas, such as brightness, heat, roundness, regularity of motion.

We say of gold, that it is a combination of the qualities of yellowness, great weight, fusibility, ductility, &c. existing together, and forming the material substance, to which we give that name.

§. 75. Remarks on complexity in the states of the mind.

It would seem from the statement thus far given in re-` gard to our ideas of substance, that there is in this class of our thoughts a complexity in the state of the mind, corresponding to the complexity in the object, and without this complexity, in all cases, of the intellectual principle, there cannot be what is termed a complex idea. But it is not to be

thought, that we arrive at this ultimate complexity of mental state by a single act, by an undivided and inseparable movement of the mind, although, such is the rapidity of the process, it may in some cases seem to be so.

On the contrary, every simple idea, involved in, and forming a part of the compound, so far as we have any distinct conception of the compounded idea, passes under a rapid review, and the complex state of the mind or complex idea is the result of this rapid review.

We cannot, for instance, have a complex idea of man, of iron, or of a tree, without having first, at some time, subjected each simple idea of which it is made up, to a particular examination.

This glance of the mind at the various simple ideas is performed indeed with such extreme quickness, at least generally so, that the successive steps of it are not recollected; but this, when we consider the rapidity of the mind's operations in other instances, is no sufficient objection to the statement, which has been made.

The process in the formation of complex ideas goes on from step to step, from one simple idea to another, but when the examination is completed, the ultimate state of the mind, which the completion of the process implies, is not to be considered as in any degree wanting in unity or


§. 76. Connection existing between material substances to be considered.

In forming our complex ideas of substances, it is highly important, that they should be conformed, as nearly as possible, to the real nature of things; and that we should not combine in the idea any thing, which is not in the substance. And in order to this, it should be remembered, that bodies are operated upon one by another, and exhibit to us different qualities, in consequence of this operation.

One of the qualities of gold is yellowness, but break off entirely the intercourse between the particles of gold and the rays of light, and yellowness ceases. Life and motion are ideas, which commonly enter into our complex

notion of animals, but deprive them of air; and life and motion are gone.

We would not say, that, in these particular instances, in our complex ideas of gold and of animal, that these ideas, yellowness, life, and motion are to be struck out; but use them merely as an illustration, that in making up our complex notion of any substances, we are to consider not only the objects themselves, but also to take into view other objects, which have an influence on them.

S. 77. Of chimerical ideas of substances.

There are certain ideas, the consideration of which properly falls in this chapter, termed CHIMERICAL; the ideas, for example expressed by the words, centaur, dragon, hypogriff, harpy.

The centaur is represented, as an animal, partly man, and partly horse. The dragon is supposed to be an immense serpent furnished with wings and capable of making its way through the atmosphere by their aid. The hypogriff is an imaginary horse, capable of performing aerial journeys in the same way.

Ideas of this kind are termed chimerical, because there is nothing corresponding to them in nature,-there is no reality of the sort intimated by the term.

If a person were known to have an idea of a body, yellow or of some other colour, malleable, fixed, possessing in a word all the qualities of iron or of gold with this difference only, of its being lighter than water, it would be what we term a chimerical idea-that is-it would have nothing corresponding to it in the nature of things.

§. 78. Of what is meant by real ideas.

REAL IDEAS are the opposite of chimerical, having a correspondence with natural things, or being such ideas as things in their true nature are fitted to produce.

Hence simple ideas are real, because there can be no simple idea, except it be such as nature in some of its forms is fitted to produce within us ;-also simple modes

are real, because they are only the multiplications or repetitions of some simple idea.

Excepting such chimerical ideas, as were mentioned in the preceding section, viz. dragon, centaur, faery, harpy, hypogriff, ghost, hobgoblin, iron lighter than water, &c. all ideas of substance are real. But when we speak of ideas of substance, with such exceptions as above, being real, we do not mean to say, that they do perfectly and in all respects represent their corresponding objects.

In our complex idea of gold, we combine the simple ideas of yellowness, weight, malleability, and perhaps others, but probably none combine, in their conception of it, all its properties; so that, although we speak of it, as a real, we do not speak of it, as a perfect or adequate idea. The same of other instances.

Further, it may be incidentally remarked, that chimerical ideas are in general formed in times of ignorance and superstition, and people suppose themselves to see what in truth never was seen by them.

§. 79. Importance of having real ideas.

Ideas are the elements or materials, about which the mind is employed in its various operations, and without which we can neither have opinion, nor faith, nor reasoning, nor knowledge. It is true, that those ideas, which are termed chimerical, and of which there are no archetypes in nature, admit of being compared together, and if we adopt the definition given by Mr. Locke, that KNOWLEDĠE is the perception of the agreement or disagreement of ideas, they may be considered as furnishing grounds of knowledge, but the superstructure will partake of the character of the foundation; in other words, it will be CHIMER


We might ever so long puzzle ourselves in the investigation of such fantastical thoughts, and in the end be none the wiser.

The greater number a person has of such ideas, he is so much the poorer, as we do, not account a man rich,

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