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5thly, We pretend to lead, by this Method, to a full Comprehension of the Cause ; for the Cause may have Properties which bear no Relation to that Effect ; but that liereby we know something certainly of it, which is as full a Proof of its Existence, as if we knew every thing appertaining to it ; for nibili nulla sunt proprietates.
Lastly, It is allowed by all Philosophers a good Establishment of a Principle, how un. known foever in its felf, if there appear a Necessity of recurring to it, for the Solution of fome real Phenomenon ; provided still, that that Principle be not in it felf absurdo as well as unknown.
In this Senfe I understand a thing is well provod, when it is prov'd as far as the Nature of it will permit; in any other Senfe it seems a fallacious Conclufion to say, a thing is really prov'd, because prov'd as well as the Nature of it will bear; for still the Question may lye, whether the Nature of it will admit of sufficient Proof. If therefore we can firft clear our Principle from Absurdity, and not only fo, but bring good Arguments to prove it a Principle in rerum natura, and then evince the Necessity of recurring to it in the Case before us ; the Conclusion must be admitted; and this leads me to the firft Step of my intended Proof.
SE CT III.
Of Immaterial Substance in general.
'HE Principle therefore upon
which I build is that of Immaterial Substances in which I shall distinctly consider the Subject and the Predicate.
Ijt, As to Substance; there needs no farther Proof of its Existence than the Definition of it already laid down, į. e, it is a self-evident Proposition that an Attribute, Property, Mode, or Quality, abstractedly consider'd, cannot exist of it self; and yet here is an insuperable Objection against the Existence of Substance to any Man that is resolv'd to maintain that Sensation and Reflexion are the Source of all our Ideas; that is, of all our Knowledge ; for it is certain Substance became the Object of our Understanding, by neither of these ineans.
And accordingly, the Author EN ry on H. of that Scheme has, very conCap.13. $.19. siftently, ridicul'd it; it is with
him the Indian Philosophers mescio quid, that supports the Tortoise, that Supports the Elephant, that supports the Earth; which is plainly to make our Notion of Subftance not only unimaginable, but ungrounded
Und. lib. 2.
and chymerical. This I know is more than the Author apparently deligns
Ch. 27. 9. 2. here, and where he repeats the Şimilę, which is to shew that the old Di. vision of Substance and Accident is useless in Philosophy; but granting the Simile was, , introduc'd for its Elegancy only, and also that this Division of Things into Substance and Aco cident is useless in such Instances as he
produces; which depend, as to their Solution, entirely upon our Knowledge of the Accidents; yet is not this general Division necessarily to be made in the order of Nature, before we descend to these particulars ? if not, we must allow a Self-support to Accidents,
A profess’d Enemy to immaterial Substance is so far from denying the real Existence of Şubstance in general, that he lays down necessary. Existence, as an
Spinoz. Ethic, universal Property of it: I shall pars 1. prop. 7. have occasion to undertake this position afterward; only I observe at present, that this Doctrine was own'd on both sides, till tủis Moderator interpos’d, who is sometimes on one, and sometimes on the other side
j and now and then against both.
But do we know nothing of Substance ? Yes, for we can distinguish one Substance from another (which cannot be done without some Knowledge of both) by their known different Accidents, which necessarily
infer a proportionable difference in the Subfiances to which they belong ; but perhaps the meaning is, we know nothing of Subftance, taken in Distinction from, and Opposition to its own Accidents; very true, and this Knowledge may not only transcend human, but all created Understanding; but ftill, of the Existence of that, as to its Efence unknown, Substance, we have self-evident certainty, which, I think, cannot properly be call'd knowing nothing of it.
This therefore I venture to lay down as a self-evident Proposition, That where ever there are Accidents, there is of necessity a Subftance too ; and this, as next to selfevident, that from the difference we find in the Nature of Accidents, we must con, clude a like difference in the Nature of those Substances to which they belong ; for whereever a thing has its Dependence as to
there it must have its Dependence also, as to all the Modes of Existence.
2dly, Immaterial Substance is not fo much without Controverfie. Spinoza in the forementioned Propofition giving the Divine Atribute of necessary. Existence to Substance in general ; and, one Divine Attribute inferring all the rest, makes but one kind of Substance in the Universe, and all Diversity to be accidental.
A full Confutation of this Tenet is too tedious an Undertaking here i
the Reader may find it to his Satisfaction Duarum Athes in Dr. Møre. I only urge, that, imi Spinggiani
columnarum according to what is said in the
subversio. Mori precedent Section, that very ac- Op. Vol. r. cidental Diversity infers a difference in the Nature of the Substances, and according to his own words, Duce fubftantia Ethic. p. 1. diverfa attributa habentes, mibil
prop. 2. inter fe commune habent. So that if there be any such thing as two different Attributes, there must be two distinct Substances.
But that there must be, of, which is all one, must have been an immaterial Substance in the Universe ; that is, a Subftance with Properties distinct from, and inconsistent with those that belong to corporeal Substance; I shall, waving other Arguments, prove from these two Principles, ist, That something was from Eternity. 2dly, That Motion was communicated to Matter.
The first is a Principle that needs no other to confirm it, unlefs by fhewing the Abfurdity of the contrary, as Dr. Cud
Intelle&t. Syst. morth has done with invincible Evidence in this short Sentence, If ever there ļas nothing, there never cou'd have been any. thing. But this eternal Being is not Matter consider'd either in its specific or generical