THE whole of what we any way observe, whereby we get the idea
of Solidity, or Solid Body, are certain parts of Space, from whence
we receive the ideas of light and colors; and certain sensations by
the sense of feeling; and we observe that the places, whence we
receive these sensations, are not constantly the same, but are
successively different, and this light and colors are communicated
from one part of space to another. And we observe that these parts
of Space, from whence we receive these sensations, resist and stop
other bodies, which we observe communicated successively through
the parts of Space adjacent; and that those that there were before
at rest, or existing constantly in one and the same part of Space,
after this exist successively in different parts of Space, and
these observations are according to certain stated rules. I appeal
to any one that takes notice and asks himself; whether this be not
all, that ever he experienced in the world, whereby he got these
ideas; and that this is all that we have or can have any idea of in
relation to bodies. All that we observe of Solidity is, that
certain parts of Space, from whence we receive the ideas of light
and colors, and a few other sensations, do likewise resist anything
coming within them. It therefore follows, that if we suppose there
be anything else than what we thus observe, it is but only by way
of Inference.

I know that it is nothing but the Imagination will oppose me
in this: I will therefore endeavor to help the Imagination thus.
Suppose that we received. Done of the sensible qualities of light,
colors, etc., from the resisting parts of Space (we will suppose it
possible for resistance to be without them), and they were, to
appearance, clear and pure; and all that we could possibly observe,
was only and merely Resistance; we simply observed that Motion was
resisted and stopped, here and there, in particular parts of
Infinite Space. Should we not then think it less unreasonable to
suppose that such effects should be produced by some Agent present
in those parts of Space, though Invisible. If we, when walking upon
the face of the Earth, were stopped at certain limits, and could
not possibly enter into such a part of Space, nor make anybody
enter into it; and we could observe no other difference, no way,
nor at any time, between that and other parts of clear space;
should we not be ready to say, What is it stops us; What is it
hinders all entrance into that place?

The reason, why it is so exceedingly natural to men, to
suppose that there is some Latent Substance, or Something that is
altogether hid, that upholds the properties of bodies, is, because
all see at first sight, that the properties of bodies are such as
need some Cause, that shall every moment have influence to their
continuance, as well as a Cause of their first existence. All
therefore agree, that there is Something that is there, and upholds
these properties. And it is most true, there undoubtedly is; but
men are wont to content themselves in saying merely, that it is
Something; but that Something is He, “by whom all things consist.”

The distribution of the objects of our thoughts, into
Substances and Modes, may be proper; if, by Substance, we
understand, a complexion of such ideas, which we conceive of as
subsisting together, and by themselves; and, by Modes, those simple
ideas which cannot be by themselves, or subsist in our mind alone.

The End