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ing, are co-exiftents, although, in order of nature, power is before both; the former propofitions are truly demonftrable.

6. Power has been, in my opinion, treated very abfurdly by fome philofophers, and inconfiftently with their own and the foregoing account of it, when one class of them distinguish it into active and paffive, and another class into intellectual and active. If the nature of things be confidered, their division is not a distribution of a genus into its species, an universal whole into its kinds : but it is rather the divifion of an integral whole into its parts. Now if my readers think as I do, they will conceive of power, refpecting the production of change, and respecting abiding and enduring, in opposition to change, as a fimple object of conception, like immenfity and duration, a unit, an integer, an undiftinguishable whole, in which cafe, if my representation be juft, the diftinguish ing power into its kinds, is as abfurd, as dividing an animal into head, trunk and extremities, and then calling and accounting the head an animal, the trunk an animal, and the extreme parts also animals.

In my opinion, the reafon of this inconfiftent and abfurd treatment of power, is this, Philofophers have confounded their conception of power with that of property.-Property is any mode or quality of being effential to the exiftence of power


or energy; but not power and energy itself.

Property is more remotely conceived, a mode effential to cafual influence, and as moft objects have more modes than one which are effential to the existence of cafual influence, therefore, most objects have a plurality of property, that is, have properties.

Properties are of fuch importance in relation to power, that it is proper to familiarize their conception as we go forward.

7. A property is a mode or quality in a being, which is related to a quality or mode in fome other being: But this description is too general, we must add, that it is immediately effential to the existence of power, in whatsoever respect power existeth.

A property cannot exist without a fubject to which it belongs; for property is a mode; and all modes effentially require a fubject to their existence. That a property may exift without any being or subject to which that property may be attributed, is an abfurdity.

It is a quality which may be varied not only in degree but also in kind; and we diftinguish both the kind and degree by their conduciveness to the exiftence of power, and by the object of the power. Thus the property of moving, and the property of thinking, are different kinds of properties: But the property of supporting one hundred weight,


and the property of fupporting two hundred, are different degrees of the fame kind.

We cannot conclude the want of a certain property from its not being exercised. Nor from the exercise of a lefs degree of a property, can we conclude that there is no greater degree in the fubject. Thus, though a man on a certain occafion faid nothing, we cannot conclude from that fact, that he had not the property of fpeech; nor from a man's fupporting ten pounds weight, can we conclude that he had not the property of fupporting twenty.

There are fome qualities that have contraries, others that have not; properties are qualities of the latter kind. There may be weakness or privation of properties, but not contraries to them.

As there are fome things of which we have a direct, and others of which we have a relative conception, properties belong to the latter class. Of fome things we know what they are in themfelves; our conceptions of fuch things we call direct. Of other things, we know not what they are in themselves, but only in their attributes and certain relations to other things; of these our conception is only relative. Relative attributes of that kind which is immediately effential to the existence of power, are properties. All the primary qualities of body, figure, extenfion, folidity, hardness, fluidity, and the like, are objects of direct conception: but the various properties

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of bodies, such as that in the fun, respecting the warmth of the earth, that in fire, respecting the burning of wood, and that in the magnet, refpecting iron; and on the other hand, the property of the earth in respect of the property of the fun, that of the wood in respect of that in the fire, and that of iron in refpect of that of the magnet; these are relative conceptions.

All our knowledge of properties seems dependent on experiments, our own experiments or those of other people. Till gold was exposed to the fire, the property of fire to melt gold, and the property in gold to be melted by fire, were unknown.

Properties are active and paffive. This is the moft obvious and important diftinction of properties. The property of the fire in relation to melting gold is an active property: but the property of gold in relation to the fire is a paffive property. Probably the distinction of nouns by the Greeks and Latins into masculine and feminine beyond the extension of actual gender, originated from the obvious distinction of things as being subjects more remarkably of active properties, or more remarkably of paffive properties.

Properties are rightly diflinguished into active and paffive, for they owe their effence to the relation exifting between active and paffive.

Active properties let us call abilities, and paffive properties we will call capacities. Let it be


noticed, that I purpose to use the term ability to express active property, and the term capacity to exprefs paffive property, in the farther profecution of this Essay.

8. What has been called active power in one subject and what has been called paffive power in another, are with great propriety called active property and paffive property; but are improperly called power, for they are not power. It is a proftitution of the name to call either of them power for no notion of power would through eternity be conveyed by them, unless the two fubjects are brought in contact according to the laws of circumstances, and actual operation and influence take place and exift. Thus the fun has been faid to have a power to bleach wax : but this is no other than active property. Wax has alfo been faid to poffefs a power of being bleached by the fun, but this alfo is no other than paffive property. And farther, Power doth never exift but with its proper circumftances. Let the wax be placed in a fuitable fitutation for the fun's rays, and let the clouds permit the fun to shine on it at the proper feafon of the year, and for a proper time, then will power and confequent change exist. Properties are effential to power, but are not power, and the meaning of the words fhould not be confounded. If there were any ground for distinguishing power into active and paffive, there would be alfo for the addition of circumftantial


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