Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

and man with God, - who can see in all these a com

plex unity and can apprehend their end, - will have an

element of satisfaction far greater than he who should

know the causes of all things without being able to

unravel their perplexities.

From the place assigned to Moral Philosophy in the classification adopted in these lectures, an incidental

consideration of the above harmonies seemed to be

required. Hence it is hoped that the book may contain suggestions that will be valuable to some who may not agree with its doctrines on the particular subject of morals. It is particularly hoped that it may do something towards introducing more of unity into the courses of study, or some of them, in our higher semi

naries. If the works of God, regarded as an expression

of his thought, are built up after a certain method, it deserves to be considered whether that thought will not

be best reached by following in their study the order that has been followed in their construction, and which

is involved in that method. Something of this I have

[blocks in formation]

long aimed to do in my instructions, and with very

perceptible advantage. With suitable text-books and a

right arrangement of studies, much more might doubt

less be done.

In treating of any natural system, as each part

implies all the others, wherever we begin, and whatever method we follow, we are compelled to use terms whose full meaning can be reached only in the progress of the investigation. This is particularly true when, as in the present instance, instead of beginning with defi

nitions, we seek for them.

For this it is hoped that

due allowance may be made.

It will be seen that important, and even cardinal

points, are often but briefly touched in these discus

sions. I can only say that the work is, of necessity,

suggestive rather than exhaustive, and that if these

points are so treated as to show their place in the system, the outline may be readily filled up.

For remarks upon the present condition of the sci

ence, and for the general course of thought pursued,

the reader is referred to the opening lecture, and to the

summary at the close.

English literature is rich in ethical speculation. Sev

eral valuable treatises have recently been published in

this country; but the ground of classification, and the general aspects and connections of the subject, as pre

sented in the following lectures, are so far different

from others, that it is hoped something may be gained

to the science by their publication. To the authors of the treatises above referred to, and also to the friends

who have aided me by their suggestions, I desire to

express my indebtedness.

I will only add, that the work is written in the interest

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »