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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
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