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AND J. BINNS, AT BATH ;
A MIDST the numerous Branches of
Knowledge which claim the attention of the human mind, no one can be more important than that which constitutes the subject of the following Treatise. Whatever most intimately concerns ourselves must be of the first moment. The principle of self-love, which is inherent in our nature, immediately suggests that no other species of knowledge can stand in competition with it. Every thing is justly deemed interesting which has an immediate relation to ourselves; and the degrees of its importance, are measured by the degress of its influence upon our Well-being. Therefore, to attend to the workings of our own minds; to trace
power which external objects have over us ;-to discover the nature of our emotions and affections ;-to comprehend the reason of our being affected in a particular manner, must have a direct influence upon our pursuits, our characters, and our happiness.
It may with justice be advanced, that the history of ourselves in this department, is of much greater utility than abstruser speculations concerning the metaphysical nature of the human soul, or even the most accurate knowledge of its intellectual powers. For it is aceording as the passions and affections are excited ; and directed towards the objects investigated by these intellectual powers, that we become useful to ourselves or others; that we rise into respec tability or sink into contempts that we diffuse or enjoy happiness, diffuse or suffer misery.
An accurate Analysis of the passions and affections, is to the Moralist, what