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ON THE PASSIONS.
Dr. HUTCHESON's treatise on the passions is a book of considerable ingenuity and importance. He seems to have set a high value upon it himself, and his affection for it may have been considerably heightened from the consideration that it was his first production, and what contributed in a material degree to bring him into notice as a moral writer. This work is divided into two parts, one on the nature and conduct of the passions, and the other contains further illustrations of the doctrine of a moral sense, and an examination of the systems of Mr. Wollaston, Dr. Clarke, and others.
The first part, which relates to the nature and conduct of the passions, is by far the most interest. ing and instructive; and I here beg to premise, that.
I intend to follow the same plan in my remarks upon the passions, which I followed in the preceding chapter on the doctrine of a moral sense. What I propose advancing will partake more of a general commentary or dissertation on the nature of the passions, than a literal analysis of Dr. Hutcheson's work. But in doing this I lay little claim to originality, as the subject has been so often handled by able writers, that nothing new except relatively the mere arrangement can be expected. What I wish to accomplish is, to give the reader a general conception of the nature of our various passions, and to fix on his attention some of those general laws which guide, in all cases, their operation.
Those who have looked upon human affairs with any degree of attention, must have been struck with the beautiful regularity and harmony,—the wonderful adaptation of means to ends, which are so conspicuous amidst the seemingly conflicting and jarring passions which propel individuals and societies towards some given end or object. Man's moral constitution furnishes every one who contemplates it in a becoming and proper frame of mind, with objects of the deepest interest, and most lively pleasure. We are too apt, when looking into nature's works, either with a view of deriving know