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principle, and he whose perceptions of truth are not remarkable for clearness and precision, will most surely be distinguished by an equal obscurity in his conceptions of rectitude. The moral duties which we are required to perform, may be contemplated as speculative principles, whose truth must be submitted to the decision of reason, as well as authoritative laws of the conscience, whose precepts we are bound to obey. There must be an exercise of the reflective understanding, in eliminating the primary dicta of our moral nature, and in determining the occasions and circumstances which call for the application of particular rules. The regulation of our conduct is not dependent upon instinct. Aristotle, among the ancients, was unquestionably in advance of every age which preceded the introduction of Christianity, and still in advance of many who call themselves Christians, in his clear and steady perception of the indissoluble connection betwixt the cogitative and practical departments of man's nature in reference to duty. He treats it as a distinction betwixt

virtue and science, that the latter is restricted to one portion of the soul, while the former embraces all the elements of our being. "There are three principles," he affirms in the Nichomachean Ethicks, "which, either single or combined, are the sovereign judges of truth and conduct. These are, sensation, intellect and appetite. Of these three, mere sensation cannot alone be the foundation of any judgment respecting the conduct, that is, the propriety of action; for wild beasts have perception by sense, but are totally unacquainted with propriety. Affirming and denying are the operations of intellect; desire. and aversion are those of appetite; and since moral virtue implies the habit of just election, and election or preference resolves itself into deliberation and appetite, every act of virtuous preference requires, that there should be accuracy and truth in the comparison, as well as correctness and propriety in the desire." In conformity with this reasoning, he subsequently denominates the moral election or preference peculiar to man, "an impassioned

intelligence or reflecting appetite." Who is not reminded of Bishop Butler's "sentiment of the understanding or perception of the heart?" The investigation of duty, involving so obviously the exercise of judgment, those philosophers are not to be rashly condemned, who attribute to the same faculty of the mind, the power of distinguishing betwixt right and wrong, which, it is confessed, distinguishes betwixt truth and falsehood. They feel that the mental processes are so nearly identical, that they cannot but regard it as an unnecessary multiplication of original powers, to have a peculiar understanding conversant only about moral truth, while another understanding is admitted to exist, which deals in truth of every other kind. Our faculties, which are only convenient names for the various operations of a simple and indivisible substance, derive their appellation, not from the specific differences of the objects about which they are employed, but from their general nature. The discovery of truth, it is maintained, is as much an end to the moral inquirer who is

seeking, under given circumstances, to determine his duty, as it is to the physical philosopher, whose investigations cannot be legitimately pushed beyond the province of existing phenomena. The same laws of evidence, the same original principles, the same elements of human belief, and the same process of patient analysis and patient induction, are, or ought to be, common to both, and can no more be discarded with impunity by the one than they can be by the other.

This reasoning is certainly plausible, though not conclusive. There is judgment in the

decisions of the conscience, and the laws in conformity with which that faculty pronounces what Kant calls its categorical imperative, become standards of evidence, the constitutive and regulative principles of operation in all that pertains to rectitude and duty. Mere speculation could never suggest to us the notions of right and wrong, of virtue or a crime; but the materials which conscience supplies become the subjects of philosophic contemplation, and are worked up in the lab

oratory of reflection, into abstract principles, which must react upon the conscience. The moral opinions framed by the understanding from the phenomena of conscience, will constitute our code of right, and in the application of this code to the countless contingencies and diversified occasions of life, there is room for the influence of judgment in determining what principles to apply. There can, consequently, be no progress in virtue beyond the merest elements, or primary dicta of our moral constitution, without progress in intelligence. Knowledge is as essential to responsibility as conscience. Hence a variable or fluctuating standard of truth necessarily introduces a variable and fluctuating standard of morals; whatever system legitimates error legitimates crime; whatever blinds the understanding corrupts the heart. The moral nature, developed side by side with the intellectual, and in a large measure dependent upon it, is always involved in the same ruin. Rude and barbarous nations are as much indebted to imbecility of reason, superinduced by neglect

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