« PreviousContinue »
incorrect, are now extant ; and as several ..
It will no doubt be observed, that some of the following topics, though brevity · has been aimed at in all, are treated more
compendiously than others. This could, he thinks, be accounted for; but not without much egotism, and a detail of particulars neither necessary nor interesting.
No body, he presumes, will be offended, if in these papers there be found, as there certainly will, numberless thoughts and arguments which may be found elfewhere. It will be considered, that, as a professor's province is generally assigned him by public authority, his business is rather to collect and arrange his materials, than to invent or make them. In his il
lustrations, in order to render what he teaches as perspicuous and entertaining as possible, he may give ample scope to his inventive powers : but, in preparing a fummary of his principles, he will be more · solicitous to make a collection of useful truths, however old, than to amuse his readers with paradox, and theories of his own contrivance. And let it be considered further, that, as all the practical, and most of the speculative, parts of Moral Science, have been frequently and fully explained by the ableft writers, he would, if he should affect novelty in these matters, neither do justice to his fubject, nor easily clear himself from the charge of 0stentation.
Of such of the author's Lectures as have already, under the name of Essays, been published in the same form in which they were at first composed, particularly those on Language, Memory, and Imagination, he has made this abridgement as brief as was consistent with any degree of perfpicuitý. Sơme may think, that he ought to have left out those parts ; and he once
thought so himself. But it occurred tờ him, that many persons, into whose hands this book would perhaps come, may have never seen those printed lectures, and poffibly never would see them; that he could not with a good grace recommend it to any body to purchase the volumes in which they are to be found ; and that, if those parts should be wholly omitted, his System, as exhibited in this epitome, would have a mutilated appearance, and be still more imperfect than it is.
The remaining part of this work, containing ELEMENTS OF MORAL PhilosoPHY (strictly so called), which comprehends ETHICS, ECONOMICS, and Polic Tics; and of Logic (including RhetoRIC); will be put to the press, as soon as the author shall have found leisure to revise and transcribe it.
Sect. 3. Essentials of Language,