The constitution of man considered in relation to external objects
Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC
By: George Combe
Excerpt from book: (41) CHAPTER II. ON THE CONSTITUTION OF MAN, AND ITS RELATIONS TO EXTERNAL OBJECTS. Let us next consider the Constitution of Man, and the natural laws to which he is subjected, and endeavor to discover how far the external world is arranged with wisdom and benevolence, in regard to him. Bishop Butler, in the Preface to his Sermons, says, ' It is from considering the relations which the several appetites and passions in the inward frame have to each other, and, above all, the Supremacy of reflection or conscience, that we get the idea of the system or constitution of human nature. And from the idea itself, it will as fully appear, that this our nature, i. e. constitution, is adapted to virtue, as from the idea of a watch it appears that its nature, i. e. constitution or system, is adapted to measure time.' ' Mankind has various instincts and principles of action, as brute creatures have: some leading most directly and immediately to the good of the community, and some most directly to private good.' 'Man has several, which brutes have not: particularly reflection or conscience, an approbation of some principles or actions, and disapprobation of others.' ' Brutes obey their instincts or principles of action, according to certain rules: suppose, the constitution of their body, and the objects around them.' ' The generality of mankind also obey their instincts and principles, all of them, those propensities we call good, as well as the bad, according to the same rules, namely, the constitution of their body, and the external circumstances which they are in.' ' Brutes, in acting according to the rules before mentioned, their bodily constitution and circumstances, act suitably to their whole nature. ' Mankind also, in acting thus, would act suitably to their w...