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more good humor than contempt, in the smile with which the reader chastises my self-complacency, if I confess myself un. certain, whether the satisfaction from the perception of a truth new to myself may not have been rendered more poignant by the conceit, that it would be equally so to the public. There was a time, certainly, in which I took some little credit to myself, in the belief that I had been the first of my countrymen, who had pointed out the diverse meaning of which the two terms were capable, and analysed the faculties to which they should be appropriated. Mr. W. Taylor's recent volume of synonymes?" I have not yet seen ;ao but his specification of the terms in ques.
19 [“ British Synonyms Discriminated. By W. Taylor.” Ed.]
90 I ought to have added, with the exception of a single sheet which I accidentally met with at the printer's. Even from this scanty specimen, I found it impossible to doubt the talent, or not to admire the ingenuity of the author. That his distinctions were for the greater part unsatisfactory to my mind, proves nothing against their accuracy; but it may possibly be serviceable to him, in case of a second edition, if I take this opportunity of suggesting the query : whether he may not have been occasionally misled, by having assumed, as to me he appears to have done, the non-existence of any absolute synonymes in our language ? Now " cannot but think, that there are many which remain for our posterity to distinguish and appropriate, and which I regard as so much reversionary wealth in our mother tongue. When two distinct meanings are confounded under one or more words-(and such must be the case, as sure as our knowledge is progressive and of course imperfect)-erroneous consequences will be drawn, and what is true in one sense of the word will be affirmed as true in toto. Men of research, startled by the consequences, seek in the things themselves—(whether in or out of the mind)—for a knowledge of the fact, and having discovered the difference, remove the equivocation either by the substitution of a new word, or by the appropriation of one of the two or more words, which had before been used promiscuously. When this distinction has been so naturalized and of such general currency that the language does as it were think for us-(like the sliding rule which is the mechanic's safe substitute for arithmetical knowledge)—we then say, that it is evident to common sense.
Common sense, therefore, differs in different ages. What was born and christened in the Schools passes by degrees into the world at large, and becomes the property of the market and the tea-table. At least I can discover no other meaning of the term, common sense, if it is to convey any specific difference from sense and judgment in genere, and where it is not used scholastically for the universal reason. Thus in the reign of Charles II. the philosophic
tion has been clearly shown to be both insufficient and erroneous by Mr. Wordsworth in the Preface added to the late collection of his Poems. The explanation which Mr. Wordsworth has himself given, will be found to differ from mine, chiefly, perhaps, as our objects are different. It could scarcely indeed happen otherwise, from the advantage I have enjoyed of frequent con
world was called to arms by the moral sophisms of Hobbes, and the ablest writers exerted themselves in the detection of an error, which a school. boy would now be able to confute by the mere recollection that compulsion and obligation conveyed two ideas perfectly disparate, and that what appertained to the one had been falsely transferred to the other by a mere confusion of terms.*
Sce Hobbes's Treatise on Liberty and Necessity. (Eng. Works, iv., Sir W. Molesworth's edit.) The term obligation is not used by Hobbes. His position is that some actions are not compelled, but that all are necessitated. (Pp. 261-2.) “Natural efficacy of objects," he says, “ does determine voluntary agents, and necessitates the Will, and consequently the Action;" but for moral efficacy I understand not what he meaps. (P. 247.)-"When first'a man hath an appetite or will to something, to which immediately before he had no appetite nor will, the cause of his will is not the will itself, but something else not in his own disposing. So that whereas it is out of controversy that of voluntary actions the will is the necessary cause, and by this which is said, the will is also caused by other things whereof it disposeth not, it followeth that voluntary actions have all of them necessary causes, and therefore are necessitated." (P. 274.)
A voluntary action, therefore, with Hobbes, is an action necessarily consequent on or identical with the last opinion, judgment, or dictate of the understanding, --which last opinion, judgment, or dictate of the understanding is necessarily determined by the presentation of certain "external objects to a man of such or such a temperature.” (P. 267.) Of course Obligation, or a law of Duty, grounded on conviction of a universal Right and Wrong, True and False, has no place in Hobbes's system; nor can that system be consistently defended against the charge that it destroys the very foundations of all morality properly understood. It is true that Hobbes himself in this Treatis denies the imputed consequence; but his reasoning in this respect is so weak,--depending upon a covert use of the terms "will" and "willingly," in a sense inconsistent with that necessarily attached to them in the previous positions,--that it cannot but be suspected that Hobbes himself felt the legitimacy of the charge, that upon his principles, Morality, in any shape but that of positive Law, was an empty name. Practically, what other conclusion cap be drawn?
This Treatise is one of the least agreeable of all Hobbes's works. It contains in all its naked terrors that frightful dogma, which, strange to say, has, with scarcely any modifi cation but in form, been reproduced and advocated with zealous reiteration in the serinons and other writings of those popular divines who have so largely influenced the public mind for the last seven or eight years. "I say," says Hobbes, "that the power of God alone, without other helps, is sufficient justification of any action he doth.” (P. 249.) “ Power irresistible justifies all actions, really and properly, in whomsoever it be found." -"This I know ;-God cannot sin, because his doing a thing makes it just, and consequently no sin--and therefore it is blasphemy to say, God can sin; but to say God can so order the world, as a sin may be necessarily caused thereby in a man, I do not see how it is any dishonor to Him." (Pp. 250-1.) If this is true, God-the Good—differs from Moloch in nothing but power. Ed.)
versation with him on the subject to which a poem of his own first directed my attention, and my conclusions concerning which he had made more lucid to myself by many happy instances drawn from the operation of natural objects on the mind. But it was Mr. Wordsworth's purpose to consider the influences of fancy and imagination as they are manifested in poetry, and from the different effects to conclude their diversity in kind ; while it is my object to investigate the seminal principle, and then from the kind to deduce the degree. My friend has drawn a masterly sketch of the branches with their poetic fruitage. I wish to add the trunk, and even the roots as far as they lift themselves above ground, and are visible to the naked eye of our common consciousness.
Yet even in this attempt I am aware that I shall be obliged to draw more largely on the reader's attention, than so immethodical a miscellany as this can authorize; when in such a work (the Ecclesiastical Policy) of such a mind as Hooker's, the judicious author, though no less admirable for the perspicuity than for the port and dignity of his language,—and though he wrote for men of learning in a learned age,—saw nevertheless occasion to anticipate and guard against " complaints of obscurity," as often as he was to.trace his subject “ to the highest well-spring and fountain.” Which (continues he) “ because men are not accustomed to, the pains we take are more needful a great deal, than acceptable ; and the matters we handle, seem by reason of newness (till the mind grow better acquainted with them), dark and intricate.”21 I would gladly, therefore, spare both myself and others this labor, if I knew how without it to present an intelligible statement of my poetic creed, -not as my opinions, which weigh for nothing, but as deductions from established pre mises conveyed in such a form, as is calculated either to effect a fundamental conviction, or to receive a fundamental confuta. tion. If I may dare once more adopt the words of Hooker, “they, unto whom we shall seem tedious, are in no wise injured by us, because it is in their own hands to spare that labor, which they are not willing to endure."2 Those at least, let me be
91 (B. I., ch. i., 9 2 Ed.]
+ [Ibid Ed.]
permitted to add, who have taken so much pains to render me ridiculous for a perversion of taste, and have supported the charge by attributing strange notions to me on no other authority than their own conjectures, owe it to themselves as well as to me not to refuse their attention to my own statement of the theory which I do acknowledge ; or shrink from the trouble of examining the grounds on which I rest it, or the arguments which I offer in its justification.
On the law of Association-Its history traced from Aristotle to Hartley
There have been men in all ages, who have been impelled as by an instinct to propose their own nature as a problem, and who devote their attempts to its solution. The first step was to construct a table of distinctions, which they seem to have formed on the principle of the absence or presence of the Will. Our various sensations, perceptions, and movements were classed as active or passive, or as media partaking of both. A still finer distinction was soon established between the voluntary and the spontaneous. In our perceptions we seem to ourselves merely passive to an external power, whether as a mirror reflecting the landscape, or as a blank canvas on which some unknown hand paints it. For it is worthy of notice, that the latter, or the system of Idealism, may be traced to sources equally remote with the former, or Materialism ; and Berkeley can boast an ancestry at least as venerable as Gassendi' or Hobbes. These
[Pierre Gassendi, a philosopher whose aim it was to revive, reform, and improve the system of Epicurus, and who wrote against Des Cartes, was born in 1592, at Chantersier in Provence and died at Paris in 1636.
2 [Thomas Hobbes was born at Malmesbury, in 1598, died 1679, aged ninety-one. His works, which are philosophical and political, moral and mathematical, and translations, are now first collected and edited by Sir Wm. Molesworth—the Latin works in five vols. 8vo.; of the English nine vols. Svo, have appeared. Cousin observes that the speculative philosophy of Hobbes, who was a materialist in doctrine, has not attracted as much attention as the practical. His style is very excellent, condensed, yet with all the ease and freedom of diffuse writing. It is sharp and sparkling as a diamond. Sir James Mackintosh praises it highly in his well known Dis. sertation on the Progress of Ethical Philosophy. He says of it; “ short,