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springs of action. They move the will, a determination is reached, and the actions are performed.'

IV. Another principle which operates in the human soul is disposition. The actions of an individual are greatly influenced by his peculiarities. These peculiarities are the dispositions. We mean by them the relations of the different parts of our nature to each other. It may be the relation of the three faculties, or the prominence of one of them. In one, the intellect may be the more active, while feeling and willing may be subordinate. Or the exercise of the feelings may be the most marked in another person, and this will determine his character. Or it may be that the will is the most developed, and its exercise will exhibit marked determination and energy. Or, again, in the intellect the acquisitive, or the reproductive, or the reflective, faculty may be the most active, and that will determine the intellectual character. Or, in the emotional part of man's nature, the affection of anger may have an undue influence, and, by its activity, prevail over the affection of love; and then, like Nabal, he may be such a son of Belial that one "cannot speak to him' (1 Sam. xxv. 17). Or the affection of love may

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For a discussion of the doctrine of the will, see the fifteenth chapter of Philosophical Basis of Theism, by S. Harris, D.D., LL.D.; and also, Lectures on Jurisprudence; or, The Philosophy of Positive Law, chap. xviii., by John Austin. He adopts the theory of Thomas Brown, M.D., who resolves will into simple desire.

prevail; and then we may have the character of St. John, who lay in our Lord's bosom at the supper. This relation of the different parts of human nature has a wonderful influence in shaping action and in forming character. It was wonderfully manifest in the apostles, giving to one an energetic, and to another a selfish, and to another a benevolent, character, thus producing an individuality which was manifest in a Peter, a Judas, and a Barnabas. The determination of the relation of the several parts of our nature may be greatly influenced by circumstances and by culture; but it is originally due to nature, which can never be entirely overcome. The intellectual and moral character of a person is greatly influenced by the original relation of the separate functions to each other. The amiable person owes the predominance of this quality to the original constitution with which he was born. He may modify, but he can never entirely change, the disposition.

This, then, is human nature. This is the nature from which we propose to show that the actions which are appropriate to man, as a moral being, can be deduced. The actions which flow out of this nature will be suitable to man, just as the actions which come from the nature of an animal of any sort will be suitable to him.




the previous lecture, the conscience was named. only as one of the parts of the soul which go to make the nature of man. It must now be investigated and exhibited more in detail. It is the conscience which gives to our nature one of its distinguishing marks. We define man as a moral being. It is this quality which makes him to be the being that he is. We ought, therefore, to have a very clear perception of its nature and of its functions.

The moral nature of man is exhibited in the exercise of the conscience. If there was no conscience, there would be no moral nature. Man without the capacity to exercise this function might be a rational being, and all his actions then would be under the regulation of the reason as the highest and most important quality in his nature. But the capacity to exercise a conscience, and to have a "conscience void of offence toward God and toward man," implies that there is something higher in his nature than reason merely. There is a quality which elevates him

above the character of a mere intellectual being, and which brings him into union with the divine. This character is designated the moral, and conformity of actions to that nature gives us a system of morality.

The word had come fully into use when the New Testament was written, though it is somewhat remarkable that only St. Paul and St. Peter use it. St. John does not, unless we allow the genuineness of the first verses of the eighth chapter of his Gospel. But in the Old Testament it is heart, as the seat of the affections, which is considered the moral faculty. It is this word which St. John uses when he says, "If our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God" (1 John iii. 21). But St. Paul makes constant and distinct use of it in all his Epistles, and in his discourses in the Acts; and St. Peter uses it in his First Epistle, which was addressed to the Christians in Asia Minor. The word, then, must have been in use, and well known.

The great ethical writers of Greece did not use it. Plato does not use the term, or recognize the specific act of the mind which we call conscience. This is not strange, for the "Dialogues" are not treatises: they are rather tentative. They are questioning the nature of man, in order to draw out the operations of that nature. But Socrates dwells on knowledge as if this was enough. This reveals our actions. Butler says that we must recognize prudence as a guide, in a

measure. But this is only as far as Socrates had proceeded. Plato' used consciousness in the "Apology," and recognizes the consciousness of the mind, as St. Paul uses it (I Cor. iv. 4).

It is not in the "Ethics" of Aristotle. Probably the word consciousness was just beginning to appear, as it does once 3 in the "Ethics;" and out of this word would naturally come conscience. But Aristotle recognizes only part of the operation of the mind in determining the moral character of acts. It is reason, as he says in the sixth book, "The mean is as right reason determines." His criterion of virtue was the mean between extremes, and he declares that it is the office of right reason to determine this. But that there was a further operation than that of reason, he does not determine. He was, however, certainly approaching the solution, which would require the word; for he says that this is an exercise of "the reason on practical subjects." The difference in the reason as applied to science, and as deciding on the actions of life, would soon reveal that there was a peculiarity in the latter case which would require a different word.

1 “ Ουτε μεγα ουτε σμακρον ξύνοιδα ἐμαυτῷ σοφος ων” Plato's Apology, p. 21. 2 "Ovdèv yàp éμavтų σúvoida” St. Paul: 1 Cor. iv. 4.

3 Ethics, book 1, chap. iv. sect. 3: “ συνειδότες δ ̓ ἑαυτοῖς ἄγνοιαν.”

4 Oplos λoyos - Right Reason. Sir Alexander Grant, in his notes on this word in Aristotle, book 2, chap. ii. sect. 3, says, "It is easy to see that oplos Aoyos was in Plato a floating idea: in Aristotle it was passing into a fixed idea, as is the case with many other terms of psychology and morals."

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