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against another, and there is nothing imperfect.” In other words, that there is no finite being that in itself has its perfection; but only in being compared with a second can it be perfectly understood, -only in being united with another, can it perfectly fulfill its appointed ends,-only in obtaining from some other, that which it has not in itself, can it be perfect. This principle of Twofoldness, any thinking man shall, upon calm and deep reflection, see to run through the world of created life. He shall see it, in reference to man, to be true in the words of my second motto, that “Man's perfection is not by himself, nor by anything in or of himself, but by that which is to him external.” The Law of Duality, or to use a better word, before employed, of Twofoldness, extends to man as considered in every relation, as in the Home, in the Nation, in the Church,—as in his relation to External Nature, to his brother men, and to his Almighty Creator and Father.
The application of this principle to the moral nature of man, will be found to be the leading idea of this treatise, that from which all its other principles flow,—that in whose light, all the phenomena of our Moral Being are viewed, and by which they are explained.
We take it for granted herein, that man has a Moral Nature and constitution, as well as an animal and intellectual being; and that to man as a moral being there are external facts and institutions that correspond to this moral nature. This treatise seeks to discover, define, and specify distinctly, the various faculties of the moral constitution of man, and so to classify them that they may assume a definite, scientific, and practical form. And to do this, it considers them in the two-fold point of view, as in themselves first, and secondly, their relation to those other external fixed facts, which bear upon Moral Life, as the external circumstances of physical nature do upon the powers of vegetable or animal existence. This, as I have said, is my leading principle, and in reference to this it is, that I define Ethics to be “the Science of Man's Nature and Position."
And I can appeal to the Self-knowledge of every thoughtful man for the proof of the position I assume, that man is a being that has a Moral Constitution, composed of clear and definite elements --and that this Moral Nature answers to, and is to be explained by moral influences and facts external to us. That this is the case with man considered as a race and as an individual, and that his moral growth depends upon these two conditions.
And he that shall go with me through this treatise, I hope will find that moral science is not without a deep interest. For surely, each man in this world who knows that he is endowed with a Moral Nature, and is placed amidst circumstances, all of which may have a moral effect, must think the question to be deeply interesting, “How shall I so cultivate this my Nature, and so employ this my Position, as to arrive at the fullest maturity and completeness of my moral being, that I am capable of ?"
This is the question the author attempts to answer in this book, as a matter both of science, and also of practical action and guidance.
to Children -Cultivation of the Reason in ourselves.-Perfection of the Reason.