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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1846,

By HARPER & BROTHERS, In the Clerk's Office of the Southern District of New York.

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The work now offered to the public owes its production to the idea that it was needed by instructors in their educational labors; at the same time the wants of the general reader have been duly regarded. It is well known, by those who have some experience in the branch of moral instruction, that there are few works indeed that are suitable to the wants of a large proportion of youth at school. The treatise of Dr. Paley, while it contains some admirable chapters, abounds in others that are erroneous, defective, and pernicious; so that it cannot be safely studied without an able and discriminating commentator at hand, to point out the existing errors, and to supply defects. Beside, much of the matter contained in it is of little interest or practical utility.

It was because he dissented from many of the principles contained in Paley, and was obliged to offer on many points a different course of instruction, that Dr. Wayland, as he informs us, found it convenient to prepare, for the use of his collegiate classes, a system of his own; and this has been regularly advancing in public favor, and has deservedly supplanted, in not a few institutions, the defective and erroneous, though generally popular, work of Paley.

The inquiry will now naturally arise, Why still another text-book is urged upon public notice, acceptance, use, since the work of Dr. Wayland stands

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among the ablest, if it is not the ablest, treatise on moral science extant?

The compiler is here most happy to acknowledge the distinguished talent of Dr. Wayland, his former instructor, and the surpassing excellence of the work he has prepared, and also its full adaptation to the class of scholars for whom it was specially intended (those in an advanced stage of collegiate training), provided that it is used by an instructor' so able as its accomplished author. The account which Dr. Wayland has himself given of the character of his own work, together with some experience of the compiler in the use of that work with students in an academic course, forms a sufficient apology for the preparation of the work now offered, which will be found, it is hoped, better adapted than the former to the capacities of the great mass of instructors and students, because more full and explicit in its delineations of moral duties. It is intended to supply a deficiency which they would find in Dr. Wayland's work, and which is noticed by himself, in the following terms, in the preface :

“I have rarely gone into extended discussion, but have contented myself with the attempt to state the moral law, and the reason of it, in as few and as comprehensive terms as possible. The illustration of the principles, and the application of them to cases in ordinary life, I have generally left to the instructor, or to the student himself."

The compiler is persuaded that, for most academic institutions and union district-schools, a work is needed on moral science, which, while it expounds the great principles of the theory of morals in a full and explicit


manner, shall also exhibit in detail the greater and the lesser moralities of life, since in most cases, with teachers and students, the text-book must furnish nearly all that is thought of on the subject.

The compiler would not have ventured to prepare what might be denominated an original work—the product of the original investigations of his own mind, -because he must in that case have offered to the public a work much inferior to many now in use;

but he does venture to present a work that combines, in a connected form, what he considers the best thoughts of not a few of the most gifted moral writers of the present century, not of those only who have written a Moral Philosophy, but of others.

The work is almost strictly a compilation ; yet it has cost the labor of extensive reading, of an anxious, and often perplexing comparison of various authors, of the preparation of a new arrangement of topics, and of a somewhat novel mode of treatment.

The leading questions that have been prepared for each article ; the prominent and specific scriptural sources whence the duties of man have been derived ; the ample exposition of the Ten Commandments; the moral lessons derived from the biography of Christ : the numerous illustrations of duty by anecdote; the introduction of some of the most convincing arguments for the truth of Christianity, and the removal of many popular objections and misrepresentations in respect to the moral teachings of the Bible; the freedom from abstruseness of style, and the omission of many topics, which, though often introduced in works of this sort, are not particularly important or interesting ; the high moral standard to which the student is continually

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referred; the light thrown upon the preceptive parts of the sacred volume; and the intended adaptation of the work to form, after the purest rules, the character and conduct of the young :-all these properties, which, it is humbly believed, the work will be allowed to possess, seem to commend it to the acceptance, not only of instructors, but of all who feel interested in learning the various duties of man—the modes also in which the law of the Supreme Governor is violated, and the motives which should influence to obedience, together with the good effects of it upon individuals and the world at large.

“ When the obligations of morality are taught,” says Dr. Johnson, "let the sanctions of Christianity never be forgotten; by which it will be shown that they give strength and luster to each other : religion will appear to be the voice of reason, and morality will be the will of God." The following work is constructed upon this important and fundamental principle.

Let it not be supposed, however, that the following work, because it goes to the Scriptures as the best of the sources of information with respect to our duty, is, in any proper sense, a theological or sectarian work. The morals found in the Book of Divine Revelation are here exhibited, while the doctrines of that book, however interesting and important, have been left to the province of the theologian.

It will be observed that the compiler has generally given credit at the close of each chapter, or at the end, sometimes, of a paragraph, to the author whose sentiments or language is employed. In many cases the thoughts have been condensed ; in others they appear in the exact language of the original authors,

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