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be some analogy between the great divisions of the sensibilities and those of the intellect. There can be no question that men commonly locate, in the scale of the mind's regard and honour, the internal intellect above the external. The latter simply perceives; the former not only perceives, but exercises the additional and higher function of comparing, estimating, and combining. And so in respect to the topic now before us. The moral sensibility appears to hold, in respect to the other great division of our sensitive nature, the position of a consultative and judicial power; it stands above it and over it, in the exercise of a higher authority; it keenly scrutinizes the motives of action; it compares emotion with emotion, desire with desire; it sits a sort of arbitress, holding the scales of justice, and dispensing such decisions as are requisite for the due regulation of the empire of the passions.
$ 10. The moral sensibilities wanting in brutes. It will perhaps throw light upon the distinction we are endeavouring to illustrate, if we call to recollection here that the natural or pathematic sensibilities exist in brute animals essentially the same as in man. They are susceptible of various emotions; they have their instincts, appetites, propensities, and affections, the same as human beings have, and perhaps even in a higher degree. They rush with eagerness in the pursuit of whatever is calculated to gratify their appetites, and are deeply interested in everything that is addressed to the natural affections. They are pleased and displeased, they have their prepossessions and aversions, they love and hate, with as much vehemence, at least, as commonly characterizes human passion.—But if we look for the other and more elevated portion of the sensibilities, it is not there. And here, we apprehend, is the great ground of distinction between men and the brutes. The latter, as well as human beings, appear to know what is good, considered as addressed simply to the natural affections; but man has the higher knowledge of moral as well as of natural good. The brute, as well as man, knows what is desirable, considered in the light of the natural appetites and passions ;
but man enjoys the infinitely higher prerogative of knowing what is worthy of pursuit, considered in the light of moral and conscientious perceptions.
11. Classification of the natural sensibilities. Beginning, in the examination of the wide and interesting subject before us, with the natural or pathematic sensibilities, we shall find this portion of our sensitive nature resolving itself into the subordinate divisions of the Emotions and Desires. These two classes of mental states follow each other in the order in which they have been named; the Emotions first, which are exceedingly numerous and various; and then the Desires, embracing under the latter term the Appetites, Propensities, and Affections. This is not only the order in succession or time, but it is also the order in nature.—In other words, and stated more particularly, such is the constitution of the human mind, that, when we pass from the region of the intellect to that of the sensibilities, we first find ourselves (and there is no other possible position which, in the first instance, we can occupy) in the domain of the EMOTIONS. We are at first pleased or displeased, or have some other emotion in view of the thing, whatever it is, which has come under the cognizance of the intellect. And emotions, in the ordinary process of mental action, are followed by Desires. As we cannot be pleased or displeased without some antecedent perception or knowledge of the thing which we are pleased or displeased with, so we cannot desire to possess or avoid anything without having laid the foundation of such desire in the existence of some antecedent emotion. And this is not only the matter of fact, which, as the mind is actually constituted, is presented to our notice; but we cannot well conceive how it could be otherwise. To desire a thing which utterly fails to excite within us the least emotion of pleasure seems to be a sort of solecism or absurdity in nature; in other words, it seems to be impossible, from the nature of things, under any conceivable circumstances. At any rate, it is not possible as the mind is actually constituted, whatever might have been the fact if the mind had been constituted differently.
$ 12. Classification of the moral sensibilities. If we look at the conscientious or Moral sensibilities, we find that they divide themselves in a manner entirely analogous to the division which is found to exist in the Natural. The first class of mental states which presents itself to our notice under this general head is that of moral Emotions; corresponding in the place which they occupy in relation to the Intellect, as well as in some other respects, to the natural emotions. The moral emotions are followed by another class of moral feelings, which may be designated as Obligatory feelings, or feelings of moral obligation, which hold the same relation to the moral emotions which the Desires do to the natural emotions. If we had not moral emotions (that is to say, feelings of moral approval and disapproval), it would not be possible for us to feel under moral obligation in any case whatever; the latter state of the mind being obviously dependant on the former.—It will be noticed, that in this place we scarcely do more than simply state the fact of this subordinate classification, without entering into minute explanations. The precise relation which the two departments of our moral nature sustain to each other, will be more fully stated and clearly understood, when, in their proper place, they come particularly under examination.