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Such then is the state of inquiry among us . Ph y sical science is advancing steadily , and with an accelerating rapidity , under the guidance of philosophical principles . Moral science is lagging behind , blinded , thwarted , led astray by a thousand phantoms pf ancient ignorance and error , which would have disappeared long ago , if the dawn of philosophy bad not arisen as cloudily upon this region as brightly upon the other . What is to be done ?
Let it be ascertained what are the true objects of research , and what is their natural connexion , instead of proposing to split men into parties whose object shall be , —not a division of labour which shall benefit the whole , —but to magnify one science at the expense of another , and to persuade as many novices as they can to pursue one to the exclusion of all others . Let it be ascertained whether material science , useful , wopderful , beautiful as it is , be not meant to derive its fullest lustre from it § subservience to the science of mind ; and whether moral science , in its turn , may not supply new principles to physical research * and important aids to its prosecution . The natural gradation , th § true proportion of all the sciences , must be understood before the value of any one can be estimated ; and nature , not prejudice , must be the demonstrator .
Place man on this globe with a perfect frame and full of urjperverted intelligence—what will he wish to learn ? He will seek to know how he came there ; and this discovered , for what purpose , and under what law . His most direct path to the first aim of his inquiries may be physical research ; but he is not satisfied with it , till it leads him to the point he seeks . He may
reach his theology by means of physical inquiry ; but it is theology which is his aim . He next asks , for what purpose he is made ? He explores the past and the actual state of nature , and especially of man , and his inquiries again lead him back to the Fount of Being . Then he must know under what law he lives ? He traces the manifestations of Providence in all that exists ,
around him , and yet more in the home of his own consciousness ; and as these things can only be understood by a reference to his great first principle , he is once more led back to Deity as his primary study , and that through which , and for the sake of \ yhich , every other is to be pursued . Henceforth , moral and physical science are to him connected in an indissoluble union . He
studies Man , his nature , his interests , his destination ; but it is with a reference to the First Cause ; in other words , he studies theology through politics . He also studies Nature , the sky abpv ^ , the sea around , the earth beneath , the passing winds , the chajag-. ing lights , and the fathomless mysteries which dwell within them
all ; but he studies them for the sake of Him who made all ; or , in other words , he enriches his theology with the treasures Q ? physical science . Theology is , with him , the beginning , middle , and end of his researches . Not the theology of the schools , or pf
Theology , Politics , and Literature . 75
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Feb. 2, 1832, page 75, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1806/page/3/