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LUMAN NATURE in its FOURFOLD STATE, It was the first production of my venerable Ancestor, introduced to the Public. It made its first appearance in the year 1720. Since that period, it has undergone at an average, One complete Edition every two years. Twenty thousand Copies of it have been exported to America, from one single City in Scotland, besides those that have been fent to the Continent from England and Ireland. The rapid sale of the Book upon its first Publication, is a demonstrative proof of the esteem in which it was then-held: and the uninterrupted demand for it still, shows that the Principles it inculcates, are yer held in repute. All that I need further to add, is, That the present Edition is printed from that one Revised and Corrected by the Author him. felf, and may therefore be esteemed correct.
FALKIRK Decr. 1784..
P R E F A C E.
atings, wipin eafily prefer the knowle temper and a las it is of up
ITT is a maxia among wise men, That the knowledge of persons is
of as great use in the conduct of human life, as the knowledge of things: and it is most certain, that he who knows the various tempers, humours, and dispositions of men, who can find out their turn of thought, and penetrate into the secret springs and principles of their actings, will not be at a lofs to find out proper means for compassing his aims, will easily preserve himself from snares, and either evite of overcome difficulties. But the knowledge of human nature, morally considered, or, in other words, of the temper and difpolition of the soul in its moral powers, is of much greater value ; as it is of use in the concerns of an unchangeable life and world: he who is possessed of so valuable a branch of knowledge, is thereby capacitated to judge aright of himself, to understand true Christianity, and to conceive justly of perfect happiness, and consummate misery.
The depravity of human nature is fo plainly taught, yea inculcated in sacred Scripture, and is so obvious to every thinking man's obserration, who fearches his own breast, and reflects duly on his temper and actings, that it is surprizingly strange and wonderful, how it comes to pass, that this important truth is fo little understood, yea lo much dibelieved, by men who bear the name of gospel Ministers. Are there not persons to be found in a neighbouring nation, in the cha- i racter of preachers, appearing daily in pulpits, who are fo unacquanted with their Bibles and themselves, that they ridicule the doctrine of original sin as unintelligible jargon? If they are persons of a moral life and conversation, they seem to imagine, they cannot become better than they are; if they are immoral, they seem to indulge a conceit, that they can become virtuous, yea religious, when they please. These are the men who talk of the dignity of human nature, of greatuess of mind, nubleness of soul, and generosity of spirit: as if they intended i to persuade themselves and others, that pride is a good priirciple, and do not know, that pride and selfishness are the bane of mankind, productive of all the wickedness, and much of the misery to be found in this and in the other world, and is indeed that, wherein the depravity of human nature properly consists.
Upright Adam's nature faintly adumbrated the divine, in a mode. ; rate self-esteem, in an adequate self-love, and delightful reflexion on his
own borrowed excellency, regulated by a just elteem of, and supreme 'love' 'to his adored Creator : whence a peaceful serenity of mind, a loving, compassionate and benevolent disposition of 'soul, a depth of thought, and brightness of imagination, đelightfully employed in the rapturous contemplation of his beloved Maker's infinite perfections; thus bearing the divine image, and resembling God that made hiin. but ao sooner did he disobey the divine probatory conumand, than