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I. A great number of the diversities, ap parent in human nature, are occasioned by differences of external circumstance and situation. These diversities, which are to become the chief object of our present consideration, may, for the sake of perspicuity in our further procedure, he divided into two different classes. The distinction between the powers of intellect and sensibility, or, as they are commonly termed, the powers of the understanding, and of the will, though necessary to be kept in view in the following observations, need not be very formally announced. The distinction chiefly to be attended to, proceeds upon
other principles; and arises from the mode of indulging, or the habit of exercising, our powers and passions. One set of the diversities we are considering, may be said to arise from the different mode of gratifying the same desire, or employing the same faculty; and another no less numerous, from the greater force acquired by one desire or saculty, or one kind of desires and faculties compared with others originally of equal vigour.
To differences in external circumstance and situation, the first of these, namely, the diversities arising from the different mode of complying with the same inclination, of removing the same uneasiness, or of exercising the same talent, may very easily be traced, and very obviously exemplified. The delicate structure of the human body renders raiment necessary; but the climate in one country may render one kind of apparel more convenient there than that which is used in another. A person of any distinction in Europe, removing the uneasinesses of hunger and thirst, has his bread cut, his meat sometimes sliced, and his drink presented to him by a servant; but a Chieftain in the islands of Calafoy, or of Anamocoa, has additionally to these services, an attendant, or Tow-tow, to put his victuals into his mouth. Musical powers, and a taste for musical composition, may be met with in all ages and nations : but music in one place is used to celebrate nuptial festivity; and in another at the burial of the dead. In one country the prevailing music is of a cheerful character: in another melancholy : the tabor and the pipe, so frequent in the south of England, enliven the voice of joy; but both the vocal and instrumental music of an Hebridean, deepens the tone of sorrow.
2. Not only will differences of situation occasion various modes of indulgence, or of exertion, but varieties also, in the strength or weakness, of our powers and passions. We may observe still further, that opportunity and situation, excite feelings, awaken appetites, induce habits, and even animate faculties which otherwise, would have never appeared. All men possess principles of religion, and are led by their constitution, to the worship of invisible intelligence; but they differ from one another not only in the form, but in the spirit of their devotion. The subjects of despotic or tyrannical governments, homage beings characterised like tyrants, for their worship is dictated by servile fear. But those who live under a more equitable administration, are inclined, even without the assistance of revelation, to consider their invisible rulers as pleased with their felicity, and are addicted to a religion
of love. Uninstructed, however, in the true dignity of the divine nature, and not conceiving their invisible rulers as exalted a great deal above themselves, they take unbecoming liberties in their religious worship. The festive devotion of the Athenians, together with the familiarity of address, and intimacy of intercourse, which they thought not inconsistent with the rank even of their highest deities, tended without any designed impiety on their parts, to throw the host of heaven, and even the gravest of their divinities, into ludicrous situations. In like man. ner, when the republican spirit in Scotland, rose to licentious excess, the addresses of many republican preachers, even to the Supreme Being, exhibited gross familiarity, and unbecoming confidence. These excesses are very
different from the trembling terror of the poor enslaved worshipper of St. Alexander Newsky, who crosses himself when he comes within sight of the lofty edifice consecrated to the worship of the warlike saint; enters his temple with hesitation, or silent awe; and in the servility of his próstration before the magnificent silver shrine,
smites his bare head on the pavement; and utters no other expression, if he venture to express himself, than a prayer consisting of only two deprecatory words. The love of truth, and the desire of knowledge, are natural to all mankind : yet the vehement and particular desires impelling men to explore the secrets of nature, and which beget science, are only to be recognized in periods of improvement. It was justly considered, by our late intrepid, but ill-fated navigators into the pacific Ocean, as a mark of the total rudeness of some southern islanders, that they discovered no sort of curiosity concerning the European strangers that came among them: and with no unbecoming indignation they regarded those as savages, or scarcely human, who did not gaze with respectful wonder at the skill and dexterity of British seamen. Perhaps if the spirit even of Cook had been confined in the frame of a native of Del Fuego, he would never have ventured with his canoe, farther than Patagonia: the soul of Newton in the body of a Cherokee, would have been perhaps, no otherwise conspicuous, than by his superior ac