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TO THIS EDITION.
"The book," says a masterly writer', " which has changed the face of a science, even when not superseded in its doctrines, is seldom suitable to didactic purposes. It is adapted to the state of mind, not of those who are ignorant of every doctrine, but of those who are instructed in an erroneous doctrine. So far as it is taken up directly in combating the errors which prevailed before it was written, the more completely it has done its work, the more certain it is of becoming superfluous, not to say unintelligible, without a commentary."
These remarks are not less applicable to Adam Smith's Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, than to Locke's Essay on the Human Understanding. In political economy, the former work is the book which has changed the face of a science; and no small portion of it is taken up
* London Review, art. State of Philosophy in England.—A.