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religion, it must have been some concern that way that gave rise to it at first. But people who have written on this subject have publicly owned the contrary from their own experience.* A deep concern about religion may be awakened by those sorrows which produce melancholy, in the same man. ner as it is awakened by other great sorrows which have no such effect. If great distresses and sorrows, which are means of recovering men from thoughtlessness and inconsiderateness, have a tendency to awaken a concern about religion, this is no just objection against such concern, but rather an argument in its favours.

Where melancholy is owing in whole or part to a concern about religion as the source of it, sometimes it proceeds from bitter remorse for enormities, joined with a neglect of the true ends of repentance and sorrow for sin. In such cases, whatever is of a hurtful tendency in men's sorrow, is wholly owing to their sins, and not to their repentance. Oft times, where a concern about a future state has an influence on melancholy, it is owing to men's low thoughts of the true grounds of hope and trust in God. Nothing can be a better preservative against such evils, than just impressions of the chief motives to divine love. The same great truths of religion are at once the chief grounds of humble hope and confidence in God, and of ardent love to him; as also of the most effectual hatred of sin and sorrow for it. The same things that are the chief means of establishing the peace of God in the conscience, are also the chief means of kindling the love of God in If men who have

sincere love to G the heart.

fall under some degrees of melancholy, and religious fears have some influence on it, it is not to the strength, but to the weakness of their faith and love, that their distress is to be imputed. If men who have some good hope of the favour of God, are overcome with melancholy,

Mr Clifford on Melancholy.

this is owing to their not prizing the blessedness of an interest in the divine favour, as they ought. Want of due esteem of the happiness of the soul in God, is a principal cause of all inordinate affection, and of all immoderate sorrow and discontent. If melancholy may be sometimes much owing to immoderate solitary contemplation, it is evident, that as this implies a culpable neglect of the duties of society, it argues an important defect as to men's love to God and his laws. Suitable love to God implies love to society, and a prevalent inclination to usefulness in it. If melancholy be oft-times owing to false notions of religion, and particularly to such notions as annihilate or impair the amiable apprehensions we should have of God, this only proves, that the same misapprehensions which are the hindrances of divine love, are the causes of melancholy. Some people indeed seem to imagine, that if we have the most amiable thoughts of God, we must have more favourable thoughts of sin than what the Scripture suggests to us. But it can be proved from the principles of natural religion, that whatever is a motive to the love of God, is a motive to hate sin; and is a proof of its bad tendency and danger, by proving the importance of that law which is violated by it.

If some people confine their devout exercises too much to religious sorrow, which perhaps is a rare extreme, the bad tendency of this is an argument in favours of divine love and joy. Christian doctrine shews, that the consideration of the grounds of our sorrow in ourselves, should be subservient to just impressions of the grounds of our joy and triumph in God. It teaches us indeed that joy in God must be tempered with penitential sorrow for sin. But nothing is more necessary to true wisdom in the heart of a sinner, than so desirable a mixture; and nothing is more subservient to solid and durable joy.



An Answer to a Question proposed in a Philosophical Society at Glasgow, viz. Whether the happiness of the mind consists in the enjoyment of things without it, or in the reflection on its own perfections, or in both?



THE THE meaning of the question cannot be, Where is any joy or pleasure to be had? for that needs not inquiry; but, Where is the greatestor, if that appear a different question, Where is full contentment to be had? that is, such fulness of joy as excludes all uneasiness. But this last question is only in appearance different from the former for no man can be fully content to want the greatest joy he is capable of, if he is conscious of that capacity, and knows the excellency of that joy which he wants, which is a consciousness and knowledge that a rational being cannot always avoid. The presence of what is necessarily painful must be felt; but that the absence of what is necessary to happiness, or the greatest joy, is also unavoidably felt, will appear by considering what keeps all the world in constant agitation and action. The source of action is desire; the world is full of desire; and desire still regards an absent good.

The use of reason is to choose the greatest good;

for to prefer any thing to what is best, is what we call a bad choice. The greatest joy is what is most intense, and most durable. The greatest intenseness cannot be described; but the longest duration of joy is that which is perpetual. And that there can be no full contentment without the expectation of it, is evident from this, that the same reason which makes a man wish to be happy at one time, makes him wish to be happy at another time, and consequently at all times; and a wish or desire, without hope, is uneasiness, and inconsistent with contentment. A man cannot be fully content at one time, if he fear not to be so afterwards; yea, the more present pleasure or joy a man has, the greater is his vexation at the thoughts of losing it: which perhaps may contribute to solve that odd phenomenon, of some rational creatures being easy, at least pretending to be easy, and even to be gay, and rejoice, at the hopes of losing all joy when they lose their bodies; because, abstracting from bodily pleasures, they have no relish of any other worth the desiring, and find even these so nauseous and clogging, that they would not think it perhaps very desirable to have them for ever: yet to renounce all hopes of perpetual joy, or heaven, may be called an acquiescence in the half of misery's hell; and it would be easy to demonstrate, that to rejoice in such a sorry prospect, argues the secret fear of a worse; and that, if duly considered, might make an argument to prove the reality both of what they fear, and of what they renounce.

It is useful to compare the different kinds of pleasures, in order to find out the highest; and the longest enjoyment of that is happiness.

SECT. I.-Of the Pleasures of Sense, or mere Sensa


It is not needful to insist long in shewing, that happiness cannot consist in these. Some measurẹ

of them is necessary for present ease; but there is a difference between their being necessary, and their being sufficient. They are necessary to remove antecedent uneasiness, which is inconsistent with complete happiness, excluding all uneasiness. They are necessary only sometimes; but thought is at all times necessary, and constant joyful thought necessary to constant contentment. As they may and must be wanted sometimes, and the mind joyful without them, it might be joyful always without them, were it not for something in our present state that is not essential to us. It is but a few moments of this life they can make pleasant; but the mind desires to have joy always. The mind must be still feeding itself with thought, either pleasant or unpleasant. It is joyful thought it hungers and thirsts after, and the use of reason is in making the best choice for that end; for the variety of matter is indefinite.

Of all enjoyments, sensations are the most clog ging. It would be a poor happiness that would necessarily require great intervals of misery to give it a relish. Now, there must be long intervals of sensation; but there can be none of thought. Sensation needs the addition of pleasant thought to give any durable joy. Solitary contemplation is both delightful, and (which infers a particular noble delight, justly deserving a peculiar distinguishing name) it is becoming a man. To delight in mere solitary sensations, is sottish and brutal; and common luxury seeks always society and converse; neither of which is sensation, but a kind of contemplation. The most pleasant sensations cannot so fill the mind, even in the mean time, as that unpleasant thoughts cannot make them tasteless; nor can painful sensations, commonly at least, exclude the joy of contemplations, but rather increase the relish of it oftentimes. Bad news, an affront, revenge, envy, make the sot's darling pleasures nauseous



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