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with the applause and admiration of their contemporaries! But all intelligent and good persons, the fervant as well as his master, the countryman as well as the citizen, the unlearned as well as the scholar, all may enjoy the happiness of domestic life, and may enjoy it in its full perfection. It is human sentiment, it is human happiness, which every creature that is human has an equal right to enjoy, and the same means to obtain. And what a great, what an eminently great value must this confer upon it!
Now lay all this together, my pious hearers. Consider, what an agreeable relaxation from labour, and requital for it, what a calm and serene self-enjoyment, what a free delightful communication of our inmost thoughts and feelings, the enjoyment of domestic happiness is ; consider that it is as diversified as inexhaustible; that it makes up for the want of
every other happines, but can never be itself supplied by any; that while it is so pleasant, it is alfo instructive and useful; that to the enjoyment of it neither great preparations nor peculiar dexterity and address are required; that it draws after it neither disgust nor remorse; and that in fine it is peculiar to no condition of men, but is capable of bea ing enjoyed by ev'ryone : and say, after all, whether you know of
other external that has a greater worth than this, or even a worth so great ?
No, ny dear friends, if you would enjoy pleasure, imo ent, pure, daily-renewing, never disgracinjnever cloying ; deli hts worthy of the man and
the christian : seek them not at a distance from you, since they lie at home; seek them not in things which are not in your power, but in what is more your own ; seek them in the happiness of domestic life. If you may venture to expect them anywhere, it is certainly there they must be found !
The Value of Friendship.
GOD, eternal, inexhaustible source of affection
and happiness, what joys, what felicities hast thou prepared for us, by forming us capable of affection towards each other, and of elevating that affection to pure and generous friendship! What a counterbalance to all the troubles and burdens of life hast thou given us therein! Affording us a genial light through the roughest and gloomiest paths of it! Yes, all the dispositions, all the energies, all the propensities and instincts which thou hast planted in our nature, are good; they all testify that thou lovest us with parental tenderness, that thou hast not ordained us to grief, but to joy; not to misery, but to happiness! Might only all these dispositions be unfolded, these energies be so exerted, these propensities acquire such a direction, and these instincts be so ennobled as is conformable to thy gracious and paternal intentions towards us ! Might wisdom and virtue, might the light of religion herein direct and guide us, and lead us all to the perfection and happiness whereof we are capable ! How many unjust and culpable complaints of human misery would then be done away! How satisfied, how blessed should we be in the social and cheerful enjoyment of thy bounties! How greatly should we facilitate by mutual affection and friendship our progress on the way of duty and virtue, and how much more certainly and completely reach the end of our being! God, do thou send the spirit of love, of pure and generous love into our hearts ! Open the avenues of them to the charms of virtuous friendship. Enable us clearly to perceive and intimately to feel its excellent value; and purify us from all low, selfish inclinations and passions that are in opposition to it. God, thou art for ever leading all to thy supreme design, to universal good; to approach nearer to thee, the sun of being, the boundless, unimpaired centre of minds, the father of fpirits, and to unite ever closer the one to the other, is the perpetual tendency of all intelligent, sensible beings, is also the aspiration of human souls! May we be ever becoming more susceptible of this happiness in both respects, and be ever deriving more felicity from this source of life. Bless to that end the contemplations we now propose to begin upon it. Give force to our reflections, and enable them to penetrate us with virtuous, generous sentiments and feelings. For this we present our supplications to ghee, as the votaries of thy son Jesus, our ever blessed
deliverer and lord; and, firmly relying on his promises, address thee further as he prescribed : Our father, &c.
PROV. xviii. 24.
There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
CHRISTIANITY has frequently been reproached
as unfavourable to friendship, fince it does not expressly inculcate it; prescribing indeed to its followers benevolence towards all, universal kindness and brotherly love, but not discriminate friendship. Friendship, however, is not properly a duty, not an indispensable obligation for all; it is not to be commanded, like justice and general kindness; its rise, its direction very frequently depends on circumstances and incidents that are not in our own power; and even very intelligent and worthy persons, of a sensible and friendly heart, may and often must, without any fault of theirs, forego the happiness of friendship, I mean strict and cordial friendship. At the same time it must be confessed, that the more a man opens his heart to universal benevolence, to philanthropy and brotherly love, those great commandments of the christian law; the more he allows himself to be governed by the spirit of them : the more adapted and disposed will he be to even the