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outward circumstances are not favourable. But pity him not as unhappy. With all these deficiences, he
may still be pleased and contented, may be happy, if h bave pidio and virtue and piety for his companions on the journey of life.
of life. Oh may they accompany and guide us all on our plain or rugged, our obscure or shining path! How totally otherwise, how much more justly shall we then contemplate riches and poverty, elevation and lowness, health and sickness, life and death ; how different,
shall we learn to judge of them, to desire or to dread, to seek and to use them! How certainly and safely attain to the goal of happiness!
View of the Sources of Human Happinesse
GOD, most gracious and affectionate parent, how
happy might we all be even here on earth, did we but so prize and employ the sources of satisfaction and pleasure which thou openest to us, as men and as christians, in a manner suitable to their destination and to thy gracious will! How manifold, how exuberant, how inexhaustible are these sources ! How great is the preponderance of the agreeable and good over the disagreeable and evil, that subsists in the natural and in the moral world, within us and without us! Yes, on all sides we are surrounded by the most diversified, the most glorious demonstrations of thy paternal providence and love. On all sides we behold thee, the All-bountiful, dila fusing life and energy and joy of numberless kinds, over all thy creatures, On all sides we find the commodious, the agreeable, the delightful, intimately connected with the necessary and indispensaþle. Heaven and earth, mankind and brutes, nature and religion, reflection and experience, all exclaim in accents distinct and clear, that perfection and happiness is the ultimate, the only aim of all that thou difpofest and doft, that thou decreest and permittelt, that thou commandest and forbiddest, that thou givest and takest away. Yes, it is thy sovereign purpose that we should all be happy, that we should be already so even here on earth, and if we are not it is solely by our own guilty conduct. Alas, how often do the purest, the richest sources of fatisfaction and pleasure, invite us to enjoyment in vain, how often do they flow by us unused and unobserved, or are rendered turbid and tasteless to us by follies and fins! – Oh might we better understand our riches, and more worthily use them! Night we more plainly perceive, more sensibly apprehend the multitude and the value of the benefits with which thou art daily and hourly blessing us, and honour thee by a checrful and grateful enjoyment of them! Biess tien, dear fource of all our joys, bless the confiderations which we are proceeding to enter upon concerning these objects. Lot them call forth our utmost attention to the manifold and abundant sources of happiness which thou hast prepared for us, and quicken us to a diligent and faithful use of them. We ask it of thee in filial confidence, as the votaries of Jesus, and address thee further in the form he gave us: Our father, &c. PSALM, xxxiv. 8.
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Oh taste and see how gracious the Lord is !
BUT too often, my pious hearers, a man reckons
himself poor, because he is ignorant of his wealth, or has not learnt to calculate and to value it properly. But too often he accounts himself not happy, or unhappy, merely because he does not observe, or does not attend to the various, ever flowing sources of satisfaction and pleasure that stand open to him on all fides, and seeks with great trouble at a distance what lies close beside him, offering itself to his enjoyment. But too often he reckons only particularly fortunate incidents, particularly desirable and satisfactory events, only exceedingly agreeable ideas, or rapturous, extatic fensations, as forming what he terms his happiness, without taking into the account a hundred other things, which just as well, though in a subordinate degree, procure him fatisfaction and pleasure. If he have furmounted obstacles, or conquered difficulties, which he had held to be insuperable and unconquerable; if he be freed from certain troubles and afflictions that pressed him long and pained him forely; if he obtain some particular advantage for which he had been hitherto longing to no purpose; if some of his peculiar hopes be fulfilled, the accomplishment whereof he could not think very probable; if certain events happen, which he wished indeed, but could hardly expect; if he enjoy pleasures and delights that captivate his whole soul, and in the moment of enjoyinent leave him nothing to wish for more: yes, then, but only then, he thinks himfelf happy. All these things however cannot frequently happen, can but seldom occur. Not every day, not even every year of our life on earth, can be marked by such fortunate events, by fuch wished for occurrences, by such ravishing joys, by such signal alterations in our conditions and fortunes. Therefore the man in whose eyes this alone is happiness, perhaps accounts himself, during the greater part of his life, not happy, or unhappy. Although all this while there stand open before him and beside him, constantly, to-day as yesterday, and to-morrow as to-day, sources of satisfaction and pleasure, no less pure than copious, courting him to enjoyment. But he esteems them not, overlooks them, países by them, or draws from them without clear consciousness, without confideration. As we are desirous to be happy, my dear friends, let us avoid these but too common errors and mistakes. Let us to this end take a flight view of the principal sources of our happiness, and calculate the amount of our actual riches : omitting all the unusual, the extraor. dinary and rare, from the account, and only setting down what is conítantly in our possession, what is always in our power, what may daily procure us fatisfaction and pleasure. So shall we certainly, ac