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the injunctions of christianity are but too often an insupportable yoke, its promises have but few charms for them, and their sensual, worldly taste disqualifies them for the enjoyment of the purer delights of heaven. And when christianity brings sufferings on its confessors, when it requires costly sacrifices of them, it must be extremely difficult for the rich man, it must be often impossible for him to prefer his duty to all things else, and by self-denial and fidelity to secure to himself the recompenses of the future world. It is well for the poor in spirit at such times, well for them whose desire of riches is moderate, whose hearts cleave not to earthly things, who know how to be content with a little! Their expectations will far seldomer fail them, their defires are far more easily and completely gratified: Their road is free from a number of snares and obstructions; no anxious cares pursue them on it; to them the commands of christianity are far easier; to them no sacrifice of earthly goods, that virtue or religion may require, appears too burdensome ; to them the better futurity presents itself in the most charming form, and the treasures of heaven even now attract their warmest affections.

Perhaps you think, (celestial wisdom farther addresses us by Jesus,) perhaps you think, that they alone deserve to be accounted happy, who live fumptuously and jovially every day, who coyly shun every serious thought, every sentiment of sadness and woe, who turn away their eyes and their heart from everything like trouble and misery, who are continually roaming about in a larger or smaller circle of noisy and stunning amusements, and as it were sport, laugh, trifle away the whole of their lives. But be not deceived; this is not the road to real, lasting happiness. Levity is the character of fools, and folly degrades and lessens the man, and punishes him sooner or later with remorse and trouble. Mere sensual pleasure is seldom harmless, still fel. domer lasting, is frequently pernicious. Wild tumultuous joys are generally attended with surfeit, disgust, painful sufferings; and all these things, even when they are the most innocent, leave the heart empty, and never satisfy the mind, which requires nobler food and employment. No, blessed are they that mourn : for they shall be comforted. Blessed is the man to whom seriousness and reflection are neither strange nor irkfome, who frequently in the folemn hour of folitude bewails his fins and failings and those of his brethren, is indifferent and infensi. ble to no species of human misery, is not ashamed of the tearsof penitential forrow,of grief, of pity, of affection, which a tender conscience, a sensible, a sympathising heart and the ardent aspiration after fuperior perfection, so frequently cause him to shed ! His seriousness promises and procures him far more real unadulterated pleasure than the levity and wantonness of the fool. His sorrow will procure him permanent joy; his generous, and humane tears will open to him plentiful sources of comfort. The



testimony of a good conscience will bless him, peace and serenity will reign within his breast; and, when the world with its lufts is passing away and the pleafure of the finner is changing into pain, then will joy embrace him, and his happiness will begin to be truly great.

Perhaps you think thirdly, my pious hearers, that, in order to be happy, in order to maintain our consequence and to live securely in the world, we should not patiently put up with an injury, should let no affront pass unresented, should submit to none, concede to none, affert all our rights to the uttermost, and hearken to the demands of every rouzed or irritated passion. But be not deceived, calls Jesus to us; this is not the way that leads to content and inward


open to yourselves inexhaustible sources of disquietude, of trouble, of perplexity and remorse. Thus will you repulse your brethren from you and close their hearts against you. Thus you can never have the true enjoyment of life. No, blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed is the man, who has the command of himself, who knows how to controul his anger, to subdue his antipathies, and is not under the authority of any impetuous passion! Blessed is he who is of an amicable, meek, inoffensive temper, who has learnt candour and indulgence, to overlook failings, to support loffes, to suffer wrong, to forgive injuries! He will live far more securely, will enjoy his life far more quietly and fully, will


peace. Thus



love more and be more beloved ; and the blessed. ness of love and the fuavity of conscious peace and the elevating sentiment of felf-possession, will make every facrifice easy to him and superabundantly compensate every loss.

Perhaps you may view fourthly all the bounds in general which the precepts of religion and virtue set to your appetites and passions, as inconvenient, as obstacles to your happiness; perhaps you may imagine, that you would be completely happy, if you could with impunity break these bounds; if you could entirely give the rein to your desires and pursuits of worldly goods, of outward distinctions, of sensual pleasures, if you could throw off the reftraints of religion and virtue ; perhaps you pity thein as unhappy who have nothing so much at heart as to be always becoming wiser and better and more pious. But how little are they, how much are you to be pitied! You seek your liberty in bondage, your honour in what is degrading to man, your satiety in things that are ever whetting your desires, but never satisfy them. No, blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righte. ousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are they who understand the whole value of virtue and piety, apprehend their entire beauty and loveliness, resign themselves entirely to their service, with whom the inward spiritual perfection is everything, and who as earnestly pant after it and as strenuously pursue it, as the hungry and the thirsty long


for food and refreshment. Their desires are direct. ed towards the worthiest objects, towards objects that are worthy of their most cordial affection and their most zealous endeavours, and never are these noble desires deceived, never does God, the protector and rewarder of righteousness and virtue, allow them to want means for their gratification. They are sure not to miss of the mark at which they are aiming, and as they perpetually proceed from one stage of perfection to another, so they advance from one degree of happiness to another.

Perhaps fifthly (celestial wisdom addresses us by Jesus,) perhaps you imagine, that the man who would be happy should think solely on himself, care solely for himself, concern himself about others only so far as his own interests permit, shut the avenues of his heart against all disagreeable sensations which the fight of misery may excite, and not suffer himself to be disturbed in the enjoyment of pleasure by any participation in the distresses of another. But believe me, this is not the way to happiness. By this means you contract your

heart and the sphere of your activity. By this means you exclude yourselves from many ample and pure sources of pleasure. By this means you can nei. ther promise yourselves the good pleasure of God, nor the love and assistance of

your fellow-creatures. No, blessed are the merciful : for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed is the man whose heart is pervad.


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