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ed by benevolence and compassion and officiousness towards all his brethren, is moved at the misery of another as at his own, who is fain to weep with them that weep, haftes to relieve the wants of the poor and needy, and does good to all men according to his ability. Thus both his heart and his sphere of operation expand alike, he lives in others as well as in himself, multiplies as it were his existence, and enjoys the purest, the divinest joys; the joys of beneficence. Him God will not be extreme to judge, him will the merciful parent of mankind treat far more graciously and indulgently still than he treated his brethren, and all his fellow-creatures will vie with one another to shew him justice and indulgence, and to afford him help and relief in the time of need.
Perhaps you think farther, my pious hearers, that a continued attention to one's-self, an unremitted vigilance over all the desires and appetites of our hearts, the care to submit them all to the will of God and to keep them all innocent and pure, the defeat and mortification of all inordinate fleshly lusts, which religion and virtue enjoin, that these are endeavours and performances that set the most grievous bounds to your pleasure and are not compatible with your happiness. But from what fol- . lies and iniquities, from what enormities, from what thraldom and what misery will you be secure, unless order, innocence, purity prevail in your minds, unless you keep your heart, that primary
source of human happiness and human misery, with all diligence? No, blessed are the pure in heart : for they shall see God! Blessed are they who keep free from evil thoughts and desires as well as from bad words and works, who war against all falsehood and impurity, who think and live in a godly manner, keeping clean from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit! Their virtue is not mere outside show; it is real and effective; it is firmly grounded, is immoveable; and just as real and durable is the internal peace and the happiness that accompany it. They may soothe themselves with the eminent favour of God, the purest and holiest being, are capable of his more intimate communion, of his peculiar influence, and will hereafter in a better world be among his confidents, and be vouchfafed a nearer access to him, the fountain of truth and perfection.
Perhaps you think seventhly, you who wish and Strive to be happy, that the peaceableness which religion and virtue recommend is incompatible with this happinefs, that it betrays weakness of mind, that you cannot thus be secure of your property,
your honour, your distinctions, that for the preservation of them
should avoid no uneasiness, no troubles, no strife or contention, that by patience and forbearance you dishonour yourselves and should demand fatisfaction for every injury. But mistake not, (says Jesus, the teacher of happiness fent from God,) this way can never lead to that object. It will carry you farther and farther from it. Every advantage that you thus acquire, you purchase with the loss of your conscious peace, the violation of your brotherly love, which is so rich in bleffedness both to you and to your brethren; and strife and discord are inexhaustible sources of confusion, of trouble, of misery. No, blessed are the peacemakers : for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they who have patience with the failings and infirmities of their neighbour, who love and promote concord, to whom all that connects man with man and confirms reciprocal love and harmony among them is facred, and who are ever ready, even at their own cost, to cement again the friendship that has been dissevered, and to knit faster the tie that binds friends together. They are like-minded with God, the parent of us all, in regard to mankind they imitate him, the original of all perfection; they are ever gaining a nearer resemblance to him in benignity and love ; they are his followers, are his children in an eminent signification, and as such may assure themselves of his peculiar favour.
Perhaps you think finally, (heavenly wisdom thus addresses us by Jesus,) perhaps you think, that every loss of worldly property, every trouble, every affliction is in direct opposition to happiness, and that the advantages and satisfactions of virtue and piety are much too dearly purchased by the facrifices they sometimes demand of their votaries. You lament over the virtuous, the pious, when under the pressure of unmerited poverty and contempt, if they are ridiculed, flandered, perfecuted, if they are obliged to take up their cross and follow their master in patience and sufferings. But how little do they stand in need of pity even when God leads them along dark and rugged ways to perfection ! How much happier are they even then than the voluptuary, who views every affliction with horror, sinks under every burden, confines all his hopes and prospects to this momentary life, and for every trifling interest or transient pleasure denies the truth and acts against his conscience! No, blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' fake: for their's is the kingdom of heaven! Blessed are they who adhere faithfully to truth and virtue, to whom no affliction, which they cannot avoid without sin, is too heavy, no sacrifice which God and their conscience demand of them, is too dear ; who look more at invisible things than at visible, more at the crown of the conqueror than at the pains and toil of the conflict, and count all things for gain which brings them nearer to the goal of perfection. Great hereafter will be the reward of their fidelity, exuberant the compensation for the losses they have sustained, glorious the recompense of their sufferings, the prize of their fortitude and perseverance! To share in the privileges of the victor will be their portion ; lofty, divine joys will they reap from having sown in tears, they DD4
will be the most blissful amongst the blessed, and take the highest ranks of honour, ci power, of glory, in the kingdom of God.
These, my dear friends, these are the lessons, these the declarations of the teacher fent from God, the restorer of human happiness. What conclusions are we now to draw from all this? How learn from it the way that leads to real happiness ? How follow along it our divine leader and precursor? Learn, these his lessons and declarations say to us, – learn rightly to discriminate between prosperity and happiness, between prosperous and happy persons. All outward privileges and endowments are prosperity; all inward perfection and the content and satisfaction founded upon it is happiness. Jesus is not our conductor to prosperity ; his doctrine promises us neither riches, nor high station, nor power and authority, nor a soft, voluptuous life. But he is our conductor to happiness ; his doctrines procure us reít, content, satisfaction, spiritual perfection. Prosperity, of all changeable inconstant things, is the most changeable and inconstant; it falls to the lot of the fool as well as to the wise, to the wicked as to the good; forsakes the man frequently in his lifetime, forsakes him certainly at his death, remains for ever locked up in his grave, and nothing but the good use of it accompanies him into the future world. Happinefs is the end of the possession and the enjoyment of all the goods of fortune ; the only thing that is