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enjoyment which belong to our animal nature, we can enter upon the far wider provinces of Reason and Affection, and possess ourselves of all the sublime pleasures of angels, i. e. the pleasures of knowledge, imagination, virtue, friendship and love. When asked therefore, Wherein consists the true happiness of Man? We readily answer, that as the happiness of a mere animal consists in exercising its appetites on such goods as are suited to its nature, and capable of gratifying all its fenses; so the true happiness of man consists in exercising his faculties on such objects as are suited to his rational nature, and capable of delighting his foul through all her various affections. But where is that infinite good? Who is that wondrous being that can feast the faculties, and satisfy the desires of MI immortal mind? 'Tis God; and he alone in whose ineffable perfections the whole world of rational als will find enough, and more than enough, to employ their admiration and delight through eternal ages.
Accordingly we find that Christ, when asked what a man should do to be truly happy, replied, " Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart", and with all thy mind; and thou Jlmlt love thy neighbour as thyself."
In this admirable reply, which for sublimity of piety and philanthropy, and for profound wisdom and philosophy, deserves everlasting veneration. We learn three very important lessons. I. That the chief good or true happiness of man consists in his mind. II. In the affections of his mind. And III. In those affections directed to worthy objects.
I. He who was perfectly acquainted with our nature, places the supreme happiness of man in the mind. How strange soever it may seem, yet most
certain it is, that this ever was, and still is a new doctrine to the bulk of mankind. For not only the numerous sect of ancient Epicureans, and sensual Mahometans, but the generality of Christians to this day, place the feat of happiness in the body.
Talk to them about the pleasures of the understanding, or the still sublimer pleasures of devotion, and your words seem not to be understood; but shift the subject, and talk about the pleasures of inheriting large estates, of living at ease and faring sumptuously every day, and immediately you perceive, by their smiling countenances and ready conversation, that you have awakened their favourite ideas, and that these are the things which" lie nearest to their hearts.
That the goods of the body constitute some small part of man's happiness, and that therefore they ought to be valued, and, as far as conscience and
a regard a regard to higher interests will permit, ihould be sought after, is evident. But that these goods and pleasures of the body, constitute vaaxC ssupreme happiness, is one of the most degrading, damnable errors, that ever was broached. No man who understands the dignity of his immortal part, and who entertains a proper love for himself and his fellow men, can hear such a proposition without abhorrence and indignation. What! shall happiness which all so vehemently desire, and so heartily pray for, both for themselves and for others; shall happiness, the bare hope of which revives the heart, and does good like a medicine; which gives strength to the weak, and courage to the fearful; which animates us through, life; nor deserts us in death—Shall this fondest wijh, this sweetest expeclation of all men, consist merely in the goods and pleasures of the body. Consider, thou cruel murderer derer of thyself; thou barbarous assassin of human kind, how few ever attain those pleasures to which thou stupidly confinest the happiness of man; how fewer still ever enjoy them, and how soon death will snatch them out of the hands of those who are so fortunate! Reflect what unnumbered millions are born to no better inheritance than poverty and bondage, and who, instead of being caressed in the soft lap of ease and pleasure, are driven through life by the scourge of cruel tyrants, or more cruel wants! hard put to it to get a little bread, and sometimes never get it, at least not comfortably; but from various causes, eat it all their lives long in bitterness of soul! And of those seemingly happy ones who possess all the goods of the body, How few enjoy them without alloy? How many, by abusing these blessings, contract diseases which render fleeting life one cono tinued