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« Let not ambition mock thy useful toil,
« Thy HOMELY joys, and destiny obscure ; “ Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile,
“ The short and simple annals of the poor." Secondly. We may consider this happiness in reference to the AFFLICTIONS OF LIFE. It looks like a general remedy furnished by the kindness of Provi. dence, to alleviate the troubles which from various quarters we unavoidably feel while passing through this world of vanity and vexation of spirit.
How many little sighing vacancies does it fill up! How many cloudy nervous vapours does it chase from the mind! Whose frowns and gloom will not the mirth of a child dissipate ! What corroding anxieties will not retire from the attentions of a virtuous wife! What a consolation is her gentleness! Who has not experienced its healing, enlivening influence in the day of sickness, and in the hour of depression! Is your confidence frequently checked by the baseness and dissimulation of mankind ? Here your candour recovers, and you are reconciled to your fellow-creatures again. Does the behaviour of too many with whom you have to do cherish a dissatisfaction which sours life? Here a serenity, a sweetness spreads over the mind from the sim plicity, openness, and kindness with which you are surrounded. Are you repulsed by others ? Here you are received with open and welcome arms.
. Does the storm rage without? Behold an asylum within. Heré we realize an emblem of the Saviour; it says to us, “In the world ye shall have tribulation, but in me ye
shall have peace.” “Here the wicked cease from $ troubling,” and “ here " the weary are at rest."
Thirdly. We may consider this happiness in reference to THE GOOD THINGS OF THIS LIFE. Without this, all will be insipid, all will be useless. Your titles of distinction, and your robes of office, ire laid aside before you enter your own dwelling. There the senator, the minister, the lawyer, draw back; and we behold only the husband, the father, the man! There you stand only in those relations in which nature has placed you. There you feel only your personal character. What remains after these deductions are made, ascertains your value. You are to judge of your worth by the honour you command where rank does not overawe; of your importance by the esteem and admiration you engage when deprived of all adventitious appendages ; of your happiness by the resources you possess to give cheerfulness and charms to those returning hours which no splendour gilds, which no fame inspires, and in which all the attractions of popularity fail ; for what would it avail you to live in popular opinion, and to be followed with applause home to your very door, if you were then to be compelled to continue in the element of discord, the seat of strife, the house of bondage and correction? Imagine yourselves prosperous in your affairs ; trade pouring in wealth, your grounds bringing forth plentifully, your cup running over. Misery under your own roof would be sufficient to canker your gold and silver ; to corrupt your abundance; to embitter every pleasure ; to make you groan even on a costly sofa, “ All this availeth me nothing !"
Sufferings from strangers are less acute than from friends. David magnifies the affliction he endured by
the nearness of the quarter from which it came. “ was not an enemy that reproached me, then I could “ have borne it ; neither was it he that hated me ; “ that did magnify himself against me, then I would “ have hid myself from him. But it was thou, mine “equal, my guide, and my acquaintance.” This cir.. cumstance gave it all the shock of surprize, all the bitterness of disappointment, all the breach of obligation. It is bad to be wounded any where; but to be “ wounded in the house of a friend" is mentioned as a peculiar aggravation. No foes are like those of “a “ man's household;" their situation favours hoftility; they can choose the moment of attack; they can repeat the blow; they can injure imperceptibly. And what can be so dreadful as to be associated with
persons from whom you cannot separate, and with whom you cannot live? What are occasional. smiles against habitual frowns ? What is friendship abroad against enmity at home? What is it for a man to be comfortable where he visits, and to be tormented where he dwells? If our happiness flow from others, and that, it does in no small degree is unquestionable, it will necessarily follow, that it must be most affected by those to whom we are most seriously related, and with whom we most intimately blend; not those whom we accidentally meet, but those with whom we daily reside; not those who touch one part of our character only, but those who press us on every side.
Fourthly. Let us consider it in reference to the SEDUCTIONS AND SNARES OF THE WORLD.
From the danger of these, there is no better preservative than the attractions of a family. The more a man
feels his welfare lodged in his own house, the more will he prize and love it. The more he is attached to his wife and children, the less will he risk their peace and comfort by hazardous speculations, and mad en.' terprises in trade: A life of innocency, regularity; and repose in the affections of his family will check the rovings of restless ambițion, and secure him from the follies of the pride of life. “Evil communica“tions corrupt good manners ;” but these pleasing cords will draw him back from the council of the “ ungodly," "the way of sinners," " the seat of the scornful.” In vain will he be tempted to
abroad for company or for pleasure, when home supplies him with both. “And what,” says he," are the amuse
ments and dissipations of the world ? I have better
enjoyments already, enjoyments springing fresh “ from the growth, the improvement, the culture of “ our rising charge, from our rural walks, from our “ social evenings, from our reading and conversation; “ from our cheerful lively mutual devotion. Here
are pleasures perpetually renewing, and which nev. ú er cloy. Here are entertainments placed easily “ within our reach, and which require no laborious “preparation, no costly arrangement. Here I ac“ knowledge only the dominion of nature ; and fol“ low only the bias of inclination. Here I have no " weaknesses to hide, no mistakes to dread. Here
my gratifications are attended with no disgrace, no
remorse. They leave no stain, no sting behind. “ I fear no reproach from my understanding, no reck
oning from my conscience; my prayers are not “hindered. My heart is made better. I am soften
in the Throne of
“ed, prepared for duty, allured to the Throne of 66 Grace.
And can I be induced to exchange all " this, o ye
votaries of the world, for your anxieties, “confusion, agitations, and expense ? Shall I part “ with my ease and independence, for the trammels of
your silly forms, the encumbrance of your fashions, “the hypocrisies of your crowds ? Shall I resign my “ freedom for the privilege of your slavery, which so “ often compels you to disguise your sentiments, to “ subdue your genuine feelings, to applaud folly, to
yawn under a lethargy of pleasure, and to sigh for of the hour of retirement and release ? Shall I sacrifice “ my innocent endearments, to pursue the fatal rou“ tine of your dissipation, the end of which is heavi.
ness, and from which you return deprived of season“ able rest, robbed of peace of mind, galled by reflec« tion, disinclined to prayer, feeling the presence of “ God irksome, and the approach of death intoler66 able ?"
“ Domestic Happiness, thou only bliss
Who can help lamenting to see the valuable enjoyments of home sacrificed to a fondness for amusements, and a rage for indiscriminate intercourse with a false unfeeling world! But so it is. People were never more social, and never less domestic than they now are. The phrensy has reached all ranks and degrees. Our females are no longer keepers at home. Even