Page images
PDF
EPUB

scenes of mirth and sprightliness, where happiness ever presides, and is ever to be known by the joy and laughter which he will see, at once, painted in her looks.

A second, with a graver aspect, points out to the coftly dwellings which pride and extravagance have erected:-tells the enquirer,that the object he is in search of inhabits there ;that happiness lives only in company with the great, in the midst of much pomp and outward state:--that he will easily find her out by the coat of many colours she has on, and the great luxury, and expence of equipage and furniture, with which she always fits surrounded.

The miser bleffes God!-wonders how

any one would mislead, and wilfully put him upon fo wrong a scent-convinces him that happinefs and extravagance never inhabited under the same roof ;--that if he would not be difappointed in his search, he must look into the plain and thrifty dwelling of the prudent man, who knows and understands the worth of money, and cautiously lays it up against an evil hour : that it is pot the proftitution of wealth upon the passions, or the parting with it at

all, all, that constitutes happiness ---but that it is the keeping it together, and the having and HOLDING it fast to him and his heirs for ever, which are the chief attributes that form this great idol of human worship, to which so much incense is offered up every day.

The epicure, though he easily rectifies so gross a mistake, yet at the same time he plunges him, if poslible, into a greater; for, hearing the object of his pursuit to be happiness, and knowing of no other happiness than what is seated immediately in the senses-he sends the enquirer there ;-tells him 'tis in vain to search elsewhere for it, than where Nature herself has placed it in the indulgence and gratification of the appetites, which are given us for that end : and, in a word, if he will not take his opinion in the matter- he may trust the word of a much wiser man, who has assured us,—that there is nothing better in this world, than that a man should eat and drink, and rejoice in his works, and make his soul enjoy good in his labour--for that is his portion.

Torefcne him from this brutal experiment, Ambition takes him by the hand, and carries him into the world,-shews him all the kingdoms of the earth, and the glory of them,points out the many ways of advancing his fortune, and raising himself to honour, lays before his eyes all the charms and bewitching temptations of power, and asks if there can be any happiness in this world like that of being caressed, courted, flattered and followed ?

To close all, the philosopher meets himbuftling in the full career of this pursuit-stops him

- tells him, if he is in search of happiness, he is far gone out of his way.

That this deity has long been banished from noise and tumults, where there was no reft found for her, and was fled into folitude, far from all commerce of the world; and, in a word, if he would find her, he muft leave this busy and intriguing scene, and go back to that peaceful scene of retirement and books, from which he at first set out.

In this circle too often does man run; tries all experiments, and generally fits down weary and dissatisfied with them all at laft-in utter despair of ever accomplishing what he wants

nor

nor knowing what to trust to after fo masy disappointments, or where to lay the fault, whether in the incapacity of his own rature, or the insufficiency of the enjoyments themselves.

In this uncertain and perplexed statewithout knowledge which way to turn, or where to betake ourselves for refuge—so often abused and deceived by the many who pretend thus to shew us any good —LORD! says the psalmist, lift up the light of thy counter.ance upon us. Send us some rays of thy grace and heavenly wisdom, in this benighted search after happiness, to direct us safely to it. O GOD! let us not wander for ever without a guide in this dark region, in endless pursuit of our mistaken good; but enlighten our eyes, that we sleep not in death-open to them the conforts of thy holy word and religion - lift up the light of thy countenance upon us—ard make us know the joy and satisfaction of living in the true faith and fear of Thee, which only can carry us to this haven of reft where we would be that sure haven, where true joys are to be found, which will at length not only answer all our expectations—but satisfy the

most

moft unbounded of our wishes for ever and

ever.

The words thus opened, naturally reduce the remaining part of the discourse under two heads.

-The first part of the verse—“there « be many that fay, who will fhew us any “ good”-To make some reflections upon the insufficiency of most of our enjoyments towards the attainment of happiness, upon some of the most received plans on which 'tis generally fought.

The examination of which will lead us up to the source, and true fecret of all happiness, suggested to us in the latter part of the verse

LORD! lift thou up the light of thy coun“ tenance upon us.”—That there can benoreal happiness without religion and virtue, and the assistance of God's grace and Holy Spirit to direct our lives in the true pursuit of it.

Let us enquire into the Disappointments of human happiness, on some of the most received plans on which it is generally fought for and expected, by the bulk of mankind.

There

« EelmineJätka »