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Serm. II. and the Pensive direct their Thoughts to,
and cast their Cares upon God; there will be little Difference between Them and the Gay and Unthinking, besides this ; that the Latter will have more of the Vanity of Life ; but They themselves more of the Vexations of it. If there were not another Life, our Business would be, not to alarm the Thinking Faculty, but to lay our too active and unquiet Thoughts to Rest. The Mind would be like a froward Child, ever fretful when fully awake ; and therefore to be played and lulled asleep as fast as we can. Our main Happiness would be to forget our Misery and ourselves ; to forget, that we are a Set of Beings, who, after we have toiled out the live-long Day of human Life, in Variety of Hardships ; are, instead of receiving our Wages at the Close of it, to sleep out one long eternal Night in an utter Extinction of Being.
If Man had an ample Fund of Happiness in himself, without any Deficiency; whence is it, that he is continually looking out abroad for foreign Amusements ; Amusements, which are of no other Use, but to keep off troublesom and ungrateful Impressions, and to make us in sensible of
the Tediousness of Living ; Amusements, Serm. II. which rather suspend a Sense of Uneafiness, than give us any substantial Satisfaction; and keep the Soul in an equal Poise between Pleasure and Pain ? And is this the great End which we have in View ? Supposing we could compass it ; yet if it be better not to be at all, than to be miserable ; then certainly just not to be miserable, without any pohtivè Happiness, is much at one, as not to be at all. Whence is it, that that restless Thing the Soul, too enterprizing to trace every Thing else, yea the deep Things of God; is yet too cowardly to enquire into itself, and to view the Workings of that ever-loved, yet everavoided Object ? Whence is it, that the Mind, whose active Energy prompts her to give a free and unconfined Range to her Thoughts on other Subjects, nay, to make, if it were possible, the Tour of the whole Universe ; yet, when she comes to dwell at Home, and to survey the little World within, flags in her Vivacity, feels herself in a forlorn Condition, and finds a Drowsiness and melancholy Gloom hanging upon her ? Whence is it, but that the Soul, whenever it turns it's Thoughts inD 4
Serm. II. ward, finds within a frightful Void of sovia
lid Happiness, without any Possibility in
Wearisomness, far more irksom—the be-Serm. II. ing weary of himself. Observe great Numbers of the Opulent and the Great : What can be oftner from Home than their Perfons ? Their Thoughts, which are continually from Home, ever wandring abroad, and returning unsatisfied. None is more miserable, than a Man distracted with Variety of Business ; except he who has no Business, no Amusement at all. Diversions and Pastimes, properly so called, (for they answer no other End, but to pass away our Time) may have the Effect of Opiates, to beget a short Oblivion of our Cares and ourselves : But the only Cordial to invigorate our Spirits, and to give us an exquisite Relish and Enjoyment of this Life, is the well-grounded Hope of a better, through the Merits of Jesus Christ.
If then any one should ask, Who will New us any Good? Who will point out the Way to Felicity to us? We must answer, in the Pfalmift's Words, Lord, lift Thou up the Light of thy Countenance upon us. For Thou art our Happiness, who alone canst give a Stability to our moral Pleasures, and secure us from natural Evil, or support us under it. God has stiled himself Light:
Serm. II. And as the whole material Creation would
be involved in one horrid and uncomfortable Gloom, if Light did not enliven it with it's Smiles, and beautify it with a rich Variety of Colours ; so would the spiritual Creation live in an eternal Blackness of Darkness, did not God lift up the Light of his Countenance upon it, brightening it with the Beams of his Truth, and chearing it with the Influences of his Favour. Earthly Objects may indeed swell and puff up the Mind with unsubstantial Bliss : But nothing can fill up every Void in the Soul, and satisfy the whole Compass of our Defires with the Fulness of solid and unmingled Happiness, but that fupreme Good, that infinite Being, who is above All, and through All, and in us All.
Such Truths as these we are too apt to overlook in the Day of Prosperity; and therefore,
IIdly, Adversity has it's peculiar Advantages, to bring us to a just Sense of God, and our Duty to Him. .
For, ist, Adversity will make us, however unwilling, reflect and descend into ourselves.