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latter/ I consider as an a'ct, the for'mer/ as a barb'it-of-themind. Mir'th is sho'rt and tranʼsient ; cheer
fulness fi'xed and per'manent. Those/ are often raised into the greatest transports of mi'rth, who are subject/ to the greatest depressions of me'lancholy : on the con'trary, che’erfulness (though it does not give the mind such an ex'quisite gla'dness) prevents us from falling into any de'pths-of-so'rrow. Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks through a gloom of clou'ds, and glitters for a mo'ment; che'erfulness/ keeps up a kind of day light in the mi'nd, and fills it with a steady' and perpetual sere'nity.
Men of austere prin'ciples/ look upon m'irth as too wa’nton and diss'olute for a stat'e of prob’ation, and as filled with a certain triumph and in solence of h'eart, that are inconsistent with a li'fe which i's/ every mo'ment/ obnoʻxious to the greatest dan'gers. Writers of this complexion have obse'rved, that the SACRED PERSON, who was the GREAT PATTERN of perfection, was never seen'/ to lau'gb.
Cheerfulness of mind/ is not liable to any of these exc'eptions : it is of a serious and compo'sed-nature ; it does not throw the m'ind/ into a condition/ improper for the present sta'te of hum’anity ; and is very conspicuous/ in the characters of tho'se/ who are looked up'on as the greatest philo'sophers/ among the He'athens, as well as among tho'se/ who have been deservedly esteem'ed/ as sain'ts/ and ho'ly-men/ among Christians.
If we consider cheerfulness in three lights, with regʻard to our'selves, to th'ose/ we converse' with, and, to the great Author of our besing, * it will not a little recommend it'self/ on each -of-these-accounts. The man, who is possessed of this' excellent frame of mi'nd, is not only easy in his thoʻughts, but a perfect mas'ter of all the poʻwers and fa'culties of his sou'l: his imagina'tion) is always cle’ar, and his judgʻment/ undistur'bed: his tem'per is e'ven and unr'uffied, whether in ac'tion or in solitude. He comes/ with a re'lish/ to all those goods/ which n'ature has provided-for-him, tastes all the pleasures of the creation, which are poʻured upon him, and does not feel the full weight of those accidental e’vils/ which may-befa'll-him.
If we consider him in relation to the persons whom he converses with, /it naturally produces lov'e and good-will to
* When any of the various appellations of the Deity occur in reading, the voice should assume a solemn and reverential tone.
wards him. A cheerful mi'nd/ is not only disposed to be a'ffable and obli'ging, but raises the same good humour in tho'se/ who come within its in'fluence. A man finds himself ple’ased (he does not know w'hy) with the cheerfulness-of-his-companion: it is like a sudden sun'shine, that awakens a sacred delight in the mi'nd, without her atten'ding-to-it. The heart rejoi ces of its own acc'ord, and naturally flows out into friendship and benev'olence towards the p'erson who has so kindly an effe ct-upon-it.
When I consider this cheerful state of min'd/ in its third relation, I cannot but loʻok-upon-it/ as a constant, habitual gra'titude/ to the Au'thor of nature. An inward cheerfulness/ is an implicit prai'se and than'ksgiving to Pro'vidence/ under a’ll its dispensations. It is a kind of acquies'cence in the sta'te/ wherei'n we are placed, and a secret approba'tion of the Divine w'ill, in his con'duct/ towards man'.
A ma'n/ who uses his best endeavours/ to live according-to the dictates of vir'tue and right rea’son, has two perpe'tualsources of cheer'fulness, (in the consideration of his own na'ture, and of that Be’ing/ on whom he has a depen dance.) If he looks into him'self, he cannot but rejoice in that exi'stence/ which is so lately bestow'ed upon him, and whi'ch (a'fter millions of a'ges) will be sti'll ne'w, and still in its begin'ning. How many self-congratulat'ions/ naturally rise in the mi’nd, when it refle'cts/ on thi's/ its en trance into eternity, when it takes a view of those improveable fa'culties, which in a few ye’ars (and even at its first setting oʻut) have made so considerable a pr'ogress, and whi`ch/ will be still receiving an increase of perfe'ction, and, coʻnsequently, an in'crease of hap. PINESS !* The con'sciousness-of-such-a-being/t spreads a perpetual diffusion of joy'/ through the soul of a v'irtuous-man, and makes him look upon himself every mo'ment/ as more h'appy/ than he knows ho'w/ to conce'ive.
The second source-of-cheerfulness/ to a good-mind is its considera'tion of that B'eing, o'n whom we have our depe'ndance, and in 'whom (though we behold him as y'et/ but in
* Nouns ending in ness should have the e carefully sounded, and the termination should not be pronounced niss, as we too frequently hear it. The same rule should be observed in the pronunciation of nouns ending in ent.
† It will be observed, as in other similar combinations, that “ sciousness-of-such-a-being” is one Rhetorical word, with the accent upon " con."
the first, fa'int-discoveries of his perfe'ctions) we see e'verything/ that we can ima'gine/ as great, glo‘rious, or amiable. We find ourselves every where upheld by his goodness, and sur'rounded, with an imme'nsity of lo've and mercy. In short, we depend upon a Be'ing, whose po'wer qualifies him to make us happy/ by an infinity of means', whose goodness and tru'th/ engage him to make those hap py/ who des'ire-it-of-him, and whose unchang'eableness' will secure us/ in this ha'ppiness to all eternity.*
TILLOTSON. TR'Uth and sincer'ity have all the adva'ntages of appearance, and m'any more. If the sho'w of any thi’ng/ be good for any thi’ng, I am sure the reality is be'tter; for/ why does any disse mble, or seem to be that/ which he i's-not, but because he thinks it good to have the qua'lities/ he pretends to ? For/ to cou'nterfeit and to dis'semble, is to put on the appe'arance of some real excellency. No'w, the best way for a man to se'em to be any thing, is re'ally-to-be what he would see'm-to-be. Besi'des, it is often as troublesome to support the prete'nce of a good qu'ality, as to have' it; and, if a man have it n'ot, it is most likely he will be discovered to waînt it, and the’n/ all his la'bour, to se'em-to-have-it, is lost'. (There is something unnatural in painting, which a skilful-eye/ will easily disce'rn from native be’auty and complex'ion.)
It is hard to pe'rsonate and act' a part lo'ng ; for'/ where truth is not at the boʻttom, nature will always be endeavouring to retu’rn, and will betra'y herself/ at one ti'me or oth'er. The'refore, if any man think it conven'ient to see'm good, let him be so indeed, and then his goodness will appe’ar to every one's satisfac'tion ; for/ tru'th is convi'ncing, and carries its own li'ght and e'vidence alo'ng with it, and, will not only comme’nd us to every man's con'science, bu't (which is much moʻre) to Go n, who se’archeth our hearts. a'll acco'unts sincerity is tru'e-wisdom. Parti'cularly/ as to
So that upon
* Such a tone and modulation should be employed when a lesson is about to be finished, as to show the hearer (without his being told) that the subject is drawing to a close.
the affairs of thi's world, inte'grity/ hath many advan'tages over all the artificial modes of dissimula'tion and dece'it. It is much the pla'iner and eas'ier, much the safer and more secu'reway of dealing in the woʻrld; it has less of trou'ble and difficulty, of entanglement and perple'xity, of dan'ger and haz'ard-in-it; it is the shortest and nea'rest way to our e'nd, carórying us thi'ther/ in a straight li'ne, and will hold o'ut, and last lon gest. The arts of deceit/ continually grow w'eaker, and less effec'tual to tho'se/ that prac'tise them; whereas, integrity/ gains str'ength by us'e, and the more and longer any man prac'tiseth it, the greater ser'vice it do'es him, by confirming his reputa'tion, and encouraging those with whom he hath to do', to repose the greatest confidence in hi'm, which is an unspeakable advantage in bu'siness, and the affai'rs of life.
A dissembler must always be upon his gu'ard, and watch himself care'fully, that he do not contradict his own prete'nsions ; (for he acts an unna'tural part, and, the’refore, must put a continual force and restra'int upon him'self.) Where'as, he that acts sincerely, hath the easiest taʼsk in the wor'ld ; because he follows na'ture, and is put to no trou'ble and ca're/ about his wo'rds and actions ; he needs not invent any pretences before-hand, or make excuses af'terwards, for any thing/ he has sa'id/ or don'e ;
But, insincerity* is very troublesome to ma'nage ; a hypocrite/ hath so ma'ny-things to atte’nd to, as make his life a very perple’xed and intricate thing. A liar/ hath need of a good me'mory, lest he contradict at on'e-time) what he said at ano'ther; but truth/ is always consistent with it'self, and needs no thing/ to he'lp it o'ut; it is always near at ha'nd, and sits upon our li'ps; whereas a lie' is trou'blesome, and needs a great many moʻre to make it good.
A'dd to all this', that since'rity/ is the most compendious wi'sdom, and an excellent instrument/ for the speedy dispa'tch of bu'siness. It creates confidence in those we have to dea'l with, saves the labour of many inq'uiries, and brings things to an is'sue/ in few wo'rds. It is like travelling in a pla'in, bea'tenroad, which commonly brings a man sooner to his journey's en d/ than by-w'ays, in which/ men often lo'se-themselves. In
* “Insincerity," like “inconvenience,” requires the rising circumfler. See page 5 of " Introductory Outline."
a word, whatever conve’nience may be thought to be in fal'sehood and dissimula'tion, it is soon o'ver ; but, the inconvenienceof-it/ is perpe'tual,* because it brings a man under an everlasting jea'lousy and sus'picion, so that he i's-not-believed when he speaks tru'th, nor tru'sted/ when/ perha'ps/ he means hon'estly. When a man hath once forfeited the reputation of his inte'grity, nothing will then serve bis tu’rn, neither truth nor falsehood.
Indeed, if a man were only to deal in the woʻrld for a da'y, and should never have occa'sion/ to converse moʻre with mankind, never more need their good opini'on or good woʻrd, it were then no great mat'ter (as far as respects the affairs of this'-world) if he spent his reputation all at onc'e, and ven'tured it/ at one throw ;-b’ut, if he be to continue-in-the-world, and would have the advantage of reputa'tion/ while he is i'n it, let him make use of truth and sinceʼrity/ in all his wor'ds and ac'tions ; for/ nothing but thi's) will hold out to the end. All other ar'ts may fail, but tru'th and integrity/ will carry a man through, and bear him ou't, to the last'.
CHARACTER OF QUEEN ELIZABETH.
There are few pe’rsonages/ in history/ who have been more expo'sed/ to the ca'lumny of enemies, and the a'dulation of frie'nds, than Queen Elizabeth, and yet there scarce is an'y/ whose reputation has been more ceộrtainly dete'rmined/ by the unanimous conse’nt of poste'rity. The unusual le'ngth of her administra'tion, and the strong features of her cha'racter, were a ble/ to overcome all prejudices; a'nd, obliging her detractors/ to abate mu'ch of their inve'ctives, and/ her admifrers/ somewhat of their panegy'rics, ha've, at la'st, (in spite of political fa'ctions, and, wh'at is moʻre, of religious animo'sities), produced a uniform ju'dgment/ with regard to her co'nduct. Her vi gour, her co'nstancy, her magnani'mity; her penetra'
* The rising circumflex () is required at “inconvenience.” This circumflex begins with the falling inflexion and ends with the rising upon the same syllable; and while it imparts to the word upon which it is placed a peculiarly significant emphasis, it seems to twist the voice upwurds. See page 5.