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out of any other pleasure he takes in hearing himself applauded and commended by us, than he doth in any other Act that is decent and reasonable in its own Nature ; but 'tis therefore, he will have us Praise him, because he knows it is for Our Good, and highly conduces, as it is a most reasonable Action, to the Perfection and Happiness of our reasonable Natures; becaufe our praising him naturally excites us to imitate him, and to transcribe into our own Natures those Adotable Perfe&ions, which we do so admire and extol in His. So that to pursue our own Perfection and Happiness, is to Glorifie God according to his own design and intention ; who requires us to Glorifie him for no other purpose, but that thereby we may glorifie our felves. And indeed our Happiness is Gods Glory, even as all other worthy Effects are the Glory of their Causes, 'Tis He that gives being to it, and consequently He that is glorified by it. It being nothing but the resplendency of his own Almighty Goodness, or his own out-stretched Rays shining back upon Himself. And therefore we aim at Gods glory just as He himself doth, when we aim to be as happy as He would have us, that is, when we purfue Heaven and co-operate with his infinite Goodness, whose great design is to advance us to that blessed condition in which we shall Glorifie him for ever, and be Everlasting Monuments of his överflowing Benignity. So that whether we call our last End Heaven, or the Glory of God, it is all but one and the same thing; since by obtaining Heaven, we shall Glorifie him according to his own Design and Intention. And this I think,

с

may

may suffice to fhew, what is the true ultimate End of the Christian Life. But then

II. It will be yet further necellary for our clearing, the way to the Design in hand, to enquire What Kind of Happiness this is ; Which when we under{tand, we shall be the better able to comprehend what Duties or Means are necessary for the obtaining it. “And this Enquiry will be easily refolved, by considering the Nature of Those for whom it was prepared and intended. For all Happineß consists in the free and vigorous Exercise of the Faculties of Nature, about Objects that are suitable to themselves. There is indeed a privative happiness, which is nothing but Indolence, or freedom from pain and misery; and this confifts not so much in the Exercise, as in the rest and quiet of the Faculties. And herein the soft and restive Epicure ans placed the whole Happiness of a Man: In which I confess, they would not be very much mistaken, if there were no happiness belonging to a Man beyond that Animal and Sensual one, in which the Disciples of this Atheistical Philosopher placed their chief Good. For the greatest part of the Pleasures of Sense indeed are meerly Privations of Misery, and short Reprieves from the Griefs and Troubles of a wretched Life. For what else is our Eafe and Reft, but. only the removal of our Pain and Weariness? which being removed, the pleasure is presently over, and then we grow weary again of our Rest and Ease ; till Pain and Wearineß return and sweeten them, and gives them a fresh and new relish. For when we are weary of Rest, we are fain to recreate our selves with Action, and when

we

we are weary of Action, to refresh our felves with Reft, and so round again in the fame Circle. Thus the greatest part of the pleasure of Eating and Drinking consists in asswaging the pain of our Hunger and Thirst. For when this is over, you see the pleasure ceases; and till it returns again, every

fresh morsel is but a new load to a tired Dia gestion. So that in short, the greatest part of those sensual Felicities which we do here enjoy, are only short intermissions of the pains and uneasinesses of a wretched Life. But if there were no other Happineß belonging to a Man, but what consists in not being sensible of Mifery, it were much more desirable to be a Stone than a Man, and the only way for him to be perfectly Happy, would be, to deprive himself of all Sense and Perception.

'Tis true, That which is positive in our Happiness can never be perfectly enjoyed by us, without a perfect Indolence and Insensibility of Pain; it being impossible for us to have a perfe&t sense of any thing, whilst we have the least touch or feeling of its Contrary. But were Happineß nothing else but a non-perception of Misery,it would have no positive Esence or reality of its own, which is dire&ly contrary to all humane Experience. For we plainly feel, thật our Happineß hath in it, not only a Rest from Evil, but a grateful Motion to Good, and that as our Pain and Misery consifs in an acute and sensible perception of such things as are most ungrateful to our Natures; fo Pleafürė or Satisfaltion consists in a vigorosis perception of the con trary. So that besides the not being miserable ( which is not so properly an Essential part of Happiness, as a necessary Difpofition to it, wichout C2

which

which the Faculties of our Natures will be indifposed to relish and perceive it ) there is a positive Happiness which (as I said before ) consists in a constant, free and vigorous Exercise of the Faculties about such Objects, as are most convenient and suitable to their Natures. For Happiness in the general includes Perfection and Pleasure, both which are necessarily included in such an Exercise of the Faculties. For then the Faculties are Perfect, when they are freely, constantly and vigorously in ployed about such objects, as are more congruous to their several natures ; when they are recovered from all indisposicions, whether natural, or moral, to those proper motions and exercises for which they were framed ; and do freely, conftantly, and without any clog or interruption direct all their courses towards such Objects as are their natural Centers. And then the Faculties are most pleas'd and delighted too, when they are most vigorously exercised about that which is most suitable to them; when they are not only determined to such Objects as are most agreeable to their Natures, but do also act upon and exert themselves towards them with the greatest Sprightliness and Vigour.

These things I thought meet to premise concerning Happiness in the General, as being very needful to the clearer resolucion of the present Enquiry, viz. Wherein consists the Heaven or Happiness of a Man. In short therefore, the proper Heaven and Happiness of a Man, considered

as a rational Being consists in the constant, free, and sprightful Exercife of his Faculties about such Objects as are most convenient to his rational

Nature,

Nature, which consisting wholly of Understanding and Will, that is, of a Faculty of Knowing and a Faculty of Chuling, the most suitable Objects of it are such as are most worthy to be known, and most worthy to be chosen. When therefore the Understanding is always vigorously exercised in seeing and contemplating thë moit glorious and excellent Truths, and the Will is always vigorowly employed in choosing and embracing the molt desirable Goods, then is the whole Rational Nature Happy. Now if you cast abroad your thoughts over the whole extent of Being ; you will presently find that there is nothing in it so worthy to be known and chosen as God; whose Power being the source and fountain of all Truth, that is, of all that either is or is possible, and whose Nature being the subject of all rational Perfeltion, wherein it originally resides, and from whence 'tis derived to all the Rational Creation ; you must upon these accounts necessarily allow Him to be infinitely the most worthy Object in all the World of Beings, for our Understanding to contemplate, and our Will to chuse. And if so, then the very Life and Quintessence of the Heaven of a Man considered as a Reasonable Being, must needs consist in a close and intimate Knowledge of God, and a Free and Uncontroverted Choice of Him.

But that we may more fully comprehend the Nature of this Happines, it will be needful that we should more distinctly explain, what these two Ellential Acts of it do import, and what Happineß is included in them. And

1. The Happineß of a Man consists in a free and intimate Knowledge of God, for our Under

ftanding

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