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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. Jays it up against an evil hour: that it is not the prostitution of wealth upon
passions, or the parting with it at all, that constitutes happiness but that it is the keeping it together, and the Haveno 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, yam at the same time he plunges him, if pussible, into a greater; for hearing the object of his pursuit to be bappiness, and kouwing of no other happiness ihan what-is seated immediately in the senses he senils the enquirer there; tells, bim 'tis in vain to search elsewhíre 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 inatter, 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.
To rescue him from this brutal experiment ambition takes hine hy 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 bis fortune and raising himself to honour, lays before his eyes all the cbarms and bewitching temptations of power, and asks if there can be any happiness in this world like that of being caressed, courted, tlattered and followed?
To close all, the philosopher meets him bustling in the full career of this pursuit
tells him, if he is in search of happiness, he is far gone out of his way.
That this deity has long been hanished from noise and tumults, where there was no rest found for ber, and was fled into solitude far from all commerce of the world; and in a word, if he would find her, he must 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 a man run, tries all expe-, riments, and generally sits down weary and dissatisfied with
them all at last, in utter despair of ever accomplishing what he wants nor knowing what to trust to after so many disappointments; or where to lay the fault, whether in the incapacity of his own nature, or the insufficiency of the enjoyments themselves.
In this uncertain and perplexed state without 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 countenance 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 pot in death
open, to us the comforts of thy holy word and religion lift up the light of thy countenance upon us, -, and 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 rest 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 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 say, who will shew 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 sought.
The examination of which will lead us up to the source, and true secret of all happiness, suggested to us in the latter part of the verse
the light of thy countenance upon us
that there can be no real 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 inquire into the disappointments of human happiness, on some of the most received plans on which 'tis generally sought for and expected, by the bulk of mankind.
There is hardly any subject more exhausted, or which at one time or other has afforded more matter for argument and declamation, than this one, of the insufficiency of our
enjoyments. Scarce a reformed sensualist from Solomon down to our own days, who has not in some fits of repentance or disappointment uttered some sharp reflection upon the emptiness of human pleasure, and of the vanity of vanities wbich discovered itself in all the pursuits of mortal man. But the mischief has been, that though so many good things have been said, they have generally had the fate to be considered either as the overflowings of disgust from sated appetites which could no longer relish the pleasures of life, or as the deciamatory opinions of recluse and splenetic men who had never tasted them at all, and consequently where thought no judges of the matter. So that 'tis' no great wonder, if the greatest part of such reflections, however just in themselves and founded on truth and on knowledge of the world, found to leave little impression where the imagination was already heated with great expectations of future happiness; and that the best lectures that have been read upon the vanity of the world, so seldom stop a man in the pursuit of the object of his desire or give him half the conviction, that the possession of it will, and what the experience of his own life, or a careful observation upon the life of others, do at length generally confirm to us all...
Let us endeavour to try the cause upon this issue; and instead of recurring to the common arguments; or taking any one's word in the case, let us trust to matter of fact, and if upon enquiry, it appears that the actions of mankind are not to be accounted for upon any other principle, but this of the insufficiency of our enjoyments, 'twill go farther towards the etablishment of the truth of this part of the discourse, than a thousand speculative arguments, which might be offered upon
Now, if we take a survey of the life of man from the time he is come to-reason, to the latest 'decline of it in old age, - we sball find him engaged, and generally hurried on in such a succession of different pursuits, and different opinions of things, through the different stages of his life, as will admit of no explication but this, that he finds no rest for the sole of his foot, on any of the plans where he has been led to expect it:
The moment he is, got loose from tutors and governors and is left to judge for himself, and pursue this scheme his own way
his first thoughts are generally full of the mighty
happiness which he is going to enter* upon, from the free enjoyment of the pleasures in which he sees others of his age and fortune engaged.
lo consequence of this take notice, how his imagination is caught by every glittering appearance that flatters this expectation. Observe what impressions are · made
upon his senses, by diversions, music, dress, and beauty how his spirits are upon the wing, flying in pursuit of them; that you
would think he could never have enough, Leave him to himself a few years, till the edge of appetite is worn down and you will scarce know him again. You will find him entered into engagements, and setting up for a'man of business and conduct, talking of no other bappiness but what centers in projects of making the most of this world, and providing for his children and children's children after them. Examine his notions, he will tell you, that the gayer pleasures of youth are only fit for those who know not how to dispose of themselves and time to better. advantage. That however fair and promising they might appear to a man unpractised in them they were no better than a life of folly and impertinence and so far from answer. ing your expectations of happiness, 'twas well if you escaped without pain.
That in every experiment he had tried, he had found more bitter than sweet, and for the little pleasure one could snatch it too often left a terrible sting behind it: Besides, did the balance lie on the other side, he would tell you
there could be no true satisfaction where a lise runs on in so giddy a circle, out of which a wise man should extricate himself as soon as he can, that he may begin to look forwards. That it becomes a man of character and consequence to lay aside childish things, to take care of his interests, to establish the fortune of his family, and place it out of want and dependence, and in a word, if there is such a thing as happiness upon earth, it must consist in the accomplishment of this; and, for his own part, if God should prosper his endeavours so as to be worth such a sum, or to be able to bring such a point to bear he shall be one of the happiest of the sons of men. In full assurance of this, on he drudges plots contrives
rises early late takes rest, and eats the bread of carefulness, till at length, by hard labour and perseverance, he has reached, if not outgone the object he had first in view. When he has
got thus far
if he is a plain and sincere man, he will make no scruple to acknowledge truly what alteration he has found in himself. If
that his imagination painted something before his eyes, the reality of which he has not yet attained to: that with all the accumulations of his wealth, he neither lives the merrier, sleeps the rounder, or has less care and anxiety, upon his spirits tben at his first setting out.
Perhaps, you'll say, some dignity, honour, or title only is wanting Oh! could I accomplish that, as there would be nothing left then for me to wish, good God! how happy should I be! 'Tis still the same the dignity or title though they crown his head with honours add not one cubit to his happiness. Upon summing up the account, all is found to be seated merely in the imagination The faster he has pursued, the faster the phantom fled before him, and to use the Satyrist's comparison of the chariot wheels, haste as they will, they must for ever keep the same distance*).
But what? though I have been thus far disappointed in my expectations of happiness from the possession of riches „Let me try whether I shall not meet with it, in the spending and fashionable enjoyment of them.”
Behold! I will get me down, and make me great works, and build me houses, and plant me vineyards, and make me gardens and pools of water. And I will get me servants and maidens, and whatsoever my eyes desire, I will not keep from them.
In prosecution of this - he drops all gainful pursuits – withdraws himself from the busy part of the world realipulls down
builds up again. Buys statues, pictures plants and plucks up by the roots levels mountains and fills up vallies turns rivers into dry ground, and dry ground into rivers. - Says unto this man,
*) Anspielung auf die Stelle in der Sten Satyre des Persius, wo dieser Dichter (nach der Uebersetzung von Fülleborin) sagt:
so geht allmählig