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upon the good communicated, affection for the donor, and joy at the reception. Thus it has goodness for its object, and the most pleasing, perhaps unexpected, exertions of goodness for its immediate
Thankfulness refers to verbal expressions of gratitude. Grove.
However different and variable the ideas of pleasure may be among nations and individuals, it still remains a fact, that a certain number of persons in all civilized states, whether distinguished by birth, or rank, or fortune, or talents, as they have nearly the same education, so they form nearly the same ideas of pleasure. But to possess it, a man must give his chief application to the state of his mind; and, notwithstanding all his efforts, it is of uncertain duration. Pleasure is the sunshine of life; we enjoy it frequently at great intervals; and it is therefore necessary to know how to use it. All the productions of art perish; the largest fortunes are dissipated; rank, honour, and dignity pass away, like a fleeting shadow; the memory is impaired; all the faculties of the soul are extinguished; the body sinks under the infirmities of old age; and scarcely has one reached the boundaries of happiness marked out by his imagination, when he must give place to another, and renounce all bis pleasures, all his hopes, all his illusions, the fugitive images of which had given happiness to the mind.
Pleasure, we all agree, is man's chief good,
Give pleasure's name to nought, but what has pass'd
And doubly to be prized, as it promotes
Our future, while it forms our present joy.
Some joys the future overcast; and some
That oracle will put all doubt to flight.
Be good: and let Heaven answer for the rest.
The pleasures of the world, which we are all so prone to dote upon, and the powers of fallen reason, which some are so apt to idolize, are not only vain, but treacherous; not only a painted flame, like these sparkling animals; but much like those unctuous exhalations, which arise from the marshy ground, and often dance before the eyes of the benighted wayfaring man. Kindled into a sort of fire, they personate a guide, and seem to offer their service; but, blazing with delusive light, mislead their follower into hidden pits, headlong precipices, and unfathomable gulfs-where, far from his beloved friends, far from all hopes of succour, the unhappy wanderer is swallowed up and lost.
Shew, smiling fair one, shew the flowery road
Or, in a bark, skim'st thou the boisterous deep,
North, south, east, west, the happy clime, oh name,
No place so distant, but I'd follow thee.
The search is vain; for Pleasure's no where found,
When our own native land we hate,
In vain we change, in vain we fly;
Or ride upon the feather'd wind,
Attendance at her lady's side.
Would you see their picture drawn to the very life, and the success of their schemes.calculated with the utmost exactness? Cast your eye upon that fine representation exhibited by the prophet:"It shall be even as when a hungry man dreameth, and behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, behold, he drinketh; and behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite." (Isa. xxix. 8.) Such is the race, and such the prize, of all those candidates for pleasure, who run wide of the mark of the high-calling of God, in Christ Jesus. They live in vanity, and die in woe. Hervey.
Pleasures abroad the sport of nature yields;
Patron of pleasure! Doter on delight!
I wrong her still-I rate her worth too low;
Happy the man, of mortals happiest he,
But to himself, and to his God alone.
"Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
O sweetness of content! seraphic joy!
LANSDOWNE. Contentment is a disposition of mind in which our desires are confined to what we enjoy, without murmuring at our lot, or wishing ardently for more. It stands in opposition to envy: (James iii, 16.) to avarice: (Heb. xiii, 5.) to pride and ambition: (Prov. xiii. 10.) to anxiety of mind: (Matt. vi. 25. 34.) to murmurings and repinings: (1 Cor. x. 10.) Contentment does not imply unconcern about our welfare, or that we should not have a sense of any thing uneasy or distressing; nor does it give any countenance to idleness, or prevent diligent endeavours to improve our circumstances. It implies, however, that our desires of worldly good be moderate; that we do not
indulge in unnecessary care, or use unlawful efforts to better our-
Happy the man with little blest,
Which soft content does best adorn,
He is not the poor man that hath but little, but he that would have more; nor is he the rich man that hath much, but be that is content with what he hath. If you pray for your daily bread, be not such hypocrites as by the bent of your desires to cross your prayers. Baxter.
Is not every one, by nature, discontent with his present lot in the world, or with some one thing or other in it? This also was Adam's case. (Gen. iii. 5, 6.) Some one thing is always missing; so that man is a creature given to changes. And if any doubt of this, let them look over all their enjoyments, and, after a review of them, listen to their own hearts, and they will hear a secret murmuring for want of something, though, perhaps, if they considered the