Sivut kuvina
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

matter aright, they would see that it is better for them to want,
than to have that something.
Boston's Four-fold State.

Against our peace we arm our will;
Amidst our plenty, something still,
For power, houses, pictures, planting,
To thee, to me, to him, is wanting.
That cruel something unpossess'd
Corrodes and leavens all the rest :
That something, if we could obtain,
Would soon create a future pain.


True Christian contentment with our state and lot, comprehends in it such things as these:


That our desires of wordly good are low and moderate; that we are not eager after much, nor" seek great things for ourselves;" but that our desires be reduced within the bounds of necessity and reasonable convenience, or at least are not hot and impetuous after more. To this the apostle exhorts, 1 Tim. vi. 8. “ Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content;" that is, let us be able to acquiesce and be easy, though we should be allowed no more. We find Jacob forming his desires with such moderation, at his setting out in the world, and when he was to enter upon a journey of some length and distance from his father's house he asked not riches and grandeur, but that God would give him bread to eat, and raiment to put on. (Gen. xxviii. 20.) And it will be the wisdom and the happiness of other young people, to set out in the world without mounting their desires very high; at least, with a resolution to be easy, though they should be able to compass no more than a subsist. ence. A man that cannot be easy with that, knows not in truth what would make him easy; for covetousness is insatiable. We see people arriving at one enjoyment after another, which once seemed the top of their ambition; and yet so far from contentment, that their desires grow faster than their substance; and they are as eager to improve a good estate, when they are become masters of it, as if they were still drudging for food and raiment. Christ warns us against this sort of covetousness, which consists in insatiable desire. "Take heed, and beware of covetousness; for a man's life consisteth not in

downcast or pensive; and the breast heaves and falls, like the motion of gently disturbed waters. Solitude, shades, and evening walks are frequented; objects of pity are cherished, and all the ef fusions of sentiment are tender, sedate, and sympathetic. Falconer,

[ocr errors]

Love, the most gen'rous passion of the mind;
The softest refuge innocence can find;
The safe director of unguided youth,
Fraught with kind wishes and secur'd by truth:
The cordial drop Heaven in our cup has thrown,
To make the nauseous draught of life go down:
On which one only blessing God might raise,
In lands of atheists, subsidies of praise :
For none did e'er so dull and stupid prove,
But felt a God, and bless'd his power in love.



Joy is the vivid pleasure or delight inspired on the immediate reception of something peculiarly grateful, or of something obviously productive of an essential advantage, or which promises to contribute to our present or future well-being. This delight may be communicated by our liberation from fearful apprehensions, or from a state of actual distress; by obtaining some new acquisition, some addition to our stock of enjoyment, or by the full assurance of this, without any mixture of doubt,

On the first impulse of joy, we are perfectly passive. No effort of the will can check the sensation itself; and where the joy is excessive, it is not in the power of resolution to suppress every external sign. Gladness is an inferior degree of joy; it may be excited by incidents agreeable or desirable in themselves, which are not of sufficient moment to raise the ecstacies of joy; or it may consist in that lively flow of spirits, which immediately succeeds to the transports of joy. Dr. Johnson.

This is a pleasure of mind arising from a present good, or an assured approach of a future good, which will soon be in our possession, and be assuredly our own, to be freely and. fully enjoyed for ever.

Moderate joy is gladness; sudden and high joy is exultation; habitual joy is cheerfulness. Ryland.

The natural signs of joy are vivacity of the spirits, a sparkling eye, a florid and smiling countenance, a raised head, an erect posture of body, a pleasant freedom of speech, and sometimes also it raises the voice to shouting, and the person exults or leaps for great gladness of heart. Upon some tender occasions, love and joy join together, and produce tears.

False joys, indeed, are born from want of thought;
From thoughts full bent, and energy, the true;
And that demands a mind in equal poise,
Remote from gloomy grief and glaring joy.
Much joy not only speaks small happiness,
But happiness that shortly must expire.
Can joy unbottom'd in reflection stand?
And in a tempest can reflection live?
Can joy, like thine, secure itself an hour?
Can joy, like thine, meet accident unshock'd,

[blocks in formation]


Or talk with threat'ning death, and not turn pale? YOUNG.


Mirth is a higher degree of cheerfulness, generally excited by things facetious or ludicrous; and greatly augmented by the power of social sympathy. Thus it frequently becomes noisy and boisterous, from causes not able to communicate the smallest emotion to individual in a solitary state.

Cheerfulness is an emotion of still gentler influence. It is often inspired by very trivial circumstances in persons of a lively dispo sition, and free from anxious care. Dr. Cogan.


The passion of laughter is nothing else but sudden glory arising from some sudden conception of some eminency in ourselves, by comparison with the infirmity of others, or with our own formerly: For men laugh at the follies of themselves past, when they come suddenly to remembrance, except they bring with them any present dishonour.


According to this author, therefore, when we hear a man laugh excessively, instead of saying he is very merry, we ought to tell him he is very proud. And indeed, if we look into the bottom of this matter, we shall meet with many observations to confirm us in his opinion. Every one laughs at somebody that is in an inferior state of folly to himself. Hobbs.

Benevolence and Complacence.

Benevolence is an inclination or propensity to seek the welfare or happiness of any being. Complacence is the derivation of some degree of happiness to one's self from any being. Complacence is a passion that always terminates, finally, in one's self, to make one's self easy and pleased, though another thing or person may be the object of it. Benevolence always terminates in that which is the object of it, in order to make that object easy and happy, whether it be ourselves or our neighbours.

Benevolence, or good-will, therefore, chiefly and most properly has some sensible being for the object of it, as man, or some other animal. But we take complacence, or delight, in garments, flowers, houses, herbs, meats, drinks, books, conversation, or any thing that pleases us, as well as in our animal or intellectual fellow-creatures, or in God our Creator.

This love of benevolence, or good-will, while it wishes well to the objects of it, does oftentimes dispose us to think well of them too, which is called charity, or a charitable opinion. It inclines us to benevolence, or speaking well of them; to civility, or speaking kindly to them; to humanity, or beneficence, that is, treating them well, or doing good to them, according to the wants of one, and the prudence and capacity of the other. This good-will generally discovers itself in a pleasing countenance, a soft and smiling air, affability of speech, gentleness of behaviour, and a hand extended to invite or relieve the oppressed and the miserable. Dr. Watts.


Gratitude seems to stand in direct opposition to anger; for it is made up of complacence and benevolence, upon the occasion of good received from another.

When a person has conferred any benefit upon us, and we have an inclination, upon that account, to confer some benefit upon him, we call this gratitude. The reverse of this is ingratitude, which is no passion, but a temper, which inclines persons to neglect former benefits received, and make no acknowledgments or due returns of kindness. When it rises very high, it returns evil for good, which is a most hateful and criminal temper and conduct; but this has no distinct name, for the languages of men have not yet found a harder name than ungrateful.

Gratitude is a gentle principle, and makes little commotion in nature, besides a sensible pleasure when our benefactor is happy; and it excites our desires, contrivances, and active endeavours, to make Watts.

him so.

Gratitude is a pleasant affection excited by a lively sense of benefits received or intended, or even by the desire of being beneficial. In its strength, it is the powerful re-action of a well-disposed mind, upon whom benevolence has conferred some important good. It is always connected with an impressive sense of the amiable disposition of the person by whom the benefit is conferred, and it immediately produces a personal affection towards him. When the affection operates according to the natural course of influence, it will be correspondent to the importance of the good obtained, the distance in station between the recipient and his benefactor, the smallness of his claims, perhaps the consciousness of deserving very opposite treatment. These circumstances unite to warm the heart into raptures. The grateful mind is impatient of a silent and passive reception of the blessing. It cannot be restrained from acknowledging its obligations, either by expressions or deeds. It considers every return in its power as an act of the strictest justice; nor is it deterred by difficulties or dangers from making the attempt. The term most familiarly employed was originally suggested by this idea. The obligation is perceived and felt; and the person benefitted considers himself as bound in honour and justice, either to repay or acknowledge the debt, by a bond that cannot be cancelled.

We shall not wonder at the peculiar strength and energy of this affection, when we consider that it is compounded of love placed

« EdellinenJatka »