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vigour, no less than for the original endowments of
your intellectual constitution. Are you favoured with social comforts, which you well know how to appreciate; and are the delights of domestic endearment among the richest ingredients in your cup of earthly joy? Let then your praises constantly ascend to the Giver of all good, who implanted in our hearts the social principle, and, even in this world of sin and sorrow, has rendered it productive of such exquisite delight. Are you the recipients not only of all these pleasures, but also of the crowning joys of human life, the joys of salvation, the earnest of joys unutterable and eternal? Surely should you be silent, amid so many excitements to thanksgiving, “the very stones would cry out against you.” And be assured, that you cannot more directly consult your own happiness, than by cherishing a disposition of lively gratitude towards your Divine Benefactor, and abounding in the utterances of a thankful and adoring heart. “ It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord
to show forth his loving-kindness in the morning, and his faithfulness every night.-Praise is comely, and praise is pleasant.” Psa. xcii. 1, 2; cxlvii. 1.
2. Cultivate a spirit of cheerfulness.
In the things of the present world, there is usually a mixture of good and of evil. Of the things favourable to our enjoyment, few are so good as not to have an alloy of evil; of the things unfriendly to our comfort, few are so evil as not to have some admixture of good.
Now suppose one person, from the prevailing temper of his mind, to be habitually engaged in extracting evil from that which is, upon the whole, good, and another person to be habitually employed in extracting good from that in which evil is the prevailing character, it is not difficult to discern on whose side lies the advantage in point of happiness. The one looks habitually on the dark side, the other on the bright side of every object. The one diffuses the gloomy character of his own mind over the whole sphere of his pursuits and of his possessions; the other diffuses the sunshine of his own soul over the entire circle by which he is surrounded. To cultivate the habit of cheerfulness, then, is one of the most rational and the most successful methods of consulting our happiness, and one which is obviously dictated by the spirit and the principles we imbibe at the pure fountain of Divine truth. Serene joy, tranquil gladness, and unclouded cheerfulness are among the habits of mind, which the religion of the New Testament is most powerfully adapted to produce.
3. Cultivate a spirit of contentment.
How much of meaning, and alas! of truth, there is in the assertion of the poet, “ Man never is, but always to be, blest.” He is apt to overlook the sources of enjoyment which are in his possession, and to aim at such as may not even be within his reach; forgetting the important sentiment expressed by the Saviour, when he assured his hearers, that the happiness of life consists not in the abundance
of the things possessed. Luke xii. 15. Many there are, and many there have always been, in full possession of wealth, and honour, and power; and yet from a variety of causes, they are the very reverse of happy; while not a few, in the absence of all these objects of human ambition, have displayed entire contentment, and declared themselves satisfied and happy. “Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content." 1 Tim. vi. 6-8.
4. Cultivate a spirit of dependence.
Say with the psalmist, and with the psalmist's feelings, when approaching to God, “ All my springs are in thee;"_from thee alone is my expectation. Thou art my hope and my confidence. Psa. lxxxvii. 7; Ixii. 5; lxxi. 5. Be it ever the deep conviction of your heart, that happiness depends not on your own unaided power, but on perpetual communications from the resources of Him who is the foundation of blessedness. Regard it as a truth of most comprehensive import, and of absolutely universal extension, that “a man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven.” John iii. 27. What hast thou, which thou hast not received from Him who gave thee every capacity of enjoyment; and what hast thou which he may not recall and resume at his pleasure? By a law not of thy being only, but of all created beings, thou art necessarily dependent for life and for happiness on Him
who alone is uncreated, independent, self-existent. Pay then to Him the perpetual homage of a dependent spirit, of a mind delighting to feel itself indebted every moment to his care and to his goodness. If reconciled to Him, and interested in his paternal love, art thou - not authorized to yield thyself to the repose of unbounded confidence, and to dismiss from thy mind all corroding care and distressing solicitude? “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Phil. iv. 6, 7.
5. Cultivate a spirit of activity.
Indolence and torpor are utterly incompatible with true enjoyment. As habitual exercise is essential to the health of the body, so is habitual activity essential to the happiness of the mind. “ Engagement,” says a distinguished writer on this subject, " is every thing. Any engagement which is innocent is better than none." Vacuity of mind, and absence of occupation, render a man wretched. Many who, imagining happiness to consist in ease and leisure, have retired from the active engagements of life to perfect quiet and repose, have found themselves miserably disappointed. But shall a rational and immortal being take refuge in mere occupation; in order simply to pass away his time, without the sense of wearying listlessness? Shall he ima
gine that expenditure of time to be innocent which is devoted to mere amusement, when no plea for the necessity of amusement can be founded on the fatigue of previous exertion? With energies of mind and of body, bestowed and sustained for purposes of high importance, is it deemed innocent by Him to whom our account must be rendered, to devote to mere amusement not hours only, nor days, but even months and years? And if such a course were not in itself deserving of reprehension, could it possibly be conducive to true enjoyment? Hazard not the experiment on yourselves.' Suffice it to see the result in the wretchedness of the idlers of every class, who are spending their money for that which is not pleasure, and their time for that which satisfieth not.
6. Cultivate a spirit of benevolence.
If a man can find no enjoyment except when directly engaged in seeking his own happiness, his pleasures must be necessarily limited, as well as selfish. But if, with the love of God and the love of man reigning in his heart, he take delight in rendering others happy, his sources of pleasure must be abundant and perpetual. To cultivate a spirit of benevolence is at once, then, our interest and our duty. “ Look not every man on his own things," said the benevolent apostle, “but every man also on the things of others.-Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Phil. ii. 4; Acts xx. 35. Remember