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ten thousands, his lands and his rich ma. nors, and see whether he can bribe, or buy off, or so much as compound with his distemper, but, for one night's rest. No; the sick-bed is so like the grave, which it leads to, that it useth rich and poor, prince and peasant all alike. Pain has no respect of persons, but strikes all with an equal, and an impartial stroke.,
All which, I think, is a sufficient demonstration, that plenty and enjoyment are not the same thing. They are the inward strength and sufficiency of a man's faculties, which must render him a subject capable of tasting or enjoying the good things which providence bestows upon him. But as it is God only who creates, so it is he alone who must support and preserve these; and when he withdraws his hand, and lets nature sink into its original weakness and insufficiency, all a man's delights fail hiin, all his enjoyments vanish.
My Last argument to prove, that man's happiness consisteth not in any earthly abundance, shall be taken from this con
. VIII. in Abundance. sideration; that the greatest happiness, which this life is capable of, may be, and actually has been enjoyed without this abundance; and consequently, cannot depend upon it.
Now that, undoubtedly, is the chief happiness of life, for the attainment of which, all other things are designed but as the means, and subfervient instruments. And what else can this be, but the content, quiet, and inward satisfaction of a man's mind ? For why, or for what other imaginable reason, are riches, power, and honour so much valued by men, but because they promise themselves that content and satisfaction of mind from them, which they fully believe cannot otherwise be had? This, no doubt, is the inward reasoning of men's minds in the present cafe. But the experience of thousands (against which all arguments fignify nothing) doth clearly prove the contrary; as appears from all the histories of the philosophers of old, and especially of the apostles of Christ, and the martyrs of the primitive church.
In short; content is the gift of heaven; and not the certain effect of any thing up
on earth : and it is as easy for providence to convey it without wealth, as with it; it being the undeniable prerogative of the first cause, that whatsoever it doth by the mediation of second causes, it can do im. mediately by itself without them. The heavens can, and do every day derive water and refreshment upon the earth, without either pipes or other artificial conveyances; though the weakness of human industry is forced to fly to these little affistances, to compass the same effects.
Happiness and comfort stream immediately from God himself, as light issues from the sun; and sometimes looks, and darts itself into the meanest corners, whilst it forbears to pilit the most spacious apartments,
Every man is happy or miserable, as the temper of his mind places him, either as he is or is not under the influences of the divine nature; which inlighten and inliven the mind which is disposed thereunto, with secret and unutterable joys, and such as the vicious, or unprepared mind, is wholly unacquainted with.
Thus St. Paul says, We have nothing, and yet we possess all things. And can a greater happiness be imagined, than that which gives a man here all things in pofsession, together with a glorious eternity in reversion ?-In a word, It is not what a man has, but what he is, which must make him happy.
Therefore let us, upon all occasions, endeavour to suit our minds to our condition; and then, in whatsoever state we are. we shall be satisfied and contented ; and consequently shall arrive to as great a degree of happiness, as the imperfection of this mortal state will admit of.