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Order is nature's law; and this confess'd,
That such are happier, shocks all common sense. Pope. What can add to the happiness of the man who is in health, who is out of debt, and bas a clear conscience? To one in this situation, all accessions of fortune may properly be said to be superfluous; and if he be much elevated on account of them, it must be the effect of frivolous levity.
CowPER. No principle can be of greater importance to the true felicity of man, than this: because all imaginary schemes of happiness, which are sure to issue in the most bitter, if not irreparable disappointment, originate in false ideas of happiness itself.
Temple of Truth. The happy man is not he, whose happiness is his only care; but be, who, with perfect resignation, leaves the care of his bappiness to bis Maker, whilst be pursues with ardour the road of his duty. This gives an elevation to his mind, which is real happiness; instead of care, and fear, and anxiety, and disappointment, it brings peace and joy. It gives a relish to every good we enjoy; it smooths the brow of care, calms the perturbed mind, and makes the pillow of suffering and death the rest of bappiness.
Nicholson's Encyclopædia. · In order to be happy, we should be select in our friends, and choose them more for their good sense, than their knowledge; more for being Christians than philosophers; be contented with a small, but certain income; have no master, and few servants; be without ambition, envy, avarice, or a law-suit; preserve our bealth by exer
cise, instead of medicine ; adhere to our religious opinions; love and hate only on just grounds; let the pleasures of life pass by us without a murmur; and wait with confidence for an eternal hereafter.
There's nothing here, but what as nothing weighs. Young. We are too apt to judge of happiness by appearances; we suppose it to be where it only rarely exists. Mirth is a very equivocal sign of it. A merry fellow is often an unhappy mortal, who, by laughing, endeavours to conceal and to forget his misery. All is not gold that glitters. Nulla fronte fides. Those gentlemen who appear so good-humoured abroad, are often morose and peevish at home; their domestics feel the want of that good-nature, which they lavish upon their companions. True content is never extremely gay or noisy: its possessor, ever careful of so pleasing a sensation, will not suffer it to evaporate, but enjoys it with deliberate taste and reflection. The man who is really happy speaks little, and seldom laughs; he, as it were, contracts the circle of felicity around his heart. Solitude and silence are friends to true pleasure; tender emotions and tears are the companions of enjoyment. Rousseau.
Absurd presumption! Thou who never knew'st
We sow hopes and wishes, and wbat do we reap ?: Disappointments and inquietudema miserable barvest! And yet we repeat our useless labour; and thus perpetuate our vexation and sorrow. He is the most prudent man, who takes the world, as he finds it: who relishes its comforts, reconciles its crosses, and expects happiness only in superior regions.
Dr.Cotton. * The happiness of this life consists not in the repose of a mind satisfied; for there is no such thing as the finis ultima, or the summum bonum. A man can no more live, whose desires are at an end, than he whose senses and imagination are at a stand. Hobbes.
Happiness, object of that waking dream
- Ideal shade,
PRIOR, We pursue the happiness of the world, just as little children chase a bird. When we think we are come very near it, and have it almost in our reach, it flies farther from us than it was at first,
Tillotson. Why cannot I give you my experience? Why cannot I make you sensible of the melancholy that devours the great, and of, the difficalty they have to dispose of their time? Do not you see that I die of lowness of spirits, though possessed of a more splendid fortune than ever I had hoped to obtain; I have been young and handsome; I have tasted pleasures; I have been universally beloved:: in a more advanced age, I have passed some years in the participation of intellectual pleasures: I am now arrived at the summit of fortune ; and I assure you, that every condition leaves a horrid void in the soul,
Maintenon's Letters, All men would live happily, if they could; it is all our wish and design; but we know not what constitutes a happy life; we contigue, however, in a blind and eager pursuit of it, and by mistaking our way, the faster we hurry on, the farther we go wrong. It is to
be considered, therefore, in the first place, what it is we desire; and in the next, by what means it may be most speedily obtainede If we set out right at first, we shall find every day how much we improve, and get nearer the point which nature impels us to; but, if we idly wander about, following the noise and clamour of the disa sonant crowd, though we labour with the utmost assiduity, our life will be soon consumed in error and uncertainty; for which reason, it concerns us nearly, not only to examine what road we are to take, but also to follow the directions of some skilful guide, who has explored every footstep of the path ; for this journey is not like most others, where the high-way brings us soonest to our journey's end; and where we meet with inhabitants to apply to, that can set us right; but in this the beaten path is the most deceitful: let us not, therefore, follow like sheep, where one going wrong shall lead a whole flock astray. For it is one of the great evils of mankind, that we are all apt to form ourselves according to the vulgar choice, and live rather according to example than reason. The number of the multitude, rather willing to take everything upon trust, than exercise their judgment, carries it against truth and justice; for the question of a happy life is not to be decided by vote; and the plurality of voices amongst the common people is generally an argument of the wrong. Let us, therefore, consider what will give us possession of eternal felicity, not what is most customary, and approved of by the vulgar; when I mention the vulgar, I mean the ermined robe as well as the ploughman's frock, for I distinguish not the colour of the vest, nor judge the men by appearance, but by a more certain standard, the mind, which alone is the true index of the man.
Seneca's Morals. The happy man was born in the city of Regeneration, in the parish of Repentance unto life; he was educated at the school of Obedience, and now lives in the plain of Perseverance; he works at the trade of Diligence, notwithstanding he has a large estate in the county of Christian Contentment, and many times does jobs of Self-denial; he wears the garment of Humility, and has a better suit to put on when he goes to court, called the robe of Christ's Righteousness : he often walks in the valley of Self-abasement, and
such a one.
climbs the mountains of Spiritual-mindeduess ; he breakfasts on Prayer, and sups every evening on the same; he has meat to eat which the world knoweth not of, and bis drink is the sincere milk of the Word. Thus happy he lives, and happy he dies; happy is be who has the Gospel, submission in his will, due order in his affections, sound peace in his conscience, sanctifying grace in his soul, real divinity in his breast, true humility in his heart, the Redeemer's yoke on his neck, a vain world under his feet, a crown of glory over his head. Happy is the life and glorious is the death of
If then, reader, you would be the happy man, pray fervently, believe firmly, wait patiently, work abundantly, live holily, die daily, watch your heart, guide your senses, redeem your time, and long for glory.
He is the happy man, whose life e'en now
Perhaps this is a digression from the line of investigation ; yet, as the wisdom of the great Supreme is wonderfully displayed in this particular, I have thought proper to introduce it in this place.
Though some of the preceding particulars may not, stricty speaking, be called passims, yet as we know them by name, and also know, from experience, that they exist within, va have allotted them a place under this head.