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ver us out of our distress. If, with the dif- DISC. ciples in the Gospel, we go to our Master, saying, Lord, fave us, we perish, he will, as he did then, arise, and rebuke the winds and the sea ; there will be a calm ; and we shall arrive in safety at the desired haven. Let us, therefore, conclude, by beseeching Almighty God, in the words of our most excellent church, that we, who by baptism were “ received into the ark of Christ's “ Church, being stedfast in faith, joyful
through hope, and rooted in charity, may “ so pass the waves of this troublesome “ world, that finally we may come to the “ land of everlasting life," where all the tossings and agitations of human affairs shall cease, or, as St. John expresses it, where there shall be « no more SEA."
THE BLESSING OF A CHEERFUL HEART.
PROV. XVII. Part of the 22d Verse.
A merry beart doth good like a medicine.
MONG the golden maxims delivered Disc.
out, for the direction of our moral conduct, by him, on whom it pleased God to bestow “ largeness of heart as the sand
upon the sea shore,” we meet with feveral, in different parts of the book of Proverbs, to the fame effect with that which hath been just now read.—~ Heaviness in “ the heart of a man maketh it stoop; but “a good word maketh it glad. A “ heart maketh a cheerful countenance; but " by sorrow of the heart the spirit is bro"ken. All the days of the afflicted are VOL. III.
DISC. “ evil ; but he that is of a merry heart
hath a continual feast. A merry heart “ doth good like a medicine ; but a broken
spirit drieth the bones.” To these parsages may be subjoined a very fine one from the book of Ecclefiafticus, written in the spirit and style of Solomon—" Give not “ over thy mind to heaviness, and afflict not
thyself in thine own counsel. The glad« ness of the heart is the life of man, and “ the joyfulness of a man prolongeth his
days. Love thine own soul, and comfort " thine heart, remove forrow far from thee: “ for forrow hath killed many, and there is “ no profit therein. Envy and wrath short
en the life, and carefulness bringeth age " before the time."
It is evidently intended, in these sentences, to discountenance a gloomy, discontented cast of mind, and to recommend, in it's stead, that habit of being pleased ourselves, and of pleasing others, which is best expressed, in English, by the word cheerfulness : I say
a Ecclus. XXX. 21.
babit, because herein it stands distinguished DISC. from those tranfient flashes of merriment, which are often succeeded by an answerable depression of spirits, and are therefore, by our author, in another place, compared to “ the crackling of thorns under a pot;" they blaze for a moment, and expire for ever; whereas cheerfulness is even and constant; though it blaze less, it warms more, and has been very properly called the sunshine of life.
The obligations we lie under to cultivate this happy temper of mind, affect us, some, as we are men; others, as we are Cbriftians.
The first argument in favour of cheerfulness shall be drawn from the eminent service it is capable of rendering to the body. What
powers the soul will possess, or how she will exert them, in a separate state, we cannot tell. During her union with the body, she makes use of it as an instrument, and is therefore much concerned to keep it in order, that her own operations may