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V.

the fteps that lead to it. Would we be DISC. eafy in our thoughts, and mafters of ourfelves; would we efcape from the tyranny of the most pernicious of paffions; would we poffefs a clear imagination, an undisturbed judgment, and an unruffled temper; would we perform all the focial offices with alacrity and pleasure; would we relish the comforts of life, and not feel the weight of its troubles; would we, in a word, enjoy ferenity and complacency of mind ourselves, and diffuse them around us, wherever we go? All these are the privileges of cheerfulness, and unanswerable reasons why we should cultivate that disposition in our own hearts, and prefs the neceffity of fo doing on all our acquaintance.

A third argument in favour of cheerfulnefs may be deduced from a furvey of the world in which we live, and in which we find things framed not only for neceffity, but pleasure; not only for ufe, but beauty. The lights which God hath " fet in the fir"mament of heaven, to divide the day from "the night, to be for figns, and for seasons,

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DISC. «for days, and for years," while they answer
all those purposes, according to his ordi-
nance, do, at the fame time, cheer and de-
light us, by their splendid appearance. The
bloffoms of the spring, which serve to pro-
tect the infant fruit; the glories of summer,
which mature and bring it to perfection;
and the riches with which autumn over-
fpreads the face of a country, contribute as
much to the fatisfaction of the beholder, as
they do to the husbandman's advantage.
The fame genial power which brings food
out of the earth for the nourishment of the
animals that walk upon it, arrays it in a co-
lour the most agreeable and refreshing to the
eye of man. And let any one, who walks
forth, at the
proper season of the year, to
contemplate the creation in its beauty; who
beholds the brightness of the fun, the clear-
ness of the sky, the verdure of the earth,
well watered paftures clothed with flocks,
valleys covered over with corn, and woods
refounding with the mufic of birds; let fuch
an one determine (to use the words of an
elegant and pious writer upon the subject)
"whether Providence defigned, this world
"fhould

V.

"should be filled with murmurs and repin- DISC. ings, or that the heart of man should be in"volved in gloom and melancholy"." Certainly the Pfalmift was of another opinion, whose description of the pleafing objects, with which nature abounds, may fupply their abfence, and make them present to our minds:

"He fendeth the springs into the valleys, "which run among the hills. They give "drink to every beaft of the field; the "wild affes quench their thirst. By them "shall the fowls of heaven have their habi

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tation, and fing among the branches. He "watereth the hills from his chambers; the "earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy "works. He caufeth the grafs to grow for

the cattle, and herb for the service of "man, that he may bring forth food out of "the earth; and wine that maketh glad the "heart of man, and oil to make his face "to shine, and bread which strengtheneth "man's heart." A furvey of creation drove away all fadness from the heart of David, and filled it with admiration, joy and glad

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nefs.

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DISC. nefs. "O Lord," fays he, "how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou "made them all; the earth is full of thy "riches!—I will fing unto the Lord, as long as I live; I will fing praise unto my "God, while I have my being. My medi"tation of him fhall be fweet; I will be "glad in the Lord." A refolution, so just and well founded, fuggefteth to us a

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Fourth argument on the behalf of a cheerful difpofition of mind, as it is a duty we owe to our Maker, who hath placed us in a world thus stocked with objects, capable of infpiring complacency and delight. For it was, doubtless, his intention, that, by contemplating the beauties and glories of the creation, we might be led to make suitable returns of gratitude and thankfulnefs to the Creator. But gloom and melancholy will never fuffer emotions like these to arife in a mind, of which they have taken poffeffion. Such a temper, therefore, when it is become a fixed and fettled one, appears not only to be to the laft degree inconvenient

V.

convenient and tormenting, but to have a DISC. manifest tincture of impiety. To receive the gifts of Heaven with a four aspect and a fullen filence, what is it but to throw them back, with difdain, to the bountiful Donor, declaring, that we will have none of them? It is the rebellious obftinacy of a wayward child, against the gracious offers of the moft indulgent of fathers. Whereas a cheerful ftate of mind (to use the words of the excellent writer before cited) is "a conftant "habitual gratitude to the great Author of "nature; an implicit praise and thanksgiving "to Providence under all it's difpenfations; a kind of acquiefcence in the state where" in we are placed, and a fecret approbation "of the divine will in it's conduct towards "man. The cheerfulness of heart which fprings up in us from the furvey of na"ture's works, is an admirable preparation "for gratitude. The mind has mind has gone a great

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way towards praise and thanksgiving, that "is filled with fuch a fecret gladnefs. A grateful reflection on the fupreme Caufe "who produces it, fanctifies it in the soul,

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