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latter/ I consider as an a'ct, the former/ as a lorb'it-of-themind. Mir'th is sho'rt and tranʼsient ; cheerfulness fi'xed and per'manent. Those are often raised into the greatest transports of mi'rth, who are su bject/ to the greatest depressions of me'lancholy : on the con trary, che'erfulness (though it does not give the mind such an ex'quisite gla'dness) prevents us from falling into any de pths-of-so'rrow. Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks through a gloom of clou'ds, and glitters for a moment; che'erfulness keeps up a kind of day'light in the mi'nd, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.
Men of austere prin'ciples/ look upon m'irth as too wa’nton and diss'olute for a state of prob’ation, and as filled with a certain triumph and in solence of h'eart, that are inconsistent with a li'fe which i's/ every mo'ment/ obno‘xious to the greatest dan gers. Writers of this complexion have observed, that the SACRED Pe'rson, who was the GREAT PATTERN of perfection, was never seen'/ to laugh.
Cheerfulness of mind) is not liable to any of these exc'eptions: it is of a se'rious and compo'sed-nature ; it does not throw the m'ind/ into a condition, improper for the present sta'te of hum’anity; and is very conspicuous/ in the characters of thoʻse/ who are looked up'on/ as the greatest philo'sophers/ among the He'athens, as well as among tho'se/ who have been deservedly esteem'ed/ as sain'ts/ and hoʻly-men/ among Christians.
If we consider cheerfulness in three lig'hts, with regʻard to our'selves, to th'ose/ we converse' with, and, to the great Author of our besing, * it will not a little recommend it'self/ on each'-of-these-accounts. The man/ who is possessed of this' excellent frame of mi’nd, is not only easy in his thoʻughts, but a perfect mas'ter of all the po'wers and fă culties of his sou'l: his imagina'tion is always cle’ar, and his judgʻment/ undistur'bed : his tem'per is e'ven and unr'uffled, whe'ther in ac'tion or in solitude. He comes with a re'lish/ to all those goods/ which n'ature has provided-for-him, tastes all the pleasures of the creation, which are poʻured upon him, and does not feel the full weight of those accidental e’vils/ which may-befa'll-him.
if we consider him in relation to the persons whom he converses with, /it naturally produces lov'e and good-wi'll to
* When any of the various appellations of the Deity occur in reading, the voice should assume a solemn and reverential tone.
wards him. A cheerful mi'nd/ is not only disposed to be a'ffable and obli'ging, but raises the same good humour in tho'se/ who come within its influence. A man finds himself ple'ased (he does not know w'hy) with the cheer fulness-of-his-companion : it is like a sudden sun'shine, that awakens a sacred delight in the mi'nd, without her attending-to-it. The heart rejoi ces of its own acc'ord, and naturally flows out into fri'endship and benev'olence/ towards the p'erson who has so kindly an effect-upon-it.
When I consider this cheerful state of mind/ in its third relation, I cannot but loʻok-upon-it/ as a con'stant, habitual gra'titude/ to the Au'thor of na'ture. An inward cheeʼrfulness/ is an implicit praise and than'ksgiving to Pro'vidence/ under a'll its dispensations. It is a kind of acquies'cence in the sta'te/ wherei'n we are placed, and a secret approba'tion-of the Divine w'ill, in his con'duct/ towards man'.
A ma'n/ who uses his best endeav'ours/ to live according-to the dictates of vir'tue and right rea'son, has two perpe'tualsources of cheer'fulness, (in the consideration of his own na'ture, and of that Be'ing/ on whom he has a depen'dance.) If he looks into him'self
, he cannot but rejoice in that exi'stence/ which is so late'ly bestowed upon him, and whi'ch (a'fter millions of a'ges) will be sti'll new, and still in its begin ning. How many self-congratulat'ions/ naturally rise in the mind, when it refle'cts/ on thi's/ its en trance into eternity, when it takes a view of those improveable fa'culties, which in a few ye’ars (and even at its first setting out) have made so considerable a progress, and whi`ch/ will be still receiving an increase of perfe'ction, and, coʻnsequently, an in'crease of hap'. PINESS !* *The con'sciousness-of-such-a-being/+ spreads a perpetual diffusion of joy/ through the soul of a v'irtuous-man, and makes him look upon himself every mo'ment/ as more h'appy/ than he knows ho'w/ to conce'ive.
The se'cond source-of-cheerfulness to a good-mind is its considera'tion of that B'eing, o'n whom we have our depe'ndance, and in 'whom (though we behold him as y'et but in
* Nouns ending in ness should have the e carefully sounded, and the termination should not be pronounced niss, as we too frequently hear it. The same rule should be observed in the pronunciation of nouns ending
† It will be observed, as in other similar combinations, that “consciousness-of-such-a-being” is one Rhetorical word, with the accent upon
the first, faint-discoveries of his perfections) we see e'verything/ that we can ima’gine/ as great, glofrious, or amiable. We find ourselves every where upheld by his goo'dness, and sur'rounded/ with an immensity of lo've and mercy. In sho'rt/, we depend upon a Be'ing, whose po'wer qualifies him to make us happy'l by an infin'ity of means', whose go'odness and tru'th/ engage him to make those hap py/ who des'ire-it-of-him, and whose unchang'eableness' will secure us/ in this ha'ppiness to all eternity.*
TILLOTSON. Tr'uth and sincer'ity have all the adva'ntages of appearance, and m’any more. If the sho'w of any thi’ng/ be good for any thi’ng, I am sure the reality is better; for/ why does any man disse'mble, or seem to be that/ which he i’s-not, but because he thinks it go'od/ to have the qua’lities/ he pretends to ? For/ to cou'nterfeit and to dis'semble, is to put on the appe'arance of some re'al excellency. No'w, the best way for a man to se'em to be any thing, is re'ally-to-be' what he would see'm-to-be. Besi'des, it is often as troublesome to support the prete'nce of a good qu'ality, as to have' it ; and, if a man have it n'ot, it is most likely he will be discovered to waînt it, and the’n/ all his la'bour/tó se'em-to-have-it, is lost'. (There is something unnatural in painting, which a skilful-eye/ will easily disce'rn from native beauty and complex'ion.)
It is hard to peʼrsonate and act' a part lo'ng ; for/ where truth is not at the boʻttom, nature will always be endeavouring to retu’rn, and will betra'y herself/ at one ti'me or oth'er. The'refore, if any man think it conven'ient to see'm good, let him be so indeed, and then his goodness will appe'ar to every one's satisfac'tion ; for/ tru'th is convincing, and carries its own li’ght and e'vidence alo'ng with it, and, will not only comme'nd us/ to every man's con'science, bu't (which is much moʻre) to God, who se'archeth our hear'ts. a'll acco'unts sinc'erity is tru'e-wisdom. Parti'cularly/ as to
So that upon
* Such a tone and modulation should be employed when a lesson is about to be finished, as to show the hearer (without his being told) that the subject is drawing to a close.
the affairs of thi's world, integrity/ hath many advan'tages over all the artificial modes of dissimula'tion and dece'it. It is much the pla'iner and eas'ier, much the safer and more secu'reway) of de’aling in the woʻrld; it has less of trou'ble and difficulty, of entan'glement and perplexity, of dan'ger and haz'ard-in-it; it is the shoʻrtest and nearest way to our e'nd, carʻrying us thi ther/ in a straight li'ne, and will hold o'ut, and last lon gest. The arts of deceit/ continually grow w'eaker, and less effec'tual to tho'se/ that practise them; whereas, inte'grity/ gains str'ength by us'e, and the mor'e and lon'ger any man prac'tiseth it, the greater ser'vice it do‘es him, by confirming his reputaʼtion, and encouraging tho‘sel with whom he hath to do', to repose the greatest con'fidence in hism, which is an unspeakable advan'tage in buʼsiness, and the affai’rs of life.
A dissembler must always be upon his gu'ard, and watch himself care fully, that he do not contradict his own prete'nsions; (for he acts an unna'tural part, and, the'refore, must put a continual force and restra'int upon him'self.) Where'as, he that acts sincerely, hath the easiest ta'sk in the world ; because he follows na'ture, and is put to no trou'ble and ca’re/ about his woʻrds and actions ; he needs not invent any pretences before-hand, or make excuses af'terwards, for any thing/he has sa'id/ or don'e ;
But, insincerity* is very troublesome to ma'nage; a h’ypocrite/ hath so ma'ny-things to atte’nd to, as make his life a very perple'xed and intricate thing. A liar/ hath need of a good me'mory, lest he contradict at on'e-time what he said at another; but tru'th/ is always consistent with it'self, and needs no'thing/ to he'lp it out; it is always near at ha'nd, and sits upon our li'ps ; whereas a lie is trou'blesome, and needs a great many moʻre to make it good.
A'dd to all this, that sinceʼrity/ is the most compendious wi'sdom, and an excellent instrument/ for the speedy dispa'tch of bu'siness. It creates confidence in those we have to dea'l with, saves the labour of many inq'uiries, and brings things to an is'sue/ in few wo'rds. It is like travelling in a pla'in, bea'tenroad, which commonly brings a man sooner to his journey's en d/ than by-w'ays, in whi'ch/ men often lo'se-themselves. In
Insincerity," like “inconvenience,”', requires the rising circumfler. See page 5 of “ Introductory Outline.”
a word, whatever conve’nience may be thought 'to be in falsehood and dissimula'tion, it is soon o'ver; but, the inconvenienceof-it/ is perpetual,* because it brings a man under an everlasting jea'lousy and sus’picion, so that he i's-not-believed/ when he speaks tru'th, nor tru'sted/ when/ perba'ps/ he means honestly. When a man hath once forfeited the reputa'tion of his inte grity, nothing will the'n serve bis tu'rn, neither tru'th nor false'hood.
Indee'd, if a man were only to deal in the woʻrld for a da'y, and should never have occasion/ to converse moʻre with mankind, never more need their good opini'on or good woʻrd, it were then no great mat'ter (as far as respects the affairs of this'-world) if he spent his reputation all at onc'e, and ven'tured it/ at one thr'ow ;-b’ut, if he be to continue-in-the-world, and would have the advantage of reputation/ while he is i'n it, let him make use of truth and sinceʼrity/ in all his wor'ds and ac'tions ; for/ nothing but thi's/ will hold out to the end. All other ar'ts may fail, but tru'th and integ'rity/ will carry a man thr'ough, and bear him ou't, to the last'.
CHARACTER OF QUEEN ELIZABETH.
There are few pe'rsonages/ in hi`story/ who have been more expo'sed/ to the ca'lumny of e'nemies, and the a'dulation of frie'nds, than Queen Eliza'beth, and yet there scarce is an'y/ whose reputation/ has been more certainly dete' rmined/ by the unanimous conse'nt of poste'rity. The unusual le'ngth of her administra'tion, and the strong features of her character, were a'ble/ to overco'me all prejudices; a'nd, obliging her detractors to abate mu'ch of their inve'ctives, and her admiʻrers/ somewhat of their panegy’rics, have, at laʼst, (in spite of political factions, and, wh'at is moʻre, of religious animo'sities), produced a uniform ju’dgment/ with regard to her co'nduct. Her vi'gour, her coʻnstancy, her magnani'mity; her penetra'
* The rising circumflex () is required at “inconvenience.” This circumflex begins with the falling inflexion and ends with the rising upon the same syllable ; and while it imparts to the word upon which it is placed a peculiarly significant emphasis, it seems to twist the voice upwurds. See page 5.