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follies, that embroil human life: he creates no evil to himself, nor provokes any unneceslary danger. His virtue effectually does that, which atheism attempts in vain; dispels the terror of an invisible power: he needs not drown the voice of conscience by wine, or noise, or the toil of life; it speaks nothing to him, but what is kind and obliging; it is his comforter, not his persecutor: and as to this world, he reaps that satisfaction and tranquillity from the moderation of his affections, which ambition and avarice do in vain promise themselves from preferments, or the increase of wealth. If therefore there were any state on this side heaven exempt from evil, it must be that of the perfect man. But he knows the world too well to flatter himself with the expectation of indolence, or an undisturbed tranquillity here below; and is as far from being deluded by vain hopes, as from being scared by vain fears, or tortur'd and distended by vain des res. He knows the world has its evils, and that they cannot wholly be avoided; he knows it, and dares behold them with open eyes, survey their force, and feel and try their edge. And then, when he has collected his own strength, and called in the aid of heaven, he shrinks not, nor desponds; but meets evil with that courage, and bears it with that evenness of mind, that he seems, even in his

affliction, nearer to indolence, than the fooland finner in his prosperity\ So that I cannot forbear professing, there appears so much beauty, so much loveliness in the deportment of the perfect man, with respect to the evils of life, that for that reason alone, were there no other, I should admire and prefer his virtue above any possession or enjoyment of life. Give me leave to compare the faint and sinner on this occasion; and but very briefly: The wise man's eyes, faith Solomon, Ecclef. ii. 14. are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness. The wife man fees that he has enemies, I mean evils; and therefore he informs himself well of their strength, observes their motion, and prepares for the encounter: but ignorance and stupidity is the greatest blessing of the sinner's life; and his most admired quality is not to be apprehensive of evil, till it crush him with its weight. But if the sinner be not fool enough to arrive at this degree of brutality; then as soon as the report of the most distant evil, or the most inconsiderable, reaches his ear, how it fills his imagination, how it shakes his heart, and how it embitters his pleasures! and to what poor and despicable arts, to what base and dishonourable shifts does his fear force him? when on the fame occasion we discover nothing in the perfect man, but a beautiful mixture of humility and faith, devotion and confidence or assurance in God; He is not afraid of evil tidings; his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord, Psal. cxii. a frame of spirit, which, to those who have opportunity and sense to observe it, renders him both more beloved and revered. Lastly, If we consider the wicked and the good maty actually under the weight and pressure of evil, how much unlike is the state of the one in reality to that of the other, even while the outward circumstances are the fame? what chearfulness, what courage, what resignation, what hopes adorn trie one! what instruction to all, what satisfaction to his friends and relations does his deportment afford! and how does it inspire and warm the breasts of those that converse with him, with an esteem for, and love of goodness, and himself! what charm, what delight is there in those gracious speeches, that proceed at this time out of a good man's mouth! / know that my Redeemer liveth: the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away, andblest'ed be the name of the Lord: thou of very faithfulness hast caused me to be affliSled: God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever: and such like. And how often does he pour out his heart in secret before God! how often does he reflect on the gracious and wife ends of divine chastisement! and F how

how often does he, with defire and thirst, meditate on that fulness of joy which ex

{>ects him in the presence of God! but et us cast our eye now on the voluptuary^ on the ambitious, on the covetous, or any other sort of finner, under disgrace^ poverty, sickness, or any such calamity; what a mean and despicable figure does such a one make! what impatience, what despondency, what guilt, what pusillanimity does every word, every action betray! or it may be, his insolence is turned into crouching and fawning; his rudeness and violence, into artifice and cunning; and his irreligion, into superstition. Various indeed are the humours, and very different the carriage of these unhappy men in the day of try al; but all is but mi-, sery in a different dress ; guilt and baseness under a different appearance. Here I might Further remark, that that faith which produces patience in adversity, produces likewise security and confidence in prosperity.I will lay me down (may every good man say in the words of the Psalmist) and sleep, and rise again, for thou, Lord,shalt make me dwell in safety. And surely the one is as serviceable to the ease of human life as the other. But I think I have said enough to shew, that if pleasure be supposed to imply no more than indolence, the perfeSl man has without controversy a far greater>


share of it than any other can pretend to.

But let us take pleasure to be, not a mere calm, but a gentle breeze; not to consist in! mere rest and quiet, but a delightful motion; not in the mere tranquillity of , the mind, but in the transport of it, or something nearly approaching it. Perfection, I ani confident, will suffer nothing by this change of the notion ofpleasure. How many pleasures has the wise man, which depend not on fortune, but himself (I mean, his diligence and integrity) and to which the finner is an utter stranger! what pleasure, what triumph is equal to that of the perfect man, when he glories in God, and makes his boast of him all day long? when he rejoyces in the Lord with joy unspeakable and full of glory? when being filled with all the fulness of God, transported by a vital fense of divine love, and strengthened and exalt* ed by the mighty energy of the spirit of adoption, he maintains zfellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus? All communion with God, consists in this joy of love and assurance, and has a taste of heaven in it. Let the most fortunate, and the wisest Epicurean too, ransack all the store-houses and treasures of nature; let him muster together all his legions of pleasure, and let him, if he can, consolidate and incorporate them all; and after F 2 all,

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