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Stage of our Life, as our Years and Thoughts ripen and improve, we cast away several Diverfions as insipid to our maturer Sentiments, which before, when we thought and understood less, afforded us great entertainment. That will serve to divert the Mind of a Fool, which will hardly ingage the Notice of a Wise Man; and the former will laugh extravagantly at that which from the later will hardly draw a Smile. The truth is, we out-grow our Pleasures, as we do our Cloaths; and the Objects of our Delight and Complacency, lessen and decrease, as we improve in Reason and Experience; which,by discovering to us more and more of the World's Vanity, makes us more and more Dead to it, and out of Love 1 with it. .
It does fo; but in the mean while, what are we Gainers by the Bargain? We are indeed awaken’d, but 'tis from a pleasant Dream ; our Eyes are opened, but 'tis to discern our Nakedness we are wise to our own Cost, and are by our greater Knowledge robb'd of our Content. That which prop'd up and sustained our Souls before, now fails and links under us; and leaves us longing and reaching, and with pain hanging in a valt Emptiness. And what a strange fall of the Soul must this be, when all her Worldly Props and Stays are taken away under her, and she has; nothing left to repose her self on, and take Pleasure in ! What a horrible Hunger, what a Depri
vation, what a Poverty, what a Desolation, . what a dismal Solitude, what an Annihilation
must there needs insue, something like that of Death, which breaks off all the ties of the Soul to the Creation, and separates her from all delightsom intercourse, with sensible Objects! And what a miserable state of Barrenness and Privation must this be, and what shall the Thoughtful and Contemplative Man do in such a wild Emptiness? The whole Creation fails and links under him, and he is not able to be his own Center; he must then sink down too into the depths of Sorrow and Despair, without Remedy or Hope of it; and be of all the Creatures upon the Earth the most miserable, (and that for no other fault, but for being more Wise and Difcerning:) Were it not that there is a God to supply the defect of the Creature; were it not, that he could rest the weight of his Soul upon him, when his other Props are withdrawn from him; were it not that he could take Sanctuary in the Divine Fullness, when his more intent Thoughts have utterly convinc'd hiin of the World's Emptiness; and were
able to say here with the Psalmist, In the multi** tude of my Thoughts within me, thy Comforts de
light my Soul. .'. ! We have in the words, the Original, and the Cure of all the Sadness and Melancholy that is in the World. The Original of all Human Sorrow, is our own Thoughtfulnéfs, or the multitude of our Thoughts. The Cure and Remedy for this, is the Consolation of God, or the Divine Comforts; for, In the multitude of my Thoughts with. in me, thy Comforts delight my Soul ; wherein
the Psalmist may be supposed to speak to this effect, When my Blood and Spirits, those Natu, ral Springs of the Soul, are strongly touch'd and mightily set on work by sensible Impressions, and my Mind by reason of their quick and various Motion,Callies out into a multitude of Thoughts and when those Thoughts make me Tad and heaa, vy, anxious and solicitous; as presenting to my view my own weakness and infirmity, and the universal vanity of all those seeming Props and Stays, upon which-my deluded Soul was apt to. lean; the many great Calamities of Life, and the , much greater Terrors of Death, the known Miseries of the Present State, and the Darkness and uncertainty of the Future,still urging me with fresh Arguments of Sorrow, and opening new and new Scenes of Melancholy till my Soul begins to faint and sink under the Burthen she has laid upon her self: When I am thus Thoughtful, and thus Sora ropful, have thought my self into a pensive frame of Spirit, and looked so long againft the Light. as to darken and benight my Mind; then it is, my God, that I feel the relief of thy Divine Re freshments, and find my self supported and born up by the strong Tide of thy Suavities and Consolations, and revived by fresh Incomes of Life which raise up my drooping Head, strike a Light in my Soul, and make me not only dismiss, but
even forget that Sorrow and Melancholy, which · my Thoughtfulness had brought upon me. So 'that here are two great and very important Concernments of Man pointed out and describ'd, the I 2
true Cause and the only Remedy of all his Sorrow: The Cause within himself, his own Thoughts ; the Remedy in God, the Divine Comforts.
And first, to begin with the Cause of Human Sorrow, our own Thoughtfulness, or the Multitude of our Thoughts within us. But here it is first of all supposed, that. Man is a Thoughtful Creature and has a multitude of Thoughts that pass within him ;and so indeed he has: Thought
fulness is inseparable at least from a waking Soul, · 'tis at once the Priviledge and the Disease of it; ,, and there is no Man but who thinks a great deal,
tho' there be but a very few that think to any
set his Thoughts on work, and imploy them in contriving means whereby this Happiness may be attained. Hang but a weight upon a Clock, that has the due inward composure of Springs and Wheels, and it will immediately put it into Motion. Now the Power and Capacity of Thinking in Man, answers to the inner Composure of the Clock; these are the Intellectual Springs and Wheels; and the inclination to Happiness answers to the Weight that is hanged on it, and gives it actual motion. So that the general desire of Happiness being added to a Creature that has already all the Power and Capacity of Thinking, makes him think actually; after the same manner, as the weight upon a Clock, whose Springs and Wheels are duly order'd and disposed for motion, immediately sets it a going. "Here is the first Principle o of all that infinite motion, that is in the Soul of Man; it all derives it self from this one Fountain, the general desire of Happiness; were it not for which, there would be an universal Rest and Silence throughout the Soul, the intellectual frame would stand still, as a Clock does when its Weights are taken off : But as long as this Weight presses, the Motion continues. For indeed the general desire of Happiness is the proper weight ) of the Soul, the great Arterial Pulfe of Human Nature, that awakens and stirs up its Dormant Powers, and quickens the whole Rational frame into Life and Motion.
And accordingly if we reflect upon what passes withịn our selves, we shall find that all those in