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finite workings of the Soul, those innumerable Thoughts, Imaginations, Remembrances, Willings, Hatings, Desirings and Aversations, Hopes, Fears, Joys and Sorrows,that cross and cut one another in endless Rencounters ; in a Word, that the whole motion of the Soul is nothing else but one general Concern, one various Thought, about Happinefs. This is the Result of all that passes within the Soul, hither all her Motions and Operations tend.5 which is a plain sign that 'tis this that first fets her on work, and is the principle of all her Motion. And indeed how can it otherwise be, but that the desire of Happiness, which is the natural Bias of every Soul, should beget and excite in us a Thoughtfulness concerning it, and the Means whereby it may be attained?
But althoʻour Thoughts take their first and neceffary Rise frorn the natural desire of Happiness, as a Clock does its motion from the weight that hangs on it; yet so far do they degenerate from their Original, as to be themselves the cause of all our Misery. For the whole Misery of Man is resolvible into Pain and Grief; and both these are caused by our Thoughts. As for Pain, 'tis certain that is the Soul alone that feels it; (as being the true seat of all Sensation,) and that 'tis by its Thoughtfulness that it does so ; for indeed Pain it self is nothing else but a disagreeable Modification of the Soul,an uneafie Thought occasioned by some outward Bodily impression : But that is only the remote occasion; 'tis to our Thinking that we dire&tly owe all our Pain. For let the impression
made upon the Body be never so dolorifick or apt to excite Pain; yet if you will suppose the Soul either not to think at all,or to have its Attention wholly withdrawn from the supposed impression, and intirely fix'd and ingaged upon some other Object, there will be no such thing as that troublesom sensation we call Pain ; as by experience we find, in Men that either are in a deep Sleep that wholly filences their Thoughts, or in a Trance or Extasie that strongly diverts them. Accordingly we have Two Methods of dealing with Men in Pain, either by casting them into a deep Sleep or Stupor, or by what we call Divertisement; by which it clearly appears that our Thinking is the true cause of all our Pain.. As it is also
Secondly, Of all our Grief.'Tis I confefs ftrange, that the Soul of Man which fo infinitely loves it self and whose whole Inclination is to Happiness, should be its own Tormentor , and yet 'tis moft certain, that all those innumerable Troubles and Disquiets, whereby her natural Rest and Tranqui, lity is broken and disturb’d, arise from her own Thoughts. As there will be the Hell of Wicked Spirits hereafter, so they are the present Rack and Affliction of the Soul here; and all the uneasiness that the either feels and complains of in her self,! or pities in others, is derived from them. For indeed our Joy and our Grief, as contrary as they are, both in themselves, and in their effects, proceed from one and the same general Principlezand are like Two Grafts of a contrary kind, that grow upon one and the fame Stock; they are both
born within our felves, and proceed from our Thoughts.
From whence else should our Grief proceed ? It cannot come from any thing without the Soul; for that which is without the Soul, 'cannot act upon it, consequently cannot any wife affect it, and consequently cannot grieve or punish it. It must be therefore from something within the Sout; and what can that be, but her own Thoughts These therefore are the Instruments of her Difquiet ; nothing of all that is either thought, said, or done in the World, can have any direct and immediate influence upon my Soul ; she can only suffer by her own Thoughts. The Thoughts of other Men may indeed impress certain Motions upon their own Bodies, and those Motions may be communicated to other Bodies, and this may work a change in external Nature ; but what is all this to my Mind? And so again the Words and Actions of Men, may make an alteration either in the Political or the Natural state of things; but still how is my Mind concern'd in all this, any otherwise than as she is pleased to interest her self in it, and to take an occasion from this to vex and afilict her self by her own Thought, by those uneasie Reflections she passes upon either the Motions of the Natural, or the Events of the Moral World. This is that which truly wounds and pierces her, all other things drop short and cannot reach her. Vi
Bur to let in a little more light upon this, by an Instance ; Suppose I hear of some ill Report
concerning me, something spoken to my disadvantage' ; 'tis most certain that this is a thing wholly without me, and intirely separated from me; and therefore of it self can have no manner of effect upon me, so as to make me really better or worse, more happy or more miserable ; how comes it to pass then, that I am troubled at such a Report? What does the Report do to me, or upon me? Does it of it self immediately and directly wound or hurt my Soul ? No, it does not so much as touch it, as being altogether without it, and separate from it. How then come I to be disturb'd about it, but only because tho that be really separate from me, yet my Soul fantastically joins with it, and by a false imagination, takes it for a real evil; and fo disturbs her self with her own Fancy. The thing in it self can be no real evil to my Soul, becaule 'tis without me, and I am not really the worse for ir but I give it the Appearance of an evil, and make an imaginary union with it in my own fancy, and so vex and discompose my self : So that ?tis not the ill Report that goes concerning me, but my Fantastical Opinion about it, that gives the Trouble and the Disturbance. And the like may be conceived in all other cases. lay the Blame, and we generally do, upon things without, upon this or that Affront, or this or that cross Accident; but upon
due examination it will be found, that we must come nearer home for the Authors of our Discontent, and that they that trouble us are of our own Family, and
are no other than our own Thoughts. So that now if a Man should put himself that Question of the Psalmist, Why art thou so troubled, O Soul, and why art thou so disquieted within me? The Answer is ready, thy Trouble is from thy
self, they are thy own Thoughts that disquiet 6.132 thee.
And having thus opened the true Fountain of all our grief and uneasiness, I come now to apply the Remedy; which we need not go far to seek, since the very next Clause of the Text directs us to it. And 'tis a Remedy that is as near us as the Disease, for in the multitude of my Thoughts within me, thy Comforts delight my Soul. When my own Thoughts trouble and discompose me, then thy Comforts refresh and relieve me. So that the Divine Comforts are the proper Cure and Remedy of all that Sadness and discomposure of Mind, which is occasion'd by our own Thoughts : The Divine Comforts ; by which,I
suppose,we may aptly enough understand these 6.162.1. The Chearing and Refreshing Influences of
the Holy Spirit.
2. The Joys and Satisfactions of Devotion, and a Religious Life.
3. The Considerations of the Nature and Perfections of God.
All thefe,I think,may very properly come within the notion of Divine Comforts; as being either such as proceed directly from God, or which result from the Service we do to him, or which