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We must lay up treaşures somewhere—for ill betide the bosom that has notliing to love, nothing to anticipate, nothing to set the eye upon as the material of its happiness. Man, when he came forth from the hands of his Creator, was formed to enjoy-enjoyment was a part of his very nature, and essential, perhaps, to his existence here. If he cannot have it, or cannot hope it, or is not at least within the possible reach of it, he pines away and dies, or, in rank despair, puts an end to an existence he cannot endure without it. Well may that state where enjoyment is not, and cannot come, be termed the region of everlasting death—for without enjoyment there is not life, however there may be existence. The sources of this enjoyment, of whatever kind it may be, are the treasures here spoken of. Some we must have, real or imaginary, possessed or expected--if they are sufficient to our nature's demands, we are happy-from their insufficiency proceeds all that want of happiness so perceptible in the world at large, so deeply felt in the bosom of every individual in it. In Paradise the treasures whence man might draw his happiness, were innocence in himself, favour and communion with God, love to each other, and all the countless sources of enjoyment still so abundant in the created world, without the alloy that sin has intermixed with them. And amply sufficient were they for his spirits' most prodigal expenditure--he could not exhaust them, however much greater his powers of enjoyment may possibly have been than ours. When innocence was lost, and the favour of God was lost, and communion with him was interrupted, man was fain to take up with what remained; and ever since, regenerating grace and celestial hope apart, has laid up his treasures upon earth. Enjoyment is as needful to him as before-but the treasury house, alas! is small and ill-secure. It matters little what our portion in life may be; for there seems to be as much diversity in our powers of enjoyment as in our means of gratifying them. The treasures of the
ferez sentir interieurement n'être qu'une recherche de moi-même. Quand je me sentirai porté à faire làdessus quelque sacrifice, je le ferai gaiement. J'agirai avec confiance comme un enfant qui joue entre les bras de sa mère; je me réjouirai devant le Seigneur; je tacherai de rejouir les autres. Loin de moi donc, O mon Dieu, cette sagesse triste et craintive qui se ronge toujours la balance en main pous peser des atomes, de peur de rompre ce jeûne interieur. Vous voulez qu'on vous aime uniquement; voilà sur quoi tombe votre jalousie : mais quand on vous aime, vous laissez agir librement l'amour, et vous voyez bien ce qui vient véritablement de lui. Je jeûnerai donc, O mon Dieu, de toute volonté qui n'est point la vôtre; mais je jeûnerai par amour dans la liberté et dans l'abondance de mon
SAVIOUR'S SERMON ON THE MOUNT.
LECTURE THE SIXTEENTH.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where
moth and rust do corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal : but lay up for yourselves tredsures in heaven, where neither meth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light-but if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is within thee be darkness, how great is that darkthey shall be bereaved. The treasure-house may be full of honour, and full of pleasure, and full of hope—but the breath of mischief may attaint the honour, satiety may make the pleasure loathsome, time may change the hope to sickening disappointment: the regrets of yesterday corrupt the pleasures of to-day, the fears of the fature consume the possessions of the present: the larger the treasury is, the more difficult it is to fill-and when it is at the fullest, it is the most likely to be robbed. There are some who fancy they can buy up for themselves a substance more enduring, and less exposed to the casualties of life--the treasures of intellectual enjoyment, the independence of an elevated mind, the indifference to little things that may attach to spirits occupied with great onesthese are what philosophy will tell us are the incorruptible treasures of moral existence. But if they have tried them, they should know, that these too are as insufficient as all the rest. The elevation of the mind puts it farther from the reach of happiness, the enlargement of it makes it more impossible to satisfy. Little things will not do, and great things are not to be had the mind has recovered so much of its godlike nature, it can no longer feed itself on sensual gratifications, but the soil it dwells upon will bear no other harvest. It flutters its wings and feels that it could fly, but finds the atmosphere too light. Disgust, and weariness, and contempt come into the store-house—he cannot escape the sorrows of earth though he may distaste its joys—the greater refinement of the mind makes it but the more susceptible of ill. And the end-it is one to the wise man and the fool the eagle that soars highest must come down again, and finally lie buried with the worm.
. But what does it avail to tell us this? At the beginning of life we may not know it—but at the end of life, when we must know it, it makes no difference; and we see the aged as busy with their residue of treasure, as anxious and as watchful, as if they had not seen for fifty, sixty, seventy years the moth and rust consume it as if
they did not know that in a few years more the last great thief must take it. The reason is plain : they have no other treasures, and therefore must lay up on earth such store of enjoyment as they may; and the smallness of the remnant makes it but even the more precious.
Religion, the revelation of God's will and of man's destination, alone can change the case; and while it convicts the world of folly, instructs the wise where they may lay up for themselves a store of more permanent and sufficiert good; and in the full light of this glad discovery, if man still continues to prefer possession so unworthy and corruptible, he becomes answerable for his folly and guilty of his own misery. “ Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and thieves do not break through nor steal.”
Expectation is often sufficient to supply the lack of present enjoyment even here, where all things in expectation are uncertain; but where an anticipated good can be made certain, we are wont to despise for its sake every lesser good that intervenes. It is not true, therefore, that the remoteness of heavenly bliss makes it ineffectual to satisfy our natural desires of enjoyment. The man who at a given period, be it months, be it years, knows that he is to be put in possession of the object of his supreme desire, is satisfied in the interval-if
thing pleasant comes across him, he is in the humour to enjoy -it; but it is not essential to his happiness, because that is fixed on the point in prospect-if any thing unpleasant occurs, he feels it, of course; but it does not permanently impair his happiness, unless it affect the ultimate object of his wishes. We know that this is so; and more than this, that a mere phantom of distant good, when the heart is set upon it, will lead a man through dangers, and difficulties, and sacrifices, to the total disregard of all present indulgence and that with a foot as willing and a heart as light, as the sportsman scrambles over moss and moor in pursuit of the game that flies him: the fear of losing his phantom, is the only real sorrow he is conscious
of; and it may be doubted whether this exact situation is not the happiest that earth, of its own proper fund, can afford us.
How is it then that the anticipation of eternal blessedness supplies to mankind in general so little alleviation of their condition here? A prospect so brilliant, so certain, perhaps so near--perfect, perpetual. Say that we do not know what heaven means we know what happiness means; and we know that when we are happy, it is of little importance, as to the enjoyment, whence it is derived; if, therefore, heaven is happiness, what does it signify what heaven means? The just solution of this wonder is, that we do not believe there is a treasure there, or if there is, that it is laid
And we judge rightly in that latter doubt; for while we continue in this state of mind, there is none that we can hold secure, none that would suit us if we had it; for if it be true that where the treasure is, there will the heart be also, it is equally true, that where the heart is, there will the treasure be. Our hearts are upon the earth-we choose the things of earth, because we like them best --and we like them best, because they are most like ourselves--gross, sensual, and corruptible. In our nataral state, were heaven in possession and earth in reversion, we should forsake the one to go after the other. The eye is not single, that it should see the good--the light is darkness and cannot disclose it. The innate corruption of our nature and its total degradation from its first state of truth and innocence, has extended itself to our tastes, perceptions, and desires, so that we choose every thing amiss. When the eye, that is the organ of our body's light, is in a healthful state, we see every thing as it really is—we perceive justly the resemblances and differences of things—we see our way and see our object. But if the eye become diseased and the vision obscured, then we mistake of every thing—we mistake our way, confuse our object, take one thing for another, and are perpetually deceived in our judgment and deluded