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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 any 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

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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, beaven 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 up for us. 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 the place of deposit of their own preferring. Things are proposed to them that do not decay, and cannot be purloined, but they like the other better.

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THE LISTENER.-No. XXIX. My readers may, I fear, become weary of a subject that has loitered unsuccessfully through three or four papers, with no better result than that of proving, what might scarcely need a proof, that a great many people talk of what they do not understand, or reproach others with the wrong themselves unwittingly commit. Lest this should be, I propose, like other narrators, to tack a moral to my tale, by way of conclusion, and so abandon it. My object was not, as may have seemed, to prove every body in the wrong—but rather to exhibit the various modes of inconsistency, that, perceiving it and applying it, each one may correct their own. Some have said to us, why expose the faults and inconsistencies of those whose principles are good, and bring on religion the reproach of all the inconsistencies of those who profess it? Let the shame be to the creature and the glory to the Creator--what is good in us is his, what is evil is our own. But if it be true that these things exist, and that they are inconsistencies, shall we say—shall we leave it to others to say for us, that what in the careless and the earthly-minded we should condemn as faults,

in those who profess more seriousness and devotion we can gloss over and disown? It was said of one of old, that it was easier to believe that drunkenness was not a vice, than that he should be guilty of one.

Far be from Christianity the adoption of such a heathenish principle. Rather say the spot is the blacker for the brightness of the surface on which it is seen the stain the darker for the purity of the garment it pollutes : it seems so, and it

If we are ashamed of it, as well indeed we may, let us efface it, clean it, wipe it out-but not deny that

is so.

does not call upon them to denude themselves and be. reave themselves of all that is in their heart, and consign them to the agonizing void of unclaimed feeling and unoccupied affection—a state the most abhorrent to their nature; but he bids them transfer these feelings and affections to something that will suit them better-something that time cannot consume, nor circumstances change, nor wrong deprive them of.

How rich are they who listen to his counsel, it needs but little reflection to perceive. Infidelity itself has often been made to confess how beautiful is the believer's vision--how exquisite, if real, his prospect; and often, if we mistake not, does the chooser of this world's good, his treasury empty, and not knowing wherewith to fill it, cast an eye of envy on the enthusiast, as he thinks him, whose credulity supplies him with a store so inexhaustible. Ever before his eyes, even to the very

borders of the grave, and the clearer as he approaches there, he has the spectacle of a brilliant and boundless future secure as it is brilliant, and durable as it is boundless. His eye there, his choice there, his heart there, whatever good may offer itself to him by the way, is grateful as the cheer of hospitality to the traveller who is journeying to a distant home-whatever evil may be in his portion, is in the comparison but a small matter-painful, but not

a of consequence, provided it endanger not his bosom's hope.

To those who will not heed the Preacher's admonition, because they like the treasures of earth better than the treasures of heaven, it can only be said, that the choice is their own and the fault is their own, and the complaints they make are altogether unreasonable. They know what the world is, and what its pleasures are, and what its possessions are, and in what sort of security they are vested; and yet, when the moth comes in, and the rust, comes in, and the thief leaves the coffer empty, they bewail their fortunes and reproach their fate, as if the perishable treasure were not of their own choosing, and

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the place of deposit of their own preferring. Things are proposed to them that do not decay, and cannot be purloined, but they like the other better.

THE LISTENER.-No. XXIX. My readers may, I fear, become weary of a subject that has loitered unsuccessfully through three or four papers, with no better result than that of proving, what might scarcely need a proof, that a great many people talk of what they do not understand, or reproach others with the wrong themselves unwittingly commit. Lest this should be, I propose, like other narrators, to tack a moral to my tale, by way of conclusion, and so abandon it. My object was not, as may have seemed, to prove every body in the wrong---but rather to exhibit the various modes of inconsistency, that, perceiving it and applying it, each one may correct their own. Some have said to us, why expose the faults and inconsistencies of those whose principles are good, and bring on religion the reproach of all the inconsistencies of those who profess it? Let the shame be to the creature and the glory to the Creator-what is good in us is his, what is evil is

But if it be true that these things exist, and that they are inconsistencies, shall we say-shall we leave it to others to say for us, that what in the careless and the earthly-minded we should condemn as faults, in those who profess more seriousness and devotion we can gloss over and disown? It was said of one of old, that it was easier to believe that drunkenness was not a vice, than that he should be guilty of one. Far be from Christianity the adoption of such a heathenish principle. Rather say the spot is the blacker for the brightness of the surface on which it is seen--the stain the darker for the purity of the garment it pollutes : it seems so, and it

If we are ashamed of it, as well indeed we may, let us efface it, clean it, wipe it out-but not deny that

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our own.

is so.

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