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uncultured hind are his daily food, freedom, health, and family connexions : could these be secured to him, his nature would be satisfied and he would esteem himself happy. As the scale advances, the demand increases feelings, tastes, desires, are muliplied as the mind enlarges--birth, habit, and education, make a thousand things necessary, even to our animal nature, that originally were not som but pike shall measure the moral necessities of an enlarged, and highly-cultured, and immortal spirit, without the gratification of which he neither is, nor can be happy? Treasure, therefore, and good portion of it, we must lay up for ourselves somewhere : and till Heaven and eternity be laid open to our view, and we are made capable by anticipation of partaking of their joys, our treasures must be on earth, and must be the things of earth. It is vain to tell us they are insufficient—where can we go?--that they are insecure-what can we do? Useless have been and ever will be the fine-wrought orations of the moralist upon the vanity and brevity of life, the unimportance of its valgar interests, the uncertainty and satiety of its enjoyments--they offer us nothing in the stead of it, and something we must have.
How seldom sufficient these earthly treasures are, and when sufficient, 'how little lasting and how ill-secure, needs not much argument to prove. The poor man, with his simple store of animal enjoyments, little as he wants, may not have it. From poverty he cannot get his food, or from sickness he cannot eat it-oppression lays hands upon his freedom, and death despoils him of his beloved. The possessor of a larger store is even in a worse case still the moth best likes to feed itself upon the richest stuffs—the thief who goes by the poor man's door, breaks into the rich man's coffers. These may have health, and wealth, and freedom, and family, and yet be miserable—they want things that money cannot purchase, and they have feelings that all these together cannot satisfy-and the more of all these they have, the more in danger are they that on some point
they 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 in our choice. So is it exactly in the spiritual darkness that sin has brought us to. We take the better thing to be the worse the more important to be the lesser interest—the joys of time and sense to be better than the presence and the love of God—the revels of sin to be better than the feast of holiness-the possessions of earth to be richer treasures than the anticipation of heaven-and so we choose these things, and lay them up, and set our hearts upon them--and if we could keep out the moth, and the rust, and the thieves, we should account ourselves very happy beings. And as nothing but the cure of the diseased eye can restore the natural vision, and enable the person to see distinctly and judge correctly, so nothing but the renovation of the heart by the influence of divine grace, can enable it to fix itself where it should be, and choose its treasures by their real value, and lay them up where they are most secure.
This change the disciples of Christ bad experienced. When they forsook all and followed him, they gave
the first proof of an altered judgment as to what was best: the treasures they had hitherto laid up as their fund of enjoyment they left behind them, for the sake of the very different benefits they expected by following the despised and suffering Jesus. The eye had been made single-they could already see beyond the interests of the present moment. In after days, a clearer vision and a stronger light made them to see yet more ; and they held not their lives, the last treasure the worldling consents to part from, of any value in comparison with their eternal interests. All who are the disciples of Christ, now as then, all whose darkness has been made light, have experienced a similar change they have become capable of appreciating the joys of heaven, as secured to the redeemed hereafter, and partaken of in sweet anticipation here. To these our Saviour addresses himself; and exhorts them to vest their happiness, to look for their enjoyment, to secure the fund that was to supply it, in a fitter place than this poor perishable world. He