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at the disappointment of some favourite scheme, agitated with dismal apprehensions of some disaster, of some loss or failure that threatens his property, thwarted in his prospects by the success of some wealthier and more fortunate rival, distressed by the extravagance and disorderly conduct of children, full of cares and anxieties of some sort or other, produced by those very riches in which his happiness is falsely supposed to consist.

I will not take up your time with detailing all the various reasons which different people would give for being dissatisfied with their condition, should you go about the world making the enquiry which I have supposed. I will only say in general, that I am confident you would find every person, from the lowest to the highest, from him who, in the sweat of his brow is toiling for a scanty subsistence, to the opulent idler, who studies nothing but his pleasure and amusement, from the beggar by the way side to the king that sitteth upon his throne, with his own burthen upon him, with some thorn in his side, some bodily suffering or mental anxiety which would compel him to acknowledge that he stood in need of some comfort, and relief, which he could not obtain from any earthly source.

For even supposing you should come at length to a man who had nothing to complain of in his present circumstances, who had all the advantages heaped up in his own person that are more commonly divided and scattered in separate portions among a number; suppose you should at length meet with such an one as this, one who was possessed of youth, of health, of riches, of great abilities, of kind friends, of the applause and respect of the world, without a single impediment or interruption to the enjoyment of all these things, and with a cheerful mind, capable of feeling to the fullest extent the satisfaction and delight which it is in their power to administer ; yet you might put a question to him, which should discompose even this happy man, and remind him that he too has his burden. Ask him for how long a time his present blessings are secured to him? This, my brethren, is a question, which when maturely weighed, and seriously reflected on, must be fatal to the most perfect happiness that depends on the world and this life only. For what is the real value of any thing which we are not sure of for a day, and which we know we must at all events resign in a few years ? Granting that such a man as I have represented, is equally prosperous in worldly circumstances, and all his means of enjoyment rather increased than diminished, yet nature runs her accustomed course, the end arrives, the happy man must yield up all those things in which his soul delighted. And will not the thought of this continually mingle itself with his happiness? Will not this evil demon be for ever whispering into his ear, Foolish man ! how vain, how frivolous, how worthless is your life! how useless all your most busy pursuits ! how fleeting, how momentary all your enjoyments ! “This very night thy soul may be required of thee."

I have imagined the best case of worldly happiness that can possibly exist; and yet see only what a great deficiency is here. The happy man is mortal, and so turns out to be nothing more than a poor insignificant creature, dressed up and adorned for exhibition, for a few years only, and then to be stripped of all his decorations, and hidden in the earth, because too loathsome an object to be seen.

Let a man be ever so happy in every other respect, yet this one circumstance, that he must die, and that very shortly, is surely enough to convince him of the vanity of human life, and to make him wish that if nothing better is to come, he had never been suffered to experience the enjoyments which he knows are so soon to be taken from him. But this, as I have said already, is the best case of worldly happiness that can be imagined. It is the condition of very few, most of us have our pains of body or of mind, our diseases, our cares, our anxieties, our distresses, our disappointments; most of us “labour, or are heavy laden,” if not throughout our whole life, yet for so large a portion of it, as hardly to feel ourselves repaid by the intervals of comparative ease and repose, which now and then occur, and numbers are altogether children of affliction, and are never disencumbered of the heavy load which life has imposed upon them, until they lay down that load and their being both together.

And can this be a true representation of human life? You may ask-What, has the merciful God really made so miserable a race of beings ? Has he, who is perfectly happy in himself, and who might so easily have communicated a larger share of happiness to his creatures, yet chosen rather to afflict and torment them ? No, my brethren, be assured this is not God's doing; it was not his design to create a world of woe and misery; you can conceive no motive that could induce a being of perfect goodness, to take pleasure in producing such a creature as this; it would be contrary to his nature, contrary to his most essential attributes, to do so; none but a cruel, a malevolent deity, could purposely design to frame a state of things that should be productive of unhappiness. Doubtless when God made man, he meant him to be happy, and to be happy for ever; --doubtless he made the world, and stored it with such abundant means of enjoyment, only that he might fill it with multitudes of joyful inhabitants, who should partake of the pleasures which his infinite love inclined him to communicate. Whence then arose our present condition? Why does the world resound with groans and lamentations on every side? Why is the earth so often moistened with the tears of sorrow ? From what source have sprung the pains, the troubles, the evils and afflictions of every sort, above all, the mortality to which our unhappy race is subject?

There is no other reasonable account to be given of this, than that which the bible furnishes us with, “ an enemy has done this ;” an enemy to God in the first instance, and then an enemy to man, because God loved him. How the omnipotent Father of the Universe came to have such an enemy originally, it is not to my present purpose to enquire, and of course we can go no further than the scriptures teach us, which only inform us of the simple fact that there was at some time, in the past ages of eternity, a rebellion against the great sovereign of the world amongst the spiritual beings whom he had created; and the first fall of the heavenly spirits having taken

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