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however, it is not amiss, to suggest any thing that may be of Service, even in the most remote Instruments of Duty; especially since we frequently find, that bodily Disorders betray the Minds of sincere well-designing Persons, into Difcontent and Despair : They imagine themselves in a reprobate Condition, and feel none of the Comforts of Religion, purely because their Fancy is clouded with outward Melancholy and gross Humours. Here the Malady is entirely of the Body, and therefore the Applications of wholesome Exercise, of agreeable, but innocent, Recreations, are the proper Means of recovering the Advantages of Religious Joy.
In short, it is our Duty to apply whatever contributes to promote the Evenness of our Temper, the Chearfulness of our Souls, and Satisfaction of our Minds ; because, through God's Blessing, it will likewise contribute to our more vigorous Performance of every Virtue, our Attainment of every divine Grace.
But while we do thus, by every pious and prudential Methods, endeavour to keep the Spring of Religious Rejoycings within our own Breafts, pure and open, let the Overflowings of it stream forth in every Method of Communication among our Neighbours. The pleasing Influences, which Religion has upon us, may provoke others to like Piety ; for Devotion never stands fo powerfully recommended to the Imitation of Mankind, as when Peace, Love and Joy are its dired and visible Effects.
AGAIN, it is an excellent Rule in Life, when we are not able to perform higher Duties, to employ ourselves in those that are lesser : But the Good-nature of a pious Christian may be continually exercised ; where Acts of more substantial Charity, are out of the Sphere of our Abilities, kind Expressions, Mildness of Behaviour, agreeable Turns of Conversation, and many other engaging Methods of keeping up Good-will, which are the natural Outgoings of Christian Chearful. ness, contribute wonderfully to promote the present Peace and Happiness of Man. kind, do naturally tend to propagate the Exercise of Religious Rejoycing, and make
the general Prađice of our Duty much more easy and delightful.
So far is Christianity from being of that recluse and abstracted Nature, as some Religionists falsely pretend, that it is in the highest Degree free in its Carriage, diffusive in its Behaviour ; even common Life shares largely of its Influences, and it improves the Offices of mutual Intercourse into Gospel Virtues and Graces.
So far again is Religion from being of a fullen morose Nature, a seve Contradiction to all Joy and Satisfaction whatever, that it makes Joy the End of our Being, and Joy the Means of attaining that End : And if we may rejoice in the Precepts of Christianity, how much more in the Rewards of it? This Religious Joy, which is at present our Duty, as it is greater than, and distinct from, any thing that this World can give, so neither can it take it away : That Fullness of Joy which abides us hereafter, is glorious, beyond Conception; it will afford us an Įmmensity, an Eternity of Happiness,
SERMON IV. PACQXONADA
PSALM lxv. 11. Thou crownejt the Year with thy Goodla
ness, and tby Paths drop Fatness.
OR HE constant Revolutions
one of the Year, and the reguP T Polar Succesfion of fruitful
y Seafons consequent thereV
upon, are such obvious and ample Declarations of the Goodness and Power of that God, by the Bounty of whose Hands, and Riches of whose Mercy, our Hearts are filled with Food and Gladness, that St. Paul calls them the Witness he left of himself in the F 4
World. By our Creation we do indeed