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out of any other pleasure he takes in hearing himfelf applauded and commended by us, than he doth in any other Act that is decent and reafonable in its own Nature; but 'tis therefore, he will have us Praise him, because he knows it is for Our Good, and highly conduces, as it is a moft reasonable Action, to the Perfection and Happinefs of our reasonable Natures; becaufe our praifing him naturally excites us to imitate him, and to tranfcribe into our own Natures thofe Adorable Perfections, which we do fo admire and extol in His. So that to purfue our own Perfection and Happiness, is to Glorifie God according to his own defign and intention; who requires us to Glorifie him for no other purpose, but that thereby we may glorifie our felves. And indeed our Happiness is Gods Glory, even as all other worthy Effects are the Glory of their Caufes 'Tis He that gives being to it, and confequently He that is glorified by it. It being nothing but the refplendency of his own Almighty Goodness, or his own out-ftretched Rays fhining back upon Himself. And therefore we aim at Gods glory just as He himself doth, when we aim to be as happy as He would have us, that is, when we purfue Heaven and co-operate with his infinite Goodnefs, whofe great design is to advance us to that blessed condition in which we fhall Glorifie him for ever, and be Everlasting Monuments of his Overflowing Benignity. So that whether we call our laft End Heaven, or the Glory of God, it is all but one and the fame thing, fince by obtaining Heaven, we fhall Glorifie him according to his own Defign and Intention. And this I think, C
may fuffice to fhew, what is the true ultimate End of the Chriftian Life. But then
II. It will be yet further neceffary for our clearing the way to the Defign in hand, to enquire What Kind of Happines this is; Which when we understand, we shall be the better able to comprehend what Duties or Means are neceffary for the obtaining it. And this Enquiry will be easily refolved, by confidering the Nature of Thofe for whom it was prepared and intended. For all Happineß confifts in the free and vigorous Exercife of the Faculties of Nature, about Objects that are fuitable to themselves. There is indeed a privative happinefs, which is nothing but Indolence, or freedom from pain and mifery; and this confifts not fo much in the Exercife, as in the rest and quiet of the Faculties. And herein the foft and reftive Epicureans placed the whole Happiness of a Man: In which I confefs, they would not be very much mistaken, if there were no happinefs belonging to a Man beyond that Animal and Senfual one, in which the Difciples of this Atheiftical Philofopher placed their chief Good. For the greatest part of the Pleafures of Senfe indeed are meerly Privations of Mifery, and short Reprieves from the Griefs and Troubles of a wretched Life. For what elfe is our Eafe and Reft, but only the removal of our Pain and Wearineß? which being removed, the Pleafure is prefently over, and then we grow weary again of our Rest and Eafe; till Pain and Wearineß return and fweeten them, and gives them a fresh and new relish. For when we are weary of Reft, we are fain to recreate our felves with Action, and when
we are weary of Action, to refresh our felves with Reft, and fo round again in the fame Circle. Thus the greatest part of the pleasure of Eating and Drinking confifts in affwaging the pain of our Hunger and Thirft. For when this is over, you fee the pleasure ceafes; and till it returns again, every fresh morfel is but a new load to a tired Digeftion. So that in fhort, the greatest part of thofe fenfual Felicities which we do here enjoy, are only fhort intermiffions of the pains and uneafineffes of a wretched Life. But if there were no other Happineß belonging to a Man, but what confists in not being fenfible of Mifery, it were much more defirable to be a Stone than a Man, and the only way for him to be perfectly Happy, would be, to deprive himself of all Senfe and Perception.
'Tis true, That which is pofitive in our Happinefs can never be perfectly enjoyed by us, without a perfect Indolence and Infenfibility of Pain; it being impoffible for us to have a perfect fenfe of any thing, whilft we have the leaft touch or feeling of its Contrary. But were Happineß nothing else but a non-perception of Mifery, it would have no pofitive Effence or reality of its own, which is directly contrary to all humane Experience. For we plainly feel, that our Happineß hath in it, not only a Reft from Evil, but a grateful Motion to Good, and that as our Pain and Mifery confists in an acute and fenfible perception of fuch things as are most ungrateful to our Natures; fo Pleafure or Satisfaction confifts in a vigorous perception of the con trary. So that befides the not being miferable (which is not fo properly an Effential Part of Happiness, as a necessary Difpofition to it, without which
which the Faculties of our Natures will be indifposed to relish and perceive it) there is a pofitive Happiness which (as I faid before) confifts in a conftant, free and vigorous Exercife of the Faculties about fuch Objects as are most convenient and fuitable to their Natures. For Happiness in the general includes Perfection and Pleasure, both which are neceffarily included in fuch an Exercise of the Faculties. For then the Faculties are Perfect, when they are freely, conftantly and vigorously imployed about fuch objects, as are more congruous to their feveral natures; when they are recovered from all indifpofitions, whether natural, or moral, to thofe proper motions and exercifes for which they were framed; and do freely, conftantly, and without any clog or interruption direct all their courfes towards fuch Objects as are their natural Centers. And then the Faculties are moft pleas'd and delighted too, when they are most vigorously exercifed about that which is moft fuitable to them; when they are not only determined to fuch Objects as are most agreeable to their Natures, but do alfo act upon and exert themfelves towards them with the greatest Sprightli nefs and Vigour.
Thefe things I thought meet to premife concerning Happinefs in the General, as being very needful to the clearer refolution of the prefent Enquiry, viz. Wherein confifts the Heaven or Happiness of a Man. In fhort therefore, the proper Heaven and Happiness of a Man, confidered as a rational Being,confifts in the conftant, free, and frightful Exercife of his Faculties about fuch Qbjects as are most convenient to his rational
Nature, which confifting wholly of Understanding and Will, that is, of a Faculty of Knowing and a Faculty of Chufing, the most fuitable Objects of it are fuch as are moft worthy to be known, and most worthy to be chofen. When therefore the Understanding is always vigorously exercised in feeing and contemplating the moit glorious and excellent Truths, and the Will is always vigorously employed in choofing and embracing the moit defirable Goods, then is the whole Rational Nature Happy. Now if you caft abroad your thoughts over the whole extent of Being; you will presently find that there is nothing in it fo worthy to be known and chofen as God; whose Power being the fource and fountain of all Truth, that is, of all that either is or is poffible, and whofe Nature being the fubject of all rational Perfection, wherein it originally refides, and from whence 'tis derived to all the Rational Creation; you must upon these accounts neceffarily allow Him to be infinitely the most worthy Object in all the World of Beings, for our Understanding to contemplate, and our Will to chufe. And if fo, then the very Life and Quinteffence of the Heaven of a Man confidered as a Reasonable Being, muft needs confist in a close and intimate Knowledge of God, and a Free and Uncontroverted Choice of Him.
But that we may more fully comprehend the Nature of this Happines, it will be needful that we should more diftinctly explain, what these two Effential Acts of it do import, and what Happines is included in them. And
1. The Happineß of a Man confists in a free and intimate Knowledge of God, for our Under