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Pleasure in any Thing else. It is evident to any one that considers the human Frame, that Man is capable of taking in a Variety of Joys, suited to the various Powers and Affections of his Nature ; Pleasures flow in upon us at our Eyes, our Ears, our Taste, and all the Senses; and the Author of our Beings has stored the World about with a Variety of Things admirably fitted to excite in us the most agreeable Sensations. The Pleasures of the Imagination are still of a. larger Extent, and of a more exquisite Kind And superior to these are the Pleasures arising from the Pursuits and Acquisitions of Knowledge, and the Improvement of our rational intellectual Powers, and from the Exercise of the kind and social Affections, so natural to the human Heart, when it is not greatly perverted and depraved. Religion is not intended to deprive us of any of these Pleasureş. On the contrary it tends . in many Instances to heighten and improve them. It teaches us to consider them all in a Subordination to the Delight we should have in God the chief Good. This must be the supreme ruling Affection in our Souls, and all other Joys and Pleasures must be governed and regulated by it, and must be kept in their proper Place and Order, and this will give them their noblest Relish.


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The inferior Animals of the brutal Order are manifestly designed for no higher Enjoyments than those of the senlitive Life. When they attain to these, they attain to the true Happiness of their Nature, an Happiness adequate to the several Powers, Instincts, and Capacities with which they are endued. Religion and a Regard to the Deity does not enter into their Gratifications and Joys

. They receive many Benefits from the bountiful Hand of Divine Providence, but without being sensible of their Obligations to the Sovereign Benefactor, to whom they owe their Existence, and from whom all their Blessings and Enjoyments flow. This is not to be charged upon them as a Fault: They have not Faculties capable of rising above the Objects of, Sense to the Fountain of all Perfection and Excellence. But Man is a Creature of an higher Order, and designed for nobler Joys. He is capable of knowing and contemplating God himself, of loving, adoring, obeying and enjoying him, of thankfully acknowledging him as the glorious Author of all the Blersings he enjoys, and of raising his Affeciions and Views above them to him the supreme, the infinite Good. This therefore is justly required of him as his Duty. He is pot to place his chief Felicity in any inferior



to the proper

Good; the Desires of his Soul must be supremely fixed upon God, and in him must ultimately center and terminate. Then it is that he acteth

End of his Being, and in a Manner worthy of the excellent and fublime Faculties which God hath given him.

Man was at first created in an innocent and happy State, and this lower World was really prepared for his Entertainment. As it was then in its original Beauty, and was come fair and lovely out of the Creator's Hand, it could not but produce the most pleasing Sensations. And it was no Doubt agreeable to the Will of God, that Man should take Pleasure in that Variety of delightful Objects, which the Divine Goodness hath provided. Especially since Paradise was in a particular Manner afligned him for his blissful Seat, where he was placed amidst a Profusion of Joys. But certainly God never designed that he should take up with these Things as his proper Portion and Felicity, but that he should lift up his Soul above them to the fupreme original' Goodness and Beauty, and in him place his chief Delight and Happiness. And there. fore, though he had an ample Liberty given him to entertain himself with the delicious Fruits of Paradise, yet it seemed fit


to the Divine Wisdom to lay a Restraint upon him with Respect to one, to make him sensible that he was under the Dominion of a higher Lord, on whom he had a constant Dependence, and to whom he owed his all; that he was not to seek or place his Happiness in an unlimited Indulgence to his own Inclinations and Appetites, but in an unreserved Obedience to God, and Conformity to his Will, and in a Sense of his Love and Favour, and that the Pleasure he took in other Things was to be all in Subordination to him the chief Good.

If Man had persisted in his Obedience and Innocence, he would have enjoyed all the Happiness for which his Nature was originally formed and designed. He would have rejoiced in God and in his glorious Perfections, and in him would have found an Object capable of filling and satisfying the vast Desires of his Soul. This would have both purified and heightened the Pleasure he took in inferior Objects and Enjoyments, and all the delectable Things in the Creatures around him would have been as so many Steps by which to ascend, in Love, Gratitude, and Admiration, to the supreme and absolutely perfect Being. But, feduced by the deceitful Insinuations of the Tempter, he broke from his regular Subordination to his Sovereign. Lord' and Benefactor, and, setting up his own. Will and Appetites to be his Rule, and indulging too great a

Love to inferior sensible Good, he fell from God and Happiness. And ever since have the Sons of Men been prone to seek for Happiness in the Goods of this present World, and in the Gratification of their own irregular Appetites and Passions, in a Preference to the Will and Law of God. And the main Design of all the Discoveries and Revelations he hath made to Mankind hath been to recover them to a right Sense and Pursuit of tộue Happiness, to draw off their Hearts and Affections from a too close Attachment to inferior. Good, and from those mean and vicious Pleasures which are unworthy of the rational Nature, and to engage them to seek for Happiness in an Imitation of his most amiable moral Perfec-, tions, in Obedience to his Laws, and in the Enjoyment of his Love and Favour. : This especially is the great End of the Gospel Re-, velation. For this Purpose God sent his Son into the World, the unspotted Image of his own Goodness and Purity, by whom he hath made the most attractive Discoveries and Displays of his own Glory and Loveliness, and the exceeding Riches of his Grace to allure and draw us to his Service,


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