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« And what are the boasted pleasures which some have supposed to balance the sorrows of life? Are not most of them owing in a good degree, to some previous uneasiness? It is the pain of hunger which makes food so relishing; the pain of weariness, that renders sleep so refreshing. And as for the blessings of love and friendship, among neighbours and kindred, do they not often produce as much vexation als satisfaction ? Not indeed of themselves; but by reason of the endless humours and follies, errors and passions of mankind. (p. 373.)
66 Again. Do not the very pleasures of the body, prove the ruin of ten thousand souls? They may be used with innocence and wisdom; but the unruly appetites and passions of men, continually turn into a curse, what God originally designed for a blessing. (p. 374.)
“ Think again how short and transient are the pleasures of life in comparison of the pains of it! How vanishing the sweetest sensations of delight? But in' many persons and families, how many are the days, the months, the years, of fatigue, or pain, or bitter sorrow? What pleasure of the animal frame is either as lasting, or as intense as the pain of the gout of stone? How small is the proportion of sensible pleasure, to that of pain or trouble, or uneasiness? And how far is it over-balanced by the maladies or miseries, the fears or sorrows of the greatest part of mankind?"
“ As for intellectual pleasures, how few are there in the world, who have any capacity for themi ?' And among those few, how many differences and contentions, how many crossing objections, bewildered inquiries, and unhappy mistakes are mingled with the enjoyment? So that he who increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow,' saith the wisest of men, and upon the whole computation, he writes on tiis also, Vanity and vexation of spirit.'
« To talk then of real happiness' to be enjoyed in this life (abstracted from the foretastë of another) is contrary to all the common sense and experience of every thinking
Without this taste of the powers of the world to
eome;" I know not what wise man would willingly come into these scenes of mortality, or go through them with any patience. (p. 376, 377.)
“ What, to be trained up from infancy under so many unavoidable follies, prejudices, and wretched delusions through the power of Aesh and sense ? To be sunk into such gross ignorance both of our souls, our better selves, ánd of the glorious' Being that made us? To lie under such heavy shades of darkness, such a world of mistakes and errors, as are mingled with our little faint glimpses, and low notices of God our Creator? What, to be so far distant from God, and to endure such a long estrangement from the wisest and best of Beings, in this foolish and fleshly state, with so few and slender communications with or from him ?
“ What, to feel so many powerful and disquieting appetites, so many restless and unruly passions, which want the perpetual guard of a jealous eye, and a strong restraint over them? Otherwise they will be ever breaking out into some new mischief.
“? What, to be ever surrounded with such delights of sense, as are constant temptations to folly and sin? To have scarce any joys, but what we are liable to pay dear for, by an excessive or irregular indulgence ? " "Can this be a desirable state? For any wise being who knows what happiness is, to be united to such a disorderly machine of flesh and blood, with all its uneasy and unruly ferments ? (p. 878.)
“ Add to this another train of inbred miseries which attend this animal frame. What wise spirit would' willingly put on such flesh and blood as ours, with all the springs of sickness and pain, anguish and disease in it? What, to be liable to the racking disquietudes of gout and stone, and a thousand other distempers ? To have nature, worn out by slow and long aches and infirmities, and lie lingering many years on the borders of death before we can find a grave ? VOL. XIV.
“ Solomon'seems to be much of this mind, when after a survey
of the whole scheme of human life, in its variety of scenes, (without the views of hereafter) he declares, I praised the dead who were already dead, more than the living who were yet alive.' And indeed it appears, that the miseries of life are so numerous as to overbalance all its real comforts, and sufficiently to shew, that mankind now lie under evident marks of their Maker's displeasure as being degenerated from that state of innocence, wherein they were at first created. (p. 380.)
“But it is objected. If human life in general is míserable, how is it, that all men are so únwilling to die?" (p. 381, 383.)
“ I answer, 1. Because they fear to meet with more misery in another life than they feel in this. See our Poet: « The weariest and most loathed worldly life,
That pain, age, penury, and imprisonment
To what we fear of death."
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
poor man's contumely,
And groan and sweat under a weary life,
Than fly to others which are all unknown.” “ If you say, ' But the Heathens knew nothing of a future life: and yet they too, in all their generations have been unwilling to die. Nor would they put an end to their own life were it ever so miserable.' (p. 384.) I answer, Most of the ancient (as well as the modern) Heathens, þad some notions of an after-state, and some fears of punishment in another life, for sins committed in this. And in the politer nations they generally, supposed self-murderers in particular would be punished after death.
Proxima deinde tenent moesti loca, qui sibi lethum · Insontés pepérêre manu, lucemộ; perosi :
Projecêre animas. Quam vellent æthere in alto
The next in place and punishment are they
"I answer, 2. Suppose this love of life and aversion to death are found, even where there is no regard to a future state, this will not prove that mankind is happy; but only that the God of nature hath wrought this principle into the şouls of all men, in order to preserve the work of his own hands. So that reluctance against dying is owing to the
natural principle of self-preservation, without any formed and sedate judgment, whether it is best to continue in this life or not, or whether life has more happiness or misery. (p. 386.)
“ It may be objected, secondly, If brutes suffer nearly the same miseries with mankind, and yet have not sinned, how can these miseries prove that man is an apostate being? (p. 389.)
“ I answer, it is by reason of man's apostacy, that even brute animals suffer. • The whole creation groaneth together' on his account, and travaileth together in pain to this day. For the brute creation was made subject to vanity,' to abuse, pain, corruption, death, not 'willingly,' not by any act of its own, 'but by reason of him that subjected it:? of God who in consequence of Adam's sin, whom he had appointed Lord of the whole lower world, for his sake pronounced this curse (not only on the ground, but) on all which was before under his dominion.
“ The misery, therefore, of the brute creatiou, is so far from being an objection to the apostasy of man, that it is a visible standing demonstration thereof. If beasts suffer, then man is fallen.
The Apostacy of Man proved by Scripture and Reason.
“ But whether or not the miseries of mankind alone will prove their apostasy from God, it is certain these together with the sins of men are an abundant proof, that we are fallen creatures. And this I shall now endeavour to shew, both from the express testimony of Scripture, from the necessity of renewing grace, and from a survey of the Heathen world.' (p. 409, 410.)
First, The Scripture testifies, that an universal degeneracy and corruption, is come upon all the sons and daugh