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plexity after others, which can only be discovered with great labour, only sparingly, enjoyed, from which they cannot always, from which they can but feldom draw undisturbed, can never entirely Nake their thirst, and often run the hazard of taking in bitterness and death with the waters of them. 1 will speak without a metaphor. Mankind too often seek their principal pleasure, their whole felicity, in what is called the great world, in numerous and brilliant companies, in distracting and fascinating diversior:s, in extensive connections with such
persons as are distinguished by their rank, their train, their opulence, their luxuries, and their magnift: cence, and live sumptuously every day, or rather 'seem as if they lived. Too often do they run from one such glittering circle to another, from one such company
of counterfeit freedom and joy to another, in hopes of assuaging their thirst after pleasure and happiness. But how seldom do they find what they seek! How much seldomer do they find it so pure, fo complete, as they expected! How oft do they there mistake the shadow for the substance, appearance for reality, and find themselves lamentably and shamefully deceived in their most flattering hopes! And how much more easily and satisfactorily, how much more sincerely and completely might they have found and enjoyed this pleasure and happiness, if they had been contented to look for it, not so far off, but nearer at hand; not in noise, but in quiet ; not in what depends op mere
accident, but is in their own power; in short, if they had fought for it in domestic life?
Yes, in this little unrenowned circle, there is far more real, folid joy, than in grand and brilliant companies ; more happiness and greater variety of it is to be found in this small round of employments and pleasures than on the vast theatre of glaring shows and tumultuous diversions. Here, in the enjoyment of domestic happiness, it is that the wise man, the christian, principally seeks and finds refreshment, recreation, and pleasure. Here even our Lord, whose taste and sentiments were in all respects so humane and generous, fought and found them. Wearied by the labours of the day, and the contradictions of his enemies, he left them, as our text informs us, and went out of the city into Bethany, there to participate in the peace and comfort of a family united together by the tenderest affection, the family of Lazarus and his sisters, and to increase their fatisfactions by his presence and converse. This humble abode of domestic happiness he preferred to the lofty palaces of the great, to the festivities of the rich and the riotous mirth of the voluptuous. Happy they, who in this respect likewise are so minded as Jesus was! They can never be deficient in real felicity.
dear brethren, great, uncommonly great, is the value of domestic happiness! But infinitely greater to them who know it by experience, than to such as are only acquainted with it from description.
May I be enabled to do justice to it at least in my representation! In order to this, let us enter upon two inquiries. The first, how should domestic life be constituted, that it may have a great value ? The other, what gives it this value; or, wherein does it confift?
Domestic life, like all other external goods, is not necessarily and of itself, but only under certain conditions, in particular circumstances, a real advantage and a source of actual felicity. Home is, but too frequently rendered the seat of tiresomeness and disgust; the scene of low and ungoverned paffions; the abode of vexation, of ill-humour, of various dissentions, of petulance and malice; not seldom an actual place of torment. This is always more or less the case, where wisdom and virtue are not of the party, and do not animate the businesses and pleasures of domestic life. Only there where wisdom and virtue dwell, where intelligent and good persons live together, only there dwell peace, satisfaction, and joy; it is they alone that render either a cottage or a palace the receptacle of pleasure; only by their means is any family, whether great or small, ren. dered capable of happiness. For only the intelligent and good can tell what folid happiness implies; none but they have either the taste or sentiment proper for it; it is they alone that estimate things by their real value, and know how to enjoy above all things what is true and beautiful and good, unesteemed and unknown as it may be in the great world, and among
such as are not susceptible of the more delicate sen. sations. To them a word that overflows from the fullness of the heart, a look that indicates the foul, an inconsiderable but guileless action, an unimportant kindness but performed from real affection, a calm and silent sentiment of friendship, a free effu. fion of one's thoughts and sentiments into the bofom of one's family, is of more worth than the reiterated protestations of civility and regard, than all the flattering encomiums and blandishments, than all the friendly miens and gestures, than all the splendid entertainments in which the glory and happiness of the generality of large companies consist.
Wherever domestic happiness is found, it shews us persons who are connected together by real, intrinsic love and friendfhip, who live entirely by each other, and who seek their happiness, their honour, and their force, in the mutual union of their hearts. Only to persons of this description can and must every thing be of importance which each has and says and does and enjoys, how he is inclined, and whatever befalls him. They alone know how to consider the advantages of one with undeviating complacency; to observe the infirmities and failings of another without dislike; to reprove the indiscretions of a third with inoffensive gentleness; to understand the looks of each; to prevent the wants and wishes of all; mutually to comply with the designs of each other; to harmonize with the feelings of the rest; and to rejoice heartily in all the successes, even the most inconsiderable, that happen to each other. Wherever frigidity of temper and untractableness, where jealousy and envy prevail, there no real happiness is possible, in the narrow circle of daily intercourse.
Lastly, domestic happiness supposes a taste for truth, for nature, for a noble fimplicity, for ferene repose; as they are in contrast with error and art, studied and forced pleafures, and the more oftentatious and poignant diversions. That pure
generous taste alone can give any value to the comforts of domestic life, and, to such as understand and enjoy it, render all its concerns important and delightful, as the sources of satisfaction and pleasure. For, in this case, they arise, not so much from the object, as from the eye that beholds them and the heart that feels them; not so much from the importance of the transactions and incidents themselves, as from the natural and spontaneous manner in which they arise, and the pleasing interest taken in them. To persons of a found judgment and an uncorrupted heart, the chearful countenance of the spouse, the lifping of the infants, the mirthful sports of the children, the fight of reason in its bud and in its blossom; to them the earnest curiosity of one, the innocent vivacity of another, the growth and improvement of a third, the contentedness of all, is a scene far preferable, with all its privacy and fimplicity, to any other however intricately conducted or fplendidly performed; to them the filent