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to hope, to ardor of pursuit, succeeds, what is,*in no inconsiderable degree, an equivalent for them all, " perception of ease." Herein is the exact difference between the young and the old. The young are not happy, but when enjoying pleasure; the old are happy, when free from pain. And this constitution suits with the degrees of animal power which they respectively possess. The vigor of youth was to be stimulated to action by impatience of rest; whilst, to the imbecility of age, quietness and repose become positive gratifications. In one important respect the advantage is with the old. A state of ease is, generally speaking, more attainable than a state of pleasure. A constitution, therefore, which can enjoy ease, is preferable to that which can taste only pleasure. This fame perception of ease oftentimes renders old age a condition of great comfort; especially when riding at its anchor,after a busy or tempestuous lise. It is wTell described by Rousseau, to be the interval of repose and enjoyment, between the hurry and the end of life. How far the fame cause extends to other animal natures cannot be judged of with certainty. The appearance of fatisfaction, with which most animals, as their activity subsides,
seek and enjoy rest, affords reason to believe, that this source of gratification is appointed to advanced life, under all, or most, of its various forms. In the species with which we are best acquainted, namely our own, I am far, even as an observer of human life, from thinking, that youth is its happiest season, much less the only happy one: as a Christian, I am willing to believe that there is a great deal of truth in the following representation given by a very pious writer, as well as excellent mane. "To the intelligent and virtuous, old age presents a scene of tranquil enjoyments, of obedient appetites, of well regulated affections, of maturity in knowledge, and of calm preparation for immortality. In this serene and dignified state, placed, as it were, on the confines of two worlds, the mind of a good man, reviews what is past with the complacency of an approving conscience, and looks forward, with humble confidence in the mercy of God, and with devout aspirations towards his eternal and ever increasing favor."
What is seen in different stages of the fame life, is still more exemplified in the lives of
• Father's Instructions, by Dr. Percival of Manchester, P- 3'7.
3 different different animals. Animal enjoyments are infinitely diversified. The modes of life, to which the organization of different animals respectively determines them, are not only of various, but of opposite kinds. Yet each is happy in its own. For instance; animals of prey, live much alone; animals of a milder constitution, in society. Yet the herring, which lives in shoals, and the sheep, which lives in flocks, are not more happy in a crowd, or more contented amongst their companions, than is the pike, or the lion, with the deep solitudes of the pool, or the forest.
But it will be faid, that the instances which we have here brought forward, whether of vivacity or repose, or of apparent enjoyment derived from either, are picked and favorable instances. We answer that they are instances, nevertheless, which comprise large provinces of sensitive existence; that every case which we have described, is the case of millions. At this moment, in every given moment of time, how many myriads of animals are eating their food, gratifying their appetites, ruminating in their holes, accomplishing their wishes, pursuing their pleasures, taking their pastimes? In each individual how many things must go 5 right
right for it to be at ease; yet how large a proportion out of every species, are so in every assignable instant? Secondly, we contend, in the terms of our original proposition, that throughout the whole of life, as it is diffused in nature, and as far as we are acquainted with it, looking to the average of sensations, the plurality and the preponderancy is in favor of happiness by a vast excess. In our own species, in which perhaps the assertion may be more questionable than in any other, the prepollency of good over evil, of health, for example, and ease, over pain and distress, is evinced by the very notice which calamities excite. What enquiries does the sickness of our friends produce? What converfation their misfortunes? This shews that the common course of things is in favor of happiness; that happiness is the rule; misery, the exception. Were the order reversed, our attention would be called to examples of health and competency, instead of disease and want.
One great cause of our insensibility to the goodness of the Creator is the very extenjtveness of his bounty. We prize but little, what we share only in common with the rest, or with the generality, of our species. When we
2 K hear hear of blessings, we think forthwith of successes, of prosperous fortunes, of honors, riches, preserments, i. e. of those advantages and superiorities over others, which we happen either to possess, or to be in pursuit of, or to covet. The common benefits of our nature entirely escape us. Yet these are the great things. These constitute, what most properly ought to be accounted blessings of Providence; what alone, if we might so speak, are worthy of its care. Nightly rest and daily bread, the ordinary use of our limbs, and senses, and understandings, are gifts which admit of no comparison with any other. Yet, because almost every man we meet with possesses these, we leave them out of our enumeration. They raise no sentiment: they move no gratitude. Now, herein, is our judgement perverted by our selfishness. A blessing ought in truth to be the more fatisfactory, the bounty at least of the-donor is rendered more conspicuous, by its very diffusion, its commonness, its cheapness; by its falling to the lot, and forming the happiness, of the great bulk and body of our species, as well as of ourselves. Nay even when we do not possess it, it ought to be matter of thankfulness that others do, But we