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IN the sixth place, let me advise you SERMON never to expect too much from the world. High hopes, and florid views, are great enemies to tranquillity. When rashly indulged, they are constantly producing disappointments. Their indulgence, in the mean time, occasions discontent with our present situation; and he who is discontented cannot be happy. One of the first lessons, both of religion and wisdom, is, to moderate our expectations and hopes; and not to set forth on the voyage of life like men who expect to be always carried forward with a favourable gale. Let your views be suited to your rank and station in the world; and never soar fantastically beyond them. Content yourselves with sober pleasures, and form your relish to them. Be thankful when you are free from pain, though you be not in the midst of high enjoyment. Be satisfied, if the path you tread be easy and smooth, though it be not strewed with flowers. Human life admits not of continued pleasure; nor is it always rendered happy by great exaltation. Remember, that it is a middle region which is the native
SERMON station of tranquillity. It neither aspires XIII. to those heights of the atmosphere where
the thunder is formed, nor creeps always on the ground. Affect not, on every occasion, to put yourselves forward, content to retire sometimes into the shade; and allow others to take their
proper place. It will be easily seen, that I speak not now to the ambitious and aspiring; but to those who value tranquillity more than splendid appearance in the world.
Such persons I also advise, while they expect not too much from the world, neither, also, to form too high expectations from the characters of those whose friendship they rest, and with whom it is their lot to be connected, either in social or domestic relations. If have looked for perfection any where, you you will find yourself disappointed; and the consequence of this disappointment will be, that friendship will cool, and disgust succeed. If you wish to enjoy comfort in any of your connexions, take your fellow creatures as they are, and
look for their imperfections to appear.
You know you have your own; bear with SERMON those of others, as you expect that they are to bear with you. As no one is without his failings, few also are void of amiable qualities. Select for your companions, those who have the greatest share of such qualities; and value them accordingly. In a word, make the best of this world as you find Reckon both on the state of human life, and on the society of men, as mixed, and chequered with good and evil. Carrying always in your eye such views of things, you will be best formed to those equal spirits, and that reasonable disposition of mind, which make the basis of tranquillity. I shall only add,
Seventh, and last, advice on this subject, to mix retreat with the active business of the world, and to cultivate habits of serious thought and recollection. I before advised those who are not particularly engaged in active life, to form to themselves some object of pursuit, in order to furnish proper employment to time and thought. But the great multitude of men $ 4
SERMON are in a different situation.
Industry is required of them; business and cares press; and active pursuits occupy their closest attention. He who, in this situation, pours himself forth incessantly on the world, cannot escape partaking much of its disturbance and trouble. Amidst bustle, intrigue, and dissension, he must pass many an uneasy hour. Here an enemy encounters him there, a rival meets him. A suspicious friend alarms him one hour; an ungrateful one provokes him the next. I do not recommend, that, for these reasons, he who studies tranquillity should retire from all public business, and forsake the haunts of men. This were the retreat of a monk, not of a good and a wise man. Tranquillity were too dearly purchased by the neglect of those duties which belong to a man, and a Christian. Nor indeed in absolute seclusion from the world, is tranquillity ever found. On the contrary, when the human mind is cut off from those employments for which it was designed by nature and Providence, it preys on itself, and engenders its own misery. Tranquillity is always most likely to be attained, when the business of the world
world is tempered with thoughtful and SERMON serious retreat. Commune with your bearts on your bed, and be still. Leaving this world to itself, let there be seasons which you devote to yourselves, and to God. Reflection and meditation allay the workings of many unquiet passions; and place us at a distance from the tumults of the world. When the mind has either been ruffled or cast down, an intercourse with God and heaven we find a sanctuary to which we can retreat. In the hours of contemplation and devotion, a good man enjoys himself in peace. He beholds nobler objects than what worldly men can behold. He assumes a higher character. He listens to the voice of nature and of God; and from this holy sanctuary comes forth with a mind fortified against the little disturbances of the world. Such habits therefore, cannot be too much recommended to the lovers of tranquillity, as powerful subsidiary means for attaining that happy state.
I HAVE thus pointed out what appears to me the discipline of religion and wisdom for tranquillity of mind. He that doeth bese things shall never be moved. During