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amount of relief and happiness which the most vivid imagination could not readily grasp. And how exhilarating and encouraging it is to reflect upon the ripeness of society for real improvement; for whereas formerly a man could hardly propose amelioration of management, but prejudice rose on him at all points, now opposition is nearly confined to the few who profit by the evils; and with the mass of society, improvement where it does not trench on the indulgence of darling passions and improper enjoyments, does not merely mix, but it fuses readily, and enhances the cementing tendencies of society, and an order of things, each working the advantage of all. How desirable it is that ministers may go on from one stage of practical usefulness to another, and proceed with accelerated pace until this happy land becomes a still much more striking model for the human race. Indeed, it seems the more needful to mend their pace, because, in some instances, recent improvements in law, though very good, have scarcely kept pace with the increase of abuses into which we have been
dovetailed by the lawyers with cruel precision, and watched there with the most assiduous jealousy.
Is it going too far to say, that if we muster the records of all the human comfort, produced or promoted by any monarch of antiquity, it will appear far beneath that which our own beloved and truly princely Monarch may now produce ? primarily to his own subjects, comprising about one-eighth of the inhabitants of this globe, and perhaps onefourth of the property, and one-third of the intelligence and sound religious principle; immediately to his own subjects; and, secondly, to every civilized nation, through the medium of that strong moral principle now on its march, according as we are brought together by the same feelings, interests, connexions and localities; but retarded by the prejudices of others, and by our own neglect to adorn such improvements by a steadily consistent conduct. Indeed, if all, individually, did their best, and exerted their influence in promoting sound principles, duly blended with practice, the next fifty years might prove more
remarkable, and derive more advantage from increased moral influence, than the fifty retrospective years have been for inventions and all other physical improvements, rendering both them and the various other circumstances of man subservient to itself, and producing a degree of human happiness, and an extension and concentration of rational order and mutual good fellowship, which the most enthusiastic philosopher has never yet aimed at.
National and individual prosperity should be sought in the most certain quarter, knowledge of the DIVINE will; which cannot be understood in its fulness without being obeyed in its still small voice in the heart.
Let not these suggestions for improvement be considered as offering new principles, but only a more general application of the good old way; infinitely good in the communication thereof to man, but badly followed by us, and while professed in words, too often forgotten in deeds.
History, from the first moment of Eve listening to the serpent, to the present hour of
one's own life, proves to perfect demonstration that sin is the sole primary cause of the unhappiness of man; and however we may trace causes to their effects, and attempt to account for all that has occurred, we cannot wriggle from the fact, history proves it in spite of our sophistry, and so does observation, and so does our own experience.
Perhaps some objectors would recur' to troubles over which the sufferers had no control; still, where arising from human oppression, it has been sin in those who occasioned it, and from whatever cause, it has very generally been needful to the sufferers to bring them to a sense of their own transgressions. Some would perhaps object as to the sufferings of infancy, but they are chiefly entailed from the former irregularities of the parents and their present neglects. But for the bulk of the sufferings of any rational creature attained to years of discretion I would appeal, whether almost every one of his greater troubles more especially may not be traced to his own neglects, unsubdued inclinations, and imprudences, and it is the province of vital
religion to curb and bring into subjection all improper dispositions): but if a man reply, yes, I see it has generally been so with me, but I don't know that it has with others, let him look at the situation of the drunkard, or gambler, or impostor; for to suppose they enjoy life as much as more regular livers, is to mock our own eyes and reason.
It is obvious that the Good GOD condescends to will that we, His rational creatures, should be as happy even in this life as is compatible with our preparation for that state in which our happiness can only flow from Him, and from rejoicing in knowing Him, and doing His will, and rejoicing in His glory: but we neglect the means of happiness, and so troubles overtake us; and while our negligence or obstinacy render those needful, troubles become blessings if properly submitted to. It would seem from the doctrines and the works of the Redeemer, that there arises no affliction whatever to communities, to families, or to individuals, except dying in their sins, or yielding to temptation, but would and must become a blessing, if properly