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66 When I consider this chEEŘFUL STATE OF 66
MIND in its third relation, I cannot but look upon it “ as a constant habitual gratitude to the great AUTHOR of “NATURÉ. An inward cheerfulness is an implicit praife " and thanksgiving to PROVIDENCE under all its dispen
It is a kind of acquicfcence in the state " wherein we are placed, and a secret approbation of " the Divine Will in his conduct towards man."Li'.
Such considerations as these we should perpetually cherish in our thoughts, they will banish from us all that secret heaviness of heart which unthinking men are subject to when they lie under no real affliction, all that anguish which we may feel from any evil that actually oppresses us, to which I may likewise add those little cracklings of mirth and folly, that are apter to betray virtue than support it; and establish in us such an even and CHEERFUL TEMPER, as makes us pleasing--to ourselves—to those with whom we converse, and to him whom we are made to please.
CHEERFULNESS is in the next place the best promoter of health. Repinings and secret murmurs of heart give imperceptible strokes to those delicate fibres of which we are composed, and wear out the machine insensibly; not
to mention the injury they do the blood, and those irregular disturbed motions which they raise in the vital functions. I scarce remember in my own observation, to have met with many old men, or with such, who (to use our English phrase) wear well, that had not at least a certain calmness in their humour, if not a more than ordinary gaiety and cheerfulness of heart. ini
CheerFULNESS bears the same friendly regard to the mind as to the body; it banishes all anxious care and difcontent, soothes and composes the passions, and keeps the soul in a perpetual calm.
There are writers of great diftinction who have made it an argument for PROVIDENCE, that the whole earth is covered with green rather than with any other colour, as being such a right '
mixture of light and thade, that it comforts and ftrengthens the eye instead of weakening or grieving it. For this reason several painters have a green cloth hanging near them to ease the eye upon, after too great an application to their colouring. A fa mous modern philofopher accounts for it in the following manner : - All colours that are more luminous, overs power and dissipate the animal spirits which are employed
in fight:-on the contrary, those that are more obfcure do " not give the animal spirits a sufficient exercise ;' whereas, “ the rays that produce in us the idea of green, fall upon the “ eye in such a due proportion, that they give the animal " spirits their proper play, and, by keeping up the struggle " in a just balance, excite a very pleasing and agreeable sen
fation.” Let the cause be what it will the effect is certain, for which reason the poets ascribe to this particular colour the epithet of cheerful.
To consider further this double end in the works of NATURE, and how they are, at the same time, both useful and entertaining, we find that the most important parts in the vegetable world are those which are the most beautiful. These are the feeds by which the several races of plants are propagated and continued, and which are always lodged in flowers or blofsoins. NATURE seems to hide her principal design, and to be induitrious in making the earth gay and delightful, while she is carrying on her great work, and intent upon her own preservation. The husbandman, after the same manner, is employed in laying out the whole country into a kind of garden or landskip, and making every thing smile about him, whilst in reality he thinks of nothing but of the harvest, and increase which is to arise from it. We
may further oblerve how PROVIDENCE has taken care to keep up this cheerfulness in the mind of man, by having formed it after such a manner as to make it capable of conceiving delight from several objects which seem to have very little use in them, as from the wildnefs of rocks and deserts, and the like grotesque parts of nature. In short, the whole universe is a kind of theatre filled with objects that either raise in us pleasure, amusement, or admiration.
The reader's own thoughts will suggest to him the viciffitude of day and night, the change of seasons, with all that variety of scenes which diversify the face of nature, and fill the mind with a perpetual succession of beautiful and pleasing images. I fall omit to mention the several entertainments of art, with the pleasures of friendship, books, conversation, and other accidental diversions of life, because I would only take notice of such incitements to a cheerful temper, as offer themselves to persons of all ranks and conditions, and which may sufficiently few us, that Providence did not design this world should be filled with murmurs and repinings, and that the heart of man should be involved in perpetual gloom and melancholy.
O THOU! whose balance does the mountains weigh,
whose breath can turn those wat’ry worlds to flanie;
As inany families make one village, many villages one province, many provinces one empire; fo
many empires, oceans, .wattes, and wilds, combined, compose that earth on which we live. Other coinbinations make a planet or a moon; and these again, united, make one planetary system,
fubfift, we know, not. Their gradation and ascent it is impofsible we should discover. Yet the generous mind, not deterred by this iminenfity, intrepidly passes on, through regions unknown, from greater system to greater, till it arrive at that greatest, where imagination stops, and can advance no further. In this last, this stupendous idea, it beholds the UNIVERSE itself, of which every 4