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dulge them as favourites, would be destructive of our own spiritual advantage. They are, in short, such as we ourselves make them: it is in the power of temperance, attention, and resolu tion to correct them into promoters, and of luxury, negligence, and instability to soothe them into destroyers, of our real happiness.
The senses are the wings of contemplation; we see the present operations of providence, we hear the mighty works of God to them who lived in the days before us, we feel his mercies to ourselves, and the very means by which we observe his goodness are the immediate gifts of it.
In pursuance of this union of sense and understanding we are to take proper care of our health, in justice to both these faculties; but particularly that we may enjoy the contempla tions of the latter in their full perfection. Sickness and pain disturb and cloud their beauty, and distract the sobriety of reflection. If God should see fit to afflict us with weakness and anguish of body, he will undoubtedly make allowance for the disturbance they occasion; but w have additional guilt to account for, if, by own debaucheries or want of care, we ourselves into a state of torment or di ness, and consequently into an inc
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Quod si corporis gravioribus morbis vitæ jucunditas impeditur, quanto magis animi morbis impediri necesse est!
But if intellectual happiness be interrupted by the diseases of the body, how much more is it broken in upon by those which vitiate the mind!
JUCUNDITAS VITE, in the motto of this paper, must be understood to signify that noble and refined felicity of the soul, which arises from intellectual pleasure; if we apprehend it in any other sense, the assertion contained in the sentence is by no means true; since sensual pleasure is rather advanced and augmented by that depravity of mind, through which her votary beholds his vicious pursuits under the appearance of real good. A deviation from virtue is indeed the great and most dangerous disease of the soul, by whose influence she loses the delicacy of her original frame, and becomes inured to those habits, which are destructive of her real happiness and the design of her creation.
In the former essay, notice was taken of the advantages which the soul may derive from the
subordinate assistance of the body; it was then observed, that unbridled appetites, and pain and sickness, throw the mind off from her bias, interrupt her contemplations, and make her unfit for the delight arising from the cool and undisturbed enjoyment of the intellect. In the present paper I shall just hint some reflections upon those more frequent and more invincible obstacles, which the soul meets with from the intellectual faculties themselves, in which I suppose the passions to be ingrafted and established.
The specific difference, between the nature of the soul and that of the body, naturally puts the former something upon its guard against the snares of the latter. It is indeed too true, they frequently are united, and the divine spark within us is oppressed and almost extinguished by the sensual mixture it receives from our mortal mass; yet, for the most part, reason and appetite maintain some little struggle; the understanding disdains to give up all her dignity, and is victorious after many repulses. The danger is infinitely greater from the soul herself: when her own faculties begin to taint and be corrupted, when the passions swell themselves into vices, and when the power of thinking corrupts itself by remaining too much within, and not
soaring upwards to those divine regions from whence she had her own original. Celestial contemplation is to the soul, what the air of one's native country is to the body, and invigorates it when all other remedies fail. It is an exercise which performs, in its divine excursions, the same service to the intellect, that walking or riding performs to the animal spirits, increasing their force, improving their operations, and ennobling their nature. The soul, which never thus exerts its powers, returns too frequently upon herself, stagnates for want of her natural and proper nourishment; passions and inclinations at random, whether good or evil, engross her attention, and the body becomes their counsellor and assistant.
:..The mind, when improved, brightened and dignified by exalted speculations, will have an influence upon our bodies, from whose union in the cause of religion and virtue intellectual pleasure arises. Her operations are not confined to things" above the visible diurnal sphere;" but, like the sun, illuminates every subject, and is then in her highest degree of perfection, when she can assimilate the objects she considers to her own nature.
Purity of heart, and benevolence of temper, are the only means of attaining this happy