vexation and misery. "' Man is," indeed, " born totrouble as the sparks fly upward;" and this worldis in a fallen state, and " under the curse" of itsCreator J but it is not a place of punishment. Thegoodness of God has been gloriously displayed init, and there is not a creature living who does notlargely partake of that goodness. Though enjoy-ment, therefore, as distinct from the performanceof his duties, ought not to be his object, yet inthe way of duty a man may humbly hope for andexpect happiness. He may hope to share in thegeneral bounty of his heavenly Father; and par-ticularly, he both may and ought to expect thathappiness which arises immediately from right dis-positions and views of mind, and from upright andconscientious conduct. A gloomy frame of mindis not only destructive of happiness, but is highlyinjurious to the goodness of our heavenly Father,whose mercies are over all his works, and who hathgiven to us in Christ all things richly to enjoy.When the inquiry is made. What is our life ^ let usalways remember that it is not a permanent state.This will be allowed by all, and yet its necessaryconsequences are practically denied. How readilyis it acknowledged, that life is merely a vapour,that appeareth for a little time and then vanishethaway ! And yet how continually do men act asif, with respect to themselves at least, it were86 ON THE NATURE AND END OF LIFE.eternal ! They cherish no ideas of happiness intiny other state : they contrive intricate and pro-tracted designs, which will require years for theirexecution, forgetting that they may not live tocomplete a single plan, that they cannot insure theenjoyment of a single day.Notwithstanding, however, the shortness anduncertainty of life, such persons would be actinglight to make the best of it, provided that thiswere the only state of existence : but since thelife to come is as infinitely long as this is short,no words can describe the folly of those who,wholly engrossed by the transitory objects of thisworld, make no provision for another.