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several latent faculties, which it is not at present in a condition to exert; that we cannot believe the soul is endowed with any faculty which is of no use to it; that whenever any one of these faculties is transcendently pleased, the soul is in a state of happiness; and, in the last place, considering that the happiness of another world is to be the happiness'of the whole man; who can question but that there is an infinite variety in those pleasures we are speaking of; and that this fulness of joy will be made up of all those pleasures which the nature of the soul is capable of receiving ?
We shall be the more confirmed in this doctrine, if we observe the nature of variety, with regard to the mind of man. '
The soul does not care to be always in the same bent. The faculties relieve one another by turns, and receive an additional pleasure from the novelty of those objects about which they are conversant.
Revelation likewise very much confirms this notion, under the different views which it gives us of our future happiness. In the description of the throne of God, it represents to us all those objects which are able to gratify the senses and imagination. In very many places it intimates to us all the happiness which the understanding can possibly receive in that state, where all things shall be revealed to . us, and we shall know, even as we are known. The raptures of devotion, of divine love, the pleasure of conversing with our blessed Saviour, with an innumerable host of angels, and with the spirits of just men made perfect, are likewise revealed to us in several parts of the holy writings. There are also mentioned those hierarchies, or governments, in which the blessed shall be ranged one above another, and in which we may be sure a great part of our happiness will likewise consist ; for it will not be there as in this world, where every one is aiming at
power and superiority; but, on the contrary, every one will find that station the most proper for him in which he is placed, and will probably think that he could not have been so happy in any other station, These, and many other particulars, are marked in divine revelation, as the several ingredients of our happiness in heaven, which all imply such a variety of joys and such a gratification of the soul in all its different faculties, as I have been here mentioning.
Some of the rabbins tell us, that the cherubims are a set of angels who know most, and the seraphims a set of angels who love-most. Whether this doctrine be not altogether imaginary, I shall not here examine; but it is highly probable, that, among the spirits of good men, there may be some who will be more pleased with the employment of one faculty than of another, and this, perhaps, according to those innocent and virtuous habits or inclinations which have here taken the deepest root.
I might here apply this consideration to the spirits of wicked men, with relation to the pain which they shall suffer in every one of their faculties, and the respective miseries which shall be appropriated to each faculty in particular. But leaving this to the reflection of my readers, I shall conclude with ob. serving how we ought to be thankful to our great Creator, and rejoice in the being which he has bestowed upon us, for having made the soul susceptible of pleasure by so many different ways. by what a variety of passages, joy and gladness may enter into the thoughts of man; how wonderfully a human spirit is framed, to imbibe its proper satisfactions, and taste the goodness of its Creator. We may therefore look into ourselves with rapture and amazement, and cannot sufficiently express our gratitude to Him who has encompassed us with such a profusion of blessings, and opened in us so many capacities of enjoying them.
There cannot be a stronger argument that God has designed us for a state of future happiness, and for that heaven which he has revealed to us, than that he has thus naturally qualified the soul for it, and made it a being capable of receiving so much bliss. He would never have made such faculties in vain, and have endowed us with powers that were not to be exerted on such objects as are suited to them. It is very manifest, by the inward frame and constitution of our minds, that he has adapted them to an infinite variety of pleasures and gratifications, which are not to be met with in this life. We should, therefore, at all times take care that we do not disappoint this his gracious purpose and intention towards us, and make those faculties which he formed as so many qualifications for happiness and rewards, to be the instruments of pain and punishment