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II. The Reasons, why they did not avail him, nor will avail any others, who, with Haman, placeth his Happiness in the fruition of them.

1. The Example of Haman is very remarkable and instructive, a most evident Argument of that Truth for which we now contend; which will appear, if we view the several Circumstances of his Life and Greatness. He enjoyed all those Advantages which could enhance the 'Opinion of his own Happiness. Among these, none of the least is, that he rose to this Grandeur from a mean Estate, which fet a better relith upon his Happiness, and made it the more valuable to him.

To one who had all his Life long enjoy'd the uninterrupted course of Prosperity, these Honours might appear of lesser Value. A Satiety of Pleasures; might in such have extinguished an esteem of them. He might not know how to prize them, because he never knew the want of them, To be brought up in a constant Plenty of all that Sense can desire, will oft-times produce a Greatness of Mind, surmounting at last those perty Objects. For the desire of Man in this Life is restless; so that what he hath always pofseft he will scarce think defireable. 'Tis Novelty which recommendeth Tempo. ral Enjoyments: The want of them fire raised a desire of them; and their absence ministers an 'esteem of their Greatness.

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Haman had, no doubt, while yet in a mean Condition, before he was taken notice of, or advanced by his Prince, admir’d the Honour and Riches of other Men, envied their Happiness, and bounded his Hopes in the Acquisition of a like Fortune. He had often imagined he should be truly Happy, when he should have obtained what he so much desired. The Opinion of this Happiness had taken deep root in his Mind, had filled his Thoughts and posseft his Soul. And now after his Desires were accomplished, his Hopes fulfilled; when he was raised to a greater Dignity, than himself before had even dared to hope; when he was far advanced above all those, whose Happiness he had so long both envied and admired; when he was newly entred upon the Possession of his Hopes, and had not so long enjoyed the pleasures of them, as to be glutted by them; yet notwithstanding all these Advantages, he declares, this availed him no. thing. Again, if such a Confession should

proceed from the Mouth of a Philofopher, it might possibly be attributed to somewhat else than Conviction of Judgment. It might arise from Vain-glory and the Desire of being reputed Superior to all the Satisfactions of Sense, and the Vanity of this Life. It might be thought to be spoken with design VOL. II.

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of raising an Opinion of his own extraor-
dinary Wisdom or Mortification. As it
was usually objected to the Heathen Philo-
sophers, that they secretly entertained the
love of those Vices, against which they so
furiously declamed, and directed their Dif-
course rather for applause than conviction.
Or if such a Saying should proceed from a
firm Persuasion in them, it still deserved not
to be admired: because they knew, or pre-
tended to know, a more real and desireable
Happiness; so that to depress the Pleasures
of Sense, and exaggerate those of the Mind,
was no more than their Profession did require
of them. . Or if a Christian should make
such a Declaration after a serious Meditation
of the Vanity of this Life, and the Rewards
proposed to him in another, we should much
less be moved at it. In Him, that would be
but natural: He professeth himself a Citizen
of another World, a Pilgrim and Stranger
upon the Earth, whosc Hopes and Expecta-
tions are placed in Heaven. But when a
professed Worlding, who knows no Happi-
nefs, but what is to be received in this Life,
who never considered or conceived a spiri-
tual Felicity, who grecdily seeks after secu-
lar Advantages, and makes those the only
Objects of his desire: If such an one, in
the midst of his Fruition, declares his unsa-
tisfaction; this is an unanswerable Evidence,
which nothing but the force of Truth can
extort, which cannot be denied. And such

was

was Haman, a stranger to the Promises of God, an Enemy to Religion, a Slave to his Passion, a Votary to Luft and Pleasure; and yet even he, in the Fruition of all which he had hitherto so ardently desired, confest, that it availed him nothing.

Further, this Speech of Haman was not the effect of any sudden Motion, but of mature Deliberation. A worldy Man perhaps may be driven by some Disappointment or unwelcome Accident, to blaspheme his Mammon, and in a hasty Concession to declare the Vanity of all sublunary Enjoyments; to renounce his part in them, and pretend that he doth not value them: yet would be unwilling to be taken at his word, and stripe of all. Such Sallies of Passion declare not the fixed Judgment of a Man, and not proceeding from Deliberation, carry no Authority with them. But the Resolution of Haman in my Text was far otherwise. He

pronounced this in a fedate Disposition, after long Consultation. He fent for his Friends to acquaint them with it; and when they were met, did not immediately break out into a transport of Passion, and bewail his mis. fortune. He recounted and amplified the Benefits of Fortune to him, took a full Prospect of all his imaginary Happiness, as it is in the 11th Verse, And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the King had promoted him; and

how he had

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advanced him above the Princes and Ser. vants of the King. He gave its due weight to every Circumstance of his present Fortune, insisted upon all the Topicks which might amplify the greatness of it, magnified it in a set Harangue, and yet after all, at last concluded, that all this availed him nothing.

A strange Conclusion for an Haman to make; which

yet
will

carry greater weight along with it, if we consider, that this

pro. ceeded not from any Representation made to him by his Friends whom he had called to. gether, of the Vanity of his Riches, the Mutability of his Fortune, or the Mortality of his Nature.

Such Suggestions might possibly have diverted his Vain-glorious humour for a while to a melancholy Consideration of them, and in that Disposi. tion have forced him to inake this Concesion. As Solon did to Cræfus, making a pompous thew of his Treasures and Magnificence: and the Prophet reduced King Hezekiah to more humble Thoughts, after he had in Oftentation exposed his Riches to the view of the Ambassadors of Babylon, by telling him, that they should be carried away to Babylon. In that cafe, to restrain the love of worldly Pleasure, and for a while seem weary of it, may easily be accountable. But here the Friends of Haman, far from performing such an Office, fought rather to congratulate his Fortunes, to flatter his Passions, to foment

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