Youth is too tumultuous for felicity; old age too insecure for happiness. The period most favorable to enjoyment, in a vigorous, fortunate, and generous life, is that between forty and sixty.
A garden was the primitive prison, till man with Promethean felicity and boldness, luckily sinned himself out of it.
Felicity, the companion of content, is rather found in our own breasts than in the enjoyment of external things; and I firmly believe it requires but a little philosophy to make a man happy in whatever state he is.
A man's felicity consists not in the outward and visible blessing of fortune, but in the inward and unseen perfections and riches of the mind.
That discipline which corrects the eagerness of worldly passions, which fortifies the heart with virtuous principles, which enlightens the mind with useful knowledge, and furnishes to it matter of enjoyment from within itself, is of more consequence to real felicity than all the provisions which we can make of the goods of fortune.
To strive with difficulties, and to conquer them, is the highest human felicity.
Who would imagine that the Deity conducts his providence similar to the detestable despots of this world? Oh horrible? most horrible impeachment of Divine Goodness! Rather let us exaltedly suppose that God eternally had the ultimate best good of beings generally and individually in his view, with the reward of the virtuous and the punishment of the vicious, and that no other punishment will ever be inflicted, merely by the divine administration, but that will finally terminate in the best good of the punished, and thereby subserve the great and important ends of the divine government, and be productive of the restoration and felicity of all finite rational nature.
A memory steals in from lost heavens of Truth,
A wide release comes near, a Glory calls,
A might looks out, an estranged felicity.
In glamorous passages of half-veiled light
Wandering, a brilliant shadow of itself,
This quick uncertain leader of blind gods,
This tender of small lamps, this minister serf
Hired by a mind and body for earth-use
Forgets its work mid crude realities;
It recovers its renounced imperial right,
It wears once more a purple robe of thought
And knows itself the Ideal's seer and king,
Communicant and prophet of the Unborn,
Heir to delight and immortality.
All things are real that here are only dreams,
In our unknown depths sleeps their reserve of truth,
On our unreached heights they reign and come to us
In thought and muse trailing their robes of light.
As the fire doth mount upwards, and the needle that is touched with the loadstone still turneth to the north, so the converted soul is inclined to God. Nothing else can satisfy him, nor can he find any content and rest but in his love. In a word, all that are converted do esteem and love God better than all the world; and the heavenly felicity is dearer to them than their fleshly prosperity.
If we could have devised an arrangement for providing everybody with music in their homes, perfect in quality, unlimited in quantity, suited to every mood, and beginning and ceasing at will, we should have considered the limit of human felicity already attained, and ceased to strive for further improvements.
That discipline which corrects the baseness of worldly passion, fortifies the heart with virtuous principles, enlightens the mind with useful knowledge, and furnishes it with enjoyment from within itself, is of more consequence to real felicity, than all the provision we can make of the goods of fortune.