Journal of Dr GFW
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How pure are thy joys to the meek and lowly followers of Christ and the heavenly doctrines taught by him and left for your benefit and sealed by his life. What love more pure and disinterested. As you meet on this day in the house of worship and prayer, how plain must you see your Redeemer suspended on the cross and say it was for me he suffered and died.
It is not only a day of pleasure to the Christian but all blessed with freedom for care and toil. It is not a day of partial benefit. It extends its enjoyments to all: to the high, the low, the rich, and poor, the bond and free, the old and young. Joy animates the bosoms of thousands. Behold the youthful swain and maiden, they hail your presence with more than ordinary pleasure. The cares of the week are now laid aside, and happier thoughts occupy the mind.
It puts me in mind, while gazing on the multitudes of Fall and Spring. The ordinary garb is thrown from the body and nature assumes her most lovely appearance, decked in all her beauty. The toilette groans beneath the weight of ornaments calculated to conceal every deformity, and the faithful mirror tells every point where the aid art is required; and the willing and accustomed hand soon adjusts every deficiency and removes every unpleasing appearance. What penetrates the mind in these moments and touches the heart's sensibility I will leave for imagination to relate. But this may be said, all this care and trouble is not taken for ease and comfort of body. There must be a stronger motive than in full operation, not only by the young and gay portion of the community, but for those more advanced in years. And this motive I think is to please and draw attention, for it is by this art that many obtain a good situation for life.
Now see them collected to hear the word from the pulpit. See. Little known of what is said by the preacher. Pleasures not too pure for vocal sound are in the mind. No cloud of sorrow is observed when all shall be accomplished. But the mind is of more importance. Its decoration must at last be the source from which permanent and continual pleasure will flow. Wealth, youth, and beauty will all decay, but the mind will endure and flourish.
When a man has fixed his course of life and made all the necessary arrangements to carry out the execution part and placed all his hopes on the emoluments to be derived there from, and finds himself incapable of accomplishing it just for the want of an opportunity of putting it or his abilities to the test of experiment or trial, it is in fact mortifying and must unavoidably disturb his mind by day and night. Such were my visions of the night, and just as the sun arose I was disturbed in one of the most delightful moments that ever was allotted me, or fancy ever painted in the visions of man. Indeed it was a sad disappointment for all was dissipated by the certainty of thought. I had gained my ardent wish, I was on the wings of active and successful employment, fell disease was palsied at every place, summons after summons arrived, not a cloud could be seen, not a murmur heard. Competence soon was gained, affluence came rolling on, reputation elevated, and I was contemplating how to use my income to the best advantage for the good of the poor and destitute when molested. But sad reality told me I was yet an object of charity. Now from such high elevation to be doomed to fall was indeed horrid, but many a magnificent castle erected in the air has suffered the same fate. I would caution you to have your daydreams confined within the bounds of possibility and if possible confined within the circumference of plausibility and not suffer your imagination to transport you beyond the limits of common Propriety. You must not contemplate a state of things that can never occur and that human skill cannot accomplish. Let reason be your guide and not of the extravagant kind. You are in a community where you will find your equals or superiors and these will, and justly too, receive patronage. You must calculate if your success depends on the fancy of the public, to rise by attention, skill, and merit, be not ignorant of what you intend to follow, know all its ramifications, its rise and progress, be not incapable to reply to any question in relation to and not afraid to meet one of the same occupation.