and healthful breezes fanned you, and ministries of
love gladdened your habitations. And yours have
been all the ineffable consolations of the Gospel of
Christ, and the hopes of a far more exceeding and
eternal weight of glory. Count this war only a
divine judgment, nevertheless, it is no more than a
solitary cloud on a firmament still lustrous with the
sun and stars of His infinite loving-kindness, and
scarcely weakens the force of the inspired exhortation
—" In every thing give thanks."
Nor this only. This balancing of accounts with
God, to feel that He has done us, on the whole, more
good than evil, is a very pitiful and unworthy view,
to take of the duty of thanksgiving. Our text takes
much higher ground. It enjoins thankfulness in all
circumstances. Even if they should seem utterly
distressing. And teaches us that true thanksgiving
is not a selfish emotion gratified by prosperity, but a
vital grace in the soul, existing independent of cir¬
cumstances or condition.
Let us then in our brief remainder of discourse
consider Thankfidness as a gracious affection of the
soul— What it is ? and Hoio it is to be strengthened ?
First.— What is the thankfulness which the text
enjoins ? And we answer that it is not a simple, but a
composite emotion—consisting of joy from benefits.
And love for the benefactor. Simple joy alone has no
determinate moral quality; it may be good, it may be
thoroughly evil. Without love it is altogether bad
and abominable. Thankless delight belongs to the