less for good—the heart pulseless of gladness—a ma¬
lignant inspiration, moody and wrathful, thinking
evil of God and working evil toward men, unfitting
the soul for heaven, and excluding it from its bless¬
Thankfulness is the effluence of a fine grace of
character, which like all graces is to be strengthened
by the culture of the various dispositions upon which
it depends. Among which are—
1st. Humility.—Much of our discontent results from
pride—an overweening estimate of our own dessert.
But let a man in true humility regard himself, as he
is, a wrath-deserving sinner, and by every mercy that
lifts him above eternal despair will his heart be filled
with joy, and his lips with thanksgiving.
2ndly. Benevolence.— A disposition that rejoices
even in the superior happiness of others. Augustine
calls envy the besetting sin of the devil, who envied
Jehovah in heaven and Adam in Paradise, and the
essence of whose torment is a thought of happiness
which he cannot share. To an envious soul true joy
is impossible—if perfect in conditions of manhood, it
will writhe at the thought of angelic spheres and pin¬
ions—if raised to Gabriel's ministry in the very pre¬
sence of God, it will be in anguish at the sight of that
higher throne and the loftier One that sitteth on it.
Now in a universe like this we must all have supe¬
riors—spirits of loftier spheres, even fellow-men of
finer gifts and positions. And to be thankful in our
lowlier estate, we must have that benevolence which
finds joy in the happiness of others.