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The limits of this publication cannot embrace the Theological Works of the British PROSE WRITERS : but an exception may, with propriety, be made in favour of the Sermons of a Layman, and one so eminent as the AUTHOR of the RAMBLER. Other reasons may be alleged for their insertion among the present volumes : although numerous editions of Dr. Johnson's works are in circulation, but few, comparatively, of his readers, are aware that these sermons have not hitherto been admitted into any of them: but above all, the subjects on which they treat, and the pen from which they flowed, indisputably rank them with the original writings of Bacon and Boyle, of Clarendon and Locke.

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Therefore shall a man leave his father and his

mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.

That society is necessary to the happiness of hu-
man nature, that the gloom of solitude, and the
stillness of retirement, however they may flatter at
a distance, with pleasing views of independence
and serenity, neither extinguish the passions nor
enlighten the understanding; that discontent will in-
trude upon privacy, and temptations follow us to
the desert; every one may be easily convinced,
either by his own experience, or that of others.
That knowledge is advanced by an intercourse of
sentiments and an exchange of observations, and
that the bosom is disburdened by a communication
of its cares, is too well known for proof or illus-
tration. In solitude, perplexity swells into distrac-
tion, and grief settles into melancholy; even the
satisfactions and pleasures, that may by chance be
found, are but imperfectly enjoyed, when they are
enjoyed without participation.

How high this disposition may extend, and how far society may contribute to the felicity of more exalted natures, it is not easy to determine, nor necessary to inquire; it seems, however, probable, that this inclination is allotted to all rational beings of limited excellence, and that it is the privilege only of the infinite Creator to derive all his happiness from himself.

It is a proof of the regard of God for the happiness of mankind, that the means by which it must be attained are obvious and evident; that we are not left to discover them by difficult speculations, intricate disquisitions, or long experience; but are led to them, equally by our passions and our reason, in prosperity and distress. Every man perceives his own insufficiency to supply himself with what either necessity or convenience require, and applies to others for assistance. Every one feels his satisfaction impaired by the suppression of pleasing emotions, and consequently endeavours to find an opportunity of diffusing his satisfaction.

As a general relatidn to the rest of the species is not sufficient to procure gratifications for the pri. vate desires of particular persons ; as closer ties of union are necessary to promote the separate interests of individuals, the great society of the world is divided into different communities, which are again subdivided into smaller bodies, and more contracted associations, which pursue, or ought to pursue, a particular interest, in subordination to the public good, and consistently with the general happiness of mankind.

Each of these subdivisions produces new dependences and relations, and every particular relation gives rise to a particular scheme of duties ;

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