On the Happiness of a Virtuous Career
Proverbs 3:17
Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

Virtue is the image of God in the soul, and the noblest thing in the creation; and therefore it must be the principal ground of true happiness.

1. By practising virtue we gratify the highest powers of our natures.

2. Virtue, in the very idea of it implies health and order of mind.

3. By practising virtue we gain more of the united pleasures, arising from the gratification of all our powers, than we can in any other way. The course most conducive to happiness must be that which is most agreeable to our whole nature.

4. Much of the pleasure of vice itself depends on some species or other of virtue combined with it.

5. Virtue leaves us in possession of all the common enjoyments of life, and it even improves and refines them. This effect it produces by restraining us to regularity and moderation in the gratification of our desires.

6. Virtue has peculiar joys such as nothing else can give — such as the love of the Deity, peace of conscience, a sense of God's favour, the hope of future reward. Now consider some peculiar qualities of this happiness.

(1)  It is more permanent than any other happiness;

(2)  more independent;

(3)  more pure and refined;

(4)  it continues with a man even in affliction.Inferences:

1. How wrong is it to conceive of religious virtue as an enemy to pleasure.

2. What strong evidence we have for the moral government of the Deity.

3. What reasons we have for seeking virtue above all things.

(R. Price, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

WEB: Her ways are ways of pleasantness. All her paths are peace.

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