Character of a Happy Life
Summary of 'Character of a Happy Life'
The poet Sir Henry Wotton illustrates the character of a happy life:
The blessedness of a man,who is not a servant to another man's will. His honest thought is an armour that shields himself,and the truth that he abides in is his greatest skill;as the truth sets a man free, free from bondage, of sin,fear, worries and several other bonds.
He does not let passions master him;and he is prepared for death.He is not conformed to this world ;neither is he fettered by the love of this world,nor its foul offers.
He is not involved in rumours; listening to his conscience, he takes a strong hold of his being.He is not taken in by flattery , nor can mighty oppressors ruin him.
He doth not envy those who are promoted by chance, or by gross immoral conduct.Happy is that man who never understood, that the deepest wounds are given with praise.; not by the rules of state ,but the rules laid down by God, cause him the sorest wounds.
Sir Henry's thoughts instill into our minds, that a man's praise can be the deepest wounds, when a man feels himself an unworthy match to that praise .He strives to abide by the laws of God; and his failure to keep God's laws makes him unhappy.
Who prays for God's grace at dusk and dawn, rather than for blessings.He chooses a friend or a book to refresh himself.
This man is not a slave;the hope to rise, or fear to fall, doth not bind him.Hence he is lord of himself .Though he doth not possess lands , and hath nothing ,yet he hath all.
His oppressors have no effect on him.