Yet rich and multiplied are the springs of innocent relaxation. The Christian relaxes in the temperate use of all the gifts of Providence. Imagination, and taste, and genius, and the beauties of creation, adn the works of art, lie open to him. He relaxes in the feast of reason, in the intercourses of society, in the sweets of friendship, in the endearments of love, in the exercise of hope, of confidence, of joy, of gratitude, of universal good will, of all the benevolent and generous affections, which, by the gracious ordination of our Creator, while they disinterestedly intend only happiness to others, are most surely productive to ourselves of complacency and peace. O ! little do they know of the true measure of enjoyment, who can compare these delightful complacencies with the frivolous pleasures of dissipation or the coarse gratifications of sensuality. It is no wonder, however, that the nominal Christian should reluctantly give up, one by one, the pleasures of the world, and look back upon them, when relinquished, with eyes of wishfulness and regret, because he knows not the sweetness of the delights with which true Christianity repays those trifling sacrifices, and is greatly unacquainted with the nature of that pleasantness which is to be found in the ways of Religion.
Taken from William Wilberforce, A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the higher and middle classes in this country, contrasted with real Christianity. By William Wilberforce, Esq. Member of Parliament for the County of York. Printed for T. Cadell, jun. and W. Davies, (successors to Mr. Cadell) in the Strand(London), 1797, p. 455-456. Transcription by Noémie Vandenborre (UBO). Full text of the 1829 edition from HATHITRUST.
Image: "Ecclesiastic opinions concerning the Devil!! Published on 14 February 1791, by W. Holland N°50, Oxford St." British Museum. 1935,0522.8.101.