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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary

Happiness

Absolutely taken, denotes the durable possession of perfect good, without any mixture of evil; or the enjoyment of pure pleasure unalloyed with pain, or a state in which all our wishes are satisfied; in which senses, happiness is only known by name on this earth. The word happy, when applied to any state or condition of human life, will admit of no positive definition, but is merely a relative term; that is, when we call a man happy, we mean that he is happier than some others with whom we compare him; than the generality of others; or than he himself was in some other situation. Moralists justly observe, that happiness does not consist in the pleasures of sense; as eating, drinking, music, painting, theatric exhibitions, &c. &c. for these pleasures continue but a little while, by repetition lose their relish, and by high expectation often bring disappointment. Nor does happiness consist in an exemption from labour, care, business, &c.; such a state being usually attended with depression of spirits, imaginary anxieties, and the whole train of hypochondriacal affections. Nor is it to be found in greatness, rank, or elevated stations, as matter of fact abundantly testifies; but happiness consists in the enjoyment of the divine favour, a good conscience, and uniform conduct. In subordination to these, human happiness may be greatly promoted by the exercise of the social affections; the pursuit of some engaging end; the prudent constitution of the habits; and the enjoyment of our health. Bolton and Lucas on Happiness; Henry's Pleasantness of a Religious Life; Grove's and Paley's Mor. Phil. Barrow's Ser. ser. 1. Young's Centaur, 41 to 160; Wollaston's Religion of Nature, sec. 2.

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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Happiness'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/h/happiness.html. 1802.

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