Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
Joy, gaiety, merriment. It is distinguished from cheerfulness thus: Mirth is considered as an act; cheerfulness an habit of the mind. Mirth is short and transient; cheerfulness fixed and permanent. "Those are often raised into the greatest transports of mirth who are subject to the greatest depressions of melancholy; on the contrary, cheerfulness, though it does not give such an exquisite gladness, prevents us from falling into any depths of sorrow. Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity." Mirth is sinful, 1. When men rejoice in that which is evil. 2. When unreasonable. 3. When tending to commit sin. 4. When a hindrance to duty. 5. When it is blasphemous and profane.
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Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Mirth'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/m/mirth.html. 1802.